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  1. #1
    Flywelder is offline Junior Member
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    May 2006
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    I feel it is time to build a jib crane for my truck, to aid me in repairs.
    But how should I start? What should i consider, and figure in?
    What do I not want to forget when building it?
    What should I use as the power source?
    Should It swing, and or travel on a track?
    How do i secure it during periods of Travel?
    What should I build it from?

    Has any one pictures of their Jib crane, they would share?
    What do you use to lift and turn over large and heavy projects for repair?

  2. #2
    macona's Avatar
    macona is offline Diamond
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    Jun 2006
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    How much do you want to lift?

  3. #3
    Flywelder is offline Junior Member
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    I am thinking along the lines of 500 to 1000 lbs.
    Flywelder.

  4. #4
    Gregg K is offline Cast Iron
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    Apr 2006
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    Mendocino, CA
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    Distance is very important. The distance from the boom turret to the object being lifted. Now I have a turret in the center of my bed. So that means I am automatically at least four feet from the boom center. 1000 pounds starts to look like a lot when you get out a ways. You may have your boom at one side of the bed. But the lifting location on some objects may be quite a distance from the boom. Worst case could be a boom in the center of the bed, and a part that has a lift four feet from the side of the truck. Now you're lifting 1000 pounds, for example, and it's 8 feet from the boom center. And trust me, four feet is like nothing. I have a 17 foot boom and it starts to look very short when the weights go up past 3000 pounds. And a turret winch is very handy.

  5. #5
    Disaster Area is offline Cast Iron
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    May 2005
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    35 miles North of the inception of Babbitt (Taunton, Massachusetts)
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    Flywelder,
    what make/model/year truck do you have?
    what is max vehicle load capacity?
    do you have dual wheels?

  6. #6
    Flywelder is offline Junior Member
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    I have a 1989 Ford F150
    capacity : 1/2 ton
    no dual wheels, no four wheel drive.
    Wished I had dual wheels! Have had moments when wished I had an F250 or F350!

  7. #7
    jackalope is offline Titanium
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    Oct 2004
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    St. Peters, MO
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    In order to have a "useful" JIB crane on your truck, you really need a more substantial "base".
    You're going to want a truck that has a wider stance (dually wheels) as well as a heavier duty suspension that will be able to handle a load (3/4ton minimum).
    Four wheel drive is not needed BUT it sure is better esp. if you are finding yourself off pavement.
    Given what you currently DO have, I would only use a very small rated crane. Less than 1,ooo lb. You would have to reinforce the bed substantially as well as make the crane's boom rather short. Too much leverage hanging off the side of a medium duty truck is going to torque the snot out of things (susp., sheetmetal, frame, etc)
    I would honestly avoid using your F150 as a base for a crane. Just not enough "beef".

    ps. I have a new Duramax Chevy. It is the 2500HD. It is not a dually. I still feel this truck is not quite up to the task of a JIB crane. The dually wheels and 1ton suspension is much better candidate IMO.

  8. #8
    Marshall Henderson is offline Hot Rolled
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    Jun 2006
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    Dallas Center, Iowa
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    For a 1/2 ton pickup I think that a "Gin Pole" set up would be the most that you could really use. Use a pair of tubes/pipes mounted to some type of quick connects on each side of the bumper or flatbed(not sure if pick up box or flatbed). Use wire rope from top of gin pole to front of bed and connected there to the frame.
    By planning ahead you could make something that is easily set up and stored.
    Of course you would not be able to swing side to side, but at least you could lift. "Lugall" brand come alongs would be the ticket for the lifting part.
    Just an an idea.
    Marshall

  9. #9
    12,000 Doors is offline Plastic
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    Apr 2006
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    Jersey shore
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    If you type "in bumper crane" into a search engine you can get plenty of choices to buy or ideas for something to fabricate.

