The Hi-Lift Jack
Some four wheel drive recovery gear is irreplaceable; the versatility of the Hi-Lift Jack makes it one of those tools.
While many people feel that modern bull-bar mounted winches have made the Hi-Lift or ‘Kangaroo’ or 'Wallaby' jack obsolete, this invaluable accessory can perform more tasks than simply jacking a vehicle up. It doesn't require 12 volt power and a quality unit is nearly unbreakable.
If we only had a choice between a power winch and a Hi-Lift jack - we would opt for the jack every time.
Its primary role has always been to lift vehicles up or over obstacles in a recovery role. The high lifting capacity means rocks and logs can be packed under wheels and the vehicle driven away.
The jack can come in especially useful in river crossings on rocks and holes or to break the suction of mud prior to winching.
The jack can be used to lift the front or rear of a vehicle and rock the vehicle off the jack so it ‘falls’ onto firmer terrain.
However it is with a little ingenuity and imagination that the Hi-Lift jack proves its versatility.
With a little improvisation a Hi-Lift Jack becomes a manual winch, able to pull a vehicle the length of the shaft before being reset.
Most jacks come supplied with a toothed plate that bolts to the end of the shaft. With this in place the jack becomes a clamp. Reverse the jack on the shaft and it can act like gear puller to separate components from each other.
Use it a as bead breaker for repairing tyres. Place the wheel on the ground under the ‘roo bar’ and jack the vehicle, exerting downward pressure on the bead of the tyre.
The Hi-Lift Jack, if used incorrectly has the potential to cause real damage to a vehicle or person. Unstable in use, it should never be used as the sole lifting unit if someone is going to crawl under the vehicle. It also has the potential to slip and dent panels and crush fingers or crack skulls.
However the versatility of the jack is limited only by your imagination. There are few tools capable of doing everything a Hi-Lift jack can do.
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