Author Topic: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!  (Read 21609 times)

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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2016, 10:49 AM »
I had a Craftsman stand collapse years ago and drop a 64 Impala across my legs and trap me in my yard. Luckily for me the ground was soft enough that my legs did not get broken but I could not get out from under the car until the mailman found me several hours later. One thing I COULD do was reach the cooler so I was real happy (drunk) in more ways than one when he found me. Have never bought another Craftsman jackstand since, that was 45 years ago.
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Offline Jerry

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2016, 10:57 AM »
Glad you were not hurt Rick, HF does have some poor built stuff but I have to give them some credit I have one of the old orange floor jacks that still works great and several air tools that do a good job. They have always taken care of my faulty stuff without a problem, I guess there are some who don't care in your stores.
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Offline Surfinhurf

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2016, 12:04 PM »
Rough guess, the 1 1/2 x 8 could mean 1 1/2 ton by 8" high but if they are more than 8" high then that idea is out the window. Being all cast iron they are good stands but not much footprint. They were great for holding things up that were steady but they do not have any lateral stability. We used them when rigging machinery that had multiple sections that had to be put together since they were good at minor height adjustments. I would not use them as a primary stand but as you say you also use blocks.

The threaded rod is 1 1/2" dia and they have 8" of adjustment.  Their lateral stability is what worries me also, so I block all wheels that are on the ground, in both directions, and have a wood block pile that is snug.

HURF
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Offline BrianB

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2016, 12:17 PM »
Rick, you got me thinking about what I use for jack stands.  I got them from my dad and have used them for 30+ years.  I have no idea what the capacity is, any guesses?

I have used them many times under the Winnie, but I always stack wood blocks under the axle.  "Belt and Suspenders"

HURF

They look like what we used to use to jack up a house when doing foundation repairs. Set them up on 8x8 hardwood cribbing.
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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2016, 05:49 PM »
Glad you were not hurt Rick, HF does have some poor built stuff but I have to give them some credit I have one of the old orange floor jacks that still works great and several air tools that do a good job. They have always taken care of my faulty stuff without a problem, I guess there are some who don't care in your stores.

It was their main office that I talked to.
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Offline uglydukwling

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2016, 08:25 AM »
I always get nervous about using jack stands, even good ones that aren't likely to collapse. They may be all right on concrete, but on gravel, they'll settle more on one side than the other and then tip. What I prefer to use are wooden blocks that are wider than they are high. If possible, I try to use single blocks rather than stacks.

 Btw, concrete blocks are more deadly than even HF stands. A concentrated load like the weight of  a vehicle resting on a bolt can cause a core block to shatter. Large solid blocks look safer, but too heavy to move.

An interesting approach I've seen in several junk yards consists of 2 wheels welded together. One lies flat on the ground to provide a wide base. The other stands on edge inside the first one providing extra height  and a deep groove in which an axle can rest. They look safe and they probably are because liability must be a tremendous concern in u-pull yards with untrained people removing parts.
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Offline strykersd

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2016, 10:42 PM »
I hate to bring up an old thread but I'm in the market for jack stands and am considering the harbor freight ones.  How much weight did you have on the stand when it broke?  My 20' Brave is rated for 7,000lbs over the rear axle.  Since jack stands are rated in pairs, the pair should be good for 12,000lbs so that should give me an good safety margins. For any motorgome bigger than mine I'd probably go with the 12 ton jackstands.
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Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2016, 04:11 AM »
Ignorance is bliss and I don't say that to be a smart bum. When I'm working on my old girl I don't want to be thinking about what if the jack stand fails, or sinks in the earth. That's a lot of vehicle that's going to come done on you and it's going to hurt. If it were me, well actually what I've done is gotten some railroad ties (pieces of ) and that's what I set my rig on when I want to work under her. She's nice and solid and I never worry about anything braking and falling on you. Piece's of rail ties are pretty easy to come by. Hm? Oh! hey if your passing by somebody building a pole barn stop buy and pick up the cut offs of their 8X8's.
 
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Offline khantroll

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2016, 09:55 AM »
I do the same as TJ. I have rail road ties that I use lift the ole girl up. Depending on how high I need her or what may be required for leveling.


I've got some front end work to do though, so I may have to invest in those $160 jack stands for added safety.


Also, as an aside to Rick's comment about their being a lot of companies in China called Pittsburgh, they set the tooling up on a per order basis for white label manufacturing. So you can order stuff from 4 different companies, have as many as 4 different designs (depending on what they copied to make it), and all be labeled as one company's product.


