What Makes High Lift Jacks Better Than Other Pieces of Recovery Equipment
Unless you live or work in an environment where the odds of you getting stuck with your 4×4 are extremely high, a winch is not worth the investment. However, a piece of recovery equipment that is an invaluable edition to every person is the high lift jack. The main reason for this statement, is the fact that high lift jacks are easy to use, and even though there are many different models, they all operate pretty much the same. The main difference between them is their maximum working loads, which is something you need to consider if you’re driving a heavy 4×4 vehicle like the 100 series Landcruiser.
What makes high lift jacks so great isn’t solely their capability of lifting vehicles high of the ground, but the fact that they can also be utilised as splitting logs, winches and for clamping together timber, among other materials. In other words, they’re incredibly versatile and can save storage space in your vehicle when you plan on venturing on a long safari.
But no matter how useful these tools are, they are extremely dangerous if not operated correctly. I’ve personally been witness to users being knocked unconscious due to not following the instructions, or misunderstanding how much force jacks hold as they’re being released. The company hi-lift have their own user guide available online, which I strongly advise you to read.
That being said, safety is the number one priority with high lift jacks, because when you lift the vehicle, you’re basically making it very unstable. For that reason, when you use the jack, ensure it’s placed on firm ground and it’s stable, otherwise, you need to use a base to spread the weight. More importantly, if your vehicle doesn’t feature jacking points, you shouldn’t use it to change a flat tyre.
As aforementioned, you can use a lift jack as a hand winch. However, you’ll have to buy some extras, or buy an entire kit, which can be a worthwhile investment, as most of the components are versatile and can be used for other tasks as well. Regardless what you use it for, it’s highly suggested you learn how to use it before you get stuck. Some dry runs can help you get familiar with how it works in a safe environment. That way, you get to feel the tension on the handle as the jack is released. However, it’s worth knowing that dry runs will be significantly different than when it comes to the real thing, so you’ll have to adapt.