If you’re wondering what the other uses for your hydraulic floor jack are, you’re not the only one. Almost all of us have seen a hydraulic jack before, but what exactly can it do apart from raising a car chassis? To answer this question we need to take a closer look at how these devices operate and what they’re for.
What is a Hydraulic Floor Jack?
A hydraulic floor jack is quite simply, a piece of equipment used to lift heavy objects. There are many types of jacks, but the most commonly used is a hydraulic cylinder. Jacks are classified according to how much weight they can lift, and they can come in different forms such as house jacks, car jacks and bottle jacks. Generally speaking, you can use a hydraulic floor jack to lift any heavy load.
Floor jacks are also known as service jacks, trolley jacks or garage jacks, as that is where they are often used. While you can use these jacks to lift different objects, the operation is very much the same. They have wheels so you can slide and move the jack into position.
While floor jacks are versatile, you can only use them on flat and hard surfaces. Because of the amount of weight they have to carry, you have to make sure the ground can support it.
After the jack has been positioned under your vehicle’s lift point, the unit’s arm is repeatedly pumped. This action lifts your car, allowing you to do whatever work needs to be done on your vehicle. The process is easy enough and should present no problems. No matter how you intend to use a hydraulic floor jack, you have to make certain the object being lifted doesn’t go over the jack’s stated capacity.
Bottle Jacks and Their Uses
One of the most common types of hydraulic floor jacks is the bottle jack, and it is often used to lift vehicles for repair or inspection. Bottle jacks are so-called because their shape is similar to that of milk bottles. A typical bottle jack comes with a vertical shaft. This shaft provides the bearing pad with support, crucial because the pad absorbs the weight.
Their uses include:
- Bottle jack lifting capacity ranges from 1.5 to several tons. The 1.5 to 5 ton jacks are the most widely used in the car industry. The 4 to 4.5 ton jacks are ideal for most cars, while the 5 ton versions are good enough to lift light trucks and SUVs.
- A hydraulic floor jack is also used in the medical industry for patient lifts and hydraulic stretchers.
- The jacks can also be used for various industrial jobs. A hydraulic floor jack serves as a warehouse lifter, and they’re also used as electric slicers for various tasks.
- A well-designed hydraulic floor jack can also be used in plumbing as a pipe bender.
- A powerful hydraulic floor jack can also be used to fix complex agricultural equipment.
- A hydraulic floor jack is often used in construction sites for different kinds of tasks.
- A bottle jack can be set on a beam or frame so it is more convenient to transport.
Using a Hydraulic Floor Jack for Mining Operations
More and more mining operations now use a hydraulic floor jack and for good reasons. Mining is a complex task and requires precision, which is why a hydraulic floor jack comes in handy.
- A hydraulic floor jack can be set up to run at a specified pressure level. This means the jacking cylinder bore is larger. With a hydraulic floor jack, you not only get a bigger bore but the base plate and rod are enhanced as well.
- An operator gets extra control with double jacking cylinders, which is crucial during the descending phase. If the load attempts to drop quicker and the oil pump cannot keep up, the valves will come into play. With a hydraulic jack, there won’t be any problems with overruns.
- A hydraulic jack also powers down automatically, ensuring the load is lowered without any issues.
- Hydraulic parts are known for their longevity, making them cost effective. Mining operations need powerful and dependable equipment, and that is what you get with a hydraulic jack.
A hydraulic jack is also used in mining because they provide superior overload protection. For the best results, the hydraulic circuit should have pressure relief valves. The pressure relief valve has to be configured following the regulator. Another reason a hydraulic jack is used in mining is its simplicity. A toggle switch is built into a hydraulic jack, making it easy to operate.
How Does a Hydraulic Jack Work?
A hydraulic jack works due to pressure induced force. If a couple of cylinders – one small, one large – are joined and force is exerted on one, the pressure is applied to both. While the pressure on the cylinders is the same, the force is greater on the bigger cylinder. A hydraulic jack uses this same rule to lift objects.
Earlier we mentioned that bottle jacks have a vertical shaft. In contrast, the shaft on a hydraulic floor jack is horizontal. Once the shaft is done is pushing the crank, it joins up to the pad, lifting the object.
A floor jack has a greater vertical lift than a bottle jack. Floor jacks come in two sizes, the original and the new, compact variant. The traditional floor jack has a capacity of 4 to 10 tons and weighs around 200 lbs., and they’re about 4 feet in length. The more compact version is usually 3 feet long and have a capacity of 1 ½ tons. There are also some mini floor jacks now available.
As we have shown, hydraulic floor jacks are like a jack of all trades when it comes to lifting heavy weights. Sure, most of the time we associate them with cars, SUVs and other vehicles, but it’s just as capable of lifting other heavy materials. From the home to the garage to different industries, the hydraulic floor jack is truly a versatile piece of equipment.