Anybody still carrying a Hi Lift Jack?

Advskimedic

New member
I'm still dragging mine around everywhere. My current one I've had since 1992, Used it a lot on an old CJ-7 and K5 Blazer but I've been thinking lately maybe its not the must have tool it once was. I currently have 2002 Silverado with a pop up camper, there are not to many attachment spots, and the newer vehicles have even fewer flat spots, It definitely takes some skill to use one with out damaging your vehicle or yourself
I see lots of really shiny new Hi Lifts on all sorts of very offroad capable vehicles.
I honestly haven't needed mine in at least ten years, I carry a couple of bottle jacks and a fair amount of cribbing, two sets of Maxxtrax and a shovel.

I guess what has me second guessing this sacred cow is my new truck camper and lack of storage space....

Thoughts?
 

CampStewart

Observer
Nowadays they are only seldom needed for a variety of reasons but i will always find a way to fit mine in. They store a lot easier if you brake them down and keep the foot and jacking mechanism separate
 

Advskimedic

New member
I agree, It just doesn't seem right going out without it. I'm sure I'll always have it close by if nothing else the handle makes a great cheater bar :)
 

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FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
You are correct that on most new vehicles the Hi-Lift jack is not very useful. Yes, you can buy all of the accessories and get additional uses out of it, but your still limited. The weight of the jack and accessories are about 90+ pounds.

One of my vehicles is a modified Jeep and it has solid rocker bars and steel bumpers. Even so I rarely bring it as I go out with friends who refuse to leave theirs behind, so why carry the extra weigh.

I rarely used mine except when teaching classes. I am a retired now and a founding member of the I4WDTA (International 4-Wheel Drive Trainers' Association).

Da Frenchman
 

Airmapper

High-Tech Redneck
I never started carrying one.

I think it's a valuable tool. I just don't think it's useful enough often enough to be worth it's considerable weight and bulk in my current setup. I do usually carry a bottle jack if I plan on doing any significant 4x4 trails, and I don't if I'm staying on reasonably passable roads (stock jack still lifts my tires.) And I've read the whole "you must have a Hi-Lift" speech multiple times. I've even been present for a recovery where one was used and was quite useful, I think if the situation called for it, we would have found another way without it. There might come a time I'll wish I had one, but I don't want to cart it around waiting for that day.

I think there is a point of diminishing returns when you try to bring everything that might help in a bad situation, that the gear brought starts becoming a liability and creates hassles. More weight, more complexity, more things to keep up with. It's a burden on the vehicle which adds stress to things that might not break yet if you don't push them, it sags the suspension so you are more likely to get hung up, and you are heavier so when you do hang your hung tighter.

I know of some people that talk about carrying multiple spare tires, spare parts like axles and driveshafts, portable welders, ALL their tools, and other heavy items, and I can't help but wonder if there is not some correlation between being so overloaded to be prepared for anything and the enhanced likelihood of having major component failures.

There is also something to be said for being aware of your situation and avoiding the need for such items in the first place. You can be a bit braver if you are with a group and everyone combined has all variety of recovery and repair gear, vs. just you and what you have with you.

So no, for now I don't carry one, haven't up to this point, and don't plan to in the near future.



the day I brought my umbrella it didn't rain
I don't believe in umbrellas.
 

FrenchieXJ

Expedition Leader
Airmapper,

You said it better then I did thank you.

When I was working I had the complete line of Hi-Lift jacks and accessories. The one that I used the most and worked better was a Farm Jack (generic name HI-Lift is a brand name) that cost $29.99 People thought that they had to have it to go 4 wheeling (note 4-wheeing Not overlanding). It is part of the "cool factor" (sorry my age is showing). I am in no way saying that the jack is a bad product and there are places it will work good. It as with all mechanical devices used "properly" with the the correct focus on safety they will work as advertised. Other methods will work as well or even better, they may take longer, be safer, but get the job done.

If you have read any of my ROF's post on Copper Canyon, you will see what you just said. Dose the weight effect the vehicle handling? Yes! The higher up on the vehicle the worse it is. In a group of 10 vehicles you do not need to have 10 farm jacks.

A short deviation for the moment, You do not want to give a gun to a teenager without some safety training, or a set of car keys to a kid with out some training. The farm jack can be just as dangerous without proper training. If a poll was taken on the form here I would believe that it would be less then 1 in 500 people who have had proper training with a certified instructor on 4-wheel driving, overlanding and recovery. Yet you will see close to 1 in 5 vehicles with with a Farm style Jack hanging on it some where. This is just something to muttle over.

I know of some people that talk about carrying multiple spare tires, spare parts like axles and driveshafts, portable welders, ALL their tools, and other heavy items, and I can't help but wonder if there is not some correlation between being so overloaded to be prepared for anything and the enhanced likelihood of having major component failures.

There is also something to be said for being aware of your situation and avoiding the need for such items in the first place. You can be a bit braver if you are with a group and everyone combined has all variety of recovery and repair gear, vs. just you and what you have with you.
Your spot on again! I have been saying this for well over 40 years (It took a while to experiment and study this, before coming to this conclusion). I again go back to the proper training.

If people hear it enough, or see over the years what can happen without proper education they may get the message.

Thanks Airmapper!

Da Frenchman
 

JIMBO

Expedition Leader
:sombrero: Good points--

I still carry my Hi-Lift Jack on serious trips.

It is a great tool but must be treated with respect and used safely.

The jack can be used on a 2" receiver hitch.


This might be a good accessory to use on rigs that don't have lifting points.

https://hi-lift.com/accessories/lift-mate/

https://hi-lift.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/LMTruck4-144x150.jpg
I've been carrying mine for over 45 years and have used it probably--50/80 times on my trucks (trailer hitch)/jeeps/0ff-road vehicles and many times as assistance for others in trouble-I also carry an ELECTRIC JACK--priceless-

Don't leave home without it !!

:costumed-smiley-007:bike_rider: JIMBO
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I agree, It just doesn't seem right going out without it. I'm sure I'll always have it close by if nothing else the handle makes a great cheater bar :)
Ain't that the truth?

Bent skid plate...

rubithon_36_alt.jpg

Hi-Lift handle to the rescue!

rubithon_36_crop.jpg

I should mention that Hi-Lifts are useful to my outfit. I use it to stabilize the truck and prevent getting seasick when sleeping in the 'Nest. Plus it was really handy when I had to use Marlin's also unnecessary mobile welder to repair a leaf spring pack.

DSCF5176.jpg
 
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crazysccrmd

Observer
I've used mine a few times, mostly to help recover other people's rigs. The wheel lift attachment is a crucial piece of equipment with the jack in my opinion. I had to help a friend recover his Silverado that sank to the frame into some melted out permafrost on a section of trail. We used a 6ft section of 2x12 to distribute the weight from the jack and lifted each individual wheel all the way out of the muck in order to get a traction board underneath them. I don't think there would've been a better tool for the job in that case.
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
Last time I was out solo and stuck in the snow I was sure glad I had it. If I only went out with groups I might leave it at home.
 

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LMarshall73

Adventurer
I've been carrying and using a Hi-Lift off road for better than 20 years without any formal training aside from RTFM...
 

DarcyB

New member
I always carry mine in the truck, mainly because when I go out I'm the only one that has one and nobody has winches in our group. Plus it's handy around the farm for pulling fence posts and the like.

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