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  #1  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:04 PM
BlueJeeper BlueJeeper is offline
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The Hi-Lift jack

Lately I have been seeing the purveyance of opinion that the Hi-Lift jack is better left at home, and that a bottle jack is a better option for a jack on the trail. For trail fixes, changing tires, general maintenance, etc., I don't disagree.

What troubles me is that in the four years I have had one of these jacks, I've used it for recovery more than anything else. The most essential and oft-used case for me, is when I am high-centered, with little to no available traction. I apply the jack to the bumper in the direction opposite of that which I wish to travel, just so much that the transfercase skid is off the ground, and enough weight is transferred to the opposite end so that there is available traction. Leaving the jack in place, I drive away from the jack. The jack follows the Jeep, and as the jack-end of the Jeep gets traction and loads the suspension, the jack simply falls away to the side. In all this takes me about half a minute to continue on my way--I don't have one of these complicated mounting systems anymore, I just bind it upright to the cage or to the bed with bungees.

I don't disagree that the jack is heavy, and I wish it were lighter. I also know there are plenty of folks out there that have them because everyone else does, but never use them. But I can't use a bottle jack in this situation. I'm sure it would tear up my carrier housing and cover pretty good, not to mention that any number of parts under the Jeep could smack it after (if) it does the same job as described above. And positioning a bottle jack to do this wouldn't always be practical either given what I always seem to get myself into.

I don't have to unspool and set up a winch cable, I don't have to drag along the trail. I've done this enough and it's been so useful, I wouldn't go jeeping without it, despite it's negatives. To me, it seems like the simplest and most jeep and trail friendly solution to a simple problem. I'm not looking for affirmation or confrontation, and I realize many folks might not use it like this for good reason. What I'm asking, is if there is a better way to accomplish this?

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  #2  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:12 PM
John John is offline
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I don't know about a better way, but I've been doing exactly what you're talking about for the last 15 years.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:16 PM
02_WHITE_TJ_X 02_WHITE_TJ_X is offline
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Re: The Hi-Lift jack

Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Bernotas


What I'm asking, is if there is a better way to accomplish this?

Tow Strap and buddies Jeep. Fast, Reliable, and Effective And you don't have to bother with one of those dangerous jacks that can slip and take out whatever is in it's way
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:18 PM
StealthTJ StealthTJ is offline
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Cool

Yup, a simply little tug with a strap.
Easy, and, I believe, much safer.




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  #5  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:25 PM
BlueJeeper BlueJeeper is offline
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And the times where I can't position another Jeep and strap on the trail in the direction I want to go? What then?

What about the times I'm out with noone but my wife in the passenger seat (or her in the driver seat)? No lectures please.

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  #6  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:27 PM
Robert J. Yates Robert J. Yates is offline
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I'm one of those that has stopped carrying the Hi Lift and I even have a great rack system to carry it with. Takes me literally 30 seconds to get the jack removed off my rig. Most folks have it buried or in pieces which really strikes me as odd.

I don't like the weight and I don't like the way the jack operates. Yes it has bailed me out a number of times but I would just as soon pull out a strap or pull the winch cable. They are not the safest pieces of equipment - I always mind myself around them.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:29 PM
Paradiddle Paradiddle is offline
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This happens all the time on the Hammers - we simply hook up the winch to another jeep - or around a rock with a tree-saver and give a tug.

Wind up the winch rope and throw the strap in the back and away we go.

The time it would take to find a safe place to hi-lift on (the terrain doesn't always give you a good spot to put the jack on) and to unload/reload and set up the jack is not worth it IMO.

Jeff
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:33 PM
02_WHITE_TJ_X 02_WHITE_TJ_X is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Bernotas
And the times where I can't position another Jeep and strap on the trail in the direction I want to go? What then?

There is an exception to everything. One other thing that can be used sometimes in a situation like that is a freindly little 2 ton come-along. But you need trees around for that and I know we don't all have trees for a good attachment point. But I think that I could set up my come along almost as fast as your high-lift I just don't prefer the high-lift because I've seen them slip and it's not pretty. But that is just a personal thing.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:35 PM
BlueJeeper BlueJeeper is offline
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I agree that the Hi Lift jack is not the safest tool in the world.

I realize that a winch or a buddy in the right spot gets you out of this dilemma.

I also realize that it might not be the right tool for some trails, like the Hammers.

But I would like to stay away from discussing that.

