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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

High Lift Jack Basics

 photo by luckyraccoon via iStock

The high lift jack can be a very useful tool but many fear to use it due to the safety claims surrounding it.

It can be used for winching, pulling, pushing, or even clamping. Knowing how to use one may be the difference between getting stuck or making it back home.

In this article, we’ll go over the basic things you need to know about the high lift jack and some accessories you can have with it. 

Mounting Areas

High Lift Jack

 photo by DarthArt via iStock

A normal jack can be placed underneath the truck whereas the high lift jack can only be used on the exterior. To use the high lift jack, you need flat steel areas like side steps, rear bar or bulbar. 

Keep in mind that newer cars with rounded edges are a bit more difficult to lift with a high lift jack but it is still possible.

High Lift Jack Accessories

plastic board for a high lift jack

The base of the high lift jack is small but there are plastic boards available that will provide a larger surface area.

rim hooks

If you have no space on your vehicle from which you can lift it with a high lift jack you can use rim hooks – these will hook onto your rims and lift the vehicle from there. 

Learn More:

High Lift Jack Size 42 vs 56-Inch

high lift jack under a muddy 4x4

 photo by luckyraccoon via iStock

The two most common high lift jack sizes are 42 and 56 inches. If your 4WD is a wagon, then a 42-inch will be more than enough unless you have a 4 or 5-inch lift in which case you might need the taller 56-inch. A 56-inch is also necessary for pickup trucks with canopies that are high off the ground. 

The Most Dangerous Part

high lift jack

 photo by Ramdan_Nain via iStock

The most dangerous part of the high lift jack procedure is lowering the vehicle. When coming back down, the handle has a lot of weight and if you let go, it will sling with force and hit the high lift jack. You don’t want your fingers or head to be in there. 

You should also avoid lifting a short wheelbase vehicle from the sliders as the jack will lift both wheels off the ground which may lead to the vehicle sliding off. 

When to Use a High Lift Jack

high lift jack under a muddy 4x4

 photo by luckyraccoon via iStock

High lift jacks are useful for changing wheels on the side of the trail or even doing repairs. I would never go under a car that is only supported by a high lift jack though. Put your wheel under the truck to catch it if the high lift fails and also try to use a jack stand if you have one that is high enough.

High lift jacks are also useful when it comes to recovering a 4×4. You can lift one wheel up and fill up the hole or rut that you are stuck in.

As people who head outdoors, we must understand how each tool works to maximize our chances of making it out of unwanted situations. The high lift jack, although with its flaws is a useful tool that can keep us going in the most remote parts of the world. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to use it.

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