Jacks for expedition vehicles


I have an X-Jack air jack, because I used to overland with a unibody Subaru. It was great for that vehicle, as there were very few appropriate jack points, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to use the OEM jack because access to the jack points may be compromized when out on a dirt road. The X-jack was great for the Subie, as there are minimal sharp points underneath, and it's quite flat, so I only had to keep away from the hot exhaust system. I did test the X-Jack using the exhaust to fill it, which I think is what Frenchie has tried (we've discussed this before), but the air compressor is so much faster and easier to use for one person, so that is what I always use for inflating the X-Jack.

I have also used the X-jack on my lifted 4Runner, and it has worked very well with no issues. I always use the supplied very thick piece of rubber to protect the bag from sharp points underneath the vehicle (the off brand air bags don't seem to have this protective rubber sheet, and I think this is where some of the negative thoughts about air jacks originates), and the bottom of the bag is already reinforced. I would, and have, changed a tire on my 4Runner using just the x-jack and working solo. Of course, make sure that nobody is positioned such that they'd get hurt if the jack failed. I would have to be in a very dire (life threatening) position to take the risk of changing a tire with just a hi-lift jack holding the vehicle, working solo or with help. I have actually done that, but I was much younger then! If you try really hard, you might be able to use the X-Jack to push a vehicle sideways to reposition the tires away from ruts. It is actually too stable when the vehicle is level to do this easily, and I would position some floor mats to protect the X-Jack as it moved over onto it's side. Interestingly, even when you open the 2" diameter air release plug, the bag deflates quite slowly. It's a large volume, and the bag is at <10psi, so I guess it makes sense.

All that said, the OP's vehicle is too heavy for the X-Jack, and a hydraulic jack (or two) sounds like the best solution. I just wanted to comment on the efficacy of the X-Jack, since it has been discussed here. I can't wait until the ARB Jack (hydraulic) or a similar design becomes inexpensive and has more accesories available.

Bayou Boy

I'm not lifting a heavy truck with a Hi-Lift. Way too unstable and just asking for body damage if something shifts. Bottle jack with the SafeJack extensions for me.

People have commented that you can't always fit a jack under the axle with a flat tire or maybe it won't lift enough due to the terrain. I can always dig a little hole for it to sit in or stuff a rock or log under the axle to get another bit of lift if needed.


New member
We are traveling through Central America at the moment in a Mitsubishi FUSO & I have a 20t bottle jack, simple & works.


I believe they start at $2k plus. If you're traveling soft sand desert then that really might be the most effective way to lift a heavy truck...

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Tea pot tester
I found a place in the UK who sell surplus fire brigade stuff. They had the nice big low pressure air bags I think you are suggesting above, and I had gone there to have a look and probably buy one or two.
But, deflated they are huge. From memory about 18"x18"x4' each one plus the hoses and control box which together take up about the same space again. Inflated they end up at about 4'x4'x4', so just one needed under the front maybe but to self right which was my plan I'd need a pair, and I don't have the room.
So I bought two high pressure pads at about 24"x24"x1" empty, I'll have to chock them to get the height but they fit. And still pricey second hand.


Got some pictures @grizzlyj ? 18x18x48 inches sounds huge for a deflated bag. That's like three 12v fridges stacked on top of each other!

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Expedition Leader
Be careful with the Safe Jack it can be a challenge if you need to change a flat as it will not fit under the axle.

A Safe Jack next to a factory Toyota jack with a LCP Jack Adapter next to a flat 315/75-16.


The Jack Adapter fits the axle much more secure and available for all types of post jacks.

jack adp 80-100 rear.JPG


I carry a cheap floor jack I got 22 years ago from sams club and some scrap wood... it’s worked great for over 20 years. Keep it simple!