The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Georgetown, Texas
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    1,732

    The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I was supposed to do this post quite a while back. It was for Irish Fixit to see. When he passed, I kind of got bummed out about it and figured no one else had gin poles so no big deal. I have had some PM's about it so here it is. I was putting up a metal building last week and using the truck to put up the rafters as I usually do. The doors are installed after the rest of the building is done except for the roof. I put the poles out but lower them down while I back into the building, then raise them up to high enough to raise the roll up door. No manual labor is needed to hold them in position or adjust them at all. Irish's wouldn't do this and he really wanted to know how.

    The secret is in the pulley that the winch line goes through before going up the poles. The first two photos show the bed, bottom of poles and the pulley. The line going to the top of the poles and then coming back down to the truck are the ones to pay attention to. They are the moving lines and to be able to move the poles, have to both be above the pivot of the poles them selves. To be able to do this, the pulley has to be of a diameter to keep the line above it, no matter what position the poles are in. When the poles are down and stored, the height of the pulley keeps the line above the poles pivot point. Take in line and the poles will raise because there are two lines pulling on it. The third picture shows the poles partially up doing this. This makes it so easy to stand them up and put them back, no physical labor required.

    Now look at the picture of the pulley again. The link straps that hold it are long enough that when the poles are up, the bottom of the pulley is also above the pivot point of the poles. This is important for holding the poles up and adjusting them with the winch line. The forth picture shows where you put the hook in a ring welded to the head ache rack. That line as well as the line through the bed pulley are both above the pivot of the poles. Take in line and the poles will raise. The normal lines that hold the poles up are now slack. Unhook the line from the rack that, for mine, is a chain. Now you can let the poles down or take them up, where ever you need, all held by the winch line. Last picture shows the poles way down so I can back through a door opening.
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  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    The pulley must be able to raise up so the bottom is above the pivot point of the poles to do this.While the winch line is holding it where you want it, then you can adjust your normal holding lines. Different than any other gin pole set ups I've seen, mine have a pulley that they go through at the top of the poles. This piece of winch line hooks to a chain that hooks over a regular chain hook welded to the head ache rack. This way I can adjust both lines at one time and very easily as well. Once it is adjusted you can let off the main winch line until the poles settle in and then take the hook out of the ring and let it hang under the poles to do work.

    It's also nice having the control cord(an extension cord works great) on an extension cord reel. I can pull out enough to work all the way to the back of my 24' trailer when loading stuff by winch.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Western Tidewater, VA.
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    25

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I started this post after I read your first post.

    Please don't stop there. Show how you position the truck, raise the pole, and then set the door. Might as well show raising the rafters too.

    Nice job of explaining this in a way that someone like me that has never seen this done can almost understand how it works.




    Took me too long to try and figure out what I wanted to say. I'll study your second post and see if I can understand the rest.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by treeshade; 03-08-2017 at 11:26 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    minnesota
    Posts
    1,857

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Very cool. I remember yours and Wayne's conversation on another thread but couldn't wrap my head around it as I have never used gin poles before. Thanks for posting
    Millermatic 252
    millermatic 175
    miller 300 Thunderbolt
    lincoln ranger 250
    smith torches
    lots of bfh's
    If it dont fit get a bigger hammer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Middle Tn
    Posts
    447

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I was one that was curious about your setup as well Bob. Thanks for taking the time & sharing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    MS
    Posts
    1,659

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I would really like to see some more close pictures of your underbody drawers. Do you use bearings for them?


    Lincoln SA-250
    Lincoln SW 200
    Miller Thunderbolt
    The only constant in life is there is never enough chains

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Elkhorn, WI
    Posts
    1,774

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I've had Gin Poles on various offroad trucks over my younger years in the New York/Pennsy Oil Patch. Your right in that it is all in the Pulley diameter and position. Its pretty obvious that you have refined a procedure that works for up and down adjustability! Nice Job! We have raised them with the winch and probably a few times lowered them forward onto the deck for transport. Usually we hauled them on the deck, installed, raised and chained them leaving them up for weeks or months at a time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Georgetown, Texas
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    1,732

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I never met him but miss him a bunch. We were planning to get together but never did. We emailed back and forth a bunch. He was very good at what he did.

