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Auto Jacks: Things to Keep In Mind When Buying One

posted by Chris Valentine

Lifting a 3700 lbs. (or more) ride is no easy task. It’s a strenuous task that requires immense physical strength from a powerful tool, and this is where auto jacks come in handy. Now, as the name suggests, auto jacks are used for lifting automobiles. However, they can also double up as handy for other uses, including positioning heavy machinery and supporting an assortment of structures. Depending on its specifications and lifting capacity, a jack can bear and support a considerable amount of heavy loads, and lacking one in your garage can be a huge mistake.

On this note, there are so many things to factor in when purchasing an auto jack. They come in a huge variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and loading capacities. For this reason, getting the right auto jack to suit your needs can be a daunting and frustrating uphill task. So if you’re in need of one and don’t know how to go about it, this article is made with your needs in thought.

Here are things to keep in mind when buying an auto jack.

Cost

Before picking up that auto jack from the shelves, you will obviously want to consider how much you are willing to spend. There are quite a number of factors that affect pricing, some of which include.

  • Weight – Some jacks are heavier than others. The weight of the jack will not only affect how much it costs, but also how easy it is to be used in different locations. You will want to find a jack that is portable but at the same cost-effective.
  • Lift speed and distance – depending on the type of jack, you’ll find that some jacks will get to full heights quicker than others. In addition to this, you also want to consider how high the jack will raise your vehicle safely. Some are meant to raise low-lying cars while others are meant for taller vehicles.
  • Lifting capacity – the lifting capacity of the jack is quite crucial as it dictates the weight that the jack is able to lift. Admittedly, the lifting capacity will also dictate the cost of the jack.
  • Build quality – the jack’s build quality will also affect its cost, which brings us to the next important point.

Quality

It goes without saying, that the build quality is an important aspect to consider before making your final buying decision. Jacks made out of solid metals will last longer than those made out of an alloy material. According to the experts at Hoist Now, the operator’s safety is very dependent on the type of material the jack is made out of. Consequently, the stability of the jack, its performance, and effectiveness will also all depend on its construction material. As a matter of fact, it is important to ensure that you go for a heavier jack as opposed to a lightweight one. And needless to mention, some dealers won’t even allow you to try the jack out before buying it. On this note, it is crucial to read online reviews so that you get an idea of how the jack performs in reality.

Types of Jacks

Generally speaking, having a jack is a good thing, but if you have the right one, it’ll make your life easier. There’s no denying that having a good jack in your garage will enable you to achieve more. This having been said, there are quite a number of types you may have to choose from when buying an auto jack. This means that you’ll need to carefully consider what you need and what suits your needs best. In general, however, auto jacks are basically divided into two main categories, these being mechanical (screw) jacks and hydraulic jacks. Mechanical jacks are somewhat more of ‘physical’ and harder to operate, whereas hydraulic jacks are easier to operate, although the operation is a bit physical as well. To get to the specifics, here are the most common types of auto jacks on the market.

1. Scissor jacks

Scissor jacks fall under the category of mechanical jacks. Most small vehicles come with a scissor jack as part of the maintenance tools in your new car. It may be due to the reason that they are not built to lift heavier cars. Nevertheless, being one of the oldest styles of jacks, it’s a simple type of jack that is easy to operate. The small caveat is that they are slow to operate and the fact that you may get finger pinched when operating them. But on a lighter note, they require minimal maintenance.

2. Floor jacks

If at one time or the other, you’ve watched car-racing, then you’ve probably seen them. They have rolling wheels that make them easier to move from one location to the other. The best thing about floor jacks is that they are made in different sizes to also work with vehicles with low clearance. In addition to this, you can operate them while standing. Though bulky and heavy, they’ll give your garage a professional appeal.

3. High lift jacks

If you’ve ever been in muddy terrain, then you know all too well that a scissor jack or any other floor jack won’t be of much help. This is because they sink in the mud. You need something more powerful and efficient to get you out of a jam. High lift jacks will provide you with a maximum lift, not forgetting the aspect of easy operation. This is the best type of jack when off-roading.

And there you have it! By and large, having a jack in your car or in your garage will go a long way into ensuring that you get easy fix whenever you have issues with your car or any other activities that may need the use of a jack. We’ve cut out the work for you in providing the above guidelines to help you get the jack of your choice.

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