How to Operate a Trailer Jack
Trailer jacks are an essential tool for anyone who frequently hauls trailers. They assist in lifting and stabilizing the tongue of a trailer, making it easier to attach or detach from a vehicle.
Although they may seem straightforward, it is important to know how to operate a trailer jack correctly to ensure safety and prevent damage.
Step 1: Choose the right type of trailer jack
The first step in operating a trailer jack is choosing the right one for your specific needs. There are three main types of trailer jacks:
- A-frame: These are the most common type and are usually bolted or welded onto the trailer frame. They come in various weight capacities and can be manually cranked or have a built-in motor for electric operation.
- Swivel: These jacks have a swivelling bracket that can be moved out of the way when not in use. They are useful for trailers with limited space or those that require extra ground clearance.
- Drop-leg: This type of jack has an extra leg that can be adjusted for different heights, making it ideal for trailers with uneven ground.
Step 2: Position the trailer and vehicle
Before operating the jack, make sure your trailer and vehicle are properly positioned.
The trailer should be on a flat, level surface and the vehicle should be in park with the parking brake engaged.
Step 3: Attach the jack to the trailer
If using a manual jack, insert the handle and crank it clockwise to raise the trailer tongue off the ground.
If using an electric jack, simply press the button to lift it. The top of the jack should be positioned under the centre of the tongue for maximum stability.
Step 4: Secure with support blocks
Even if the jack is stabilized, it is always a good idea to place support blocks under the trailer tongue for added safety. These can be wooden blocks or specialized stabilizing jacks.
Step 5: Lower the trailer onto the hitch
Once you have secured the trailer with support blocks, slowly lower it onto the hitch of your vehicle.
Make sure both are properly aligned and latched securely.
Step 6: Detach the jack
After attaching the trailer, you can now detach the jack by reversing the process used to attach it.
If using a manual jack, crank it counterclockwise to lower the tongue back onto the ground. For electric jacks, simply press the button to lower it.
Remember to always store the jack in a secure location when not in use to prevent damage or theft.
By following these steps, you can safely and effectively operate a trailer jack for all your hauling needs.
Always remember to choose the right type of jack, position the trailer and vehicle properly, and securely attach and detach the jack.