Gantry Crane

drewpster

Commander
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
2,059
I have a co-worker who has a gantry he built to remove semi-truck engines at his home. I have not seen it yet but he said it is made of I-beam and is set in the ground with concrete. He has it for sale. I was thinking of buying it and welding lower supports and casters to it to use around here.
I pretty sure this thing is overbuilt and probably large. My concern is that it will be too much for my needs.
I need a gantry that is high enough to clear the deck of my boat on stands to pull the engine. (10 feet+) The deck, as it sits on stands, is about 7 feet off the ground. I need the additional height to clear the deck with the engine and trans suspended from the gantry. I also need the gantry to be movable as moving the boat is not an easy option.
I am having trouble deciding if I should go ahead and get the gantry or hire a boom truck to come in and do the job. The cost of buying the gantry would not be much more than the fee for the boom truck. (buddy deal) The only additional cost would be the steel needed to build bases and casters. I would love to have a gantry, but I am thinking the boom truck would be more practical. What would you do? Would a lighter built gantry be better considering the weight, or would a heavier gantry be better considering the height? Get a truck? Hmmm, gonna be a challenge either way.:confused:
 

jtexas

Fleet Admiral
Joined
Oct 13, 2003
Messages
8,646
Re: Gantry Crane

too big???? are you kiddin me?
let's see, tough choice.....buy one big honkin tool.....rent a truck......big honkin tool.......truck rental........
(you didn't mention space as a potential problem)
 

drewpster

Commander
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
2,059
Re: Gantry Crane

Yes I said too big. The gantry he has for sale was used to pull an engine that weighs allot more than a gas V-8 even with the trans. I can get it cheap but as it sits in the ground now he figures the height of it around 18 feet. That's Big! Probably too big for what I need. Space is not a big issue, but it is a consideration.
The point is, I can get this gantry, but I know its overbuilt for my needs. Should I pass it up and just hire a truck for a couple of hours?
 

tashasdaddy

Honorary Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
51,019
Re: Gantry Crane

what other uses do you have for it? it becomes another project, and will take time away from the boat.
 

erikgreen

Captain
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
3,105
Re: Gantry Crane

I've personally been thinking about building either an oversize engine lift or a gantry.

If it was me, I'd get it, because I have friends with larger boats who sometimes need to pull their engines. I also hope someday to have a really large boat. But, that's me, not you.

If this thing is in the ground now, you could shorten it for your use, just cut it off at the bottom.

Remember though, it will take time away from you working on the boat.. at least a few hours until you can use it for your engine.

Harbor freight sells a rolling gantry that's up to about 12 feet tall for something like $550 when it's on sale. I drool over it when I go by there.

Erik
 

lmannyr

Master Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
815
Re: Gantry Crane

Here is the "Lmannyr Crane"

70 bucks in wood.

50 bucks in a hoist.

2 hours to put it together.

30 minutes of use.

All taken apart to possibly expand my house next year.
 

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Petty Officer 1st Class
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
Messages
367
Re: Gantry Crane

Ain't nutin like a new tool!!!
 

drewpster

Commander
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
2,059
Re: Gantry Crane

TD, My son is planning to start his Jeep project in November. (Body off, rock crawler w/ modified drive train, 9"Ford diffs, lockers ect..) so that would be a use. Am always doing side work as well. So I would find a use for it, it is the size of it that makes me nervous.
I can do what Imannyr suggests in his post, but I am concerned about the height of the deck from the ground. 10 foot 4x4rs ? hmmm.
The span is a bit wide as well, over 8 feet plus clearance for the legs makes it at least 10'. I guess the top 4x4 could be trussed.
And, I can get this mega gantry for about what he has in wood for his setup. Space is becoming a factor as well. I just think the thing is too big.
Plus I'm broke.......
 

reelfishin

Captain
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
3,026
Re: Gantry Crane

If its too tall or too big, you could always cut it down before mounting the wheels on it. If you make it portable you could also sell it when your done with it.
I have both a gantry crane and a large engine crane. I use the gantry crane for taller boats as well as for removing a boat from a trailer. I got mine for free, it was built for use at a horse farm, it's made of 5' round tubing with a double 6 1/2" I beam on top with a slide and chain hoist. It stands 13' tall and is about 12' wide. It comes apart fairly easily for storage and I've lifted 2000+ pounds with it. It has four industrial roller casters which are mounted on triangle supports at the bottom half of each upright. Its very stable and can be rolled with weight on it on good concrete. I wouldn't part with it for any amount of money, it's been too useful and it don't take up much space when it's apart. I think it's original purpose was to lift of horses, I found it in an abandoned barn in a horse stall along with a sling which looked like it was most likely for horses.
 

bassboy1

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Messages
1,879
Re: Gantry Crane

We are thinking of building one too. We are still kicking ourselves for not getting the one at the scrap yard last year.
But, you will probably want it big enough to lift a boat. Ours is gonna be something like 11 feet high, and ten feet wide. so it straddles our shop roll up door, and still fits under the deck above.
 

lmannyr

Master Chief Petty Officer
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
815
Re: Gantry Crane

I built my crane using 4" X 4" X 12' wood. My transome is a little more than 8 feet.

When the engine was up and clear of the boat, I pulled the boat foward. Then lowered the engine, and put it on the engine stand.

Good Luck, and BE SAFE!!!
 
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