How to Lower a High Lift Jack: a complete guide

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  July 8, 2020
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Living life with plenty of adventures on the road with your vehicle also requires planning and previsions. And, one of them includes a piece of safe and efficient equipment known as a high lift jack.

Although rudimentary, this tool makes a huge difference because it helps you when you get stuck.

It is practical and affordable, thus you should always have it with you on all of your car trips. But, to take better advantage of its use, you must take some time to learn to operate it.

However, when you operate a high lift jack, you need to follow instructions carefully.

You must learn how to lower a high lift jack. It is an essential part of operating a high lift jack.

What is a high lift jack and what is it used for?

A high lift jack is a metallic device (jack) for lifting vehicles. It is used to lift, pull, push, clamp, and winch a vehicle.

This piece of equipment is the most versatile type of recovery device. It’s used to get you back on the road when your vehicle breaks down.

Here are the three most common reasons you need to use a high lift jack:

  1. Your vehicle is stuck
  2. You need to winch out the vehicle from a very tight spot
  3. You need to change the tires on a tall 4×4

A high lift jack is easy to operate because there is no hydraulics involved with this jack.

This quality product is made of durable cast steel components, therefore it is a must-have item in your tool kit.

This piece of equipment can lift a large truck with big tires.

High Lift Jack Operating Instructions

The process to lower a high lift jack starts from the moment you set it up and pull up the vehicle.

Therefore, consult a good high lift jack operating instruction manual that shows you how to lower it. Always follow the essential steps from the beginning.

First, it’s time to crank up the high lift jack. To begin, place the jack underneath your vehicle. The foot part of the jacks must be placed underneath a secure anchor point in your car.

This means either your bumper or rock sliders. Now it’s time to start cranking. Use the long lever and crank up the high lift jack.

If you crank the device up properly, when it is time to lower the high lift jack, the equipment is in place and ready to go down without a problem. To do so, follow the next steps.

How do you lower a high lift jack?

After raising the load, you need to lower the high lift jack by using the reverse mechanism that consists of the following:

  • Remove all blocks and chocks
  • Make sure that no one is below the vehicle or too close to it.

Put the reversing latch to the down position. When changing the position of this part, you must be extremely careful as the handle may get loose and start moving too fast.

To avoid injuries, make sure you secure the handlebar with the clip spring.

The operator must take a position by standing next to the jack. It avoids injuries.

Pump the handle up and down by grasping the handle firmly. See how one pin carries the load while the other pin changes its position to the following hole down.

Troubleshooting the high lift jack

Before you start to raise or lower the jack, make sure your device is in optimal shape and safe for use.

First, prepare the high lift jack. You place this piece of equipment on the external part of the vehicle. Note that it is exposed to dust and other elements.

As a result, you might need to lubricate occasionally to ensure it works smoothly.

It is the best time to make a quick check on how the equipment is working. If you detect something wrong, you can fix it with components of a basic fix kit.

Otherwise, you must abstain to use it as it might hurt you or your vehicle.

Here’s how to troubleshoot the jack:

  • check for broken parts
  • check the running gear installation
  • take a look at the cross pins and climbing spring pins
  • inspect the reverse switch
  • check the climbing pin installation

Tips to use the high lift jack correctly

  1. Stabilize the vehicle: this step guarantees that the vehicle won´t move when you lift it with the high lift jack.
  2. Firstly, use a couple of chocks and place them on both sides of the opposite of the wheel you pretend to lift.
  3. Then, use a block below the vehicle to stabilize, secure, and support the entire load.
  4. Make sure that either blocks or chocks have enough weight capacity to support the vehicle and the wheels.
  5. Place the base: find the firmest and driest surface to put the base plate. Then, install the bar and make sure it points straight up.
  6. Tune in the mechanism: to do this put the reversing latch in the up position as this allows the high lift jack to raise the load. Also, release the handle clip spring that allows you to pull the handle. Finally, grasp the handle and secure the runner under the load.
  7. Pump the Handle: before pumping the handle, put your body next to the jack, and start doing it from there. It avoids risks if the jack jumps.
  8. Pump the handle up and down and be careful to see how one of the pins carries the load. Then, check that the following pin changes its position to the next hole over.

Do it until you reach the height you desire, which should be about 2 inches.

How do I lift the vehicle from the wheel?

What happens when you need to use your high lift jack to lift a vehicle directly from the wheels?

Don’t panic, there is a solution. It’s called a Lift-Mate and it’s an extra accessory you can use alongside your jack.

It is an adaptor that you slide onto the nose part of the high lift jack. You must use two hooks that grab the wheel.

Why You Need to Learn How to Lower a Farm Jack

After you pull up the high lift jack you may marvel on how you can save your vehicle from a major disaster.

Although you may complete the job at that point, the equipment must get back to its original position to lower the vehicle.

And, this part of the process is as important. You must lower the vehicle smoothly in the right position. This ensures you avoid getting stuck again.

Besides, the carload is heavy, and the safety of the operator and the high lift jack is at risk too.

Both processes have some similarities, but pulling up and lowering the high lift jack differ in some ways. So, it is not enough to know one way only.

Because of that, you must learn the entire process and guarantee the safety for yourself, the high lift jack, and the vehicle.

Troubleshoot: the high lift jack does not lower

One of the most common problems is that the jack doesn’t lower down and stays stuck. If you keep cranking the lever and it doesn’t jack down, you have a problem.

Here’s what to try: use lube like W40 spray and give it a good amount of lube. Let it sit like that for a few minutes and try again.

Now, try to crank lever up and then down repeatedly at least 10 times. It might be just stuck.

Next, try to clean the springs and pins, they might be worn out. If so, replace them.

Where should a high lift jack be mounted?

As you’ve learned, the high lift jack is an essential piece of equipment. But, where on your car can you mount it?

Here are a few ideas:

  • the hood of the car
  • the bumper
  • the inside of the truck bed
  • the roof rack
  • the roll cage

Note that if you keep your device outside exposed to the elements it can get damaged over time.


In short, learning how to pull down a high lift jack requires that you know how to operate the equipment.

But it is not a difficult task as a high lift jack is a simple tool. By following this high lift jack operating instruction, you will surely handle it properly.

Despite its simplicity, it requires that you clearly understand the risks of manipulating it. It is a powerful tool that needs special attention to make the best of it.

Besides, this equipment is more functional than winches or clamps and offers a more competitive price that any of those tools.

Although you can use a high lift jack for recovery, winch, or clamp purposes, the procedure to raise or lower the load remains the same.

In any case, safety is an essential step before you complete any of the processes.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.