Basics of Gooseneck Trailer Jacks

Gooseneck trailer jacks are an important aspect of safe towing. We will discuss the basics of of trailer jacks and the types of trailer jacks that are available.

Gooseneck Trailer Jack Basics

Basic Functions of a Gooseneck Trailer Jack

A Gooseneck trailer jack raises and lowers the trailer so that you can connect the couple to and disconnect it from the ball on your hitch. In addition, it keeps the trailer level when it is not attached to the tow vehicle.

Lastly, it stabilizes the trailer for loading and unloading and when the trailer is in park.

Trailer Weight Capacity and Height

Gooseneck trailer jacks come in a variety of weight capacities and lengths. It is important to consider the length of the jack in both the retracted and extended positions. When extended, a Gooseneck trailer jack has to lift your coupler high enough for it to clear the hitch ball on the vehicle.

Additionally, the jack has to retract far enough to clear the ground when you are traveling.

1. Determining the Height of a Jack

Determining if a trailer jack will work for your trailer requires you to know its height, both retracted and extended. These dimensions are typical for jacks and are on the bottom of the jack (including any foot that may be present) on the mounting point.

Depending on the style of trailer jack, the mounting points can vary. Typically, standard A-frame jacks are measured to the bottom of the mounting flange. Pipe mount jacks are measured to the center of the mounting pipe. If the jack has a bolt-on bracket, it is usually measured to the centerline of the bracket.

2. Trailer Tongue Weight

The trailer tongue weight (TW) is the downward pressure that the coupler puts on the hitch ball. Tongue weight is usually 10 to 15 percent of your gross trailer weight (GTW), which is the weight of the trailer when it is fully loaded.

For instance, a 5,000-lb trailer has a TW of 500 lbs to 750 lbs pressing down on the ball.

Types of Gooseneck Trailer Jacks

A-frame Trailer Jacks

A-frame jacks conveniently bolt or weld onto A-frame couplers or sit in a brace behind a coupler. The specs of A-frame trailer jacks include:

  • Capacity: 2,000 lbs to 5,000 lbs
  • Applications: A-frame utility, camper and landscape trailer applications
  • Manual crank or 12V-powered models available
    • Manual crank jacks come in two different styles — cranking from either the side or the top
      • One type may work better than the other depending on the clearance around your Gooseneck trailer
  • Drop-leg style available
    • Saves time when raising and lowering
      • Simply pull the pin on the leg to lower the inner leg and the foot to the ground
      • Line up the holes on the inner and outer leg and reinsert the pin to lock the inner leg in the lower position
      • Crank the jack to extend it. Then, raise the trailer (the inner leg and foot are close to the ground so you will not have to crank the jack much to raise the trailer)
    • Allows for greater lift
    • There are many models of A-frame jacks available to let you add the wheels or feet of your choice to best suit your application

Side Mount Trailer Jacks

These Gooseneck trailer jacks either bolt or weld to the side of the frame of a pole tongue or A-frame trailer. The pivoting design allows for the jack to swing up and out of the way for towing and down for jacking.

Manual crank jacks come in two different styles — cranking from the side (most common) or top. Depending on the clearance around your Gooseneck trailer, one type may work better than the other.

Pull-Pin Swivel Trailer Jacks

Pull-pin swivel trailer jacks clamp on or weld to the trailer frame. Specs of this trailer jack include:

  • Clamp-on style fit frame sections up to 3″ wide x 5″ tall
  • Weld-on style can mount to frame in any convenient location
  • Capacity: 800 lbs to 1,500 lbs
  • A pull pin holds the jack in position — pull the pin to simply release the jack and change its position
    • The pin is spring loaded to ensure that it will automatically snap back in when the jack reaches the stow or jack position
  • A wheel is typically include to make it easy to maneuver the trailer

Pipe Mount Trailer Jacks

Pipe or tube is welded to the Gooseneck trailer frame, which provides a mount for the jack to pivot on — down for jacking and stabilizing, and up fro towing. The weld-on mounting method allows you to have more options for mounting the jack. Specs of the pipe mount trailer jack include:

  • Capacity: 2,000 lbs to 7,000 lbs
    • Mounting location is often on the the trailer’s tongue, but frequently at the sides of the trailer near the back to aid with stabilizing and leveling.
  • Detent pin holds jack in up or down position

Drop-Leg Trailer Jacks

These Gooseneck trailer jacks are either welded or bolted to the side of your trailer’s tongue. The clamp-on-style drop-leg jacks will typically fit a frame up to 3″ wide x 5″ tall. Specs of the drop-leg trailer jack include:

  • Capacity: 8,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs
  • Applications: agricultural, industrial and construction trailers
  • Square cross section provides improved side-load strength over other designs
  • Drop-leg features allow for fast leveling and increased lift
    • Saves time when raising and lowering
      • Pull the pin on the leg to lower the inner leg and the foot to the ground
      • Line up the holes on the inner and outer leg and reinsert the pin to lock the inner leg in the lower position
      • Crank the jack to extend or raise the trailer (The inner leg and foot are close to the ground so you will not have to crank the jack much to raise the trailer)
    • Some models can be combined with a follow jack and make use for landing gear on RV trailers
      • Some models can have the addition of motors as an option
      • Both the high capacity and the ability to pair with a follow jack make these jacks an attractive option for Gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers

 

This is just the basics of Gooseneck trailer jacks. Don’t hesitate to contact us here at Gooseneck Trailers with the link below for more information!

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