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Old 05-05-2014, 10:04 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=davel1971;604532]
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Originally Posted by SKnight View Post
a single block of wood as a spacer isn't the end of the world. QUOTE]

uh, it very well could be for the one doing it.
X2, under the jack, but not on top of it unless it's a floor jack with a big pad.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:16 PM   #12
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Explain this to me, as obviously I'm ignorant in this area. A career as a mechanic must not qualify my experience.

How are wood blocks, somehow placed under a jack that could weigh up to 80 pounds for a wheeled floor jack, more stable than a wood block placed on the pad?

Trust me, there's a point to this question.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:24 PM   #13
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first, what does it matter how much the jack weighs? Second, a large block under any type of jack has the load spread evenly across it. If you put a block on top of a "floor jack" type of jack, most of them have 4 tabs on the plate which puts extreme pressure on those points. You just made a wood splitter. If using a bottle jack, that's a lot of pressure on a 1 inch circle. Since you feel to list your occupation to back your experience, I jack up 40,000 pound tractors every day. 1 misplaced jack, I don't come home to my family.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:27 PM   #14
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...How are wood blocks, somehow placed under a jack that could weigh up to 80 pounds for a wheeled floor jack, more stable than a wood block placed on the pad?...
No need for the sarcastic remarks sir.

Block of wood under a post jack, not under a floor jack. Block of wood on top of a floor jack.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:49 PM   #15
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I do all of the afor mentioned given the nature of the task performed, conditions, ground type and equipment used to perform the lifting task.
No one answer for all cases, or jobs.
And blocks work great on top of some jacks to help even, uneven surfaces, depending on lift type, wood type, pressures and object to be lifted. Obviously, it doesn't work on all jacks, and or all situations.
Safety is always key.

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Old 05-05-2014, 11:02 PM   #16
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C'mon OC, nothing I said was sarcastic.

First, reread this.

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Picking something up off the tires is dangerous, which is why we take precautions such as my saying to hook the tv up to help hold it steady. Direct jack pad contact is best but with caution a single block of wood as a spacer isn't the end of the world.

Single biggest key is to not get under it while jacked up except to place jack stands and don't get under it at all while the tires are off.
Bold and in italics. The ears on a floor jack pad will compress into the wood that up to 1/4" until it hits the ring, but my experience the ears push in about 1/8" on typical loads. But once you struggle that heavy floor jack onto the blocks, those wheels are concentrating that pressure in a single spot for each board. If that wood splits, the jack shifts. It's just as dangerous. Plus, all jacks travel in an arc, even a bottle jack leans as the object is lifted. So our floor jack wheels are digging into the wood, not able to roll and relieve the shear force in place. The bottle jack, while not able to roll, is still experiencing the arc shearing force especially when jacking on the frame since it has to not only lift the tire a couple of inches, it also has to overcome the suspension travel first. Sharp edge of the bottle jack foot, or the rounded head? I've never had a wood block split so long as it's properly aligned and some caution is used.

Lastly, the plain bold text. Dave, since you lift 40,000 tractors every day you really should know this part. Spacer, no spacer, top bottom or on the roof, you never get under a load until it's properly supported on stands and never set those stands unless the tires are still on it. Keeps you from getting squished if it slips while placing the stands. I've been pinned under a car before, trust me I'm a believer in jacking and supporting safety. Never, ever trust hydraulics to keep you alive.

I'll say it again. Picking up a load to work on it is dangerous no matter how you slice it. But we mitigate that danger, direct pad contact is best, use stands at all times, if spacers are necessary then over or under, exercise enhanced caution. One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet, I wouldn't space more than a 4X4 block. Don't stack two 2X4 pieces. That just adds potential failure points.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:03 PM   #17
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I just run my trailer up a ramp made from my yellow plastic leveling blocks. On our dual axle trailer, I put the wheel with the good tire on the ramp and leave the flat hanging in the air. Takes maybe 5 minutes and absolutely no muscle to get the flat off the ground and the truck is hooked up to move the trailer, so no concern for trailer movement off the ramp. When I had to do it in Alaska last summer, it took me longer to get Rockwood's decorative white plastic covers off the lug nuts than it did to change the tire.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:08 PM   #18
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C'mon OC, nothing I said was sarcastic...
"Explain this to me, as obviously I'm ignorant in this area. A career as a mechanic must not qualify my experience."

I'm going to go get the popcorn machine warmed up. Have fun!
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:16 PM   #19
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Oc... you forgot to say "Bazinga"

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Old 05-05-2014, 11:18 PM   #20
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I've picked up everything from motorcycles to D9 Cats over the course of the career. As Millertime said, you do what you gotta do for the job and I can honestly say I've never dropped anything off a jack due to improper lifting. I had a jack mechanically fail but the tires were still on it, no harm no foul. And I got pinned due to youthful stupidity on my part and a helpful guy that didn't see I was under it. He let the car down to pull it out, realized I was under it when I started screaming. I didn't know the lock was broke on that lift. Luckily, it was just my leg. Poor guy was more upset than I was too.

Yet I'm hearing I don't know what I'm talking about. I did it professionally for 20 years, many years before that as a teenager and I'm still involved in the industry.

Either way you slice it, spacing a jack is dangerous, top or bottom. I prefer blocks on top.
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