Harbor Freight Rapid Pump 3-Ton Lightweight Aluminum Racing Jack
A strong floor jack is something everyone should own. Whether or not you carry it along with you into the dirt is up to you. This new Rapid Pump jack will lift most trucks in just three and a half pumps. It comes with a padded handle so you don’t scratch your truck, has a minimum pad height of only 3-1/4 inches, maximum pad height of 19-1/4 inches, aluminum handles on either side, has a rubber saddle pad, and is made from aircraft grade billet aluminum.
At 29 inches long by 14 inches wide, it isn’t the easiest of jacks to carry along for the ride. This floor jack commands a good amount of space for not only the jack, but the two-piece handle as well. A wealth of off-road fabrication shops make aluminum skid plates for aluminum floor jacks as well as mounting systems that can be fabricated to any rollcage or to the floor of your truck bed.
On our way to test the jack, we actually got a flat tire. Luckily, we had an assortment of jacks with us along for the ride. Fortunately, we had this floor jack with us as the others would not work on our Ford Super Duty. After six pumps getting the jack to reach the axle, it only took another five pumps to get the tire a solid 4 inches off the ground. The wheels made the jack easy to maneuver as well as the weight. Only a half turn of the handle released the truck back to the ground letting us know this jack was really intended for lightning fast pit stops. Keep that in mind when you are ready to lower your truck back down.
Parked next to our smaller 11/2-ton jack, you can see the size comparison. Our smaller jack is also outfitted with an aluminum skid plate, which is a must if you plan on using any size floor jack in sand. Floor jacks require a flat surface, which is not always found off road.
Pros: consistently reliable, will lift heavy trucks with ease, low minimum pad height means it can be used under any part of your truck, tall stroke makes it great for long travel and tall trucks, requires no other tools.
Cons: although it is aluminum it is not very light, requires a secure mount location (you don’t want this jack flying around your cabin in a rollover), space for both jack and handle, best only on flat surface.
Who should buy: Race trucks, four-wheel-drive owners, prerunners, anyone with ample space
Cost: $199.99 on Harborfreight.com
For more information, visit: www.harborfreight.com
With over 100 years of quality and the ability to lift tall trucks, Hi-Lift jacks are as common on four-wheel-drive vehicles as are winches. Not only are they good for changing a tire, we have also seen them used for pulling doors open after a crash, winching a stuck truck and even clamping two pieces of metal together. The assortment of accessories include a wide off-road base, adjustable tube and flat mounts, Lift-Mate hooks to attach the jack to your wheel, a Bumper Lift for vehicles with curved bumpers and more.
When properly used, the Hi-Lift can get even the largest of trucks tires off the ground with ease. However, if you don’t pay attention and make sure to use the jack properly, the jack can quickly turn into a loaded weapon. A lot of people will throw the jack under the side of their truck and start jacking away not paying attention to the angle of the jack or the terrain below. On several occasions we have seen the jack come shooting off the side of the vehicle, flailing itself across the dirt and sending the truck slamming to the ground. When lifting your truck, be sure each climbing pin locks in securely on the way up and on the way down. This will insure the jack is holding the weight of the truck properly and safely.
With a tested capacity of 7,000 pounds, we had no trouble getting our Super Duty off the ground from the front or back bumpers. Not having rock sliders on the side of the truck, we had no way to lift the truck from the side. Keep that in mind when choosing which jack to purchase. This jack is also a great tool aiding jobs where you need the suspension to droop, such as changing a leaf spring pack. The jack comes in both 48- and 60-inch sizes, which should lift most vehicles completely off the ground, even those with a lot of droop. It also has a low starting pickup of 41/2 inches.
The Hi-Lift is available in three versions; cast/steel, all-cast and the new X-Treme all-cast version which includes charcoal metallic powdercoat finish, gold zinc-coated hardware and handle, and a special top winch-clamp/spreader attachment.
Pros: Can lift tall vehicles with ease, accessories, numerous aftermarket mounting options, multiple uses, tough as nails, no other tools needed, reliable
Cons: Heavy and bulky, must have a secured mounting location, can be dangerous if not used properly, must have a jack point on vehicle
Who should buy: Four-wheel-drive owners, rock crawlers with oversize tires
Cost: 48-inch all-cast version, $79.99 on Amazon.com
For more information, visit: www.hi-lift.com