If you’re an avid off-road enthusiast who has been on dozens if not hundreds of exciting, adrenaline-filled off-road trips, then you’ve probably found yourself in a sticky situation a couple of times. For some, that’s part of the adventure they’re looking forward to, while for others – it’s just a hassle. I personally stand with those people that feel like that’s ruining their experience, and view it as a sign that they are simply not properly equipped with the right recovery equipment for what the off-road brings ahead.
Some recovery equipment has cutting edge design, can dramatically increase safety and is easy to use, like the winches, for example. On the other hand you have the hi lift jack – a low-tech, heavy piece of equipment that despite these disadvantages is still, without a doubt, the most versatile piece of recovery equipment you can have.
The most basic hi lift jack design has been around for hundreds of years. And why fix something that isn’t broken, right? Unlike most other products, the high-lift is versatile simply because of its…you guessed it – simplicity. By attaching various attachments to it, you can perform many things with it, including turning a vehicle around on the spot, straighten bent steering rods, use it as a hand winch, press in uni joints, etc.
When using a high jack, there are a few things to pay attention to. As with all recovery equipment, safety is key when using a high lift jack. When your vehicle is lifted on the ground, it becomes unstable. So typically, the jack should only be used for recovery when stuck in soft ground or ruts, where you need to put some sort of material under the wheels to leave springs or clear the diff casing. Moreover, if you don’t have jacking points under the vehicle that can safely accept the jack, then you should be extremely careful how and where you use it. Moreover, when using it on soft ground, it’s highly recommended to use a base to spread the weight you put on it. You can buy a neoprene base or get a quality chunk of hardwood.
If you aren’t familiar with using a high lift jack, you should probably try using it in a safe environment to get familiar with how it works. This will allow you to get a good feel of the tension that the jack’s handle as it’s being released. You should also check out the manual and look at a few videos on YouTube to really get a grip on how this tool works.