Using a bottle-jack to raise each side of a tractor so you can take the wheels off is a somewhat precarious business.
You need solid, level concrete and the wheels need to be chocked safely.
But farmer and contractor Pauric Fay from Cootehill in County Cavan in the Irish Republic has come has come up with what he reckons is a much simpler system.
Called the Trakjak, it uses the tractor’s own three-point linkage to simultaneously raise both of the tractor’s rear wheels clear of the ground.
They can then be safely removed without having to put extra support or axle stands under the axles to support the tractor.
“I saw the need for something safe to use to jack up the rear of a tractor,” he says.
“There are no real designated jacking points on a tractor like you would see on a car. And there’s too much guesswork with setting up ordinary jacks.”
“You reverse the tractor over the Trakjak, hook the lift arms into the brackets and pins provided, then raise the tractor’s lift arms. The rear of the tractor is then completely raised off the ground.”
Two stands at the rear are lowered to the ground to allow the weight to be taken off the lift arms.
How does the Trakjak work?
“We adapted the law of the lever in designing the Trakjak,” explains Mr Fay.
The wheels of the Trakjak remain on the ground at the front end and lift arms are attached to the rear.
In the middle is a large solid bar with two heavy-duty sleeves or bushings that can rotate on the bar.
As the tractor’s lift arms are raised, this bar and the sleeves come up against the underside of the tractor’s hitch. The sleeves can be slid inwards or outwards to suit different hitch designs.
The entire Trakjak effectively pivots on the central bar and sleeves under the hitch.
As the lift arms are raised, the entire frame pivots, pushing the front wheels of the Trakjak down and raising the tractor off the ground.
The system and tractor are very stable, he says, even with the tractor’s rear wheels raised completely off the ground.
In fact, on level concrete and with four-wheel drive engaged, you can drive the tractor this way, with the wheels safely left at one location and the tractor driven to another.
The ability to wash a tractor without its rear wheels is important, says Mr Fay.
“Tractor transmissions and hydraulic systems have become very sophisticated.
“Being able to wash down the transmission before changing hydraulic and transmission filters greatly reduces contamination risks at servicing.”
Mr Fay produces just one model of Trakjak and just 12in of ground clearance are needed to reverse into and yoke up to the Trakjak. Standard equipment with the unit is an A-frame that connects the tractor’s pickup hook to the Trakjak’s rear stands.
This locks the device in place to allow the tractors’ lift arms to be removed.
The unit weighs 350kg in weight, and is load tested to 12t. Price is €2,400 (£1,720).