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Thread: Advice on Trailer Crane build

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    Advice on Trailer Crane build

    I'm thinking about building a boom crane powered by a winch for my 5x10 utility trailer. I already have a lifting arch installed on it for dragging logs up on it. I'm an avid woodworker also, and harvest a lot of my own wood for turning etc.

    I want to size the components to where it will lift 2500 lbs, and also be able to lift heavy tools/machines onto my trailer with a strap/chain. I could make the height adjustable for the amount of lift I expect to need, by using smaller square tubing inside the larger base. I plan on welding it to the tongue area of my trailer, with reinforced 1/2" plate, and supported high by the lifting arch at the front of the trailer which is 2" square tube.

    I'm just wondering if 3" square tube, 3/16th thick for the base would be able to carry the load, or would 4" sq. tube be better? And if 2" square tube, same thickness would make for the boom extension, or if 4" was used as the base, then 3" tube? Each extension would be pinned through holes for adjustability, and an angled brace for added strength for the boom?

    Anyone here built such a contraption, and could help with advice? If the link below works, you could get a general idea of what I'm talking about.

    Last edited by metalmelter2021; 06-27-2022 at 03:00 PM.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Another thought….would round pipe be better for the base, as the boom crane would need the ability to swivel for loading from the sides of the trailer?

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    How long is your boom?

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Make sure you make the crane and outriggers all one piece. The lifting system can not rely on that trailer. 2500lbs is a big ask for that trailer. That 1/2" plate is great but it is only as strong as what it is mounted to. Lifting the load is a big enough challenge on its own but add in swinging with a load that will be a whole new ballgame, especially if your manually swinging as apposed to by power.
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    If you want it to last make sure the main boom is at least 5/16". Plus you'll have to make sure the insides of your boom sticks are seamless. Plus seamless is inherently stronger than welded.
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    My engine hoist is a similar design but only rated for 2k in the shortest setting. The upright is 3", first outrigger is 2 3/4, the final one is 2 1/4, all look about 3/16" thick. If you want to lift those kinds of weights at the outer limits of the lift, you'll need stouter tubing. I have to agree with Freebird though, you'll need a sturdy trailer to offset the forces of the lift. At 78" I'm only rated for a 1/2 ton. If you are going out the back of a 10' trailer from the tongue, there is going to be some significant leverage.
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmelter2021 View Post
    I'm thinking about building a boom crane powered by a winch for my 5x10 utility trailer. I already have a lifting arch installed on it for dragging logs up on it. I'm an avid woodworker also, and harvest a lot of my own wood for turning etc.

    I want to size the components to where it will lift 2500 lbs, and also be able to lift heavy tools/machines onto my trailer with a strap/chain. I could make the height adjustable for the amount of lift I expect to need, by using smaller square tubing inside the larger base. I plan on welding it to the tongue area of my trailer, with reinforced 1/2" plate, and supported high by the lifting arch at the front of the trailer which is 2" square tube.

    I'm just wondering if 3" square tube, 3/16th thick for the base would be able to carry the load, or would 4" sq. tube be better? And if 2" square tube, same thickness would make for the boom extension, or if 4" was used as the base, then 3" tube? Each extension would be pinned through holes for adjustability, and an angled brace for added strength for the boom?

    Anyone here built such a contraption, and could help with advice? If the link below works, you could get a general idea of what I'm talking about.

    We're missing some key information here. Mainly, how long is the boom going to be?

    I designed a 1,500lb luffing jib crane to go in the reciever on my truck. I have the CAD on my laptop. I did a LOT of research, a lot of math, and ran a lot of simulations when I was designing it.

    I suggest adding a large yoke to the top of the column mount the jib (boom/beam) in the yoke, then instead of a knee brace or gusset, add a long travel hydraulic cylinder (like on an engine hoist).

    Google "Luffing Jib Crane".

    You said that you're a woodturner. I suggest making the bearings for the column out of UHMW. It aught to be pretty easy (and probably fun) to turn on a wood lathe.


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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    If you are going out the back of a 10' trailer from the tongue, there is going to be some significant leverage.q
    Oh, jeez! 10 feet of reach at 2,500 pounds?!

    THAT is going to need to be made out of big boy steel. Not 3 or 4 inch stuff.

    You need an 8 inch I beam.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    Oh, jeez! 10 feet of reach at 2,500 pounds?!


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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    This is a 1000lb capacity 8 foot reach jib crane. https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tool...E&gclsrc=aw.ds


    I'm not trying to talk you out of building a crane, but adjust your expectations. My 1,500lb crane design is all 3/8" wall thickness stuff with lots of bracing and a trussed jib. I don't recall the exact numbers, but I believe it'll only pick 1,500lb something like 3 feet from the mast.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    I missed where he said he wanted to reach off the back of the trailer. That being the case yeah NO.
    A 13' reach and a horizontal lift @ 2500 lbs your crane and outrigger system would weigh 3000 lbs plus. That's a lot of tongue weight and overall weight when your done reinforcing between the front axle to the tongue.
    Last edited by Freebirdwelds; 06-28-2022 at 12:19 AM.
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    might need to build a crane to help with building the crane.....
    :

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    What about building some sort of frame over the trailer deck and building a sort of bridge crane/trolley thing.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    I don't have a calculator close by but 2500 at 13' is pretty close to 36,000 Lb ft like my 6,000K Autocrane, that will take some serious rigid support. I'm not sure I would even try that with a trailer unless it was built specifically for a crane mounting with lots of outrigger jacks.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    What about building some sort of frame over the trailer deck and building a sort of bridge crane/trolley thing.

