What Size Floor Jack for an SUV?
The most important question you can ask when seeking the right floor jack is not necessarily how much it can lift. You’d be better served by asking what you’re going to lift and how much it weighs.
You should also look at the general design and structure of the vehicle as well, because you may want to narrow your search to jacks meant for high-profile vehicles or to products designed to lift the heaviest of trucks.
The amount you’re willing to invest is important, of course, but efficiency and safety should always occupy a similar place on your priority list. For example, you should understand that sport utility vehicles, commonly referred to as SUVs, will require a slightly different jack design than a passenger car. This same line of thinking applies to trucks as well. The reason is obvious: You have to take ground clearance and weight into account.
Consider the need for durability as a primary feature, which will deliver the benefit of long-term, stress-free service. As for lifting capability, you should be looking in the 4-ton range for truck and SUV use, though you can feel confident with a 3-ton jack if your vehicle is in that weight class.
With these basic details as a foundation, you can start looking at specific service jacks.
If you limit your requirements to 3-ton and affordability, you would probably be happy with the heavy-duty jack from Pittsburgh Automotive. This unit will lift your heavier truck and will be more than adequate for raising a passenger car. It does have a low-profile design but you’ll benefit from the maximum lift height of almost 20 inches. You’ll only have to pump it 3 to 4 times to quickly get the clearance you need.
Of course, stability is essential with floor-jack use, so the wide set of the front wheels on the Pittsburgh product is excellent. If you happen to be lifting on a surface that’s softer than concrete, you’ll appreciate the load-spreading of this design. The jack does weigh a bit more than 70 pounds, but that’s to be expected for a unit with this capability.
You’ll also appreciate the two-piece handle design, which makes transportation more convenient. The manufacturer has also provided for vehicle protection with a foam pad on the lower lift handle, as well as with an accurate lowering control mechanism.
Budget in the 3-Ton Category
People who’ve used the Powerzone 380044, 3-ton garage jack have many good things to say about this product. It weighs only 60 pounds, thanks to the inclusion of high-grade aluminum in the design, but thanks to the quality steel also used, it delivers well.
In fact, it’s probably the ideal choice for home mechanics and for a lighter jack used in a professional setting, especially for the budget-conscious individual. The lift range is very “low profile” at four inches but it does have a maximum lift of 18 inches. The Powerzone jack has the safety-valve feature you need and a quick-lift hydraulic system.
If your budget is limited, you will be pleased with the asking price for this 3-ton service jack, which is considerably below that of other products with similar design (such as the units from Arcan and JEGS). While background information can be somewhat limited for this company, you will get the idea that customers are pleased with the performance of the 380044. However, some buyers have expressed concern about the limited warranty.
Stepping up somewhat in lifting strength takes you to the 3.5-ton Blackhawk B6350 jack, a great choice for trucks and SUVs. In addition to its steel construction that will deliver a long-term performance, you get a number of safety features you need on quality service equipment. The company included a bypass that prevents you from over-pumping, as well as a safety valve to keep your jack from failing due to massive weight.
This jack is a beast at 95 pounds, yet has a very low profile (5.5 inches). It does, however, lift to 22 inches, making it ideal for use in the SUV world. Designers also took its heft into account by including a swivel mechanism to make positioning much easier.
Reviews of jacks in this category wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Craftsman and Torin products. One of the most-recognized names in tools and professional products, Craftsman offers the 4-ton service jack that starts its lift range at 4 inches and reaches a maximum height of 20 inches. The design is meant for SUVs and small trucks, which shouldn’t be a challenge for this quality-steel item. You benefit from the overload/safety valve and the caster wheels on the rear for easier positioning.
You might also choose the Torin T83006, which comes in at 3-tons. It’s a great choice for SUV service, with a lift range from 6 inches to 21 inches. This product weighs only 49 pounds but will handle your lifting tasks thanks to steel construction.
All of these service jacks should be more than adequate for the small truck and the SUV owner.