Floor Jack Vs Trolley Jack

Lifting big car with floor jack

There are different kinds of vehicle jack available in the market. Each of the types has pros and cons.

This article has a detailed description of floor jack vs trolley jack and can be helpful to any individual planning to buy one.

The use of floor and trolley jacks

Floor and trolley jacks are commonly used by professional vehicle mechanics in vehicle repair and servicing industries.

Although these two types have almost the same appearance, they have few differences that every buyer should know.

They are both easy and safe to use, but every mechanic should know how to use them correctly.

Floor Jack 

Choosing the best floor jack can be a difficult thing. This is simply because they come in different models, brands, and types.

Some floor jacks are light and portable while others are heavy and have high lifting capacities.

Any buyer should know what his or her needs are before buying a jack. This will help him or her know whether to choose one made of aluminum or steel.

Check out these great options for trolley jacks:

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Types of floor jacks

Floor jacks are usually divided into two main categories: mechanical jacks and hydraulic jacks.

In both cases, the force of moving a handle up and down or turning a screw is magnified several times to create a stronger lifting force.

Mechanic jacks

They use simple machines so they have a mechanical advantage when lifting vehicles. They can be used as part of an emergency roadside assistance kit of a vehicle.

Many people like them because they don’t require ongoing maintenance. They are fairly light in weight and are compact.

Mechanical jacks are further divided into more categories:

The scissor jack is a type of mechanical jack. For it to lift a vehicle, the screw must be turned several times.

This clearly shows that one will need to use a lot of time and effort to lift a vehicle while using a mechanical jack. In most cases, this has a smaller base, so it’s not as stable as trolley jacks.   

Also read: Best floor jacks of 2017

Hydraulic jacks

They are usually divided into two main subcategories: bottle jack and trolley jacks. From this, it is pretty clear that trolley jacks are the types of floor jack categorized under hydraulic jacks.

Trolley jacks are discussed below in detail. Hydraulic jacks use pistons and pressure chambers when lifting vehicles.

It is important to note that hydraulic jacks are more efficient compared to mechanic jacks when it comes to transferring input force into motion and lifting force.

Three to five strokes can move a multi-piston hydraulic floor jack to a fully raised position. This shows that they require less input force compared to mechanical floor jacks.

Trolley Jack

Trolley jacks are commonly used to lift vehicles when changing tires or when working on brake assemblies.

With it, one can easily lift a heavy vehicle within a short period of time and with minimal effort.

These jacks are usually designed to lift and hold a vehicle into position for a relatively short period of time.

Some trolley jacks are designed to lift vehicles of more weight than others.

This is another important reason why one should know the actual weight of his or her vehicle before choosing a jack. Unlike other types of floor jacks, trolley jacks have wheels.

Categories of trolley jacks

Home/Light DIY Jacks

Trolley jacks that fall under this category are most appropriate for low duty cycle applications like light home garage use.

They are generally less expensive compared to many other types. If used properly, they can serve a vehicle owner for a relatively long period of time.

Aluminum jacks

They are commonly used by people who enjoy track days like rallycross/stock car racing. They are not only light, but they are also easy to carry around.

They also have many other characteristics found in other garage jacks. They are designed with track and racing cars in mind.

Garage jacks

These types of trolley jack are usually larger and sturdier compared to light DIY jacks. They are appropriate for rocket lift and low profile and high lift.

It is advisable for any user to check and compare the weight of his or her garage jack with that of the vehicle before s/he can start using it.

Garage jacks are appropriate for people who lift their vehicle frequently.

Check out: Floor jacks guide

High duty-cycle jacks

These types of trolley jacks are commonly used in busy garages where lifting heavy equipment is a daily activity.

In simple words, high duty-cycle jacks are much stronger than other types. They are also durable. They are generally expensive.

Common features of trolley jacks

Aluminum chassis

This makes them much lighter compared to their steel counterparts. Aluminum jacks make them most appropriate for the users who want maximum maneuverability.

This is the main reason why they are used in racing cars.

Rocket Lift

This feature means that the jack can lift a vehicle without applying much effort. Jacks with this feature have larger or dual pistons.

Trolley jacks can be a perfect choice for individuals interested in super quick lifts.

Factors to consider when buying a floor jack or trolley jack

Construction material

In most cases, jacks are made out of either aluminum or steel materials. It is important to look at the material from which a jack is made before making a choice.

Lifting capacity

Different jacks are designed to lift loads of varying weights. Every buyer should, therefore, choose a jack whose lifting capacity is a suitable to his or her vehicle.

The maximum lifting capacity of a jack should either be equal or greater than a vehicle to be lifted.

Lifting speed

This is another important factor that a buyer should not forget when choosing a jack. Jacks with quick lifting systems or dual lifting pistons have the highest speed.

Lifting range

Every jack, whether floor or trolley, has different lifting and height range. Jacks with high lifting ranges are most appropriate for vehicles with large tires.

Check out: Floor jacks vs scissor jacks

Final thought

From the information provided above, it is pretty clear that floor jacks and trolley jacks have both differences and similarities.

Any person who intends to buy either trolley or floor jack should know these similarities and differences in order to increase his or her chances of acquiring the right tool.

To make the right decision, talking to experts or reading articles that talk about Floor Jack Vs Trolley Jack is important.