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    That is a good point, I know a well driller that has a trailer with 2 arches supporting an I beam with a trolley and chain hoist that loads 3 thousand Lb parts with ease.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    I don't have a calculator close by but 2500 at 13' is pretty close to 36,000 Lb ft like my 6,000K Autocrane, that will take some serious rigid support. I'm not sure I would even try that with a trailer unless it was built specifically for a crane mounting with lots of outrigger jacks.
    I just looked up a 4000lb autocrane and a load chart for it. Found a 4004H
    It can only pick about 1600lbs at 10 feet and it's a pretty decent sized crane.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    I just looked up a 4000lb autocrane and a load chart for it. Found a 4004H
    It can only pick about 1600lbs at 10 feet and it's a pretty decent sized crane.

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    Bizzactly. If you look under one of those bodies there is a lot of 6x3" and 6x2" rectangular tube. They are very rigid from front to rear. If they aren't mounted properly they will pop the mounts on rough terrain.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Fusion 360 is annoying... my internet has gotten really slow recently. Well, Fusion is internet dependent. So Fusion is slow to start up now. Took like 3 or 4 minutes to open it so I could take a look at some old CAD files. It's not on my end! i7, Quadro, and an NVMe SSD. I really aught to switch to Solidworks.

    I'll try and remember to post some CAD tomorrow.
    Last edited by 52 Ford; 06-28-2022 at 03:05 AM.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Likely the boom I'm thinking about would probably only reach to 8 ft. at its full extension. I know reinforcements and outriggers would need to be made for the jib crane, and trailer as well. Any pulling of a log, or such, up the tailgate would be with the winch cable. I have a log weight calculator for different species/diameters/lengths of wood, so fairly accurate estimates could be had to prevent any overloading weight-wise. I'm generally very safety oriented, so safety is the first priority.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Lots of ideas to copy from, with or without grapple. A few of my friends have the smaller two axle 5 ton trailers with grapples, smaller trailers are better for residential work. There will be some minimum requirements on you trailer, but you can call these guys, or Bailey's OnLine, and pick their brains too. Where are you located ?

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    That is a good point, I know a well driller that has a trailer with 2 arches supporting an I beam with a trolley and chain hoist that loads 3 thousand Lb parts with ease.
    There are many of those used for pre cast concrete stuff around here culverts, boxes, septic tanks.
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  37. #22
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    What are trying to lift and are trying to load the trailer or truck?

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmelter2021 View Post
    I'm thinking about building a boom crane powered by a winch for my 5x10 utility trailer. I already have a lifting arch installed on it for dragging logs up on it. I'm an avid woodworker also, and harvest a lot of my own wood for turning etc.

    I want to size the components to where it will lift 2500 lbs, and also be able to lift heavy tools/machines onto my trailer with a strap/chain. I could make the height adjustable for the amount of lift I expect to need, by using smaller square tubing inside the larger base. I plan on welding it to the tongue area of my trailer, with reinforced 1/2" plate, and supported high by the lifting arch at the front of the trailer which is 2" square tube.

    I'm just wondering if 3" square tube, 3/16th thick for the base would be able to carry the load, or would 4" sq. tube be better? And if 2" square tube, same thickness would make for the boom extension, or if 4" was used as the base, then 3" tube? Each extension would be pinned through holes for adjustability, and an angled brace for added strength for the boom?

    Anyone here built such a contraption, and could help with advice? If the link below works, you could get a general idea of what I'm talking about.


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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Mostly 6-8 ft. Logs, perhaps the occasional piece of woodworking machinery for transport, or a generator, etc. My current log lifting arch is on the front of the trailer, uses a winch, with pulleys, log tongs, and does a good job of dragging logs onto the trailer for hauling. It does not lift over the side rails, and there are times when one cannot back directly to a log for loading, and ability to lift over the side rails would be a great addition. Besides the satisfaction of engineering and building a very useful project.

    A peavey can be used to roll logs, but depending on the terrain, rolling logs may be very difficult by hand.
    Last edited by metalmelter2021; 06-28-2022 at 09:47 AM.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    That is a good point, I know a well driller that has a trailer with 2 arches supporting an I beam with a trolley and chain hoist that loads 3 thousand Lb parts with ease.
    I like this idea, and will think about this, but it could also limit the ability to use a winch cable to drag a log close to the trailer for loading. I also could easily build a gantry crane for loading just around the shop/yard. Not practicle for out in the woods in different locations as the logs become available.

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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    You build something like this for trailer
    https://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton...ane-60732.html

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmelter2021 View Post
    Mostly 6-8 ft. Logs, perhaps the occasional piece of woodworking machinery for transport, or a generator, etc. My current log lifting arch is on the front of the trailer, uses a winch, with pulleys, log tongs, and does a good job of dragging logs onto the trailer for hauling. It does not lift over the side rails, and there are times when one cannot back directly to a log for loading, and ability to lift over the side rails would be a great addition. Besides the satisfaction of engineering and building a very useful project.

    A peavey can be used to roll logs, but depending on the terrain, rolling logs may be very difficult by hand.

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