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Thread: Advice on Trailer Crane build

  1. #26
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by metalmelter2021 View Post
    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.
    The best, SAFEST thing I can think of for your apparent use cases would be a sort of bridge crane. Build two steel arches - one at the front and one at the back of the trailer. Attach two beams running front-back. Put a trolley on each beam and hang an I beam a few feet wider than the trailer from the trolleys. Use swiveling mounting points for the trolley to beam attachment. When the beam is straight running side-to-side the end of the beam will hang past the side of the trailer, so you can sideload stuff. The I beam can roll front-to-back and a trolley on that beam can hold your winch, so there's your side-to-side travel. To stow it for transport, loosen the clamp that holds one of the trolleys to the beam, and position the beam at a angle across.

    I'll draw a picture. Stand-by.

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  3. #27
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    The best, SAFEST thing I can think of for your apparent use cases would be a sort of bridge crane. Build two steel arches - one at the front and one at the back of the trailer. Attach two beams running front-back. Put a trolley on each beam and hang an I beam a few feet wider than the trailer from the trolleys. Use swiveling mounting points for the trolley to beam attachment. When the beam is straight running side-to-side the end of the beam will hang past the side of the trailer, so you can sideload stuff. The I beam can roll front-to-back and a trolley on that beam can hold your winch, so there's your side-to-side travel. To stow it for transport, loosen the clamp that holds one of the trolleys to the beam, and position the beam at a angle across.

    I'll draw a picture. Stand-by.

    Sent from my Lincoln Buzzbox using Tapatalk
    And I apologize for the confusing explanation. I just got up a little while ago (late night )

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  4. #28
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by albrightree View Post
    There are many of those used for pre cast concrete stuff around here culverts, boxes, septic tanks.
    Yep. I usually see plumbers and grave diggers with em.

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  5. #29
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Something between the pick up truck crane, and the engine hoist you showed would be good. 2" and 3" square tube in 3/16" would be sufficient for about a half ton at 3-4 feet. You say its a 5 x 10 trailer, how heavy is it built , is it single axle (most that size are). 2500 lbs is a lot to lift using the frame of a small utility trailer(like the ones you buy from Tractor supply) What is the frame made with? I think that mounting on the outside front corner of the trailer is better than the tongue area. An outrigger that slides out with a trailer jack might work. You can still use it to drag logs over to the trailer from the side(hoist in lowest setting). Rectangular tube would give more strength for your outriggers, and take up less space. You seem to be willing to use some metal to achieve you goal, there are so many ways to do this, look around for good ideas. Got any pictures ? A small jib crane mounted on the log arch might be a possiblity too.

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  7. #30
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Not sure if it has ever been mentioned but what is your welding experience? To even think about building something like this you better have quite a bit of experience welding. It appears that your expectations may be too high for what you want to achieve. It may be better buying something already made and mounting that to your trailer. Engineer's don't come cheap and for what you're building it wouldn't be a bad idea to at least run it by an engineer.

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  9. #31
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Not sure if it has ever been mentioned but what is your welding experience? To even think about building something like this you better have quite a bit of experience welding. It appears that your expectations may be too high for what you want to achieve. It may be better buying something already made and mounting that to your trailer. Engineer's don't come cheap and for what you're building it wouldn't be a bad idea to at least run it by an engineer.
    Doesn't take an engineer to look at charts and do a little math.

    Easier than that is look at stuff that's available commercially. I said 8" I beam, because I looked up what a 10 foot reach 1 ton Gorbel jib crane uses... 8 inch taper flange I beam. Not sure what size 8" beam, though.

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  10. #32
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    i also so work with logs. Done large log cabin like structures, and a variety of timberframing, mostly with logs drug out of the woods, here in steep southern Oregon.
    I started the hardback ways with a pickup, grew from there. I have 2 tracked machines, and can lift what I need with them, usually worth the trips of moving machines and then moving logs, also have a sawmill.
    I think for what you're wanting to do, set up your boom/winch to point at the logs and winch them to your trailer on the ground, or on rollers (short rounds would work)
    Then when they are next to the trailer load them, if necessary one end at a time, to get them on. A flat deck trailer is a better design than one with fenders even tho the deck is higher for this, and better for moving for heavy wood in general, ya just roll the logs off the sides to unload.

  11. #33
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    If you make a pair of ramps to roll a log up on you can use a rope to pull the log up. I can't come up with the name of the rope technique but if you google log building you will get the idea.
    With a bit of thought you could use your winch to pull the logs up

  12. #34
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

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    Here's a picture for you. It's not quite the right was ro do do it. The rope needs to be looped so that you are on both ends of the log
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  13. #35
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    Some of the ideas are good, for a rotating job needs a jack leg to level it. But I am glad that the practicality to using a utility trailer was cleared up.

  14. #36
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    List location too. I can load out a few logs as a 1 time deal without much equipment, if this is something I want to do regular and gonna cost money might think outside the box a bit if circumstances allowed it. A bigger picture along the way helps, lots of these guys did this every way you can. I watched a neighbor do this, great master mechanic gonna dick with the milling stuff and by the time a guy gets there he too tired to use it.

  15. #37
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    I went back and read this better. Agree, some simple sheme to roll some uup with light winch you could hgaul with a utility trailer is different than harvesting building material. Unless you are heavy duty and it doesnt sound like it, if you dont already have one a HF cherry picker is 4 U. If this is a hobby get realistic about expectations,,, like I wanna rig 2500 # logs so I can turn a leg or a lamp. There is a right size thing for you, there is a right size log. I would be a collector v s a hoarder with overloaded utility btrailer,,, which would be overloaded with lifting equipment even before it got started,

  16. #38
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    I tell the neighbor,,, borrow my tractor when u need it. Its easy to find out you invest 10K to harvest 500$ in wood and its all full, loaded, piled, no one wants it unless you already know that business. Just sayinj,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, not you in particular, maybe you are way past it or dont care but a lot of stuff people aspire to ends up collecting dust and doesnt have a lot of value or may end up as expense. If you dont care totally disregard it, only for young guys and a realistic look at semi retirement that have done this etc. No romance in it.
    I have seen deliberate business guys do it and a couple hand to mouth outfits hang on with a bandsaw mill. Amish now buying up those used mills and working them and its hard to outwork those guys. We have a guy or 2 on the forum harvests and mills, drys.

  17. #39
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    This is probably a better implementation for your use, but same idea as what smithdoor posted.

    With the price of material alone it might not be worth reinventing the wheel.
    The manual available on the HF website has easy to copy diagrams for ideas if you go DIY.

    Harbor freight HAUL-MASTER
    1/2 Ton Capacity Pickup Truck Bed Crane with Hand Winch $179.99 (2022)

    1,000Lbs @ 33"
    500Lbs @ 53.5"



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    Last edited by SlowBlues; 06-29-2022 at 12:01 PM.

  18. #40
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    I like that for sure. Cant buy 1/2 the materials for that. Might be able to use that with jack leg on utility trailer depending on design.
    Last edited by Sberry; 06-29-2022 at 03:27 PM.

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  20. #41
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    I have another idea... build the whole thing out of wood. Mortise and tenons, get a 12 foot oak 8X8 (I'll sell ya one ), make some wooden sheaves, hemp rope (I'll sell ya some hemp! )...

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  21. #42
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    Re: Advice on Trailer Crane build

    I have made quite a few temp and permanent (non mobile!) lifting points up to 5 tons using lumber Not ideal but in California earthquake land 6 story apartment units are timber framed.

    Know your figures and material, overbuild always, be safe, and it's not a big deal.

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