I have been looking at the Safe Jack kits from Bogart Manufacturing for a few years, have read about them, watched the videos and window shopped at Overland Expo.
Well, I finally came home from expo this year with the 6-Ton Bottle Jack Recovery kit. Luckily the only use it has seen was a driveway test, but so far I am impressed.
The parent company of Safe Jack is Bogart Manufacturing and is best known for high-quality aircraft jacking systems. They took the innovations they had made in the aircraft industry and put it to use to find a solution to safety issues the US Army was having with the HUMVEE. Bogart was able to design a system that would allow them to safely lift an up-armored HUMVEE in under 3 minutes under the worst of conditions.
The Safe Jack kit I went with is the 6 Ton Bottle Jack Recovery kit (37M-BJRK-6W) and added on the optional Universal Bottle Jack Base (97M-UBB) and the optional Wheel Chocks (17M-SJWC4).
I have always carried the HiLift Jack, and I will continue to carry it, but there is an inherent risk with the farm-style jacks especially without proper training. The Safe Jack system is quite versatile with a lifting range of 8″-36″ and will be able to replace the HiLift for most general lifting needs.
The kit comes in a small tool bag that is pretty well filled but does have room to add some accessories, gloves or other small items you may want handy. In the bag you are going to find a 6 Ton Omega industrial bottle jack, screw collar extension (on the jack in the photo), a 3″ and 6″ jack extension, an 8.5″ to 12″ adjustable extension, a flat jack pad, and jack pad cradle.
The first step to any project should be safety, so the wheel chocks went on along with the safety chains that keep them in place
Next, I grabbed the 3″ extension along with the Safe Jack Cradle and slipped it under the axle of the 8,000 pound Power Wagon.
As you can see the round pad fits perfectly on the axle and thanks to the extension it only took a few pumps of the jack to get the front wheel off of the ground, and left me with lots of lifting room left in the jack if I needed to go higher. The round pad would also work great for lifting from rock sliders, tube bumpers, or even under the leaf springs.
The Safe Jack really performed well, but there were 2 minor things that I did not care for. The first is an easy solution, the 2 piece handle for the jack is rather short. With 35″ tires and the jack under the front axle, the handle just barely sticks out past the tire. This means that you either have to partially be under the vehicle to jack, or you have to reach in one-handed at an angle that does not give you much leverage. I carry a small piece of pipe in the truck as a breaker bar so in the future I will simple slide it over the jack handle to have a little extra length on it. My second issue is with the universal bottle jack base, and it stems from the universal aspect. The jack is held in place with a combination of metal tabs, washers and bolts. Basically, you stack the washers for the height you need to fit your jack and tighten it all down. This does hold the jack securely but there is just something about stacking washers that does not sit right with me visually. The only way I can really see to effectively change that would be to have a set of spacers for each model of jack which is not practical and would make the universal base not so universal.
All in all I am very happy with the system and look forward to using it on the trail (hopefully on someone else’s vehicle) as well as adding the 12″ x 12″ Jack Stand Kit to my arsenal. If you are interested in getting one of your own or checking out the safety solutions for the HiLift jack check out SafeJacks.com and if you have any tips, tricks or comments about the Safe Jack, feel free to leave a comment below.
Disclaimer: The product was purchased at Overland Expo show pricing and was not supplied for review.