Most scenarios would be seemingly easier if we could do everything ourselves. Those tasks come in a range of shapes, sizes and multitudes, too. When it comes to moving, each task can seem to drag on, on and on. While it seems as simple as going from A to B, moving comes with an abundance to to-dos and tasks that, at some point, we wish we could just surpass and tackle the next step.

But it’s important to remember “haste makes waste,” and that’s where we come in! Railquip readers, meet portable electric jacks. Jacks, meet readers! While we’re glad you’re both here, it’s time to now get into the granular details and check out why portable electric jacks make our lives, and moving, so much easier than they otherwise would be without them.

Where to start? Like any relationship or task, it’s crucial to begin at the foundation. 

For starters, what is a portable electric jack? We’re glad you asked! A jack is a mechanical lifting device used to apply force or lift heavy loads; thus, portable electric jacks take up less room and weigh less while still being capable of lifting the heaviest of weight, notably railcars and locomotives.

And now, we get into the good part – why Railquip’s portable Electric Jacks, you ask?

Railquip’s portable electric jacks for rail transit and freight railroad industries are backed by our experts and are equipped to be customizable to your needs. Railquip’s portable electric jacks are typically complete with a set of four lifting columns or multiples as required and are controlled by a central control console. Each jack is equipped with a fixed or horizontally movable lifting cantilever, and the columns are movable by hand, forklift, overhead crane or can be designed to move electrically on an embedded auxiliary rail. Railquip’s portable jacks operate individually, in pairs, or as a set for lifting locomotives or transit railcars. 

Safety first!

Our jacks exceed the highest stands of lifting safety requirements for accident or injury prevention or equipment damage. Tried and true, we stand behind and know that our products are the best in the industry.

Selling points are key to ensuring every consumer is both in-the-know and comfortable with our products, and we’ve got just the list for you! Here’s a list of must-know advantages of Railquip’s portable electric jacks:

  • Low position of the lifting cantilever above the top of rail
  • Self-locking, non-reversing bronze jack nut with safety steel follower nut
  • Enclosed gearbox with roller bearings sealed in an oil bath, flanged to a brake motor 
  • Lifting / lowering movement supervised and synchronized by central computer console
  • Lift columns are made of Heavy-Duty all-steel construction with built in roller guides
  • The self-locking lifting screw is suspended from the upper head by a self-aligning roller
  • The lifting carriage is guided within the lift column by means of wheel flanged rollers
  • The cantilever can be designed to be horizontally adjustable by means of a manually operated gear (motorized adjustment option available)
  • Columns can be designed to be moved by hand on concrete floor, via forklift, overhead crane, along an embedded auxiliary rail or electrically on an auxiliary rail
  • The lifting columns are lifted and lowered on their traveling wheels by means of a hydraulic pump manually actuated by pumping the steering handle
  • Lifting sets can be designed to be controlled from a single column, hand-held remote control pendant, central console or any combination of the three


We talked to Railquip’s experts about what truly sets these jacks apart from the pack! Here’s what they said:

Q: What makes Railquip’s portable electric jacks unique from other companies?

A: Many companies offer a stripped down version of a portable electric jack as their “standard” with many expensive optional add-ons meant to improve the safety and ease of maintenance. At Railquip, we believe it is very important to provide each set of jacks with these necessary safety features to provide the client with the confidence that their personnel will be safe when operating or maintaining our equipment. We have witnessed, in person, a competitors jacks fail and a railcar fall from a couple feet. Thankfully nobody was hurt during this catastrophic failure. We do not want to sell a set of jacks to a client without these very important safety features just to keep the cost lower and get the sale. Backup safety follower nuts, nut wear detection, redundant safety limits, and automatic lubrication are all necessary to provide a safe product that we can stand behind.


Q: Can you provide an example of when your jacks were used in an important situation and how they performed to your standard?

A: A client in Colombia recently had a need for 3 sets of 60T portable locomotive jacks. They had worked with a company to provide these jacks that recently shut down. We stepped up and provided exactly what they needed and sent our Spanish speaking technician to South America to assist with start-up and training. Everything went very well and the client was satisfied.


Q: What’s the strangest situation portable electric jacks have been used in, in your opinion?

A: In order to assemble our portable electric jacks, an overhead crane is necessary. We have had manufacturers inquire about using our portable electric jacks to assist in the fabrication of overhead cranes. The circle of life!


Q: For those unsure about investing, what are some key selling points or items a consumer should know about these tools?


  • How much do you spend per year on lifting your railcars or locomotives by other means, like crane rentals? Compare that cost per year to the price of a set of new portable electric jacks, which include a 2-year warranty, and see how quickly you will see your Return on Investment.
  • Compare the time spent lifting via your current means and compare that to the lifting speed of a set of jacks. You can possibly perform more work in less time by using the jacks.
  • How safe are your personnel while performing changeouts and lifting your railcars or locomotives. Weigh the risks with the cost of investing in the safety offered with our set of portable electric jacks. No risk to life is worth saving a couple bucks. 
  • Many safety features and options that make maintenance simple included in our STANDARD offering.
  • Operation and Maintenance Training included with all orders.


Q: What do you suggest someone do if they’re on the edge of purchasing but don’t know which next steps to take?

A: Speak with our Product Specialist Ron Covert about the benefits of investing in a set of portable electric jacks. Receive product specifications, drawings, and a detailed quote to include in your budget. Ask how purchasing a set of portable jacks can save you money, time, and improve the safety of your employees. Ask about a free on-site consultation.


If you’re interested in learning more or hoping to speak with one of Railquip’s experts, click here to visit our website.