I’ve been through just three jacks total in the last twenty years. With maintenance, a good jack will last a long time. And, I’ve come to expect that from the floor jacks I’ve purchased. When my last floor jack started acting flakey, I promptly ordered a seal kit for it, but I needed to wrench on one of our project rigs well before the parts would arise – those damn deadlines.
Being a fan of Sears Craftsman tools, I headed over to the local Sears store and pursued their lineup of jacks. One in particular caught my eye – The Craftsman Professional 4-Ton floor jack with the Speedy-Lift system (Sears Item# 00950156000 / Model# 50156). The Speedy-Lift system gets the jack’s saddle to the load (e.g. your truck frame) in just 2 pumps, then it acts as a normal floor jack. Costing around $150, this seemed like the perfect jack for our shop. I promptly threw down the plastic and nabbed the last one they had in stock.
This jack also boasts a lift range of 5 3/4” to 19 13/16”, a sturdy reinforced steel frame and lift arm, steel swivel saddle and rear wheel casters, and a safety bypass system prevents possible damage to jack due to overloading.
Fast forward exactly 12 months and 3 days from the date of purchase…
I was getting ready to start working on a 4-link suspension system for our FJ40 project vehicle (Project Extreme Makeover) and I needed to put the frame on jack stands. I wheeled the new-ish Craftsman jack over to the frame and started lifting away. Everything seemed normal and the jack worked perfectly (of course it did, why wouldn’t it? I’ve greased the Zerk fittings and checked the hydraulic fluid levels.), that is until I rolled the jack out from underneath the truck and noticed a rather large pool of hydraulic fluid where the jack was parked during the lift.
The fluid had gushed out of the hydraulic cylinder as if the entire seal were missing. Shocked, and disappointed, I grabbed the service manual to see if there was anything I could do to repair it – nothing in the manual. I went online to Sears’ web site and looked up the jack, only to find 65+ reviews on this jack with the vast majority (50+) giving it 1 out of 5 stars, nearly all of which complained about the hydraulic cylinder leakage.
I put a call into the main number at Sears and I was reminded that my warranty had expired. OK, I get that – stuff happens and things sometimes break right after the warranty – that’s life. However, there are no serviceable parts available for this jack. No rebuild kits, no o-rings or seals that can be ordered. In essence, our new-ish Craftsman Professional floor jack was a 90 pound paperweight.
Various Photos of the Craftsman 4-Ton Floor Jack
Craftsman and Craftsman Professional products have adorned our shop for years and have provided us with worry-free and trouble-free use. The Craftsman Professional 4-Ton floor jack with the Speedy-Lift system (Sears Item# 00950156000 / Model# 50156) however, was a complete waste of our money. It failed just three days after the warranty expired, even though it was maintained properly, and there are no serviceable parts available for it.
We still have another Craftsman floor jack in our shop that is nearly 15 years old (and working well), but this model seems to be plagued with consistent hydraulic leaks.