Portable Electric Jacks – Macton portable jacks deliver maximum floor space flexibility, transforming any location that can support substantial floor loading into a potential maintenance or repair area. Not only can a portable system be moved anywhere in the shop, but the individual jacking units in the system can also be independently positioned to adjust easily to a variety of support points on a railcar. Macton portable locomotive jacks operate individually or as a set for lifting locomotives or transit cars. When used as a set, the jacks are synchronized to assure safety and uniform travel among the jacks at all times. The electrically powered, machine screw drive system in the Macton jack is continuously self-locking to provide maximum security during lift operation. Locomotive jacks are complete with rubber-tired wheels and are easily moved and positioned under the vehicle. Jacks are available in capacities from 10 to 50 tons per jack with lifting heights to suit customer requirements. Control systems utilize a programmable controller for integration of safety interlocks and warning systems. Electrical features include upper and lower limit switches, load sensors on the jacking pad, motion control, group, pair and individual operation, and remote control operation.


  • The screw on the Macton portable jack is housed inside of the steel column so that it is protected from damage in the shop environment. The front opening is covered with a protection band on the top and the bottom to keep the dirt and debris off of the lifting screw. Our competitors screw is outside of the column and is only protected by a bellow on the top of the screw.

  • The lifting carriage guide rollers on the Macton jack are housed inside the steel column, protecting them from damage.

  • The Macton portable jack bronze lifting nut is followed by a steel safety nut that will hold the load in the event of a bronze nut failure. A nut wear switch monitors the wear of the bronze load nut and will prevent the jack from raising if the bronze nut has worn past the allowable limit.

  • A Human Machine Interface LCD Screen on the primary panel provides troubleshooting information in the event of a system fault. In normal operation mode, this panel may be used to gain information about the lifting system including schematic and program information. If the system faults, the Screen will show an error message to indicate what component has caused the fault.

  • Paired Operation A set of four jacks can operate as a set of four, in pairs or individually by turning a selector switch on the Master control box.

For a full list of features and benefits, click on the tabs below.

Maximum Capacity

50 tons per jack or 200 tons (181 metric tons) per set of 4 jacks 

Minimum Lifting Height

2’-1” (25”) – measured from the finished floor up to the top of lifting pad

Maximum Lifting Height

9’-6” (114”) – measured from the finished floor up to the top of lifting pad

Lifting Stroke

7’-5” (89”) 

Lifting/Lowering Speed

11” per minute

Ease of Portability

Wheels at the base allow an operator to position the jacks manually, using the attached handle bar to steer the wheels to the correct position

Jacks may also be moved with a crane using the main lifting lug at the top of each jack 

Safety Features

Self-Locking Lifting Nuts – Self-locking screw jacks with bronze nuts are used – the system is designed to be fail-safe so as to support the load in the event of power or mechanical failure (they require power to raise or lower)

Steel Safety Nuts – Screw jacks include a steel follower safety nut, to support the load in the event that the bronze lifting nut fails

VFD with Encoder Counts – Each jack unit has a variable frequency drive and an absolute multi-turn encoder mounted directly on the motor to maintain synchronous lifting and lowering heights of all of the hoist motors in the system.  

Absolute Height Position Sensing – In addition to the encoder system referred to above, upward and downward motion of the lift is also monitored and controlled using an absolute height position sensor with a steel measuring cable that monitors the travel and position of each guide cylinder throughout the entire hoist lifting operation (as well as lowering).

Controls – Mushroom-type emergency stop button shuts down control system when activated; also, “dead-man” type controls make sure the controls require constant pressure to operate; in addition, electrical interlocking of motors exists so that the breakdown of one automatically shuts down power to the other jack motors

Screw Protection

Screw protected by the steel structure surrounding it 

Rugged Construction

Heavy duty steel structure coated with one coat of rust inhibiting primer followed by a top coat of yellow industrial grade polyurethane enamel


See general arrangement drawing for details on jack height, width and depth


Approx. 6,250 lbs. per jack

Power Required

480V, 3 phase, 60Hz (575V Canadian voltage also available upon request) – requires 80 amp electrical service per set of 4 jacks


NEMA D, 1750 RPM with electromechanical brake

Control System

Each set of four jacks has one master jack with HMI touchscreen controls which provide enhanced diagnostic information to the operator and three secondary jacks; control box enclosures are NEMA 12 rated

UL Certified Electrical System

All of the electrical panels are tested, certified and labeled to the UL 508A standard for industrial control equipment

Master Control Box

Green pilot light to indicate when the control system is on

Dead man type UP and DOWN push buttons 

Two position selector switch operates jacks in either INDIVIDUAL or SYSTEM mode

Two position selector switches to enable PAIR mode operation

EMERGENCY stop push button

Receptacles for control cables and remote control

50-foot power cable with ILME CXM-4/2 insert and ILME MAV-16.40 hood (customer to supply matching power receptacle)

Secondary Control Box

Green Pilot light to indicate when the control system is on

Dead man type UP and DOWN push buttons 

EMERGENCY stop push button

50-foot interconnecting cables with quick disconnects are supplied to connect  the secondary jacks to the master jack

Diagnostic Message Display

LED display advises if certain faults have been tripped on the jacks

Wireless Remote 

One (1) NEMA 12 push button remote with UP/DOWN control is supplied

Warranty Period

5 years – the most extensive warranty in the industry, demonstrating how confident we are in the performance and durability of this equipment

O&M Manual

Operation & Maintenance manual in English provided in electronic format

Quality Procedures

All materials and work done on the system are carefully monitored under an ISO 9001:2008 certified program and 100% designed and built in our facility in the United States (we don’t reassemble systems built in other countries); all welding is performed in accordance with ANSI/AWS Structural Welding Code D1.1 standards and is inspected and approved by a Certified Welding Inspector qualified under Section 6.1 of the AWS current specification

Pre-Shipment Factory Testing

Equipment is fully assembled and operationally tested at the factory prior to shipment – the customer is welcome to attend the testing

Longer Cable Lengths

Added lengths on power or control cables (e.g., 85-foot lengths between jacks)

Onsite Startup & Training

Factory-trained technician for onsite startup and training

Obstacle Detection

Stops downward travel of the carriage when an obstruction is inadvertently left under the lifting carriage

Nut Wear Indication

Sensors to advise if the bronze nut has worn past an acceptable level

Load Pad Indication

Sensors to advise if the load pad on the lifting carriage is under load

Wireless Control System

Wireless control system to eliminate the need for control cables (power supply cables will be included to supply power to all jack columns)

Warning Lights / Horns

Warning lights and/or horns to advise that equipment is in operation

Automatic Lubrication

Automatic grease cup provides screw/nut and lower needle bearing lubrication; also includes a sight glass on the gear motor to easily check the lubrication level

Gearbox Oil for Temperature Extremes

Mobil SHC 630 premium synthetic oil (or its equivalent) used to protect the gearbox from extremes in outside temperature (cold or hot weather)

Heating System

Heating elements in control box if equipment is used or stored in a cold environment

Control Box Enclosure

NEMA 4 rated box if equipment used or stored in an outside environment

Support Stands

Support stands to allow multiple vehicles to be worked on at one time

Removable Jack Extension

Weldment that temporarily drops onto existing jack lifting pads to increase the lifting height of the jacks (i.e., to accommodate rail vehicles with higher jacking pad locations)