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Portable Gantry Crane Plans

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  • Portable Gantry Crane Plans

    I wrote in an earlier post that I wanted to build a gantry to remove the engine from my old tug. Well I contacted a former boss of mine and he ended up pulling it for me.
    But the gantry stayed on my mind
    I found an engineering Website that had some plans you can buy to build your own gantry!
    I looked at buying one but are you kidding! They want your right arm for them. Below is the website if you are interested.
    I am getting quotes on materials for mine. The one I am going to build will have enough capacity to lift the front of the boat. This will make reloading it on a trailer much easier. It took 5 hours to unload it when I brought it home. I will also allow me to refit the engine on my own. I have wanted one of these for years so now I have an excuse to build one.

    http://www.synthx.com/btw/crane2.htm
    Last edited by drewpster; February 26th, 2008, 02:57 PM. Reason: spelling
    "Your results may vary"

    Thundercraft in Progress
    http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=287390

    Tri-hull Wiring
    http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=448376


  • #2
    Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

    I trash picked one that looks very much like the one in your link. This one isn't adjustable height, but is 12' tall, 12' wide and has very similar legs and wheels. It was being used to lift horses in a barn. The farm was sold and the new owners just pushed everything to the curb. This one is made from 5" round tubing with a 6" overhead beam and sliding clevis. it separates about 24" down and the top section slides over the lower poles and has two gussets that are made of 1" x 2" bar stock. It's real heavy, I was barely able to load the thing one piece at a time onto my boat trailer to get it home. I was not passing that up. I suppose it will lift a few thousand pounds or more. I used it to pull an M10, 6 cyl. Cummins diesel already and it makes short work of outboard swaps.
    Best of all the price was right. The only draw back is the tiny 6" casters it uses. I may see about coming up with a way to put full size tires on it, like maybe 10" industrial pneumatic tires and rims. It's current casters are cast iron with gray urethane tread. They roll nice but I don't think their made for outdoor use. When I lifted the Cummins I blocked up the legs so as not to punch the wheel through the concrete pad and I didn't want to take the chance of losing a wheel with all that weight hanging on it.

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

      Its interesting that you should mention the casters. I am having a little trouble selecting the best ones for the job. I am slightly modifying the design in the plans so that the gantry can roll with the load suspended. It is necessary because it would take allot of work to move the boat. The original plans use a wheel setup that allows the crane bases to sit directly on the ground when it has weight on it.
      I am upsizing the lower supports and the c-channel bases. I am also going to mount the wheels under the bases instead of using the spring setup in the plans. Do you recommend using larger wheels?
      "Your results may vary"

      Thundercraft in Progress
      http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=287390

      Tri-hull Wiring
      http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=448376

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

        You will have to choose your wheels buy both the load required, and the type of surface you have. My gantry has fixed wheels, and my garage floor is pretty old and rough. I also have a small outside concrete pad, but it's small and slanted slightly.
        My idea was to put automotive or trailer wheels on it, sort of like a mini of the huge cranes at the marina. That way I could use it over all surfaces. I would also add 'landing gear' or four threaded pads that could be lowered to both level it and to unload the tires in the event of a max load. I have a smaller gantry I built years ago for pulling engines and splitting tractors but it's not wide enough or tall enough to straddle a boat. On that one I used industrial iron and urethane casters, much like you see on some shipping carts or containers, (like eggs and dairy products are carried in to you supermarket, only heavier). They work fine but after 15 years or so, the urethane on the wheels is dried out and falling off in chunks. What I did as a permanent solution was to cut solid wheels from 3' flat stock and I machined those for 4 sealed bearings and used the original caster frames and swivels. They will outlive all of us. The levelers or landing gear is made of 1' threaded stock with a T handle on top and a flat 4" pad on the bottom. I can turn those down and lock it in place when I need more stability or if I need to hold something in place.
        On the one I found, I may leave the smaller wheels an just add four trailer spindles pointing outboard. It won't allow me to steer it, but when its under load, the larger tires will allow me to work in the gravel driveway or grass if so needed. I will also add levelers too. I was thinking of making the larger wheels retractable or at least easily removable. I have a set of super heavy duty 10" industrial rims and tires here that I took from an equipment trailer that may work too.
        The most I'll ever lift with this would be half of a boat or an engine. My plans for it are to use it for trailer swaps on smaller boats. (Block the rear, sling the front and pull the boat out from underneath). The problem I have here and at my shop is that the driveways are all dirt. At my shop the drive is partly white driveway stone and part clam shells. Neither works well with small casters. There used to be a huge gantry crane at one local junk yard, they built the thng from 15" I beams and used four car spindles for wheels. Two wheels were movable, but they weren't linked, to steer it you needed two people and each movable wheel had a tiller handle. They had originally had a bar that dropped in and linked the two spindles which would allow it to be towed all over the yard, but that didn't last and the thing ended up with the all the spindles welded in place and they just carried it around with a huge front end loader. That thing had 15" car tires, but was only used to hoist out engines in a self server junk yard. Local liability laws put an end to that place. (It seems the anonymous signature book and waiver out front wasn't legal when it came to protecting themselves against lawsuits, and Walmart wanted the land.

