The JackMate – an Owners Persective

This excerpt was taken from an online forum.. Tim O’Connell answers questions and discusses the feautures and benefits of the JackMate™.

timI’m the guy who designed the JackMate™, and I’d like to answer the questions you guys are posting.

The history: I developed the JackMate™ to give us Firefighters a manual “Jaws of Life” tool to use when our hydraulic tools failed and to provide a manual, low cost tool for rescue to farms, off road, third world countries and other places where people need to be rescued and a $25,000 dollar set of Jaws aren’t practical. What happened is that my small company was almost instantly overwhelmed by orders! We couldn’t make enough JackMates (the original “yellow” version). I was then contacted by Hi-Lift, who flew me out to their factory, gave me a nice tour of their facility, and made me an offer for the JackMate which I unfortunately could not accept. At the time there were rumors that Hi-Lift was for sale, and another company called Maasdam had just purchased the Canadian Jack-All jack and were making it (well, assembling) in the US. They offered to buy Hi-lift (who declined the offer) and also licensed the rights to the JackMate patents from me.

Maasdam went straight to China for their manufacturing, producing the “Gold” JackMate’s™ and making some design changes which I didn’t like. Maasdam also started having major problems which led to their filing bankruptcy. This violated our licensing agreement, and I took back the rights to the JackMate patents. Our rescue business was booming, and I literally put the JackMate on a back shelf for a couple of years because we didn’t have time to re-design it. But the phone kept ringing and the e-mails kept pouring in begging for JackMates. Finally I decided to do something about it.

I redesigned the JackMate™ from scratch. I wanted them to be made in our factory of American steel. I wanted better gripping capability on the Load Plate with diamonds (I hate the Chinese “three bumps”). I designed a much better, more aggressive Safety Spur (the spike that sticks out from the corner and prevents the Side Plate from levering the base into a skid if the angle changes too much). I added a fence/wire puller for the ranchers and construction guys (which doubles as a bottle opener for the rest of us…). Changed to a ball detent pin and a permanent lanyard to prevent lost pins and to replace the damned spring clip. In other words, a completely new tool.

Since many of the calls over the years had been from Off Roaders, I decided to go to SEMA in Las Vegas (Wow! Incredible show!) and show the new JackMate™. I was stunned when SEMA honored us with the Off-Road and 4WD “New Product of the Year 2010” award! Our Rescue tool for Firefighters is now officially an Off-Road tool.

To answer the questions I am seeing from you; JackMate™ is more than 2 times stronger than the Jack itself. Therefore you can now use the Jack without fear that the “Top Clamp” will snap off at a load less than the jack is capable of exerting. Different brands of Jacks claim different load ratings (up to 8,000 Lb). JackMate™ allows all brands to clamp, crush, winch, and spread to the full rated load of the Jack, and provides spikes for traction in slippery or soft ground (or on metal or wood in rescue situations). With Fire Fighter/Rescuer numbers decreasing, it is a good idea for extreme Off-Roaders to be capable of what we are calling “Remote Area Self-Rescue”. If you get in trouble out there a helecopter can reach you in minutes, but can’t carry rescue gear to get you out of your rig. Ground Rescue units (with rescue gear) will take hours (days?) to get to you. A Jack with JackMate can rip a car or truck apart, bend roll cages away from victims, pull steering wheels away, etc.

I hope this answers your questions without sounding like a sales pitch.

Thanks, Tim