Help with gin pole design
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  1. #1
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    Help with gin pole design

    I've been designing a welding bed and I want a set of gin poles. I've got most of the bed and boxes worked out, but I want some input on the gin poles. I've looked and looked at pictures on the net and I've tried to find some to look at in person with no luck. So I would really appreciate it if some of you guy that run and or build poles could give me a heads up on what mistakes not to make now.

    I have thought about a small winch like a 3000 lb. but now I'm leaning more toward a larger one. Also, unless something changes my setup will be on my 99 chevy 2500.

    Thanks
    Ranger 250 GXT
    Smith Gas Axe

  2. #2
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Think about a few things for the moment... What's the remaining payload weight capacity of your chevy 2500, with all your welding gear on board? This should set the max lift capacity of your gin poles, unless you're also going to build some kind of outriggers to transfer the load from the poles to the deck to the ground, without overloading the truck suspension.

    Once you've figured this out, you need to size the poles to carry that load, at maximum reach without exceeding the yield strength of the components in the rigging and structure. For safety, make sure that the stress doesn't exceed 1/2 to 1/10 the load required to cause yielding/buckling of the tubes, mounts, pins, cable, hook, and hoist. I've heard cranes are designed for 7x factor of safety, but that's for massive construction equipment that sees continuous duty and which the designers have to account for accumulating fatigue damage. For an small gin pole setup that sees infrequent use, you can probably opt for a smaller FOS in the design.

    Make sure you buy a winch/hoist that is designed and rated for overhead lifting. Most of the winches sold are for horizontal pulling and they don't incorporate the safety features you want in a machine that's picking heavy things up off the ground...If the literature with the winch doesn't explicity say it's suitable for overhead lifting, assume that it's not....
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  3. #3
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Here's mine. This is the 4th one I've built and I can't think of any thing that would make this any better. I copied parts of several other set ups I have seen. I use mine a lot and consider it to be the best I know of any where. It picks itself up and lays it self back down with the winch line. It takes about a minute to adjust it in angle and a few minutes to extend or shorten it. It goes out to 19' in length, giving me 21' of height counting the truck bed. Sorry, I don't have pictures of the individual parts of it. I could get them tomorrow if you want.

    Up at normal height.
    Extended half way.
    Down
    Hauling a forty foot beam
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  4. #4
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Most of the 1 ton hotshot guys around here are running 8 - 10k winches, for poles 2-7/8" pipe works. Some are using square tube slid inside each other to extend taller if needed , pipe same way. I have seen many use "sockets" welded into bed,where you slide in your poles(need swivel base mounted to end of pole)...similar to a 2" reciever hitch setup...makes for easy mount/removal.
    I had a Leland pole bed with rolling tailboard, poles were pin mounted like on the big oilfeild trucks, i used Super Winch 10k winches, was happy with them. Need a long remote and dont skimp on the blocks,wire rope and fittings needed for the setup.
    this link might help some

    http://www.totalrace.ro/info17.htmle

    http://www.j-btrailers.com/1ton.html
    Last edited by saltbranch; 06-28-2011 at 11:43 PM. Reason: add link

  5. #5
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    Sep 2010
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Good looking setup Bob, I for one would like to see some close up pics if you have them. After I get my house project down, I plan on building a flatbed with poles for my old 1 ton...hopefully by late summer.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2007
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    Grande Prairie, Alberta Canada
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    How BIG do you want the poles to be? lol This is the 2nd last set I made - Pole cap was 35 feet in the air, and they were certified to lift 79.8 Tons.
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    Later,
    Jason

  7. #7
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    Southern MS
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Dab- Thanks for the margin of safety reminder. That had crossed my mind when I asked for input.

    Bob- If you could post some detail pictures I would appreciate it very much.

    Thanks for the link saltbranch.