        Comment



        • #5
          Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

          My concern about using any type of pnuematic casters would be that they will probably distort under load causing a shift in the load and the whole thing falling over. I would get heavy duty large diameter casters from someplace like Grizzly. They have some very large caster and I believe that I saw some with a rubber like tire around a steel wheel. Should stay stable even under load. I would also spread the load out as far as possible for stability. Good luck.
          Last edited by JMRuth72; February 28th, 2008, 01:02 PM. Reason: typos
          If my opinion offends you, ask yourself why? Personally I don't much care it is after all my opinion.

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

            The completed gantry will be adjustable from 9' to 14' high by 12' wide. The height will allow the I-beam to clear the canopy supports on top of the boat. The engine and trans sits amidships centered below these supports.
            The surface is old hard asphalt and it is level. I am sure the total weight will be less than half the weight rating of the gantry. I will need casters large enough to maneuver around the back of the boat and turn clearing the cockpit into the area next to the boat.

            "Your results may vary"

            Thundercraft in Progress
            http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=287390

            Tri-hull Wiring
            http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=448376

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

              If using pneumatic tires on a heavy load, I'd make sure it had some sort of landing gear to support the weight while lifting. The type of tires will be determined by the use at hand.
              I don't have the luxury of pavement all the time, so bigger tires are a must.
              I also don't use that gantry to lift much more than maybe a ton. So far it's been great, but I've only used it for light work so far.

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

                I got a few quotes together on my own as well as through the shop I work for to buy the materials to build the gantry. All of them were fairly close. The best is one I got through my company, it basically saves me the sales tax.
                For all the steel tubing, plate, channel and angle the cost will be $760.00 total. This does not include casters, a beam trolley or chain fall.
                I figure by the time I get finish paint on it and all the do-dads I will have under $1,000 in it.
                Allot of money I know. Trust me it is a major commitment for me. I get some solace from the fact that smaller gantries with less capacity start at about $1,800 and go up. I have been looking around for one for about three years now both locally and online and ones in my price range get snapped up quickly. If it becomes yard art after a few years I'll sell it. Only after I finish the boat and make some good side money doing jobs at home. I should still get a profit for it. These things are expensive.
                "Your results may vary"

                Thundercraft in Progress
                http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=287390

                Tri-hull Wiring
                http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=448376

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

                  My biggest problem here is that I have to disguise mine when not in use or lay it down. The city gets on my about having "unsightly" equipment in my yard. They also passed a local ordinance that technically bans all boats from residential yards here. (It also bans any commercial vehicle, which prevent me from parking my work truck here overnight legally).
                  I have mine partly disassembled right now, I hung a permanent cable loop in one tree that allows me to hoist it upright and reassemble mine in a hurry, I can have it up in about 10 minutes.

                  Its too big to keep inside, so it lays on set of steel saw horses I built covered with a green tarp and hidden by a row of bushes from the street. I've already been to court and won as far as the parking of boats here, but they keep trying either way. (The bottom line is that they can't stop you from parking any registered vehicle here that is in my name, so that eliminates only my work van. Which I normally park at my shop indoors for security purposes anyhow.

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

                    Wow, that sucks about the city ordinances. It is one of the many ways that I am getting of our government. If it is my property as long as it doesn't pose a health or fire risk then they should stick their nose elsewhere. I think that if I were you I would be driving around a little and see if any of the law enforcement officers drive their cars home at night like they do here. If they do I would take time stamped pictures a couple of hours apart and raise H#%%! with the city. Turn about is fair play. It is kinda like trying to ticket people for talking on a phone while driving, but you see them do it everyday. Anyway I digress, next!!!
                    If my opinion offends you, ask yourself why? Personally I don't much care it is after all my opinion.

