Maybe you’ve heard of Harbor Freight’s well-publicized recall for faulty jack stands. A 1320Video fan submitted photos of his new 3-Ton Harbor Freight jack stand that had split along the weld during its inaugural use, while supporting a super-sized VW Golf. The kicker? This particular jack was the replacement for the recalled set that Harbor Freight delivered in place of the original design, whose locking pawl could slip, collapsing the stand without warning.
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I returned a pair of HF stands last month, and got a gift card that will likely go to more of their surprisingly high quality and dirt cheap hand tools. I have other stands that have stood the test of time (knock on wood) and this is one of those lessons learned: you may or may not get what you pay for, but when it comes to your safety just go ahead and pay more!
I bought two pair of 3 ton stands from HF to get my ‘57 Chevy 210 off of the floor for the Winter season, since I just replaced tires with flat spots. I changed my mind and returned them, not liking the contact points of the stands to the vehicle. I bought 4 Esco stands which cost considerably more but are more heavy duty and have a large round platform like a floor jack and rubber pads on top of that.
Related to the example in the jewelry activation of the starter motor, we learned in Air Force electronics that the first thing you do when working on any equipment is to remove all jewelry before starting. If you have ap hilosophical reluctance to remove a wedding band, for example, then tape it so that it is completely covered. The goal is to avoid both catching the jewelry on something physical or having it bridge something electrically as in the example. The best case that could happen is destruction of the component; the worst case is losing a body part that the jewelry is attached to, or completing a circuit that activates something not intended.