For Comparison's Sake: Trailer Jacks | Boating Magazine

For Comparison's Sake: Trailer Jacks

We compare some of the top trailer jacks for boaters.

When you think of a jack for your boat trailer, you envision a tongue-mounted model that you use to raise and lower it onto the tow vehicle’s hitch. But there are times when you need to pick up the back end of a trailer as well. Here are the three most popular ways to get the job done.

Dutton-Lainson 6816
The Up: The fixed-style jack has a sturdy steel footplate and a 2,000-pound capacity, so it can handle a big trailer. It has 15 inches of travel and is designed for tongues up to 25 inches off the ground. It fits tongues up to 3 inches by 5 inches.

The Down: Even when fully raised, the footplate still hangs below the trailer frame, lowering clearance, and the lack of a wheel means you can’t move the trailer around in a parking lot. $75; dutton-lainson.com

Springfield Quick-Change
The Up: Place this ­aluminum jack under square or round axles and then pull forward to lift up to a 4,000-pound trailer off the ground. It’s also conveniently ­portable, so you can use it on more than one trailer. It fits wheel sizes from 10 to 15 inches, so it’s also versatile.

The Down: If you need to change a flat on a soft shoulder, gravel or a dirt road, it may skid and take a few attempts to work as advertised. $42; basspro.com

Dutton-Lainson 6400
The Up: This is the most widely used type because it rotates to a horizontal towing position and locks in place parallel to the trailer frame. The wheel makes it easy to move around on a paved surface. It fits tongues up to 3 inches by 5 inches.

The Down: It has a limited weight capacity (1,000 pounds) compared with heavier-duty nonswiveling models. Also, watch the handle so it doesn’t drag in low-profile applications. $60; dutton-lainson.com

TrailerSense Tongue-Weight Indicator Jack
For a foolproof way to make sure your trailer’s tongue weight is correct, check out the TrailerSense Tongue-Weight Indicator Jack. That’s right, this patented design has a built-in scale that will tell you the exact tongue weight for your trailer. Just connect it to your truck and read the weight. Tongue weight should be no more than 10 percent of the gross trailer weight. $147; seasense.com

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