The Off-road Adviser

OFF-ROAD ADVISER

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How to use a Hi-Lift jack?

How to use a Hi-Lift jack?
Hi-Lift jack

Hi-Lift Jacks have been an indispensable item on off-road vehicles for a very long time.

They can be used to lift a vehicle so one or more tires clear the ground and allow a stuck vehicle to drive out of a situation, they can be used as a winch anchor point, they can even be used as an anchor point for pulling stumps from the ground. Since you adjust them by hand there is no need for large spools or airlines making them incredibly easy to remove from the field if necessary. The only downside is that ever-popular question: What do I use this thing FOR? In many cases, simply knowing what NOT to do will make using your Hi-Lift Jack that much easier.

First and foremost, if you are not comfortable using a Hi-Lift Jack, don’t try it.

This device is incredibly powerful and can easily cause injury if not used properly. Secondly, always use a Hi-Lift Jack with caution. Be aware of your surroundings and what the jack is capable of doing. Thirdly, never use a Hi-Lift Jack as an emergency brake. Finally, know how to properly use the jack before attempting any recovery operations.

Now that we have that out of the way let’s discuss some basic ways in which you can use your Hi-Lift Jack for vehicle recovery. The first thing you need to do is find a good solid surface to place the jack on. You must have a level surface or the jack will not work properly. If you are trying to lift one wheel from the ground only, place the jack under a solid portion of the axle housing and raise it according to your vehicle’s specifications. In most cases, this is between 12-18 inches. This should provide enough clearance for an average 4×4 with standard tires to gain some low traction.

Useful tips:

  •        Never use any part of your body as a step when using a Hi-Lift Jack.
  •        Never use a Hi-Lift Jack as a pry bar except for its intended purpose as an anchor point for pulling stumps/prying objects from the ground.
  •        Always make sure the Hi-Lift Jack is properly secured before using.
  •        Make sure the hydraulic bottle is at least half full before using.
  •        Use a spotter when attempting any Hi-lift operations.

 

If you are trying to get a vehicle unstuck, place the jack under a solid portion of the frame and slowly raise it until the vehicle begins to move. If you are using a snatch block, make sure to use extreme caution when attaching it as it can easily snap a line if not done correctly.

Some other helpful tips would be to use sandbags or rocks to help keep the jack in place while you are trying to free a stuck vehicle. You can also use chains or straps around the bumper or frame to help keep the vehicle from moving while you are trying to free it.

If all else fails, there is no shame in calling a tow truck. Sometimes even the best off-roaders need a little help.

Hopefully, this article will provide some basic tips on how to use your Hi-Lift Jack for vehicle recovery. Remember, safety is always the number one priority, so use caution when operating this powerful device. As always, if you are ever in doubt, please consult an expert before attempting any recovery operations.

 

So what can you do with a Hi-Lift Jack?

In short, just about anything that requires lifting or pulling. The jack is used to lift a vehicle so one or more tires clear the ground and allow a stuck vehicle to drive out of a situation, they can be used as a winch anchor point, they can even be used as an anchor point for pulling stumps from the ground. Because you adjust them by hand, there is no need for large spools or airlines making it incredibly easy to remove from the field if necessary. The only downside is that ever-popular question: What do I use this thing FOR? In many cases, simply knowing what NOT to do will make using your Hi-Lift Jack that much easier.

 

First and foremost, if you are not comfortable using a Hi-Lift Jack, don’t try it. This device is incredibly powerful and can easily cause injury if not used properly. Second, follow the specific instructions for your Hi-Lift jack. Third, never use a Hi-Lift Jack as an emergency brake. If you are on a hill and need to stop quickly placing the Hi-Lift under any part of the vehicle will lift it off the ground and allow it to roll easily – possibly causing you to roll with it. Fourth, know how to stop the jack at just about any height before using it in lifting operations. Finally, do not attempt any lifts without having some sort of support underneath them first.

Some basic uses for your high lift jack would be tire changes (provided they are raised high enough), removing low hanging brush or branches from trails or obstacles, clearing a campsite of low hanging branches and the list goes on. Seriously, just about anything that you would normally pick up or carry around can be done with your Hi-Lift jack as an alternate device. Remember to use common sense though. For example, I would never attempt to pry open a door with my Hi-Lift Jack for fear of damaging it beyond repair – but if there is something nailed down in the ground then by all means give it a shot!

The best advice I can give you is simply to not get caught trying to justify why you have one on the trail without having some sort of purpose for it first. In other words, plan! If you are going on a trail that requires a Hi-Lift Jack, bring one with you. If you are not sure if you will need it or not, then chances are you will. Like I said before, they are incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks. The bottom line is this: don’t leave home without it!

When using a Hi-lift jack for vehicle recovery the first thing to do is identify a solid anchor point on the frame of the vehicle. Once you have found a good spot, use the jack to slowly lift the car until it begins to move. If you are using a snatch block, make sure to use extreme caution when attaching it as it can easily snap a line if not done correctly.

Some other helpful tips include using a long length of 3/4 inch rope and doubling up the line (a safety measure that is recommended). Also, when placing a Hi-Lift jack under a vehicle to lift it clear of the ground, make sure you place it as far back on the frame behind one of the rear tires as possible. Doing this will ensure you get maximum lifting capacity out of your Jack. It is also good to note that Hi-Lift jacks can be used with straps or chains in addition to ropes.

