Theory vs reality

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Dilldog

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linden, lighten up.
Fact, most government vehicles no longer carry highlift jacks. Fact the reason is due to injury and compensation claims. Everyone I know who has used a farmer jack eventually got hit hard or witnessed it.

I got the Russian Roulette thing from a guy who teaches safety courses.

Fact, guys who have never been hit take huge offence when told highlift jacks are not safe. This thread proves that. Fact, guys who have been hit tend to sit quiet on the side cuz they know eventually everyone witnesses the big hit. Fact, I'm not one of those guys. For anyone considering buying a highlift jack..... I'll give them the facts, not some ego spin.
I do agree theres lots of risk with a Hi Lift, and yeah actually I have been hit by one, a few times. Neither was serious because I stand to the side of them (also something a lot of people dont consider with lots of things, the lines of fire). As far as performing maintenance under a Hi Lift without any other type of cribbing, yeah thats 100% stupid, but its stupid with ANY kind of jack. The point of ANY jack is to get something to a level where you can support it. Weather that means for maintenance, or to improve the ground so you can drive out. The ONLY reason to be under anything supported by ANY jack is to get a more permanent non shifting support under the object being lifted. Honestly if I were the guy in that picture, I would have rolled a big rock under the axle and lowered the jeep onto that before starting the work.
 
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Magic Mike

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Ive seen many folks (not just here) telling people what they need to do to their rig to make it trail ready yet those same folks tell the person asking that they always drive around the mud bypass the rocks etc or that they dont really go do heavy offroading they just overland. Well sometimes you cant drive around something or back up.

I liken this to the couch commandos in the firearm world they like the idea of guns they just dont have the money, time or skill to go shoot but for some reason they tout themselves as firearm experts but the reality is they have very little experience with a weapon yet they have read enough stuff on the internet to think they are experts.

You really arent going to know what is needed or whats gonna break or where your gonna get stuck unless your out there really getting into it.

Another example is when someone asks what jack they should use, without knowing anything about the rig or situation the first answer is always a hi lift farm jack. Sure of youve got all the fancy metal bumpers and rock sliders with hi lift mounting points then thats a good fit but if you have plastic bumpers and side steps or bare body then a hi lift isnt for you you will hurt your rig and yourself and likely not lift anything. Same with winches i love the idea of an electric winch but with plastic bumper there is no where to mount it without spending $$$ on a metal winch bumper. Hand winches/comealongs work fine just be prepared for some sweat equity.

The moral of the rant is be careful who your taking information from they may be well versed in offroad gear that they have read about and or bought but they will have never used it. I mean if your afraid of the mud and avoid it how do you know what i need to not get stuck? Also their info may be based on experience with one type of vehicle ie jeep when your driving a pickup, the dynamics are way different between the two.

Im not picking on any certain person just realise that atleast half of the info your going to get on the internet will be coming from folks with very little experience who are repeating what theyve read somewhere.
I basically tell people as you go out off roading you will figure out what you actually need and what you merely want. This is the philosophy I've used to outfit my rig and so far it has served me well.
 

MOAK

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A good chunk of this thread contains perfect examples of why the first person to rant about something isn't necessarily the most right.

Specific to the HiLift, most folks who make negative statements about them don't really know all the ways to use them. They might have had a bad experience offhandedly wedging it under a bumper for a lift, or seen someone hit by a poorly-controlled handle.

However, with the right gear and enough familiarity, the hi-lift can be both an effective puller and an effective lifter, regardless of vehicle type. In fact, despite having hundreds of pounds of homemade poser armor around and under my previous rig, I still always lifted from a wheel. I do the same with my current vehicle with its plastic bumpers. In fact, having had 2 vehicles swing off jacks by lifting from a bumper, one vehicle almost slip off a slider, and seen a door damaged, I'll always lift from a wheel, regardless of the vehicle.

View attachment 106528

More generally, be careful assigning what may be arbitrary weight to whatever characteristics seem appealing.

For example, the notion that you shouldn't take offroad advice from somebody with a clean engine bay is beyond silly. That joe schmoe could have made 100 poor choices leading up to his dirty engine bay before you started chatting in that Walmart parking lot.

