Best three tonne trolley jacks

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best three tonne jack : credit: © Gary Stretton
Raising your Land Rover off the ground only takes a few strokes with these

Raising a Land Rover to change a wheel or for servicing is a challenge for standard equipment due to the weights and ground clearances typically involved. Our test features three tonne trolley jacks, which due to their 30 kg plus weights, means it’s unlikely you’ll keep one on-board for emergencies, so they have been tested with workshop, showroom, home garage or driveway use in mind.

Although many older Land Rover derivatives weigh less than three tonnes, the added margin of comfort and capability is ideal for vehicles that might be fully laden or towing. Smaller trolley jacks are far less stable once a heavy vehicle is clear of the ground and typically, they don’t achieve the maximum heights required. 

Height is worth bearing in mind if you also use a trolley jack for temporarily supporting a transmission or transfer box. The heights achieved by those on test will reduce or eliminate the need for supplementary blocks to increase the working height of smaller jacks required to reach elevated transmission components.

Clarke's Cog wheel valve mechanism works well, even under load

For DIY use, a quick-lift mechanism is not essential but for professional, regular or prolonged use, they will be appreciated and preferred. All jacks tested feature twist-handle locking and releasing. Some feature heavy-duty universal joints, others have weaker but, arguably, inexpensive serviceable cog joint designs. 

Where known, we have stated spares availability, allowing you to maintain and service the jack for optimum performance and safety. A good tip is to order new seals, if available, and keep them for when you least want the old ones to fail. The dimensions stated are based on the sizes of each unit should you need to store one under a bench or in a limited space in your home garage, for example. 

And lastly, all the trolley jacks tested come with full warranties, in some cases up to three years, but check before purchasing.

What to look for:

• Cog joint release is weaker than universal joint variants but can be removed easily for servicing without renewing the piston assembly.
• Two-piece handles assist storage but also allow their use in confined areas if only half the handle is easier. A foot pedal mechanism is redundant here.
• Maximum heights are critical for safety and use.
• Wheels should roll easily. The flatter the design, the more stable under load but noisier to move about, unless a nylon coating is used for smooth floors.

 

CLARKE PRO STRONG ARM

Price: £120

Clarke’s Pro Strong Arm features a single piston unit making it robust at the expense of lifting speed. Lowering needs a degree of care as it drops faster than others tested if released in haste. The cog wheel valve worked fine under load. Elsewhere, it’s a stable workhorse with a large saddle, though no rubber pad, and includes a welcome grease nipple for lift shaft lubrication.

Key features:
• Lifting range: 120 - 520 mm
• Strokes to full height: 20
• Single-piece hydraulic unit
• Two-piece twist handle with cog joint lock and release
• Automatic overload protection
• Large 122 mm round saddle without rubber pad
• Lift arm shaft grease nipple
• Dimensions: 660 x 345 x 160 mm
• Wheels, saddle, castors and handle available as spares
• Weight: 37.4 kg

Search for: Item 020113030, machinemart.co.uk

SEALEY SUPER ROCKET LIFT

Price: £135

The Super Rocket Lift feels well planted in use, offering stability and plenty of lift from few full strokes of the handle. The large white saddle gives hi-vis positioning and the universal joint valve mechanism provides plenty of height control in either direction. Full spare back-up completes the professional approach.

Key features:
• Lifting range: 132 - 472 mm
• Strokes to full height: 5.50
• Twin-piston quick lift mechanism
• Two-piece twist handle with universal joint lock and release
• Safety overload/bypass valve
• Large 122 mm round saddle, no rubber pad
• Dimensions: 620 x 345 x 158
• Full spares availability
• Weight 31 kg

Search for: Item 3015CXD, sealey.co.uk

SIP QUICK-LIFT

Price: £115

SIP’s Quick Lift is the most compact on test, but not at the expense of other features. The single piston rises to almost 500 mm full height quickly and the foot pedal, although slower, is very welcome for raising the saddle easily to the chassis, for example. The cog joint valve lock and release worked well and lowering the vehicle was easily controlled. The grease nipple is a bonus for longevity.

