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Military Vehicle Jacks

Military vehicles, like any vehicle, needs a jack to help with common tasks such as tire changes or other maintenance. For each military vehicle, from jeep to heavy trucks or armor, there is a jack specified as part of its equipment or for use in a depot shop.

Marines from Alpha Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion use a hydraulic jack to lift the axle of a Light Armored Vehicle-25 (LAV-25) to change a flat tire, Twentynine Palms, CA, 19 April 1997.
Marines from Alpha Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion use a hydraulic jack to lift the axle of a Light Armored Vehicle-25 (LAV-25) to change a flat tire, Twentynine Palms, CA, 19 April 1997.

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Guide to Military Vehicle Lifting Jacks

Positioning of lifting jacks on the M-151A2 1/4-ton truck (jeep). From TM 9-2320-218-10 (September 1971), page 3-37.
Positioning of lifting jacks on the M-151A2 1/4-ton truck (jeep). From TM 9-2320-218-10 (September 1971), page 3-37.

Three main types of jacks are supplied for military vehicles as Basic Issue Items (BII) to be carried with the vehicle:

  • Screw Jack, Mechanical
  • Scissors Jack
  • Hydraulic Jack

In addition to these, every type of jack in commercial use is also used by the military such as bumper jacks, floor jacks, leveling jacks, transmission jacks and so on. Military automotive maintenance shops are not much different than your local truck stop garage in that respect.

Military Vehicle Mechanical Screw Jacks

ORD 41-J-66
ORD 41-J-66

Screw type mechanical jacks were very common for jeeps and trucks of World War II vintage. For example, the World War II jeeps (Willys MB and Ford GPW) were issued the "Jack, Automobile, Screw type, Capacity 1 1/2 ton", Ordnance part number 41-J-66. This jack, and similar jacks for trucks, were activated by using the lug wrench as a handle for the jack's ratchet action to raise or lower it. A control tab is marked up/down and it's position determines the direction of movement of the jack. The 41-J-66 jack was carried in the jeep's tool compartment.

Screw type jack's continued in use for small capacity requirements due to low cost of production and almost no maintenance. The 1971 M-151A2 chart reproduced above shows screw jack lift points and early M151 manuals include three optional screw jacks:

  • Jack, Screw Type. No FSN. ORD Part No. 11663064
  • Jack, Double Screw, Hand. FSN 2120-729-5779, ORD Part No. 7700157
  • Jack, Double Screw, Hand. FSN 5120-708-3365, ORD Part No. 7083365

Typical stowage of CUCV jack, handle and lug wrench (except M1009)
Typical stowage of CUCV jack, handle and lug wrench (except M1009)

As another example, the M1009 CUCV (Blazer) and related vehicles of its series used the Jack, Screw, Hand (NSN 5120-01-160-8868) along with its handle (NSN 5120-01-164-0173) as described by TM 9-2320-289-10 (31 January 1992).

The jack on the M1009 is located under the front passenger seat; behind the driver’s seat on the M1010; and behind the bench seat on the right-hand side of the cab for all other trucks of the series.

Military Vehicle Scissors Jacks

M151 jack, NSN 5120-00-106-7598
M151 jack, NSN 5120-00-106-7598

Scissors jacks are also mechanical and have been in use at least since the 1930s. Early jeeps used a scissors jack before the 41-J-66 screw jack. Both the M151 jeep and the HMMWV were issued scissors jacks, although the scissors jack has inadequate capacity for the heavy variants of the HMMWV, especially with a full payload. Recommendations for convoy commanders in Iraq include the substitution of hydraulic jacks for scissors jacks because of capacity and ease of use.

The scissors jack is quite low profile when closed (typically 3 to 6 inches in height) while extending to 18 to 20 inches. The handles supplied are usually hinged in one or two places so it can fold to a small length while being long enough to control the jack under the vehicle when extended.

Models of military scissor jacks include:

NomenclatureFSN/NSN/Part No.Example Vehicle
Jack, Scissors, HandFSN 5120-176-3460
NSN 5120-00-176-3460
ORD Part No. 11640496
M151
Jack, Scissors, Hand: 2-ton cap.NSN 5120-00-106-7598
ORD Part No. 11640481
HMMWV
Jack, Scissors, Hand: 3.5-ton cap.NSN 5120-01-375-0070
ORD Part No. 5939822
Heavy HMMWV

Military Vehicle Hydraulic Jacks

Replacing truck tire, 66th Maintenance Company, 1 September 1982
Replacing truck tire, 66th Maintenance Company, 1 September 1982.

Larger trucks and heavier loads are best handled by small but powerful hydraulic jacks, the so-called "bottle jack". These are widely used in the commercial automotive field and the military jacks are essentially the same. The low end of hydraulic jacks have a capacity of 3-tons, similar to the heavy version of the scissors jack. There is no upper limit to hydraulic jacks -- they can have any capacity but become larger and heavier as the capacity increases.

Hydraulic jacks have been issued for the M35 series of 2 1/2 ton 6x6 trucks, as well as the five tons and other heavier wheeled vehicles. Hydraulic jacks are also used for a wide variety of purposes other than jacking up trucks.

Models of military hydraulic jacks include:

NomenclatureFSN/NSN/Part No.Example Vehicle
Jack, Hydraulic, Hand self-contained, 3 ton, 9 1/4 in. closed, 18 3/4 in. extendedFSN 5120-233-6829M37 3/4 ton
Jack, Hydraulic, Hand, 8 ton, 9 in. closed, 19-1/2 in. extendedNSN 5120-00-595-8396M809 series 5 tons
Jack, Hydraulic 12 tonNSN 5120-01-146-8096 

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