Anyone working in agriculture or in construction will attest that they never leave home without a long jack available. These are one of the handiest tools to have and use, and they are often used.
Today there are three variations of jacks available, these include the standard iron or steel cast jacks, the second variant is an all cast jack, where every component is made of cast steel, and the third variant is a jack that just has that little bit extra thrown in to make life easier when you need more than just a jack, but it’s still good to keep one of these in your garage storage.
|Photo||Product name||Load capacity||Dimensions||More information|
|1. Hi-Lift Jack HL484 48" Black Cast and Steel Jack||4,660 pounds||51.2 x 10.5 x 5.2 inches||View on Amazon|
|2. Torin Big Red 48"||6,000 lbs||49 x 10 x 6 inches||View on Amazon|
|3. Goplus 48"(3.5 Ton) / 60"(3 Ton) Off-Road Ratcheting Farm Jack Truck||7,000 lbs||4" X 10" X 48-1/2||View on Amazon|
|4. Hi-Lift Jack HL485 48" Hi-Lift Red All Cast Jack||7000 pounds||51 x 10 x 4 inches||View on Amazon|
|5. Alltrade Powerbuilt 647587 Heavy Duty 3-Ton Maximum Lift Farm Jack||3,000 pounds||49.3 x 11.2 x 6.7 inches||View on Amazon|
|6. Hi-Lift Jack PP-300 Post Popper||5000 pounds||40.4 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches||View on Amazon|
The sign of a good jack is its durability and ability to lift up to 7,000lbs in extreme conditions, such as muddy or sandy environments, as well as being adaptable to help move heavy obstacles.
These are all the best due to their price-feature ratio, and provide the best ratio money can buy.
- Let’s take a look at the top 6 jacks
- 1. Hi-Lift Jack HL484 48″ Black Cast and Steel Jack
- 2. Torin Big Red 48″ Ratcheting Off Road / Utility Farm Jack, 3 Ton Capacity
- 3. Goplus 48″(3.5 Ton) / 60″(3 Ton) Off-Road Ratcheting Farm Jack Truck
- 4. Hi-Lift Jack HL485 48″ Hi-Lift Red All Cast Jack
- 5. Alltrade Powerbuilt 647587 Heavy Duty 3-Ton Maximum Lift Farm Jack
- 6. Hi-Lift Jack PP-300 Post Popper
Let’s take a look at the top 6 jacks
Hi-Lift is one of the world leading brands that provide you with many levels of functionality; all their designs are of the highest quality and well worth considering when choosing a jack.
This is their 48” cast iron and steel jack and is made up of four different component materials. All the parts are either cast or stamped steel, so you get all the strength and versatility that comes with a Hi-Jack model.
This model is quite lightweight, coming in at only 28.9lbs, it delivers a very strong punch of performance.
- Rated load capacity: 4,660lbs
- Load capacity max: 7,000lbs (Tested)
This model comes with an easy to winch handle, durable mechanical operation, and a shear bolt, so if you decide to lift an M113 Bradley to change a tank tread, well it won’t let you. The mechanism is easy to operate, so you won’t sweat when applying this in any situation.
The color black is a sign that it’s a mixed cast and forged model, which makes identifying their different models easy. Essentially, there are four colors, black (Cast) for standard materials, red (All class) for all cast, brown (X-treme) for gold zinc-coated hardware and blue (similar to red) but includes their Handle-Keeper (red) and a portion of the proceeds goes to help support the Hope for The Warriors Foundation.
Hi-Lift Jack Video
Talk about versatility and adaptability; you will certainly enjoy this baby. The Torin Big Red 48″ ratcheting off-road utility farm jack weighs in at only 30.1lbs and it can life 6,000lbs from 5.12” to 40”. So its an impressive piece of metal machinery.
The parts are made of forged iron castings, and the top clamp clevis is adjustable, so you can move it to any position for clamping. The handle and socket parts are also made of forged steel, and the two-piece handle and socket unit are extremely rugged.
