How To Use A High Lift Jack – This Summer Out & About
It is just a few months to summer and outdoor enthusiasts are probably busy team building and making trails to travel through this warm restful season.
Whether you are planning on fishing, rock climbing, site seeing or camping the outdoors always manages to bring some of the most memorable and unforgettable memories. Whatever you journey do not travel this summer without learning how to use high lift jack.
Unlike much of the equipment used during vehicle recovery and repair, much has changed and thanks to tech designs, many are smaller. Not the high lift jack – the design is still much the same as it was when the first models were designed in the early 1900’s.
The high lift jack is still heavy and though cumbersome it remains high on the list of must have for any touring party.
The best part is that the high lift jack and a shovel going for just below $100 paired to accomplish almost anything when running off-road. The high lift jack can straighten bent steering rods, turn a vehicle round on the spot (360) and at times double as a hand winch.
What Do You Need To Use The High Lift Jack Effectively Off-road?
1. A Reliable High Lift Jack
The 48” high lift jack works quite well on 4x4 vehicles. There are larger and smaller jacks but this should be an ideal size - here is a good sample. Nevertheless if you buy the smaller size jack feel free to share your experience in the comments.
2. Good Shovel
Look for something with decent length – you should be able to use it when slightly bent over. In addition to that, try anyhing fitted with a light metal or strong plastic handle.
3. Sturdy Wire Towing Cable
Normal safe towing requires about 8ft of cable between vehicles. You should shop for a cable about 10 ft long.
4. Secure Anchor Point Or Rock Beneath The Vehicle – High Lift Base Plate
Some retailers will offer you base plates you can use with the jack – you should be comfortable with about two.
5. High Lift Mate
Another useful accessory that will allow you to raise the vehicle from angles/components you would be unable to otherwise access.
6. High Lift Jack Cover
Keeps the jack safe from humidity and rust while in storage. Keep in mind the jack is heavy and even when in storage keep it off counters or anywhere that it can slide fall and injure a child, pet or yourself.
7. Plenty Of Strength To Crank The Jack Upward
Step-By Step Instructions On How To Crank Things Up With The High Lift Jack
Step 1 – Find A Secure Anchor Or Rock To Place Below The Jack
The high lift jack is mostly used on large 4x4 vehicles. As you can imagine this is not a light vehicle and in many cases it is too high for a normal jack – especially given the off road terrain. With the large off road wheels, this will be the best tool for you anytime you need to get the vehicle off the ground.
There are times though when you will need to get the vehicle off the ground at an angle. In these cases, it is recommended to find a good angle then place the secure anchor beneath the jack.
In these instances once you begin to crank it up the jack will push the vehicle in the direction it is leaning – go slow to ensure you do not get surprised halfway through.
Step 2 – Using The Jack To Turn Round On The Spot (360)
While time spent outdoors is always exhilarating people have been known to have been stranded for hours, even days – be cautious. If you find yourself stuck and have to turn around on the spot (no wiggle room) the high lift jack could be a lifesaver.
This is one of those scenarios where you want the jack to rise at an angle. You should repeat the procedure from the front of the vehicle and back until you have it positioned just the way you need it.
In practice you will raise the vehicle at an angle (say the front) then push it to fall off the jack – either to the left or to right.
You get to turn say 45 degrees with each lift. However, for the best results you will need to shift to the back each time you successfully complete the procedure on the front and vice versa. It is tiring but can save you several hours stranded.
Step 3 – Using The Jack To Lift You Out Of Sand
Sand or mud can be a major problem especially if you have large off-road tires and are struggling to get good traction beneath. What happened is the wheel whirs continuously digging itself into a pit. With one wheel jammed the remaining wheels can do little.
With the high lift jack in place you can in 10 minutes raise the vehicle and fill the hole beneath the tire or remove some of the sand around the tire. This way you can get better traction and have the vehicle out of the rut in a matter of minutes.
Step 4 – Using The Jack As A Clamp Or Spreader
This is one of those unconventional uses that have saved the day for many a camper. The high lift jack is very traditional – solid metal with very little tech fittings.
In those instances where it can be squeezed into the space, it will effectively hold down like a clamp while the driver and his team heave and use it to straighten – even a steering rod.
It can also be used to do the opposite and remedy a cavity that may have been pushed together by impact against a hard surface – say the tire well. Again if it can fit in the space the cranking action can work its magic and spread/open things up.
Step 5 – High Lift Winch
The jack can be used as a winch to get the vehicle out of mud or crevices. You need to anchor one end to a point such as a tree and the other using a chain to the vehicle – then just crank it up.
With summer just a few months away, you might have the pleasure of joining a party on a road trip. While out on the road, the proper equipment is just one of those things that can turn a blissful afternoon to a night in hell.
No one is ever in charge on these excursions and if you note there is no high lift jack in any of the vehicles do not hesitate to buy one and a shovel soon as you hit the next stop.