A Dodge Ram 1500 may be the lightest truck in the Ram family, but it is still a heavy-duty pickup, and it can weigh from 4700 lbs to 6500 lbs (3.5 tons) empty. It can weigh from 6,000 lbs to 7,800 (3.9 tons) lbs when fully loaded.
A 2-ton jack lift should not be used to lift a 3.5-ton truck. Using it can be risky and may result in damage to the truck, property, and injuries to the people involved.
It is recommended to use a 4-ton (or heavier capacity) jack when lifting the Dodge Ram 1500.
In addition, because of the Dodge Ram 1500’s 8.7-inch clearance from the ground to the door sill, it becomes crucial for the proper placement of the jack to lift the truck with little risk of accidents.
The Proper Way To Lift S Dodge Ram 1500 With A Jack
By any metrics, the Dodge Ram 1500 is not a light vehicle. It also rides high with an 8.7-inch clearance on an average Ram truck. These characteristics make it imperative to take care of and use the vehicle’s jack points when using a jack to lift the truck.
Before you raise the truck, ensure the vehicle is parked on level ground. The truck must be turned off, the handbrake should be engaged, and the transmission should be on “Park.” Passengers should vacate the vehicle, and chocks should be placed on both sides of the tires to keep the truck from moving.
Placing the Chocks
Chocks are wooden, metal, or rubber pieces of triangles used as wedges under the wheels to keep them from moving. If you raise the truck, place the chocks on both sides of the wheels before using the jack. However, if you are changing a tire, you only need to place the chocks on the opposing diagonal tire. For instance, if replacing the front right wheel, place the chocks on both sides of the rear-left wheel.
The Front End Jack Points
The Dodge Ram 1500 has an independent front suspension; placing the jack under the springs is not recommended. Instead, using the jack point under the front frame rail is the safest way to lift the truck. The frame rails are long metal beams under the truck running from the front to the back for almost the length of the truck.
If you lift the truck, place the jack under the front frame rail, as close to the front wheel as possible. Raise the truck to the desired height and place a jack stand under the truck frame rail close to the jack. If you need to raise the truck, lift all four wheels’ jack points. Raise one side with a jack, place a jack stand underneath, and slowly lower the jack to rest the vehicle on the jack stand. Repeat the process for all four tires.
However, If you are changing only one tire, you only need to raise one wheel, and you don’t need a jack stand.
Raising the Rear End
Raising the rear of the vehicle depends on whether you use a floor jack or a scissor jack and are only replacing one wheel or raising the whole vehicle.
When raising the whole vehicle with a scissor jack, raise one of the rear wheels first. Place the jack under the rear axle. There’s a jack point under the axle where the scissor jack fits. Raise the truck high enough to place a jack stand underneath and slowly lower the truck onto the jack stand. Repeat the process with the other wheel.
It is easier to raise the truck using a floor jack and place it under the differential. Raise the truck high enough to set the jack stands on the rear axles, then gently lower the truck on the jack stands.
Different Types Of Jacks You Can Use To Lift A Dodge Ram 1500
The scissor jack is an easy-to-use mechanical tool that is compact and easily stowed in a compartment in the truck. The Dodge Ram 1500 comes standard with a scissor jack. The alternative is a floor jack larger than a scissor jack and more stable.
The floor jack has a large footprint that keeps it stable while raising the vehicle’s front or rear. The floor jack has wheels and is rolled into position, usually near the vehicle’s center. The floor jack is not standard equipment for the Dodge Ram 1500, but you can buy it online or at an auto parts store. Floor jacks have a higher weight capacity rating than scissor jacks.
What Are The Proper Jack Points On A Dodge Ram 1500
The frame rail is the backbone of the Dodge Ram 1500. Most of the truck’s jack points are located along the frame rail. Additionally, dedicated points under the frame rail and axles are designated as jack points. These areas can support the most weight of the vehicle without damaging the frame rail or the rest of the vehicle.
In general, the dedicated jack points are marked with arrows or notches. You can refer to the owner’s manual for the specific location of the jack points on your vehicle.
You can use different jack points for a floor jack and a scissors jack. The floor jack can be used on the differential, raising the vehicle’s rear. It is not advisable for the scissor jack.
The dedicated jack points are on the drive-on, frame contact hoist, and twin post chassis hoist. On the drive-on hoist, use the scissor jack only. Use the floor jack on the frame contact and twin post chassis hoist.
Using Jack Stands On A Dodge Ram 1500
Jack stands. These are solid stands and can hold up more than their manufacturer-rated capacity. A two-ton rated jack stand can hold up more than 12,000 lbs. The higher the rating, the longer it can withstand heavier loads. But it is best not to count on it.
The extra capacity is there for safety, not to be abused. The jack stands are designed to be operated within the rated capacity. Keep the vehicle raised while you work on the truck.
To use a jack stand, you must first use a jack to raise the vehicle. Using a floor jack, you can raise the vehicle along the center of the differential. After raising it enough to clear the jack stand, you can place two on opposing jack points. Gently lower the vehicle to the jack stands.
You have to raise one wheel at a time using a scissor jack. Place the scissor jack under the frame rail, and raise the vehicle. After lifting the vehicle slightly higher than the jack stands, place the jack stand along the frame rail or on a jack point. Then lower the vehicle. Repeat this procedure for every wheel.
Lifting Larger Vehicles Like A Dodge Ram 1500
Always think about safety when lifting larger vehicles like the Dodge Ram 1500. If the vehicle moves or the jacks are not placed correctly, the vehicle can slip or move.
These are some things to keep in mind when lifting the Dodge Ram 1500:
- Take any additional heavy items out of the bed or the cab before lifting the truck. Having a lightly loaded vehicle helps when lifting it.
- Place the jack or the jack stands aligned with the vehicle’s jack points. The jack points are usually reinforced to ensure that the truck does not slip off the jack.
- It is best to place the jack under the frame rail. Avoid putting the jack below the suspension or springs. These are not stable points for the jack.
- The scissor jack is not designed to carry the truck for an extended period. It is used only to raise and lower the vehicle. If you need to have the truck raised, place jack stands under it.
Safety Tips For Lifting A Full-Size Truck
When lifting a full-size truck like the Dodge Ram 1500, you must follow safety considerations to ensure that no accidents happen and nobody gets endured. The following are some safety tips for lifting full-size trucks:
- There should be no passengers in the vehicle.
- Park the truck on a flat surface on the side of the road. It should be solid, even ground. Suppose you need to lift the vehicle while on the road.
- Put the gear into Park, and activate the hand brake.
- Use chocks on both sides of the wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving.
- Use the vehicle’s jack points to lift it.
- If you are using jack stands, raise the vehicle to a height where you can place the jack stands under proper jack points and lower the vehicle to rest on the jack stands.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.