If you run an automotive garage, you must have some tools for more efficiency. These include the smaller tools such as torque wrenches and you need some big boys like the best topside creeper. In this article, we will discuss the latter because it is costlier, bulkier and it plays quite a significant role in your day-to-day work.
With the market teeming with many models and all of them claiming to be the best, it can be a bit daunting to choose the best one. Thankfully, you are here and you are reading this buyer’s guide. We will bring you the features that you should look for, the best creepers out there and much more. Keep reading.
What Is Topside Creeper?
Since you must access some of the engine components of high trucks, RVs and other big vehicles from the top, you need to add to your height so that you do not strain your back or muscles too much.
Unlike a regular creeper, which comprises of a board on wheels on which you can roll under a vehicle for repair, the topside one has a ladder and a small resting place on top.
It is designed to be foldable. That way, when you are done using it, you can fold it and put it in storage easily, leaving a small footprint.
Here are a few benefits that you can look forward to with an over the engine creeper:
- It adds a touch of professionalism and sophistication to your garage
- Makes work move faster to the joy and satisfaction of your customers
- It is foldable so it doesn’t leave a big footprint
- Most of them require minimal to zero care
- You can reach high vehicles easily without straining at all
- Height adjustment will allow you to set the height you require depending on the type of vehicle under repair
Features To Look For In Topside Creepers
Any garage tool is only as good as the features that it comes. Thus, when you are looking for one, you want to see that it contains all the most important features. Of course, the price that you will pay depends on the number of features. Tell you what though … it is better to pay more money for more features than pay less for fewer features. So, in that light, what types of features should your top creeper have?
This is one of the most important things to consider because it is about safety. The last thing that you want your creeper to do is a wobbly-dance-giggly-gig when you are on top. When you adjust the height fully, the center of gravity shifts. This poses a serious danger of wobbling and toppling over. Thus, check whether the creeper for the top that you want to buy is sturdily built to support your kind of weight.
The quality of the casters
Casters are very important for mobility. They ought to be stable and be designed to lock up once you settle into a certain position. Many models come with at least two of the casters locking up. Also, look for at models with four casters. The more they are the easier navigation around the garage floor will be. The casters should also be able to swing any way for making easier turns.
Support and comfort
When you are working on a high truck’s engine with your over the engine creeper, you do not want to hurt your back from the strain. You should be as comfortable as possible. To use it, you will climb the ladder and then bend over with your chest being supported by the deck. If it is well-built, you can rest easily on the creeper without experiencing any cramps or strains on your limbs. With a big body frame, you might want a bigger deck and vice versa.
If you can find one with a padded deck, get it. The padding is comfortable on your chest and you can work on the engine for a long time from one posture.
Assuming you have other guys working in the garage with you, you want an over the engine creeper that has adjustable height. That way, the tall and the short people can use it, without the need for buying more of these tools.
Luckily, customizable height for these tools is a standard feature. You just need to check the adjustment range and needless to say, the bigger the better. With lots of height, you will find it comfortable to work even on the biggest vehicles easily. A standard height range should start at 48 inches going upwards.
The most important consideration by far is the construction. The first thing to check here is the weight rating. If it is rated for 150 lbs, do not use it if you are heavier than that. You also have to ensure that the construction is of sound quality.
The weld should be sound, the metal should have rust-resistant finishing and the paintwork should be superb. This can be hard to ascertain when you are buying online, but you can always check reviews left by other buyers, or check the product description. In any case, we will bring you the reviews of the top over the engine creepers here, so you need not worry about quality.
7 Best Topside Creeper Reviews 2020
1. Traxion 3-100 Foldable Topside Creeper
Reaching the small components in the engine of a big truck can be hard work. That is why you need a topside creeper like this one, with its padded deck. You can rest the upper part of your body/your chest on this deck as you reach inside the engine. You will find this deck easy to maintain and keep clean all the time.
With a height adjustment range of 48 to 72 inches, you can see why your height does not matter at all. You can raise the deck or lower it to the most comfortable position. This is a secure tool too because two of its casters lock up when you set it in position. The casters maneuver very well, so you should have no problem at all navigating around the garage floor.
It also has a weight rating of 400 pounds. That is quite high and it is rare that you will be over this weight and still be working in a garage. This kind of high weight rating is just to enforce the usability and durability of this tool.
The build of this tool is incredible. Made with heavy-gauge steel, it is invincible. It can take all the abuse that workshop tools face everyday without giving up. When you are done using it, you can fold it easily to take it to storage. It will reduce to a small and compact size that you will find easy to manage.