Similarly, I recently had a seasoned park ranger tell me that one should spend as little time in 4WD as possible when on the trails. I didn't argue with him, but his assertion carried little merit; lockers, low-range, and 4WD have the almost universal positive benefits of reduced strain on the driver, the vehicle, and especially the trails. I think he was personally associating those people who he characterizes as "liking" to be in 4WD with the goonies out spinning mud holes into his trails. As we know, they are not always the same folks. Unfortunately, the same advice given to the average guy in a 4WD pickup just trying to get to the lake for some fishing is going to end up being actually harder on those trails, let alone the truck and driver.


Ultimately, take everything with a grain of salt, and vet information both for truth ("this is a good winch"), and applicability ("I actually need a winch") before you act on it.
I've been using the highlift (aka farm jack) since I was old enough to use one in my early teens, (late 60s) because it was considered man's work, not to be done by the kids. I only poke fun at them being mounted upon the hoods of very expensive vehicles. Why, one may ask? Ok, you're stuck, in the muck, or in the rocks, off camber, up hill, etc etc. Your footing is precarious at best. It's clipped to the hood. You gotta walk around the vehicle then back around to un-fasten it, then pick this very clumsy piece of iron off of your hood, which may or may not be at shoulder height, depending upon ones stature and the position of the vehicle. Hey, they look really cool up on the hood, just like 70 lb spare tires look really cool up on the racks. Just not very practical.
 
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grubworm

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I basically tell people as you go out off roading you will figure out what you actually need and what you merely want. This is the philosophy I've used to outfit my rig and so far it has served me well.
From some of the things I've been reading, it looks like my main concern should be not to offend anyone when deciding to make purchases. The "Tread Lightly" phrase is NOT about trail etiquette, but about treading lightly on other people's feelings. I have to ask myself if getting a winch without knowing the proper amount of dirt to have on the vehicle is really worth it. A winch with too little dirt on the truck and I'm a "mall crawler" and too much dirt and I just ran thru a mud puddle to show off...either way I risk offending somebody and my careless actions might even be cause for a new thread to be created. This overlanding stuff is just way too risky....the ratio of gear out there to people's feelings is just too great...
 
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MidOH

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Well, at least use your $120 shovel in the back yard a few times before bolting it to your rack.
 

MidOH

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I don't always use a Hilift.
But when I do, I always stick my face over the handle, and stick my fingers in the mechanism every click.

What is that guy doing? If the jacks pins, don't jump in, you need to take it apart and clean it up. That is why mounting these jacks on vehicles is such a bad idea. Once they're rusty, they're dangerous.

Shovels should look used, Hilifts should always look new.
 
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Jim SoG

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OK!
Seems this thread has turned from it's original intent. I think we either forget the back and forth name calling over a jack and get to the original content or we lock it up and I keep issuing warnings. This is not what this forum is about and while a mild case of name calling it is still name calling and I will not have it.
I edited some posts, others I deleted. I know in the heat of the back and forth we all can get flaming away, I have done it myself in other places, I know how it goes, but we have a standard here and for ALL of your enjoyment, we hold dearly to it.

I appreciate the passion, but lets get back to the OP intent. By the way, there was some very good advice in the thread, thank you for sharing.

Guidelines


And please, before you all jump on me, I am trying my best to help us all keep this wonderful resource as it was intended when it was created. I am not perfect and make mistakes, but I am trying, for you, to do my best. I appreciate your help.

Jim
 

MOAK

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I just watched the first vid of the guy taking the hit to the jaw— why was he reaching across the handle to flick one of the switches? I don’t get it, then again, I grew up learning how to use old fashioned chain binders and cheater pipes..
 

MOAK

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Just now watched the second vid. Perhaps I grew up with a very distinct advantage being around and working with heavy farm machinery and tools since old enough to hold a shovel.. common sense just isn’t as common as we like to think it is.. wow, keep your body and head clear of it. Gotta be smarter than the jack.
 

Ghost

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Just now watched the second vid. Perhaps I grew up with a very distinct advantage being around and working with heavy farm machinery and tools since old enough to hold a shovel.. common sense just isn’t as common as we like to think it is.. wow, keep your body and head clear of it. Gotta be smarter than the jack.
My first summer job while in high school involved a shovel & chainsaw. Logging & building roads. Shortly after that I became a lineman where winching miles of cable and using a hoist was routine to the point you carried a chain hoist up the pole with you on your belt. Standing on a pole 40-60’ off the ground with no place to run while winching a line so tight it sings you don’t get to make too many careless mistakes. I’ve seen more than a couple fingers fall to the ground & teeth spit out or swallowed. I think if you grew up around it, or are in field that uses certain tools regularly you take for granted that everyone should have the “common sense” to do things safely. Not the case.
 

