The exact position of large objects in height, maintenance of vehicles with the need to lift the car body, its components and assemblies above the supporting surface, require a device specially created for these tasks under the name "jack". This mechanism is known to any motorist. In addition, most of the types of this unit can be seen at technical inspection stations and tire shops. In our article we will talk about jacks, their types and characteristics.
Electric jacks are mechanisms for lifting loads, functioning from the cigarette lighter of a car or its own battery. 12 volts are enough to power the jack. Such a lifting mechanism is capable of functioning even with the vehicle engine running, which is very much appreciated by motorists. This allows you to charge the battery of the jack from the network of the car to be lifted.
Electric jacks are characterized by ease of use, the ability to fulfill their duties from the battery or vehicle generator , excellent qualities when operating in extreme conditions. The current consumed by the jack is 20 A.
Device and principle of operation
Electric lifting devices are the result of the synthesis of mechanically moving elements and an electric drive from a motor with a gearbox in one design. The carrying capacity of such devices is at most 2 tons.
The main drive is designed as follows: a small device, based on electrical and mechanical effects, includes an electric motor and gearbox, which drive a lifting screw-like structure. For operation, the device should be installed in the required place and connected to power supply. For this, along with the adapter for interfacing with the power supply network, the jack is equipped with two cables for connecting to the vehicle’s battery. The work of the lift is coordinated through the remote control.
The principle of operation of the electric jack is quite simple:
- the lift is connected to the network (usually through a cigarette lighter);
- a connection signal is sent by wire to the jack microprocessor;
- a signal is sent to the engine of the device;
- by means of the control panel, the car owner sets the required height by which the car must be raised;
- the microprocessor and the lift engine receive this information and perform the operation.
Currently, there are portable, mobile and stationary jacks, they all differ in design, operating principle and dimensions. Consider which varieties exist and in which field of application they will be especially effective.
By type of construction
There are several varieties of lifting devices that vary in design configuration:
By way of management
Lifting mechanisms equally differ in the type of drive they use. The following drive types are available:
- Mechanical jack - lifting of the load is carried out due to the use of a foot or hand lever.
- Pneumatic lifting mechanism. For its operation, a source of compressed air is required. This in one case brings discomfort, in the second - it guarantees the lifting of the load to the set height with the least effort.
- Hydraulic jack - performs lifting of the load by means of the pressure of the working fluid and does not require much effort required to lift the loads.
- Electric jack - access to the electric network is required to bring it into working condition, which limits the use of capacitive parameters of the battery on the road.
We present a small rating of jacks, compiled according to the reviews of drivers. The most popular among motorists lifting mechanisms of the German company Varta.
The device is made of non-corrosive steel alloy and has a diamond-shaped configuration in the working position. Due to the integrity of the structure (that is, without separate undocking elements), the lifting mechanism is endowed with impeccable strength and stability.
According to the manufacturer, this product was designed intentionally for use in harsh conditions. In particular, in rainy and snowy weather.
The main disadvantage is the extremely low carrying capacity - up to 2 tons. To a certain extent, a large mass of 6 kilograms can be added to the shortcomings. Be that as it may, this is a specific “undesirable effect” from the monolithic structure, which gives the jack tremendous stability.
According to reviews of car owners, there are no difficulties in installing this modification or when lifting a car. Although, if the motor is turned off, the hoist operates more noisily due to the low battery voltage.
In addition to the aforementioned jack, many car owners like another modification from the same manufacturer - V-CJ2.11W. The whole structure here is also monolithic and made of non-corrosive alloys. Similar to the previous device, this product is equipped with a special remote control on which only 2 buttons are used to raise and lower the car.
However, if there is no way to provide power, there is a special lever for lowering on the jack.
V-CJ2.11W is also not characterized by heavy lifting capacity. The maximum weight is 2 tons. In addition, some car owners have difficulties in the installation process, since this mechanism requires an even foundation.
The 12 V electromechanical jack, in a suitcase, with a wrench, is a balanced multi-purpose device equipped with additional accessories.
It combines, in addition to the lifting mechanism, a built-in air compressor with a gauge for measuring excessive pressure (pressure gauge) and auxiliary lighting equipment (the main LED flashlight, vertically directed illumination and hazard warning lights).
It is suitable even for owners of SUVs, since the carrying capacity of this model is increased to 3 tons. In addition to the standard purpose, it can be used to loosen the nuts. It has universal power supply - both from its own battery and from a car generator. This modification is characterized by all the optimal qualities of devices of this kind.
The company from the USA Turbo is not far behind its rivals.
Turbo Jack GB - A20
Another representative of electric jacks that is trusted by users is the Turbo Jack GB - A20. This model is also not offended by the positive characteristics in the form of carrying capacity - as with the previous modification, it is 3 tons, and also the pick-up height minimized to 110 mm. Motorists praise this option for high-quality manufacturing and performance on a variety of surfaces. This jack is characterized by a lower noise level.
Criterias of choice
The price of electrical products is higher than, for example, mechanical or hydraulic lifting mechanisms. In this regard, it is recommended to approach the device selection especially responsibly. And certainly you should not purchase the most inexpensive modification.
However, if the jack is bought for the first time, it is not worth buying especially expensive samples. Perhaps the electrical device is not suitable for you. Therefore, the best option is to make a purchase in the middle price segment.
Thus, when choosing, you should pay attention to the following parameters:
- The first thing is the price of the lift.
- Carrying capacity is the most essential characteristic, which will be discussed separately.
- The maximum lifting height is the distance by which the vehicle may rise above the ground.
- Pick-up height (the distance between the road surface and the lowest point of the central part of the car) is the smallest gap that a jack needs to be mounted under the car. The lower the suspension system, the lower the pickup height.
- Stability - a property that provides balance when lifting a car.
In the form of a bonus property can be called multi-functional lift. This is a characteristic that is responsible for the ability to lift all types of vehicles.
As a rule, this option is not very popular due to the fact that the price of a multipurpose jack becomes significantly higher.
However, when choosing, it is also desirable to pay attention to the dimensions of the device - its weight and dimensions. However, this condition does not matter to all car owners.
The main quality is load capacity.
Carrying capacity is especially important from the parameters when selecting an electromechanism. In fact, are the dimensions of the jack or the height of its lifting so important when it is not able to lift the car? For this reason, when selecting any type of lift, not necessarily electric, this parameter should be in first place.
To choose the right device, you need to find out the weight of your car. You can find out from the data sheet. After that, 100-150 kilograms must be added to the mass. This will become a kind of insurance in case anything weighty is “lost” in the passenger compartment or in the car trunk.
Under no circumstances should you lose sight of adding extra pounds. Otherwise, unsafe situations may occur. The most trivial one is if the jack cannot sustain the mass of the car and breaks, and the vehicle falls to the ground with a crash. It follows that the owner, for his own money, broke both the car and the lifting mechanism.
Despite the importance of the parameter, electrical mechanisms do not have a large carrying capacity. For example, screw jacks can lift a car weighing up to 15 tons, rack and pinion - up to 20 tons, rolling - 3, 5, 10 and 20 tons, hydraulic jacks - generally up to 200 tons. Electrical modifications, like their colleagues - inflatable (pneumatic jacks), are not able to withstand masses of more than 4 tons.
Consequently, electrical samples must be purchased exclusively for small cars. Pickups, jeeps and other “massive” cars are hardly suitable for such a carrying capacity.
A visual overview of the electric jack in action, you can see in the next video.