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For any UK MOT Bay or vehicle garage, a jacking beam is an essential piece of equipment. It comes as an additional piece of lifting equipment and is usually purchased alongside, or following the installation of a 4-post lift or inspection pit allowing mechanics to lift a vehicle further from the ground or 4-post lift.

What is a 4-Post Lift Jacking beam?

A 4-post lift jacking beam is an adjustable, steel-framed hydraulic device designed to be used in combination with a 4-post lift, in order to lift a car further from the platform of the 4-post lift.  Jacking beam systems usually consist of two supporting arms connected to the main body of the jack and are operated either manually or electronically.

The jacking beam apparatus for a 4-post lift sits under the vehicle and is connected to the 4-post lift in one of 3 different ways

  • Sitting on top of the 4 post lift platforms
  • Secured within the jacking beam gutter
  • Some run along rails connected to the inside of the 4 post-lift platforms

The jacking beam allows the mechanic to access a car’s underside more easily, as the car wheels can be lifted above the level of the 4-post lift platform, this allows them to diagnose and repair a problem, especially those relating to wheels, tyres and suspension, quickly and efficiently. Additionally, many jacking beams also come with safety features such as release arms and emergency stop buttons ensuring that vehicles remain stable and secure during the repair process.

The width of the jacking beam arms is adjustable to fit the type of vehicle that is being lifted. The beam then lifts the vehicle off the ground, allowing mechanics to access any serviceable parts that require attention. It also allows mechanics to get underneath the vehicle and work without putting their backs at risk.

What is a 4-Post Bridge Jack?

Also referred to as a Rolling Bridge Jack, a 4-Post Bridge Jack is a piece of lifting equipment that is specifically designed to provide additional measurements and stability when lifting from a 4-post lift. They are usually composed of two jacking beams that are connected at the base and can be adjusted for different lifting heights. They are most commonly used when a vehicle needs to be lifted higher than the 4-post lift can provide, or when additional measurements and stability are needed to perform an adequate MOT check.

What is an Inspection Pit Jacking beam?

An Inspection Pit Jacking beam or Pit Jack is an essential piece of Pit equipment that is operated from within the pit to lift a vehicle off the floor to allow access to the wheels, tyres and suspension components.  In the same way, as the 4-post lift Jacking Beam, it allows mechanics to jack up a vehicle from the garage inspection pit and gives them a little more vehicle height, whilst maintaining a secure and stable platform for working on the underside of the vehicle.

The beams of an inspection pit jacking beam are usually made from heavy-duty steel and feature adjustable feet for a secure fit, this gives mechanics more control when positioning the beam in the pit. The jacking beam also features a heavy-duty ratcheting system, which means it can be used safely on any vehicle, as long as the jacking beam is of the appropriate weight capacity for the vehicle being worked on.  See the rules for jacking beams below for more information.

The beam is then raised and lowered by a hydraulic pump to lift a vehicle off the ground covering an inspection pit. The adjustable arms allow the jacking beam to be adjusted to the width of the vehicle being lifted, thereby ensuring the correct pressure is applied to the vehicle at the correct jacking points.

How do you use a jacking beam?

Jacking beams are usually roller mounted, and they can be placed on top at the end of the 4 Post Lift or Scissor Lift spanning the 2 platforms and either rolled under the vehicle, or the vehicle can be driven onto the 4 Post Lift or Scissor Lift with the jacking beam already in place.

The jacking beam can be adjusted to meet the jacking points on the car or vehicle and allows the front or rear of the vehicle to be raised from the 4 Post Lift or Scissor Lift itself, the advantage of this can be used, for example, to remove wheels from a car whilst it’s on the 4 Post Lift or Scissor Lift.

You can use 2 jacking beams, one at the front of the vehicle and another at the rear in conjunction with each other to raise both the front and rear of the vehicle whilst on the 4 Post Lift or Scissor Lift, therefore the ability to remove all 4 wheels of the vehicle whilst it is still securely raised to a working height by the 4 Post Lift or Scissor Lift.

This is an excellent video for how to use a Majorlift manual hydraulic jacking beam


Manufacturers of Jacking beams

There are several manufacturers of jacking beams, and several distributors of these across the UK, some of the larger ones are listed below

  • AC Hydraulics
  • Majorlift
  • most 4 post lift manufacturers also have their own make of jacking beam to fit their equipment

Features of Jacking beams

Features and benefits of a jacking beam differ by manufacturer and model but some or all of the below generally apply to most if not all jacking beams, whether 4-post jacking beams or inspection pit jacking beams:

  • Jacking beam arms are extendable to correctly fit and lift different sizes of vehicle
  • 4 Post Jacking beams either run above, in the jacking beam gutter or on rails
  • Inspection pit Jacking beams sit on the lip above the top of the inspection pit
  • Jacking beams usually have wheels to aid movement into position, the wheels can be steel wheels or nylon,

Rules for Jacking beams in the UK

Some rules, sizes and capacity will differ on jacking beams supplied from, or for use in different countries, so be aware of the below rules to ensure you have the correct jacking beam for your intended use, and for correct safety within the garage or MOT Bay

  • UK Jacking beams must be a minimum of 1600mm in width (note in Europe it’s 1400mm so beware of inappropriate imports)
  • For class 4 MOT – The jacking beam must have a minimum 2-ton lifting capacity
  • For class 7 MOT – The jacking beam must have a minimum 2.6-ton lifting capacity
Jacking Beam min width 1600mm UK

Jacking Beam min width is 1600mm in UK


Help with your Jacking Beam purchase

Concept Garage Equipment can supply a complete range of Jacking Beams for garages and MOT Bays, for both Vehicle Lifts and Inspection Pits. Our models range from Jacking Beams for cars, to LCV and HGV, and we can supply both manual and automatic air hydraulic jacking beams for both 4 Post Lifts and Inspection pits, built to UK regulations for both weight and size.

If you are considering or even in the process of setting up an MOT Bay, or simply upgrading your garage to add a 4-post lift and jacking beam, and need some information, advice or additional garage equipment just give Concept Garage Equipment a call, we would love to help you get your MOT profitable as soon as possible.

We can offer you advice over the phone at 0113 469 0572, help with choosing the correct jacking beam or lifting solution as well as full on-site MOT Bay design, MOT Bay Project Management, and MOT equipment supply, installation and staff training in the correct use of the MOT equipment. 

Call us today on 0113 469 0572 or use the website contact form today, we are here to help.