Last Updated on August 26, 2020 by Tim
There can be plenty to look at around a mechanic’s shop – loud noises and specialized machinery abound, people walk about with tools and parts, smells of fuel and lubricant fill the air, and so on. For a layperson, the sight can be somewhat overwhelming, and for a professional, it can get downright entrancing.
With so much activity around, it’s only natural that some things are not noticed, for all kinds of reasons. In the case of the mechanic’s creeper, it’s generally beneath something else – machinists of the world overuse these devices to comfortably access the undercarriage of cars and trucks.
The arrival of the hydraulic jack revolutionized many things about the automotive industry. One of them was that creepers could now be designed for much higher spaces than was previously possible. Although the creeper is often depicted as a slab of wood or metal with trundle wheels bolted onto the bottom, real creepers are now designed to be far more user friendly, and can include cushions, reclining panels, and tool brackets.
A mechanic’s shop will often see one or more of these devices in daily use, so it’s important to pick the right one out of the many available brands. We’ve narrowed the field to the five best options you can get for your shop.
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|1. Torin Big Red TR6452
|2. Omega 91000
|3. Lisle 97102
|4. Traxion ProGear 1-100
|5. Pro-LifT C-9100
Our Best Product Reviews and Comparisons
1. Torin Big Red TR6452
Torin’s Big Red line is well-known among those working with larger vehicles, and this creeper is another entry into an already noteworthy line of quality heavy-duty products.
- Steel frame
- 40” seat
- Six independent casters
- 5” clearance
What We Like About Torin Big Red TR6452
This creeper is made with the height and materials needed around larger SUVs or trucks, making it an important fixture in any large-scale mechanic’s shop.
What We Don’t Like About Torin Big Red TR6452
The headrest lock on this creeper fails frequently due to design flaws in the locking rack.
- Tough exterior cover
- Six casters for added support
- Adjustable headrest
- Solid rubber tires for added grip
- Full foam padding
- Clearance may be too high to work on smaller cars
- Headrest locking rack has been reported defective
This creeper can become a tool bench or chair in a few moments, and with no equipment needed.
- 40” seat
- Six casters
- Steel frame construction
- 450lb weight capacity
What We Like About Omega 91000
This creeper can help with body work as well. The frame includes a Z-fold that transforms it into a seat or tool bench with no tools required.
What We Don’t Like About Omega 91000
Several users report needing to replace the included fasteners as poorly fitted.
- Casters maintain grip on oil or metal shavings
- Soft padding for longer jobs
- Two helpful fixtures in one
- No tools needed to transform
- One year warranty
- Original casters may not fit
- Marked as containing DEHP, a material clinically linked to birth defects or reproductive harm
The Lisle creeper was designed after extensive research on hundreds of physical builds, allowing the manufacturer to produce a creeper that would be comfortable for everyone.
- Four casters
- Supports 350 lbs
- Hardened plastic construction
- ⅞” floor clearance
What We Like About Lisle 97102
This creeper is several inches larger than comparable models in all directions, making it an easy pick for larger individuals.
What We Don’t Like About Lisle 97102
This model is designed with only four casters, which are placed off-center so that it is easier to tip.
- Exceptionally durable
- Accepts more body types than most creepers
- Innovative shape supports all areas of the back equally
- No pads to damage
- Low clearance is suitable for sports cars or luxury transports
- Uneven weight distribution
- Relatively expensive
4.Traxion ProGear 1-100
This creeper is low slung and has a particularly wide wheelbase to hold more weight.
- Four casters
- Contoured rubber construction
- 400lbs weight capacity
- 2” ground clearance
What We Like About Traxion ProGear 1-100
Designed with an eye towards the human anatomy, this creeper affords lumbar support and spinal stability while ensuring the torso is not unnaturally stretched or compressed.
What We Don’t Like About Traxion ProGear 1-100
This creeper’s oversized casters can get stuck in position easily, making it hard to properly maneuver without manually adjusting them.
- Exceptional ergonomic support
- Splayed legs support more weight
- Large casters are less likely to slip
- Good customer service
- Welded frame is sturdier than assembled
- Padding is designed for certain sizes and could be uncomfortable for others
- Wheels can stick in position instead of swiveling
Pro-Lift has long been a trusted name in car jacks and brings the same quality to another piece of equipment under the car.
- Solid steel frame
- 40” seat
- Six casters
- Supports up to 450lbs
What We Like About Pro-LifT C-9100
This creeper supports a considerable amount of weight and has a Z-fold for increased versatility around the shop.
What We Don’t Like About Pro-LifT C-9100
This creeper requires a considerable amount of assembly, with non-standard tools and instructions that are printed too small to be easily read.
- High weight capacity
- Smooth rolling
- Z-fold frame
- Comfortable padding
- Smooth folding action
- Requires a lot of user assembly
- Poorly designed instructions and assembly tools
Like man tools in the modern auto shop, the mechanic’s creeper has certainly advanced since the cartoon versions. Choose one to fit your needs and budget to keep your workshop on top of things – so to speak.
If at all possible, try to get the measurements of both the creeper you intend to buy and the workers who will be using it. Although many modern creepers are either ergonomically designed or have good foam padding to support the user’s skeletal structure, it’s always best to fit them to the user as best as possible.
Before using a creeper, try to test it using a reasonable amount of weights, both from a person and simple dead weights or lathe flanges. A simple and controlled test of the creeper’s stability and weight capacity could save pain and trouble in the long run.
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