It is essential to learn how to grease a trailer jack.
Trailer jacks prevent worker injuries and damage to cargo, especially livestock, by ensuring the trailer doesn’t tip over. According to Uline, your trailer jack needs to meet OSHA standards for security. 
They are necessary for the elevation of your trailer, and it is essential to maintain them so they stay high enough over the road when you use them.
This is especially true for large horse trailers that add a heavy burden to the equipment.
Read on to learn how to apply grease to your trailer jack.
Table of Contents
- Remove the jack from your vehicle.
- Remove the handle.
- Remove the outer tube from the inner tube.
- Take out the screw from the inner tube.
- Wipe off the dust and grease with a rag or grease gun.
- Put everything back together.
6 Steps To Grease A Trailer Jack
Don’t worry; greasing your jack isn’t too difficult, and you’ll get the hang of it quickly. I’ve laid out each step below, so let’s get started!
Step 1: Knowing Your Jack
This will usually depend on the kind of jack you’re using. Some of the most common jacks include electric trailer jacks, swivel tongue jacks, side mount jacks, drop-leg trailer jacks, etc. (2)
However, most of them are fairly simple to use and don’t have complex structures. Even the electric trailer jack eliminates manual labor and is easy to work with.
You’ll discover a large screw inside the jack in the most basic forms. A nut is embedded within the screw, which allows the up-and-down movement of the cylinder.
This screw is placed at a right angle to the gear of the handle. When you move the handle, the angle gears or screw move with it, thus changing the jack’s height.
Step 2: Choosing The Right Lubrication
This metal requires adequate lubrication and greasing to give you the best function. But before we teach you how to do it, you need to go through the available grease options and pick the best one.
The most sensible type of jack grease is white lithium grease. (3) It is multipurpose, petroleum-based, high-performance grease.
If you want to dust and grime-resistant grease, you can try graphite-based ones. (4) While you can use motor oil, too, a graphite-based spray lubricant is better at preventing dust collection.
Step 3: Remove The Handle
This is where you learn toapply grease. To grease your tongue jack, you first remove the handle. But before this, detach it from any weight.
You can remove the handle using the appropriate wrenches and unscrewing the bolts that keep the handle and inner screw together. Once you’ve set aside the handle and bolt, remove the outer tube from the inner tube.
Step 4: Remove The Screw
Detach the outer tube’s bearing. You’ll discover a washer and ball bearing at the top of the inner screw. Remove those too.
If you can’t find any, search for them in the outer tube; they might be stuck. Proceed to reattach the handle so you can remove the screw within the inner tub.
Step 5: Clean The Screw
Now, you need to clean the screw of rust, dust, or grime that has collected over time. Once you’ve applied plenty of grease or lube to the inner screw, you’ll need to screw it back inside the inner tube.
Step 6: Put The Jack Back Together
Retrace your steps; reattach the washer and ball bearing. Once you’ve applied plenty of grease to the bearing, stack it on the washer.
Make sure to grease the outer tube’s bearing once you’ve slid it back on the inner tube, and reattach it.
Lastly, reinstall the handle using your wrenches. You’ve successfully greased the jack!
Here’s a tip; you can always use a rag or spare cloth to apply grease unless you have a grease gun. They can reach corners and drip or evenly spray lubricant in hard-to-reach places.
Greasing a tongue jack is so easy you can do it yourself. But if you prefer visual help, watch this video:
Signs A trailer Jack Needs to Be Greased
Some of the first signs you need to look out for are noise and friction. Does the handle screech when you turn it?
Are you experiencing resistance from the cranking mechanism? Then it’s time to grease the jack.
Rust and signs of wear also indicate a dire need for grease.
Check out this video for more tips on signs a jack needs to be greased.
How Often Should You Grease Your Trailer Jack?
This depends on the size of your trailer and how often you use it. Environmental conditions also play a part. For example, if your jack is exposed to bad weather or salt air, it will need more frequent greasing.
A good rule of thumb is grease it after every trailer trip. It gives you a chance to inspect your jack and gives you confidence that it is working smoothly.
Trailer Jack Maintenance and Repairs To Check
Even the best electric trailer jack requires maintenance. Here are some things you can check that would require maintenance and repair.
- The head bolt
- The handle
- The gears
- The outer tube’s coating
- The washer
- The screw
- The inner tube’s coating
- The alignment of all parts
The simplest thing you need to do is check if any of these parts are rusted, deformed, cracked, rusted, corroded or damaged in any way. Check for each part’s smooth function and determine the problem.
Check out this video to learn more about jacks, their safety, and their different capabilities.
When To Replace A Trailer Jack?
If you’ve frequently used the jack and the rest of its equipment, you might want to examine it and deduce if it needs replacement.
Sometimes, after all the turning, the jack shaft loses its strictly cylindrical opening or spherical shape. This is an obvious cry for replacement.
Another sign is corrosion. It is necessary to replace worn-out parts or accessories, such as the wheel for the trailer jack.
What oil can you put in a jack?
Almost anything you have on hand, from motor oil to grade 32 or transmission fluid.
What is a good dry lubricant?
A good dry lubricant to try is a graphite-based dry lubricant spray.
Can you over-grease trailer bearings?
Yes, and it results in high temperatures, churning, and energy loss.
Now that you know how to grease a trailer jack, I hope you can do it without needing to enlist help.
Just remember to be regular with the upkeep of your gear, and it’ll save you a lot of inconveniences!
So, did you find the steps helpful? Let us know in the comments section!
- 1. Use of jack stands in the stabilization of semi-trailers. | Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Internet]. Osha.gov. 2022. Available from: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2008-04-14
- 2. Yater J. Trailer Jack types, with examples [Internet]. Material Handling Insider. [cited 2022 Oct 12]. Available from: https://materialhandlinginsider.com/trailer-jack-types-with-examples/
- 3. What Type of Grease for Lubricating Trailer Jack [Internet]. etrailer.com. [cited 2022 Oct 12]. Available from: https://www.etrailer.com/question-495158.html
- 4. Recommendations for a scissor jack lubricant ? – Forest River Forums [Internet]. www.forestriverforums.com. [cited 2022 Oct 12]. Available from: https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f110/recommendations-for-a-scissor-jack-lubricant-204196.html
- 5. How to Repair a Stuck Trailer Jack [Internet]. iFixit. 2020 [cited 2022 Oct 12]. Available from: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/How+to+Repair+a+Stuck+Trailer+Jack/132704
Emily is a native of Colorado, currently living in Glasgow, Scotland, working as a freelance writer. She is a long-time horsewoman, having started riding at the age of 6, then competing in dressage around Colorado and Massachusetts, where she finished her undergraduate degree in psychology.
Following a move to the UK and a PhD, she worked for a few years as a freelance horse trainer in Central Scotland. She’s interested in holistic horsemanship, fostering better communication and understanding between horses and humans, riding with lightness and softness, and she’s forever seeking out the newest research into equine behavior and psychology. When not writing, she can be found at the barn with her two equine partners, Foinavon, an ex-feral Highland pony, and Hermosa, a young Andalusian.
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