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Anyone who leaves the pavement to go four-wheeling should own a High-Lift Jack.
These lift jacks aren’t just for fixing flats, they are also very capable of lifting, winching or pushing badly stuck 4×4 rigs out of trouble. This isn’t your typical car jack!
I’ve used High-Lift or jack all Jacks for as long as I can remember. Years ago we called them “Handyman” jacks as they were used mostly on farms and ranches to stretch fences, lift farm implements, small buildings and other heavy objects.
These heavy duty car jacks come in several different sizes from 3-5 feet long and could lift up to 6,000 lbs, much the same as the modern day High-Lift Jack. I really don’t see any major differences in design with these lift jacks from then to now.
High-Lift Jack uses for Off Road Vehicles
Lifting – This jack will lift one wheel of most any vehicle safely off the ground. You do have to be careful in how this monster car jack is mounted to the vehicle. The lifting nose won’t work on many bumpers so you may have to improvise or buy the optional Bumper Lift attachment.
When changing a tire, lift the wheel no more than 2 inches off the ground and chock the other remaining wheels. You can use rocks, wood or your own chocks. Don’t depend upon the jack to balance the load. Use blocks too for safety purposes.
In special situations, I’ve had to lift both the front or rear wheels high off the ground at once and push the vehicle off the jack to move away from obstacles, soft surfaces and obstructions. This is highly effective but dangerous and hard on bumpers.
Jack Base – The jack base is adequate for most firm surfaces but not for others. I carry one-foot squares of scrap ½ inch or better plywood to increase the base footprint for soft dirt, sand or mud. You can also purchase an Off-Road base from High-Lift Jack Co.
Winching – This car Jack makes a great 5,000 lb winch. All you have to do is secure the top clamp in line with the jack. Attach a line consisting of a chain, cable, strong rope or tow strap to the top clamp. Attach the other end of that line to the vehicle.
Attach another line to a tree or other suitable object. Next attach the other end of the line to the lifting nose of the jack. You now have a strong hand operated winch capable of pulling most stuck vehicles free.
Pushing – You can even use the High-Lift Jack to push your rig away from obstacles and obstructions. This takes some maneuvering but it can be done. Use the jack base for one pushing end and the lifting nose with a 4 ft. wood 4×4 or other suitable extension for the other.
The High-Lift Jack can also be useful for removing rocks and other obstructions in the roadway, lifting trailer tongues and just about anything else you can imagine. The top clamp also makes the jack a great clamping device for off road repairs.
Tips and Techniques
1… Watch your fingers when moving the reversing latch lever and make sure the jack handle is up against the jack body first. I gently use the tip of my boot, or other object
2… Don’t tackle a job if you are not physically capable of moving the jack handle. Depending on the load, some handle movement weights can exceed 170 lbs. It’s dangerous to quit mid stroke due to possible kickback!
3… This jack is meant to lift not support or stabilize loads. Chock all three remaining wheels if possible and place something under the rig to support it as a backup.
4… Visually inspect, clean and lubricate the jack often. I’ve had my dirty jack lockup at the worst time during a lifting job and it’s very difficult to free.
5… The jack handle can be extremely dangerous if your grip slips (the handle wants to pop up while lifting). Always use both hands to pump the handle, operate the handle from the side and keep all body parts away from the handle’s upstroke path.
6… Test the jack on your rig at home to assure compatibility in the field. Practice winching to be sure you’re ready for the real thing. Keep your lifting and winching accessories organized together with the jack.
WARNING… The High-Lift Jack is very powerful and can seriously injure you or worse if not operated properly! I’ve smashed my fingers, been hit in the head by the handle and had unsupported vehicles fall off the jack injuring me and damaging the vehicle.
The High-Lift Jack is a serious tool that can assist off-road enthusiasts in some of the most difficult of circumstances. These jacks are heavy, rugged, and powerful and must be treated with respect. Don;t forget to keep it lubed too.
Read the owners manual thoroughly, practice and know the jack’s and your capabilities before going into the field. Use common sense and remember this fabulous tool can both help and hurt you!
For more information follow this link to the High-Lift Jack Company
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