Truck drivers should be aware of the safety and mechanical equipment that comes with their trucks. Knowledge of the safety equipment in your truck could mean the difference between being stuck on the side of the road and being able to get yourself moving again.
Virtually all trucks come with a spare tire and jack mechanical tool, most likely a scissor jack, that can be used to replace a tire. The jack on a truck id typically under a seat and the spare tire is sometimes under the outside of the truck.
Jacks are an essential part of repairing a flat or damaged tire on your truck. In fact, it is impossible to replace a tire on a truck without one! However, you must know where the jack gets located in a truck, how to use it, and other functions and operations of the jack before putting it to use.
The jack is a versatile and vital part of the mechanical repair for trucks. Typically, the jack is strong enough to lift one wheel of the truck completely off the ground so that repairs can get done, or a wheel can get replaced with a spare or another wheel of the same size and weight.
Virtually all trucks come with a jack for spare tire replacement as a safety feature that can get used by the truck owner or a roadside assistance technician.
- The jack is so essential that you may want to check where it is located before getting on the road.
- Knowing where to find the jack in your truck is part of responsible vehicle ownership.
It helps you knot only identify the place it is located for when you need it in a roadside emergency but whether or not you need any additional parts for it so that it will work properly.
Just because virtually all new trucks come off the car sales lot with a jack, do not forget to ensure that your truck has a jack. If you have an older truck or bought one that was used, the jack might have been:
- Moved to a different place in the truck cab
There are many factors to consider when locating, identifying, and using your jack for your truck.
Jacks for trucks are so valuable that they have their very own storage container and position in the body, bed, or undercarriage of your truck. Depending on the style, model, and make of your truck, the jack storage will have a specific location where it is protected and safely and securely stored for use.
Usually, the jack location in a truck is designed for easy access during a roadside emergency. The jack in a truck is typically located on the floor of the vehicle, under, or behind the truck’s rear or front seats.
Usually, there are small pictures of a jack imprinted on the plastic handle where the jack is located. Also, the location of your jack can be found in the manual for your car, which is located in the glove box of many trucks.
- However, if you are still having trouble finding your jack in your truck, keep digging.
- The signs and handles for the jack storage should be obvious enough.
The following places are the most likely hiding spots for the jack in your truck. After checking these specific places, make sure you consult the manufacturer’s manual or website if you are still stumped about the position of your truck’s jack.
The jack might also have disappeared, and you may need a new one. If you do, make sure you do your homework and find one that can handle the weight of your truck.
Under the floor is the most common place where a jack is found in a truck. This position is not only convenient, but it keeps the mechanical jack equipment safe from bouncing around and getting damaged.
- The floor trap where the jack is kept might be located under the carpeting of the floor of the truck.
- Look for pull tabs or a screw-in handle that requires some sort of loosening to remove.
The base of the truck is likely hard to access and might require removing extended cab seating or pushing the front seats all the way up to the dashboard so that you can get access to the jack, tire, and other tools stored there.
Once removed, this cavity under the floor is also most likely where the spare tire is located. Either on top or under the spare tire is your jack. Make sure that you take everything out of the cavity in the floor before moving on to another position in the truck.
Another common position for the truck jack is under or behind a seat. These positions typically have a latch that holds the jack in place. There may be a plastic covering over the mechanical jack equipment, or it may be exposed and simply held to the underside of the seat with fasteners.
- Ensure that the fasteners are secure before putting the jack back and that you don’t lose any of the pins when using the jack.
- You will not be able to secure the jack to the storage position without its fasteners.
Jacks have oil or grease on them, which is messy and can get all over the car’s carpeting or upholstery if it is loose in the cab. Also, the jack that is under or behind the seats can rattle loose.
If this happens, make sure you find the fasteners or devise a new way of securing your jack.
Oftentimes the spare tire of a truck is located under the truck body near the rear end of the truck. If this is the case, there may be a pullout with a covering somewhere under or inside the bed of the truck.
- First, look for handles or screw plates that can be removed.
- The spare tire and jack picture or sign imprinted on the plastic of the bed lining is a dead giveaway for the location of a jack.
