When it comes to truck or SUV maintenance, everything is bigger. Tires, brakes, suspension, and even oil filters are larger and more heavy duty than what is on a typical car. This over-built construction means heavier vehicles and taller ride heights. For that reason, a standard car jack might not do the job.
To get these heavier, taller vehicles off the ground, you need the best floor jack for trucks. These jacks can lift more weight and reach higher lifting heights, giving home mechanics the range they need to get a truck or an SUV off the ground in their home workshops. Keep reading to learn more about these handy shop tools.
- BEST OVERALL: Blackhawk B6350 Black/Red Fast Lift Service Jack
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Powerbuilt 620471 Unijack – 6000 lb. Capacity
- BEST UPGRADE: Arcan 3-Ton Quick Rise Aluminum Floor Jack
- BEST ELECTRIC: E-HEELP Electric Car Jack 5 Ton 12V Kit Car Jack Lift
- BEST PNEUMATIC: BIG RED Torin Pneumatic Air Hydraulic Bottle Jack
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Floor Jack for Trucks
Getting a big hunk of metal, plastic, and steel off the ground takes a bit of muscle. Luckily, that muscle comes from the jack, not you. But before you hop online to purchase a floor jack, there are a few points to consider. The following is a list of important considerations to keep in mind while shopping for the best floor jack for trucks.
There’s a stark size difference between a compact car and a 3/4-ton pickup truck. For that reason, it’s easy to see why a larger, more robust floor jack might be necessary for getting a big truck off the ground. These floor jacks typically have heavier load capacities and higher lifting ranges.
Trucks and SUVs don’t have the same height restrictions as sportier sedans or coupes, so floor jacks don’t have to be quite so low-profile to slide underneath them. This means home mechanics have more flexibility when choosing the type of jack they’d like to use. Floor jacks, bottle jacks, electric jacks, and scissor jacks all fit well under a truck or an SUV.
Manual vs. Electric vs. Pneumatic
There are three ways to lift a vehicle: using manual strength, using an electric motor, or using air to lift the vehicle.
- Manual jacks require the operator to pump a handle or twist a crank to get the jack to lift the vehicle. While these jacks are designed to make the most of the mechanical advantage, they are more work to use than the other options.
- Electric jacks operate similarly, but they have an electric motor that operates a hydraulic pump or turns a crank. Most of these jacks operate off of the vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system.
- Pneumatic pumps use compressed air from a compressor to power the pump and lift the vehicle. Many also have manual backups that operate like a standard bottle jack.
It’s no secret that most jacks are very heavy. From hydraulic floor jacks to bottle jacks, these are dense, heavy machines. They have to be, as they’re built from heavy-duty steel that can support 3 or 4 tons. The lifting arms on floor jacks tend to have reinforced sections, while bottle jacks tend to have sturdy bases to support the weight.
Also, many floor jacks have steel wheels that might not roll very well but do a great job of supporting the weight of a truck or an SUV. With the typical weight of an SUV far north of 5,000 pounds, polymer wheels just won’t cut it.
When it comes to choosing the best floor jack for trucks, you’ll have a choice between a few different jack types. They differ in the way they lift the vehicle.
- Floor jacks, or trolley jacks, have long arms that slide underneath a vehicle and rise when the user pumps the handle.
- Bottle jacks are compact and fairly light (between 10 and 20 pounds, typically), and users position them directly underneath the jacking point. As the user pumps the handle, a hydraulic fluid pushes a series of pistons upward to lift the vehicle.
- Scissor jacks have a large screw in the middle that pulls the two ends of the jack closer, forcing the lifting pad upward, which lifts the vehicle.
Floor jacks are the fastest, but they aren’t very portable. Scissor jacks are highly portable, but they take a while to lift a vehicle. Bottle jacks are more portable than a floor jack and faster than a scissor jack, offering a nice blend.
The best floor jack for trucks needs to have a higher maximum range than a typical vehicle jack. These vehicles have a lot of suspension travel, which means that as you lift the vehicle, the suspension will expand and take longer for the wheel to come off the ground.
A typical vehicle jack might lift only 12 to 14 inches. This is rarely high enough for an SUV or a truck, since these vehicles often require to be lifted to heights over 16 inches. However, keep in mind that all vehicles are different. Bottle jacks tend to have a bit more height than a floor jack or a scissor jack, so that might be something to keep in mind.
The saddle of a jack is the portion that touches the vehicle. On floor and bottle jacks, these are typically round. On scissor jacks, they tend to be square.
Trucks and SUVs often use body-on-frame construction, which means there is still a large steel frame running the length of the vehicle (as opposed to modern cars, which use unibody construction). For that reason, the frame is often the best place to lift a vehicle, so saddle size isn’t always a big deal. The frame does most of the work.
But when it comes to placing a jack on a control arm or suspension component, a larger saddle size (up to 3 or 4 inches) might provide a more stable platform for lifting the vehicle.
A typical truck weighs between 5,000 and 7,000 pounds, or between 2.5 tons and 3.5 tons. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a 2.5-ton or a 3.5-ton lift is necessary. Jacks lift only one corner (at most, one half) of the vehicle at a time, so they’re never experiencing the full weight of the vehicle.
