Whether you’re working in your own garage or for a business, operating under a vehicle is dangerous. Lifting plant machinery and other vehicles can cause accidents if the wrong or faulty equipment is being used. There are a number of things you can do to help mitigate the risks associated and to make sure you’re working as safely and effectively as possible. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most important considerations when working under a car or other vehicle.
Use equipment correctly
First things first, before you even think about jacking your car up, you’ll need to make sure you’re doing so on solid, level ground. Never, under any circumstances, attempt to lift up your car on gravel, earth or on a slope. Always be safe and never prop up the car on bricks, breeze blocks or anything similar as they can crack and fail without any warning.
No matter what equipment you’re using, you’ll need to make sure you’re following the manufacturers guidance on how to set this up and how to operate. It’s important you do so and don’t simply assume you know how to use it.
Inspect your equipment regularly
Another key task you’ll need to do before you lift your car up is to make sure you’ve checked your equipment thoroughly. If you spot any wear and tear, cracks or rust, it’s likely that your equipment isn’t going to be safe enough to use. If this is the case, make sure you invest in another piece of equipment before you do any work under your vehicle.
Top tools to use for lifting vehicles
Trolly jack – These are great if you’re wanting to change a wheel at the side of a road. We wouldn’t recommend you spend time underneath a car if trolly jacks are holding it as the do come with strict weight limits. But for much smaller jobs like quickly changing a tyre, they’re ideal.
Axle stand – Once your car is at the desired height, this is when your axle stands come into play. Place them under the car somewhere strong that can withstand the weight of the car. When your stands are in position and raised to the correct height, you can slowly lower your car jack so the weight of the car is resting on the stands. Before you make your way under the car, it’s always a good idea to give it a good push. If it moves you’ll need to mount the stands elsewhere. Remember, safety first!
Wheel chocks – These are always good to have laying around. Whether you buy them or make them from sturdy pieces of wood, they essentially act as a failsafe. They shouldn’t bear any weight and should always be placed under any wheels that aren’t elevated.
With so many different tools out there, you’ll need to make sure you at least have the essentials covered off before you begin working under any vehicle. Working in a safe environment is more important than anything.