Whether you own a car or an SUV, a floor jack is necessary. Car owners experience problems like flat tires or punctures every now and then. Suppose you are far from a gas station or a mechanic; how will you change your flat tire?
How are you going to lift the flat tire so as to replace it with a new one? This is where a floor jack comes in handy. But you may wonder, what size floor jack do I need?
The size of the floor jack for your vehicle depends on several factors, including size, weight and height. It is important to pick a jack that fits your car appropriately to avoid any damages, whereby the car’s weight overweighs that of the jack.
What is a Floor Jack?
Some have no idea what a floor jack is. Put, a floor jack, or car jack, is a tool that helps lift heavy objects easily. It is helpful in various fields which involve loads that are quite heavy. In a vehicle, it can easily lift your car, giving you room to mend a puncture on your tire.
Types Of Floor Jacks
Floor jacks are of different types based on their functions. Usually, three main ones are common among vehicle and truck owners.
Hydraulic floor jack
These types of jacks use hydraulic power to operate, thus the name. They are very convenient and easy to use. The four wheels and trolley allow you to move from one point to another easily.
Also, they can raise a vehicle to any height, especially if you aim for the highest height. Further, the wheels offer optimum stability, preventing the jack from toppling over. Their downside is that they are costly and bulkier, making portability an issue.
On most occasions, you are likely to find this type of jack in the trunk of vehicles because they come with it. The scissor jack is small and lightweight, greatly improving its portability.
Due to their design, they cannot lift vehicles to maximum height. They have a limitation. Moreover, they may fail to support very heavy vehicles such as trucks. Most motorists use it alongside the road when they experience flat tires.
Like the hydraulic jack, the bottle or piston jack operates through hydraulic power. If you are operating in a limited space, this is the most convenient jack. However, it cannot lift smaller cars because of its height. Thus, it is the most suitable to use on trucks.
What is the right type of material for a floor jack?
The quality of construction of a floor jack matters a lot. It does improve not only its lifespan but also enhances its performance. Jacks that constitute cheap materials rarely survive for long.
Floor jacks featuring steel construction are the most popular in recent times. Apart from the fact that they last long, they are also budget-friendly. However, they are quite heavy, so carrying them around becomes a problem. They are common in motor garages.
On the other hand, there are aluminium jacks. These are expensive but do not have a long lifespan like their steel counterparts. Further, they weigh less and will not give you a lot of difficulties during movement.
Lastly, we have the hybrid jacks. These are a combination of both steel and aluminium materials. They are neither heavy nor pricey. Some parts, such as the lift arms, are steel, while others are aluminium.
What size floor jack do I need?
You plan to shop for a floor jack but do not know which size suits your vehicle. There are certain vital factors you need to consider to determine the right size.
Size of the Vehicle
How big is your vehicle? This literally means the weight of the car. Experts say a floor jack should weigh about one-third of the vehicle’s weight.
For example, if your car weighs 6000 tons, the floor jack should be 2000 tons. This ensures the jack does not strain because of the car’s weight. At no point should the car’s weight be more than the jack’s lifting capacity.
Height of Vehicle
How high or how low is your vehicle? The aspect of ground clearance defines the height between the ground and the point where the floor jack is.
A car that is low needs a jack that fits under it comfortably, such as the scissor jack. You can still use hydraulic jacks on a low-profile car because you can adjust the ground clearance.
Nevertheless, high vehicles need bottle jacks because they can adjust to maximum heights and are good for trucks. And if your vehicle is neither high nor low, any jack size can work as long as it fits correctly.
Purpose of the jack
What do you plan to use the floor jack for? If you need it to change flat tires by the roadside, a scissors jack is the most suitable.
To repair and maintain underneath your vehicle, use the bottle or hydraulic jack. Through this, you can determine the size of jack you need for whatever operation you want to perform on your car.
Your vehicle’s size, weight and height answer the question, what size floor jack do I need? Also, it is important to know the purposes of the floor jack beforehand.
This will help you make a decision on the size you will need. You need to understand that the vehicle’s weight should not outweigh the jack’s lifting capacity. That way, the output will be great.