Ghost

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Much respect! Those are real men doing real men work...no cream puffs there.
Thanks Grubworm, and yes between the physical labor, long days in what was usually off grid areas ( hence the reason we were there ) it weeded guys out pretty quick. Oh and the heights. Standing on a pole with a couple pencil size gaffs between you and the ground doesn't appeal to many.

Feels like a lifetime ago. Almost 20 years now but seems I'm having a new surgery to repair damage I did to my body from back then. Wrists, knees, shoulders..... If I had to do it again I may have chose a different path but I will say the traveling I got to do, places I got to see, and people i met (my wife) made it worth it.

Lots of talk about living out of a vehicle here on OB. From 93-95 my car was my home, by choice. I did company paid hotels 3 nights a week and spent the other 4 sleeping on the ground and living out of a tent in central Oregon & the Cascades so I could rock climb on my days off.
 

grubworm

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Feels like a lifetime ago. Almost 20 years now but seems I'm having a new surgery to repair damage I did to my body from back then.
I hear ya! After the military, I was a commercial diver, so yeah, I sacrificed my body to make money in lieu of a formal education. Same thing...I'm feeling the years of abuse now. I've been dinged up pretty bad and some mornings its hard to get out of bed. I don't regret it. I worked with some hard core dudes doing some pretty crazy stuff all over the world. Long hours in harsh environments doing and seeing things that most people only read about. At least when I die...I'll know I've lived!! :)
 
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MOAK

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Cool, my first summer job was on a two man leak repair crew, out on natural gas transmission lines, one little mistake and Kapleewy!! Still farmed till way after dark. Operated on 4-5 hours of sleep for most of my life doing manual/skilled labor, drove 18 then for 25 years. Later guys!!
 
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old_man

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I have used farm jacks for 60 years. I have seen multiple accidents. They scare me, so I have a profound respect for them. I have found that most jacks are not well maintained and the pins stick. The operator ends up struggling with the stuck pins and that is when most of the accidents happened. The second is pure stupidity. Always block up a vehicle on a jack before working on it. Make sure the jack base is secure and won't slip/move. The second is make sure the attachment point on the vehicle is capable of holding the weight and is straight enough to keep the jack from slipping.
 

Specter

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I have used farm jacks for 60 years. I have seen multiple accidents. They scare me, so I have a profound respect for them. I have found that most jacks are not well maintained and the pins stick. The operator ends up struggling with the stuck pins and that is when most of the accidents happened. The second is pure stupidity. Always block up a vehicle on a jack before working on it. Make sure the jack base is secure and won't slip/move. The second is make sure the attachment point on the vehicle is capable of holding the weight and is straight enough to keep the jack from slipping.
I liken carrying a Hi-Lift to carrying a firearm. It’s unsafe, I should probably practice with it more than I do and it’s only going to be used as a last resort. If I never had to use my Hi-Lift I’d be happy and still consider it money well spent.
 

MidOH

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Perfectly safe as a winch.

Safe on my rear hitch to stabilize the truck with a rtt so it's not wobbling around every time we move. Safe for tire swaps. Bead popping. It's a good tool whem used properly.

Then again, you really shouldn't sleep under your ride if it's on a floor jack either. Use bottles, cribbage, lumber, whatever for repairs.
 

bgenlvtex

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Heres an old photo from another forum of a guy who thought that.... until he looked at this photo.
You are a legend if you can move faster than a sliding highlift jack.

View attachment 106970
Darwin_celebrates______ani-145.gif

Seriously though, what makes forums great is the diversity of knowledge available in composite form.

Everyone has different experiences, knowledge levels, industry experience. Everyone.

It's generally not difficult to ascertain who speaks from a solid foundation of experience and knowledge and who is regurgitating advertising propaganda.

Owning a product does not qualify you as an authority on that product. Doing something doesn't make you an authority on what you have done.

Keep an open mind, observe, listen,read ,learn. That guy who promotes himself as an authority may very well be, similarly that guy who DOES NOT promote himself as an authority may very well be.