Not really my favourite piece of recovery equipment but well liked and used by many people,I opt for a hand winch and air jack.None the less the hi-lift jack has it’s place.
One drawback is that it requires custom jacking ponts on the front,rear and sides of your vehicle,no big deal if you are going to fit rock-sliders and a front replacement bumper,they can also be fitted should you not be going to replace the bumpers and side steps.
Then it will need a cover and a professional mounting system on the roof rack.
Use with caution and get properly traind in it’s use,many off-roaders have sustained serious injuries- that last thing one wants to have happen in the bush!
Simply put it is a mechanical bumper ( original design) jack that can lift a vehicle about a metre or so,this can even assist a vehicle stuck in ruts as you can lift the front end and physically push the jack over,rocketing the vehicle out of a rut.It can also lift a vehicle to allow the ruts to be packed or sand ladders to be inserted When used in conjunction with a chain and a tree protector and possibly even a winch extension strap a hi-lift jack can even be used to winch oneself out of an obstacle.
A cover is important as the jack needs to be kept oiled and one should keep dust off the oiled mechanism.
One should pay special attention to safety when working with a hi-lift jack,hands should be clear of the mechanism and ones face should be clear of the jacking handle as much damage could be caused should it swing back.As it is a “mono-pod” design the hand brake and wheel chocks should be used –the vehicle should be in four wheel drive and never work under a vehicle without stands,if you do not have stands with you then rather put two spare wheels under the vehicle .
The air jack if it’s a good quality one is a good option to lift a stuck vehicle,it’s lighter but will take up a bit more space,one should be careful as well when under a car and protect the top of the jack from hot or sharp components.