Safety Concerns with Hitch Jacks
Just like changing a tire with a jack on your car, there are safety precautions you must take when using a hitch jack.
First, put chocks on both sides of the trailer wheels to keep them from moving. These can usually be purchased wherever towing equipment and hitch accessories are sold. Next, make sure you raise the trailer on level ground. Use a scale to measure and balance the weight load properly. Trailer jacks support a lot of weight, so if your jack becomes unbalanced or can't support the weight, it could fall on you or roll away.
Also, be wary of backing up your towing vehicle to the raised trailer. You must precisely line up the trailer hitch with the tongue, which can take several attempts. If done wrong you could damage your towing vehicle by backing up too far.
Finally, if you're using an electric jack, disconnect the towing vehicle's negative battery cable before you begin working so you don't accidentally electrocute yourself or damage the electrical components.
If you're mindful of the safety concerns involved with using hitch jacks, towing that boat to the lake can mean lots of fun for you and your family. For more information on hitch jacks, please see the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
More Great Links
- Corgan, Mark. eHow.com. "How to Install a Power Tongue Jack for Your RV." (10/1/2008) http://www.ehow.com/how_2108763_install-power- tongue-jack-rv.html
- Hedgepeth, Albert. Expertvillage.com. "How to Disconnect a Trailer." (10/1/2008) http://www.expertvillage.com/video/79125_maintain-trailer-jack.htm
- Hitchfinder.com. "Swivel Jacks." (10/2/2008) http://www.hitchfinder.com/categories/Swivel_Jacks,802
- Invention Connection. "Hitch-N-Go Traveling Jack." (10/2/2008) http://www.inventionconnection.com/BOOTHS/booth26.html
- Trailer Hitch Depot. "Level your trailer and make hitching easier with Trailer Jacks." (10/1/2008) http://www.trailer-hitch-depot.com/trailer-jack.htm