    Blackwolf -I swear you friggin canadians get carried away with your rig up trucks!lol None of the local rig movers use the tandem fronts, but they do have some trucks with similar wheelbase. I think I'll be lifting more like 700 lb rather than 79 tons. Thanks for the pictures.
    Ranger 250 GXT
    Smith Gas Axe

  8. #8
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLeadMan View Post
    Blackwolf -I swear you friggin canadians get carried away with your rig up trucks!lol None of the local rig movers use the tandem fronts, but they do have some trucks with similar wheelbase. I think I'll be lifting more like 700 lb rather than 79 tons. Thanks for the pictures.
    LOL... All joking aside, I have some pics of a Commander that show a decent set up for a fixed pin-type hinge for the poles, but the darn wireless wasn't co-operating with my laptop.

    Yes, they will be much larger than what you need, and the pole cap comes off so the poles lay in the deck, but it will give you an idea. I'll see if I can get them posted tonight or tomorrow morning.

    Oh, and this one is a "Baby"... I used to run Tandem/Tandem Sows that were over 400" wheelbase. The one above is a Dobule /Set-back Tandem Tandem with a 365" Wheelbase.

    I no longer drive in the patch, but from what I hear, Pole Trucks have gone the way of the Dinosaur - All the big companies make the rig movers use Cranes for the Derrick and Draw Works now.
    Later,
    Jason

  9. #9
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Wolf View Post
    but from what I hear, Pole Trucks have gone the way of the Dinosaur - All the big companies make the rig movers use Cranes for the Derrick and Draw Works now.
    You know since you mentioned that I haven't seen any of the big pole trucks in some time. But I have been seeing hydraulic lowboys with jeeps under the front. And I remember seeing a crawler crane on a location a couple years ago.
    Ranger 250 GXT
    Smith Gas Axe

  10. #10
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    Sep 2010
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    17

    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Here in South Texas Pole Trucks are in short supply, they cant build them fast enough. Even old ones are being refurbed. We just outfitted one of the tandem steer trucks today with winch lines and blocks, we have done several tandem steers over the last year or so, they are an awesome piece of equipment.

  11. #11
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    sonoma,coco calif
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    PLEASE DO A BUILD thread when you go and build this

  12. #12
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    Sep 2010
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    I saw this hotshot truck about a year ago that had a real cool pole setup for his 1 ton, prolly not useful on a welding rig. He built a metal truck bed liner for the inside of the pickup bed,mounted/secured to the frame via brackets, had gooseneck hitch etc. For the poles he used what looked like 3" square tube, the poles were mounted at widest point in rear of bed interior, they were 45 at top with roughly a 3' piece welded in between outerr 45 corners.On the 3' piece he mounted the winch and had setup double lined using snatch blocks. The poles were moved via hydraulic cylinders. So he could go to a location, use poles to lift whatever like small BOPs, trees,valves whatever with the winch, use poles to fold over towards cab, lower material into bed, then lay poles up against the headache rack and transport. He used also for loading unloading his gooseneck trailer. Prolly one of the coolest pole setups I have seen on a 1 ton or actually this was a F-450 with pickup bed on it.

  13. #13
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Pics of a pin hinge and the notches in the deck so that the poles will come apart and lay flat.

    The lower (flatter) you want the poles to be when you swing them together and install the pole cap, the wider and longer the notch has to be.

    Again, WAY TOO BIG for what you are doing, but it should help give you ideas.

    I am leaving the pictures LARGE so you can see the detail. I will make a couple of posts.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by Black Wolf; 07-02-2011 at 06:02 PM.
    Later,
    Jason

  14. #14
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    More pics
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    Later,
    Jason

  15. #15
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Pins are installed from the side, and held in by the plate above the red clearance light with 2 bolts in it. Sorry - I'm not good at adding arrows to pictures. lol

    Poles are raised out of the deck and onto the kick roll with hydraulic pole risers.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by Black Wolf; 07-02-2011 at 06:04 PM.
    Later,
    Jason

  16. #16
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    The tapered head on the pole riser that contacts the gin pole, and controls it as the poles are raised up to the kick roll.

    Hope the pics help.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Black Wolf; 07-02-2011 at 06:14 PM.
    Later,
    Jason

  17. #17
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Many, many years ago growing up, the next door neighbour had a 1 Ton with a deck and poles - His poles were 2 piece, and when he slid out the inserts, they laid flat into the deck. When he made up the poles, they rested on a short make up rack between the toolboxes and just above the cab of the truck.

