Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Jack Advice

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Offline kevint

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Jack Advice
« on: December 24, 2011, 06:07:40 PM »
Still preparing to make my first 4x4 scouting trip to BIBE and BBRSP.  Trying not to break the bank for a scouting trip and wondering if all the advice I've heard on upgrading the stock jack in my Ford F-150 pickup is critical.  Advice on using a Hi-Lift for this vehicle seems mixed.  I know I can't use it on the stock bumpers (except maybe where the rear bumper bolts to the frame using the bumper accessory) and guess I'd be limited to the wheel accessory for the sides and to using the tow hooks in front.  I hear mention of bottle jacks but wonder if they are really that much better than the factory jack for back country/off road conditions.


Some of the always good advice from the forum would be appreciated.  Thanks.


Merry Christmas.
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

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Offline Al

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2011, 06:15:07 PM »
I bring a floor jack that I bought from Walmart for under $50.  I also use it when I change the oil or a tire or do a brake job here at home.  Kind of bulky but another reason to drive a truck.  They make a fairly narrow one that doesn't take up as much room as a full size floor jack.

Al

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Offline MilesOfTexas

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2011, 07:21:24 PM »
When it comes to offroad, there really isn't much better than a Hi-Lift.  It is an awesome recovery tool and is more than just a jack.  I have one mounted to my FJ roof rack and an offroad base.  Unlike in your case, my vehicle has recovery points for which I can use it.  It is dangerous to use, however, if you haven't used one before, so I would not recommend just buying one and throwing it into the bed of your truck.  Many a person has taken their hand off the handle and received a nasty uppercut!  Two hands and a firm grip while jacking is an absolute necessity!!!

Given you have a pickup truck, I second Al's idea of an inexpensive floor jack.  They will be safer and a lot easier to use.
"I have an excellent profession, but I don't enjoy it near as much as I do when I am in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by marvelous creations, and efforting to capture what I see and feel so I may share it with others."

-Me 09/12/2011

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Offline Al

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2011, 10:23:31 PM »
Kevin, an important point.  The back roads of Big Bend National Park are not "off road".  They are well established roads that vary in terms of recent maintenance. 

Knock on wood, I have yet to have a flat driving the back roads of BBNP and have logged a few miles over the years.  I carry a spare tire (check the pressure before leaving home), floor jack, a tire plug kit, compressed air tank or 12V compressor because it's a good idea.  I also carry a tow strap and jumper cables.  I've bent the rim on more than one aluminum wheel with an F150 (without losing any air) but that was because I was going too fast and not using good judgement.  Take it slow and enjoy!

Al

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Offline kevint

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2011, 10:52:05 PM »
I have everything except the jack.


I'm also hoping to scope out BBRSP while there.


Thanks.
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

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Offline Al

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2011, 11:08:38 PM »
BBRSP recommends a second spare it you do the 4x4 roads. Much harder and sharper rocks on BBRSP roads than BBNP.  Go even slower and you should be alright.

Al

P.S. Your truck will be pin striped.

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2011, 12:28:29 AM »
I use a Hi Lift quite extensively on my jeeps. Greatest jack you can have, but as has been said before, be careful they can be extrememly dangerous if you aren't careful. Helps if you have used bumper jacks before (yea, my first couple of cars did have bumper jacks). You have to watch out not only for the handle coming up at you. It can fall sideways  real easy ( or front to back for that matter, and drop the vehicle where you don't want it). Even so, I find it much more useful than the bottle jack that came with the jeep. I don't even use that one in the driveway, I use a floor jack then.

Robert
Enjoying the Texas life!

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Offline Arlon

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 05:00:22 PM »
I carry an exhaust jack in my X-terra. I like them because of their weight and adaptability. You can use them in mud, sand, about any surface. They have a lot of lifting power and they don't need any human power. They also are not prone to falling over and you can stuff them about anywhere (for storage or jacking the car).
Stop, click, stop, click, click, stop, click.....

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Offline Al

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 05:28:15 PM »
I carry an exhaust jack in my X-terra. I like them because of their weight and adaptability. You can use them in mud, sand, about any surface. They have a lot of lifting power and they don't need any human power. They also are not prone to falling over and you can stuff them about anywhere (for storage or jacking the car).

Excellent advice!  Wish I had asked Santa for one!

Al
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 07:53:42 PM by Al »

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Offline kevint

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 11:10:43 PM »
I carry an exhaust jack in my X-terra.


I wish this had come up a little sooner.  I saw it right after picking up a 3 ton floor jack that someone had returned to Sears in less than new condition.  I replaced one bolt to get it to "like new" condition and got it for a little over half price.  It's heavy but tops out a little over 19 inches which seemed good.  My F-150 FX4 sits fairly high.


I would have appreciated to hear the pros and cons of the exhaust jack.


Thanks Al.  Thanks all.
-- Kevin (W5KLT)

"It's not an adventure until something goes wrong."  --Yvon Chouinard

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Offline Al

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 11:39:43 PM »
Kevin, chances are you won't even need a jack.  Go, enjoy and report back please!

Al

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Offline Homer67

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Re: Jack Advice
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 11:02:16 AM »
I'm with Al, I carry a small floor jack in the back of the Tahoe.  But I am a BIG fan of the Hi Lift...have used one many times to pull old fence posts and other jobs on the farm. I have seen them on ppl's vehicles...Hi Lifts rock.
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

 


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