Stanley does this as well. 
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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2016, 10:06 AM »
I have been looking for new stands and every single stand from every place I look at including Sears and Snap on are all built the same exact way! I will bet a lot of money they are all built in the same place. As long as the vehicle is perfectly stable and does not move or wiggle they should be fine but mine moved to one side when I pulled hard on a wrench and that is what folded and broke loose that poorly welded piece of metal bracing. NOW, If you do buy them and before ever using them take some time and fully weld in that brace then what happened to me cannot happen. I think that is what I am going to end up doing is buy the Harbor Freight ones again but this time I am going to fully weld the braces in before ever using them. There is no substitute for wood cribbing but in some situations there is just not enough room for it. Or enough back for it in my case! I used to do a lot of rigging work so I am real familiar with cribbing and I have seldom ever seen it fail. I say seldom because it has happened and when it does it is BIG!!!! Whenever cribbing failed when I saw it it was because of side slipping.
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Offline DRMousseau

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2016, 01:19 PM »
DANG Rick!!! Ya,... I'm back!

And REALLY wish you could emphasize this matter more!!! SERIOUSLY!!!!
Too many folks rely on WAY too little when it comes this kinda thing. And made worse by the market availability of poor products that many "assume" to be safe. And most people won't have the good fortune of "surviving" similar experiences as you, so as to "know better" the next time.

I too have been shopping for satisfactory stands, a balance of weight and usefulness. Mostly, I jus need "stabilizing stands",... to relieve weight from tires and suspension and provide some leveling with less motion inside the RV. What you have would be somewhat satisfactory for me, but I also need something for when I help out "others", when I assist in odd repairs and projects. AND, the reach up to the frame of some of these "RV trucks" can sometimes be quite considerable. I carry a pretty good assortment of blocks in a bunk, but not enough when the wheels come off!!! That hasn't been necessary yet with the Cruise Air,... but it has to considered soon.

BTW,... we jus called those heavy jobs above, house jacks. Used 'em a lot in my days of water well drilling. Made before any "load ratings" were considered, we jus used common sense. Those 1 1/2x9's were IMO, "light general use", and safely allowed enough lift for 6" timbers, trying for 8" was usually foolish,... "get a bigger jack!", like a 2x12. I really like these kind, but they are SO dang heavy, and you STILL can't neglect blocking for safety.

Folks wonder "why" I slide the tires under the vehicle when I take 'em off,... and I'm fussy about WHERE they're slid under, jackstands or not. But if I'm workin' on it,... then it's MY rules!!!
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Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2016, 01:59 PM »
Holy CRAP! He's back. What'd yeah miss us. :)rotflmao :)clap
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Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2016, 02:56 PM »
"Folks wonder "why" I slide the tires under the vehicle when I take 'em off,..."


I do that too, just in case.
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Offline strykersd

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2016, 09:06 AM »
Good idea on sliding the tires under! 


The more I thought about it, I had the answer right under my nose the whole time.  Having built a few offroad trucks with tires up to 37" I had to buy jack stands taller than the usual two or three ton models.  So I bought a pair of Torin brand 6-ton jack stands.  Although it's a similar design to the HF jack stands, they have a locking pin to give you a second locking mechanism.  And they're only $56  instead of the $50 harbor freight charges.  For now I'll just store one of my jack stands in the Winnebago and eventually buy another pair. 
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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2016, 10:11 AM »
I don't see any picture of the front side of those Torin stands to see the piece that broke on mine but that added pin is in a position to prevent the the post from rocking forward against the sheet metal so they are much better than mine. As long as you put in the safety pin.

Let me be clear on something here, It was not weight that caused my stand to fail. It was motion of the vehicle and the stands inability to contain that motion. If the stand rocks towards the locking side of the post there is nothing there to hold the post but a thin, 1/8' piece of steel, very poorly welded to the frame of the stand. IF it were securely welded it would be much more secure and IF you added another section to that piece coming down inside it would be even better. The basic stand itself is pretty strong as long as you are on perfectly flat and level surface and you are not working on the vehicle. Otherwise do the welding and modifications.
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Offline strykersd

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2016, 11:29 AM »
I'll see if I can snap a picture next time I head to my shop
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Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2016, 02:18 PM »
I got to tell yeah this hole discussion scares the hell out of me. See I know and under stand what Rick is saying. For me there's two issues. The jack stands can hole the vertical weight. That's not the problem. The problem is the horizontal or side loads. One you've got your rig on the stands,provided there level the problem is the seam on the stand. Make sure it is a solid weld top to bottom. That's no guarantee they won't fail there but it's better than nothing. The problem comes when your underneath yanking on the breaker bar and putting side loads on the stands and that's when they fail. Question do you feel luck. Yes Charlie's done it a million times and nothing happened. Son it only take once. DO YOU FEEL LUCK. I've never known apiece of rail road tie to fail. i??     
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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2016, 02:57 PM »
Stacked wood can fall over very easily if it is not done right, that is why I said it can get in the way. You need two pieces spaced apart for each layer and each layer facing the opposite of the one before. That is cribbing. The higher you are going to go the farther apart the spacing between the beams. And if you are on sloping ground it can still slide quite easily. There is something that is unfortunately in short supply anymore that is a great help in working under these vehicles, It is called Common Sense! Look the whole situation over and think through what you are doing and once you have it all jacked up stand back and think of any possible way you could pull that thing off of there. Even walk up to it and shove it good and hard forward and sideways, if it moves at all then start over.

