How to Choose the Best Hydraulic Jacks for Aircraft Maintenance

You can't lift your aircraft on your own to perform routine maintenance, but a hydraulic jack can do the heavy lifting for you. It's important to make sure you always have the right tools to get the job done quickly and safely. A high-quality hydraulic jack with the lifting power needed to pick up your plane can ensure that you stay safe on the job and have the access you need to effectively inspect, repair and maintain your aircraft."

When raising an airplane, not just any jack will do. You need a jack that offers superior safety and precision. Hydraulic jacks offer more lifting power than a standard jack and won't fail under pressure. Designed for the aviation industry, these jacks can handle heavy aircraft, with the high load ratings needed to pick up with power. Explore some of the different jacks available, learn how they work and how to choose the right jack for your aircraft maintenance needs.

Overview of Hydraulic Jacks

A hydraulic jack is simply a lifting device that uses a hydraulic system to lift heavy loads. Hydraulic jacks lift things straight up and lower them gently and are often used for lifting particularly heavy vehicles, machinery and aircraft. A hydraulic jack is used when the item being lifted is too heavy to be lifted by hand. Hydraulic jacks are the most common type used in aviation because they offer a lot of lifting force with very little effort.

There are different types of hydraulic jacks on the market including bottle jacks, floor jacks, scissor jacks and more. Each one has a specific purpose and all jacks have a load capacity that should be listed and adhered to. Hydraulic jacks are used to get under the aircraft to work on the landing gear, repair brakes and access systems located on the underside of the craft. The jack not only provides lifting power, it also helps stabilize the aircraft while work is being done. It's important to choose the right type of jack for your job. You can order low wing jacks, high lift wing jacks, aft jacks, main and nose gear jacks and more. The jacks are different shapes to accommodate different parts of the aircraft.

Hydraulic Jack Features

Choosing a hydraulic jack is easier than you think, especially if you have a few key pieces of information available before you begin your hunt.

  • Weight Capacity: Know how much you need your jack to lift and choose one that can easily accommodate that size load. Give yourself a little wiggle room to make sure your jack can lift the necessary load over and over again without failure. The lifting capacity needed will depend on the size and weight of your aircraft.

  • Lifting Height: How high do you need the jack to lift the aircraft? Different jacks can lift different heights. If you plan on doing work underneath the aircraft, you may need a jack that can lift higher so you can stand below the aircraft while you work. If you need to stabilize the aircraft while you work on other parts, a lower jack might be more than enough.

  • Maneuverability: Your jack will need to be moved around and positioned to use it. Choose a hydraulic jack that's portable and maneuverable, easily going where you need it to be. Wheeled jacks are very popular, offering the ability to be moved greater distances without a trailer or other means.

  • Storage: Where will you keep your jack when it's not in use? Look into storage options before you make a purchase. If you'll be keeping your jack in the hangar, you may want to invest in a folding jack that takes up less space when not in use. A folding jack can also be portable, transporting longer distances between jobs.

  • Build Quality: You want a jack that's built right, so look into the build quality before you buy. Jacks with good warranties and heavy-duty construction will be the most likely to stand up to your heavy workload.

Types of Hydraulic Jacks

There are several types of hydraulic jacks for aircraft maintenance, but the one you choose will depend on how you plan on using the jack and what type of work you need to do.

  • Tripod Jacks: Tripod hydraulic jacks are a specialized lifting solution that's often seen in aircraft maintenance hangars. These jacks have a triangular base for better stability and a standard hydraulic system for controlled vertical lift. The jacks are super stable and offer better support for aircraft while performing maintenance and service. Tripod jacks are ideal for working on landing gear and other components.

  • Axle Jacks: Axle jacks are a heavy-duty type of lifting tool that's used for aircraft maintenance. These jacks are meant to support the main landing gear of an airplane, offering improved stability and a strong hold that allows for maintenance and repair work. Axle jacks have a robust construction and high weight capacity.

  • Bottle Jacks: Bottle jacks are compact and versatile with a bottle-like shape for which they are named. These hydraulic jacks are portable and reliable, with a user-friendly design that's popular in the aviation industry. Their compact size makes them a great choice for lifting smaller machinery and structures or in confined spaces.

  • Aft Jacks: Aft jacks, also known as tail jacks, are a specialized type of hydraulic jack that's used to raise and support the tail section of an aircraft. This allows for easy repairs, maintenance and inspections. Aft jacks are crucial in maintaining safety, particularly when working with larger aircraft.

Choosing a Hydraulic Jack

Choosing a hydraulic jack is easy once you know how you plan on using it and how heavy your aircraft is. Simply pick a jack that's the right type for the area of your aircraft you're working on and one that has more than enough capacity to meet your needs. Hydraulic jacks are all operated similarly, with a user-friendly design that makes lifting easy. For the best selection of hydraulic jacks, visit and direct any questions you may have about individual jacks to our team of Geeks, who will be more than happy to help.