4 Types Of Trailer Jacks [Unique Features & How They Work]

Heavy duty electric trailer jacks!

Different types of trailer jacks have unique properties that make them more or less attractive for your specific use.

Towing a vehicle successfully necessitates the use of a strong trailer jack and regular maintenance checks (1). Heavy duty electric trailer jacks.

The market offers a variety of options, both mountable and unmountable.

These are distinct types of trailer jacks:

  • Drop Leg
  • Marine Tongue
  • Swivel Tongue
  • Electric Hitch

To learn more about each type and what will suit you best, read on!

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What Are The Types Of Trailer Jacks?

There are four main types of trailers jacks – drop leg, marine tongue, swivel tongue, and electric hitch.

A trailer jack is used to elevate and steady a trailer before it is attached to a towing vehicle. It is also known as a tongue jack or hitch jack. This jack makes life much easier when you’re trying to hitch and unhitch your trailer from the towing vehicle!

Heavy-duty trailer jacks take the lead amongst other options; watch the video to learn more:

Now, let’s take a closer look at the types of jacks, their unique features, and more:

1. Drop Leg Trailer Jack

A drop leg jack enables the driver to quickly place the foot under the tongue to speed up the jacking process. A telescopic tube and a pin are used to make falling easier.

The key selling point is that this immediately fixes the possibility of uneven terrain levels between the vehicle and the hitch.

The degree of cranking needed to elevate the trailer tongue is reduced by this downward action.

Some drop leg jacks have an inbuilt spring-loaded pin that automatically pulls back once the pin is removed.

This function reduces the driver’s need to lean over in order to withdraw a jack’s leg.

2. Marine Tongue Jack

Marine jacks seem to be the preferred jacks for individuals who spend a significant amount of time angling, fishing, or sailing.

Because they are designed to withstand the wear and tear that comes with continuous exposure to water.

Tires are generally featured on maritime jacks, allowing for greater mobility as well as a simpler coupling process with your boat trailer.

Marine jacks also come with a heavy-duty pull-pin which enables them to pivot on their mounting bracket and relocate out of the path whenever the automobile is being moved.

They also feature a corrosion-resistant coating which protects components against rust as well as the harm that moisture may inflict.

Check our list of the best electric tongue jack.

3. Swivel Tongue Jack

Swivel jacks are leading among all other alternatives (2). These have in-built swivel mechanisms that allow them to rotate out of the way.

The swiveling component, something that is secured in position by the securing pin, allows rotation.

The major advantage of using this kind of jack is the additional ground clearance given once the jack has swiveled itself into the horizontal position.

When hauling through bumps, curves, and slopes, it is far less probable to touch the ground unexpectedly, which could damage the jack or trailer.

Swivel jacks are easily bolted or connected to a mounting panel or tubing. A few swivel systems feature ball bearings, as well as using two standard tubes.

One can conveniently remove the jack by simply removing the pin, but this can only happen in the two-tubed swivel arrangement.

4. Electric Hitch Jack

A trailer frame including an electrical generator that expands and withdraws the jack’s leg is known as an electric trailer jack (3).

They work by hooking into the trailer’s power network to activate the motor, after which the operator maneuvers the trailer with the remote to manage weight capacities effectively.

The unique selling point remains electric functionality, which eliminates the need for physical labor.

Some electric jacks can also operate manually the jack loses power. Even though they are more expensive than standard jacks, electric jacks are great if you suffer from back pain or other issues that affect your ability to shift heavy loads.

What Is The Maximum Weight That a Hitch Jack Can Support?

Trailer tongue weight will be around 15% of the trailer’s gross weight, which means you need an A-frame jack that can support this.

The best way to calculate this is to find what your tongue weight is. For example, if your trailer’s gross weight is 2,000 pounds, the tongue weight is 300 pounds.

You will need a jack that can support a minimum of 300 pounds, but one that can take more is always better and safer.

The maximum weight a hitch jack can support will depend on the product. It is always best to go for the most heavy-duty, strongest jack you can afford.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a drop leg jack work?

The drop leg trailer jack is a type of trailer jack that enables the user to stabilize the foot at a lower level to fill in any gaps between the jack and trailer.  

Why are trailer jacks designed with wheels?

Wheels on trailer jacks make them easier to move, making the work lighter and quicker.


Types of trailer jacks come in a variety of designs. However, shape, strength, and build quality are the key elements to look out for when deciding on a trailer jack for your specific needs.

trailer jack

Feel free to leave any questions or suggestions in the comment section down below.


1. FS607: Horse Trailer Maintenance and Trailering Safety (Rutgers NJAES) [Internet]. njaes.rutgers.edu. [cited 2022 Nov 30]. Available from: https://njaes.rutgers.edu/FS607/

2. Hagerty M. Best Trailer Jacks For 2022 [Internet]. Forbes Wheels. 2021 [cited 2022 Nov 30]. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/wheels/accessories/best-trailer-jacks/

3. Yater J. Trailer Jack types, with examples [Internet]. Material Handling Insider. [cited 2022 Nov 30]. Available from: https://materialhandlinginsider.com/trailer-jack-types-with-examples/#:~:text=When%20it%20comes%20to%20types

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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