However, because these are heavy vehicles, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Looking for a heavy-duty floor jack with a 3-, 4-, or 5-ton capacity will ensure you’re always able to lift the vehicle when needed, and you won’t have to worry about taking a jack past its capacity.
Handles and Rollers
Moving a heavy-duty floor jack around a garage shop can be a handful. Luckily, most truly heavy jacks (some weigh more than 80 pounds) have wheels that make moving them at least a bit easier. They also have long handles with knurled grips for pulling them around with gloved hands.
Bottle jacks don’t have wheels, but they do have handles. The jack has to be placed underneath the jacking point by hand, but the handle will then pump the jack up just like a floor jack.
Scissor jacks typically have long, offset handles that users can use to push these lightweight jacks around and twist them to jack the vehicle up.
Our Top Picks
While jacking up a truck might be a tall order, choosing the best floor jack for trucks and SUVs doesn’t have to be so much work. To help make the job easier, the following list consists of some of the top jacks on the market. Be sure to keep these top considerations in mind while comparing each choice.
Anyone looking for a quality floor jack for their truck or SUV should give the Blackhawk Fast Lift Service Jack some consideration. The jack features heavy-duty steel construction and a large swiveling saddle, making it a good choice for lifting over-built components. This jack also has two swiveling wheels for easy steering and a long handle with a rubber grip to make pulling it around a shop less of a labor.
The Fast Lift Service jack has an operation range of 5.5 inches to 22 inches, giving it enough lift for trucks and SUVs. The large 4-inch saddle swivels, which can be a benefit when finding the perfect position from which to lift. It also has a Fast Lift feature, which allows the jack to reach the jacking point with just a few pumps, speeding up the lifting process.
Home mechanics on a budget are always looking for versatile tools that will save them money. That’s just what the Powerbuilt Unijack does. This bottle jack and jack stand combination will lift a 6,000-pound vehicle while also converting to a jack stand to safely hold it in place.
The Powerbuilt Unijack has a lifting range between 11 inches and 21 inches, giving it plenty of range for almost any truck or SUV at factory height. It has a specially designed lift arm with multiple locking points for quick lifting and securing the jack in place. And, at just 22 pounds, it’s light enough to place in a trunk or a truck bed tool box for roadside repairs.
Arcan’s 3-Ton Quick Rise Aluminum Floor Jack is a lightweight upgrade worth checking out. This jack features aircraft-grade aluminum construction that weighs just 56 pounds. It also has a lifting range between 3.75 inches and 18 inches, giving this jack enough lift for most SUVs and light-duty trucks. There’s also a counterweight pawl that drops in place while jacking, preventing this jack from lowering on its own.
This floor jack features dual pump pistons that make lifting the vehicle faster and easier. The Arcan also has a long reinforced handle with a padded section for avoiding vehicle damage.
This jack has a rubber saddle pad for maintaining a sure grip on the jacking point and it has a wide footprint for stability under load.
The E-HEELP Electric Car Jack Kit has just about anything an SUV or truck-driving motorist on the side of the road could need in a pinch. It features an electric jack, an impact wrench for loosening and tightening lug nuts, a flashlight, an air compressor, and some emergency tools. Both the electric jack and the air compressor run on the vehicle’s 12-volt power.
The electric jack has 5 tons of lifting capacity and a lifting range between just over 6 inches and just under 18 inches. While this jack does have heavy-duty lifting capabilities, the entire kit weighs just over 20 pounds. The jack also fits nicely in the small tool kit with the other tools, allowing users to store them underneath their truck seats or in the trunk of their SUV.
For getting heavy-duty vehicles up off the ground, Big Red’s Torin Pneumatic Air Hydraulic Bottle Jack has what it takes to get the job done. This bottle jack has an air-powered pump that operates with compressed air, making lifting heavy vehicles a breeze. It also has a hydraulic backup to pump it up when a compressor isn’t available.
This bottle jack features a wide, rugged base for stability and steel construction. The air pump has an operational range between 100 and 175 psi, and users can control the height with the thumb-activated trigger. The lifting range is between 10.5 inches and just over 20 inches, while the weight capacity is up to 20 tons, making it a solid choice for lifting heavy trucks and SUVs.
FAQs About Floor Jacks for Trucks
Even with that extensive background on the best floor jacks for trucks, there might be some lingering questions that need answering. The following is a collection of some of the most frequently asked questions about floor jacks. Be sure to check for your answer below.
Q. What kind of floor jack is needed for a truck?
Most jack styles will work; just be sure that it has a minimum weight capacity of 3 tons or 6,000 pounds, and a minimum lifting height of 16 inches.
Q. How do I choose a floor jack for my truck?
Choosing a floor jack for a truck comes down to convenience. If the jack will only be used in a garage, a standard floor jack is the way to go. But if there’s a chance a jack will be needed on the road, a bottle jack might be a better fit for its size and portability.
Q. Where is the best place to lift a truck with a floor jack?
Most trucks still use body-on-frame construction, so lifting from the frame is usually best. However, check the vehicle owner’s manual before lifting a truck.