Re: Will a Tommy Lift work?
If the bike is just kept on the lift during transport, I don't see a problem.
you WILL want to secure the lift in the UP position, BTW. A chain(s) or pins would do the job. Look at those flat bed truck rigs that have a delivery fork lift secured to the ass end. Look at how they secure the unit with chains and pins.
A couple mods to the lift will do it.
If the bike is loaded parallel to the rear of the bus, then mount on the Lift a channel for the bike tires and four (4) STRONG tie-down eyebolts for the handlebars.
Do NOT use the bent-closed eyebolts. They can open up.
Get the forged galvanized ones they sell for boat use.
The channel should have a section bent up at the end to act as a wheel stop.
Load the bike onto the channel/lift. Roll it up to the stop. Using ratchet tie-downs (get good ones!), secure the handlebars to the tiedowns, compressing the front fork springs in the process. This ensures that the bike is pressed up to the wheel stop.
Then add a couple more ratchet tie-downs to the rear of the bike.
Make sure that you do NOT hook to the turn signals or anything else breakable/expen$ive. I prefer hooking directly to the frame of my bike.
The whole idea is to keep the bike from rolling or tipping over.
Make sure you secure the bike ONLY to the lift. Hooking to the bus itself can lead to tragedy; I saw a setup where a guy had the bike strapped to the bumper and the lift; when he lowered the lift without taking the upper (tied-to-bus) straps off he broke his VERY pricey plastics/fairing.
Should be no problem to load when you get the hang of it....I'd roll/ride the bike onto the ramp, set the side stand for a bit of safety, place the front tie-downs onto the forks, and while seated on the levelled bike snug the front straps down. TO do this I hold the front brake and 'bounce' the front end while tightening the straps, left/right. Pulls the bike down tight in no time.
Then get off the bike, and secure the rear straps.
Removal is opposite of installation.
BTW, we used a Tommy Lift to load bikes into an F-250 we had at the bike shop: we put the lift about halfway up and used a ramp to load the bikes.
The Lift provided a spiffy and secure place to step when pushing the bike up/down into/from the bed of the truck.
The Lift supported the ramp, especially useful when the largest touring bikes were loaded, reducing stress/bending on the ramp.
The tool storage is nice, but where do I put the bed?