Using a Trolley Jack – Best Method Approach

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Using a Trolley Jack – Best Method Approach

A trolley jack makes light work of heavy loads. If you ever find yourself in the position of having to raise a car to remove a wheel or perform basic repairs on the underside of the vehicle, jacking equipment can be a bit of a saviour.

How do you use jacking and lifting equipment like this though?

We’re going to run through the basics for you right here in this helpful guide to lifting a car up using a trolley jack.

Check the weight and lifting capacity

Before you attempt to lift a car using a trolley jack make sure the lifting equipment is suitable for the weight of the vehicle. The jack has to be strong enough to support the car, so find out the weight of the vehicle by consulting the owner’s manual, or look for this information on the data plate which is often located in the engine bay area.

Jacks vary in weight, most start around two to three tonnes, but the strongest versions can easily lift vehicles up to 10 tonnes. Establish this before you attempt to lift anything.

Apply the handbrake

Prior to raising a vehicle using jacking and lifting equipment make sure the handbrake is firmly applied, the engine is off, and remember to engage first gear to prevent the vehicle from rocking backwards or forwards. The last thing you want is the vehicle to start moving suddenly when you are working underneath it. Apply the handbrake and this will lock the rear wheels, then you can work on the front of the vehicle without worrying.

Jack the vehicle on level ground

Never jack a vehicle on unstable ground. The best place to raise a car is on a smooth, flat surface, make sure the area underneath the car is nice and level, free from divots, potholes or uneven areas.       

Find the jacking point on the vehicle

All vehicles have specific jacking points which should be fairly easy to identify.  If you’re not sure where the jacking point on your vehicle is, consult your owner’s manual which should give you a clearer idea. Never try to jack a car up without using this special point, you could damage the underside of the vehicle and place yourself in peril.

Add wheel chocks for extra safety

Chocking wheels is a good idea if you are lifting the front or rear of a car off the ground. Place the chocks behind the wheels that will be left on the ground, it’ll help to prevent the vehicle rolling off the jacking equipment.

Are you using axle stands?

Axle stands give you extra levels of support, you can raise a vehicle up using the trolley jack, lower it gently onto the stands, and complete work with greater safety. Again it’s important you check the weight of the car to establish the stands you are using can support the load. Look for stands equipped with large feet for stability, easy to raise ratchet systems and locking pins that prevent them from closing.

Start to lift

Once the wheels are chocked, the handbrake is applied and you have identified the jacking point, it’s time to lift the car. Gently pump the jack until the vehicle reaches the appropriate height. If you are using axle stands now’s the time to place them under the axles, after which you can gently lower the vehicle onto the stands. As a further safety precaution, some people stack materials like breezeblocks or sturdy wooden planks under a car to act as a backup device, in the unlikely event the axle stand collapses.

Now do everything in reverse

After you have completed working on the vehicle gently raise the car, remove the axle stands, then lower the trolley jack until the wheels are back on the ground. Pull the trolley jack away from the vehicle and store it safely away inside your garage ready to use next time.

Hopefully, these instructions should be pretty useful. If you want to buy a new trolley jack for your garage or for simple DIY car repairs, we have plenty in stock here at Triace.


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