I don't have a winch. I don't always have another Jeep in front or in back of me, and can't always reposition that other Jeep (if it's there). I can't always go forwards, or go backwards.

I have gotten into this situation enough, and the solution is so simple.

What I'm asking, is given these conditions (which happen enough to me), is there a better way?

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  #10  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:38 PM
BlueJeeper BlueJeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by 02_WHITE_TJ_X
There is an exception to everything. One other thing that can be used sometimes in a situation like that is a freindly little 2 ton come-along. But you need trees around for that and I know we don't all have trees for a good attachment point. But I think that I could set up my come along almost as fast as your high-lift I just don't prefer the high-lift because I've seen them slip and it's not pretty. But that is just a personal thing.
Hi Tracy,

To me this occurs enough so as for me not to consider it an exception.

I don't want to use a come along. There are plenty of trees around me usually, but a come along is much slower than my Hi Lift jack. And my Hi Lift jack doesn't drag me along.

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  #11  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:44 PM
Robert J. Yates Robert J. Yates is offline
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Well, not having a winch makes your situation a little different. I used my Hi Lift alot when I first got my rig and didn't yet have a winch. Even after I got the winch I still carried it and ocassionally used it so I do see your point. I am at the point now that it simply became just more weight for me, so, off it went.

Personally though, if you want to do things better and safer, I think you should look into a winch or establish a budget for one. MO is that they are invaluable for getting oneself out of a mess, particularly if you wheel alone or in a very small group which seems to be your situation. Also, the new composite ropes on the market make for a huge safety improvement when using a winch as well as for ease of handling. Hard to argue with that.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2003, 01:48 PM
sethmark sethmark is offline
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I haven't carried my Hi Lift in years. But I do wind up using one on trail for someone every now and again. If you travel with the same people over and over, make sure that SOMEONE has one, but I wouldn't kill yourself to make certain that someone was you.

I like them as a tool, respect them as such, and use it sparingly.
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2003, 02:10 PM
BlueJeeper BlueJeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert J. Yates
Well, not having a winch makes your situation a little different. I used my Hi Lift alot when I first got my rig and didn't yet have a winch. Even after I got the winch I still carried it and ocassionally used it so I do see your point. I am at the point now that it simply became just more weight for me, so, off it went.

Personally though, if you want to do things better and safer, I think you should look into a winch or establish a budget for one. MO is that they are invaluable for getting oneself out of a mess, particularly if you wheel alone or in a very small group which seems to be your situation. Also, the new composite ropes on the market make for a huge safety improvement when using a winch as well as for ease of handling. Hard to argue with that.
Hi Robert,

I strongly agree that a winch would be a great tool for my Jeep.

That said, for the reasons I have given I still think that even with a winch, there are times on the trails that I go jeeping on (which are a small fraction of the difficulty of the trails that you jeep on), in my little Jeep, that the Hi Lift jack is my preferred solution to problems that I have. Even if I had a winch to use.

I think what I am getting at, is that when the question of whether to carry, use, buy, etc. a Hi Lift jack comes up, it probably deserves a little bit more context, in terms of where you are wheeling, who you are wheeling with, how you are set up, what other recovery equipment you carry, and how and why you have (or have not) used the jack in the past, and how and why you plan (or plan not to) use the jack in the future.

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  #14  
Old 12-08-2003, 02:12 PM
BlueJeeper BlueJeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by sethmark
If you travel with the same people over and over, make sure that SOMEONE has one, but I wouldn't kill yourself to make certain that someone was you.

I like them as a tool, respect them as such, and use it sparingly.
I agree with that.

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  #15  
Old 12-08-2003, 02:53 PM
mrblaine mrblaine is offline
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What someone needs to do is develop a high strength forged aluminum alloy farm style jack that is perhaps not rated as high as a regular hi-lift, but has enough weight reduction for us weight conscious folks to re-consider carrying one.

I would pay double what a high quality Hi-Lift is worth for a lighter weight version.
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  #16  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:07 PM
BlueJeeper BlueJeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrblaine
What someone needs to do is develop a high strength forged aluminum alloy farm style jack that is perhaps not rated as high as a regular hi-lift, but has enough weight reduction for us weight conscious folks to re-consider carrying one.

