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Engine cranes and dirt == frustration!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by diesel4me, May 13, 2005.

  1. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I recently got an engine crane,or hoist,cherry picker,whatever you want to call it--I've been using it to load heavy junk in my truck--but the dam things teeny iron wheeled casters are a joke--one pebble and its impossible to move it,and forget moving it if one wheel goes off the edge of the asphalt!--your DONE!..no way I can move that ballbuster around alone!--since the casters were spilling bb's all over the place,now they wont swivel very easy, making life even more miserable....its usless to be able to LIFT something if you cant roll it to the truck--and I have lots of heavy stuff on the dirt and grass to move too...

    I'd seen them with trailer tires in the back so you could tow it to the job with a car or truck--and I had a set of "Holmes" dolly wheels off an old wrecker I found in the landfills metal pile--too scary to tow a car with(rusty,bearings kinda rough,etc)--so I got out the sawsall and cut them up--I made them slide into the square tubing pretty easy,only needed a peice of pipe they slid onto to "bush" it to fit inside the square tubing more snugly,and used a "pinch" bolt like the ones the crane had with welded nuts to secure them--that took care of the rear wheels....BUT

    Now I'm stumped as to how to rig up the front wheels!--if I just make them slide on and off,and they dont "steer",it wont be very useful(A 'Straight Ahead Only" crane ain't much use!)--and making a complete "steerable" front axle for it is a lot of work...

    I'd hoped to be able to tow this thing around the hard with my lawn tractor and clean up the yard easier--I was thinking maybe I only REALLY need wheels in the front (non steerable)and I could attach the rear of it to the tractors hitch somehow so only the front wheels touch the ground--then it would act like a trailer and turn easy,right??-...I made the dolly wheels easy to remove so I can use it with the original casters(the big tires wouldn't fit under most cars :blush: )--

    But I'd prefer to leave it with the big tires for "yard" use behind my tractor,I have another nicer crane in the shop I could use for engine swaps... but how can I make it "steer" with all 4 tires on the ground??---I'm thinking I'm going to have to make a front end like a kids "little red wagon" to tow and steer it,thats a lot of time and work-(and the crane would be facing the tractor--maybe the REAR wheels should be the "steering" and the front rigid??)
    -I even thought about making it a "trike",a 3 wheeler,but that seems like it would be too tippy and scary..anyone ever put a lift kit and bigger tires on your cherry picker for off road use??--If so,speak up!--I'm desparate!--

    I saw just such a rig on the net a few weeks ago,but I cant find the site I saw it on,stayed up til 5am looking!!...stupid me didn't "save" the web adress!... :blush: Any ideas,photos or suggestions appreciated!...I'm thinking of just making a swivel base for the "boom" part of the hoist and bolting it to my 82 K20,and say screw the 4 wheeled platfrom!--I already have a nice swiveling crane with an electric winch thats on a flatbed,but I havent finished building the trailer its sitting on,it needs to be wired up,etc---plus the trailer isn't registered yet...and scrap prices dropped ten bucks a ton this week already! --HELP!:frown1:
     
  2. 75-K5

    75-K5 3/4 ton status

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    Yeah that is a good question. I've been thinking of making an A-frame out of angle iron and mounting a chain fall to it. I have 4 rear lawn mower tires to mount on it so it will roll around easily. One possible way of steering would be to rig up a setup like the old Waterloo Boy tractors where you have two chains, one around each end of the steer axle and a crank to shorten or stretch each chain to pull the axle the way you want it to go. I'm not sure if a steer axle robbed off a wagon would be strong enough to support an engine though. All I know is that whoever designed the caster wheels for engine stands and hoists was obviously working on a smooth finished concrete shop floor and not a gravel driveway or an old concrete driveway full of pebbles and chips and grooves.
     
  3. gone huntin

    gone huntin 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    A friend of mine has one that he added either 6" or 8" steel casters to, the type that have the rubber around the steel. He has a small salvage yard and uses that thing all over the place.
     
