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Sometimes, the road of life can be a little bit bumpy, other times it can be muddy. Most of the times that you head out in a four-wheel drive vehicle that is what you are looking for. Honestly, that is the fun part. It can get a bit tricky, though, there is a very thin line between a muddy track that is a lot of fun to slog through and a road that gets you stuck. If you are going to be an off-road explorer you will hit one of those spots, it might be the mud, it might be a rut, it might just be a bunch of rocks. You are going to need a Hi-Lift Jack to make sure that you can make it out of those tough spots.
It is best to be prepared on your adventure for all the ups and downs that come along with off-road vehicles. Hopefully this article will help you choose the best off-road recovery tools for peace of mind that you can get out of any jam you may encounter on the way.
You will want to remember, though, that even if you get the best hi lift jack that is on the market, a few accessories might be necessary. We’ll take a look at the company that makes them, why they are such a good choice, and take a look at a few reviews of some of the best high lift jacks 4WD options.
Hi-Lift Jack Buyer’s Guide
Whenever you are looking into making a purchase you are going to want to gather some information. This will help you make an informed purchase and pick out the best hi lift jack for you.
What is a Hi Lift Jack and Hi-Lift Jack Company Brand History
The Hi-Lift Jack company (www) has quite a long history. Its parent company is the Bloomfield Manufacturing Company, which is one of the oldest companies in the state of Indiana. Formed all the way back in 1895 by Philip John Harrah. Even though the company has been going strong for over 100 years at this point, it is still owned and operated by the Harrah family, with the fourth generation of the family currently running it. The company was interested in making automotive accessories from the very start. One of the products they put out was a kit that contained a number of things you might need when you take your motor car out on a trip. It included a pail for gasoline and a steel tow strap among other things.
In 1905 a new product was released. It was called the Automatic Combination Tool, but it was also known as the Handyman or the Shepherds’ Jack. This had all the looks of the modern Hi-Lift Jack but was a touch shorter. Various changes were made and at first, the jack actually got a touch smaller, reaching its shortest in 1919. From there it grew, coming to its current height (or very close to it) in 1950. The other big change that was made was in 1963 when the jack went from green in color to the red that is all too familiar to those that know the jack today.
Clearly, the Hi-Lift Jack Company has a long and storied history in this sector. With this long history comes lots of experience in making quality products. Their long history speaks to a successful business, and this article will outline some of their products that you should know about for your off-road needs.
Why is the Hi-Lift Jack So Dependable and Strong?
There are now three types of Hi-Lift Jacks, the all cast and the cast/steel jack have been around for a while now. The company has recently added the x-treme jack to their line up.
The cast/steel jack is crafted from both cast and stamped parts.
To take it a step up, you can go with the all-cast jack which, as the name suggests, is made from all cast components.
The x-treme takes the all-cast jack and adds some bells and whistles, such as gold zinc-coat hardware.
These are all great jacks, but the best one for you will surely depend on your individuals needs and requirements. This includes load, weight, and height requirements. Read on for our buyer’s guide to decide which jack best meets your personal needs.
|item-title||Hi-Lift Cast/Steel Jack||Hi-Lift All-Cast Jack||Hi-Lift X-TREME Jack||Hi-Lift UTV Jack|
|• 36 inches|
• 42 inches
• 48 inches
• 60 inches
|• 40 inches|
• 48 inches
• 60 inches
|• 48 inches|
• 60 inches
|• 48 inches
• 60 inches
All the jacks are extremely durable and long lasting. In general cast parts will last a bit longer than the stamped pieces, and in relation to that will end up costing more.
Any of them will work for the occasional standard use, but if you will be using this jack regularly the company recommends that you stick with the all cast option. They are all rated to be able to lift, push or pull a weight capacity of up to 7,000 lbs.
Each of them is available in a 48” jack, for standard height vehicles, or if you have a raised vehicle, you can get a 60” option on them as well (all available sizes and options to found in comparison table). All the options are useful not only to lift but can also be used to clamp and winch, as required.
