Don't trust that jack


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WingAdmin
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Don't trust that jack

Post by WingAdmin »



This is a picture of John Smith (yes, his real name):

John Smith
John Smith

A longtime family friend, I can remember huge family parties at his house when I was a small child. I have literally known him my entire life.

John was an expert heavy diesel mechanic, and had a great love of restoring old cars. He's been working on cars and machinery his entire life. He was a mechanic's mechanic.

Two weeks ago he was found, laying in his driveway, crushed to death underneath the car he was working on, because the jack he was using to prop it up had failed. No jackstands.

Don't take shortcuts with vehicles. Use jackstands. Have a backup in case those fail. John knew better, but I'm sure he was thinking, "oh it will just be for a minute, it will be fine."

It wasn't fine. Learn from John.



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AZgl1800
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by AZgl1800 »

So sorry for the loss of your friend....

Jacks scare me, theY leak down over time, even the new ones.

My jack stands are always kept at the edge of the garage door to remind me USE THAT THING!
~John

'02 GL1800
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blupupher
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by blupupher »

Sorry to hear it, a grim reminder of why we need to do it.

I work in an ER and get a few a year that have severe injuries or death from this.
Also a reminder that you need QUALITY stands.
There has been a recent recall of Harbor Freight jackstands, and then a recall on the replacement for the recall.
Buy something like USJack stands. Sure they are pricey (~$140 for a pair of 3 ton stands), but they are quality that you can trust and will last your lifetime and then some.
1994 GL1500 Goldwing SE

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thebruce
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by thebruce »

Very sorry for the loss.

I had luckily escaped a similar situation when I was much younger, and took that lesson to heart.

Saw a friend come within seconds of ending himself the same way. I had a few choice words for him as we were not so young (dumb) at that point.

It's so easy to take a little shortcut, because really, when was the last time I dropped the car on the ground? Or if I have been working all damn day and just need to get this last thing done before I stop.

No offense intended toward John. That's a horrible thing to happen to anybody, and unfortunately bad things still happen to good people.

I think we all have probably been bitten when doing something in a rush or past the point where fatigue makes one's reaction time slow. Sometimes you get away clean, other times not.

Deepest condolences to the man's family and friends.
It doesn't matter what you ride, as long as you have your knees to the breeze.

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mterraci
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by mterraci »

I work with a man whose brother suffered the same fate a few years ago, was found in the garage under his car. Jack stands can be a life saver, literally.

My thoughts and prayers to friends and family of this gentleman.

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by Viking »

Failure of jacks is one of the main reasons I use ramps. They work for about everything except changing wheels. I also, when using jack stands, will not use the ratcheting, really expensive ones, because the ratchet mechanism can and does fail. Good old pin jackstands cannot compress through that half inch pin. My pin jackstands are made from 1/8 inch angle iron, and can likely support five or more tons each. I have two of these, but wish I could find more. I have not looked for more for a while, and this sad occurrence is a push for me to start looking again. Thanks for the reminder Scott, as we all get older and a bit careless occasionally.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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tamathumper
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by tamathumper »

So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

"Invisible energy" gets my greatest respect - hydraulics, springs, air pressure, and electricity.
'03 GL1800A - Warning: fopen() [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Sense of humor not found on line 2

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jcn59
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by jcn59 »

Sorry about your friend. We are probably all lucky to be alive, I know I am.

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by thebruce »

tamathumper wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:50 am
"Invisible energy" gets my greatest respect - hydraulics, springs, air pressure, and electricity.
I'd like to add gravity to this list.
jcn59 wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:06 pm
We are probably all lucky to be alive, I know I am.
This.
It doesn't matter what you ride, as long as you have your knees to the breeze.

DarthJ
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by DarthJ »

Yikes. Sorry about the loss of your friend.


Lesson to learn: buy jackstands if you don't have them, buy QUALITY ones, and go overboard on the rating. Also, heavy duty chockblocks.
You ain't lost, you're just somewhere you ain't been before.

