If you own a truck, one way you can add some aesthetic value is to raise it. But, there are times when you’ll need to jack your truck to perform some maintenance procedures or replace a flat tire. During this time, it’s easy to get desperate as jacking a raised truck is harder and dangerous than lifting a vehicle with low ground clearance. For this reason, you need to learn how to jack up a lifted truck just to be safe.
You see, most people believe that jacking up a raised truck is hard mechanical work that’s only meant for professionals in repair shops. The fact is that this task can be accomplished by almost anyone provided you maintain a high level of safety.
Although the process is labor-intensive, it’s simple and very easy to accomplish. Remember, jacking up a lifted vehicle involves lifting thousands of pounds making the entire process risky. Thankfully, this guide has come to your rescue to offer a very detailed step-by-step procedure on how to lift such trucks.
How to Jack up a Lifted Truck: Step by Step Guide
Gather Your Supplies
When jacking up a lifted vehicle, the first step you need to take is to gather your supplies. So, in this case, you need a jack that’s specifically rated to jack lifted trucks. Make sure the jack is rated to lift the weight of your truck and that it’s working perfectly. Other than the jack, you need several other items that include;
- The user manual
- Jack stands for stability
- Cinder blocks to chock the tires
- Utility gloves
- Bright LED lights in case you’re working at night
· Step One: Safety First
So, your first step of jacking a lifted truck is to observe safety. Remember, a lifted truck is not like an ordinary car. These special vehicles carry enormous weights that can cause serious injuries or even death if things go south.
Therefore, you need to use the right lift jack when lifting such trucks. By this, what we mean is that the type of jack you use should have a load limit that exceeds the weight of your truck. Secondly, the jack should be safe to use and not faulty.
Thirdly, avoid working under your vehicle before supporting the frame withstanding jacks. Also, make sure that you check the tires with cinder blocks to avoid any movement when working. Lastly, use the appropriate tools when working on your vehicle. This allows your repair job to be safe, fast, and efficient.
· Step Two: Pick a Safe Location to Work On
Now that you’re aware of the necessary safety measures, the next step is to find a suitable location to jack up your vehicle and possibly work in. If you have a concrete or asphalt garage, then it’s better and safer to consider it. However, if your garage space is too tiny, then you can find another spot outside.
Always make sure the spot you pick has a concrete or asphalt surface to provide a solid surface to place your jack and jack stands. The reason why a hard surface is recommended is that soft surfaces can easily cause a lift jack or jack stand to sag or sink into the ground.
Also, make sure the surface you’re working on is straight and not slanted. Remember, if the ground is slanted, then it will make it extremely hard for the jack stands to stand upright and support your truck.
· Step Three: Park Your Truck
So, assuming you’ve identified a favorable spot for your truck, the next step is to shift the transmission in the Park and engage the handbrake. Once your truck is safely parked, the next step is to chock the wheels to prevent any motion when lifting it.
When chocking your truck’s tires, you need at least two blocks. In most cases, you’re supposed to chock the wheels that are opposite to the side you’re raising. So, if you’re raising the back left side, you need to chock the front right tire.
If you’re raising the front side, you have to chock the rear tires and if you’re raising the rear side, you have to chock the front tires. Lastly, if you’re jacking your truck near traffic, then you have to use LED lights, flares, cones, or pylons to notify oncoming traffic about your situation.
· Step Four: Inspect the Jack
Once you’ve parked your lifted truck, the next step is to inspect your jack to ensure it’s in perfect condition. In most cases, hydraulic floor jacks are considered for these assignments due to their strength and safety features. Emergency jacks should be avoided at all times as they’re meant to carry routine repair tasks and not lifting heavy loads.
Once you have your floor jack with you, check to ensure the pressure release valve is locked. Also, check for any signs of dilapidation or leaking fluids on various parts of the jack. Since your jack will be lifting an enormous weight, it needs to stay in perfect working order.
· Step Five: Find the Jacking Points
With everything ready, it’s now time to find the perfect jacking points. When jacking up a lifted truck, a perfect jack point is indispensable as it offers a secure way of lifting your truck. Always ensure that the jacking point is on the truck’s frame and not the chassis.
For most lifted trucks, the jacking points are located just behind the front wheels and in front of the rear wheels. Additional jacking points are located near the front and rear wheels and near the wheel to the axle side.
The best thing about lifted trucks is that most of their jacking points are very easy to access as compared to vehicles with low ground clearance. However, if you’re facing difficulty accessing the jacking points, you can consider referring to your owner’s manual for help.
· Step Six: Position the Jack
Now that you’ve identified the perfect jacking points, the next step is to set up your jack and get ready to lift your truck. So, slide the jack under your truck’s frame and begin to lift it. In case you’re lifting the front wheel, position the jack on the frame just behind the front wheel and begin to raise it.
In the case of the rear wheels, position the jack on the frame in front of the wheel. If you want to raise your truck off the ground entirely, then you can choose those jacking points that are between both wheels.
Last but not least, avoid placing your jack under non-structural components that are beneath your lifted truck. Components such as the steering rack, oil pan, radiator, and exhaust pipe are considered fragile and can break when pressed by the truck’s weight.
· Step Seven: Jack Up Your Lifted Truck
After positioning the jack, pump it a few times to raise it so that it makes secure contact with the truck’s jacking point. At this point, make sure the grip is perfect and that the jack is standing upright and not slanted. Remember, the jack will bear the entire weight of the truck. So, if it’s slanted, it’s easy for it to flip over which can be dangerous if you’re working underneath the truck.
With the jack placed into position, pump the handle multiple times to lift your truck off the ground. Lift it more until it provides enough ground clearance to fit a jack stand.
· Step Eight: How to Position the Jack Stand
The main purpose of a jack is to raise your vehicle and not to support it. So, to guarantee safety, you need to slide a jack stand on the jacking points to support your truck. Jacks are susceptible to mechanical damage and relying upon them to support your truck while you work can be very risky as they can fail at any time.
So, once you’ve raised your truck, pick a jack stand and slide it close to the jack. Lower the jack slightly to allow the jack stand to bear the weight of the truck. Once the jack stand secures the weight of the truck, proceed to lower the jack by opening the release valve.
· Step Nine: Lower the Truck
Once you’re through repairing your lifted truck, the last step is to lower the vehicle to the ground. To do this, you’ll begin by raising the jack close to the jack stand. Once you get to the jack point, pump the jack a few more times to raise the truck a few inches.
At this point, the jack will bear the weight of the truck to set the jack stand free. Remove the jack stand and carefully open the release valve to lower your truck to the ground.
As you can see, learning how to jack up a lifted truck is very important, especially if you’re an enthusiast DIYer. The process is simple and doesn’t require any professional knowledge. All you need is the right tools, a high-quality jack, and a step-by-step guide such as this one.
But, despite being a simple procedure, jacking up a lifted truck requires you to observe safety rules at all times. Some of these safety rules include inspecting your jack for signs of wear, working on a level ground that has concrete or asphalt, and lastly, locating the perfect jack points on your truck before lifting the vehicle.