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Unread 08-12-2015, 07:44 PM   #1
Beancurd86
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Hi Lift Jack for recovery?

Can a Hi Lift Jack be a reliable method of winching your Jeep out when it gets stuck? I'm on a budget and buying a bumper + electric winch is out of the question as of now. Can I substitute a winch with a Hi Lift Jack until I can afford to mount a winch? I know it is highly frowned upon, but I've been mostly wheeling alone on fairly easy mountain trails. After going on a 2 day solo trip with only a tow strap, it really got me thinking about what I would do if I were in a recovery situation.

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Unread 08-12-2015, 07:52 PM   #2
Coop02x
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It can be used when you are in a pinch but it would be my last resort. If I were you I'd keep saving until you have enough to get a winch setup and until then plan wheelin trips for when at least 1 other vehicle can go (which should be done regardless of your setup)
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Unread 08-13-2015, 03:31 AM   #3
biffgnar
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Can it work? Yes. Once you have to do it to get out of a bad stuck will you find a way to get a real winch? Absolutely.
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Unread 08-13-2015, 04:32 AM   #4
wilson1010
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A high lift jack is to a recovery situation as a pair of hedge shears is to lawn care. Yea, you can cut some grass with hedge shears, but is that a plan?

Try roaming with a buddy or a club and make sure you all have straps and good tow points. Use the high lift for removing stubborn fence posts on the ranch like it was designed for.
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Unread 08-13-2015, 12:08 PM   #5
WV_Jeeper91
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Mine has actually only been used on fence posts. I've never needed it yet for my Jeep. It'll break 4x4s concreted in good. On some it pulled the concrete out. Regardless I think they are good just in case tool to have for a Jeep.
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Unread 08-13-2015, 12:36 PM   #6
Jerry Bransford
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A 4x4 magazine tested how well a Hi-Lift would do extracting a stuck vehicle years ago. Their final analysis was that it was possible but it was hard enough that you'd likely never want to do it again... that you'd buy a winch after the experience.

Part of the problem is that you need to connect the high-lift with something long enough to reach that won't stretch under load. So a vehicle recovery strap wouldn't work, a rope wouldn't work, and most synthetic ropes wouldn't work. They all stretch too much for the Hi-Lift to be able to pull the vehicle enough and stay put so the Hi-Lift could be reset for the next part of the pull. About the only reliable device to connect between the Hi-Lift and vehicle would be a rated chain or an old wire rope from a winch that won't stretch. And if you're trying to pull a vehicle uphill from a stuck situation, I can't see it working at all.
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Unread 08-13-2015, 02:19 PM   #7
zillla
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I have done it when I was young and tough in HS.. It was a biotch at best. I have also used a come-along too. Not much better.. But poor folks have poor ways.. Maybe you need to find a mechanical hand winch for now. Yup used those too.. Or even a chain fall. But good ones are spendy too..


Check local garage sales you just might find a deal on a real winch
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Unread 08-13-2015, 02:28 PM   #8
chris87xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beancurd86 View Post
... I know it is highly frowned upon, but I've been mostly wheeling alone on fairly easy mountain trails. After going on a 2 day solo trip with only a tow strap, it really got me thinking about what I would do if I were in a recovery situation.
If you're out of cell signal range, make sure you have matches for sending smoke signals.
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Unread 08-13-2015, 02:40 PM   #9
Jerry Bransford
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Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
If you're out of cell signal range, make sure you have matches for sending smoke signals.
And good hiking boots. I'd hate not to have my 2m ham radio for such situations, it's rare when you'd be somewhere without a 2m ham repeater available to reach out on.
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Unread 08-14-2015, 07:23 AM   #10
VietVet67
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I did it once IF your really on easy trails i doubt if your half ways careful you will need it--I am almost always alone too==usually by choice!!
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Unread 08-14-2015, 10:42 AM   #11
Ross
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You can only winch the same distance as the length of the jack. If that isn't far enough to get you unstuck then you have to do something to keep you Jeep from moving, reset everything and do it again and again if need be.

I have used a winch in conjunction with a come-a-long and it works but it is slow going and you have to stand between the jeep and your anchor point. If something were to brake you are in a dangerous place.

The times I use my hi-lift now for recover is usually so I can lift the jeep higher go place rocks to be able for me to winch over something.


Here is a pic, I didn't want to just drag my jeep over things so I lift it enough so I can clear thing that may damage my jeep.
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Unread 08-14-2015, 10:48 AM   #12
WJCO
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You could also look into a hand winch as someone above posted or a really good come-along. Youtube does has a ton of videos using the hi-lift for recovery though if you want to look.
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Unread 08-14-2015, 11:10 AM   #13
Jerry Bransford
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I wonder how many people who recommend using Hi-Lift jacks, come-a-longs, etc. for extracting Jeeps out of difficult situations have actually used them themselves. Not to mention Jeeps now weigh more than double what they did when introduced in WWII so they're not the lightweight vehicle some seem to think they still are.
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Unread 08-14-2015, 11:16 AM   #14
Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I wonder how many people who recommend using Hi-Lift jacks, come-a-longs, etc. for extracting Jeeps out of difficult situations have actually used them themselves. Not to mention Jeeps now weigh more than double what they did when introduced in WWII so they're not the lightweight vehicle some seem to think they still are.
I have. Sucks but it works. I only used them a few times for actually winching something out. I still use a hi lift on occasion, but more for lifting. Using them as a winch a few times sucked bad enough so I was happy to go out and buy a winch.
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Unread 08-14-2015, 12:25 PM   #15
VietVet67
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The time i used mine as mentioned above it was a full sized 3/4 ton pickup full of firewood stuck on a mud hole--it worked but like Ross says it sucked and took a while..but can be done in a pinch.
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