a 48" jack would be useless for me, but not for someone else. it depends on your suspension and how high your truck is.
if you plan on using it as a winch, it may be worth it to get the longer jack.
some people don't want the top always in the 'clamp' position, like the 'extreme' hi-lift is configured, because when using the jack, it can slide into the truck and damage the panels easier.
if i were you, i would probably just get a regular 48", because it will probably suit your needs just fine.
I've used it many times when I was hung up, I've seen it used as a regular old mechanics jack for those whose trucks are too high to lift with a stock jack, I've seen it used as a come-along in the mud, basically, they're a good insurance policy, you won't need it until that one time comes along when you'll need it, you have it.
the one time i needed the clamp was when i bent a crossmember underneath my truck. the crossmember wasn't damaged by rocks, it was 'pulled' back from the torque my rear wheels were under because my upper link was attached to the crossmember.
unfortunately, the clamp wasn't of any use, because the handle wouldn't fit under the truck to crank on it.... hard to explain... but thats the one time i could have used the clamp, and even then, the clamp may have not been a sufficient solution.
the hi-lift would make a great mechanical winch though. it was pretty good peace of mind before i got my electric winch.
I guess I'm jackin (pun intended) my own thread but....... a port a power is a portable hydraulic pump and attachments. It is not complicated and it could come in useful in some situations. It may be one of those items needed once in a lifetime of trail riding. We use it in industrial maintenance to pull sprockets and lift in tight spaces.
Just wanted to note that the clamp is on the top of the x-treme jack is removable if it is in the way for lifting. It can also be mounted on the top of the jack for clamping or winching purposes or can be mounted on the bottom of the jack for use as a spreader.
I have one but haven't had to opportunity to use it for anything yet other than just testing it out in the yard.
Thanks for everyone's replies. I received my Hi-lift jack last week along with the winching kit and base, I did not get the extreme but I think this will work for me. I'll have it with me the next time I go offroading and try winching with it to practice. I need to purchase a pull chain, tree protectors and shackles to go with it now. The fun never ends.
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Any help and info would be greatly appreciated! Cheers!