Don't be a jackass - an anti-manual for using a car jack

Summary: A film about the dangers involved with DIY car maintenance highlighting specifically the safe use of car jacks. Car jacks are involved in an unacceptable number of deaths and injuries to Australians each year.

Published: 24 October 2011

Barry is our presenter for this ‘anti-manual’. He is a 40-something, confident-looking chap who is dressed in immaculate white overalls.

All vision will be wrapped within a graphic of a ‘page’ from a car manual. The correct behaviour/instructions will appear across the bottom of the page, in text (with a big tick) and in conflict with Barry’s instructions.
Barry has his trusty assistant Bruce to help demonstrate every instruction. While Barry explains, Bruce reluctantly demonstrates behind him, but becomes observably resistant and alarmed after each anti-instruction.

VISION: The scene opens with a wide shot of Barry and Bruce, under a car bonnet, with their back to the camera.

BARRY: So I said to the missus, love you know I love my quiche and salad on Tuesdays.


BARRY: God, I, oh. (addressing camera) Oh, oh, hello there. Just replacing the manifold. I’m Baz back with you, and this is my trusty off-sider, Bruce.

VISION: Medium shot of Bruce, looking awkward, and gesturing towards camera with a wrench.

BRUCE: G’day.

BARRY: I’m going to show you how to hurt yourself, while using a car-jack. It’s quite simple really.

VISION: Close up of Bruce looking worried and confused.

SOUND: Opening music begins.

TITLE: Don’t be a jackass – an anti-manual for using a car jack.

SOUND: Background music begins.

BARRY: Step one. Park your car on a nice soft slope.

VISION: Barry gestures towards the car which is parked on a slope.

VISION: Bruce does thumbs down gesture.

TEXT: Park the vehicle on a hard level surface.

BARRY: Step two: Before raising the vehicle, don’t bother chocking the wheels or applying the hand brake.
(turns to Bruce) Chocks away mate!

VISION: Bruce is holding two bricks up, using them as weights. He promptly throws them over his shoulder and we hear a thud and muffled cry and the boom coming down into the camera shot.

TEXT: Before raising the vehicle, the wheels of the vehicle should be chocked. Always apply the hand brake.

VISION: Barry and Bruce reappear on screen, looking sheepish.

BARRY: Step three. No need to worry about using the right jack for the job, any old jack will do! And it’s best to load the jack with more weight than it’s made for.

VISION: Barry grabs a small jack and holds it up. Bruce is holding a trolley jack and trying to butt in and hand it to Barry, but he is brushed aside.

BARRY: Not now Bruce.

TEXT: Use the right jack for the job.

BARRY: Which brings me to step four. No need to read the safety instructions, or check its weight capacity. We’re far to busy for that! C’mon champ.

VISION: Bruce looking annoyed, kicking the grass.

TEXT: Read the safety warning on the jack and follow the manufacturer’s instructions – they are there for a reason. Check the weight capacity of the jack and do not exceed it.

BARRY: Step five. Put the jack anywhere, but make sure the head plate’s askew with the point you’re lifting. No need to be too fussy with it Bruce, just put it under the car anywhere. (chortles).

VISION: Bruce reluctantly follows Barry’s instructions.

TEXT: Refer to the workshop manual to locate the lifting point to position the jack under your vehicle. If the incorrect lifting point is used, the jack could slip or tip.

BARRY: Righto, Bruce. Under you go!

VISION: CU of Bruce’s worried expression (goggling eyes). Bruce gulps and slides under the car, with his legs sticking out. We cut back to a CU of Barry’s face as he begins to speak.

BARRY: Well there you have it, join us next time when we’ll have some fun with some ladders.

SOUND: Barry is cut off by an almighty crash. The screen cuts to black and the music stops.

We hear Barry’s tentative voice: Bruce? Bruce?

SOUND: There’s a pause before a different (male) voice comes on, in a serious tone.

VOICE OVER: Not so funny now, is it?

VISION: Sobering statistics drift on, in white text with the sound of a heart monitor beep and heart beat sound.

In Australia, over the last decade, at least 46 people have been killed by a vehicle they were working under.

Most of the deaths were men.

On average, 160 injuries are associated with jacks each year.

Injuries have ranged from amputation to fractures and crush injuries.

SOUND: Heart beat monitor sound flat lining and heart beat stops.

VOICE OVER: Don’t become a statistic. Always read the safety instructions, before you start that do it yourself project.
SOUND: Closing titles music begins