Floor Jack- Use, Types And Safety Precaution

Floor jack also known as car jacks or garage jacks are mechanical devices which help in lifting up heavy loads. They are predominately used to raise up the cars and track to increase the ground clearance for doing various repair work in the machinery under it or for convenient changing of the punctured or worn out wheels. Some of the top selling car jacks are JEGS 80006, Arcan XL2T, Arcan XL20, arcan xl35 etc.

There different types of floor jacks available in the market. As per a study in www.yourmechanic.com, all of them have their own advantages, disadvantages, and suitability.

Different Types of Hydraulic Jacks:

Hydraulic Jacks
Hydraulic jacks use hydraulic fluids, piston, and pressure chambers to apply magnified force to turn a screw or move the handle up and down. Majorly of two types- trolley jack and bottle jack.
a. Trolley jacks are very easy to use jacks as it offer maximum height adjustment and have wheels which provide stability and helps in positioning the jack properly underneath the vehicle.
b. Bottle jack has a single lift rod which acts as a piston. As we pump the detachable lever of the jack and the pistons moves upward.
These jacks have a higher lifting capacity of 50 tonnes and are mostly used for trucks or vehicles with high ground clearance.

Mechanical Jack
Usually a part of vehicle’ roadside assistance kit, mechanical jacks are compact and lightweight. Commonly used mechanical jack is the Scissor Jack which uses mechanical screw mechanism to convert rotational force into linear force of lifting up the vehicle. These jacks require a lot of physical strength and time to elevate the car to the desired level. Nowadays, it comes with electronic functions which can be used by connecting it to the battery and jacking up the car automatically instead of putting in physical energy.

Hi-lift Jacks
Mostly used for farm and off-road vehicles, these use two climbing pins that increase the height of the vehicle through ratcheting mechanism by manually pumping.

Motorcycle Jacks
As the name implies, these are used for motorbikes for cleaning, repairing or modifying the bike.

Some Important Instructions To Follow
Here are a few important instructions to be kept in mind while using these different types of jacks:

1. Use proper gear and equipment: Getting under the vehicle for doing a repair requires certain specific equipment like gloves and eye protection glasses. Jack stands to support the car in position and avoid any fatal injury. Wheel chocks to ensure immobilization of the vehicle during the undergoing process and plywood to lie upon if needed.
2. The vehicle to be elevated on the leveled ground: car should be on a leveled ground instead of a slope or an uneven terrain in order to give jack and jack stand proper grip on the ground to manage the heavy weight of the vehicle.
3. Locate the lifting points in the car which are generally pre-specified in the vehicle manual generally in the emergency section.

Considerations while buying a suitable jack primarily include analyzing the lifting capacity. The thumb rule is that the maximum weight limit of the jack should be more than the complete weight of your vehicle. Floor jacks are generally made of steel and aluminum. Steel jacks are heavier and are usually used in garages. Aluminum is lightweight portable jacks which can be carried along in the emergency kit anywhere. The lifting range does matter. The vehicles with big wheels require higher lifting range jacks. Most importantly it’s the time taken which is important. Hydraulic jacks are much faster than mechanical jacks.