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Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recall

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Yup, I received an email about this today. HF will give you a gift card equal to the purchase price of the original item purchased. Here are the models recalled.

image.jpeg

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Hopefully the replacements are the same cost as these ones. 

 

And this boys is why you always leave the jack under it or throw the wheel you took off under the frame. Just an added extra measure. 

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This is why I don't buy cheap jack stands.

 

When it comes to safety, buying the good stuff is worth it.

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8 hours ago, Torq_Shep said:

Hopefully the replacements are the same cost as these ones. 

 

And this boys is why you always leave the jack under it or throw the wheel you took off under the frame. Just an added extra measure. 

The best practice is not to get under a vehicle with jackstands or jack. I like a solid piece of wood. Yes, I work in the peripheral of the vehicle with jackstand and a floor jack. Still, not a good practice. Also, I think the Pittsburg line is not HF exclusive. 

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I always throw the tires back underneath when I use jackstands.   They may not be the tallest, but it'll at least give me some room to get out.  Or at least not get completely crushed, I hope.

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Lots of good options to choose from.  You can google for things you would want like made in USA if that's your thing.

 

Honestly though, as long as you stay away from the really cheap brands you're good.

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The funny thing is, they say the stand drops when the load is shifted, see screenshot photo. If it doesn't have a chance of shifting, there isn't anything to worry about. I know, $#!& can happen; however, I was once under a '55 Pontiac Star Chief on a 9000# two-poster, and during the Nisqually quake in Washington State many years ago, the earthquake could not dislodge the car. Why? Because I took the extra effort to ensure that it was lifted correctly. Same applies to jack stands, to prevent load shifting. Flat surface? Check. Even weight distribution? Check. Stand feet flat on the surface? Check. Remaining tires properly inflated? Check. Jack nearby and ready to go? Check. Stands rated for the vehicle? Check. Used in pairs only? Check and check. Your safety starts with you, recall or no recall.

Screenshot_20200519-200918.png

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^^^I can't say I disagree with that.

 

Any time you put a load on jack stands, you should shake the hell out of the load, in several directions before you ever think of sliding underneath.  If a stand is going to fail you want it to fail before you commit to endangering your life.  I've got several sets of HF stands, from 2 ton up to 12 ton, purchased many years ago and they all still function fine provided you do due dillagence when deploying them.  Just like any other jack stand.  If the pawl and/or teeth are service worn, throw them out and buy some new ones.

 

Theres a little bit of self responsibility involved here with these recalls and IMO it's only getting worse.  I subscribe to Consumer Reports, and in every issue is a whole section dedicated to manufacturer recalls every month.  It's almost comical to read some (most) all of the announced recalls.  The majority of them are no more than a CYA from the manufacturer because the average consumer is an idiot.

 

/rant off

 

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Thinking about the OTC set although I already have 2 other sets... maybe just hold off until I find a reason to need 3 sets. The HFs were my go to ones though, just because they were the newest.

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OTC stuff has never done me wrong.

 

My jackstands are a mishmash of brands. The big ones that I use with my MJ are AC Delco I think. I bought them because they have large feet on the bottom to distribute the weight on the ground. Unless they fail and kill you, I've always just figured a jackstand is pretty much a jackstand :dunno:

 

My habit has always been to give the vehicle a nice shove (and I don't mean just a little push, a shove) before putting anything I care about under it.

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I have no idea what my other 2 brands are. One set I grabbed at a pawn shop after going to all of the local pawn shops after my jack and jack stands got stolen (yes I was looking for my stolen stuff...). That set has been painted over so I will never know what they are. The other set is some parts store set, don't even remember the brand. 

 

Not even sure if I need the 3rd set tbh. The only time I use 4 is when rotating tires, and I only used all 6 when an ElCo sat in my driveway on stands for a year... Courtesy of an old roomate...

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On 5/20/2020 at 4:17 PM, mjeff87 said:

Any time you put a load on jack stands, you should shake the hell out of the load, in several directions before you ever think of sliding underneath.  If a stand is going to fail you want it to fail before you commit to endangering your life.


