If you own a lifted truck and then ever suffered from a flat tire, you’ll know just how challenging it can be to change it by the roadside. It can be virtually impossible to raise the truck up sufficiently so that you can remove the tire in the first place, let alone change it, so where do you begin?
If you’ve ever wondered how to jack up a lifted truck, it’s time to stop looking for answers because this tutorial will show you everything you need to know.
Before we even begin this tutorial it’s essential that you realize how dangerous it can be to jack up a lifted truck. Under no circumstances should you ever try to deviate from these instructions or use incorrect equipment as you could be putting your life at risk.
Working under any vehicle is dangerous, however working under a lifted truck is especially dangerous because of its sheer size and weight, so always make absolutely certain that all of your equipment is in place and properly maintained before commencing.
If you’re not certain that you know what you’re doing, don’t go ahead before getting help from someone who is experienced in jacking up lifted trucks for your own safety. Whatever you do, you should never at any point in the procedure actually get under your vehicle when it is only supported by a jack. Before you get under it, you should ensure that the vehicle is securely resting on the jack stands.
Choosing A Spot In Which To Work
The first step in jacking up your lifted truck is to choose the right spot to work in. You should always park the vehicle on a level and firm surface like asphalt or concrete. You should never ever try to lift the vehicle on uneven or soft ground as if the jack unexpectedly changes position or the ground moves you could end up being injured or even killed.
When parking your vehicle, ensure that you have the transmission in park (or, if your vehicle has a manual gear box, choose first gear). Make sure that you’ve engaged your parking break. Turn off the ignition and take out the key before starting work.
Chocking The Wheels
Once your vehicle is in position, it’s time to chock the wheels. You need to chock the wheels or wheel opposite from where the jack will be positioned. This will stop the vehicle from unexpectedly rolling. So, for example, if you’re jacking up the rear left wheel you need to put your chock behind the right front wheel.
Checking Your Jack
Check your floor jack to ensure that you’ve closed the pressure relief valve (this is usually done by turning the jack’s lever clockwise). It’s important to avoid using your emergency jack to carry out any routine repairs. As it says in the name, emergency jacks are solely for emergency situations like changing flat tires by the side of the road.
If you’re carrying out routine repairs in your garage or workshop you should always use a hydraulic floor jack which is more durable, sturdy and suited to repairs and general maintenance. Before using the jack always check it to make sure it isn’t showing any sign of disrepair or leaking fluids. If you notice any damage you should never start work until you’ve repaired or replaced the jack.
Finding A Jacking Point
Find a secure jacking point in the area of your vehicle you need to raise. You can find a secure point by looking for either an area which has been specifically designed for contact with jacks or, alternatively, an area which you are aware can support the vehicle’s entire weight safely without any chance of slipping. Your vehicle owner’s manual should list the locations of the jack points of your truck.
You will usually find one near each of the wheels. You may also find an extra jacking point between your vehicle’s rear wheels and another between its front wheels. Never put your jack under one of the body panels as this will not only damage your vehicle but carrying out the procedure in this way could result in your being seriously injured. Your jack should always be in contact with an unpainted, sturdy part of the vehicle frame.
Putting The Jack Under The Vehicle
One you’ve identified an appropriate jack point, it’s time to put the jack under the vehicle. Slide it carefully into position – if you’re raising a front wheel, make sure the jack is position just behind the appropriate wheel. If you’re raising a rear wheel, make sure the jack is positioned in front of it. If you need to raise the rear and front wheels simultaneously, you can do this by choosing a jacking point that is halfway between the rear and front wheels.
This also holds true if you need to jack up both rear or both front wheels which can be achieved by choosing a jacking point that is halfway between the two wheels you need to raise. While some trucks will have dedicated jacking points for this eventuality, if yours doesn’t you will need to position your jack under the rear or front subframe. If you’re positioning your jack under the subframe, make sure you’re placing it in the exact center between the wheels that you’re jacking up.
It’s very important to avoid placing your jack under any of the non-structural components of your vehicle like the steering rack, oil pan or radiator. If you’re raising both of your vehicle’s rear wheels, it may be possible to use the vehicle’s rear differential as your jacking point, however this may not be the case for your truck and in some cases, it can even damage the vehicle, so always check your manual if you’re uncertain.
Adjusting The Jack
While you’re looking under your vehicle, adjust the jack’s position to ensure it is making secure contact with the truck’s jacking point when you raise it. Bear in mind the vehicle’s angle is going to change when it is raised, so ensure the jack is positioned properly so it will be unable to slip from the jacking point.
Jacking The Truck
Pump your jack’s handle up and down repeatedly to start raising up your truck. While you’re doing this, you should always watch carefully the area where the jack is making contact with your truck to ensure it remains properly seated while you raise the truck. If you’re unable to do this, after raising up your vehicle a couple of inches, stop for a few seconds to look quickly at the jack point to ensure the jack remains in strong contact with the jacking point.
If required, you can lower your jack down a little by opening its release valve. Once you’ve done this, close your jack’s release valve then reposition your jack to ensure its contact with the jacking point is improved. Carry on raising up your truck until it has reached the right height and is high enough so you can fit the jack stand in place.
Using The Jack Stands
Carefully, slide the jack stand into the correct position close to the jack. Always ensure that you’ve chosen a secure part of your vehicle’s frame to insert the jack for your own safety. If you’re raising up both of the rear or front wheels, you should put the jack stands on each side of your jack, close to the wheels.
Remember that the jack’s purpose is only to raise up your vehicle and not to support its weight on a long term basis. It is the jack stand which should be employed to keep your truck securely in place as you work. Always ensure you’ve placed the jack stand in a secure position so you can be confident that it is supporting the vehicle’s entire weight so it won’t slip off your jack stand.
Opening The Release Valve
Open your jack’s release valve slowly so that the vehicle is slowly lowered until it rests securely on your jack stand. As soon as your jack stand is supporting the entire vehicle’s weight, you’re able to remove your jack if you choose. Alternatively, you can keep it in the same position and use it later. If you won’t have to use your jack for another job, you should always leave it in position as this will give you a little more insurance when it comes to your safety.
Removing The Jack Stand
After you have finished working on the truck, you should put the jack back into the same position as before if you removed it, then use your jack to slowly raise your vehicle up a couple of inches so the jack stand can be removed.
Lowering The Vehicle
Open your jack’s release valve slowly. This will carefully lower your vehicle to the ground in the safest possible way so that you will remain safe and your vehicle will remain undamaged. Once you’ve completed this, you can simply remove the jack and you’ll be ready to drive away.
As you can see from these instructions, there is no need to call out a professional to jack up your truck and change your tire. This is a process that can be carried out by anyone who has the right equipment and who knows the appropriate steps to take to ensure that they remain safe throughout.
Although it may look daunting to jack up such a large vehicle as a lifted truck, it isn’t as hard as you might expect. As long as you follow these simple step by step instructions, you should find that the entire process is a breeze and you remain safe and secure with no damage to your vehicle as you carry out the procedure.