    The drawers are on slides which are 1 1/2"x 1/8" flat strap welded to the flat strap I used for the cross members f the bed. Here is a picture of my friends truck I built a bed for showing all the drawers open. We figured there were 21.6 cubic feet of storage just in the drawers not even counting the 5 tool boxes.
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  9. #9
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    Apr 2015
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    MS
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    1,659

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Thanks for the pictures Bob. What size winch is on your truck? It looks PTO powered probably. Do you have any opinion on where the ears that pin the gin poles to the bed are best located laterally? Looks like yours are maybe right at you rear spring hangers.


    Lincoln SA-250
    Lincoln SW 200
    Miller Thunderbolt
    The only constant in life is there is never enough chains

  10. #10
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    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lansing, MI
    Posts
    6,503

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Great stuff Bob. I always considered you and Wayne the gin pole authority around here.

  11. #11
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    Mar 2008
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    Georgetown, Texas
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    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    My winch is a Pearce 9000#. Back in the day, it was the standard on wreckers every where around here. It is electric and I use a retractable reel with 50' of cord on it for the controls. Hydraulics can be much more powerful and of course, have speed control. Their one draw back is you have to be at the truck to operate them. I can take my control to the back of one of my trailers to better watch while winching some thing on it. It's nice to be able to climb a ladder with the control in hand to lift things to an exact position.

    The poles are right over the back spring hangers and right over the frame for mine but I don't think it's too critical.

    Most "A" frames have two hold back chains on them. Mine has one chain that is attached to a piece of winch line. It goes through a home made pulley at the head of the poles over to the other side of the head ache rack. This allows me to adjust one side and adjust the other exactly the same, all from one position, at one time, and never even have to get on the bed. The pictures show the head and the pulley the line goes through. The second picture shows the chain hook up on the head ache rack.
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  12. #12
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    Mar 2008
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    Georgetown, Texas
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    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I have poles, 2"x1/4" tube inside the outer 2 1/2"x3/16" tube. I can extend the poles to either 15' or out to 20'. Here is a picture with the tubes at 15'.
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  13. #13
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    Apr 2015
    Location
    MS
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    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Thank you for sharing. I have always liked the way your truck is setup. I am going to be asking you some more questions when I start building another bed. I never thought about trying to run a PTO or hydraulic winch by myself. No big deal to make a hydraulic winch remote with solenoids I suppose. We run hydraulic pressure and return to each of the two buckets we pull on all our tractors. From there the pressure feeds usually danfoss 3 bank valves. Have you ever seen/used/thought about a set of double winch poles? If I could set something heavy on the back of my truck I would use those things a lot. I am wondering now if the base for the poles where close to the cab and I could run winch line independent of boom angle I could do what I am after.


    Lincoln SA-250
    Lincoln SW 200
    Miller Thunderbolt
    The only constant in life is there is never enough chains

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    609

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Nothin beats a good old work truck.
    Thanks for posting, this is great information. And those drawers are very impressive.
    IW Local 580 NY, NY

  15. #15
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    Mar 2008
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    Georgetown, Texas
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    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    You can set things o the bed of the truck with gin poles. I have left just enough room at the back of the bed behind the poles for setting things if not too big.

    This sounds complicated but is really easy to do. I have a measured piece of chain that I can hang from the head of the poles to the rear bumper ledge that lets the poles go forward, just until they are straight up. It keeps the poles from falling forward onto the rack. I measure up the lifting winch line the height of what I'm picking up, a length just shorter than the bed to pole head. I put a clamp on the winch line there. When you start lifting the object, eventually the clamp will get to the head and stop. At that point, as you keep winching, the poles will start forward. When they get to the stop of the keeper chain you put on, they will stop. Then you can just let the object down on the bed, no problem. I've loaded engines, large hydraulic cylinders and such this way.