  10. #10
    Joe Michaels is offline Titanium
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    Shandaken, NY, USA
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    I have designed a number of jib cranes, gantries and similar over the years. There are a few major factors to consider here: foremost to me is the Stability of the crane. This starts at the base- the type of truck chassis it is mounted on and the type outriggers used are the determining factor here. You do not say what type body is on the truck. With a light truck, a "mechanic's body" (toolbox type body) and a jib, IMO, you should design a set of outriggers and locate the jib at the junction between the back of the body & the rear bumper. This gives the greatest distance from the center of jib to the center-of-gravity of the truck. That is what is going to keep the truck's front axle ont he grund when you start picking loads.

    Preliminary Design of the crane can be a kind of bass-ackwards affair. You have a truck, you know its dimensions and weight. It is a very light-duty truck, so things are going to be critical in terms of stability and flexing the frame of the truck vs. jib capacity. Possibly you can get it to a truck scale and weigh the front and rear axles spearately if possible. This will give you the weight distribution. Figure where you want to situate the crane and figure the approximate radius from the center of the jib out to the hook. Figure the "countering moment" made by the engine, cab, body and any other equipment on the truck acting about the center of the jib. Consider the outriggers of the jib as planted on solid ground. In effect, the load on the hook of the crane creates a moment which wants to lift the truck by pivoting it about the outriggers/center of jib. The countering moment = the weight of the truck (you will need to get the center of gravity of the truck based on engine, cab, etc) x distance from C.G. of the truck to the center of the outriggers/center of jib. This will give you a moment in foot-pounds. Now you have to decide which is more important to you: available lifting capacity or distance from the center of jib. If you pick a load, divide the countering moment by the load you need to pick and you will have the allowable radius of your jib.

    OK, now you have determined what capacity you can pick and at what radius. This is predicated on your having a solid, straight load path from the post of the jib down into the outriggers, and the outriggers on solid ground. You are transferring the load from the post of your jib straight down intot he outriggers, and relying ont he weight of the truck to act as a counterweight to the load out on the jib. You have established loads and distances, so you can then design the structural members. Start with the jib boom, then the post, then the beam which will transfer the load to the outriggers. Add bracingin the form of gussets.

    A few details: Power is typically a 12 volt winch for the main hoist on small jibs. If you want to get fancy, you can arrange for the jib boom to riase/lower using a hydraulic cylinder, similar to an engine hoist. On a small jib, if you do add a boom lift, you could use an engine hoist type cylinder and manual jack pump. Or, you can use a 12 volt snowplow type hydraulic pump with solenoid valves. You will need a pendant type controller for the winch and boom lift (if you power the boom lift).

    You have a very light truck, so can;t build too heavy a jib for it. I would not recommend you have the hoist rolling on the jib boom (arm).
    Design a positive lock on the swivel for the jib on its post. A clamping mechanism is good as it can hold the boom and put varying friction on the swivel so you can turn the load manually and slowly. Provide a positive lock with a pin for travelling with the truck- that way, the boom can't swing in transit.

    To lock things for travel: mount an eyebolt- use a forged steel shouldered eyebolt- on some solid part of the truck body. Locate the eyebolt so it is under the hook of the jib and the lines are plumb or close to it. Fishplate the eyebolt so it does not pull out. Put a shackle in the eyebolt that can accomodate the hok of the hoist. To travel with the truck, you simply hook onto the eyebolt and take strain ont he hoistline with the winch.

    Hope this helps- call it the ramblings of an oldtime engineer.
    Joe Michaels

  11. #11
    sandiapaul is offline Stainless
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    After you build it please do remember the extra height you have. A friend with a fab shop built one for a cutomer. On the way home from picking it up at the shop he hit a low bridge!

  12. #12
    LD
    LD is offline Senior Member
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    Outriggers can be built to hide behind your bumper on each side. Similar to a hitch receiver only sidways. We put a jib crane on an old ford flat bed last year and had to hide most stuff for aesthetics. You know old hot-rodders, it needs to function and look pretty too.

    Don't forget to use a bottle jack or hydraulic/electric extension for the outriggers. Remember, once you have a load in the bed, you now have that load directly on the outrigger legs.

  13. #13
    moe1942 is offline Aluminum
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    Jan 2005
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    Alexandria, La
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    I have a Western Mule bumper crane on my 79 chevy 3/4 ton with flat bed. It will lift 1350 lbs and works great. Stores in its own bumper when not in use..

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