Jacks, Jack Stands, and Lifting

Jack stands aren’t visible here due to lighting.

I went to Harbor Freight to purchase a jack and jack stand last night. Sure, I could have ordered on Amazon, and I could have bought some brand name stuff (which, in some cases, I absolutely prefer), but I’ve come to respect the higher-end tools and equipment Harbor Freight sells based on reviews, and personal experience.

I picked out a jack and jack stands based on features and price, and got them home. My son looked at the jack and jack stands and started smiling. “Umm, I don’t think these will work for your rig,” he said. I looked at the stuff I bought, and I looked over at my 4Runner, and I knew exactly what he was talking about. The jack stands were too short, and the jack would likely be unable to lift a tire off the ground lifting from the frame.

We tested the jack; sure enough, it didn’t lift high enough. I had to take the jack back and exchange it for the most expensive jack they had which lifted to 24”. When I got it home, we tested it, and sure enough, it can get the tires off the ground. I wanted to get a new jack stand, but they were all out. I’ll likely pick up a pair on Amazon. As for the jack stands I bought, my son kept them and paid me for them. He needed a set for his project car, and the set I bought are really nice and light-weight.

When purchasing jacks and jack stands for 4WD vehicles, you have to take into consideration not only the weight and lifting method (frame, jack point, etc), but also the height of your vehicle prior to lifting. You should make sure that the jack has enough lifting ability to get your vehicle off the ground enough to change a tire.

As for any jack operations, you should always use wheel chocks and jack stands. NEVER go under any vehicle without a jack stand. Hydraulic and mechanical jacks can fail with fatal consequences. Jack stands should be rated for the weight of the vehicle, at a minimum, and more is always better than less.

By PaleoMarine

Former active duty Marine who went from 170 lbs to 328 lbs and decided that he had to change his life or die. He lost 130 lbs in 1 year through Whole30 and adopting the Paleo Diet without doing any exercise at all. Since starting running, he's lost an additional 20 lbs and is comfortably back in the 170 lbs range. He is a Warrant Officer in the Army National Guard and writes multiple blogs about topics he is passionate about.

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