HL Jacks - Really dangerous?

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
About as dangerous as a small caliber handgun*. Don't put your head in front of the dangerous end. Operate according to instructions, and keep your wits about you at all times.

*Not trying to stir anything up, just pointing out that, like most things with a lot of stored potential energy, there's a "danger zone" that it's important to be aware of and keep body parts out of. Looking at OP's Craigslist photo, that danger-zone includes everything within 10ft of the jack and probably the dumbass operator at any given moment.
 

Kmrtnsn

Explorer
I've concluded that all the people that whine about the dangers of the Hi-Lift jack never owned a car made before 1974.
 

btburn

Observer
I had one for my old International Scout II and never had any safety issues with lifting the Scout. For the last 20 years I've only been using mine for pulling bushes and fence posts, works great for that stuff but all my vehicles have plastic bumpers now.
 

cramer2603

New member
I have a scary hi-lift story that was completely user error. When I was 17 (first problem), I had a full sized blazer with 35s. Got a flat one day and, of course, I had my hi-lift because all of the cool kids carried them. Didn't want to bend a bumper or scratch anything so I stuck the jack into the receiver for a trailer hitch. Lifted both rear tires off the ground and pulled the flat off. I had to get close with my legs under the vehicle to lift the 35s. About the time I was doing that, the jack started leaning. Thank God my brother was there with me. He saw it tilt and warned/grabbed me and I got my legs from under it before the axle smashed the concrete and shattered the back window. I was really stupid and really lucky that day.
 

Takai13

New member
I have a scary hi-lift story that was completely user error. When I was 17 (first problem), I had a full sized blazer with 35s. Got a flat one day and, of course, I had my hi-lift because all of the cool kids carried them. Didn't want to bend a bumper or scratch anything so I stuck the jack into the receiver for a trailer hitch. Lifted both rear tires off the ground and pulled the flat off. I had to get close with my legs under the vehicle to lift the 35s. About the time I was doing that, the jack started leaning. Thank God my brother was there with me. He saw it tilt and warned/grabbed me and I got my legs from under it before the axle smashed the concrete and shattered the back window. I was really stupid and really lucky that day.
Very fortunate for you. I grew up on a ranch using a hi lift to all sorts of things (some of which I am sure it was not intended for). I.E. rotating a vehicle 180 degrees by picking up the rear and pushing the vehicle sideways. As long as you keep your wits about you, be aware of the potential energy (like Herbie mentioned) and employ (the not so) common sense you should be "fine".
 

frgtwn

Adventurer
I've added another layer of what I'll call "safety" by adding an extension bar to the jack handle. I found some DOM tubing that slides right over the stock handle, drilled a through-hole, put in a replaceable pin, and VIOLA!

More control, more leverage, and a handy cheater bar for other projects. Just remember to "cheat" using the far end of the extension, not the end with holes. That way, you won't deform the end that matters.
 
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