    Also, and I do this a lot, you can load onto a trailer with out taking the trailer off the truck. I have a slip in receiver hitch that drops down like on lots of trucks. It lets me jack knife my trailers to 90 degrees. You can back a trailer along side some thing and jack knife it to where the object is behind the truck. Pick it up to above the trailer. Get in the truck, taking the control with you. Straighten out the truck and trailer and lower the object onto the front of the trailer. This is very easy after you do it a couple times. I loaded a 5'x8'x1" plate onto a trailer like this using a plate clamp.

  16. #16
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    Apr 2015
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    MS
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    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    That is great to know. I had not thought about loading a jackknifed trailer. I am envisioning loading the 26.5 tires and wheels when we have those go out and our swivels which I figured I could get on the bed with a fixed pole and control cable just overcoming gravity.


    Lincoln SA-250
    Lincoln SW 200
    Miller Thunderbolt
    The only constant in life is there is never enough chains

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    69

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Great write up, thank you for sharing. I have been shamelessly looking to copy your poles and rigging. Can you show more details about your head pulley? How does it allow for the changes in the angle when you extend the poles?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    285

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Thanks for the thread, Bob, like you I miss Irish and his posts.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Western New York State, USA
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    1,854

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    you ever use fork truck and pick up a too heavy load and you go high enough balance point reached and back wheels come up and load comes down fast ??
    .
    just saying i have had tons i lowered fast and then back of fork truck comes down fast, all with no shock absorbers. talk about whip lash
    .
    just saying often raising a too heavy load and reaching balance point it all happens fast. many a crane operator knocked his crane over that way

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    69

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    TTT

    Order a winch the other day, and have been working on a set of poles. Hope to hear more from Bob

    Happy Fourth of July everyone

  21. #21
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    Apr 2015
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    MS
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    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoff907 View Post
    TTT

    Order a winch the other day, and have been working on a set of poles. Hope to hear more from Bob

    Happy Fourth of July everyone
    Which winch did you decide on?


    Lincoln SA-250
    Lincoln SW 200
    Miller Thunderbolt
    The only constant in life is there is never enough chains

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    69

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blocker View Post
    Which winch did you decide on?


    Lincoln SA-250
    Lincoln SW 200
    Miller Thunderbolt


    I ordered a pierce 12 volt 9,000# with the safety brake. It was a little more than some, but much better suited to the application, I think/hope.

    They were great to deal with, and had very good shipping rates. They even got one of the techs to answer a few questions

  23. #23
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    Apr 2015
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    MS
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    1,659

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    Thanks Hoff. I would like to see your set up once you get it built.


    Lincoln SA-250
    Lincoln SW 200
    Miller Thunderbolt
    The only constant in life is there is never enough chains

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Georgetown, Texas
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    1,732

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I have the Pierce 9---# winch on my truck as well. The heaviest thing I have picked up was a 3600# BBQ pit that another weldor made. When I would let off on the switch, it would back crawl down. I had to let him position his trailer right at the pit, pick it up as he back up and let it back down. At least now I know it's limit. It is impressive that weight is more than my skid loader will pick up.

    I did have a motor burn up though after 30 years. The people at Pierce had me another motor in 2 days and talked me through changing it out. Great service and decent price. I highly recommend them.

  25. #25
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    Dec 2013
    Location
    Mount Tabor VT
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    4,774

    Re: The secret to easy adjustable gin poles.

    I've had three trucks with What I'd call an A frame on front. One used only two come alongs to raise, and lift. Another used a rear winch to control the A frame, a front winch to lift the object. Yet another is easier to erect, a dump body on rear hoists the frame.

    A gin pole as defined here is a straight tree, wall of a building, or an erected pole. From that, a pivoting longer pole pivots near the base of the first. Pulleys, a winch, or block, and tackle pull it's top toward the stationary vertical pole. A second winch does the lifting of material. Locally, an old man working alone ran a stone cutting facility. He'd lift 2000 LB pieces of stone off a truck, and swing them into the doorway of his building where he had an electric beam crane to take over. It was simple, primitive, and slow, but worked like a charm.

    The same man built his own plane. Said he failed to anticipate how long it'd take to build. It was fast, and scary. Propeller, and big wing in rear, little wing in front. When finished, he was too old to appreciate a plane that quick. It was made from Styrofoam.

    Willie
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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