I learned to take that lesson seriously that the hard way a few years back.

I always gave anything I put on jack stands a decent bounce before getting underneath, so I probably got a bit complacent when nothing ever went wrong. So this one time, and I don’t entirely remember what I was doing with it, I had my Lada up on jack stands in its usual dirt parking spot. I knew jack stands on dirt wasn’t the best idea, but it was dry as a bone and the Lada doesn’t weigh a huge amount (still enough to seriously injure someone) and the bounce test went okay so I figured all was well. So I spent most of the afternoon underneath but it started raining so I went inside for the night. I didn’t really think much about it, and it was nice and sunny again the next morning and I went right back at it. Pretty sure I was only under it for a minute or so before the ground gave out under all four stands and they all tipped over. Fortunately I was only under the front axle and the thing fell backwards, but when it hit the ground the front bumper came within a few inches of my face. I barely had enough time to close my eyes. I got real lucky there. Big wake up call too. 
Was it last summer or the summer before, there was a moderate earthquake in California. It didn’t really affect me as far away as I am, but the thing I remember was an article about the first casualty they found, a few days after the quake. An older man had a Willys Jeep up on a high-lift jack, and it tipped over. The photos in the article had a couple crushed cinder blocks right next to the Jeep, looked like it landed on them and they broke apart. The guy probably had been getting away with it his whole life, 30, 40, 50 years even, right up until he didn’t. Whether the Jeep landing on him killed him right away or just pinned him for too long before someone went looking, it doesn’t make much difference.

Logs roll, wood crushes and splits; bricks, cinder blocks, and concrete blow apart; asphalt flexes, things bounce and slide when they land on steel... everything that can go wrong will go wrong, usually at the worst time. 
 

The jack stands I use have a safety pin. They’re Michelin branded, and I picked them up cheap at a chain store so I’m pretty sure they’re just offshore stuff with a fancy name, but the reason I got them was because of that safety pin. It’s a nice tight fit in the ratchet teeth, and while I don’t think it takes much or any of the weight off the pawl, it stops the upright part from moving far enough to disengage it.

FF592474-C6E0-4398-A48C-E7D90087393B.jpeg.4680766561a9d60c929881cf08a6d938.jpeg

 

And yes, these were the stands that tipped on me. It’s like they say, any time you make something idiot-proof, the world comes up with a better idiot.

Whatever you use as a safety catch device, you’ve got to make sure it’ll catch the vehicle no matter which way it tips, and have some plan in place to stop the vehicle from moving if it does land on it. You also need a part of the vehicle to land on it that won’t collapse. Rust can be dangerous here.
I’m a big fan now of no more wheels off the ground than necessary. If I’ve got a pair of jackstands under it, the jack will still be under as well with some pressure on it still. Throwing a wheel under somewhere as well, but I prefer the backups to be holding some of the weight. I’ve used tree rounds, and chocked them, but a square chunk of wood is far better. Crosswise to the grain, and make sure it takes the weight before you trust it... softwoods are called “soft” for a reason.

Don't take it for granted either that someone else made sure a vehicle was safe before getting underneath. I was under one at a junkyard that passed the bounce test when I discovered halfway into pulling the hitch that the one corner stand was sitting on the sidewall of the spare tire. There’s no telling how much air is in the spare, and if you got wiggling it and it blows out the sidewall or knocks the bead off, there’s no guarantee it’ll stay put on the rest of the stands as it shifts.

Also, the stand is only ever as good as the ground underneath it. 

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On 5/20/2020 at 10:39 PM, Minuit said:

OTC stuff has never done me wrong.

 

My jackstands are a mishmash of brands. The big ones that I use with my MJ are AC Delco I think. I bought them because they have large feet on the bottom to distribute the weight on the ground. Unless they fail and kill you, I've always just figured a jackstand is pretty much a jackstand :dunno:

 

My habit has always been to give the vehicle a nice shove (and I don't mean just a little push, a shove) before putting anything I care about under it.

I have some of those AC Delco's they are beasts. I think they're 12 ton or so. Don't think I've ever had them past the first notch on anything I have.

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