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ARB’s new hydraulic hi-lift ‘Jack’ takes vehicle lifting to a whole new level

The age old debate about the merits of the classic mechanical hi lift jack may become a thing of the past if ARB manages to get some traction with their new hydraulic ‘Jack’.

Fans of the traditional ratchet type hi-lift sing its praises as being a very versatile and basically pretty simple recovery tool that is capable of lifting vehicles, but also able to be used for emergency winching and many other ‘in the field’ tasks that need some mechanical leverage.

On the other hand they have reputation for being dangerous – often used on uneven and soft ground during vehicle recovery, they are prone to falling over, and getting dust and dirt in the mechanical bits can make them a bugger to get them to function as intended!

So I can’t help but think that ARB’s move to a hydraulic system may just be a big leap in the right direction.

According to ARB’s website, the new ‘Jack’ requires little force on the top handle to start lifting the vehicle and will lift in up to 13mm increments per pump so it shouldn’t take too much effort to get the vehicle off the ground.

The body of the Jack is made from aircraft grade 6061 T6 aluminium and has 9 hooking points where the lifting hook can be secured.

This gives the unit an overall lifting range from 160mm to 1230mm . . . that’s over a metre of lift!

The foot on the unit pivots and the body rotates to enable you to align the Jack to match the terrain, which should help to improve the stability over the traditional hi-lift jack.

The red lever on the top of the Jack is the lowering lever and it has two settings for slow or rapid descent.

An internal blow off valve provides overload protection in case the working limit of 2000kg is exceeded.

My thoughts

I’m yet to try the ‘Jack’ for myself and with an RRP of $995 it’s a pricey piece of kit.

BUT, it looks to provide most (if not all) of the benefits of the conventional ratchet type hi-lift jack while improving on it in virtually every way.

At 10.5kg in weight it’s a few KG lighter as well which is a bonus.

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Steve Baile
Steve Baile
I’m the founder of Expedition Australia, a writer, filmmaker & adventure travel junkie. Passionate about my family, health and fitness, hiking, 4WD touring, adventure motorbikes, camping and exploring as much of the planet as I can.


  1. A trail-a-mate hydraulic caravan jack does basically the same thing for about one third the price of the arb unit.

    • Trail-a-mate has half the load rating so hardly a comparison! Having said that I will stick with my mechanical high lift jack!

  2. I think it’s a winner – already have one ‘on order’ at ARB Brighton. The conventional hi-lift jack is a dangerous animal and I’d love to get rid of mine. Hoping that Rhino Rack will make a bracket for the hydraulic jack to secure it to the Pioneer Platform.

  3. Now I know the price. I went into the arb store today in Mackay and they could not give me any info on the jack, think I’ll stick with my old high lift as can not see the value in this jack.

  4. The forcesinvolved in winching, snatching or lifting 4WDs are significant and, yes, can be dangerous. Used properly a high-lift jack is fine and no more nor less dangerous than other recovery tools. It can lift, pull, compress and get chains or ropes/straps attached – it is very versatile. I would not be without one. For me this new jack is a pricey white elephant, and if something goes wrong inside, you are left with nothing. A high-lift jack work flawlessly – every time. $995 can buy many pieces of other useful gear too.

  5. Won’t be getting rid of my hi lift jack any time soon, it can do a heap more than just lift, never had an issue with mine, ARB product is very pricey.

  6. Can it be used horizontally? Does it have a hitch point on the lifting foot? Can straps be attached to the foot to lift wheels?

  7. Stick to my old one thanks, no seals to leak and no o,rings to go flat from sitting on it’s side for long periods of time

    • New style Hydraulics don’t leak, only way they become oily if it’s Over stressed as then releases from Pressure relief valve. Don’t believe what Farmers who trash their gear think they know

    • New style Hydraulics don’t leak, only way they become oily if it’s Over stressed as then releases from Pressure relief valve. Don’t believe what Farmers who trash their gear think they know

  8. Agreed that traditional mechanical high lift jacks are potentially dangerous. I’ve been in many situations when loads have slipped and we’ve thought – phew, that was close to disaster ! But they are useful. I see the new ARB jack as a logical and safer step forward. The question now becomes: how do I prioritise my spending on my 4WD? Is this jack more important than my next $1,00 expenditure on my fridge/lights/camping gear/recovery equipment?
    I see the load rating and the smooth operation as key elements. For many drivers, they aren’t gunna be useful as they don’t have jacking points on all 4 corners of their 4WD.

  9. Has anyone used a Lift Mate with the ARB Jack? Curious as to how stable and safe it is to use with this type of jack.

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