Jacks are a staple of any workshop or garage. They are powerful tools that make the task of lifting thousands of pounds seem mundane. However, because of how reliable modern jacks have become, users frequently disregard basic safety precautions. They assume that nothing can go wrong and that doing something as simple as using a jack stand is just a waste of time. That could not be further from the truth.
Jack stands are an essential part of vehicle lifting. Jacks are designed to raise a load not hold it. They use hydraulics to lift and are susceptible to failure if left under constant pressure, especially if not properly maintained. All it takes is one blown seal for the entire system to lose pressure causing the load to drop. The idea that you can leave a heavy truck on a jack for an extended period of time with no repercussions is a myth and one that could cost the user dearly. Jack stands, on the other hand, are purpose-built to reliably hold static loads during routine maintenance.
Users that fail to utilize jack stands are risking financial and bodily harm by doing so. The most common reason given for neglecting the use of jack stands is efficiency. They say that it is a waste of time (and therefore money) to properly set a load on a stand. However, the cost of damage caused by one vehicle hitting the ground, or worse, a workplace injury would immediately negate any perceived benefit. In fact, there are multiple fatalities reported every year that are clearly linked to the failure to use a jack stands.
While it may seem inefficient or even inconvenient in the moment, it is important to remember that jack stands are just as important as the jacks themselves. Just because your jack hasn’t failed before doesn’t mean that it never will. Always check the user guides for all of your equipment before use and follow all workplace safety guidelines.
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