The Hydraulic Floor Jack or trolley jack as it is commonly known, is every mechanics go to workhorse. One day without it can slow your work down considerably. So how do you choose the best floor jack for your needs?
While a hydraulic floor jack is bulky and more expensive than scissor jacks or bottle jacks, it is by far the best tool for any shop that requires regular heavy lifting. Nothing beats a good hydraulic floor jack when it comes to easy lifting, ease of use and mobility thanks to the wheels at the base.
Choosing the best floor jack can be a little daunting considering the hundreds of varieties available on the market.
So here are a few tips to make sure you choose the best floor jack for your needs.
Lifting Capacity – Hydraulic floor jacks are available in an extensive range of lifting capacities, so consider this and determine what your maximum lifting capacity needs to be. A good quality floor jack with a 2-ton lifting capacity will not do you any good if you need to lift 3 tons or more!
Consider your Space – Taking into consideration the minimum and maximum height range of your floor jack is critical. You want to make sure that you can work comfortably in the space you have available. While a big height range is useful, it won’t do you any good if your garage roof is relatively low.
Consider your Time – some floor jacks are faster than others. If you don’t have too many lifts in a day, a slower model may be perfect for your needs. But if you need to optimize the use of your time a quick and efficient lift may be the better choice.
Weight – while some hydraulic floor jacks are less than 50 lbs and easy to maneuver, stronger working types can weigh more than double that. A hefty floor jack is a little more cumbersome to move around but has the advantage of being more robust. Your storage space should also be kept in mind. In this case, size does matter.
Body – hydraulic floor jacks are made with either steel, aluminum or a combination of the two. Steel floor jacks are heavier than aluminum jacks and the better choice for a busy working garage. Aluminum floor jacks are lighter and tend to be more maneuverable, and suited to small garages, or someone working from home.
Budget – Once you start looking you may find yourself faced with multiple jacks with the same specs that have a huge variation in price. Cheapest is not always best, so take a look at the warranty and see what others have to say about their experience with a particular jack. Many people are loyal to a particular brand if they have a good experience with the product. So, if you are brand loyal see if your brand has the right floor jack for your purposes.
If you keep these simple considerations in mind, you are well on your way to choosing the best floor jack for your purposes. Happy lifting and may the force be with you!