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What is a Truck Jack?

A truck jack is an essential tool designed to lift heavy vehicles like trucks, allowing for safe maintenance and tire changes. It's a robust device that uses hydraulic power or mechanical leverage to hoist a truck's massive weight with ease and reliability. Curious about how a truck jack can be a lifesaver during roadside emergencies? Let's explore its mechanics and uses.
Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

A truck jack is used to raise a pick-up truck bed camper unit. The truck jack is attached to the camper shell by means of three steel plates. Unlike many jack-assisted options, the camper utilizes a three-jack system, which features a truck jack mounted at the front and rear of one side of the camper and a single truck jack mounted in the center of the other side. With the camper mounted in the bed of the pick-up truck, the jacks are removed and left in a garage for storage, or they can simply be folded up and left attached to the camper unit. For camper units which are removed and remounted on a regular basis, the latter is typically the common method of storage.

Often when storing a bed-mounted camper, the camper is stored on the truck jack assemblies. Once the camper has been unbolted from its mounts located in the truck bed, the jacks are used to raise the camper off of the truck bed floor. This is accomplished by placing a removable handle on the crank mechanism of the jack and cranking the jacks up—the three jacks are cranked up until the camper is raised and sitting level off of the truck bed floor. The truck is pulled out from under the camper, and the truck jack system is cranked down by lowering each jack a small amount until the camper is sitting at the jack's lowest level or is level with the ground. Lowering a jack the full amount could cause the camper to become out of balance and tip over—that's why they are lowered in unison.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

With each truck jack lowered to its lowest level, the camper is much sturdier than sitting on top of fully raised jacks. Typically, the cranking handle is stored inside the camper to avoid losing it. If the truck and camper are to be utilized for an extended period of camping, each truck jack can be used to stabilize the camping rig by lowering it to the ground. By allowing each jack to touch the ground, the camper is supported and will not rock as the occupants move about inside. When using the jacks as a support system, it is imperative that they be raised prior to any forward or reverse movement of the vehicle. Typical maintenance of the truck jack is a light oiling to the crank mechanism each time the camper is removed from or placed into the truck bed.

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