For any job, in any industry, choosing the right tools to work with is crucial for ensuring smooth, efficient, and safe operations. In the automotive industry, professional and amateur mechanics alike often struggle with determining whether to use a floor jack or a bottle jack for repairs. One offers stability, ease of use, and high speed, while the other provides optimal power and a compact size.
Floor jacks are oriented with the hydraulic cylinder positioned horizontally. One of the most obvious advantages of floor jacks is their portability; unlike bottle jacks, most floor jacks have casters that allow for easy rolling back and forth, so jacks can be repositioned on the fly. Unfortunately, they are also somewhat bulky and unwieldy, which can be a drawback when space is at a premium.
Another advantage of floor jacks is that they sit low to the ground. This means they can be easily rolled under vehicles that also sit low. There are even specialized low-clearance jacks available for extremely low cars. And because floor jacks are designed with a long pump handle that allows for very quick lifting and lowering of cars, speedy operations are possible. The long handle also makes for easier use, an advantage for workers concerned about being able to operate jacks quickly in a pinch.
While providing the same power as a bottle jack, floor jacks do take up a lot of floor space. They usually require quite a bit more maneuvering to set up in a way that the handle can be properly utilized. They also require more storage space. And because of their horizontal design, floor jacks can hoist much less weight than bottle jacks.
Bottle jacks, on the other hand, are mounted vertically, and the more straightforward design allows them to lift more weight to higher elevations. These jacks are also smaller and more easily stored than floor jacks, as well as significantly cheaper.
Truck owners, in particular, might find bottle jacks an ideal solution, as clearance is generally not an issue and easy storage is possible in a cab compartment. This portability also makes bottle jacks especially useful in an emergency, as they can be easily carried to the scene.
Compared to floor jacks, however, bottle jacks cannot offer high stability due to their narrow frame; floor jacks provide a more solid solution for tricky operations. Bottle jacks also have a minimum lift height, which may pose problems when working with standard-clearance automobiles.
Bottle jacks and floor jacks offer distinct features and advantages, and each type is well-suited to a range of different automotive applications. These two types of jacks can sometimes even be put to good use in combination with one another. For example, when changing suspension components, it may be helpful to employ a floor jack to boost the vehicle and a bottle jack to keep the suspension isolated to one side of the vehicle.
To learn more about the differences between bottle and floor jacks, contact the team at Metro Hydraulic Jack Co. today. As a leading service provider and distributor of industrial jacks, we can walk you through the selection process and ensure you get the best solution for your unique needs.
A jack is a versatile tool that uses force to lift heavy loads. Screw threads and hydraulic cylinders are the primary mechanisms with which force is applied; therefore, jacks fall under the categories of mechanical or hydraulic.
Mechanical jacks, such as car jacks and house jacks, hoist heavy equipment and are rated on lift capacity. Hydraulic jacks, on the other hand, tend to be stronger and can hoist heavier loads higher. These types include bottle jacks and floor jacks.
Both mechanical and hydraulic jacks are used in countless industries, including the automotive, shipping, mining, waste removal, and retail sectors. Jacks are also commonly utilized in construction applications to lift heavy equipment and support or lift a building during renovation or relocation.
Mechanical Jacks in Construction
Often found in automotive garages, mechanical jacks use physical means to raise and lower loads, which typically range from 1.5 tons to 3 tons. A screw jack is a common type of mechanical jack, which works via a motor or lever cranked by an operator. A screw uses the shape of its threads to raise or lower the load, or a traveling nut does the lifting while the screw turns in place. Mechanical jacks are self-locking, which means that when power is removed from the jack, the screw stays in place until power resumes. This setup makes mechanical jacks safer than their hydraulic counterparts, because users don’t have to fear a loss of power.
Mechanical jacks are used to change stage designs, alter settings on woodworking machines, and adjust radio telescopes. In the construction industry, screw jacks — also called house jacks — are used to hoist buildings from their foundations for repair or relocation. In these applications, multiple jacks are utilized, and wood cribbing temporarily supports the structure until the desired lift is reached. Screw jacks can also be used for raising older beams or installing new ones.
Hydraulic Jacks in Construction
Hydraulic jacks, predictably, use hydraulic fluid as their main power source. They consist of a pair of cylinders of different sizes connected by a pipe and hydraulic fluid or oil. The hydraulic fluid is forced into the cylinder of the jack via a pump plunger. When the plunger pulls back, oil goes from the reservoir into the pump chamber. When the plunger moves forward, the oil is propelled into the cylinder. This oil movement builds up pressure in the cylinder, and that pressure powers the jack.
The two most common types of hydraulic jacks are bottle jacks and floor jacks. Bottle jacks, also called hand jacks, are portable. The piston is positioned vertically, and it supports a bearing pad that touches the object being lifted. They’re most commonly used to lift cars, but they can also be used in the medical industry as hydraulic stretchers and patient lifts. Hydraulic jacks also can be utilized as pipe benders and cable splicers.
In floor jacks, also known as trolley jacks, the piston is in a horizontal position, and a long arm provides vertical motion to a lifting pad. There also are wheels and castors included in their build. In the construction arena, hydraulic jacks are used for lifting equipment and vehicles such as bulldozers, forklifts, trolleys, trailers, and excavators. These versatile jacks can also lift elevators in low- and medium-rise buildings.
Supplying the Construction Industry for Decades
For nearly 80 years, Metro Hydraulic Jack Co. has been a leading distributor and service provider for industrial hydraulic equipment, jacks, tools, parts, and lubrication equipment, and we’re proud to offer top-quality mechanical and hydraulic jacks for customers across a wide range of industries.
Request a quote today to learn how we can help with your specific lifting needs.
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It’s obvious that we know a thing or two about hydraulic jacks at Metro Hydraulic Jack Co.; they’re the basis of our business. Most people have an idea of what jacks are, but there is a lot that goes into these load bearing tools.
When people think of jacks, most often mechanical jacks would come to mind. This category of jacks most notably covers car jacks as well as house jacks. Hydraulic jacks like bottle jacks and floor jacks on the other hand, are used to lift loads that are even heavier.
Hydraulic jacks use multiple cylinders to create pressure by applying force. By putting force on one cylinder, it will create pressure in all connected cylinders. These jacks will have one cylinder larger than the other to produce a greater force, despite the fact that the same pressure is applied in both cylinders.
Using this method, oil is pushed into the two cylinders by pump plungers. This moves the oil through an external discharge check valve before it reaches the cylinder chamber. The valve on the chamber closes to build pressure in the cylinder.
There are several types hydraulic of jacks used for different applications. Bottle jacks are most popularly used for lifting cars for auto inspections, and floor jacks are used to lift items that need a larger lifting pad. Despite their differences, these, along with other varieties of hydraulic jacks all function with the same basic structure.