I would pay double what a high quality Hi-Lift is worth for a lighter weight version.
I was thinking the same exact thing the other day.
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  #17  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:13 PM
Stu Olson Stu Olson is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paradiddle
This happens all the time on the Hammers - we simply hook up the winch to another jeep - or around a rock with a tree-saver and give a tug.

Jeff
Jeff....remember that stuck I got into last year on Outer Limits where we had to use the Hi-lift. The axle tube was on the rock and we couldn't winch forward or backward because the rest of the rock was jammed up against the tranny, wedged between it, the control arm, and the skid. (slipped off a rock and parked it in the million dollar position, so to speak)

While I prefer to use a bottle jack, there was no way it or a winch or tow stap was getting me out of that situation. As suggested, maybe one person needs to carry one for those every now and then situations?
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:13 PM
02_WHITE_TJ_X 02_WHITE_TJ_X is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Bernotas
Hi Tracy,

To me this occurs enough so as for me not to consider it an exception.

I don't want to use a come along. There are plenty of trees around me usually, but a come along is much slower than my Hi Lift jack. And my Hi Lift jack doesn't drag me along.


I totally agree that a high-lift can be used to get out of a jam. But if you don't have a wench I would suggest you carry a come along. A come along can be used with a high lift to get you out of situtions that a high-lift alone would not get you out of. I have used both a high-lift and come-along on the trail and I prefer the come along for me it is just a safer then a high lift. I have just got a wench and I am waiting on a remote but I will still carry a high lift and come along for some things. And a come along can be used around the house for like when you are putting new siding on your shed and you need to move it

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  #19  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:17 PM
Paradiddle Paradiddle is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stu Olson
Jeff....remember that stuck I got into last year on Outer Limits where we had to use the Hi-lift. The axle tub was on the rock and we couldn't winch forward or backward because the rest of the rock was jammed up against the tranny, wedged between it, the control arm, and the skid. (slipped off a rock and parked it in the million dollar position, so to speak)

While I prefer to use a bottle jack, there was no way it or a winch or tow stap was getting me out of that situation. As suggested, maybe one person needs to carry one for those every now and then situations?
Yeah I do remember that - wasn't that caused by driver error though...

Jeff
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  #20  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:19 PM
Robert J. Yates Robert J. Yates is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stu Olson
As suggested, maybe one person needs to carry one for those every now and then situations?
Maybe Stu. Apparently, I'm not as good at chucking rocks as I thought I was. Either that or I need to move my fingers faster
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  #21  
Old 12-08-2003, 03:33 PM
Stu Olson Stu Olson is offline
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Of course it was caused by error.....I sure as heck wouldn't park my TJ in that situation on purpose!

Or....maybe it was caused by spotter error.....I was running tail gunner that day....and you were the vehicle in front of me.


Edit: note, I didn't say if it was driver error....
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  #22  
Old 12-08-2003, 06:29 PM
mnjeeper mnjeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrblaine

I would pay double what a high quality Hi-Lift is worth for a lighter weight version.
I'd pay triple if there was a way to make it a bit safer and more friendly at the same time.
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  #23  
Old 12-08-2003, 07:17 PM
eurobob eurobob is offline
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I stopped carrying a hi lift about 3 years ago. I decided it wasn't that much of a benefit after getting my old Yota high centered. I had to stack rocks just to get a lifting spot. I ended up going to a air jack. It's powered by the exhaust of your rig. Much safer and doesn't require a special lifting spot. Just stick it in under the rig and start up the engine. It only weighs about 10 pounds too.
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  #24  
Old 12-08-2003, 09:25 PM
Daless2 Daless2 is offline
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Re: The Hi-Lift jack

Quote:
Originally posted by Rick Bernotas
Lately I have been seeing the purveyance of opinion that the Hi-Lift jack is better left at home, and that a bottle jack is a better option for a jack on the trail. For trail fixes, changing tires, general maintenance, etc., I don't disagree.

What troubles me is that in the four years I have had one of these jacks, I've used it for recovery more than anything else. The most essential and oft-used case for me, is when I am high-centered, with little to no available traction. I apply the jack to the bumper in the direction opposite of that which I wish to travel, just so much that the transfercase skid is off the ground, and enough weight is transferred to the opposite end so that there is available traction. Leaving the jack in place, I drive away from the jack. The jack follows the Jeep, and as the jack-end of the Jeep gets traction and loads the suspension, the jack simply falls away to the side. In all this takes me about half a minute to continue on my way--I don't have one of these complicated mounting systems anymore, I just bind it upright to the cage or to the bed with bungees.

