- Simplex 310A railroad jack

Do You Know Jack?

Jacks - the unsung heroes of wheeled transport!

6d ago

This is an old cast iron Simplex 310A railroad jack. It's an actual Simplex-branded one, not some other heavy ratchet jack that people call Simplex because that's become a generic term in some areas. It's marked as having a 14in lift. Google tells me these were rated for 15 tons (I'm sure that's marked on it somewhere, I just didn't see it during my quick look). This one is now doing farm/construction duty, holding up one corner of a Caterpillar loader.

Check out that sweet profile!

Check out that sweet profile!

The ability to safely lower a heavy load was one of the big selling points of the original Simplex jacks. I think the lever under the handle sets the direction and you pump until it's where you need it. There are other heavy-duty ratchet jacks where lowering requires resetting a lever for each notch down, which would get old pretty fast if you had it cranked all the way up.

Up close and personal

Up close and personal

It has a second, lower lift on the side. The small lever by the base allows the jack to tilt, though I don't know the condition of that part. You can also see that this model has two handle positions, which you'll appreciate if you've ever had to swing/turn a tool in a tight space.

A 1945 catalog on archive.org lists the full kit at $62. That's around $900 adjusted for inflation in 2021.

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Comments (1)

  • I like it, a huge one came with my Dodge M37. I'm glad it was included but the winch was gone when I bought it and those old winches are very expensive to replace.

      6 days ago