The bed of the truck might have a replaced bed lining. In this case, look for any seams or openings along the bed lining, or you may want to check the undercarriage of the truck.
Next, make sure that the jack is securely fastened inside. The jack may also be under the spare tire that is mounted on the underside of the truck bed. Unscrew the spare tire and remove it, then look under to see if the jack is stored in this secure location.
Using a jack on a truck is a little bit more complicated than using a jack on a standard passenger vehicle. Trucks are heavier than most passenger vehicles, and their weight is less balanced and more top-heavy than other vehicles.
Because of these factors and the weight of the truck, it is difficult for people who are unfamiliar with it to use a jack on a truck.
To use a jack on a truck, you must have a jack that works for the truck’s weight safely, then position the jack under the car in the correct location and proceed to jack up one wheel of the truck.
Here’s a quick video showing how to use a scissor jack, the most common jack included with vehicles, with more info below:
Under no circumstances should you ever get under the truck while it is suspended in the air on a jack.
Getting under the truck while it is suspended on the jack is extremely dangerous because the truck’s weight could come crashing down on your body and hurt or kill you if the jack falls under the weight of the truck.
Instead, follow these moderate steps to use a jack on a truck:
- Park it: Make sure that you place your truck in the park on a level surface and crank the parking brake on so that the truck does not move while up on the jack.
- Turn it off: Turn the ignition of the engine off and remove the keys from the keyhole.
- Chock it: Since the car will be in a precarious position up on the jack, you don’t want the wheels to move at all. Place angled chocks under the tires so that there is no chance of it moving while you work on replacing the flat tire with your jack.
- Pro tip: If you’re jacking up the right wheel on the front of the truck, place the chock behind the left wheel at the rear of the truck. If jacking up the left side, place one chock in front of the right wheel and one chock behind the rear right wheel.
- Find the correct position: Sometimes, on trucks, there are small arrows that indicate where the jack should get placed under the body of the truck. The jack location should be a small square design designating that this is where the jack goes.
- Pro-Tip: Never use the jack on the radiator, oil pan, or another component of the truck, as this will cause damage. All contemporary trucks have some sort of indication marking or symbol for where the jack should be positioned safely and securely.
- Jack it up: Make sure that you find the solid steel frame of the truck and jack it there. Never jack up the truck’s thin metal or plastic body, or you will damage the truck body. Apply some pressure as the jack makes contact with the frame and continue until the tire is not touching the ground.
- Lower the Truck: Once the work is done on the truck, lower the truck by reversing the jack’s hydraulic pressure. Usually, you open a jack release valve that safely lowers your truck back onto the ground.
As you can see, jacks are helpful and handy tools for any truck owner. If you are in an emergency situation, use the tire jack in your spare tire kit. This is for emergency use only and should not be used if you are at home and have access to a professional floor jack.
Professional floor jacks are best for use in garages since they are safer and easier to handle than the emergency spare tire jacks that your truck comes with.
Even though there are usually indication signs of where you should jack up your truck near the frame edge, some people want to jack up the whole front or rear axel at one time. This would require placing the jack at the differential or center placement of the axel and could be risky if you don’t know what you are doing.
It is probably fine to jack up your truck by the differential, pumpkin, or center axel position. Even though it may not be technically by the rules, many auto shops around the country use this technique.
Even though it is a less secure location, it can be safe when used with a floor jack (which is different than the standard jack that comes with your truck for changing a tire).
Also, jacking up your truck at the differential saves half the time if you are working on both wheels. The whole axel is raised off the ground, allowing for quick work on half of the car without changing the jack’s locations one tire at a time.
Using a truck for work, fun, or cross country driving is all fun and worthwhile. However, tires on trucks can have trouble, as well as other damage can occur while using these strong vehicles.
One of the most important tools that you have in your truck is a jack since it helps you replace a broken or flat tire. Your truck should come with a jack, but you need to check to make sure it is there.
Keep in mind the different places where a jack could be located in a truck. These are spare tire jacks and are for emergencies only. The floor jack is the tool for the job of jacking up a truck while you are at home or in a garage. Hopefully, this article helps you locate and use the versatile jack in your truck.