Re: Hi Lift Pros/Cons and preferred placement
I have a hi-lift that I take (when I remember) off road. (I'd say it's proven most useful for jacking up loaded u-hauls while moving between apartments.)
I think the hi-lift is in some ways least useful as a jack. There are much safer and controlled options in many scenarios. As a recovery device and hand powered come-along it's much more useful imo.
One other thing we often forget mounting these: in a wreck or roll over situation the hi-lift quickly becomes a 45ish pound steel missile. Without solid mounting points and hardware, especially in the cab, the hi-lift is extremely dangerous even sitting with the rest of your gear. Mounted on the bumper or roof rack off road and crawling is one thing. The forces in a 70mph highway crash could sheer those mounts (or what they're mounted to) and send the jack through the window of whatever you hit/hit you, or if its inside the FJ into you and your passengers.
I think they are great tools, but they demand a level of respect in both use and storage that a winch or bottle jack don't.
As others have said: if you get it, then practice with it where nothing can go wrong. Also, prepare to spend about $100 in accessories to make it useful to you for vehicle applications.
2011 Iceberg FJ Cruiser