    All the pole trucks up here work with tie-back cables, or the winch line from a 2nd winch, and are secured in the working position with chains. I have never seen a truck rigged out so that the poles rested on a frame at the back of the deck. To each their own.

    All pole trucks I have driven, you use the winch line to raise them up off the make up rack, or kick roll.

    To lower them with tie back cables, we would either pull them over with chains ran under the front of the tires, or back up the bank, and swing on the cables to over-center them <-- BAD IDEA - Guys have DIED from doing this incorrectly.

    To lower them when using a 2nd winch, just slack off main line, while winching in tie-back line, and they fold over nice and safe.

    The secret has always been how you attach the tail chain of the main line to your rear apron.
    Later,
    Jason

  18. #18
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Oh Crap, I forgot... The last pics of the poles are on this:
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by Black Wolf; 07-02-2011 at 06:22 PM.
    Later,
    Jason

  19. #19
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    I've seen a few things not covered to the level I think they need to be in this thread. Here's pics of my current setup and I'll try to cover some details in them. First off before I get to much flack on this setup I didn't actually build all of it. I have modified it and have plans on further improvements. That said I have lifted 3,500lbs with the line doubled. It requires blocking under the hitch but with care it will do it.

    Now on to the first pic. The key thing here is the placement of the tail block in relation to the pole hinges. The pole hinges really need to be in front of the tail block. First off it's needed to allow lifting the poles with the winch as in second pic. Secondly if the tail block is to far forward and you lift a load with the poles near straight up you will pull the poles over onto your headache rack. If you look closely at the first pic you can see the original placement of the pole hinges by the original builder. He put them on the back corners of the bed. This didn't work well. I moved them in board as well as forward to clear the tool boxes I added to the bed. This allows me to lay them flat once the extensions are removed. That said you should have the poles mounted as far outboard as possible for stability.

    I took the third pic to show improper rigging of the top. My helper put it back together wrong the other day when we put the welder back on my truck. Notice how the chains are going under the cross pin. I don't like this since if the rings happen to let go the chains could slide down the pole. The fourth pic shows the proper setup with the chains above the pin. This brings up another point. Be sure to attach the chains/cable at the point of load. I know one guy who made his poles with the chains going half way down the poles and couldn't figure out why he kept bending his poles even though they where twice as heavy as mine.

    I like the pin through the pole setup the best since it's the least likely to come apart if a side load happens. You should never pull sideways with a set of poles like this however sometimes things happen that cause a side pull when you don't want it. If the poles come apart in a situation like that then it makes a bad situation much worse.

    In the last pic you can see the overall setup. Notice the tray on the headache rack to prevent the block from caving in my cab. Eagle eye readers might notice the second winch on the bed. That was my pole winch till it had a gear wear out in it. I've not got around to making a new gear so I'm back to using the chains that where on there when we bought the bed. Don't let the small size of the winches fool you. They are made for lifting and have the same gear setup as 12,000 lb winches just with a small spool. They came off of old auto cranes and are strong enough to break any line I put on them if care is not used. That brings up another detail. Be sure to use a high quality winch line made for the job. The line you see is the highest quality line I can buy and the cost reflected that.

    I have some bigger pipe to make a new set of poles but I've just not had time to build them yet. The way it looks I'm going to hold off till I build my next truck since I'm working on plans for it now.
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  20. #20
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Blackwolf thanks for the pics I think that pin setup could be useful.

    Irish thank you for the detailed info that is big help.

    I've been learning to use Sketchup, I'll try get a drawing up for all to see this week.
    Ranger 250 GXT
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  21. #21
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Quote Originally Posted by irish fixit View Post
    Now on to the first pic. The key thing here is the placement of the tail block in relation to the pole hinges. The pole hinges really need to be in front of the tail block. First off it's needed to allow lifting the poles with the winch as in second pic. Secondly if the tail block is to far forward and you lift a load with the poles near straight up you will pull the poles over onto your headache rack. If you look closely at the first pic you can see the original placement of the pole hinges by the original builder. He put them on the back corners of the bed. This didn't work well.