Here is a good tutorial on cribbing for recovery operations. And it is even from our Canadian friends.

http://www.boronextrication.com/2011/02/12/wooden-cribbing-basics/
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Offline DRMousseau

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2016, 10:30 PM »
I got to tell yeah this hole discussion scares the hell out of me.   

And IT SHOULD!!!

Those of us who survived the "bumper" jacks of previous eras, will NEVER overlook stability in ANY jack or stand they may now or ever use. Nor will they overlook safety redundancies in case of slippage or failures. But too many times, I see someone younger of reasonable mechanical abilities, SITTIN' on the tire with their legs underneath doin a simple brake job on the family auto with nothing more than the scissor jack from the trunk!!!
THAT scares the hell outa ME!!! (I tend to keep my legs under ME doin' this work, even with the tire UNDER the car frame,...that's on stands or blocks AND the jack!!!)

I prefer stands that are pinned rather than those ratchet teeth types,... personal preference I suppose. And would rather block 'em than extend 'em much. And still give 'em a good shove before I begin work. Use to have old rims for a base with 2x wood in them,... haven't seen any recent made rims that are suitable for such use anymore. And I still use big squares of heavy wood under my stands even on pavement.

Cribbing is something I jus don't suggest to others,... if they have previous experience, then it's usually unnecessary to suggest. If not, it's generally hazardous for the inexperienced. Rick's link shows "the basics", but lacks the common sense and "skilled art" for even light work. And many RV's are NOT light!!! "Stacked wood" of 4x4's may get by for family car or pickup, but heavy trucks and such will necessitate "the construction" of a strong and stabile crib to stand to the efforts needed in the repair of HEAVY PARTS!!! Those who depend on cribbing, usually have a special "stack" for whatever job. Ours were of 6x6's, rail ties, old barn beams, and "special stumps" (yup,.. a big chainsaw can make ya a nice stable "block")... many were bored for pinning when necessary and some notched to prevent slipping and often spiked. Heck,... they had to hold trucks and equipment rigs, sometimes for long term in nasty weather!!!

I look at the Cruise Air II and dread the thought of expense and efforts needed to replace the weak front right leaf spring!!! And that's a rather simple job!!! UGH!

Rick stresses common sense,.... I stress FEAR!!!! BE AFRAID and FEARFUL!!! Self preservation and common sense will then rule and keep ya safer.
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Offline TerryH

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2016, 03:14 AM »
And IT SHOULD!!!

Those of us who survived the "bumper" jacks of previous eras, will NEVER overlook stability in ANY jack or stand they may now or ever use.

Brings back memories of a 53 Chev that was hard on wheel bearings. Always did them with a bumper jack. Also U joints on an enclosed driveshaft. But, hey, I was in my teens and invincible and stupid then. Even during the many times that the bumper jack shifted or rolled. Now I use at least two stands and a jack - per corner - plus blocking and a predetermined exit point before venturing underneath. Also follow Rick's advice of shoving it in each direction as much as I can first.
 I seriously hope this topic is read and used. It is very easy to think that a 6? ton rated jack stand means you are safe under your RV while reefing on a fastening with a 24" breaker bar, but that is a lot of torque.
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Offline tmsnyder

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #45 on: November 30, 2016, 07:55 AM »
You could build your own, 1967 style!


http://www.agedweb.org/plans/jack%20stand.pdf
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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #46 on: November 30, 2016, 10:01 AM »
That is what I used to do but mine were square tubing all the way to the ground plate and four legs. I plan to make a couple more but they are heavy! All the tubing and pins are trailer hitch parts. The tubing I buy in 10 foot lengths since I find lots of uses for it.
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Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #47 on: November 30, 2016, 10:34 AM »
Don't for get pic's and dimensions.  D:oH!
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Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Harbor freight jackstands, UNSAFE!!!!!!!!!
« Reply #48 on: November 30, 2016, 04:04 PM »
I just came from Tractor supply and they have receiver tubes that you can weld to whatever to make your own hitch, these things are about two feet long and already have the pin hole and the reinforcement that all hitches have at the end of the tube. There is the perfect beginning of a homemade jackstand! Now all you need is the 2"x1/4" wall tubing for the inner section that is your riser and a drill press to accurately drills the holes for the pin to go through. Then angle iron, 3/16" minimum for the supports and a baseplate of flat plate. To be perfectly honest, When I build this stuff I do not go from a sheet. I just cut and weld as I go. When I do these I will take pictures and get measurements but I can tell you that if you have the tool to do this job you already have the knowledge to build them. You will need a welder and a drill press, I guess you could do the drilling with a hand drill but I sure would not want to! The biggest thing is the base plate, you either need a torch to cut out your own or have them cut at a supplier. Probably would not cost all that much if you go to a big metal supplier. They would pop them out on a shear in seconds.
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Offline tmsnyder

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