What is a hydraulic toe jack?

A hydraulic toe jack allows a user to easily transport heavy machinery and equipment by getting under and lifting it with very low minimum ground clearance. This tool is ideal for delicate operations where precise lowering control is required.

The toe jack is made up of parts such as:

  • A high strength thin toe that may be adjusted to the desired starting position. Some jacks allow removal of the toe jack while others have it permanently fixed.
  • A swivel feet that adapts to the available clearance
  • An overload protection valve to prevent damage to the toe jack
  • An internal slide shoe that provides a stable and safe support to prevent twisting and toppling its load
  • Some smaller toe jacks have a tip-and-roll mechanism to easily transport the tool wherever it is needed on site.


The lifting capacity ranges from compact toe jacks which can carry several tonnes and a toe height of a few millimetres, to heavy duty industrial toe jacks with a capacity reaching several hundred tonnes and a toe height of over a hundred millimetres. Most toe jacks will have a reduced capacity when lifting off the toe. However, the toe is useful to reach a very low lifting point in instances when a conventional jack is too tall to get underneath the load and lift it.

Toe jacks are manually operated with the lifting action being provided either by a mechanical ratchet jack or a hydraulic system. The latter uses pressurised oil to raise the load with the equipment operator applying manual force on the jack handle which is connected to a built-in pump mounted on to the jack body. Repeatedly pumping the jack handle builds up pressure in the hydraulic circuit which extends the length of the cylinder, thus raising the load.

Example of a ratchet jack

Example of a ratchet jack

The ability of toe jacks to lift heavy machinery, transformers and structural equipment with precise, controlled lowering makes it ideal to be used for:

  • Heavy construction
  • Material handling
  • Bridge building
  • Marine and shipbuilding
  • House moving
  • Machinery installation
  • Plant construction
  • Making fine adjustments on industrial machinery
  • Offshore oil and gas rigs
  • Hospitals
  • Research facilities

Lifting equipment such as toe jacks also have important applications in the manufacturing, defence, automotive, power generation and aerospace industries.