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A heavy duty jack for your offroad vehicle is a great addition to any adventurers tool kit.
When you’re on a trail in the middle of the wilderness, you need something made to stand up to those conditions.
A few common conditions apply. Something that can get higher to reach a frame that is lifted, and can handle some dirt. We found three reputable options that are made for just that!
Here’s our review of the 3 best off road jacks:
1. Hi-Lift Jack 48" Steel and Cast Jack
It’s pretty cool in the sense that it has more than one use, it can even be used for manual winching. The all metal base is good for construction and longevity purposes, but it might get a little sinky in unsure footing. But, there are additional attachments you can get for a wider base.
As we always say, you can’t be heavy-duty without the heavy and this is nearly 30 lbs of steel. Your lift kit will be appalled that something can move it so easily, but everyone needs to be knocked(or lifted) off their high horse eventually.
Additionally, this has a “lift mate” function.
2. Smittybilt Trail Jack 54"
The Smittybilt trail jack was introduced to try and get some of Hi-Lift’s market share.
But to do that, they had to offer a jack with a higher potential lift height and it had to be cheaper. They accomplished both of those goals with this option.
So, that makes it a qualified competitor and people tend to agree. You do have to keep this thing oiled before use so that it stays in good condition. Take care of it, and it’ll take care of you. The base plate is pretty wide at 28″ which will help outdoors. It’s a heavier jack at about 37 pounds.
A couple things to watch out for if you purchase this, first – it will rust if you don’t clean it off properly after use.
Just like all metallic components have the potential to rust, this is no different. Secondly, it doesn’t fit some Hi_Lift jack mounts if you’re planning on buying one of those with it – the hole pattern is different in some instances. (we’re looking at you Jeep JK fender mount kit)
3. Hi-Lift Jack for UTVs
Catering to all shapes, sizes, and generally being a body acceptance advocate – Hi-lift had to come out and offer something for their UTVs out there.
The Hi-Lift UTV jack comes in 2 varieties, a 36″ extension and a 42″.
The form factor is a bit smaller and the range that it can extend – but it’s still a decently heavy piece of equipment at 30 lbs. This will mount easily behind the seats of your UTV, saving you some more room than the original jack would.
I'm stuck in the mud and my jack is sinking!
Bring a wooden board with you, these jacks are great – but surface area is the number one thing you’re going to need to properly dig in when it’s a bit muddy. Hopefully you have a buddy that can winch you free to more solid ground before you have to resort to such measures though.
How to use your off road jack
- Try it out at home first, if it’s brand new you need to work it a bit to make sure the mechanism is functioning properly.
- Before every trip lubricate your jack and then bring some wd40 with you on the road to have before you use it out there. If it’s new it might not be broken in, so it’s better to be prepared.
- Bring some gloves.
- Locate a rock rail or a sturdy bumper. Do not use this on a plastic bumper or sheet metal.
- set the tongue on your jack to the lifting position – then slide it up to your sturdy bumper.
- Push down to lift your vehicle, don’t use a pulling motion.
- When you have your vehicle lifted don’t get underneath it if it’s only supported by any of these jacks. Most likely you’re going to be on less than ideal grounding, and accidents happen. It’s not like sitting on some concrete – and even then we always use jack stands. So what we’re trying to say is just be careful.
- Hit the reverse latch mechanism and start lowering your vehicle slowly with the handle.
We’ve never seen a category completely dominated like Hi-Lift does for offroad jacks. They basically have one competitor that can hang or even exist and that’s Smittybilt’s design. It’s cheaper, it’s durable and it has it’s own set of weaknesses just like any product.
If you want to keep with the tried and true – Hi-Lift has so many variations on their jacks that it’ll just blow your socks off. But, Smitty’s customers are plenty happy as well and they save a good bit of money relative to Hi-Lift’s.
Both options are good – and if you get one from this list make sure you tell us how it worked out for you because we’d love to hear! Good luck shopping.
I'm the owner of Beast Auto. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I love anything automotive related, and taking road trips all across my beautiful state.