Raising the trailer with only the tongue jack
|Sailboats for sale
|Sailboat Photo Gallery
|Advertise with us
|Free Sailboat Ad
If you're lucky, sooner or later you will have a trailer with one axle in the dirt, and no jack to raise it. Well, you're lucky if it's not raining and it's a warm day, and you have a tongue jack on the trailer. I had the bearings give out on the port side, and while buying new bearings the trailer fell off the little jack, burying the axle in the dirt. Yes, I should have stopped on more level ground, but the wheel was about to fall off.
Warning! Any time you raise several hundred pounds, you must use extreme caution. When they fall, they fall fast. When you block something up, you should push on it and rock it to see if it will fall off, when no one is under it. Never put any part of your body under the trailer! My second wife put her hand under a tire on a jacked up car, it made her fingers all wrinkly when the car fell off the jack, and she had to wait for me to pick up the car to get her hand out.
The little jack was now very much too tall to fit under the trailer, we had blocks, wood, and my cordless saw in the truck, so we just used the tongue jack to raise the trailer. I'd rather use wood blocks than the concrete blocks, and if you're far from help you could cut a tree and saw it into blocks, but I had the blocks. Never put any part of your body under the trailer! My second wife put her hand under a tire on a jacked up car, it made her fingers all wrinkly when the car fell off the jack.
The method is pretty simple. Raise the tongue all the way and block the trailer frame in front of the axle but far enough back so the trailer will tilt forward when you lower the tongue. This raises the back of the trailer, so you block that up and raise the tongue. Block the front again and lower the tongue, block the back and raise the tongue, and repeat until the axle is high enough to replace the tire. Going down is much quicker as the tire holds the trailer up soon.
With careful positioning of the blocks and two people, you can do this without the tongue jack. By putting the blocks near the boat/trailer's center of gravity you don't need a tongue jack to raise or lower the tongue.
It's better to grease your bearings every year, but then you miss out on fun like this! Should I do a video on how to grease wheel bearings?
Broadband version, 30 MB, click picture to start video