They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. In this case, we have an update so important, we’re giving you both! The image below is straight out of our QuickJack portable car lift’s December 2018 instruction manual update, page 4. We use the word “image” loosely here, since it’s mostly words.

Do not lift QuickJack frames without a vehicle on them

Please Read Carefully

The most important part is the first part, which reads: “IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ. Only raise your QuickJack frames with a vehicle on them.” As careful students and long-time followers of QuickJack will note, this is a significant departure from our previous setup instructions. We used to instruct you guys to pressurize the frames without weight. In order to do this correctly, it was important to never lift the frames to the maximum lifting height without weight on them. When no weight is on the frames, the first frame to rise (as we all know, the frames lift unevenly without weight) can sometimes get jammed at the top position if the pendant control’s Up button is continuously held.

Some people feared their assembly was defective when they saw the frames lifting unevenly, although the QuickJack frames were in fact operating correctly. The solution to uneven frames is to put a vehicle on top, but understandably, some folks felt this would result in a topsy-turvy vehicle lift. They weren’t quite right in this assessment, but we get it.

Read the full technical bulletin here.

Always Lift Under Pressure

Still not convinced? Here’s another nugget of engineering truth we hope you take to heart. If there are not at least 1,500 lbs. on the QuickJack frames, they will not lift evenly, no matter how well you prep the hydraulic lines and pressurize each air cylinder. On the other hand, the moment weight is put on the frames, QuickJack’s built-in flow divider activates. This flow divider is the key to QuickJack’s operation, and it really doesn’t need to be prepped or “pre-pressurized” without weight to start working. When it activates (under the weight of a vehicle), hydraulic pressure is dispersed equally between the two frames. The frames will lift in unison, and therefore, your vehicle remains level.

In the past, if you followed our previous instructions and lifted your QuickJack frames without weight on them, you didn’t do anything wrong. No harm was done to your system. Promise.

Revised Setup, Same QuickJack

Our new instructions will simply make everyone’s experience with QuickJack a little easier. Owning a portable car lift can be intimidating to someone who has never operated a lift or worked with hydraulics. Our job is to take away the fear and show everyone that QuickJack—and car lifts in general—offer better experiences and a higher safety factor than floor jacks and stands. QuickJack is easy to use, and with these revised instructions, it just got even easier.