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  #21  
Old 11-05-2017, 09:48 PM
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Another photo of carrier.
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  #22  
Old 11-05-2017, 10:37 PM
Old as Dirt Old as Dirt is offline
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Default Truck Crane From Northern Tool

I've been toying with the idea of mounting a crane at the back of my 16' trailer.

There are numerous vids on Youtube describing home built devices. Most of them are variations on using 2" receiver tube or a trailer hitch as part of the mounting and locating point for the base of the crane assm. Some are also permanent bolt on, some bolt up at the job.

I've been trolling Craig's List here in the Houston TX area, but the few cranes I've run across have apparently been blessed by a deity or painted on by Van Gogh when it comes to price. So I'm stuck with building or buying one.

The Northern unit uses the receiver hitch to locate the crane near the side of the bed. It's offset. Price is $250 P/N 52533. I get regular coupons for $20 off from Northern. If I buy one this is it.

Most of the purchased unit have bearings at the base of the vertical mast to ease the hassle of rotating the load into the truck bed. My home constructed crane would use a (what else) HF $99.95 with coupon engine lift. But I'm wrestling with what to used as a bearing assm. Thinking of hacking up a front wheel spindle, maybe a front assm from 4 WD as a usable cheap bearing.

When I was looking at vids I believe there was one on a crane same or similar to Northern. Look at Youtube what you see Bubba and his truck crane and some good stuff too.

Comments, questions

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  #23  
Old 11-05-2017, 10:51 PM
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The HF jibs, not engine hoists simply use pipe in pipe for the swivel at the upper end of the main mast.

With the loads I've picked up I've never had a problem with moving a load over to one side. In fact, it will easily find the low end on it's end. lol

I've thought of using a simple banded brake wrapped on one end to more secure the swiveling, but have yet to find a reason to do so. Having mine mounted on the tool bar of a tractor and in front of a quick 3pt hitch assy, it's never in the way and always ready for use when ever needed.
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  #24  
Old 11-06-2017, 06:53 PM
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I would be careful not to reduce the friction of the boom movement too much if building a jib type crane that will be mounted to a truck or any mobile machine. You may find yourself with a control issue as the load you just picked up suddenly heads toward the quarter panel of your truck at an increasing speed because you didn't notice your right front tire is parked half way up the curb.

Rather than reducing friction, I might be inclined to have a lever on hand perhaps 30-40" long that would fit into a receiver pocket on the boom and use it to rotate the boom. One might have two, three or four receiver pockets spaced 20-40 degrees apart to avoid interference and maintain a safe distance.
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  #25  
Old 11-06-2017, 09:15 PM
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Wow, this thread took off so fast I'm going to have a hard time replying to everyone.

I'll try to respond in the order of the posts.

LKeithR, I agree the permanently mounted crane in the back corner of the bed would be less awkward, but if moving the snow blower ends up being the main use for the crane, then a hitch-mounted solution may not be so bad. I have multiple lift points in my barn (gantry crane and another hoist on a laminated beam), so if the hitch-mounted crane is to awkward to install and remove, I can use one of those lifting points to make it easier.

Cutter, thanks for the links, I hadn't found either of those posts on my own, so I appreciate you pointing me to them. Nice job on the your own projects that LW Hiway mentioned. I searched that out and enjoyed the movies you put together. I used to hang out here a lot more back around the time your movie was made, so I'm surprised I missed it when it was originally posted.

LW Hiway, the snow blower is a beast, made by Cub Cadet. It is their 30" wide tracked model (3X 30 Trac). I believe it weighs about 340 pounds when full of fuel, but the hitch-mounted crane is rated for 600#, so it should handle it just fine. I also found that most of the YouTube videos were of the Harbor Freight cranes. Not many of them showed any detail of anyone reinforcing the bed or reinforcing right to the frame itself, which is what I want to do. I spent much of Sunday cleaning out my barn from previous projects and taking one of my trailers down off my 2-post lift, so I can pull my F350 in there to get it up in the air and see what my options look like for reinforcing. I'll post some pics hopefully by this weekend.

Gimpyrobb, I am trying to avoid having to hitch up a trailer every time I want to bring the blower over to my mom's place. The trailer I have is a 12' tilt-bed, so I can drive the snow blower right on and off of it. Loading and unloading it from the trailer is not the inconvenient part, it is just having to use a trailer that I'm trying to avoid. For that same reason I am leaning towards a permanently mounted crane in the bed itself, just so I don't have to hook up the hitch-mounted crane every time.

Greywynd, I appreciate the idea. I'm pretty committed to a solution involving a crane right now, but if that changes you've given me another option.

Digger doug, if I had the time and ambition to build a new bumper, I'd be tempted to make one similar to what Western Mule offers. That definitely looks like a great solution, but with as many unfinished projects as I already have, I couldn't bring myself to start another one I know I wouldn't finish anytime soon. I travel very frequently for work, I'm trying finish an addition on my house, remodel the main house, plus my daughter is in her Senior year of high school, so I'm trying to spend as much time with her before she starts college. I'm basically screwed when it comes to free time.

rustythe4x4, while I am considering a hitch-mounted solution, if I go that route, I believe I'd just purchase the Vestil hitch-mounted truck jib crane model WTJ-HITCH. I like the Vestil design, because it is offset, allowing me to not only open the tailgate, but a greater useful arc swing. I really like the Sky Hook receiver hitch crane, which has a slightly less capacity that the Vestil at 500 pounds, but I like the hand wheel winch much better. I believe the arc swing would be too limiting for me though.

threepiece, I'm not sure exactly what you have there, but although I know I'm not about to fabricate one like it, I'd sure like to see your build thread. If you can dig up a link I'd be very interested to learn more about that project, it looks very impressive.

