Hi there guys ‘n gals. Here we are again, and this time we will give you a review of the…
Any mechanic worth his salt will tell you without hesitation that one of the most important tools to have in your arsenal is a good quality floor trolley jack. Furthermore, a high-quality jack is not only a wise investment but also a critical safety item.
Whenever you lift up to 3 tons of steel into the air, then gravity can be your worst enemy. As the old saying goes, ‘what comes up, must come down,’ right? The value of a floor jack is that you are in control of when it goes up or down and how fast.
There is a long list of available floor jacks out there on the market today. But for the purpose of this feature, we are going to focus solely on the Arcan ALJ3T aluminum floor jack. This is admittedly a favorite of ours to date.
It has durability and the strength to take on your lifting tasks admirably, giving you no cause for concern as to it being ‘up to the job.’ So please read on to find out our thoughts on this Arcan Floor Jack.
When you look at the features offered by Arcan for this jack, you will see it is loaded.
Well, it is rated to lift up to a maximum of 3 tons. That is more than enough to manage most cars, light vans, trucks, and SUVs.
It is actually very good. It can sit at 3⅝ of an inch at the lowest level and can be raised up to a maximum of 19⅜ inches high. This makes it low enough to slide under many exotic sports cars, and custom lowered vehicles.
At the high end of lift, you will have ample ground clearance to place supporting jack stands underneath the vehicle, and then you are set for working.
So far, so good, eh? Well, let us now carry on and take a look at some of the other special features this jack has in play.
Despite the high lifting capacity this jack boasts, it has a weight of just 56 lbs. This is all thanks to the super-lightweight aircraft grade aluminum chassis and body construction. Nowadays, modern reinforced aluminum is as tough and strong as steel but with the big advantage of being so much lighter.
The strength of this model is all down to some special design touches. The lifting arm is twist resistant and on the chassis, where there are thick reinforcing side plates in place. The chassis itself has torsion control, again fitted to prevent twisting.
Sometimes you may be lifting on uneven ground, or you have jacked up the vehicle in an unstable manner with the wrong weight distribution. A rigid or older style jack would be put under unnecessary stress and in the worst case scenario may slip from the car, putting you at great risk.
The Arcan jack will distribute the weight it is lifting evenly throughout its body, thus dismissing any such fears.
Now it is time to look at the safety features this jack has to offer…
These ensure that you do not overextend the hydraulic arm and/or of inadvertently lifting over the maximum rated weight capacity. The hydraulics are fully protected with special dust covers over each piston to avoid contamination.
The Arcan ALJ3T Floor Jack fully complies with all ASME PASE-2014 PALD safety standards. The company puts all of there lifting equipment through the most rigorous of safety inspections prior to sale, so you can be sure of their confidence in the product.
If you are in the workshop environment, you will know only to well that when working around a vehicle accidental knocks and scrapes can happen. For this reason, the Arcan ALJ3T has a protective padded rubber sleeve fitted to the two-piece handle.
The saddle that rests on the underside of your vehicle is covered with a rubber pad which will protect and also aid grip to bodywork. The saddle pad rotates a full 360 degrees, which we like. Some other jacks have fixed saddles that can hinder accurate underbody positioning.
Using the Arcan ALJ3T Aluminum Floor Jack is simple enough. To raise, you first close the release valve by turning the handle clockwise. Once you have positioned your jack for a firm contact of the saddle to the vehicle undercarriage start the pump action to lift.
Rapid action dual pump pistons will then bring the two-stage jack up to your required height with a nice, smooth action and a quick rise. You are now ready to place jack stands under the vehicle to continue your work safely.
It takes no more than ten pumps of the handle for a smooth, controlled, rapid raise to be fully extended to maximum height.
To lower, obviously remove the jack stands first. You will be a bit stuck if you don’t! Then, open the release valve slowly by turning the handle counterclockwise. The load will then be lowered. You are in full control of how quick you wish to lower the vehicle back down to the ground.
If you need to stop at any time, just twist the handle back clockwise.
This lightweight jack (56 lbs) is easily positioned under your vehicle. Rear ball bearing mounted wheels swivel 360 degrees for an easy steer. The front wheels are wide tracked for stability and provide a smooth rolling performance.
Rather than dragging this jack around your workshop there is a carry handle fitted to one side of the chassis for easy lifting. This can also aid in positioning the jack under the vehicle you are working on.
It is something, however, that we would really like to see fitted to both sides of the jack. The reason being for either side accurate positioning when under a vehicle. From the point of view of carrying the jack, we also feel it should be mounted centrally for better balance.
So let us just take a look back at what makes this a great buy and a workshop asset…
As with all Arcan products we have looked at and tried, build quality and design is consistently second to none. The fit and finish of this jack are excellent. Arcan went for that raw anodized aluminum look rather than a flashy paint job. This gives it that solid industrial feel that is fully functional, not just ‘pretty.’ The fitment and alignment of all components on this jack are top rate.
You need to consider the features offered and do they suit your needs. Well, the Arcan ALJ3T is stacked with them. This will ultimately make your life in the garage so much easier.
Rapid rise dual pistons make for a quick and super easy lift of a whole range of vehicles up to three tons. You have full control over both lifting and lowering with a quick twist of the handle. Other jacks can be cumbersome about this action and not so straightforward to control. You will have no such issues with the Arcan.
Smooth rolling wheels and a side mounted carry/positioning handle makes maneuvering a doddle under the vehicle or moving it around the workshop.
The low profile minimum lift (3⅝”) is a great feature to have as it opens up vastly, the range of vehicles you will be able to reach under and lift.
The dual piece rubber covered handle is of ample length to give you the necessary leverage for an easy pump.