Step 1: Identify which type of vehicle you need to lift
To know the required lifting capacity, check the weight of the vehicles you are working on.
On the market, you will find different jack types with different capacities:
- For light vehicles (cars, SUV, pick-up trucks…) use a trolley jack, with a lifting capacity varying between 2 and 3 tons.
- For heavy vehicles (trucks, buses, agricultural & construction vehicles, aircrafts, reach stakers…), use an air hydraulic jack with a lifting capacity that can vary from 30 tons to 100 tons, depending on the manufacturer and the model.
2 important things you should know about the lifting capacity:
- The lifting capacity of an air hydraulic jack varies for each lifting step : For a 50-ton air hydraulic jack, depending on the lifting height required, the lifting capacity varies between 15 and 50 tons.
- When using an air hydraulic jack, you don’t lift 100% of the vehicle’s weight, but between 1/4 to 1/2 of the vehicle (e.g. to change front wheels) and 1/4 of the vehicle. Choose your equipment accordingly.
Step 2: Make sure your hydraulic jack will fit the height requirements
The free working space below vehicles is getting smaller every day. This is why you can now find more compact air hydraulic jacks, also called “low profile”, that can fit into the smallest of areas.
Some other hydraulic jacks will come with extensions, enabling you to extend the maximum height for specific applications.
- 30T Low profile version for buses and low profile trucks
- 50T, 80T and 100T model up to 24 in / 610 mm high extensions included
Step 3: Check the available air pressure
Before buying your equipment, ensure that your airline set up will cover the requirements. This information is provided by the manufacturer, you can find it in the operator manual or in the technical specification sheets.
|Air Hydraulic Jack Model||Air Pressure Required|
|30, 50, 80 Tons models||116-174 PSI / 8 – 12 bars|
|100 tons model||130 – 174 PSI / 9 – 12 bars|
|For reference, here is the required pressure for the Chicago Pneumatic models|
Step 4: Identify your usage
Step 5: Product quality
Quality and durability are not just here for fun. It is to ensure your safety and to enable you to do the job when you need to.
In America and Europe, the main certifications are the CE and ASME certifications. Some independent organisms, such as TUV, also exist. Make sure your hydraulic jack is certified by one of them.
Step 6: Test the ergonomics
The ergonomics will enable you to make the smartest choice:How easy is it to place the jack under the vehicle? Look at the handle’s length and the wheel’s size.
How easy is it to operate? Play with the joystick and manoeuvre the air hydraulic jack.