How to Use a Floor Jack Extender
Ever tried lifting a car with your floor jack only to discover that it doesn’t lift high enough? Trust me, being in such a scenario is not exciting at all. Many of you would send forth a volley of the choicest curses, then look all over your garage or store room for a wedge to put under the frame of the jack to lift it higher.
Before you do this, take the risks into consideration. It is incredibly dangerous to use a wedge for a floor jack, even though it might seem like a bright idea. The support provided will not be as good, and the entire contraption could collapse when being used. It may lead to the falling of the load on your jack, causing damage to your vehicle or even to you.
Thankfully, you don’t have to use a makeshift wedge to extend the lift distance of your floor jack. There is a variety of floor jack extensions, which are lightweight, portable and take a good deal of danger out of the process.
Regardless of the new inventions, it is important first to evaluate the situation. First of all, it should be known that jacks are not used for holding vehicles. Secondly, it is essential to identify if the problem is with your jack’s inability to lift the weight or if it’s as a result of lacking a floor jack good enough to lift the weight.
What Kind of Vehicle
Primarily, any vehicle with a lot of suspension travel may need a jack extension that lifts the vehicle. Fortunately, almost every type of car has a jack extension including some trucks and SUVs. Pick the extension based on the type of vehicle you have for the best results.
Most jack extensions make use of a base spindle and a socket to allow the extension to sit on top in a secure position so that it lifts the weight of the vehicle. The first step when using your jack extender is to put the jack beneath the jack point. You should ensure it locks together so that when raising the jack saddle, the load would lift up without much effort being applied. As always, vertical movement should be prioritized as opposed to horizontal motion of the jack.
Remember that the contact area of the jack extension should be about the same size as the jack plate of the vehicle being lifted in order to lift up the weight of the car. In some cases, it might be a larger area too which is also good for stability during a lift. In fact, you should also ensure that the same sizes are used for the jack saddle contact surface. It helps prevent any unequal distribution of load.
WARNING: excessive horizontal movement will put the vehicle or load at hand at significant risk of slipping off.
In recent models or those that have been modified at home, one should always ensure that the saddle extension remains in its position from the beginning till the end. Any alteration of the saddle extension position would lead to a significant motion of the load from its center to either of the sides. Moreover, some machines have a machined slot that is movable and positioned on either side of the seam weld. This is good because it locks the extension in place and prevents too much horizontal motion from being a problem.
Safety Precautions when Using a Floor Jack Extender
Jack extenders have become these amazing tools that many people use. However, the same extenders may cause harm to your load and to you if not handled correctly. However, by following these current guidelines, you can ensure that you are in a better position to know exactly what to look for in the specifications of your new jack extender before purchase and during day to day usage of the extender. The following are simple safety precautions:
- Extender should be on Jack Saddle
Previous versions of the extenders required a user to fit it on manually. While current generations of extenders are able to automatically lock into place through machining, it is still a good idea to ensure the extender has been placed securely on the jack saddle. Doing this simple check before pumping your jack will keep you safe while lifting!
- Minimum Contact
There should be minimum surface contact between the jack and the vehicle so that there’s stability when lifting. Try to ensure that the jack is exactly the size of, or slightly larger than, the jack plate of the car.
- Extension remains Fixed
Extensions should remain positioned to lift the weight as the jack is being altered. Even though the position of the floor jack body changes, the contact point between the vehicle and the extension should remain the same. Any changes to this put everyone in danger.
These three precautions once followed, should keep you safe when using the jack extender. This gives you a clear picture of how a floor jack works. You should always try to find out as much as you can about your vehicle, your jack, and all other tools in your garage before using them.
In fact, it is the best alternative to wedges. Never use wedges. These are precarious, harmful, unsafe, and can be illegal if you use them and someone gets hurt. Get yourself a jack extension so that next time when you’re looking for something which can assist in lifting your vehicle you will have your extender right there with you.
The most amazing thing is that it can be purchased online at multiple stores. So if you’re ever put in a position where it is necessary to lift your car up before holding it in place for repairs, and you find out that your jack doesn’t extend enough, look no further than your garage. The extender will serve you well in any situation. Remember: treat your tools with respect and wisdom and they will do the same for you.
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