The personal name Jack, which came into English usage around the thirteenth century as a nickname form of John, came in the sixteenth century to be used as a colloquial word for ‘a man (of low status)’ (much as in the modern usage ‘jack of all trades, master of none’). From here, the word was ‘applied to things which in some way take the place of a lad or man, or save human labour’. The first attestation in the Oxford English Dictionary of jack in the sense ‘a machine, usually portable, for lifting heavy weights by force acting from below’ is from 1679, referring to ‘an Engine used for the removing and commodious placing of great Timber.
Types of Jack
The Different Types of Jacks
It’s easy to see why consumer can become confused when trying to choose the best jack for their needs, there are over 8 different types of Jacks! For our purposes there are 5 main types of vehicle Jacks
Different types of automotive jack
- Scissor Jacks
- Hydraulic Jacks
- Hi-lift Jacks
- Motorcycle Jack
A scissor jack is also known as a Jackscrew, they are sometimes called that, due to the way they work. They use a mechanical action to screw in the sides of the jack in a squeezing, “scissor” motion in order to raise the vehicle.Jacks are usually rated for a maximum lifting capacity (for example, 1.5 tons or 3 tons). Industrial jacks can be rated for many tons of load.
Hydraulic Jacks often referred to as a floor jack, garage jack, trolley jack or service jack. A hydraulic jack is better suited to a garage or workshop than in the back of your car. This is mainly due to the large weight and size of these jacks.
Floor jacks are operated by wheeling and sliding the jack under the car (these jacks have wheels and coasters, so they are very easy to maneuver. You do need to ensure the ground is as flat and hard as possible). Once in place under the designated lift point of your vehicle (refer to your owner’s manual), the arm of the unit is pumped repeatedly.
Hi-Lift Jacks, also known as High Lift and Farm Jacks (mainly because they are an invaluable tool for the farmer as they can be used for an almost endless number of tasks) are an extremely versatile Jack when it comes to lifting, levering, pulling or winching.
The last type of Jack we will look at is a motorcycle jack. As the name implies this Jack is used for lifting a motorcycle in a stable manner to enable cleaning, modifications or repairs on your motorbike to be performed easily.