Hydraulic jacks, great tools when used safely

A hydraulic bottle jack is a really useful piece of kit if you need to change a wheel on your car. There are different sizes of jack and it really is vital that you choose the correct size for your vehicle because if it is not capable of lifting your vehicle safely, it could fail and the vehicle could fall on top of you whilst you are working on it. Remember, many accidents are avoidable and a few simple checks could save you from serious injury. Bottle jacks are easy to use but if you are unsure or have not used one before, take a look at this step by step guide.

1 - Turn the piston ram counter clockwise to unthread from the bore of the jack. The piston ram will unthread, and allow you more height for the bottle jack, if desired. Adjust the height of the piston ram using this method.

2 - Locate the valve at the bottom of the bottle jack. It is a small flattened screw top device that holds the pressure of the hydraulic piston when locked, and then releases the hydraulic pressure when opened. Using the tip of the bottle jack handle as a key for the valve, turn it clockwise until it is tight. The bottle jack is now in the locked position, and will allow the piston ram to raise.

3 - Place the handle or handle assembly (sometimes there is a two-piece handle for leverage) into the pump shaft.

4 - Pump the handle up and then down. Each time the pump shaft moves in the down position, the hydraulic piston of the bottle jack raises. Be sure that the piston ram is placed carefully if lifting a vehicle icon1 . Sub frames or rocker panels of a vehicle may not support the weight of the vehicle when raised, and could collapse, causing damage to the car or bodily injury.