The QuickJack Story
Our story begins in the offices of BendPak Inc., the world's leading producer of car lift systems and automotive service equipment. In the summer of 2013, BendPak’s Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Jeff Kritzer, had a revelation. During a scheduled trip to a local race track, he noticed that the race crews were straining themselves to set up jack stands under their cars. Sure, quick-pump racing floor jacks are okay, but the crews were obviously exerting a lot of energy and wasting a lot of time. Jeff had the same thought many inventors before him have had before coming up their “Eureka moment.” What if BendPak were to develop a brand new product to address the shortcomings that have plagued the race circuit and DIY market for decades? He imagined a product that would completely redefine vehicle maintenance. After 100 years of floor jacks and jack stands, getting cars off the ground shouldn’t be such a chore.
When Jeff returned to the BendPak offices in Santa Paula, CA, he presented his ideas to BendPak’s drafters, engineers and testing crews. Over the next few days and weeks, portable car lift prototypes were developed and tested over and over again. This new car lift would have to meet a few criteria:
- It must be easy to transport
- It must be fully electric-hydraulic
- It must feature an open-center design
- Most of all, it must be safe
The first successful car lift prototype to meet these criteria was called BlackJax. Why BlackJax? It sounds cool. And Jeff really likes the card game Blackjack. Before releasing the product to the public, it was important to test out the reaction of racers and drivers at the track and elsewhere. So, we sent several units to the first interested takers. The response was overwhelmingly positive. The BlackJax (soon to be QuickJack) looked like a winner.
Where does the "BL" in BL-5000SLX, BL-7000SLX, etc. come from?
When we first invented QuickJack, it was called the BlackJax. So, we registered our new portable lift's model identification with "BL" for "BlackJax Lift." It turns out, unsurprisingly, that we couldn't find website domain names or open trademarks with that name/logo, so a different approach was needed. We already had some of the parts in place, so we left the model numbers alone and revised the name to QuickJack. Since then, we've kept the "BL" on all subsequent models for the sake of continuity. All's well that ends well, we suppose!
We continued to tweak our new car lift for optimal safety, speed and portability. After several intensive months of testing and designing, the newly minted and renamed QuickJack was officially born in 2014. The global patent was applied for two months later in North America, Europe and China. Since there’s nothing even remotely similar to QuickJack in the world, our product admittedly took a few lumps in the early going. However, our dedication to customer service and resources afforded by BendPak made it easy to rapidly make all necessary improvements.
Toward the end of 2015, the SLX model was introduced with automatic mechanical locks (the first model had manual locks). Along with zero-leak quick-connect fittings, refinements in the power unit and other structural improvements, QuickJack was awarded the internationally recognized CE mark. It met all standards prescribed by the rigorous 98/37/EC Machinery Directive and the Harmonized Standard for vehicle lifts, EN-1493.
While QuickJack’s design has been mostly finalized and perfected, small changes have occurred since 2016. For instance, we introduced urethane pinch-weld blocks for use on unibody vehicles. We also shortened the overall length of our SLX models without negatively affecting the lift point reach; this enabled QuickJack to better fit under some Porsche models and other small-wheelbase vehicles. Whenever we find a way to do something better, we take to take advantage of the opportunity and improve our customers’ experience. It’s what we’ve been about since day one, way back in that summer of 2013.
Speaking of improvements, we introduced EXT car lift models in 2017. These frames are 6” longer than standard-length SLX frames. 2018 will see the release of the XLT, a super-long frame length designed especially for luxury electric vehicles with super-long, hard-to-reach lift points. We’re also proud to offer an extension accessory for our SLX models to safely give them the same lift point reach as the EXT series. And after that, who knows where we’re going!
Thanks for reading
Many of our improvements happen because customers like you speak up and tell us what you want. We love feedback, no matter what it is, and we look forward to building our story with you. We want to thank automotive professionals and dedicated DIY’ers alike for their overwhelming support and enthusiasm for both cars and QuickJack. Without all of you, we wouldn't be able to do what we love, to help you do what you love.
Be sure to find us on Facebook, subscribe to our QuickJack YouTube channel, and be sure to check out our Quick Tips videos for some great advice on how to get the most out of your portable car lift.