When you are out enjoying ripping through the mud and rough terrain, you will no doubt get stuck at some point. You need to prepare with the right gear. Solidly built recovery equipment is a lot less expensive than hiking home and finding a tow truck that can bring your 4WD Jeep or any other vehicle back. So before you hit the trails, be sure that you are prepared. You will be happy you thought ahead, and it will give you peace of mind on all of your adventures.
Hi Lift Jacks Reviews
The Hi-Lift Jack company makes a range of jacks for just about any use. There is a choice for the weekend warrior, the off-road adventurer and even the extreme explorer who wants to tackle the hardest of trails.
The newest option is sized just for a UTV, which could be the perfect thing for a farmer or a homesteader to use around their land. All of the choices have multiple height choices, letting you pick the one that best fits the vehicle that you’ll be taking out. All of the choices are very durable and will no doubt last you for years to come.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these options and you can decide which one best suits your needs.
Hi-Lift Cast/Steel Jack
This is the entry level Hi-Lift Jack option. It is made of mostly cast parts, but 4 of its pieces are made from stamped steel. This doesn’t decrease the load capacity or the features. It does mean that the stamped steel pieces will end up wearing out somewhat quicker than the all cast option.
This all isn’t to say that you won’t still get years of use out of this choice, but you definitely should consider how often will you calling this tool up to help you. If you only plan to bring it along for those “just in case” moments when you taking your monthly off-road excursion, this would be more than enough.
This option sports the powdered black option that calls back to the more original look of the jack. This choice comes standard at a 48-inch height, but if you are interested there are options at 36 inches, 42 inches, and a whopping 60-inch choice.
You can also go and buy Jack Stand and Wheel Chock Bundle – this is a really good option as it includes the following hi-lift jack accessories:
- Hi-Lift Jack HL484 48″ Hi-Lift Black Cast and Steel Jack
- Hi-Lift Jack HK-B Black Handle-Keeper
- Hi-Lift Jack ORB Off-Road Base
- Hi-Lift Jack LM-100 Lift-Mate
- Hi-Lift Jack 4X400 4XRAC Jack Mounting System
Mainly because it costs less than buying each one separately and all that stuff you really need anyway!
So if you aren’t planning to get extremely heavy use out of your hilift jack, then this might be just what you are looking for. Still a very solid tool, and combined with the above hi-lift accessories, it’s most of what you need to get you out of a pinch. And of course, the main draw of the more basic model is that it is on the lower end of the price range.
If this sounds like the right choice for you why not take a look at it from Amazon.
Hi-Lift All-Cast Jack
If you are an off-road warrior who frequently finds use to pull your rig out, or even a farmer pulling things up and you use a winch, you might want to step up to this Hi Lift All-Cast Jack model.
The major difference in this model is that the stamped parts are swapped out for pieces that are all cast. This doesn’t raise the weight capacity that you’ll be able to lift, but it means that even if you are looking at using it daily you don’t need to worry about having to replace this piece for many years to come.
The main benefit of this model is that it is made of better materials, and will hold up to more regular use and wear and tear. If you are looking for a more heavy duty tool than the cast/steel jack, then this is a great option.
All these jack options feature a shearing pin that is designed to give way if you are attempting to lift more than the 7,000 pounds that it is designed for. Great for ensuring that you don’t damage the jack if you lifted more than the intended weight limit.
Take a look at it right here if you think this is the best choice for you.
Hi-Lift X-TREME Jack
Now if you are looking for the absolute bulletproof choice, the Hi Lift X-TREME Jack will provide what you are looking for. The most heavy duty option in our buyer’s guide. We think that it will give you everything you need if you are planning on getting heavy use out of your jack.
One of the most useful features is the winch-clamp-spreader attachment. This special attachment gives you the ability do any number of useful things with the jack. It allows you to not only use the high lift jack as a winch, but also can be used for clamping down on objects or to spread them as needed. If you find yourself with a rolled vehicle this could be quite handy to spread a door frame back to the way that it should be.
This jack can also be bought as an Off-Road Kit Bundle that contains all the necessary accessories.
