What is a Tent Jack and When/How Should You Use One?
There are tons of obvious benefits of setting up a party tent. It provides shelter from the elements, a fun place to socialize, and a great atmosphere.
But if you’ve been considering renting a party tent, you might be wondering about one important thing - how do you go about setting it up? Party tents aren’t always small, and setting one up doesn’t seem like a simple endeavor.
Don’t let this conundrum dissuade you from party tents in general, because we’re here with the answers. We know that not everyone is benching hundreds of pounds on a daily basis, but with a frame tent jack, you don’t need extreme muscle power.
After the top portion of your frame tent is put together with your fabric on the roof, one of the last steps to complete is lifting the frame and adding the legs to the corner and side T fittings. If you think this sounds impossible, you’re not alone.
Even if you could lift the side of a large tent, you’ll still need to hold it steady for the leg attachment, and that’s more than the average Joe can handle - especially when you’ve got to do it over and over again for multiple tents.
Instead of straining yourself or breaking your back, use a frame tent jack.
Tent Jack Applications
Place your frame tent jacks at fitting locations on the tubing that surrounds the perimeter of the tent. The jacks should be placed in these specific spots because, in these areas, there’s more than just tubing - there is a fitting and a fastener, and most likely rafter tubing as well that makes its way towards the crown/ridge fitting. Because there is so much weight focused on one single point, lifting the tent in the middle of a tube would make the tent less stable and put the tube at risk of bending because of all the pressure placed on the fittings and fasteners.
Here’s what the optimal process looks like:
- Under the section of perimeter tubing next to the chosen fitting, hook the hooked portion of the tent jack.
- After you secure it, turn the winch of the jack and lift the hook until it’s high enough for the leg tubing to be inserted into the fittings beside the jack’s hook.
- After all jack locations have leg tubing, lower the hooks, and wheel the jacks away so the legs can be connected.
- Now, since there are a number of supporting legs, the frame won’t need to be raised any further for additional leg installation.
How Many Jacks?
The number of tent jacks that you’ll have to use depends on the size of the tent you’re setting up. What’s crucial to remember is the fact that the entire side of the tent must be lifted at once so you don’t damage any tubing or hardware.
This means that there should always be a jack at each corner of the side you’re lifting, unless the tent you’re working with is very small. For example, if you had a 8x10 tent, you’d probably be fine working with just one jack.
The tents that require more than one jack are those that can’t be lifted by hand - not even with two people doing the work. To get this job done, start with two jacks at each end and see how that feels. If you need more, add them as you go along. The rule of thumb we like to operate by is to add one jack for every 20 feet that you add to the length of the tent.
The Convenience of Jacks
Using a tent jack when you’re installing any kind of tent frame will save you time, labor, and a whole lot of soreness. With tent jacks, your setup team will be much more productive, and you’ll increase the durability of the tent that you’re working with. You also might save a trip to the hospital, because using tent jacks means you won’t throw out your back.
Even if you’re doing the work on your own, you can still make it happen with a tent jack on your side. With the jack in place to hold up the tent while you attach the legs during setup, or as you remove them during tear-down, you’re capable of nearly anything.
At Tent and Table, we offer a 12' Steel Reinforced Frame Tent Jack. It has an easy crank handle and a smooth turning radius. It can lift a frame more than 10 feet into the air, with a maximum load capacity of 1,200 pounds.
A tent jack is one of the most essential tools to have in your rental fleet when you’re setting up a rented frame tent. It makes setting up a tent quick and easy - that way, you can keep the party setup moving.