Look, I get why these are useful for some folks. There are a handful of different uses for them. And when used properly, they can get you out of a tough spot out on the trail. But you know what? I hate them. They’re heavy, take up a lot of space on your vehicle, are incredibly dangerous and easy to use wrong, and you can use other things instead of a hi-lift that work better, take up less space, and are easier to use. There are typically no good spots on your vehicle to use it as an actual “jack”. If you see a hi-lift jack on someone’s vehicle, take a good look at it… it’s going to be:
- spotlessly clean
That’s it. That’s the full list. The only way a jack like this gets dirty is when the truck itself drives through dirt and the jack gets a coating of trail love.
Why am I ranting here? Last week, as part of the Land Rover Trek challenge, I had to use a hi-lift jack to move a vehicle. We had to move a new Defender 110 backward up a hill. And we had to move it two car lengths worth of distance. There are better ways to do this, but the challenge required us to move the vehicle in this specific manner.
Here’s another good video showing how dangerous these things can be:
I know some of you will disagree here. I’m sure you have some great use cases for these types of jacks. But I can think of many better tools for a lot of these jobs, with respect to automotive applications.
Hi-Lift Jacks suck.