The main purpose of a floor jack is to keep a vehicle hoisted in the air, so a person can work under the car safely. A floor jack can be made of steel, titanium, aluminum, and the like for extra rigidity and durability.
A jack must be tough enough to raise a vehicle without crumbling under the car’s weight. Manufacturers over the years have juggled with various materials for the frame of the jack.
The combination they had the most success with is aluminum, a lightweight and ductile metal that is seen in most modern day appliances and devices due to its chemical composition and recyclable nature, according to The Aluminum Association.
The Association said “this lightweight, 100 percent-recyclable metal has since become a foundation of our country’s infrastructure. Used in packaging, automotive, energy, construction, transportation, energy, aerospace and defense applications, to name a few”.
Floor jacks are not different from others
The floor jack benefits a lot from the composition of aluminum. It is strong enough that it is used in jacks that can lift more than two tons off the garage floor.
Aluminum floor jacks are usually lighter than steel ones and can be easy to move around. To make things easier for the user, some manufacturers add wheels to the mix for greater portability.
An aluminum floor jack still works like other jacks. The user still needs to locate the contact point for the vehicle before applying the jack, or else suffer the consequences of poor handling.
No matter how great or renowned the jack may be, it can still get crushed if the weight of the car being lifted is greater than what it was originally designed for.
The user still needs to lubricate the jack before and after using it. Jacks have moving parts that need to be in tip-top condition. Oil lets the user operate the jack better because lubrication helps move the parts.
Aluminum jacks may have premium components that are light and quick to move, but without lubrication, these parts may degrade faster.
Lastly, the user still needs to lock and unlock the aluminum floor jack so the car will not slam down accidentally. Tool configuration varies, so make sure you read your manual before using it.
Don’t let it be an occupational hazard in the garage. Let someone else unlock or lock the jack if you do not know how to use it. Better have the jack in the hands of someone experienced to maximize the jack’s utility.
Do background research first before buying
Before you spend all your hard-earned cash on an automotive tool like the aluminum floor jack, do some research into the product or brand you like.
Research is important because you understand more about your chosen tool when you know how it works. Your understanding of its functionality skyrockets as you dig deeper into the matter.
Do not just focus on one brand of jack but know the strengths of your other options. It would be wise to look at other products to learn the weaknesses of your choice. This is important because it gives you a broader vision of what would and would not work for you.
Swap choices if you know that your product’s weakness can impact performance. If not, you can stay with your option and just live with what it is lacking. It is important to be pragmatic and realistic about your choices for better buying.
How a jack becomes the best
The best aluminum floor jack should have an array of safety features such as pressure valves or shears that prevent the jack from stumbling down by accident.
These safety features should be considered because you are lifting a significant amount of weight and having it stationary for a short time.
The jack must have a good warranty schedule. Anything that falls below a year should not be permitted within your garage because it might be a sign of poor manufacturing and construction.
A warranty for its replacement and return is a must because one flaw in the design can lead to various negative outcomes like jamming midway into lifting or even breaking into pieces while being pushed up.
All the parts of the aluminum floor jack, like the handle or the press, should display exemplary construction.
Every moving part must be made of the best materials to ensure a safe lift and descent of the vehicle. If possible, these moving parts should be made of tougher materials to ensure that the jack can perform at its peak performance.
Use your resources carefully
Some companies throw in a bottle of machine oil with the product, along with other accessories like gloves and cables. As mentioned before, lubrication is vital for the jack because of the number of moving parts present that must be maintained.
The floor jack must be lubricated regularly so the parts will not get stuck while the operator is using it. The experience would also be more pleasurable because the parts will move more fluidly than without having oil on.
A tool that is well oiled becomes easier to use and navigate with, and it feels much, much lighter than before.
Use the Internet to your advantage when looking for an aluminum floor jack. There are countless online stores that have aluminum floor jacks by the thousands. Narrow down your search based on three B’s–body frame, budget, and brawn.
Body, budget, brawn
The bare minimum for a floor jack is its ability to lift up a vehicle several inches or feet from the ground. Look into how it fares when lifting weights near the threshold.
If it does not look good even when it is just getting started, immediately look for another item that can do better.
The body frame must be sturdy enough to handle the car and the elements that damage it. Rust and corrosion are unacceptable so find a jack that is made superbly.
Strength is important for something that is put under extremely heavy objects. If it fails to satisfy at this level, return the item to the manufacturer for a replacement.
The cost of the item must be reasonable enough for its quality. Expensive can definitely mean premium materials were used on it, but it’s not an indication that the jack is great.
Affordable can definitely mean whatever is suited to the budget consumer, including quality and make of its materials.