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Author Topic: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!  (Read 5220 times)

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Offline eaglefreek

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Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« on: May 05, 2013, 08:38:02 PM »
On 2 different forums I am on, there has been failure of jack stands. One of them escaped injuries by miliseconds and the other unfortunately was crushed to death by his truck. I don't want to post specifics, but you can find many instances on the web. Please inspect the welds and also the cast parts for cracks. Have a safety net such as a jack supporting the vehicle or even slide the wheels under the car to keep it from totally crushing you. NEVER get under the car with a jack only!

When I get home, I'm going to make a set similar to these below. They're bulky, but can't fail.

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Offline vangremlin

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 08:45:34 PM »
Thanks for the reminder! 
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Offline Amc1320

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 09:03:06 PM »
Thanks for making this point, always have a secondary in place
Rob c
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Offline eaglebeek

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 09:21:05 PM »
The type of jackstand pictured is usually high-quality equipment that should support 4 tons. I'm absolutely stunned to see it fail. I use similar but bigger stands daily at work. Eaglefreek has given me pause.

Eaglefreek's blocks are fail-proof. Also safe is equipment that is marked as OSHA-compliant. Good equipment should come with instructions on its proper use. It's expensive but worth it.

I sincerely wish never to hear of this sort of incident on this forum. :eagle:

edited to correct spelling error...or fat finger attack
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 10:04:03 AM by eaglebeek »
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Offline TheWraith

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 06:35:47 AM »
Great, now even the equipment designed to support a car can't be trusted??!!  Scarey stuff.  You think you're doing everything right too.  I hate it for whoever this has happened to and my heart goes to the family of anyone who died from this.

Thanks for the heads-up.  I never would had thought this could happen; just never crossed my mind.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 07:04:13 AM by vangremlin »

Offline DaemonForce

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2013, 06:57:02 AM »
Thankfully I won't have this problem with my Eagle. Any time I get under mine I have jack stands under all 4 wheels and a 2 ton jack under either differential. One failure would look bad but at least I would have a much better chance of not being crushed.
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Offline AMC of Houston

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2013, 03:08:33 PM »
Finally found a use for all those 2x4 scraps I have lying around!!   Thanks for the idea!!

Since I finally got to the point I could afford a lift, I don't use jackstands all that often; but sometimes I do if the lift is tied up...............

Safety first!!
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Offline carnuck

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 03:17:32 PM »
Keep in mind that one failure can cause a cascading effect. If one breaks, the tipping can and often will cause others to fail. Sudden wind gusts will push cars off stands too.

My experience: (warning! Quite graphic. I used to have pictures of my injuries but lost them when the website went down suddenly)

 Another thing no-one seems to account for is ground movement. Be it soft ground or a Geo movement (earthquake). I was the near fatal victim of the latter. Jan '95 the Duvall quake hit here and I was under a friend's '91 Honda Civic when the floor went sideways, shooting the axle stands out. I also had the jack under there and blocks under the wheels, which is what likely saved my life.
   I heard a noise that sounded like a truck coming up the driveway while I was way under the car, looking for oil leaks (the car was lowered 3 inches and when it went for an oil change they claimed the drain pan was caved in rolling off the rack when it was the drain plug not tightened enough by the "mechanic" resulting in all the oil draining out on the way home. They were going to charge him $800 for a new oil pan so they asked me to take a look)
   I was too far under to get out when I saw the car going over. It bounced off the blocks, shooting them out then it came down on my head. I tried to grab ahold of something to stop the car (back in the late '70s I trained to be an Olympic weight lifter) but nothing was there solid enough. I felt the crunch when it hit. The drain plug of the oil pan I had just tightened hit my head near the temple, punching a hole in the bone but it didn't break the skin and it caused a basal skull fracture from the occipital opening (eye socket) across the top of my skull, forcing my eye out of the socket.
   I finally found something solid (I think it was the axles) and the adrenaline effect allowed me to bench press the car and throw it backwards, through the wood garage door as my friend came running because he heard my scream. I kicked the wall so hard that I crushed the sheetrock against the concrete behind it and left a permanent imprint of my boots.
   Mr friend freaked when he saw me with my right eye hanging out and blood coming out of my left ear (I had a tear in the lining of the ear canal and later found out the anvil and stirrup were torn apart) I was going to drive myself to the hospital, but my friend's family kept me from doing that and called an ambulance.
   The Dr in the emergency room cleaned my eye and popped it back in the hole and then they did a Cat scan to see how bad it was. They kept me in there overnight in the trauma ward. I overheard a couple nurses say "poor guy. He's not going to make it" but I'm not sure if it was me they were talking about. I stayed awake until the next day when the Dr came to check on me and I said "I'm still here!" so they took me to a regular room and I slept finally.
   I didn't have any phone numbers on me for them to call (I was divorced and no cell phone yet) and the only person I could think of them to call was my then girlfriend/now wife of 18 years (we were married a few weeks later on Valentine's day) She informed my ex and kids plus my mom (who kept it from my dad because he'd had a heart attack recently)
   I was up and about in 2 days (they kept offering me pain medication but wouldn't allow me aspirin) and I called my dad to tell him the news. When my mom put him on the phone, I said "Thanks!" and he replied "For what?" "For giving me such a hard head!" and I explained what happened and that I would be okay aside from double vision and only hearing from one ear (I later had microscopic surgery by Dr Noel in Vancouver, that restored 80% of my left side hearing the other Drs said was gone forever. He went through my eardrum and essentially crazy glued the bones together again. It comes and goes a bit with wind and cold which is annoying but better than none! Took a year for the double vision to go away. I had to drive my 40 foot bus 150 miles to Seattle with an eye patch!)
   I survived. 95% of people in this situation don't. Play it safe. Not everyone can be in the 5% that make it.
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Offline carnuck

