Axle Stands – A Buyers Guide
If you are working with vehicles on a regular basis than axle stands are an invaluable resource that you need to have in order to get your repair jobs done quickly and efficiently. Every year, injuries and even deaths occur because people are not using the correct equipment in order to lift their cars away from the ground in order to perform maintenance. The results of using the wrong equipment should be avoided at all costs. Axle stands are not very expensive pieces of equipment to buy, and are even less expensive when you consider that they may save your life. If you do not already have a set of axle stands, you should set out to buy some before trying to perform any maintenance on your car that requires you to reach the undercarriage.
There are several things to consider when shopping around for axle stands. One of the biggest factors to consider is the Safe Working Load or SWL. This informs you as to how much weight the axle stands can safely carry. If you exceed this weight you are putting your life in jeopardy. Be sure to take into account the size of your vehicle or any vehicles that you will be using your axle stands on before buying them. If you will be working on a large automobile such as a sport utility vehicle than you will need axle stands that can carry a load of two tons, possible more. This may not sound like a lot, but remember that each axle stand is designed to carry hold up one corner of the car. When you buy a package, pay attention to what each axle stand can carry. Sometimes a package will say that the axle stands can carry two tons, when what they actually mean is that each stand separately can carry one ton on its own.
Pay attention to the Saddle. It should take on a wide Y shape at its peak. It must be capable of holding the car without slipping with disastrous results. Stay away from stands that have flat saddles. It is not very common but vehicles have been known to slide off of flat saddles. Why put yourself at risk? Another thing to think about is what material the stand is made of. Iron stands are usually preferable to steel stands. This is because steel stands are more likely to scrape the support beams.
It is also important to think about the height of the axle stand. A three hundred millimeter stand is good for a car, while a truck or an SUV will require a stand that is somewhere between three hundred fifty and four hundred millimeters. You should also check the feat of the stand. The best feet will come with padded material. This prevents the feet from slipping out from under the car.
Axle stands are an absolute necessity for any one who intends to perform maintenance on their vehicles. They provide the assurance that the car is supported and that it is safe to work underneath its heavy load. Always make sure that the stands that you are using can support the weight of the vehicle that you are working with. Make sure that the height of the axle matches your vehicle as well. Use the right saddle type and the right materials. Never just jack your car up and hope that the hydraulics will hold. Many disasters happen this way. Keep yourself safe and buy a pair of inexpensive axle stands. It’s not worth risking your life over.