Thinking about dropping the hi-lift

jeegro

Adventurer
Past few weeks I've been putting my Rover on a diet, and next on the chopping block is the hi-lift. I do primarily single vehicle travel, hybrid overland/off-roading. Nothing too crazy. I've done the trails in the Dinkey wilderness area, such as Brewer lake, red lake. The hardest I want to go is the Rubicon and the Dusy Ershin.

When I got the lift-mate, I thought it would be a game-changer for quickly getting out of sticky situations. In reality, it's awkward and dangerous to use, and I found a well placed bottle jack with a plate was always a better solution.
Lifting any part of the frame is kind of useless unless you ratchet strap the axle to the frame... which again, why not just use a bottle jack?

I also have the off-road kit, to use it as a winch... but again, never used it.

It's currently mounted on the roof rack, which I don't like... not thrilled about 30 pounds up high. Plus the accessories, this kit weighs in at 50+ pounds.

I already have a winch and maxtrax, center locker (and hopefully axle lockers in the future).

My thinking is that I can get rid of this thing and probably never miss it, until there's that one situation where I really wished I had it...
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
I haven't carried a hi-lift for decades. I can't justify the weight and bulk for the potential use. For the 30-40lbs I can think of a lot of other stuff I would rather have.

My lifting device of choice is a slightly modified Toyota bottle jack. They are light, double extension, and mechanical. They will operate sideways or upside-down if you need to do something odd.
 

Low_Sky

Member
A hi lift really comes into its own for serious off-roading, and only if you have rock sliders and/or bumpers you can jack from.

For overlanding or light off-roading, especially where space or weight are at a premium, I’d ditch it.


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dreadlocks

Well-known member
If you've never needed it, ditch it.. that goes for most of the gear you carry, with only a few exceptions.. If you've got a winch, maxtrax, lockers and a bottle jack then its a useless redundancy that doesn't really excel in any of that.. I mean if you ever got so stuck all of that didnt get you out then I doubt a high lift would had been the missing key.
 

jeegro

Adventurer
I haven't carried a hi-lift for decades. I can't justify the weight and bulk for the potential use. For the 30-40lbs I can think of a lot of other stuff I would rather have.

My lifting device of choice is a slightly modified Toyota bottle jack. They are light, double extension, and mechanical. They will operate sideways or upside-down if you need to do something odd.
Agreed

A hi lift really comes into its own for serious off-roading, and only if you have rock sliders and/or bumpers you can jack from.

For overlanding or light off-roading, especially where space or weight are at a premium, I’d ditch it.


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The main reason I'm torn on the hi-lift, is because I primarily wheel alone. I'm thinking a Pullpal (depending on where I'm wheeling) would be a more useful substitute, pound for pound. Not planning on getting one, just saying

I have sliders, but they're sill mounted so I don't totally trust it. I've tried jacking from there before, but again what's the use in jacking up the body and leaving the tires in-place. It's entirely possible I just don't know how to properly use the hi-lift

If you've never needed it, ditch it.. that goes for most of the gear you carry, with only a few exceptions.. If you've got a winch, maxtrax, lockers and a bottle jack then its a useless redundancy that doesn't really excel in any of that.. I mean if you ever got so stuck all of that didnt get you out then I doubt a high lift would had been the missing key.
Good point
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
A hi lift really comes into its own for serious off-roading, and only if you have rock sliders and/or bumpers you can jack from.

For overlanding or light off-roading, especially where space or weight are at a premium, I’d ditch it.


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I've done multiple Ultimate Adventure trips with 4-wheel and Off-Road Magazine, every book trail in Moab including Pritchett Canyon dozens of times, and a lap through the Rubicon trail last fall. I used a Hi-Lift Jack ZERO times.
 

Superduty

Adventurer
Ditch it. Been wheeling for 30+ yrs....I've used a high lift 3 times I can recall. Each time a bottle jack with a block of wood would have been a better solution. I now carry a bottle jack and block of wood.

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Low_Sky

Member
I've done multiple Ultimate Adventure trips with 4-wheel and Off-Road Magazine, every book trail in Moab including Pritchett Canyon dozens of times, and a lap through the Rubicon trail last fall. I used a Hi-Lift Jack ZERO times.
Cool. I do use mine, and it gets added “is this worth bringing?” points for being mechanical, so zero concern about hydraulic oil gelling up in the cold.

I get the most bang for buck out of it as a tire bead breaker, which I’m sure could be done with a bottle jack if necessary but wouldn’t be as easy for me.

Definitely not a must-have. Most of them I see bolted to vehicles around here still have all the paint on the bar.


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Metcalf

Expedition Leader
Cool. I do use mine, and it gets added “is this worth bringing?” points for being mechanical, so zero concern about hydraulic oil gelling up in the cold.

I get the most bang for buck out of it as a tire bead breaker, which I’m sure could be done with a bottle jack if necessary but wouldn’t be as easy for me.

Definitely not a must-have. Most of them I see bolted to vehicles around here still have all the paint on the bar.


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If it works for you and the weight/bulk doesn't bother you by all means carry what makes you comfortable.

I use a Toyota mechanical 'bottle' jack, no hydraulic oil to worry about. It works upside or sideways. They are pretty compact and extend a LONG ways with the double extension design.

I agree, most of the Hi-lift jacks I see never get used.....and I fear the owners don't use them enough to be profiencent with them.
 

jeegro

Adventurer
Alright, the jury is in.. hi-lift is coming off. Thanks all for advice.

If I ever do decide I want it again, I'll need to find some other place than the side of the roof rack to mount it.

Trying to keep the rack clean and free of stuff. It's gotten out of hand with a Wolf pack, double jerry, 45L water tank, maxtrax, and hi-lift. Now I'm down to just the maxtrax and water tank. I want to eventually install a smaller 5-7 gal water tank under the vehicle.

I have the side-mount maxtrax bracket for the Frontrunner rack as well, but I might move those to sit flat inside the rack instead. I broke off 2 of the pins on my last trip when I scraped a tree. And I originally thought they looked cool, but now I'm thinking they're too big of an eye magnet and detracts from the overall look of the vehicle.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
Remember the bull bags that inflated quickly using the vehicle's exhaust?
I carry a 12 ton bottle jack with a piece of plywood for soft soil.
 
Reactions: WVI

WVI

Adventurer
These Toyota bottle jacks some folks mention in this thread, what year vehicles are they in if i were to look around a junk yard?
Also, how hi and how much will they lift?
Thanks
 

Low_Sky

Member
Anybody have the lifting capacity and range for the Toyota jacks? I can find them for sale online, but no specs anywhere.

They look nice, but I’m skeptical one could handle my truck given the vehicles they originally came with.


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WVI

Adventurer
That's what I was wondering. My stock van jack looks similar but only has one or two levels. Not sure it could actually lift the van rear enough to get a tire on other than on the roadway.
 
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