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 03:19:54 PM »
Thankfully I won't have this problem with my Eagle. Any time I get under mine I have jack stands under all 4 wheels and a 2 ton jack under either differential. One failure would look bad but at least I would have a much better chance of not being crushed.
   
   If the handle of the jack is up, the weight of the handle can lift a vehicle enough to tip it off the stands and people walking by can trip over the handle and knock the works down on you. Been there, done that.
FOR SALE
'87 Comanche 4.0L AW4/NP242 3.73 gears, lifted 5" on near new 33" tires $3500 obo
'82 Eagle Wagon (Brown Betty) 4.2L/727/NP229 and soon 8.25 rear axle and non-vacuum 3.08 front to match. 235/75/15 tires. It's down to minor body work (someone creamed my driver's door but I have another in good shape) almost rust free and interior work (seats are worn and carpet torn). $2000 but about to go up due to more work being done.

Pics of my other for sale stuff http://tinyurl.com/jimsclads

Offline eagleman

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 04:13:27 PM »
If one looks at the four ton jack in the first picture you can see where it had been cracked for some time then finally broke. I have used this type of jack stand for many a year but truly never quite trusted them. Now I know why! I usually used my floor jack as a back up but even so I was always happy to get out from under the car. One of my best friends was crushed to death when a jack broke on him. I believe I will build me a set of those 2x4 jack stands posted by eaglefreak. They look much safer then anything I've seen. Thanks for posting and sharing with us and prayers to the families of those lost or injured by these accidents.
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Offline eaglefreek

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 04:35:53 PM »
Holy cow, Carnuck, that's a horrible story. I'm glad you survived.
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Offline vangremlin

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 10:34:05 PM »
Holy cow, Carnuck, that's a horrible story. I'm glad you survived.

I'm glad you survived too.  Incredible story.
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Offline eaglebeek

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Re: Jack Stand Safety. Please Read!
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 12:29:44 AM »
Carnuck, that's some story of survival.  I can't imagine being trapped under a car, and I certainly don't have the strength to bench-press it off of me.

As would any mechanic I have a collection of horror stories involving vehicles falling off jacks. I won't tell them as Carnuck's story upstages all of them. I also have a story of driving a large vehicle with just one eye. I won't tell that one either because it's not relevant to this discussion.

Some of us are forced to work on our cars on the ground or in the grass. Asphalt pavement may also give way under a stand, especially on a hot and sunny day. And cinder blocks can crumble under the weight of a car.

Whatever the conditions the car must be secure on whatever devices it's sitting. I personally prefer wooden blocks to any other device. Used railroad ties can be cut with a chain saw to appropriate lengths and are some of the best blocks for this purpose. :eagle:

1984 Eagle Wagon, 258, auto, 2.73 gears, daily driver
1983 Eagle Limited Wagon, new arrival from way up north
2000 Jeep Cherokee, 4.0, auto
2007 Hyundai Accent, radical downsize from minivan, wife's car and she loves it!

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."--John W. Gardner, in "Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too?" (1961)
 
Air-conditioning is so cool!