If this is the perfect choice for you, go ahead and place an order for one.
Hi-Lift UTV Jack
If you have loved the utility of the Hi-Lift Jack for your vehicles, but wished that there was one to help when your UTV gets itself stuck, this is just the answer for you.
This option is constructed with the same all cast parts as the other jacks. It can be found in a 42-inch height and a smaller 36-inch option. The hardware is the same gold zinc-coated metal as from the X-TREME, and also offers the same winch/clamp/spreader top attachment to give you a world of versatility.
This jack has a rated load capacity of 4,660 pounds, but has been tested to a capacity of 7,000 pounds, which give you a 150% margin of safety while lifting your favorite UTV. Over 100 years of quality, all that durability and still the jack doesn’t even weigh 32 pounds, tipping the scales at a mere 31.8 pounds. That makes it light enough for anyone to handle without issue, and you can bring it along on your UTV adventures without any issues.
If you need to make one of these your own, take a chance to look at it right here.
Using the High Lift Jack for Vehicle Recovery
Although there are many wonderful uses for the Hi-Lift Jack, vehicle recovery on the back trails is probably one of the most common uses when it comes to four wheel drive owners. The Hi-Lift Jack can be used to lift your 4WD Jeep from “sticky” situations by attaching three things.
First, one end of the strap should be attached to the tow hook or receiver. Secondly, you’ll attach the other end to the top clevis clamp of the jack. This clamp clevis should align straight with the jack. The jack’s base will be facing away from your vehicle. The other strap will be attached to a nearby tree or some form of secure anchor.
This is the basic process, but be sure to follow all instructions in your manual before using. Not all jacks are exactly the same, so be sure to take your manual along with you on your trip.
Always wear gloves while you work with the car jack. As you jack, the vehicle will begin to lift. Be sure your vehicle is steered correctly and doesn’t run over you or fall back into the hole or mud where it was stuck. You may need to repeat the jacking at full height to get your vehicle completely loosened. If there are no anchor points available, you might want to jack up each corner of the vehicle and build a dirt or rock pillar under each tire to enable you to drive out of the spot. This may take a while, but once you’re stuck, you may have no other choice.
Before you even start hooking up your jack and your recovery straps, take a moment and walk around the vehicle. Get a good feel for what you are stuck on and what are your anchor points. This gives you a better idea of the situation and how to recover from it. Also, you’ll want to take an inventory of what you have on hand. Even if there is a great tree 25 feet away that would be perfect, you’ll never make it if you only have 20 feet of strap in your kit. Remember that sometimes it might be best to pull the vehicle out of a rut backward instead of forward. Observe which tire is stuck or caught and why it’s stuck to develop a recovery strategy.
As you can see, it is not always so simple and each situation depends on your materials and where/how your vehicle is stuck. It is best to be prepared for any situation you can think of, and a good knowledge of how to use your jack is the best way to start.
When a Hand Winch is Not Enough
At times you can get your vehicle stuck and, until you start working with it, you may not know just how stuck it is. At times you can use your jack in combination with some tow straps and just winch the thing out of a tough situation. This can be quite nice when you are just stuck in some mud. You might not have a good place to put the jack to raise your rig, but pulling it out can work well.
Of course, there will be other times when you can’t just pull out of a problem. There may be a rock or log that would rip up the underside of the stuck vehicle. For this, you may need to jack your car up. Luckily in most situations, the best high lift jack should offer you more than enough lift height to get up and over the problem.
However, if you have some imagination that is not all you can do with this versatile tool. If you need something spread apart, you can start with this closed down and use the jacking action to spread out an opening or pull a couple of stuck objects apart.
If you find yourself on a farm, this handy device can be of endless use as well. It can do wonders for pulling up fence posts, both the straight wooden ones and the pesky t-posts as well.
A hi-lift jack is truly a versatile tool, and the more you come to know about it, the more problems you will realize you can solve. It is great to have one on hand so you have it when you need it.
