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  #1  
Old 11-03-2006, 12:50 AM
steelslinger steelslinger is offline
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Default Material Handling Equipment Advice...

Hey everybody, I'd like to get some opinions on a few options for material/equipment loading/unloading.

First, here's the specifics:
- Single car garage space, i.e. standard garage door opening.
- Uneven ground, gravel, and has a moderate slope away from the shop.
- Can't be permanent, must be easily removeable as I don't own the space, and would like to take everything with when I finally get my own shop.
- Depending on solution, it will most likely live outside in the Minnesota climate.
- Max. Capacity 2000 lbs.
- Must be able to remove things from my truck, which is slightly elevated (tailgate is at my hip, so I'd guestimate 36" high).

So here are the options:
- Gantry Crane
- Forklift Stacker (homebuilt, modified replica)
- DIY mini-forklift

Options that are not feesible:
- Boom/jib crane
- pretty much anything "store bought"

I'm looking at building this myself to keep the costs down and also to actually get it exactly as I need it due to the conditions that exist. As far as my skill level, I consider myself fairly proficient at structural welding and mechanical work. I also have access to almost any type of equipment I may need through either my own shop or my day job.

So, opinions, advice, other options?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2006, 01:10 AM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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From what I've looked at so far on the "www", the forklift stacker from Northern looks to be about the best/easiest/cheapest/most usuable option I'd head for. Having a living breathing forklift with your sized area without much storeage would be a hassel unless it slept outside.

At least the stacker lift could be dropped and the truck parked over it, nose to lift.
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  #3  
Old 11-03-2006, 06:24 AM
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Cavalry Cavalry is offline
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I have used one of those stackers..they are extremely slow. if you are working on gravel they will not roll well.

I say build a gantry crane. They are pretty cheap, portable but again they dont roll very well in gravel.
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:18 AM
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Photomask Photomask is offline
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I've built some lifts and used others but don't know a name for them.
A floor crane maybe?
Imagine the forklift stacker you looked at.
Make the base wider, longer and use larger pneumatic tires.
Build up to the height you need or make it adjustable.
Use a HF 110v "el cheapo" electric winch at the top.
The winch could be made to be easily removeable to store inside.
Weather wouldn't hurt the rest.

The legs could be left short and add counterweights to the back to compensate for lift weight if that was the issue.
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Old 11-03-2006, 07:42 AM
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Photomask, would it help the winch or better assume a more steady lift for the winch's spooling speed to have the cable double lined with dual pulleys? Or would a single line up and over a single pulley and then down to the lifting forks be fine?
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  #6  
Old 11-03-2006, 08:08 AM
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I think Photomask has a great idea! I would hit the local junkyards looking for the smallest import auto tires, wheels, and hubs I could find. But I would mount the winch down low, and use a sheave at the top. Always want to keep as much weight as you can down low. Not that those little winches weigh anything tho!
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  #7  
Old 11-03-2006, 08:14 AM
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Is it feasible to tilt toward a pump jack (teeter totter) design with (re)movable counter-weights?
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  #8  
Old 11-03-2006, 10:03 AM
kbs2244 kbs2244 is offline
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Default Gantry on tracks

I lean in the gantry crane direction, but put it on 4 inch angle tracks that run along the outside walls. This will give you a chance to dig or build up so you have a level track, and also spread out the weight.
The key is to get everything square and level at the start.
You can get special grooved wheels to run on the tracks, but I saw a simular setup where the tracks were salvaged 3 or 4 inch pipe and the wheels were 8 inch trailer wheels without any tires.
With a hoist on a trolly to go left to right and tracks to go front to back, you can put anything anywhere in the room.
You do have to be careful about electric cords laying across the tracks when you start pushing things around.
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  #9  
Old 11-03-2006, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs2244
You do have to be careful about electric cords laying across the tracks when you start pushing things around.
NO YOU DON’T! Means you just have to go faster!
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2006, 11:00 AM
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I had similar needs even though I have a forklift and this was the best option for my shop. I took a $119 engine hoist from Sam's club, $50 worth of wheels from NH, and some scrap from the shop. The boom says it's rated for 3000#s but I've only had about 1500# on it. My yard is all gravel and it moves aroundpretty easily with 1 person and a 1000# load. I added 2 pockets to the bottom of it so that I can fold the legs up and pick the whole thing up with the fork lift. I also added a short little leg that folds down to permit the whole rig to move around the shop when it's in the folded positon for storage.
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