Safety is paramount when choosing tables and lifts for the grooming salon. While these pieces of equipment might seem like a static product—certainly less exciting than the ever-changing array of available shampoos and conditioners—these are arguably the most important aspect of the salon.
Not only do these large-scale purchases keep the groomer safe and comfortable, they also ensure the safety and comfort of the animal on the table. The goal? Remove both stress and physical discomfort for the groomer and the handler. Luckily, product development has kept pace with the needs of this physically-demanding job.
For instance, The Flying Pig Super Low Electric Lift Grooming Table gives groomers closer access to the animal being groomed while encouraging the animal to stay centered. The design reduces the need to stop and bend and reduces stress for the animal with the walk-on and -off feature—which provides back-saving relief to the handler. It lifts from 11¼ inches to more than 40½ inches in seconds, can accommodate pets up to 220 pounds and includes a removable non-slip surface.
For groomers on the go, the Flying Pig Medium Bone Shape Stainless Steel Foldable Grooming Table does the job at a lower price in an easy-to-carry size and shape. Made from rust-resistant stainless steel and a steel frame, it can support pets up to 330 pounds. A nonslip rubber top comes with a decorative bone-shaped pattern. The table is equipped with an adjustable grooming arm that can either attach to the right or left side of the table, enabling the groomer to work from whichever position is most comfortable.
According to many groomers, one of the most important elements when making a table purchase is the warranty, and The Flying Pig pieces come with a one-year warranty.
Go-to brand PetLift manufactures a range of tables in sizes and shapes to meet every need. From the simple folding grooming tables—available with and without adjustable legs—to hydraulic lifts, the brand builds tables to fit in any salon. For example, The Classic Mini Grooming Table serves a niche and small spaces with its classic size. It reduces the roaming area for small breeds, including cats, and fills smaller gaps in grooming areas as an extra table while utilizing the same heavy-duty base pump as the brand’s large models. The top measures 24-inches round.
Another uniquely-shaped table from PetLift is the MasterLift. It’s an extralong, surf-board shaped table top. The top is 24 inches by 54 inches with an oval at one end. It includes an added feature: the 3000 Ultra Post that rotates 180 degrees.
While PetLift has created tables and lifts for 46 years, the brand recently underwent a change in structure. PetLift partnered with S & B Metal Products, an industry leader in custom sheet metal fabrication, to form a new company, PetLift S & B Manufacturing.
Beyond the basics of functional tables that help dog and groomer stay comfortable, business owners shouldn’t neglect their brand when selecting new equipment. Manufacturers now offer an array of design options that can complement the interior design of a salon. Shor-Line allows work areas to be color coordinated with options beyond the basic black. Available in Plum Perfect, Screamin’ Green, Burnt Orange, Electric Pink and Silver Vein, the tables can even coordinate down to the brand’s Kennel Gear Professional Grooming Caddy.
Tables in those color options include the Elite Grooming Tables, which are the only CSA/UL Certified Grooming Table. It can be adjusted in four different ways, keeping the groomer comfortable and efficient. Another option is the Big Top, which also includes four different adjustments, but now features a new, larger 48-inch table top, great for larger breeds.
While color selection may not be the most important factor when choosing a table or lift, the reality for most salons is that these are bigticket items that hopefully don’t need to be replaced often.
The Perfect Fit
Further, measure the space carefully before purchasing new equipment. While a larger table size might sound appealing, it must fit the floor plan. Space planners recommend taping the floor with the table measurements and walk around the salon to ensure that the equipment fits without an awkward—or dangerous—flow.
Once it’s clear what will fit within the space, business owners should get their hands on tables and lifts that they’re interested in. When shopping for new equipment, it’s best to attend grooming shows to try out the products in person and network with other groomers at shows to find out what works.
Groomers should take their time on this purchase. It’s worth the research and maybe even the added expense to find the piece that fits well within the layout of the space and allows staff to groom clients safety, comfortably and efficiently.