A garage can be a dangerous environment to work in, especially if the tools that are required to work safely are not there.
Floor jacks are one of the most common tools found in garages, and misusing them results in a high number of accidents every year.
This is why everyone working in a garage should be trained to use one properly.
What Is A Floor Jack?
Put simply, a jack is a piece of equipment that can be used to give a mechanic a large advantage by enabling the mechanic to lift heavy loads to the desired height.
Years ago, people had to dig pits where vehicles were going to be worked on, but now a floor jack can be used to lift a vehicle.
Floor jacks actually have a wide variety of uses, although their main purpose is lifting vehicles ranging from small cars to large trucks.
The actual piece of equipment employs a variety of different mechanisms to create a lifting force, including hydraulic features.
There are two main types of floor jacks.
One is a hydraulic floor jack, and the other is a scissor jack. They both have their own pros and cons, and you can find them listed below.
Hydraulic Floor Jack
- Floor jacks with hydraulic features are easy to recognize, and most mechanics know how to use them.
- They are relatively simple to use and don’t require huge amounts of effort on the part of the mechanic.
- They usually have a relatively high maximum height, although this can vary from model to model.
- Most hydraulic jacks feature wheels that can be found on the bottom of the trolley, which helps to keep the jack in a proper position and ensures that it is safe at all times.
- You do have to pay for the quality that you get with a hydraulic floor jack, as they are quite expensive compared to other models.
- Hydraulic floor jacks are really heavy, so they are not easy to move around.
- Scissor jacks are much more lightweight than their hydraulic counterparts, making them easier to move around.
- They do not take up much space, so they are stored easily. Most mechanics actually keep them in a variety of places so that they are ready whenever a situation arises.
- Because of their portability, scissor jacks can be used quickly and without much effort.
- A scissor jack cannot be used to lift anything that is too heavy, and it cannot be used to lift anything too high. This is because of how compact scissor jacks actually are; they do not have the stability needed to lift heavy loads.
Why Should You Always Have A Floor Jack?
When it comes to working with vehicles, you will find that you occasionally need additional assistance when you are working.
The lift that a jack offers can provide you with a better way of accessing various parts of a vehicle, regardless of the type of mechanic that you are.
The use of a floor jack can actually make a number of repetitive tasks inside of a garage much easier.
You can gain access to the oil pan drain plug during an oil change with ease, and you can lift a car to remove the wheels during a tire rotation.
Jobs that would otherwise take quite a while can be performed incredibly quickly without a problem.
You can also use a floor jack while changing vehicle brake pads and while working on the transmission.
However, we advise that you also use a transmission jack if your project involves working on the transmission to make the procedure safer.
Put simply, floor jacks are generally used to lift only the vehicle itself.
Other pieces of equipment are used for lifting and lowering different parts of the vehicle.
All of this means that the use of a floor jack can save you an awful lot of time and effort as a mechanic, making difficult tasks a lot easier than they would be if you had to climb around under a vehicle.
Regardless of whether you are an amateur or a professional mechanic, you should definitely have a floor jack at your disposal.
The Safety Features Of Floor Jacks
As a mechanic, you always have to consider your own safety.
Any garage has the potential to be a dangerous place, especially if you don’t have the tools that you need to make it safe.
A DIY floor jack should never be used, as the last thing you want is a vehicle landing on your head.
You also have to remember that any piece of equipment that features mechanical components can fail in theory.
Mechanical components that have been designed to be able to move, like those of any floor jack, have a much higher fail rate than static components.
Most of the time this is the result of general wear and tear or poor maintenance.
Luckily, floor jacks have been designed with this in mind, and because of that, they have the ability to handle failure.
A car will not simply fall to the ground if the jack fails. Instead, the floor jack will lower the vehicle back down slowly enough for someone to realize what is happening.
So, Why Do You Need A Floor Jack?
Simply put, a floor jack will make a lot of typical garage jobs much easier.
You can slice time off a job by easily moving underneath the vehicle instead of crawling around.
A high-quality floor jack also adds an additional level of safety, as there is no risk of the car falling.
You would be shocked by the number of jobs that can be performed more quickly with one.
Why would you waste time performing one task when you could go onto the next and earn more money?
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