The Hi-Lift jack arrived today. (A birthday gift from the missus.) This may be one of the few times I have underestimated the size and mass of a piece of gear. I went with the 60″ over the 48″ because I figured the longer one could do everything the shorter one could do, but not vice versa. And that is, I think, a fairly valid argument. What I didnt really think through was just how big this thing is.

Although it would certainly excel at lifting a vehicle to change a tire, that isnt the primary reason I wanted one. My primary reason was for it’s other features – using as a comealong, being able to clamp objects together, to pry objects apart (“jaws of life” style), and that sort of thing. Someday, the ability to move a very heavy obstacle a few feet to the side, lift fallen tree branches, spread apart a door jamb, or otherwise move something that would normally take ten men to move, will be very handy and useful.

I need to thoroughly read the instructions and watch some videos for this thing. I am told that if you arent careful about how you position yourself in relation to the handle, it can snap back and tear your jaw off. That would be ungood.

0 thoughts on “Jack

  1. Be sure to be careful with that thing. Those things can lift something very impressively but can get really really f****** unstable in a hurry – IMO.
    When I use one I like to have a sacrificial doug fir plank ~2x12x20″ to put under the base to stabilize it a bit.
    PS stay clear of that handle….

  2. Yep, saw a guy bust both bones in his forearm because he wasn’t paying attention. Great tool, I’ve had one for 10+ years, I would recommend getting a rebuild kit, maintain that tool and it will be just as functional in a hundred years…

  3. I would suggest getting lots and lots of experience with it. Lift something almost every week, and lift, break the doors open, pulll and maybe even turn over a junk car before shooting it up at the range and sending it to the junkyard. Just like a firearm, when you really need this kind of tool you also need to be really familiar with its use and know rrs abilities and limitations.

  4. I can vouch for their instability. And yes, never let go of that handle until you KNOW the pawl is FIRMLY engaged! Treat it with respect, like any tool, and it will give you decades of service. I’ll second Simon’s suggestion to practice with it, and Bill’s for a stabilizer under the base. For vehicles, I’ll add that dead level ground and wheel chocks are your friends.

  5. Had one for 11+ years and they are worth their weight in (name your favorite precious metal). I do a lot of solo farming, and it has been indispensible. Saves your back. Like any mechanical device, it can store up a lot of potential energy, which if it lets it go suddenly can cause havoc.

  6. Never get between the handle and the standard. Ever. For any reason. I have gotten my bell rung good forgetting this rule, and a friend watched someone lose an eye. I have heard several broken jaw stories firsthand as well.

    If you let go of the handle when the climbing pin has not locked in, the jack can slap the handle up and down repeatedly and lower the vehicle like a bumper jack of old. Probably not kind to the jack and may not be what you intend to do, so I recommend against it.

    I made a wider ribbed/toothed base for mine out of plate steel with some pins welded on that line up with the holes in the factory base. Made all the difference in the world off road.

    Make sure to keep the bolt holding the up/down latch tight. If that bolt loosens up the jack can go from jacking up to lowering without your consent. Also, in lowering it a quick slap of the handle against the standard can cause both pins to unlock and the jack to drop to the bottom in an instant. This is more common when it does not have a heavy load on it.

    They get mighty stiff sometimes. Pouring oil on the mechanism will bright them right to the front. It attracts dirt as well, but like an AR the jack can function dirty much better than it can function with no lube.

    They do get very unstable, especially when jacked up high. The base plate helps, but the unit is wobbly by nature and usually that is a plus when using one to get unstuck. Up here we tend to weld open tubing or pockets in various places on all four sides of the vehicle to function as lifting points (or even pulling points) so the jack cannot kick out of those locations while jacking.

    The 60 vs 48 debate rages on. I have both and I tend to use the 48 more because it feels much lighter and does 99% of what I need. I have maxed it out though, especially in mud, and then the 60 comes into its own.

    Best of luck with the new toy. You will look at it 30 years from now and still smile at your good fortune of having one close at hand.

    Thanks for the tips and cautions…..

  7. Excellent tool, purchased my first in ’72. Much good advice. Make sure it fits on your vehicles. The lip doesn’t reach out enough for the wife’s grand cherokee. There is an optional adapter that is capable of reaching around modern curved bumpers. On newer trucks it seems the best (only) place to grab is under the tow hooks. Tool offers the option if high centered to shovel out along side where you be, jack up the truck and push it over to where you been shovelin’, not high centered anymore.

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