When I was about 10, I watched our local handyman,Walt,
cut down a tree. When it was lying on the ground, he used what looked like a
bumper jack on steroids to lift up the monstrous trunk to unbind a stuck bar. I
remember thinking to myself, "What a he-man tool!" That was in 1962 or so, and
the jack was a Hi-Lift, a tool icon that's been helping handymen since 1905.
When I got old enough to use a chain saw myself, I bought my
own Hi-Lift. It has helped me pull stumps and fence posts, lift logs (thanks,
Walt) and vehicles, pull docks, get out of the ditch, lift trailer tongues and
countless construction tasks. The classic Hi-Lift model can lift as much as
7,000 lbs., it'll reach low and raise high, and can be used as a winch by hitching
it onto the top of the post. One testament to the usefulness of a Hi-Lift: There's hardly a serious off-roader in the country who doesn't carry one.
It's not perfect. It'll weigh in at over 30 lbs. and can
pinch your finger meanly. But if your handyman tasks (or your free-time
adventures) are heavy-duty, you'll find the Hi-Lift a heckuva tool. You can buy
one from Amazon for $65 (with $25
or so for shipping) or get one at a local farm store to skip the shipping.
Click here to buy the Hi-Lift Jack through our affiliation with Amazon.com.
If moving heavy stuff is part of your life, you may find
these articles useful:
- Tips for Hauling Heavy Stones and Concrete Block
- How to Work Alone
Ah, you bring back many memories while growing up on the farm. I've removed many a fence post (both steel and wood) with one as you mentioned. Certainly life on the farm would have been much more difficult without ours even with a front end loader available. As a matter of fact, back then, we used the Hi-Lift to help lift and support the loader frame when removing and reinstalling as well as lifting and positioning discs, plows, corn pickers and headers, etc. As for construction tasks, to help hold a deck or porch corner while changing a post or leveling, they can't be beat. The older models were even heavier as the foot and almost all of the lift mechanism were cast iron. As you noted, caution needs to be exercised, because you fingers or hands can be pinched easily if not paying attention to the task at hand. 'Generic' versions are available (both 48" and 60," 3-1/2T) at similar prices from Harbor Freight Tools and perform well. Often their models are on sale and timed right you can get an additional 20% off with coupons advertised in the magazine. Thanks for renewing the usefulness of this tool.
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