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Key features:
• Lifting range: 135 - 495 mm
• Strokes to full height: 8 by handle, 24 by foot pedal (no load)
• Single piston quick lift with additional foot pedal mechanism
• Large 122 mm removable saddle with removable rubber pad
• Two-piece twist handle with cog joint lock and release
• Lift arm shaft grease nipple
• Dimensions: 585 x 346 x 180 mm
• Weight: 34 kg

Search for: Item 03676, sip-group.com

DRAPER HD TWIN PISTONS

Price: £115

Draper’s heavy-duty jack features twin pistons which made short work of raising the test vehicle. Lowering via the universal joint operated valve was smooth and easily controllable. The foam sill protection on the handle is a simple, but neat touch. An accomplished jack with full spares back-up.

Key features:

• Lifting range: 133 - 465 mm
• Strokes to full height: 5.75
• Twin-piston quick lift mechanism
• Safety overload / bypass valve
• Large locating saddle with removable rubber pad
• Two-piece twist handle with universal joint lock and release
• Optional nylon wheel kit available separately
• Full spares availability
• Dimensions: 682 x 344 x 155 mm
• Weight: 30.7 kg

Search for: Item 16407, drapertools.com

WINNTEC TURBO LIFT

Price: £165

There’s no mistaking the Turbo Lift with its striking livery. In use, the bright saddle is easy to position. As with its name, it rapidly lifted the test vehicle with a smooth, controlled release and lowering. The nylon wheels coped extremely well with our mildly undulating concrete floor. Grease nipple and full spares back-up as standard.

Key features:
• Lifting range: 120-450 mm 
• Strokes to full height: 5.25
• Twin-piston Turbo Lifter quick lift mechanism
• Control release valve
• Fixed, rotating 120 mm saddle with glued rubber pad
• Two-piece twist handle with universal joint lock and release
• PU nylon-assisted cast wheels
• Lift arm shaft grease nipple
• Full spares available
• Dimensions: 640 x 345 x 158
• Weight 32 kg

Search for: Item 09823, sip-group.com

 

VERDICT

In isolation, using any of these heavy-duty jacks would make you smile, such is the ease with which they perform, whether raising or lowering. All offer solid, robust bases, helped no doubt by their considerable weights and large frames. Grouped together, their individual merits become easier to detect. First, a word of praise for brightly-painted saddles, as they make craning your neck when locating a jack a far more pleasant and faster form of exercise. In my opinion, rubber saddle pads should be included as standard at this level, even if they do sometimes stick to components when the jack is lowered, as they also prevent paint damage.

SIP’s Quick Lift is easy to use and includes a grease point and saddle. Its slightly smaller base remains stable and at eight strokes to full height, it’s worthy of your money, especially with the foot pedal feature if you can use it.

Draper’s HD Twin Pistons jack delivers the pro experience with confidence; solid, quick to rise, controlled UJ valve to lower and with full spares availability. As with the SIP, only its black saddle goes against it in this company.

Sealey’s Super Rocket Lift is almost identical in looks and spec to the Draper jack so it’s the subtle touches that separate them such as it being marginally more expensive though faster to its slightly taller full height. It doesn’t include a rubber saddle pad but it is compatible with Sealey’s useful 4x4 X137 cross-beam adaptor.

Winntec’s Turbo Lift (from SIP) has combined a number of excellent pro features guaranteed to please regulars while spoiling first-timers. It’s the fastest on test to full height, although its maximum 450 mm height is the lowest on test. The secured rubber saddle pad and fixed saddle offer additional safety in some situations and should be welcomed, as is the grease nipple for longevity. With full spares back-up, it’s a lot of flash for the most cash.

By comparison with the Winntec hare, Clarke’s Pro Jack snail goes even further at a different pace. It does, however, offer single-piston grunt, arguably the weaker cog wheel valve mechanism and a huge 520 mm of lift. This very weighty unit feels strong and stable, it’s just a shame so few spares are available for it. That said, it does have a grease nipple for long service. 

Clarke: A stable and able winner although slowest to fully expand 

So how to choose, given that prices are so close? First check the amount of reach you need, as 70 mm between Clarke and Winntec, for example, could prove critical. As someone who uses a jack almost daily, my money is on the Draper due to its inclusion of a rubber saddle and it has a nylon wheel option, although I would paint its saddle white. That said, if I worked on only Land Rovers, Sealey’s equally capable jack with their cross-beam adaptor option would be my choice. If 450 mm satisfies your needs you’ll have no problem appreciating the Winntec’s smooth charms. But slow or not, Clarke’s 520 mm behemoth takes the Overall Winner title for simple ruggedness and that working height. My Pro Choice for Land Rover professionals is the Sealey.

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