Welcome to the Hi-Lo family and to the Forum. If you do some surfing here on the HiLo Trailer Forum you will find answers to many of your questions. To save you some work go to: http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49/...2001-hi-lo-23/
There you will see the 2001 Owners Manual in pdf form which will give you the basic information that you need, there is not much difference between 1997 and 2001 models and most things are the same. For the cables you will want to wiggle your way underneath and take a look at the cables and lift system. You want to look at the condition of the cables, clean them off and spray them and the pulleys with WD-40 There is also the guide rod that parallels the hydraulic cylinder, this is very important, it needs cleaned and greased with a good grade of grease. You will see this addressed in the manual.
If you have other questions don't be afraid to ask.