Where to Put Floor Jack Under Truck

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Before you start working on your own truck, you’ll need to know the safest way to get underneath it. In this article, we will teach you everything there is to know about using a floor jack to help lift your truck off the ground, whether you need to do some work underneath or chase a flat tire. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Different Types of Car Jacks

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of how to use them, you first need to know the difference between the types of car jacks. Not every jack is made the same. Some jacks work better for certain jobs than others.

  • Floor Jack: A floor jack is your most common type of car jack. They’re a simple device that uses hydraulics to help you lift your car off the ground. They utilize a hand lever. This jack only lifts a portion of your truck, not the whole thing.
  • Bottle Jack: This car jack is shaped like a bottle and a hydraulic jack. These can hold more weight than your average floor jack. They can also elevate your vehicle higher to allow you more space underneath compared to a floor jack. 
  • Scissor Jack: This particular type of car jack is used to lift lower-weight vehicles. With the scissor jack, you can lift the car to get from 15 inches to 30 inches of space under the vehicle. They’re lightweight and more accessible to carry than a hydraulic jack.

When it comes to lifting up your car for some quick maintenance or a flat tire, you’ll want to go with a floor jack. In this article, we’ll go over how to place a floor jack underneath your truck properly. 

How To Put a Floor Jack Under a Truck

Now that you know the differences between the types of jacks, let’s look at how to put a floor jack underneath your vehicle. Make sure you read your manual and take all of the advised safety precautions.

Step 1: Find a Flat Surface

First things first: park your truck on flat ground. Stay away from the soft ground like sand, grass, or dirt. If you’re working on asphalt, you’ll want to place some plywood underneath the jack for an added layer of safety. Make sure your parking brake is on before lifting your vehicle. 

Step 2: Prevent Unwanted Movement

To work safely with a lifted truck, you need to make sure that you chock the wheels. Ensure that the chock block is on the opposite side of where you will be lifting your vehicle. 

So, for example, if you’re lifting the left side of your car, put the chock on the right-side tire, and vice versa. Place them on the side of the tire to prevent your car from rolling once it’s lifted. 

Step 3: Locate a Secure Jack Point

Now, it’s time to talk about jack’s placement. Proper placement of your jack is essential. What does a secure jack point look like?

  • An area on the truck frame that is designed and designated by the manufacturer to make contact with a jack
  • There are usually jack points near each of the tires on both sides of the car. It is often marked by a place where you can easily fit your jack.

What is NOT a secure jack point?

  • Do NOT put the jack against or under the vehicle’s body panel. 
  • NEVER put the jack too far underneath the car
  • Do NOT put the jack against an axle. 

Refer to your car’s manual or manufacturer’s guide when in doubt. 

Step 5: Place the Jack

Now that you’ve located a secure jack point slide your jack into position. Don’t be afraid to get on the ground and look underneath the vehicle so that you can adequately slide the jack into position. 

Go slowly. Raise the jack with the jack arm little by little until it contacts the jack point. 

Step 6: Raise your Vehicle

Once everything is in place, use your floor jack to raise the vehicle off the ground. With the use of a hydraulic jack, raising your truck off the ground should be a breeze. Make sure that the jack stays in firm contact with the jack point. 

Once the vehicle is raised, move your jack stands into position beneath the vehicle just at the jack point. Then, slowly lower the jack once more until your car firmly rests on the jack stands. 

Step 7: When You’re Done, Lower It Down

After you’ve finished working under your car, it’s time to lower it again. You can place the jack at the jack point and lift the car up a few inches to remove the jack stands. Then, use the release valve to lower your car back to all four tires slowly. 

Safety Tips

When working underneath your vehicle with a floor jack or a jack stand, you’ll want to follow some crucial safety tips.

mechanic raising the car with hydraulic floor jack

NEVER Use the Emergency Jack

The emergency jack is just what it sounds like: it’s for emergencies! It is not designed to hold the weight of a vehicle for longer than necessary. Do not use your emergency jack to do sustained work underneath your car. 

Always Check Weight Limits

Jacks and jack stand all have a weight capacity, and when purchasing your jack, you’re likely to find the weight rating somewhere on the packaging. Ensure that the jack you’re purchasing can handle the entire car weight before using it.

Give Your Car a Stability Check

Even if you’re confident that you placed your jack in the right place and got the jack stands underneath your car with no problem, accidents still happen. Take the time to do a quick stability check: give your car a few firm pushes to make sure you’ve made secure contact with the jack point.

When in Doubt, Check the Service Manual

If you’re not sure what you’re doing, your user manual should have a list of instructions to follow, weight limits, and tips on how to work on your own car. It’s better to double-check than to have an accident. 

Work In Pairs

While many people have had success working on their cars alone, it’s never a bad idea to have someone with you who can help you place your jack stands and be there if anything goes wrong. A heavy car coming off a jack stand can be fatal. It’s best to make sure that someone is around for safety reasons. 

Conclusion

Working with a floor jack to lift your car for maintenance is easier than it looks, but only if you follow the directions and know what you’re doing. It’s vital to be aware of all of the safety hazards that can come about when using a jack to lift a heavy vehicle. 

However, so long as you stay away from the uneven ground, check your car’s stability, and know where your jack points are, you should be good to go when it comes to lifting your car for routine maintenance or just to change a flat tire. 

Remember: don’t use your emergency jack for extended periods, check your weight limits, and make sure you have enough ground clearance to do the job that needs doing!

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