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  1. #1
    deadend is offline Hot Rolled
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    Angry Duff-Norton rail jacks don't work.HELP

    Has anybody worked on these jacks. Can't get them to go up or down.Can't get the lever to lock in.HELP!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_3959.jpg   100_3960.jpg  

  2. #2
    Garwood is offline Stainless
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    Really? I have 10 15 tonners in Duff and Simplex trim. 2 are iron, the rest aluminum.

    One of them was bought in working condition.

    The worst took 5 minutes? before it was ready to work. Heaviest lift I've done was 1/2 their working rating, no sweat. They got me sold.

  3. #3
    Chip Chester's Avatar
    Chip Chester is offline Stainless
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    I have read, in some rail jack descriptions, that there's no "let it down easy" on rail jacks... it's just "one step" from up to (slamming) down. Is that true for all brands? Or was it a (craigslist) seller describing a malfunctioning or improperly-operated jack?

    Chip

  4. #4
    AaronHG is offline Aluminum
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    I think my old jack is called a Buda. What seems to be the case with mine is that you cant get greedy with the amount of lift. If you over-lever it will not make it to the last click and it then only lever up/down without locking (as you describe). Take a few small clicks, then release the ratchet (while main ratchet holds position) and purchase a lower position in rack. It takes a little experimenting and I rehearse before the task, no surprises.

  5. #5
    Modelman is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Chester View Post
    I have read, in some rail jack descriptions, that there's no "let it down easy" on rail jacks... it's just "one step" from up to (slamming) down. Is that true for all brands? Or was it a (craigslist) seller describing a malfunctioning or improperly-operated jack?

    Chip
    "Rail" jack is a daisy-picker term applied to anything that came from the railroad. People who work for the railroad know these Duff-Nortons as "car jacks" since that was their use... also made by several other companies, such as Buda.

    The track dept. uses something they call "track jacks". The tall ones look generally the same, with one important difference... there is no UP-DOWN lever. Instead, there are a couple pins on the side of the pawl; to lower the jack you raise the handle and move the lower pawl to a position where it will force the upper pawl out of the rack, then lower the handle and the jack drops all the way at once. Very handy for the intended use, which is to raise the track to tamp stone under the ties; when that's done you can drop the jack quickly all the way to the bottom to reset, without having to jack it down. Really sucks if you've used it to lift something you'd rather not drop



    Dennis

  6. #6
    Garwood is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modelman View Post
    "Rail" jack is a daisy-picker term applied to anything that came from the railroad. People who work for the railroad know these Duff-Nortons as "car jacks" since that was their use... also made by several other companies, such as Buda.

    The track dept. uses something they call "track jacks". The tall ones look generally the same, with one important difference... there is no UP-DOWN lever. Instead, there are a couple pins on the side of the pawl; to lower the jack you raise the handle and move the lower pawl to a position where it will force the upper pawl out of the rack, then lower the handle and the jack drops all the way at once. Very handy for the intended use, which is to raise the track to tamp stone under the ties; when that's done you can drop the jack quickly all the way to the bottom to reset, without having to jack it down. Really sucks if you've used it to lift something you'd rather not drop

    Dennis
    The picture you posted is the same jacks I have. There's no problem going up or down easily. If you want to drop the jack you can pull the lower pawl into position to drop the jack all the way, but it's a simple operation to lower the load in total control by disengaging the lower pawl from the rack, going up one notch, taking the load off the upper pawl, pulling the upper pawl back until it clears a tooth and lowering the load onto the next tooth in the rack. Sounds complicated, but doesn't take more than a couple seconds in use. Takes longer to run the handle up and down than it does to operate the pawls.

    The only difficulty I've had with them is when you do get up around the 7+ ton mark on one of the those jacks you need a 4 foot handle to control the load. It's hard to have your fingers running the pawls inside the jack and handling the load at the end of the handle with the other arm so you probably need a helper. Since the job takes good coordination between running pawls and running the handle communication is pretty important as well as knowing exactly what the hell it is you're doing.

  7. #7
    deadend is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default Lever

    I understand how they work, my lever that is used to switch from up to down will not lock in, in either position. I have tore it apart doesn't look like anything is missing or worn out?

  8. #8
    D Dubeau's Avatar
    D Dubeau is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Chester View Post
    I have read, in some rail jack descriptions, that there's no "let it down easy" on rail jacks... it's just "one step" from up to (slamming) down. Is that true for all brands? Or was it a (craigslist) seller describing a malfunctioning or improperly-operated jack?

    Chip
    I've got one like in Dennis posted a picture of (track jack). It was no provision to slowly let the jack down that I know of. I've also got a "car jack" as I now understand that it's called. It will allow you to lower the load one pawl at a time. I picked both of them up at a yard sale for $10 for the pair, along with 2 import abrasive saws for $5 for the pair. That was a good yard sale

    I didn't know what they were at the time, I just thought they were mechanical toe tacks, and that I could find a use for them. I use the track jack to jack up the tongue of my wood trailer if I'm not going to be unloading it right away. Don't know that I'd be comfortable using them on larger equipment, but I have a 20 ton hydraulic toe jack for that (paid $20 for that one, yep another good yard sale)

  9. #9
    Modelman is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadend View Post
    I understand how they work, my lever that is used to switch from up to down will not lock in, in either position. I have tore it apart doesn't look like anything is missing or worn out?
    Does this exploded view help?

    http://www.arbilrail.co.uk/duff__1022.pdf

    Dennis

  10. #10
    Modelman is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    The picture you posted is the same jacks I have. There's no problem going up or down easily. If you want to drop the jack you can pull the lower pawl into position to drop the jack all the way, but it's a simple operation to lower the load in total control by disengaging the lower pawl from the rack, going up one notch, taking the load off the upper pawl, pulling the upper pawl back until it clears a tooth and lowering the load onto the next tooth in the rack. Sounds complicated, but doesn't take more than a couple seconds in use. Takes longer to run the handle up and down than it does to operate the pawls.
    That's true, and I should have mentioned that yes, there is a way to walk these back down, but it's not a procedure I particularly care to use ... I'd rather have the right jack for the job.

    The danger, I think, is that most people can not conceive of an application where you want to drop a jack RIGHT NOW, and so won't realize that the jack is capable, indeed designed to do just that.

    I think it's worth pointing out.

    Dennis

  11. #11
    Garwood is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modelman View Post
    I'd rather have the right jack for the job.


    Dennis

    The part I find pretty funny, just about myself I spose, Is these jacks have been a GODSEND to me. I have used them to do countless things I couldn't have otherwise. I use them daily, hell, I use one in the back of my truck to hold gas bottles solid between the wheel wells, guy at Airgas thinks it's the neatest thing. My neighbors have used them, my parents neighbors have used them, my friends have used them. Not a single complaint about how the mechanism works. Probably because it makes you stop and think about what you're doing.

    I have hydraulic toe jacks too and in most situations I prefer using the mechanical jacks over the hydraulic ones. The Simplex jacks have a 1/2" rack, each tooth is 1/2" up or down. The Duff jacks are 9/16" teeth. When you have a holy shit sized load to lift or lower these jacks combined with some 1/2" CDX scraps for cribbing make the perfect combination. With the mechanical jacks you can feel how the load is behaving, you get feedback through that jack handle letting you know where the center of mass is, even when the ground you're pushing against isn't up to the task. Hydraulic jacks don't give you that.

    These jacks are the go to tool my big local machinery moving outfit uses.

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