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Old 05-19-2013, 08:04 AM   #1
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Safety when working down under

I would like suggestions of what kind of jack stand or blocks are being used to prevent being crushed if the coach should suddenly lose air pressure while working under the chassis? I have an air only level system, no jacks. I can get the coach high enough to get under, but insist on being safe. At 32,000 to 34,000 lbs. the coach would crush a normal set of Walmart jack stands. Also where to put the solution would be helpful. Thanks for posting your thoughts.

Wiley
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

I'll let others chime in on where to buy the stands and where to locate them, but you're a wise man for insisting on them.

Rick
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:24 AM   #3
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I'll be watching the replies. I have the same concerns!
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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When I owned the Foretravel I had a 20' pit dug. That enabled me to work on both the front suspension, generator and grease fittings and under the engine for routine maintenance. Cost about $1,500 including sump pump and lighting.

I never felt safe regardless of what was supporting the coach. Foretravel had a feature whereby you could raise or lower the coach 4 inches from the travel position.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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http://www.nationaltoolwarehouse.com...d-P143238.aspx

Minimum 12 ton rating. Prices are all over the place on these jacks and so is the quality. In my opinion, the country of origin makes a big difference in what you purchase. Also, check the ratings closely as some are rated individually and some are rated as a pair only.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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I have a set of 12 ton stands that I use. 12 Ton Jack Stands
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:53 PM   #7
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Double locking - ratchet and pin. I have a few pairs with differing capacities with similar feature.
Torin Double-Locking Ratchet Action Jack Stands 12-Ton Capacity, Model# T12002A | Jack Stands| Northern Tool + Equipment
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. Now does anyone have guidelines on proper placement under the coach, and sequence for placing them?
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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I definitely will get a pair of the 12-ton jacks! Since the GVWR on my coach is 36,000 lbs (actual weight right now is 33,000) I will always put BOTH of them under the area that I'm working with!
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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Suggest that you also measure the height that you will need from ground to location you are placing jack. You can always use wood to make up the difference but it is easier to get fairly close. I also had a machine shop cut me four 1/4" box steel about 14" long. I use these when traveling in case I need to go under and don't have the heavy jacks with me. As long as I am at ride height, I can place these "sticks of steel" at locations between the chassis and house frame. I can then dump some air until they "catch". I still have the air bags inflated but have the "sticks" in place just in case a failure occurs. Can't guarantee this will work but the 1/4" plate steel box should carry quite a bit of weight end to end. At home, I always use the jack stands and have never had to use the "sticks" on the road. I can put the sticks in place without going under and I do this before I crawl under to place the jack stands. I had a close friend crushed under a vehicle a number of years ago when a car jack failed due to his carelessness and not using a safety jack. I guess I am overly cautious because of this. Friend made it out alive but a stroke shortly after the accident changed life as we knew it. I am a firm believer in safety jacks and strongly suggest that they meet ANSI standards. Here are a couple of links to some information for those interested.

U.S. Made Hydraulic Jacks - Home Page

Educating technicians on the risks of using jacks and jack stands improperly when lifting vehicles - Page 2
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:25 PM   #11
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how about using pressure treated 12"x12" wood?
place them near where the air bags are, between H snd M frame
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:52 AM   #12
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Here's what I do. I made these out of 2x8 material. You can easily see how I put them together. I made four for the drive axle, and two of the blocks for the tag. I put the four in front of the drivers, and pull onto the top of them. Then, I raise the tag, and put the blocks under those tires, and then set the tag back down.

I verified that with the air suspension completely dumped, I can move anywhere under the back half of the coach without restriction. So that ensures that no accidental acts on my part could put me in a "tight squeeze".

Also, the "ramps" are virtually solid wood, so there's no crush or risk of them tipping. Using 2x10 material would have given more tire contact, but they would have become pretty heavy. These have worked great, numerous times. I'd never trust a basic jack-stand or jack to hold it up. Also, the pit is the best of all worlds.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:13 AM   #13
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Most axle stands are designed to be used on a concrete surface ( re-inforced shop floor ) so using them on gravel or pavement provides no safety factor at all, JMHO, they will sink in. Use the, tire ramp, stacked block system myself .
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