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.
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.