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Sadanorakman
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by Sadanorakman »

What a tragic loss. I guess sometimes such vast experience leads us to cut corners or not think about the potential risks and consequences of what we are about to do.
Please be mindful of how you use those jack's and jack stands. Remember that the car is going to move forwards, backwards, or sideways as you either jack it up or let it down as the suspension rises or falls.
Jacking, like winching is one of those tasks that 'near enough' is not 'good enough'. Taking a 'that will probably do' attitude is sure to lead to an accident. If the whole thing is wandering off to one side as you jack it up, then please take the time and effort to lower it back down, rethink/reposition the jack, and then lift it again.
Consider chocking the wheels to be standard practice when jacking, as well as using parking brakes etc... I've seen cars roll off their jack's more than a few times (scissor jack's are the very worst for this!).
I've often grabbed an alloy wheel I just took off, and position it under the sill just behind or in front of the wheel arch, so I know if the jack and jack stand let go, the car is only going to drop onto that wheel. It might wreck the alloy, but not my legs as I'm sat with them stretched under the car working on the brakes etc...
Every day's a school day....What have you learned today?

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by dingdong »

Very sorry for the loss of your friend.
This brings to mind many near misses when using bumper jacks. Yeah, I'm that old.

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by Pam »

I don't even trust Jack stands. I like to slide an old tire rim under their wheels and then let the vehicle down on them. This happened to my neighbor, He survived but can't work any more.

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by WingAdmin »

Sadanorakman wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:39 pm
I've often grabbed an alloy wheel I just took off, and position it under the sill just behind or in front of the wheel arch, so I know if the jack and jack stand let go, the car is only going to drop onto that wheel. It might wreck the alloy, but not my legs as I'm sat with them stretched under the car working on the brakes etc...
I've done this many times as well! Cheap insurance.

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Bzrut
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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by Bzrut »

Sorry for your lost. This weekend I go into the the garage and found my 82 GL1100 on its right side. I had it jack up a little, but stupid me didn't put the lock on :roll: Not sure how long it was on its side but found a small puddle of oil, thing is I couldn't figure where It leaked from, I haven't started it yet just so the oil can settle.

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by echinus1988 »

I am sorry to hear of your loss.

One other thing I was told by a friend is to NEVER use cinder blocks. They are known to suddenly collapse when excessive weight is put on them. Use jackstands only and make sure they are completely stable. He also uses wood like 4X4s but you have to stack them carefully and make sure they can't wobble and slip.

Ride Safe!

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by Sharon2665 »

So sorry for the loss of your friend.
It is a very very real dangerous risk. About 2 yrs ago my husbands brother in law had the jacks fail on a car he was working under. He was hurst pretty bad but luckily his wife found him and they were able to get the car off of him and EMS there in time to save him. Never take the risk.
Prayers for his family and friends.

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by Soupcat 1920 »

I’m a firm believer in not only jack stands but wheel chocks. Safety first always. I work construction and learned from building movers that their working reality is lift an inch, crib an inch. In other words every time they lift the load one inch they then support it another inch capable enough to support it should a jack fail.
My condolences to the family and friends. Horrible way to go. Years ago my wife’s cousin’s son was crushed when he removed the wrong hydraulic hose on a front end loader. He too didn’t have any support under the bucket of the loader. A fatal mistake. He left behind a young wife who was soon to find out she was pregnant and two young sons.These accidents are preventable with minimal time and effort. We just have to slow down a little and think SAFETY FIRST! ALWAYS!!

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by klook »

Yes to all of them. I have had bumper jacks roll out, I am that old also. I have had hydraulic jacks fail. I once had a cinder block explode under a 1953 2 1/2 ton Army truck.
Someone mentioned ramps, I had a friend that lost his brother when I was 10 or so. The ramps rolled over.....be careful what surface they are on. By the time I survived these mishaps and learned from others, I arrived at 6x6 blocks and other blocking.
But hydraulics are amazing. I once broke a PT 6x6 in half between 16 in. OC stringers. I just moved my head out of the way or I would have died. A 20 ton jack with all the pressure on that little round end is dangerous.

I almost forgot, I lost a friend that trusted a chain......to hold up a tailgate on a large dump truck.

Kevin

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Re: Don't trust that jack

Post by rachester67 »

dingdong wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:57 pm
Very sorry for the loss of your friend.
This brings to mind many near misses when using bumper jacks. Yeah, I'm that old.
Especially when your on the rear bumper!!! :lol:



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