  4. k20

    k20 3/4 ton status

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    hey man, I know what your talkin about, pulled the 454 outta my parts burban in a gravel pit on the far edge of our yard. Our driveway is basically gravel with some tar holding it together, so that made it a pain to pull my 350 and then install my 496. But moving the 454 was fun. Hooked a chain around the engine hoist, hooked the other end to the back of my dads dually, and I rode the hoist across the yard. Was rather fun.
     
  5. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Last edited: May 13, 2005
  6. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    That receiver mounted job would be THE sweet way to remove your top ... but for five bills, I can find another way.

    Come to think of it, if I can find a cheap way to make the lazy susan for it, I'm gonna do that to my cherry picker... lol. Welding time baybee...

    -- A
     
  7. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    LOL I was moving stuff around this winter in a couple inches of snow...or a couple inches of MUD. It didn't work too swell...
     
  8. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    more fun...

    Had some more "fun" with the cherry picker today--tried pulling it with my lawn tractor with a pretty heavy load(an old continental 4 cyl industrial ingot!)--one front caster parted company and flew into the woods!--and this was on my asphalt driveway!--got about 15 ft out of at least---had to swap a "rear" caster on(which must have been a replacement since its a half inch smaller and a close but no cigar bolt pattern on it!).

    ..So I guess its going to need casters if I decide to make it an "indoor" engine crane.(doubtful!)...it pushed a lot easier with the big tires in the rear,but it still wore me out,so I decided to try the tractor--it pulls it no sweat at all,but it wont steer good,even with swivel casters up front ,when its being towed,even on fairly smooth asphalt the caster dug a trench and snapped it off!.

    ..wish I could think of an easy front axle to slip under it that steers :thinking: --naa,those dana 44 front axles I have are too wide and heavy,right? :ignore: hmmm,make it self propelled! :laugh:

    I like that crane Dontoe showed in his post,actually BOTH of them--I scoured the web last night trying to find the site I saw the tractor/engine crane "tow truck" a guy built,but I failed!---and I saw about 20 brands of similar cranes on a "google" search,one was a roll bar look alike that had a 1000 lb rating!(wwwspitzlift.com).

    .I saw one that looked exactly like an engine crane (the "boom" part and piston) in Cummins tool site for 99.95!,had a swivel base,1000lb cap.,looked rugged for the price,and its hard to build one cheaper than that!..even Northern Tool gets 150 bucks for a china built version with a hand winch and a bottle jack ..many other ones too,but the one Dontoe showed that goes into the reese hitch I DIDN'T see,and I did a lot of site hopping!.The "Roll Bar" one is ingenious!--

    Im still tempted to rob the "boom" off this crane and make a swivel base to adapt it to my reese hitch,that way I could use it on anything that has a receiver hitch!..I think adding an electric winch is a labor saver too,and adds more cotrol over the load than fumbling with a pump handle to lower the piston,and no pumping!...

    -One thing for sure,I will ALWAYS have a crane of some sort for my truck(s) from now on!--the one I had on my 74 K20 spoiled me rotten!(and is responsible for dragging home most of what I'm junking now! :blush: (too bad the K20 itself is most of the load!--I cant wait to get that one I had with the electric winch back!--I'm sick of pumping the hydraulic one up a million times....


    ..The picture of the blue hoist gave me an idea--the flat plates to mount the casters are my answer as to keeping it fairly close to the ground,yet enable me to use larger diameter and wider casters(the cranes original casters mounted on the bottom of the legs!)...

    But I guess the blue crane has no "steering" ,just 4 rigid non swivel wheels :confused: --Do you have to shove it sideways with a crowbar like me with mine??..

    ..I think towing it with the tractor will work if I use a trailer coupler on the engine crane ,a ball on the rear plate of the tractor,and the rear wheels will be off the ground just an inch or two,and will act like outriggers to keep it from tipping--I can add steel straps to the pins on the tractor for its phony 3 pt hitch to the crane base to help stabilize it simply enough..but steering it with 4 rigid non swivel wheels will be very difficult,if not impossibe..still need to figure out that part... :doah: :what: :thinking: :dunno:

    Thanks for all your replies!
     
  9. kyser_soze

    kyser_soze 1/2 ton status

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  10. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    I'm going to build a little receiver mounted platform to bolt my engine hoist to to use it in the yard. I will remove the legs from the hoist and bolt in onto the platform, then run a chain from the top of the hoist to the gooseneck hitch in my truck to triangulate it. It will work, I promise.
     