This model conforms to ASME B30.1 standards, and it operates smoothly. It is used both vertically and horizontally and can be used for lifting, pulling, clamping, winching, and spreading.
The mechanism is really smooth, in fact, its one of the smoothest, we felt, so it competes with Hi-Lift.
The Goplus 48” Off Road Ratcheting Farm Jack is also a top contender and provides us with some exceptional features. Let’s start off with its weight, it comes in at 30lbs, and it provides up to 7,000lbs of load-bearing performance. However, this is the maximum weight tested; its range is best kept to the 5,000lbs range for long-term use.
It’s actually a 60” jack, but you can only safely use for the heavier objects to lift up to 48”. Its made of cast iron and is slightly less formidable than the other models, but its price makes it a contender.
We did have an issue with the mechanism, it’s a good product, but the action can sometimes be jerky. It’s still a great model when you consider the price.
You cannot go wrong with a Hi-Lift model, no matter which model you buy, you know you are getting quality. That is why my review will feature this brand heavily. I believe in int his brand, and can promise you that a Hi-Lift will last a long time and give you constant quality and efficient results.
Now enough of the praise, let’s look at the details and decide together what is best for a muddy , rainy, logged download.
This is the HL485 model, which is 29.7lbs of power.
Now, what the difference between this model and the 482 that we opened with. This is their all cast model. This is a stronger version with the same dimensions but will provide much longer lasting service. The color red is a sign that it’s all cast, which makes identifying their different models easy.
The mechanism is a standard smooth, efficient system that you would expect from the leading brand.
Alltrade is another great jack fabricator, and their 647587 models is a standard 3,000lbs multi-task model that competes with all of these models in this review.
This model weighs in at 32.2lbs and is made of cast and forged steel components. It comes with a lift range of 34-1/2 inches, and a low pick-up of 5-1/4 inches. The total load bearing is 3,000lbs.
Its price makes it an exceptional value for money tool.
I am closing with a very special jack, its actually a post popper, meaning its used to pull posts out often ground. This beast is an extremely valuable tool for many a farmer that has a lot of fencing maintenance work. It’s a real time saver and very easy to deploy.
Its made of Heavy duty 1 1/2″ square steel tubing and weighs in at 21lbs. Its height is 39” and comes with a 48″ (122cm) Chain & Slip Hook. It attaches directly to T-Posts, and uses the slip chain and hook for other posts.
Price wise, its perfect, the ratio of cost versus functionality is magical.
A review of the Hi-Lift Range
Honestly, as far as I am concerned, they are the industries standard to compare to. They produce high quality, reliable products using the best materials in any category. Their service is second to none, and they have a lot of accessories and aids to help you with all your requirements.
The Hi-Lift has three categories to choose from, so let’s look at each category and decide together what is the standard that everyone has to meet or beat.
Cast Steel (Black)
This is the standard jack level; it’s for beginners and low-frequency use. It is a great tool for rallying around in, as well as on the farm. Most of the parts are cast iron, but there are four components made of stamped steel. This means that the stamped steel parts will wear out quicker than their cast alternatives.
Bottom line: Any jack that includes stamped steel will wear out faster than an all cast unit. They are not really suitable for frequent load bearing, and you should be doubly wary of imports, especially from China where the metals used are not as compliant as you might think.
This version is painted black to make it easier to identify. Accessories that can be bought and added with these units include the HK-B black handle keeper, the ORB off-road base, the LM-100 lift mate attachment and the 4X400 4XRAC jack mounting system.
Hi-Lift All-Cast Jack (Red)
These call cast units are made for frequent use, and this means that rally racers, off-road enthusiasts, landscape engineers, construction site engineers and farmers all need one of these models around for quick use.
There are no stamped parts, every metal part is cast, providing maximum strength, reliability, and durability. The size ranges you can get are 42”, 48”and 60”.
As with the first model, the accessories for this unit include the HK-B black handle keeper, the ORB off-road base, the LM-100 lift mate attachment and the 4X400 4XRAC jack mounting system.