Ironman, I agree Photo's crane is awesome. I've watched Craigslist in my area for many years and never come across a used Auto Crane, or I'd might have one by now. I've seen a few used rigs for sale, truck and Auto Crane together, but I've never been able to justify the purchase. That is saying a lot too, because I bet I can justify purchases of tools and equipment about as good as anyone on this board.

platupus20, if I had more time I may be tempted to fabricate a hybrid unit, based on a Harbor Freight crane, or even a engine lift, but it wouldn't happen before the snow starts to fly, so I'm looking for a quick fix. Just finding the time to weld in the reinforcement for a bed-mounted crane will be about all I can muster at this point in my life.

Matt Shade, thanks for that link too. I would have never found that one, as before others mentioned Cutter's project, I wouldn't have had the correct frame of reference to "White Trash". Again though, I don't plan on fabricating this from scratch. My whole life has been a trade off of not enough time, or not enough money. As most would probably agree, there is not a real upside to either of those scenarios. I just happen to have a little more money than time right now.

kbs2244, that is a perfectly logical suggestion. I actually rarely use the snow blower here at my place, as I have a truck-mounted plow and the front-end loader on my tractor. However, my mother's neighborhood is not the best. If someone even once saw me storing this $2,100 snow blower in her garage it would be gone within 48 hours. She has insurance, so it is not the cost to replace the blower that worries me. She has already been broken into too many times and every time she rightfully feels more vulnerable. I can't convince her to move, and I don't want to have to be fixing whichever door they decide to break in through to get to the blower.

Gadgeteer, thank you for the suggestion and for taking the time to post the photos. That does look like a reasonable solution, similar to what Greywynd suggested. If I change my mind on the crane, this is another viable solution.

Old as Dirt, I too have been considering an offset hitch received model with legs. Even before I wanted one for this snow blower situation, I've had one of those on my Amazon wish list for years. I've decided the set up time would be too much of a hassle, as compared to the Vestil unit which doesn't require legs.

Again, thanks to all who have contributed so far. You've all given me more motivation to make this happen. Once I get my truck up on my lift, if reinforcing from the bed down to the frame seems feasible, I'll reply with some photos and measurements, looking for more input. If it looks like too much of a hassle to add the reinforcement, I'll likely go the receiver mounted option.
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  #26  
Old 11-07-2017, 04:28 AM
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We did get focused on the crane part, but I believe a hitch ramp/carrier thing would be good too. Excellent example posted.
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  #27  
Old 11-07-2017, 06:38 AM
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Spencer, the easiest part of replying to a post is suggesting something. Although, like you mentioned, you can be faced with other variations of a theme to make a decision sort of frustrating.

I tend to really overthink a solution to anything I might need as I have more time to think than I have time to spend in the shop. By the time I'm in the shop I'm looking at plans for some 4th dimension Borg creation for which half of what I bought for a build ends up as shelf fodder. sigh

Why else would I have a dozen 2" pillow block and 4 bolt flange block bearings gathering dust on a shelf that sags on that end.

Which reminds me I've got two shiney new chucks for my 13" SB, sitting there with the back plates in separate boxes all sitting atop one another.(for a few years now)...............
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  #28  
Old 11-10-2017, 08:15 AM
threepiece threepiece is offline
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Spencer, I found the build thread you asked about. It is actually about the F350 bed that I modified. Although the truck and crane are done I did not continue updating the thread. I don't recall how much of the crane I added but I did show how I made much of the winch. Here is the thread: http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/...t=45879&page=2
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  #29  
Old 11-12-2017, 01:37 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threepiece View Post
Spencer, I found the build thread you asked about. It is actually about the F350 bed that I modified. Although the truck and crane are done I did not continue updating the thread. I don't recall how much of the crane I added but I did show how I made much of the winch. Here is the thread: http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/...t=45879&page=2
Thanks for digging that up. It is obvious you have some real talent. I'm wouldn't even be considered a wannabe up against most here on this board.

Your thread ended rather abruptly. I'll do my best not to let this thread end up that way.
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  #30  
Old 11-12-2017, 02:33 PM
Spencer Spencer is offline
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I got my barn clean enough to pull the truck in and get it up on the lift, so I could see what my options may be for reinforcing a bed-mounted jib crane down to the frame of the truck.

The first and only time I've put this F350 up on my lift it was a pain to get lined up properly. The biggest frustration was getting it centered between my two posts of my Mohawk lift.

I asked for some advice on another forum and liked one of the ideas presented about using a laser.

I ended up with a Bosch GLL 100 GX cross beam self-leveling laser level, with a green laser beam. I picked it up at Home Depot for $229.

What a pleasure it was pulling into the barn, having the green laser perfectly centered on the groove down the center of the hood of the truck.
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