  11. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I have one of those already!

    I have a tow bar like that,made to fit a fisher plow frame!--I didn't think of using it for this purpose,but why not?--better than the hunk of square tubing and a "hitch" that is nothing more than 2 flat stock plates with 1/2 inch holes I was going to weld right to the cranes bottom!..

    I scored some nice beefy swivel casters free at the swap meet today! :D --found them in a box of junk,they were like new and had 3-1/2 " steel wheels,guy just said "take the WHOLE BOX if you see any stuff you want!" --I should have,I saw tin snips and a hundred other trinkets in there!--but I was at least a 1/4 mile from my truck--no way I could have carried it.. :frown1:

    Another friend I met there who was selling stuff gave me 2 golf cart rear ends,- :D -he didnt want to haul them home,and was going to leave them at the dumpster!..I snuck my truck in when the place started clearing out!--he had a nice hydraulic "wheel hub drive" from a golf course mower he also was going to chuck!--I wanted it for a winch drive!--but somebody bought it just before I got back with my truck--oh well! :frown1:

    I welded the casters on as soon as I got home--its 200% better than before,with bigger swivel casters and the big tires in the back!--but I'm still going to put the big wheels in front too,even those casters suck in dirt or grass..that and rig up the tow hitch for the tractor!--then I might invent a swivel base for the "boom" part of the crane so I can use it in the reese hitch!-(first I need to GET a receiver!--TONS at the swap meet--but I had 20 bucks to spend!--no matter,plenty at the junkyard too--they get 10-20 bucks for a good used one!)...

    .I'm eyeing the spindle off one of my old dana 44's,looks like it would make a good swivel base for the boom.. :thinking: wonder how many pounds a hub/rotor would handle before it fails?--they nust take huge side loads when cornering at 70mph at hitting potholes..wonder if it would snap off and kill me if I use it on the boom?....one way to find out I guess.. :p:
     
  12. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    How bout the front axle offa riding mower? Just turn it around so the tierod is in front and weld a handle on it????
     
  13. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    nope...

    I had several of them,junked them all--but I still had one left on a homemade abortion tractor that needs more tinkering I was willing to carve up if nessasary!--but its too narrow!-

    -I have a golf cart front end too,but its not easy to adapt,(dont think it would work)--and like a boob I scrapped the rims and tires already (thought the front end went with them,but I guess I must have missed it during my last scrap run!...at the swap meet I saw a straight axle from an old chevy van,like a 67--but it was 100 bucks--model A front "I" beams were selling for 400 bucks!(and I lost count of how many I saw at a junkyard that closed recently and got crushed! :frown1:

    The post that suggested the Northern Tool Tow Bar made me think--I looked in their catalog,and they sell a "Farm Wagon" trailer frame with 4 wheel steering,and a 1500lb load capacity for about 350 bucks--bet that would work slick if you mount the crane on that!--but unless I hit the lottery,I wont be using that either--I think towing it with only the front wheels on the ground will work ok....I'll let you all know as soon as I can cobble it together! :crazy:
     
  14. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    around here ppl weld plate and bolt to bottom all corners of the cherry picker and have removeable lawn tractor tires for them for when they want to use it on the ground

    i havent done such with mine yet but will soon, i can buy the tires and wheels for 2 bucks each i just havent gotten around to it yet, or to welding yet, for years i have suffered with small casters and gravel/dirt

    i quit pulling engines and such out here til i mount lawn tractor tires on

    wont take vwery long to make and weld plates on

    i suggest everyone do it, even if just on concrete


    im gonna make the front end ones with two plates and a bolt or shaft welded through them so they pivot like castors do, a washer in between with some grease and just a hair sloppy so will not freeze up



    good luck
     
  15. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    Food for Thought:

    We used to have a crane/davit on one of our old Duece and a Halfs. It was basically an "A" frame that bolted to the front tow shackle mounts and used the PTO winch to lift. The "A" frame was held up with a long static cable that ran all the way back to the pintle hook in the rear. 'Had to leave the windshield folded though.

    Too bad I didn't have a picture of it... :laugh:
     

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