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I hope this question is a good fit.

I plan to replace the leaf springs on my '98 Ford Ranger. It is recommended to use 12-ton jack stands in this YouTube video. The truck is only, at most, three tons. Why 12 tons?

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    Higher tonnage jack stands also go higher than the small ones is the main reason they suggest them, get the truck higher off the ground makes it easier to work on. – Moab Jun 5 '19 at 14:59
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Because many people don't check the stands capacity when they do jobs - they just grab the nearest...

Also, some vehicles may be loaded and heavier than what some think.

Also, the heavier rated stands tend to have a wider base increasing the stability when the vehicle load is on them.

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  • Because it's your body underneath the truck, @AdamUraynar, higher tonnage rating is less risk. Also, some cheaper brands look to be a bit over-rated. Still, 12 tons may be a bit much. – GdD Jun 5 '19 at 13:43
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I doubt it's got anything to do with the actual weight of the vehicle.

The 12-ton jackstands (20-30" lift) are taller to begin with, and go higher than (for example) the 3-ton stands (12-16" lift). If your vehicle is very tall, like a 4-wheeler, you may need a taller stand to even reach the lift points at the stand's lowest setting. If your lift points are higher than 12" off the ground, the 3-ton stand isn't gonna do you any good!

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