Thinking about dropping the hi-lift

Photomike

White Turtle Adventures & Photography
We use to call a Hi-lift a third hand. There are a lot of uses for one and can save you in many situations but if you don't know what it can do and have not used one enough then leave it at home. They have become more decoration then useful of late. I have not had one or used one for 30 plus years and I would have to do a lot with one to feel comfortable using one again. When we did have one it was used for many things other tahn recovery but was there in case.

Also with newer vehicles they are less useful as you cannot use them on bumpers like you could years ago. We would jack up jeeps and trucks on their bumper then kick them off to get the vehicle out of holes. Do that today and the bumper would stay with the jack.. :rolleyes:

Winches are just as bad. I see them on so many vehicles and I know that most have no idea how to use one. Or they have it on their vehicle that they take into open areas and don't carry anything to make the winch actually work. Hard to hook up to something that is 10 kilometers away :p:p

Carry and use what you are comfortable with and practice with it before hand.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
I don't use mine allot but more than I have used my spare (which is never) but I still carry my spare.
Speaking of that. I have been carrying a spare less....never a spare wheel....but adding more capability to repair tires in the field. This includes plugs, patches, stitching capability, spoons, and a tube. I'm pretty much looking at it with the idea that having the ability to repair multiple tires if needed may well get me further down the road than only a single spare.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Speaking of that. I have been carrying a spare less....never a spare wheel....but adding more capability to repair tires in the field. This includes plugs, patches, stitching capability, spoons, and a tube. I'm pretty much looking at it with the idea that having the ability to repair multiple tires if needed may well get me further down the road than only a single spare.
Which is fine when you're by yourself. If you're with a group, there's nothing we like better than sitting around watching someone try and repair a tire (especially when needing stiches) and then continuing forward progression. Or you could carry a spare mounted on a rim, change out your flat so we can keep going, and then in the evening when we're stopped for the night THEN try and repair your tire at your leisure.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
Which is fine when you're by yourself. If you're with a group, there's nothing we like better than sitting around watching someone try and repair a tire (especially when needing stiches) and then continuing forward progression. Or you could carry a spare mounted on a rim, change out your flat so we can keep going, and then in the evening when we're stopped for the night THEN try and repair your tire at your leisure.
I've spent FAR more time helping and waiting for people to fix other broken junk like axles, driveshafts, steering, transfer cases, transmissions, electrical, and engine stuff on the trail in groups vs dealing with tire issues. These days ( knock on wood) tire issues seem to be minimal in general. If they do have issues it is usually minor and a few plugs fix it.

If you are running near stock sized tires a spare isnt as big of a deal as when it's a 35-40 inch tire. The weight and bulk of a compete unit really eats into cargo volume and even the weight becomes an issue.

I am going to keep pushing the envelope and trying new things. My friends understand......usually.....
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Hi -Lifts come in to their own for many situations, Getting cross axled or hung up on a rock would be two of the most common uses for a Hi-Lift and on rare occasions changing the odd tyre, they come in handy when you have popped a bead when you need to reseat the tyre, Popping beads would be one of the most common uses for a Hi Lift,
 

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
Used my Hi-lift mostly for bead breaking tires and pulling fence posts.
In the, now, nearly 40 years of off road travel I never needed it; stopped carrying it when a couple of friends borrowed it to unstick a poorly prepped Scout and barely escaped serious injury/death; when they dropped the vehicle...
A small hydraulic jack that will work on its side (or a mechanical bottle jack) and a piece of wood (6"x4x4) is, normally, more than enough, IMO.

A Hi-lift (and especially a clone) is a really poor jack for changing tires; since you, typically, need to jack a vehicle, several feet in the air to run the suspension to its limits, just to get the flat tire off the ground... the more capable the vehicle is off road/the better the suspension, the worse the situation will be.

Enjoy!
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
If you have a winch and plenty of spares, ditch it. I use mine as a winch and bead breaker. Weighs a ton less than a winch bumper and winch. But now that winch sealing isn't completely pathetic, I might reevaluate that.

The Ford super duty bottle jacks have a ton of throw. $20. I have two under my rear bench and the highlift there.
 

DaveInDenver

Luddite
I'm someone who still carries a Hi-Lift, I find it useful for a number of things. The Jack Mate wheel lifter makes it much more useful for recovery stuff.

506495

A Hi-lift (and especially a clone) is a really poor jack for changing tires; since you, typically, need to jack a vehicle, several feet in the air to run the suspension to its limits, just to get the flat tire off the ground.
I agree, it's not anything like a go-to tool for that.

I have had to use mine (with the bottle jack, too) to completely lift my truck off the suspension during a field repair. That required removing a spring pack to convince several leafs to reunite after they split. I stacked as many spares as people were willing to offer though.

506496
 

FJOE

Regular Dude
I carried the stock Toyota bottle jack, and the Harbor Freight aluminum floor jack on a DMZ Fab skid. Best two things I've ever used. I had 4 hockey pucks as well that I would use with the floor jack for a little extension if needed.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Mine's on the side of my trailer. When there, it is out of the way and not causing any issues. So I keep it there. It has a protective cover over the workings, and the way the top of the trailer splays out it also helps keep the workings protected. It is kinda like insurance for me; I'm glad to have it as part of my recovery gear. And for the record, I don't remember the last time I used it (year 2001 +/-?). Kinda like car insurance; I haven't filed a claim since I think 1990 or 1991(?). Still carry car insurance.
506517
 

67cj5

Man On a Mission
Mine's on the side of my trailer. When there, it is out of the way and not causing any issues. So I keep it there. It has a protective cover over the workings, and the way the top of the trailer splays out it also helps keep the workings protected. It is kinda like insurance for me; I'm glad to have it as part of my recovery gear. And for the record, I don't remember the last time I used it (year 2001 +/-?). Kinda like car insurance; I haven't filed a claim since I think 1990 or 1991(?). Still carry car insurance.
View attachment 506517
I just worked out that I bought my Red All Cast 48" Hi-Lift back around 97 along with a few extras like the Off Road base and the Rack Mount, but the repair kit and bumper lift is missing But some **** broke in to my lock up about 4 years ago and stole all my power and hand tools and I thought my 4x4 gear was gone but yesterday I found the trunk it was all in so I am pretty happy about that, I also have the 60" Hi-Lift X-Treme that I bought in March 2016 but my 4x4 gear now lives in my house.

There are so many knock offs of Hi-Lift accessories on the market now even the shops are selling copies of their gear, If it is not Genuine Hi-Lift then I won't buy it, And I have already made a list to buy the missing items and a few others as well, I may not need them and I prefer not need them but at leased if I have them they will be ready for when I do.
 
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Peneumbra2

Badger Wrangler
Never used a hi-Lift for tire-changing, etc, but have twice used them for extricating someone from a damaged/rolled vehicle when a regular rescue tool (Hurst or Lucas, etc) was not available.
 

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
My Hi-lift was a gift around 1988 or '89 was carried continuously, without need, or vehicle use for around 15 years; then, after deciding to lighten the load (after a couple of friends tried to drop an IH Scout on themselves), I put it in a corner of the garage as a home for Ol' lady Widow and her progeny...
Its been out of the corner a couple of times for body and frame work but mostly has been more used for bead breaking tires and pulling a few fence posts (I may pull it out this year to stretch some chain link fencing)...Never missed/needed it off road ...never will.... no real need for them; even winches are rarely used, since my needy friends got better equipment (Mud tires, gears and lockers) and became experienced off road drivers.

Enjoy!
 

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