Letter Re: Safety Tips on Hi-Lift Jacks

I’ve used my Hi -Lift jack for years. I concur with the writers’ comments. One extremely important part of using one of these safely was omitted. The rule while a vehicle is up off the ground is that you always place jack stands under the vehicle or you are placing your life in jeopardy. This goes for a Hi-Lift jack and any other jack. A short ‘it happened to me’: While making repairs on a very hot humid day, the asphalt didn’t hold the jack base (it sunk a little due to the heat), fortunately I completed said task quickly and came out from under the vehicle. Then, right before me the jack slowly started tipping over and the jack stands stopped the vehicle before the whole thing went over. Invest in some jack stands!- flhspete.

JWR Adds: Thanks for mentioning that. Steel jack stands are available locally at nearly any auto parts store.You can also purchase a pair by mail order for less than $25 from JCWhitney.com 4WD Parts (Part # ZX077430NI.) Your mention of soft asphalt reminded me that special Hi-Lift jack bases–designed to distribute a jack’s weight more broadly on soft ground–are available from 4WD.com. (Part # 672)

OBTW, here are a few more safety tips. Resist the urge to buy four jack stands. They are only safe to use in pairs. You need to leave at least two of a vehicle’s wheels resting on the ground and lift only one end of the vehicle at a time. If the ground is slightly uneven, then lay at least 18″ wide scraps of 3/4″ (or thicker) plywood under each jack stand. Never jack up a car on a slope! And, needless to say, never work alone when jacking up a vehicle.