Thread: Hi-Lift Jacks

  1. #1
    Rescue 42 Guest

    Question Hi-Lift Jacks

    Most of you know I am a supporter of the Hi-Lift Jack, and my company manufactures equipment that makes it work better in the Fire Service.

    I'd like to learn more about how many departments have Hi-Lift Jacks, what you use them for, how you train with them, what problems you've had, etc.

    I believe some (PA?) states are requiring Jacks on all Squads and Rescues, so these questions should be of interest to us all.


    Tim O'Connell
    Butte County Fire
    Rescue 42, Inc.


  2. #2
    Ken Metzler Guest


    Howdy Tim, I have tried to post this several times& will give it another shot, am a lot better with a jack than a computer. We use the jacks and accessories as part of all extrications. They get put into service right along with the Hydraulic tools. We not only take doors but also roofs and do steering collumn lifts as well as dash rolls. They also work well as cribbing in conjunction with rams....I also teach at quite a few locations around the country, and usualy wind up with expert tools( hand Tools)Thanks Ken

    Ken Metzler

  3. #3
    ff emt-p bleve Guest


    High lift jacks are being used by my department for vehicle stablization.Farmers in kentucky use high lift jacks as tobacco presses works well.

    e33 high lift jacks alone never, however in certain
    types of rollovers with vehicle resting on there sides, the high lift jack is a great tool for stablization.I due agree they have there limits.Never say never.

    [This message has been edited by ff emt-p bleve (edited November 10, 1999).]

    [This message has been edited by ff emt-p bleve (edited November 10, 1999).]

  4. #4
    billy Guest

    Thumbs up

    I use hi lifts very frequently in vehicle rescue training, even using a hi lift and Jackmate to open heavy truck doors. Also I use them to push dashboards in heavy trucks as well. NC Association of Rescue & EMS requires them as equipment for rescue trucks. Hi lifts and recip saws are two of the most affordable rescue tools.

  5. #5
    e33 Guest

    Thumbs down

    Not to be rude..and maybe your idea was not clear...

    High lift jacks as stabilization devices?

    Hell no! The nature of a high lift jack makes it one of the most unstable devides as possible. Its general size and shape do not allow it to provide any kind of stabilization to a vehicle on its does not "bite" into things and it is almost useless above half height or so due to the degree of which it begins to want to fall over. Tiny footprint also makes it unsuitable in some instances.

    For pushing it works great if you dont have a hydraulic ram or spreader..but they are so darn clunky and cumbersome. I carry two on my rescue..hardly ever use em though.

    We teach with them alot in farmedic classes because they are good tools to use out in the field where its not feasable to get powered units and because its another tool for the toolbox. Ive seen them used in some neat things before, dont get me wrong. Just my opinion..not gospel .

  6. #6
    Rescue 42 Guest


    So what neat things have you seen it do?

    I commonly see departments using the Hi-Lift for stabilization, as do we. The key is to understand it's limitations i.e. no lateral stability, not safe to work under any load it's bearing without cribbing, etc. I know there are some specialized stabilization tools out on the market that are essentially Hi-Jift jacks with straps attached to the base to set a tensioned stabilization (raker shore) system. You can do this with the Hi-Lift as well. Hi-Lifts can also be used to clamp sections together or to guardrails, bridge abutments, etc. for further stabilization, or used as a spreader to push off same.

    As for dash rolls, removing car doors, displacing steering wheels and assorted other rescue jobs; I use the hydraulics first, as do most people. But... I have plan "B" with the Hi-Lift should my hydraulics fail, or with multiple vehicles, or if I need to clamp this out of the way, or in this building collapse, or if yada yada yada...

    And I'll be damned if it's not almost firefighter proof!

    Stay low and wear your hood!

    Tim O'Connell
    Butte County Fire
    Rescue 42, Inc.


  7. #7
    skip rupert61 Guest


    Tim, we here in York County of Pennsylvania do require hi-lift jacks on our rescue squads. When teaching vehicle rescue, we almost always use hi-lifts in one of the capacities already mentioned. But I will say one thing about using the to stabilize. Hi-lift jacke ASSIST in stabilization, but do not stabilize on their own. For a vehicle on its side, a set of Z-Mag ground pads, hi-lift jacks and a few wedges and I'll make the car rock-solid. As with any tool, know its limitations and keep them within those limitations, and you will be fine.

    Skip Rupert

  8. #8
    MetalMedic Guest


    We have one hi-lift jack on our rescue truck, but I have yet to see it used in the field. We have done some training with it as an alternative stabalization device. I personally have trained with them to do just about any job a hydraulic spreader can do... but I don't beleive anyone else has taken the initiative to get further training with the jack. I do agree that there are some weaknesses in using a hi-lift jack to stabalize, but it remains an option where it is certainly better than nothing in some situations.

  9. #9
    rbell Guest


    I find this posting interesting as we have been incouraged not to use the high lift jack or as we call it the (jack-all-jack). The obvious being it's instability as it stands alone. ie stabilization, steering wheel pulls etc. I am however interested in it's use for removing doors, dash roll-up in place of rams, and other uses. I would appreciate any help in finding any illustrated training materials for the use of the high lift jack

    R Bell
    Chesley & Area
    Fire Dept.

    [This message has been edited by rbell (edited December 12, 1999).]

  10. #10
    flashfire Guest


    I love the HI Lift jacks so much that I teach with them and also have placed them on all of our first out rescue vehicles in the County. They work very well and for the storage, its beats having to put all your cribbing on one truck. You still need cribbing dont get me wrong but for a quick cribbing you cant lose.

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