- Easy to set up and use
- Heavy-duty construction ensures longevity
- The ergonomic design makes it easy to use for a long time without too much fatigue
- You get to increase the height at intervals of 6 inches
- The finishing looks quite good
- Non-slip liners on the ladder steps could be better
- The parts that get in touch with your vehicle are a bit rough so you may need to insulate them
- Adjustable height for ease of use. 140 inches of engine compartment access
- Padded deck for comfort; Adjust in heights from 52" to 72" in increments of 6"
- Unit folds away to save space
- Four casters to allow you to easily move the unit
- Two locking casters to lock your position; weight capacity: 56 pounds.Creeper Wheel Diameter:3 inch
2. Traxion 3-700 ProGear Topside Creeper
Traxion is one of the most established names for making these tools. As you will see from the 3-700 ProGear, the design is quite simplistic. However, do not let that fool you because this model can be used for heavy-duty engine fixing works. If you have to reach those plugs in your Tahoe’s engine, you need a tool like this one, and we will show you why shortly.
The height can be adjusted to a maximum of 74 inches from 53 inches, in increments of 12 inches. That is big! Models with lower height range might limit you to the vehicles that you might work on. The deck has a cover, which you can remove for easier cleaning. The frame of this gear is made with heavy-gauge steel, so it is not going to crack if it topples over.
The I-based design makes this creeper easy to use. The horizontal part slides easily under the car and the vertical part is very steady. You can raise it to the maximum height, climb on it and start working on your pickup’s engine without worrying about your security. Two wheels will lock up to keep the creeper from moving when you are on top.
For storage, just fold it into a small and compact size. However, this does not mean that it will be light in weight. It weighs 75 pounds, which can be a bit hefty to move around the garage.
- Assembly is very easy, should not take more than 15 minutes
- Feels secure because of the heavy weight
- High quality finishing and color selection
- Bigger height range makes it better for bigger vehicles
- The deck cover can be removed for faster cleaning
- This over the engine creeper is heavy
- The deck has no padding, just the upholstery cover
- I-Base design for more flexible positioning around vehicle
- Upholstered cover makes replacing the deck much easier
- Working height 75 inches
- 140 inches of engine compartment accessibility
- Assembles in 12 minutes
3. ATD Tools 8116F Foldable Topside Creeper
With the ATD 8116F creeper, you can be assured of great quality. It has some nice features to boot and the finishing is good too. The material used is heavy-gauge steel, which is then powder-coated to make it corrosive resistant. This kind of finishing also makes the steel resistant to scratches.
The assemblage of this creeper should be easy, and you should not spend more than 15 minutes on it. If you assemble it in the right way, it is going to be steady even with your weight on it. The welded joints are very strong, and they do not look like they would fall apart at the first crash. This model also has adjustable weight, within a range of 44 inches to 64 inches. With a weight rating of 400 pounds, you can see that this tool is going to meet your engine repair needs easily.
The deck is padded for comfort. But they did not stop there because they have also included a vinyl cover. This cover is easy to clean. When you are done using this model, just fold it nicely into a compact shape that will be easy to store.
- The casters lock for safety
- It is simple to assemble
- Nice finishing, the colors look stylish
- Has front pads for protecting the vehicle
- Stays stable even when you are on top
- Some people have complained that wheels do not lock
- Constructed of heavy-gauge steel with a powder coat finish to protect from scratching
- Deck is padded and covered with heavy vinyl for comfort and durability
- Folds for easy storage
4. Traxion 3-750 Progear Topside Tool-Tray
Traxion seems to dominate this list with its models, but as you can see from the features, it is for a good reason. The Traxion 3-750 ProGear looks quite high-end. However, you will notice that it is cheaper. You will also notice that its weight rating is lower so you cannot use it as a creeper. Do not worry though because it is going to support your tools well.
You can adjust the height of this tool tray within a range of 42 inches to 72.5 inches. The ratchet that you will use for adjusting height is simple in design and it works easily. For its mobility, it has been designed with three big casters. Two of these casters do lock up ensuring your safety for all the time that you will be working on it.
The steel construction is quite good so you can be assured of durability. When you are done using this model, just fold it for storage. It has minimal weight and smaller dimensions and so it will be easy to store.
- Good quality build for working on your truck or SUV
- Smaller dimensions and weight makes it easy to maneuver
- Wheels lock to keep you safe while you work
- It looks very professional and it keeps your tools within easy reach
- You can hold a lot of tools on this tray as it has a high weight rating of 110 pounds
- It comes at a high price
- This is not a creeper, so it cannot support you. It is an over the top tool tray
- Tool Tray adjusts in height from 42 in. to 72 1/2 in
- Easy crank ratchet for height adjustment
- Large Tool Tray holds up to 110 lbs
- Large 3" casters with two locking
- I-Base design
5. Redline Engineering Top Side Overhead Creeper
At times, you just want an overhead engine creeper that also has a built-in tray that can hold a few of your tools. If you are looking for such, try the Redline Engineering model. It is quite simplistic in design, but it will serve the purpose very well.
