Advice needed on moving lathe via tilting wrecker
I am taking delivery of my first lathe for personal use, a 5500 lb 16x54 Hendey lathe circa 1941 this Friday. The lathe is 10 ft long, 32" wide and 5' tall at the headstock.
The cheapest way for me to get it here is an automobile wrecker with a tilting truck bed.
I will be bolting on wooden rails to increase stability.
I imagine the wrecker will tilt the deck, attach the cable to the lathe somewhere and winch it onto the bed. At my end, repeat in reverse.
What should the cable attach to for best stability while pulling and avoid damage to the lathe?
I can build a skid for it, but I am not sure what it should look like, or the sizes of the wood required.
Should the cable go around the rails? I'm really not sure.
I'm also looking for any cautionary tales to warn me of pitfalls.
My current best idea is to put crosswise rails about 8' long and 2 more about 10' long front to back, all bolted together with 1/2" threaded rod. That way I've got sliding rails, but also a very wide footprint left to right for stability.
Rails are 8"x8" nominal dimensional lumber
Last edited by katou; 07-10-2012 at 10:38 PM.
Reason: Spec rail size
Your skid idea is a good start. Cut a 45* angle on each end of the long ways ones . Ideally the pull would be on the cross bar of the skid.
A roll back will work fine. you need to do everything possible to prevent it tipping over, lathes have a very high center of gravity and you will do major damage if it does. You will need a way to pull it off when unloading as it may not want to slide off if you have it on a skid. 8"x8" are probably overkill. I would think 4 4"x4" lengthwise, 2 under the lathe and 2 out at the ends of the cross rails. 8' may be to long, find out how wide the roll back is.
Make sure the tailstock is tightened down, you will be real pissed off if it falls off. Make sure the machine is properly strapped down, the way they hold a car is not good enough.
First, pick a towing company with experience in moving machines. there's quite a few out there. The easiest way to set things up is to get two pallets to place under the headstock and under the far pillar. Rent a couple of pallet jacks- it'll make loading the machine easier and unloading possible-the pallets won't want to slide. The driver should know how to secure the load. If what he has in mind doesn't seem safe, get a rigger instead. It'll be more expensive, but your machine will arrive intact. You'll thank yourself you have those pallet jacks when you find out how easy moving the beast is.
A 15 minute job here with the right equipment, no skid and an operator with lots of experience. 7100 lbs 13 feet long, with problematic broken leg that gave him no problem:
Coming Home pictures by johnoder - Photobucket
My machine shop Some good pictures here of A bomb preparing a skid for a similar size Monarch. ---Trevor
Most roll back wreckers seem to have railings at 96" wide. 92" or 93" is as wide as you comfortably want to go. It seems there are 10 trucks with rails for every one truck without rails.
i just moved my 16x60 macdougal lathe. the guy came with a 950 cat loader with a boom on it. reached into my little shop , picked it up backed out and put it on a car hauler type trailer. took 1/2 hour. took it off the same way on the other end. this old lathe weighs 7300+ lbs. just get a good operator and you can do it easy. oh yes, i replaced that big old lathe with a southbend 9a circa 1947. cheers.
I suggest that you use good solid timbers for skidding. I moved a similar 5,000+ LB lathe and made the mistake of using perforated beams intended for burial since they were seasoned and dry. It was a mistake. The perf beams are inclined to fracture. Get good ol' fir that is dry and not left outside in the weather as wet wood bends a lot and absolutely stay away from treated wood. Make your skid excessively wide as most moving accidents seem to happen when the lathe topples over sideways. Lathes have a high center of gravity and like to take a little nap if not supported sideways.
When I moved my HLVH and Excello mill, we hoisted them up from steel rollers onto the tilt bed by winching from the mid-height on each using a sling. Bringing them down was the same thing but in reverse. We let out the winch slack little at a time while a couple guys pushed the machine slowly down. Grease the truck bed with WD40 to help it slide easily. We dropped them down onto the steel rollers and slowly rolled them into place.
Of course, these machines are under 3,000 lbs each though.
Certainly second the provision for side stabilization. Good idea for loading, ESSENTIAL idea for transport. Curves in the road, emergency evasive moves... shit happens.
Originally Posted by rhoward
As to wood. Southern Yellow Pine has almost identical strength to Oak, and is easier to find and at least a bit cheaper in the right lumberyards. Both are WAY stronger than the common 'white wood'.
I only have one piece of advice.
Don't ever let the operator remove the winch cable until it is 100% off the bed. Moved my B&S#2 on a rollback and the operator wanted to take the cable off when it was almost down - I told him not to - he didn't - and sure enough it decided to slide fast at the bottom and the cable may have prevented a nasty fall. Operator looked at me with wide eyes and just said "good call".
I have had a large lathe moved with a tilt bed. Make sure the truck has a SMOOTH steel bed,not a diamond tread. The last time I had a 6000#+ lathe moved,they sent a diamond tread wrecker in spite of my request. They had a helluva time getting the lathe to slide off.
Many years ago, I built a trailer so I could move most of my own equipment - built like the proverbial brick phone booth. The basic frame is 4" channel, with 4" cross stringers, 1/4" steel sides with a heavy angle welded at the top for load binders and a 2" timber wood deck. Deck height is only about 16". Combine that with a Porta-Power tilt bed, and a lot of what I move becomes very simple. 95% of the time, it hauls lumber and lawn stuff, but when I need to move some iron, it does the trick.
Do they call roll back trucks "tilting wreckers" in Canada ? I remember driving all over the UK back in the late '80's and being amazed at seeing zero roll back trucks the whole trip. Tempted me to drop the business I was in, move over there and "introduce" the concept of a roll back lorry to the blokes
I think they are tilting cherry pickers that also roll back.