ARB Jack vs. Mechanical Jack

19th January, 2021

There is no doubt that the mechanical jack has become an essential tool in the off-road world. Developed in 1905, its original name was the handyman jack. Although it was designed as a farm tool, the off-road community saw its potential. They began using it to move vehicles out of awkward situations, lift tires to fill voids, and as a bead breaker for tire repair. It was a revolutionary piece of technology for off-roaders. However, they haven’t changed much since 1905.

Mechanical jacks can be dangerous when not maintained or used properly. They are terrifyingly unstable and can unload at any moment. A quick online search will provide plenty of examples of users getting struck by the handle or getting their fingers caught between the body and handle. 

ARB’s team of engineers were tasked with finding a solution that would suit every off-roaders needs for vehicle recovery. Incorporating the most essential functions of a mechanical jack while making safety the main priority, ARB developed Jack.

WHAT IS JACK?

The ARB Jack is a long-travel hydraulic jack that is safer and easier to use than the standard mechanical jack. Its packed with similar features while also be lighter and more compact.

Features

  • Quick release hook adjustments to suit different vehicles and trail conditions. This allows the hook to be adjusted without losing the travel of your Jack.
  • A wide rotatable foot that provides a stable base and preferred orientation for use on uneven ground. The foot can also be used to be break a tire bead.
  • An ergonomically designed aluminum handle that can be operated in confined spaces and minimizes weight.
  • Overload protection to ensure working load limit is not exceeded which prevents sudden vehicle drops.
  • Quick and safe two-stage lowering with an incorporated safety stop in case of unintended side movement.
  • Safety stop on the lowering lever to immediately cease lowering if required.

Mechanical Jack

By now you know that the ARB Jack is a safer alternative to the mechanical Jack. But what differences make it safer?

  • Using a mechanical jack is a full body workout and becomes more difficult with each stroke. Many users must balance their entire weight on the mechanical jacks handle which is incredibly dangerous. With the ARB Jack, a simple one-handed stroke gets the job done.
  • With a mechanical jack, lowering is just as difficult and dangerous as lifting. With the ARB Jack, simply depress the red lever to lower the vehicle.
  • The ARB Jack body rotates up to 45 degrees on the Jack foot. This allows the Jack to be utilized in tight or unstable terrain without sacrificing safety. This foot can also be used to break a tire bead.
  • The ARB’s team of engineers incorporated an overload protection system within the Jack. When the maximum load is reached, the Jack will not lift any higher. Instead, this added pressure is released through the blow off valve which is located under the red lever. When the maximum load is exceeded, a mechanical jack can fail at anytime and drop the vehicle.
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SPECIFICATIONS ARB JACK 48-IN MECHANICAL JACK
Min Lifting Height 6in 5in
Maximum Lifting Height 28-48in 37in
Travel 21-22in 33in
Lifting Range 6-48in 5-38in
Maximum Capacity 4,409lbs 2315lbs
Compressed Height 35in 49in
Extended Height 56in 49in
Weight 23lbs 28lbs
Inches Per Stroke 0.5in Varies

HOW TO OPERATE A JACK

Begin by turning your vehicle off, engaging the emergency brake, and chocking the tires to prevent sliding. 

Find a suitable frame lifting point on your vehicle that is directly above a study surface. Most ARB front bumpers have jack points on each side. Adjust the hook on the Jack to the highest possible setting right below the jack point. Slide the Jack hook into the jack point as far as possible while also ensuring clearance for the Jack handle. 

The hydraulics of the Jack make lifting easy. Simply stroke the handle until the vehicle is lifted to the desired height.

Gently depress the red lever to lower the vehicle. Restrain yourself from pressing the red lever all the way down, this will cause the vehicle to lower rapidly. Now that the vehicle is back on the ground, the Jack can now be lowered to its compressed length. Depress the red lever all the way and apply pressure to top of the Jack until fully compressed.

Jack can now be placed in the supplied storage bag. Be sure to store Jack vertically.

Keep in mind that the weight of a vehicle is required to lower the Jack to a feasible position. Failure to use Jack unloaded will result in you having to balance ALL your weight on the Jack to compress it. 

In order to create a more pleasant experience when compressing the Jack, we suggest following the break in process. This can be done by cycling the Jack; lift and lower the vehicle six to ten times continuously. The weight of the vehicle will assist in the lowering process. Once the break in is completed, the Jack will become easier to compress when pressure is applied.

Refer to the instructions provided with Jack for additional safety precautions and lifting procedures.

 

JACK BASE

The ARB Jack Base provides a safe environment for the user and increases performance of the Jack by limiting slippage or sinking in the ground. Available as an add-on accessory, here are the reasons why the Jack Base is an essential piece of 4WD equipment.

  • Larger footprint which provides additional security 
  • 15,499lbs rated load capacity
  • Designed to suit the ARB JACK or mechanical jack
  • Heavy duty, high density polyethylene construction
  • High visibility safety orange
  • Non-slip textured pattern on base for extra grip
  • Ability to be mounted on ARB TRED Pro boards (extended pins required)
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