Whether you’re a professional mechanic working in a repair shop or an enthusiast DIYer working in your home garage, a transmission jack is a specialized tool you can’t afford to miss. This essential piece of equipment plays a vital role in any garage as it allows you to remove or install a car’s transmission without causing any damage. But, despite being a crucial tool in your garage arsenal, a transmission jack is quite expensive to procure. So, should you buy or rent a transmission jack?
You see, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, it’s common to find yourself lifting your vehicle to access the gearbox, transmission, and differential. Once a vehicle is lifted, it creates a high ground clearance that makes it risky to lower the transmission.
Although a floor jack and a pair of hands can help out, they’re not enough to hold a 200 pound or so transmission for a long time. For that reason, a transmission jack becomes an absolute necessity if you want to observe safety. So, in this post, we’ll discuss whether to buy or rent a transmission jack.
Understanding the Transmission Jack
Before you think of whether to buy or rent a transmission jack, it’s important that you understand what this hydraulic device really is. In simple terms, a transmission jack is a type of jack that supports a transmission once it’s disconnected from a vehicle.
It allows you to lift or lower transmission from a vehicle or even keep it lifted in case you don’t want to remove it entirely. Now, transmissions come in many unusual shapes. They also come in different weights.
Therefore, attempting to raise or lower a transmission without a transmission jack means that you’ll be doing a difficult and dangerous task that can cause serious injuries to you and severe damage to your transmission. For this reason, a transmission jack is an absolute necessity in any repair shop or home garage.
Now, a transmission jack for lift comes in different variations. Some have a low profile while others have a high profile. Those with a low profile are best for vehicles with a low ground clearance while those with a high profile are intended for lifted vehicles such as trucks.
Since lifting and lowering a transmission is a rather dangerous task, most transmission jacks are built with excellent safety features that include a wide leg base for stability, a wide tilting saddle, and different maneuvering options.
Things to Consider When Getting a Transmission Jack
Whether it’s renting or buying an entirely new transmission jack, there are several factors you need to consider before parting with your money.
- Weight Capacity
The main reason why you need a transmission jack is to raise or lower your car’s transmission. Since safety is a major concern here, one factor you’ll have to focus on is the weight capacity of the jack you’re getting.
If you select a jack that’s rated lower than the weight of your transmission, then it means the jack will curve in creating a safety hazard. So, to avoid this, you need to get a transmission jack that suits your situation. For a home garage, a jack with a weight rating of 500 to 1000 pounds will suffice while for a repair shop, a jack with a weight rating of 2000 pounds will be ideal.
The material used on the construction is equally important when buying or renting a transmission jack. When servicing your vehicle, you’ll expect to lift several heavy parts such as the gearbox, the transmission, and the differential unit.
If you’re using a poor-quality jack with metal fatigue, then safety will be a concern as the jack will not be strong enough to accomplish some of these tasks. Therefore, you need to ensure the jack you’re buying is constructed from durable steel material to offer advanced safety.
Other than the construction, you need to pick a jack that’s stable enough to keep your transmission firm without shifting. To enhance stability, you need a jack that has a wide base leg to anchor the jack firmly to the ground without tilting.
- Range of Motion
Last but not least, you need to inspect the adjustable height before getting a transmission jack rental. You see, each vehicle is different. Some are raised while others have low ground clearance. So, when buying or renting a transmission jack, you need to get one that will raise or lower your car’s transmission to a comfortable working height.
Should You Buy a Transmission Jack?
When it comes to transmission jacks, it’s easy to get lost when deciding on whether to buy new equipment or rent one. Now, you need to understand that the route you take here will hugely depend on the type of environment you’re working on.
For instance, if you’re a mechanic working in a repair shop, buying a new transmission jack is the best option as you’ll be busy repairing vehicles in most parts of the day. Remember, as a professional mechanic working in a repair shop, you’ll expect to get frequent customers throughout the day.
Since customers will most likely pile pressure on you to have their vehicles repaired, renting a transmission jack means that you may miss having it at a time when you need it the most.
Another reason why it’s important to buy a transmission jack is to minimize the hefty cost of renting one. Although these jacks are quite expensive, buying one means that you’ll only pay for it once. Renting one means that you’ll keep paying a certain fee for a long time thus turning the jack into a liability rather than an asset.
Lastly, buying a brand new transmission jack means that you’ll enjoy a comprehensive warranty on the equipment and all its parts. This is a great deal that will save you money and give you some peace of mind.
Should I Rent a Transmission Jack?
On the other hand, renting a transmission jack comes with its own share of benefits. First, it allows you to use the latest and most advanced equipment that’s currently in the market. This is a huge boost to your business as it will improve efficiency, save time and improve safety when repairing vehicles.
Secondly, renting a transmission jack helps to cut costs that would be used to pay for maintenance. In most cases, rental fees cover the cost of maintenance meaning you won’t have to repair the jack at all. Also, this fee covers the jack and any extra parts you’ll need when repairing a car’s transmission.
Thirdly, most rental specialists offer free training and advice to those mechanics that rent their equipment. This way, you’ll receive professional advice on how to use different types of transmission jacks.
Lastly, renting transmission jacks is a perfect idea if your business is seasonal or temporary. So, let’s say your business is at peak during summer and lowest during winter. This means that you can rent a transmission jack during summer and give it back during winter when it’s not in use.
So, which is best for you? Now, the answer to this question will hugely depend on your needs as a professional. If you’re just starting, then it’s better to get a heavy-duty transmission jack rental as it will save you space and the cost of buying entirely new equipment.
If you work on a seasonal basis, your business will benefit more from a rented jack rather than buying a new one. Not only will it save you on costs, but this strategy will also save you garage space that will be used to store other items.
On the other hand, if your business operates throughout the year without any low season, then it’s better that you buy a new transmission jack. The best thing about new equipment is that you’ll have your tools anytime you need them.
Secondly, this will save you the cost of renting a jack. Remember, if your business is doing well, then you’ll only need to pay the initial cost of the machine and you’re done. Anything else from there will be counted as pure profit.