Jacks for expedition vehicles


Well-known member
Oh noes ... safety jack. I just filled up a shopping cart with $$$ of stuff I didn't necessarily think I needed until I read this thread.

Well need/want being synonymous, but I think everyone here gets that juxtaposition. :)


New member
I’m using a 12 ton bottle jack, 4 heavy equipment outrigger ground pads https://www.outriggerpads.com/ and various cribbing that I can use for leveling at camp or recovery. I also carry (2) 32 ton mat jacks with a dual manifold control so they can be operated independently.Those give me 11” of lift each. I can stack them for 22” https://www.matjack.com/matjack-high-pressure-air-lifting-bags.html
Expensive setup but commercial grade equipment and it will work when you need it to.


There is the option of buying the Chinese version of the MatJack direct from Starye Firefighting Equipment. I bought three 18 Ton lifting bags (just the bags) for about $1200 including shipping mainly to use for leveling and possibly for jacking or recovery. I expect they are not the same quality as the MatJack but they are probably good enough for occasional use.


New member
When I first got my hi-lift I practiced in the driveway. The Jeep fell of the hi-lift, or almost did and I stopped before it did, but basically, you can't use these to lift a vehicle by the frame or bumper to change a tire. One of the problems is that our suspensions flex and the vehicle lifts but the tire stays on the ground. I've seen people "solve" this by putting limit straps on and I've seen these straps break in the field while being used.

But I still use mine, but safely. I use the lift mate to lift the flat tire then slip a jack stand under the axle tube. Then I lower the flat tire onto the jack stand. Change the tire, lift it again, and you're done.

Twice the lifting but way safer. I also carry a bottle jack for when that works out, that's even better. But I use the jack stand.

This is the slow way to change a tire, but the safe way in my book. (And since getting at my spare tire is at least a 30-45 minute job, I'm in no hurry...)


Never would I leave a vehicle on a high-lift when doing repairs.

If you want to change a tire with a high lift, you should get a proper tire/wheel sling for your high lift.

Lift the vehicle via the tire you want to replace, block under axle and remove high lift.
Swap the tire out, then lift the vehicle again to remove block, then lower.

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Active member
i carry two 12T bottle jacks as well with some outrigger pads. works well. Matjacks are on my shopping list but at $4K a piece it might be a while.


I ended up getting a 12ton bottle jack from the local harbor freight and it seems to work well enough. I plan to get some new jack stands but I haven't yet. Still building the camper. Once it's done I'll see how well the bottle jack works in the dirt with all the weight on it.

Thanks for all the posts! I have many options to try if the bottle jack doesn't work out or proves to be a pain.