Jacking the Rig before going under it

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March 10, 2008

As Soon As Mud Seasons Over I’m Gonna…

That’s all it takes up here — for mud season end so we can start our springs work.

Of course when mud season ends the sap stops running and the maple syrup supply comes in. But at the end of mud season, when the ground firms up, is when I can get the planks down and jack the rig up or move it.

Yep, it was time to pack the front wheel bearings last fall when we got home from the west coast but time ran out before it got too cold and snowy, so let’s cover what I consider the way that I want the rig jacked and supported before I venture under it.

I use a combination of things to get the wheels for the rig off the ground for service work. Yes, I use the built in leveling jack system as well as a good 20 ton bottle jack plus safety stands or good cribbing. I use chock blocks under at least one rear wheel when I am working on the front, one in front of the wheel and one in back. I also have a piece of 1 inch underlayment that I have cut into 4 by 4 foot squares. I put these down first and then drive to the middle of it on the wheel that I am going to work on. This makes a great working surface and prevents staining the driveway, garage floor or whatever. Also my creeper wheels run nice and smooth over this surface.

I use blocks cut from 2 by 10’s to make 10 inch squares under jacks and leveling jack feet. I then use the leveling system to take the strain off the suspension and to level the rig. You need only jack the rig 2 to 3 inches to relieve the pressure on the suspension so that you will only need to lift the wheel with the bottle jack an inch or two.

In jacking a wheel to service the wheel bearing, disc brake, or change a tire you want to keep the tire as close to the ground as possible as that sucker is heavy. I try to use the bottle jack so that the tire is just barely touching the ground, the studs are in the middle of the wheel lug holes and the jack is supporting the weight. That way I do not have to lift the wheel assembly but slide it off and roll it out of the way.

Putting it back on is just a simple matter of rolling it into place, aligning the lugs, by turning the disc or axle, and sliding the wheel in place.

Now with the wheel off I usually get one of my 10 ton safety stands and put it under the axle next to the bottle jack and let the jack down to allow the axle to sit on the stand.

Now you are safe to work under the rig. Do not stick any part of your body under the rig with a jack holding it up. That goes for the leveling jacks as well.

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  1. stefan

    If you put the tire on your creeper you can wheel it on and off much easier

  2. Good idea with the 4×4 plywood. I use it whenever I work on my rig..Clark