I don't disagree that the jack is heavy, and I wish it were lighter. I also know there are plenty of folks out there that have them because everyone else does, but never use them. But I can't use a bottle jack in this situation. I'm sure it would tear up my carrier housing and cover pretty good, not to mention that any number of parts under the Jeep could smack it after (if) it does the same job as described above. And positioning a bottle jack to do this wouldn't always be practical either given what I always seem to get myself into.

I don't have to unspool and set up a winch cable, I don't have to drag along the trail. I've done this enough and it's been so useful, I wouldn't go jeeping without it, despite it's negatives. To me, it seems like the simplest and most jeep and trail friendly solution to a simple problem. I'm not looking for affirmation or confrontation, and I realize many folks might not use it like this for good reason. What I'm asking, is if there is a better way to accomplish this?

ORO AiROCK Rick, AiROCK!!!



Frank
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  #25  
Old 12-08-2003, 09:35 PM
Daless2 Daless2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by eurobob
I stopped carrying a hi lift about 3 years ago. I decided it wasn't that much of a benefit after getting my old Yota high centered. I had to stack rocks just to get a lifting spot. I ended up going to a air jack. It's powered by the exhaust of your rig. Much safer and doesn't require a special lifting spot. Just stick it in under the rig and start up the engine. It only weighs about 10 pounds too.
Hey Bob, question for you????


Is your air jack one of those "Bull Bags" that inflates to lift the entire side of the vehicle up? If so, could you please let me know where you purchased it?

I have been trying to get one shipped from Australia for some time now with no luck.

I had one years ago and while not perfect, I do think they are close to the value of "sliced bread". (At least to me!)

Thanks in advance,

Frank
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  #26  
Old 12-09-2003, 07:06 AM
BlueJeeper BlueJeeper is offline
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Frank,

I was waiting for you to mention the AiRock suspension. If I thought I were ready to move up in tire size and make the commitment to do it right, this would definitely be a better solution. Until then, I'll have to wait for a 2" kit.

eurobob,

I am also interested in more information about your exhaust jack.
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  #27  
Old 12-09-2003, 07:57 AM
slander slander is offline
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yup i still carry it around with me and use it:

I use the hi lift at least once a wheeling trip, either to do a trail repair, we dont have a winch, or we are too lazy to get the vehicle with a winch, or simply cannot get in a good position to winch. Saying that a winch is in my budget, and i will probibly still carry the hi lift with me, since this is the only jack my jeep has. Oh im also deathly afraid of the thing, i was cracked in the jaw by the handle one day when jacking up the jeep. I wasent paying attention and let of the handle to see if the tires were off the ground, and CRACK hit me right in the chin. Mouth swelled up and i was bleeding pretty good, but i kept all my teeth and didnt break anything. Just goes to show you the instant you stop fearing the hi lift it will bite ya.
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  #28  
Old 12-09-2003, 09:25 AM
HIGLET HIGLET is offline
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I'm going to toss out the point of terrain. Rick is in Illinois (flatter, muddier? I don't know, one time I was in Chicago though it was so flat I could see my house in North Hollywood from a freeway overpass ) and most who don't like them are hardcore California/AZ rock guys. HiLifts are impossible in the rocks, no doubt. Different terrain may prove to require different tools, and the HiLift may just fit the bill perfectly. I don't have any problems with them, I realize how dangerous they are and try to be careful.

I always carry one, for the miriad of uses. Just last week I pulled up 10 fence posts in Los Olivos on the movie I was on, sure wa a lot easier than calling the ambulance after Teamsters tried to pull them out by hand

I just don't think there is a clear cut yes or no. If you like it great, if not, don't use it.
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  #29  
Old 12-09-2003, 09:25 AM
Sephiroth Sephiroth is offline
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For everyone fed up with their Hi-Lift and do not want or need them please forward them to me
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  #30  
Old 12-09-2003, 10:44 AM
Rockjeep Rockjeep is offline
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I have and will always carry a hi-lift. I am not concerned with weight. I also weighed a bottle jack this morning that was big enough to lift the scrambler high enough to change the 37's and it was 5lbs heavier than the hi-lift. Just two wing nuts and it comes right off the rack. Its also the only way I can reach the bumpers or my boulder bars to lift the jeep when I need to work on the suspension. So that said it stays.
Kory
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