This model is going to set you back a couple of hundred dollars. Thus, you want to know whether you are getting great quality. The built-in tool tray makes this model stand out from the crowd. It seems to be the only model with this feature.
It has four 3-inch casters for mobility. The casters also lock to keep you safe. The three-inch size gives the casters good ground clearance all the time. As for the height adjustment, this one is the real deal since the height range is between 53 and 64 inches. That is not all really because the model also comes with three recline angles. When you have to spend hours on end working on the engine of your SUV, you need a comfortable creeper.
The deck is thickly padded for comfort. It is collapsible and foldable for storage or traveling. Some people say that it does not collapse as tightly as other models in the market, but that is not necessarily true.
- The 3 angles for positioning are a nice touch
- The built-in tool tray is quite exceptional
- Good height adjustment
- The deck has nice padding
- High quality build and finishing
- It is not exactly cheap
- It is quite heavy because it weighs 95 pounds
6. REL Stapleton Foldable Topside Creeper – Model# 1-00020
If you are not heavy, the REL Stapleton model is a good investment. It has many good things going for it and we will look at some of its features here. The first one is the nicely padded deck with the vinyl cover. It is firm, comfortable and supportive. You can work on it for a long time without feeling too fatigued.
The heavy-gauge steel construction is nice and the powder finishing enhances its durability in a big way. It is scratch and corrosion-resistant. Its height adjustment range is between 48 inches and 65 inches. This is enough to allow you to access the engine of your SUV or pickup truck.
Another thing that you will love about this model is the wide base. It feels quite stable and indeed, it inspires confidence. When you are done using this tool, dust it up and fold it down. Here, it scores another win. It folds down completely to a small and compact size. You will find it easier to handle that way.
- The price is good even with all the features that we have seen
- It folds down to a small and manageable size
- The wide base gives it a lot of stability
- Nice looking and stylish design
- The height adjustment is quite good
- The weight rating is a bit low
- A bit heavy to move around when it is folded at 70 pounds
7. Whiteside Manufacturing Professional Over The Engine Creeper (OTE)
This model has gone a mile ahead to stand out of the crowd by the use of a special design. It looks really stylish because it lacks the rectangular shape that other models come with. It has a wide base that keeps it stable. At the same time, it has wheels so that you can move it easily around the garage. The material used is heavy gauge steel for durability. It has then been powder coated to make it rust resistant.
The height is adjustable, but not as much as we have seen in the other models because it has a range of 43 ¼ inches to 57 ¾ inches. While it is not too high, it will still allow you to work on your SUV or pickup truck. However, you cannot be able to work on truck with raised wheels.
The weight rating is 300 pounds, which is quite good as even heavier people can use it comfortably and with confidence. The deck is padded for comfort when you work long hours. The steps have anti-skid taping but some users say that they do not stay intact for a long time.
- Very stylish design, different from other models
- Wide base offers good stability
- High weight rating
- Nice padding on the deck
- It is a bit heavy at 70 pounds
- The anti-skid tape might come off during use
- Heavy duty steel frame creeper fits easily over the engine of your car and is powder coated to prevent rusting
- Top adjusts from 43-1/4 inch to 57-3/4 inch
- Padded top for comfort while working
- Wheels allow for easy maneuvering around car
- Load rating of 300 pounds
Topside Creeper FAQs
Here are some of the questions that first time buyers always ask about topside creepers. Maybe they will help you find the perfect tool for your car repair jobs.
Are these models of over the engine creepers safe?
The locking casters should give you all the confidence that you need to get up there are work on your trucks engine. Another safety feature is the anti-skid taping that is added onto the steps. When buying one, look for a wider base. It gives more stability.
What weight capacity should I buy for my garage?
Heavier models come with weight limit of up to 400 pounds, which is quite good. Others come with weight limits of even less than 100 pounds. However, even the ones with the low limit of weight can serve you very well since you will spread your weight over the deck. For your confidence though, get one with a high weight rating especially if you use it frequently or if you run a professional auto shop.
Is it hard to assemble a topside creeper?
It depends on how good you are with your hands. However, even for the heaviest models, you should not take more than 15 minutes. Check the user manual so that every part can go to its place.
Basically, you can start your assembly with joining the ladder to the base, then add the angle adjustment keepers. You can then attach the crossbar support for the base. You can add the tool pouch and the chest pad. It is not hard work at all, but for stability, take your time to ensure everything fits snugly.
Today, you can change how you repair the SUVs and pickup trucks that come to your auto shop with the best topside creeper. By making this investment, you will be lowering your risk of injury at work.
Besides, because of the comfort and the convenience, you can be able to work longer and do a better job. In our buying guide, we have looked at several models. The Traxion 3-100 ProGear takes the top spot because of the wide range of height adjustment, the nice deck, durability and stability.
Last update on 2019-12-15 at 17:47 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API