    I like the pin through the pole setup the best since it's the least likely to come apart if a side load happens.
    With all respect to you Irish, I will have to disagree with your statements, and your logic. I will explain my self as best I can.

    1st off, the pole hinges do not "have to be in front of the tail block" - Never seen a set of poles like that - Never built a set of poles like that. Never ran a set of poles like that. Sorry.

    2nd - That has squat to do with raising the poles into the working position. As long as the line coming off your winch drum is below the line coming off the pole cap and going over your roll, the poles are going to raise up - Period. The higher your poles are from horizontal, the easier they will raise up.

    3rd - Gin Poles were NEVER designed to work at absolute Vertical - And I have NEVER seen, or used a set of poles in the air that wasn't secured in the working position with tie-back chains. When the pole cap is laid back just behind the roll, and tied back with 1/2" System 70 chains, you can damn near push with them. To operate poles with a load at Vertical, or without tie-back chains is sheer recklessness.

    The last point - Not to knock a man who is doing the best he can with what he has, but that is NOT the "Best set up for a set of poles - A manufactured Pole Cap is - The hold back cables, chains, or winch line attach to the Pole Cap. Agreed poles are not really designed for side loading - But a properly buile pole cap that slides into the poles 12" or so, then pins into the poles, will not come out - Even if you drop the poles.

    It is kind of hard to see from the photos but I will explain myself:

    First Photo: The Snatch Block/Tail Block/Sheave (Whatever you want to call it) attaches to a steel bracket called the "Deadman" that drops below the deck surface when not in use. As you can see from the photo - The Pin holding the Snatch Block to the Deadman is in-line with the hinges on gin poles.

    Second Photo: When the poles are in the air, and the winch line is tight, the Deadman leans towards the winch, and the Snatch Block and winch line are on the winch side of the gin poles - The opposite to what you described.

    Please note as well the tabs on the poles, and the tie-back chains that hold them in the working position.
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    Last edited by Black Wolf; 07-02-2011 at 09:21 PM.
    Later,
    Jason

  22. #22
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Pole Cap Pics

    First pic - Pole cap secured to the side of the bed in behind the steps.

    Second pic - Stairs removed, and the pole cap can clearly be seen below Dameon (worker on the deck)
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    Later,
    Jason

  23. #23
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Gin Poles in the air, and pole cap pinned into poles.

    Note: This set of poles was Engineered to use 1-1/8" Tie back cables, the Braden 125 Main Winch is supposed to be the "Load Line" and the Tulsa Rufnek 60 is supposed to be through the apron, and used to hold the BOP's from swinging.

    In these photos, the Tie-back cables aren't being used, the Braden 125 is holding the poles, and the Rufnek 30 is the load line. These are "Demo" Photos just showing the poles in the air.

    Again Irish, I intend NO Disrespect, and I understand a man making do with what he has, but sometimes, there IS a better way.
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    Later,
    Jason

  24. #24
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    I do not intend that the OP build an absolute monstrosity like I have for use on a pick-up - that would be foolish... Instead, I suggest that he marry the two ideas together - Fab up a pole cap that slides into the poles, has a provision to attach the tie-back cables, AND has a provision to attach a snatch block/pulley/sheave very similiar to the one you have shown.

    I have seen several pick-up poles in years past with the set-up I just described above, but unfortunately, I do not have pictures.

    I have Google SketchUp as well - I can draft up a model of what I am describing if it will help.

    Hope that helps, and doesn't confuse or offend anyone.
    Later,
    Jason

  25. #25
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    Re: Help with gin pole design

    Black Wolf, ya'll fab your own TB blocks?? You definetly play with some big equipment. Most of the 1 tons around here I have seen are using an "A" that drops into the poles at top and are pinned, they hag a block off the crossbar in the "A". Definetly agree on chains to secure poles.

    MrLeadman, when you get to point of putting the rigging together, shoot me a PM with what you are looking for. I work for a wire rope rigging shop and we sell pretty much everything you will need short of the winch. We carry the McKissick and Gunnebo Johnson Blocks, wire rope and all the fittings needed from 1/4" upto 3-1/2"...I should be able to get you some good pricing on it.

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