If you're anything like us, no matter how much you've worked underneath trucks, there's always a faint voice in the back of your mind that says, "I hope this 5,000-pound chunk of metal doesn't come crashing down on top of me." It's pretty much the worst-case scenario, and—like the warning label on your jack probably says—can result in serious injury or death. Fortunately for us, this car-guy nightmare has never come true, but we recently witnessed an extremely close call at a local shop in Southern California (who will remain anonymous).
The scenario began as we were covering the shop's installation of a new leveling kit, wheels, and tires on the pictured 2011 GMC Sierra 2500HD. At the time, the truck was brand new, and still had the dealership window stickers. One of the shop techs rolled it up to their two-post lift, swung the four arms underneath the GMC's framerails, and started lifting the truck skyward. Unbeknownst to the tech, the pad on one arm was not aligned correctly to the rail, and when combined with the truck's new undercoating it created a precarious situation. As the truck approached the correct height, one of the arms slipped loose, and one corner of the truck crashed down.
Luckily, the other three arms held, so the truck didn't fall completely off the lift, and only the rocker panel was dented. No one was underneath the truck when this happened, and it probably would have ended badly for anyone who was. It goes without saying that you should always double-check your truck's stability before getting underneath it, but we hope this image serves as a reminder of the consequences if you don't.