The farm jack is a versatile tool that was originally designed to help farmers and ranchers with a variety of tasks. The original jack was brought onto the market in 1905 by the Bloomfield Manufacturing Company. The company, now called Hi-lift Jack Company, still builds the jack today under the name "Hi Lift Jack." Many companies now offer copies of these jacks.
It may seem obvious that a farm jack can lift things, but it should be noted that this jack has special features that make it more effective at this task than other tools. The lifting arm of these jacks can lower to a height of just 4 1/2 inches. Couple this with an overall height of 60 inches, and you have a jack that will fit under a stuck vehicle, and then raise that vehicle high enough to allow material to be placed under the wheels.These jacks have an enormous following with off-road enthusiasts because they have a reputation for reliability in extremely tough environments.
Unlike conventional lifting devices, the farm jack can operate as a manually-powered winch. This is another reason these jacks are seen so frequently on off road rigs. These jacks have a top-clamp designed to hold a chain or clevis and a winching bracket that attaches to the lift arm. This allows the operator to attach the jack to a solid object and, by operating the lift handle, winch the vehicle out.
Because of the design of their lifting arm and the shape of their top clamp, jacks can be used to spread material apart. In an emergency situation the jack can be used in assisting an extraction from a vehicle. These jacks can easily help save a life in a situation involving vehicle entrapment.
The farm jack has found a following with those who build and repair fences. The lift arm can be attached to the fence post to pull even the tightest post from the ground. The jack is assisted in this action by a wide base that does not dig into the ground. The farm jack can also be attached between a section of wire fence and a fence post. The jack is then used to pull the fence tight as it is reattached to the post.