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

                      I am very fortunate that I live just inside the county line here. That basically means I can do what I want as long as I don't hang a sign and call it a business. Also the flat area you can see in the pictures of my boat is next to, and behind, my house which sits on top of a high hill. Our house is the only thing visible from the street. You can barely see the tip end of the boat's bow from the bottom of the hill. The drive way curves to the back where we own all the property behind us.
                      (BTW backing the boat up that hill when I brought it home was a real comedy of errors, we ended up bringing in a 1-ton with 4 wheel drive to get it done)
                      My wife and I worked very hard for years to move to this area and we love it. My teenaged son is heavy into hot rodding and 4 wheel drives. We have had some of the worst messes up here you can imagine. My wife is very understanding as long as we close the shop door after midnight to keep the noise down.
                      I am just a gear head at heart.
                      "Your results may vary"

                      Thundercraft in Progress
                      http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=287390

                      Tri-hull Wiring
                      http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=448376

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

                        Originally posted by JMRuth72 View Post
                        Wow, that sucks about the city ordinances. It is one of the many ways that I am getting of our government. If it is my property as long as it doesn't pose a health or fire risk then they should stick their nose elsewhere. I think that if I were you I would be driving around a little and see if any of the law enforcement officers drive their cars home at night like they do here. If they do I would take time stamped pictures a couple of hours apart and raise H#%%! with the city. Turn about is fair play. It is kinda like trying to ticket people for talking on a phone while driving, but you see them do it everyday. Anyway I digress, next!!!
                        No city vehicles ever are allowed to be taken home, not even for lunch here.
                        I can't fault the local police, most of those guys would side with me if it came down to it.
                        The problem is with those in City Hall trying to raise taxes and assessed values. They think this is some sort of high end living area when all it is is former farm land that was built on 50 years ago.
                        It takes someone to complain, there's also an ordinance that restricts them from just driving around and handing out tickets. We have a few choice neighbors that don't like boats, trucks, dogs, cats, fences, cars older than year or two and anything they don't have. I've got two people here that walk the neighborhood just looking for things to complain about.
                        I have three vehicles, not counting my work truck that stays at my shop, and three boats, two that are currently registered and ready to use, and one project boat that sits out of sight, as well as two small freshwater boats and a canoe. I also have a small utility trailer and a 12' enclosed trailer. I used to have a camper but sold that a few years ago. The way I see it it's my yard, I pay the taxes, and I'll do with it as I please. It's not like I'm raising pigs or have rats running all over. I am self employed so I keep my own schedule as well, so it's not often that I am out late working on anything, usually if I have any serious work to get done, I haul it over to my shop were its heated and air conditioned. If I had the room there, I'd leave my boats there, but it's in an industrial area with too little traffic at night, I fear that would be too inviting to thieves. I try to keep everything inside overnight there. I tried to build a garage at my house, but they won't grant a permit since there's some ordinance stating that a 'garage' or out building must be 1500' away from any other 'garage' and that there needs to be 25' of open land on all sides of any out building and 15' from the property line.
                        They also only grant garage permits on an as needed basis, storage or toys is not a good reason to them. They don't legislate those drop in place buildings, so what I may do is plant two of them side by side, but that don't give me the ceiling height I need to bring a boat in or the gantry crane.

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Lorry Crane

                          Hi,

                          HMF products have the reputation of being one of the most durable and reliable brands in the market. I browsed a site about the lorry crane and loader crane. They are offering in different sizes and models. So if you are interested then you can land. You get more information from www.hmf-crane.co.uk.

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: Portable Gantry Crane Plans

                            Check out the Harbor Freight Tools gantry crane (yea I know, Chinese stuff) But, pretty beefy, 500lb cap., and adjustable height. You can't buy the amount of steel needed for that price, not to mention your labor. They have one on display in their Albany, NY store - more than enough for pulling a motor.

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Loader Crane

                              Hi,
                              Cranes used in the construction industry are mostly temporary structures either mounted on a vehicle which is built for the specific purpose of carrying the crane, or fixed to the ground. You can get more information from www.hmf-crane.co.uk.

                              Comment


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