If you intend on working on your vehicle, chances are you’ll need a pair of jack stands. Your truck probably has enough ground clearance to reach the oil filter from underneath without using jack stands. However, in order to pull the wheels off and work on the brakes, for example, jack stands are an absolute must.
In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about jack stands for lifted trucks, what to consider when choosing jack stands, and some great examples.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
What Is A Jack Stand?
Simply put, a jack stand is a metal device whose height can be adjusted to support the weight of a lifted vehicle. Generally, jack stands are placed underneath the vehicle as a safety net, preventing it from falling on a person doing the necessary repairs.
Most jack stands use the following basic parts to function:
The jack stand is generally shaped like a pyramid, usually planted on the ground with four legs. The support bar can slide up and down through a center opening in the base. Some designs use a flat platform with a tube at the center.
The support bar is the contact point between the jack stand and the vehicle. This bar is commonly ratcheted, so it stays fixed at the positioned height when raised, and it generally has a U-shaped catch at its top.
Most jack stands come with their own failsafe/backup plans and the ratcheting mechanism that keeps the support bar in place. This feature usually comes in the form of a pin that goes through the support bar or can be positioned against the ratchet teeth of the support bar.
This part generally comes in the form of a handle used to release the support bar’s ratcheting mechanism, which enables the support bar to lower.
How To Use Your Jack Stands?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly use jack stands:
- Pull the parking brake on your vehicle
- Put wheel chocks around the wheels that will remain on the ground.
- Locate your jack point and jack up the car.
- Place your jack stand underneath the car at the designated points.
- Lift or screw the support bar up to the contact point.
- Ensure the jack stand is correctly seated.
- Release the jack slowly and lower the vehicle onto the jack stand.
- Give the vehicle a firm-but-controlled shake to fully position it onto the stand and be sure it sits stable.
- Reapply weight onto the jack at an even height with the jack stand.
- Repeat for other sides.
What To Consider When Purchasing Jack Stands?
The most crucial element in any jack stand is its rated weight capacity. It should go without saying that the rated weight capacity of a jack stand should never be exceeded due to safety reasons. The jack stands are most commonly rated as a set in a value of tons.
For example, a pair of jack stands may be marked with a 6-ton capacity, meaning each jack stand will be rated individually to hold 3 tons per corner.
When using stands, it’s better to have more weight capacity than just enough. As a general guideline, each jack stand should hold around 75% of the vehicle’s total weight to ensure safety.
Most jack stands come with a feature of adjustable height, with a locking mechanism that will keep the desired setting fixed in place. Jack stands that have higher maximum settings are generally required in order to lift taller trucks or SUVs.
A jack stand with a bigger surface area at its base will generally be more stable. Plywood sheets can make a sturdy base when lifting vehicles on surfaces like dirt, but a hard concrete floor is always preferable.
Our Top Picks
Here are some great examples of jack stands for lifted trucks:
1. BIG RED Jack Stands
- Base Dimensions: 10 x 12 inches
- Product Weight: 29 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 6 Tons
- Height Range: 15.3 to 23.83 inches
Big Red alloy steel jack stands aren’t only great in quality, but they also come at a reasonable price point. In addition, Big Red is a highly reputable company that’s been around for quite some time.
While these jack stands are available in weight capacities of 2, 3, 6, and 12 tons, we highlight the 6-ton option, as it’s perfect for lifting larger trucks and SUVs. Their height can be adjusted from 15.38 inches up to 23.83 inches. The saddle is crafted in a way to accommodate big axles and frame rails.
2. ESCO Jack Stand
- Base Dimensions: 12 x 12 inches
- Product Weight: 11 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 3 Tons
- Height Range: 13.2 to 21.5 inches
The Esco jack stand comes with ten separate height settings as well as a wide 12-inch footprint for increased stability while holding the vehicle. A thick metal pin is used to lock the stand in place.
The body of this piece is covered with a silver powder coating which protects it from rust. The jack stand’s head comes with a thick rubber pad that serves to protect the vehicle’s underside from potential scratches and dents. The weight rating is also fairly heavy duty, at 3 tons per unit.
However, keep in mind that each ESCO jack stand is purchased individually rather than in a pair.
3. Omega Lift Heavy Duty Jack Stands
- Base Dimensions: 10.65 x 9.38 inches
- Product Weight: 24 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 6 Tons
- Height Range: 16 to 23.5 inches
With a 6-ton weight capacity, the Omega Lift jack stands are suitable for bigger SUVs and light-duty trucks, but they can still be used for mid-size cars. Each jack stand features a double locking mechanism for extra protection and strength.
These jack stands feature a height range from 16 to 23.5 inches, which is suitable for taller vehicles. The footprint on these stands is also pretty wide, with 10.65 by 9.38 inches of coverage at its base. With a 6-ton weight capacity, Omega Lift jack stands can hold up to 3 tons at each corner of the vehicle.
4. SUNEX TOOLS Jack Stands
- Base Dimensions: 16.75 x 16.75 inches
- Product Weight: 105 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 10 Tons
- Height Range: 28.1 to 46.5 inches
With a pretty high weight capacity of 10 tons, Sunex Tools jack stands are a great option for medium-duty and lifted trucks. These stands can also be used to hold suspended components in place.
The assembly is held up by four long legs, with a rigid post held by a thick steel pin. The legs of these stands spread out to form a 16.75-inch square footprint, providing optimal stability. Height ranges from 28.1 to 46.5 inches, making it perfect for lifted trucks, although you won’t be able to use these for smaller vehicles.
Are Jack Stands Safe?
If used properly and not overloaded, jack stands are completely safe. Always use them on a level concrete surface. Keep in mind, however, that the main dangers come from:
- Using jack stands on asphalt and having them sink into it, which can happen on a particularly warm day
- pushing and shoving the vehicle and setting up a resonance that can lead to the vehicle toppling off the jack stands
The safest way to use these devices is to raise the vehicle with a floor jack, set it on the jack stands, and then leave the floor jack in place – this will ensure your vehicle stands still in place, increasing security.
For many vehicle repair and maintenance jobs, raising the vehicle off the ground will provide the required access to various components found on its underside. While a floor jack is the most simple and cost-effective method to raise a vehicle, it should be paired with jack stands that will ensure the safety of anyone in the vehicle’s proximity.
Even though lifted trucks do have some space on their underside, sometimes it’s not enough. That’s why using jack stands for lifted trucks is advised when you want to do some maintenance or repair on your truck.
I am Dave McCurdy I am the content developer on the ecodrivingusa.com website. I have 6 years of experience in marketing as an automotive major.