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Five Safety Tips When Operating Hydraulic Jacks

Hydraulic jacks are mechanical tools that use pressurized oil to lift loads. Whether you are using them for personal or commercial use, you should always be mindful of these five safety tips to avoid injury or breaking your equipment:

1. Check the Jack’s Load Capacity

You should always be aware of a hydraulic jack’s maximum load capacity before you start using it. Standard load capacities range from 15 to 30 tons. If you are unsure of your load capacity, you can use a simple calculation (Load = pressure × area of piston) or check with the manufacturer. You should never overburden a jack with a load greater than its capacity.

2. Never Walk Under a Hydraulic Jack

Secondly, you should never go underneath a jack while it’s supporting a load. Regardless of its supporting weight being less than maximum capacity, you should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Being under the jack whilst it collapses could cause severe injuries, so it is best to keep the area clear at all times. 

3. Regularly Change Oil 

There is little maintenance required to maintain hydraulic jacks; however, one of the few tasks you mustn’t skip is changing the oil. Hydraulic jacks work by oil creating pressure – if this oil is left to degrade for too long, its performance will decline. Whilst most manufacturers recommend changing the oil every three years, the jack’s instruction manual can give you more information on how to change the oil, as the process can vary on different machines.

4. Wear PPE

When operating a hydraulic jack, wearing personal protective equipment is crucial. Whilst there isn’t a specific type of PPE that you should wear during operation, it would be wise to wear gloves, steel toe style boots, and a pair of secure goggles or eyewear.

5. Lift From Jack Points

Finally, you should always make sure to lift loads from the jack points (lifting points), which are specifically designed to withstand such a force. Lifting loads from anywhere else could result in damaging the machine and potentially even injuring those around you.

If you need to know more about operating hydraulic jacks, a Top Dog team member would be more than happy to advise! You can contact us here, or alternatively connect with us on social media.

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