Some Useful Hi-Lift Jack’s Maintenance Tips
If you are in the habit of keeping your vehicle in fine working order for your off-road excursions, don’t worry about a ton of additional maintenance to keep your jack at peak performance. With that being said, you shouldn’t think that you can merely toss it in the back and ignore it, thinking it will be able to work smoothly when you need it.
By the way, here is our post about ATV batteries you may want to give a read!
Keep your Hi-Lift Jack in an easily accessible storage place on or in your vehicle so that you can reach it if you need it. Storing it underneath your vehicle is not wise, because you may not be able to reach it if your vehicle is stuck in a deep rut or hole.
Prior to heading out on a trip you should take it down and look over it. Double check that it is free of dirt and debris. Take a moment to ensure that none of the bits are starting to look worn or bent. Then, after your trip is complete it is a good idea to take it down and look it over again. If you used it, you should clean it and any of its accessories off. Even if you didn’t it would be a great idea to oil the jack down, that way it is ready to go for the next adventure.
Your Hi-Lift Jack will last for many years if you take care of it and keep it clean and oiled. Even if you don’t use it often, the times you do use it will be well worth the investment. Your off-road adventures can be fun and safe if you carry the right equipment. This type of jack is a great tool to have handy for each trip.
Hi-Lift Jack Accessories to Carry with Your
There are a few things that can make your jack even more useful. There are lots of hi-lift accessories out there, but we’ve gone through and picked out the top choices. Any of these would be a great addition to your kit, to ensure that you can make it out of those tough spots. As with a hi-lift jack, you may not need these often, but you will be very happy when you do.
This is probably the top choice of add-on to your new jack. This comes with all those handy extras to help get you out of a jam. It includes a winch tensioner, a tree saver strap, and a custom nose attachment. Pretty much everything that you need to make sure you can find your way out of whatever jam you happened to have found.
Also included are a pair of gloves to keep your hands safe while working, all the hardware that is needed to fit it all together, and a handy bag to keep everything stored so you know just where it all is.
If you are looking to pick one up for yourself you’ll find it right here.
Of course, if you are going to be heading out on off-road excursions frequently, you might need to keep your jack at a place where you know it is easily accessible. And since most of those types of roads don’t always feature the smoothest driving conditions, you will probably want to have a way to secure it to something as well, after all, who wants a jack bouncing all over their truck? This tube mount system is just the solution for you. It has two sizes, giving you the ability to fit tubes that are either 1-2 inches or 2-3 inches. With no drilling required, you can easily attach your jack to a roll bar, then take it off for your daily commute and no one would have to know.
You can pick up a set of there at Amazon.
Also in your high lift jack kit, pick up another recovery strap. This one is well designed and can be used for any number of things. It is rated up to 30,000 lbs, so you can use it to winch or recover your vehicle if it got stuck. The choice of polyester means that you don’t have to be concerned about dangerous recoil if something gives way while you have the strap under tension. The company put reflective material on the loops to help you find them for those annoying night jobs. All in all, no one ever complained about having one too many recovery straps. If you want to add one to your kit, it’s available in 3 sizes:
Any time you are using a jack like these to winch something out, keep safety in mind. If something gives way there is an awful lot of force that will be released very quickly and some of those chains moving at high speed can cause a lot more damage than you would ever want to know.
There you have it, all the information that you need to not only chose the best Hi-Lift Jack for you but also which accessories you should pair with it (like jack stands), how to maintain it, and even some pointers on how to use it. You shouldn’t need much more than that, so check out the options and choose the one that is best for you
Remember, much like any other piece of equipment, if you take good care of it, it will be there to take care of you. Next time that you set out on your off-roading excursion, you can go armed with the knowledge that you need not fear getting stuck on the trail and have to wait for someone else to come along to rescue you. In the end, if you take a vehicle off-road, you should invest in the best high lift jack. But now we’d like to know, which one did you chose, tell us in the comments below.
But now we’d like to know, which one did you choose? Tell us in the comments below.
Different Models of Hi-Lift Jacks Available From the Hi-Lift Jack Co.
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