The use of a high lift jack for pulling stumps from the groundworks is much the same way as described above. Simply anchor your Hi-Lift jack securely and then begin removing material around and under the stump until it begins to lift. Again, using a snatch block in this situation can be helpful as it will distribute the load and make the process that much easier. When pulling a stump it is also important to have someone assist you by holding the jack in place and keeping it from slipping. As with any recovery operation, always use caution when working near heavy or moving objects.

In conclusion, there are many ways to use a Hi-lift jack and each situation will call for a different approach. By following these simple tips and guidelines you can help ensure safe and successful operations every time. Remember to use common sense and stay safe! Happy lifting!

 

So, what do you use your Hi-lift jack for? Here are just a few ideas:

Removing a tree stump from the ground- Lifting a vehicle to change a flat tire or do repairs under the car- Jacking up your truck or Jeep for some new tires, suspension work, oil changes, etc.- Moving boulders/rocks off trails- Prying open stuck doors on vehicles, gates, and entrances of various types. Just be careful that you don’t hurt the jack.- Skidding logs for transport with a chainsaw – I have also used it before to hold an 8ft log still while using my chainsaw so I could cut it in half Shimming unevenly hung windows at home when they are being difficult!

When using Hi-Lift jacks for recovery, several safety precautions should always be taken into consideration. Firstly, identify a good anchor point on the frame of the vehicle before beginning to lift. Make sure that any snatch blocks being used are attached correctly and safely. It is also important to use a long length of rope doubled up for added safety. When placing the Hi-lift jack under the car to lift it, make sure you place it as far back on the frame behind one of the rear tires as possible for maximum lifting capacity.

When pulling stumps with a Hi-Lift jack, always have someone assisting you by holding the jack in place and keeping it from slipping. As with any recovery operation, always use caution when working near heavy or moving objects.

Using a Hi-lift jack to change a tire off-road is generally not recommended. For one, the weight of your vehicle will be supported by the Hi-Lift jack and any amount of movement can cause damage to both you and your equipment. Secondly, if there is any way you can access a spare tire or tow truck then doing so would greatly increase your chances of changing your tire successfully without causing either yourself or your car further harm.

Hi, Lift jacks are designed for lifting vehicles high enough to do work underneath. They can also be used as an anchor point for recovery straps when used with snatch blocks. The jack should always be placed well forward on the frame behind one of the rear wheels and using a long length of 3/4 inch rope double up (to increase safety).

Use a Hi-Lift jack as an anchor point for recovery straps. Place the jack well forward on the frame behind one of the rear wheels and use a long length of 3/4 inch rope double up (to increase safety).

It is not recommended to change a tire with your hi-lift jack because there is no safe place to lift your car and it’s easy to cause more damage than you fix. Hi-Lift jacks were designed for lifting vehicles high enough to do work underneath so don’t risk damaging your car and yourself by using them as a tire-changing jack. Further information:

The only safe way to use a Hi-Lift Jack as a tire-changing jack would be if you had some type of frame around the Hi-Lift, that would hold the tire without getting too close to the vehicle.

I have personally changed a tire on three vehicles using a Hi-Lift Jack. I used an old ground tarp as my jack plate and placed it under the Hi-lift with two car jacks at either end of the tarp to keep it secure while lifting. After removing my spare, I lowered the Hi-lift enough to put my new tire on and raised it back up. Trucks are different than cars, depending on your height you will need some sort of lift for them also. When doing this make sure that you are very familiar with how much weight can be put on your jack or you run into some real trouble adding more weight than it can handle.

Hi-Lift jacks were designed for lifting vehicles high enough to do work underneath so don’t risk damaging your car and yourself by using them as a tire-changing jack.

When using Hi-Lift jacks for recovery, several safety precautions should always be taken into consideration. Firstly, identify a good anchor point on the frame of the vehicle before beginning to lift. Make sure that any snatch blocks being used are attached correctly and safely. It is also important to use a long length of rope doubled up for added safety. When placing the Hi-lift jack under the car to lift it, make sure you place it as far back on the frame behind one of the rear tires as possible for maximum lifting capacity.

 

Safety Warning

Do not use a Hi-Lift Jack to change a tire, the only safe way to do this is with a frame around it that supports the tire, very far from the vehicle and well clear of all moving parts that might contact the high lift or jack. Even then there are risks involved when you add in jacking up a truck to get a better angle for changing tires!

Hi-Lift jacks were designed for lifting vehicles high enough to work underneath so don’t risk damaging your car and yourself by using them as a tire-changing jack. Make sure any snatch blocks being used are attached correctly and safely. Use a long length of rope doubled up for added safety. Identify a good anchor point on the frame of the vehicle before beginning to lift.

Hi-Lift jacks were designed for lifting vehicles high enough to do work underneath so don’t risk damaging your car and yourself by using them as a tire-changing jack. Make sure you place the Hi-lift jack as far back on the frame behind one of the rear tires as possible for maximum lifting capacity. When placing the high lift jack under the car to lift it, make sure you place it well clear of all moving parts that might contact the Hi-lift or jack. Use snatch blocks attached correctly and safely with long-length rope doubled up for added safety. Always be familiar with how much weight can be put on your jack or run into some real trouble adding more weight than it can handle. When using Hi-Lift jacks for recovery, several safety precautions should always be taken into consideration. First, identify a good anchor point on the frame of the vehicle before beginning to lift. Make sure any snatch blocks being used are attached correctly and safely. It is also important to use a long length of rope doubled up for added safety. When lifting the car with the Hi-lift jack, make sure you place it as far back on the frame behind one of the rear tires as possible for maximum lifting capacity.

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