Operating a Hi-Lift Jack

Sharing buttons:

so there are a few basic parts to this

basic Jack and so we'll just kind of run

through those this is the foot it

swivels this is the nose it's cast steel

and this is what supports the load this

whole mechanism here is the running gear

and it's primarily the reversing lever

and to climbing pins this is the handle

that operates the climbing pins it has a

safety shear that's built into it so if

you're exceeding the capacity of the

jack you'll get a shear action here

which will disable or stop what you're

doing before the climbing pins break

they climb up the bar or the shaft and

then there's a little ear up here at the

top that has various applications but

the only part you have to worry about in

making this thing do what you wanted to

do is operating this reversing lever

it's as simple as this if it's in the up

position the jack is going to go up if

it's in the down position the jack is

gonna go down either under a load or

without for instance if it's in the up

position it slides freely up and will

hold itself in position if it's in the

down position it slides freely down this

whole running mechanism including the

reversing lever has to be lubricated one

of the biggest sources of frustration

and operating one of these Jack's is

when they get rusty and sticky and

they're not operating smoothly the jack

just doesn't work so don't be afraid to

oil it the way I like to do it raise

that reversing lever bring it over to

where you want to do the work and slide

it up you're ready to go now get the bar

as plumb as you can side to side and

keeping a firm grip let me repeat that

keeping a firm grip on the handle and in

most cases two hands on the handle push

it down until the lifting pin engages

you can hear the click come back up two

hands on the handle if you can now as

that foot squishes into the soil the top

of the bar rolls over against the load

click the elephant in the living room

with these jacks is the danger

associated with this handle

when you have a big load on that nose

what I mean by that is when I'm pushing

down like this and I have all of that

load focused on that leverage point if

this slipped out of my hands that handle

is coming back up at an alarming rate of

speed and if I was fully at the bottom

and it slipped out of my grip so pay

attention one of the characteristics of

these jacks is that they're not lifting

straight up under the load like a bottle

Jack they are on the side of the load

and the further up the bar you get the

more squirrely any load becomes when I

was 20 and I was running my sawmill and

I was leveling up that sawmill with

these things it was really squirrely

when you had an eight thousand pound

machine three feet up in the air and so

these things weigh eight thousand pounds

the rating of the jack is seven thousand

pounds so in theory I should be able to

lift this right upright but in practice

it begins to slide sideways because I'm

not coming straight up under the load

and also in practice the soil won't

support it and so you get this shifting

sliding moment which is part of the

confusion and frankly the risk

associated with using these is that

straight up is a bit of a problem so

having said all that the reason they're

so versatile is because they can be put

in such a wide range of positions they

can Jack horizontally they can Jack Jack

at an angle they can they can spread a

great distance they can be used in

tandem they're just they're just an

awesome awesome machine and in fact they

will function as a come-along or a winch

watch this you keep hearing me talk

about the versatility and the utility of

this jack this is really what I'm

speaking to because as useful as a

bottle Jack is it does not act as a

hoist or a winch but this thing will if

you've got a couple of shackles if

you've got a couple of chains and you

need to pull something it's exactly the

same process you're thinking of you put

the reversing lever in the lifting

position you hang a shackle and a chain

off the nose there's a hole right there

to accept that there is when they're new

a clamp or a bracket that goes on the

top so you have a penetration for

getting a hold of at the top of the bar

and now by operating this thing well

this is really a chance to get swatted

by the bar you can pull two things

together in exactly the same way that a

come-along would do it look at that I've

never had to do this in the wild but

I've always wondered about it oh yeah

you can put thousands of pounds of pull

in a very controllable and incremental

way just like that two hands on the

handle reversing lever in the down

position keep a hold of this bad boy

bring it back and the pressure goes off

so clearly this is not a come-along it's

not as handy is it come along for

pulling but it'll work as it come along

you may be checked out our video on

come-alongs we've got a link to the

video and two that come along actually

in the notes we've also got a link to

this lovely device in the notes so you

can you know get one of these if you

think you're ready to use one there's a

lot of things you can do with these

there are a lot of things that you might

have to do someday and so if you've got

room on the truck if you got room in the

shop if you find one of these things on

sale somewhere or even if it's not on

sale you'll never be sorry that you've

got one in your toolbox