Hi-Lift X-TREME Jack (Brown)
This is the top of the range jack, and believe you me; you don’t get better than this. The features here include all cast pieces, which are covered in gold zinc coat for extra rust protection and a metallic charcoal powder because one coat is just not enough.
Now, this is not enough, they added a winch-clamp-spreader accessory, and with this attachment, you get to do a lot of fun stuff in the worst conditions. This means you can winch as well as clamp down and spread objects, a perfect lifesaving tool in the hands of rescue services. This is frequently the only solution for handling rolled over vehicles and farm equipment.
The high lift Jack
When you consider what high lift jack does, you have to sit back and laugh. This is a versatile yet dangerous tool, and in the right hands can provide ultimate efficient handling of heavy load distribution and bearing, with the lowest of technologies. Or, in the hands of an idiot, send its operator to the hospital with a broken jaw or worse.
Essentially, a high jack is a lever using leverage for raising heavy objects. The science has been around since before man wrote, maybe even before man was a man, and the main difference between models is their construction. Height and weight bearing are just functions of size, but materials used define these scopes, and is what makes for a better or bad device.
Add to this the mechanism and you could either have a fun time lifting up anything or a shit cussing time dealing with a winch that’s harder to operate than just using a plank and a rock.
High jack mechanisms are recent inventions, they actually started out around 100 years ago, and it’s the mechanism that defines the unique qualities of this tool. Due to the simple design of this tool, it has been adapted for more than just lifting heavy weights, and now you can get all sorts of accessories and attachments that will convert a standard jack into a pulling, pushing, crushing and opening machine.
How to Operate a High Jack
High jacks are simple tools; they come with a support spine that is a strip of metal with holes in it. These holes are for holding the clamp and jacking mechanism in place, they also reduce the weight of the unit, so it’s a double benefit.
The mechanism is quite simple engineering. As you lever, each cycle will unseat one of the two climbing pins from their hole in the spine, and then lifts the pin into the next hole in the spine, essentially climbing up the spine like you would climb a ladder.
The running gear does all the work, and the spine is the ladder. So essentially you can have unlimited heights. However, must jack take into account load bearing mechanics, so the higher you go, the larger the spine has to be in all dimensions, and then it becomes a heavy operation that is essentially inefficient.
Optimum jack sizes can lift up to 60” and can bear around 2,500lbs without issues. You need a heavy load for the jack to operate properly If the load is too light, the running gear will just drop all the way down.
The most common use for a high jack is a 4×4 vehicle. Driving along dirt roads has its pit stops, and the high jack is the holy grail of tools to have available. However, before you go lugging the high jack as a solution for all the worlds problems, and start pumping away at the lever, let’s take a closer look at some proven techniques and tips from the masters.
For your information, nothing beats experience, because that comes at the cost of many a mistake. So when you listen to an experienced professional you are listening to how not to make mistakes, which you will do in any event, otherwise, how will you really learn?
Tip #1: For general road obstacles (not flats) on solid surfaces, lift from the wheel, add the lift-mate accessory and don’t lift directly from the bar. The lift-mate is an adaptor that connects to the jack, and it hooks onto the wheel itself, giving you an immediate release.
Remember, 4×4’s has a high suspension, so if you try to lift from the bar work you will need a high jack just to clear the wheel travel.
Tip #2: For flats you should consider lifting from the wheel, placing a chock under the axle and lowering the car down to replace the tire, it will be easier this way. The alternative is using a ratchet strap between the axle and chassis, this removes suspension drop, and that will make lifting off the artwork much easier.
Tip #3: Angle the jack, either in a bow shackle or recovery point, then cycle the jack into its up position. The 4×4 will lift and push into the direction the jack is leaning; essentially you are removing obstacles by using the center of gravity as an additional force.
Tip #4: The dead end or you are stuck on a precipitous with only one way and no way to turn around. Not so, you can use the high jack to turn you around on the spot, you follow rule no 4, shift the rear end over the length of the jack and then do it again to the front end in the opposite direction. This is an emergency technique, but as a last resort, it works wonders.