If you own a jeep or a truck, you will definitely need to own a farm jack too. If you live on a farm or intend to live in a rural, location, then again, you either have or need to have a farm jack. So what is a farm jack?
A farm jack is a mechanical device created to lift high heavy objects that means the object is higher than the average vehicle height and is most probably heavier too. Farm jacks come in a number of sizes, but all are used to lift tractors and obstacles such as posts or logs. Most farm jacks come in a height range between 48” to 60,” and all come with similar component design, where there is the jack unit comprised of a base or foot, and a long jacking pole to operate the jack.
Most farm jacks come with a reverse catch mechanism, this is a fast release switch that will let the jack fly down in an emergency, but is usually used to release the last inch of tension when the jack has been lowered. This is a very dangerous mechanism, and must never be used when a full load is on the jack, fi by error the reverse catch is released, the jack pole (handle) will go up and down very fast like a steam hammer as the jack lowers the load. If you get hit by this, you can die, but you will definitely be severely injured. A lot of models come with locational pins to secure the jack in place, this is the only security you have against a reverse catch mechanism, and you must never lever up a farm jack without securing its place with the pins. Relying on the jack to stay up without some form of the security device is extremely dangerous.
OK, now that I have discussed the dangers of a farm jack, let’s look at how to operate one.
Step 1: Preparation and Maintenance
When using a farm jack, always wear gloves. These are large heavy metal objects that will harm you without you noticing — especially when used in cold and freezing weather. So always have a pair of gloves ready for handling a farm jack.
Always make sure your jack is cleaned after every use, and this means greasing the mechanism too. There is nothing viler than a dirty farm jack, and it will eventually defeat you if it becomes rusty, which is not what you want when stuck in the pouring rain trying to raise a and reset a tire.
Step 2: Setting Up
According to MechanicGuides, farm jacks need a stable surface to work on; you are going to apply tons of pressure over the surface, so you need a wide and solid base to work on. This is not always the situation, especially in off-road conditions. So always take a solid plank or plate of hardwood or aluminum (3” thick) with fastening holes or anchor holes in place for a more secure grip. If the road is hard, perfect, if not, take the plate and place it under the jack, secure the jacks foot or base onto the hard surface, and use anchors to secure it from slippage if the surface is not even.
If you are lifting a vehicle, place the jack firmly under a manufacturers jack location, if you cannot reach one, try to lift from the axle. If you are lifting an obstacle, try to get as centered as possible, for a post, position the jack under the post.
Step 3: Lifting
Using the jack handle or pole, set the lifting mechanism to the up position and start to pinion the pole up and down to lift the vehicle or object. Start off gently, see how the vehicle or object is reacting to the lift. If all seems fine, continue until you have raised the load to the level you require.
Step 4: Securing
Once you have reached the designated height, secure the jack from slippage by inserting a pin into the preset hole or grid. Never work with a jack that is not secured in place.
Step 5: Lowering
After completing the operation, turn the knob to the down position, take out the security pin and start to lower the jack down slowly. Remember, do not activate the reverse catch mechanism. If you reach the lowest level and there is still some tension, now you can activate the reverse catch.
Farm jacks are heavy duty tools and should be cared for and respected. These devices are used to secure heavy loads, and the last thing you want is a precarious heavy load over your body. When buying a farm jack do not skimp out or look for a budget-friendly model. There is no such thing; a farm jack has to be powerful enough to withstand heavy-duty conditions in all weathers and surface environments — one last word on preventative maintenance. Care for your farm jack, clean it after use and grease the mechanism; it will last longer, perform better and be cleaner for use.