# Adding a hoist to my garage ceiling. How much weight can I safely hoist?

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• posted on January 29, 2015, 3:11 am
I want to put an electric hoist in my garage in order to hoist a fifth wheel hitch onto the bed of my pickup. How can I determine how much weight my ceiling beams can handle?
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• posted on January 29, 2015, 5:00 am
On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 04:44:01 +0000, Fred

Math.
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• posted on January 29, 2015, 6:05 am
Gordon Shumway wrote:

Well that was certainly helpful !
It depends on how your "ceiling beams" are constructed . Is it truss construction ? Easiest way to tell is look for small galvanised steel plates at joints . How much does your 5th wheel hitch weigh ? You might be best served by buying a cherry-picker engine hoist .
--
Snag

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<%-name%>
• posted on January 29, 2015, 6:53 am
Fred wrote:

Hi, If this is one time use for that, rent an engine hoist. My hitch was modular not in one piece when I towed 7000 lbs. fiver.
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• posted on January 29, 2015, 7:15 am
On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 04:44:01 +0000, Fred

If these are engineered trusses, that number is really pretty small if you are just hanging n the bottom chords. Typically they are only rated at 2 # per sq/ft, just enough to carry sheetrock and insulation.
If you have a steel support beam you can hang some weight from that but only a few hundred pounds. The header over the garage door may be the strongest point if you don't have a beam. That is where I put my hoist point for handling engines.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 29, 2015, 11:16 am
On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 04:44:01 +0000, Fred

You dont give enough information to expect a useful answer. What is the garage ceiling structure made from? How much weight are you lifting? What is the width (span) of the ceiling? and more.....
But I'll say this much. I wouldn't trust any standard garage framing to even lift a car engine. I knew a mechanic years ago, who put a solid steel I-beam across his garage ceiling, just for car engine removals and installs. This steel beam was not only sitting on top of that garage walls, but he had some 6x6 timbers under the ends of the beam as well, and the beam was bolted to them and the wall with thick angle iron brackets. The beam (garage width) was probably 16 or 18 feet.
I recall him telling me about some guy who had an engine fall on him, and collapsing part of the garage roof too. Why risk it?
A garage roof is just that, A ROOF! It's not made for lifting heavy stuff.
I still remember when I was a kid, and my dad put some plywood sheets across the 2x6 joists in his garage. (These 2x6s were spaced 4 feet apart). He put 3 or 4 bundles of spare shingles up there and some other stuff. One day one of those 2x6s just split, (by a knot), and the garage door would not open because the broken joist was hanging too low. He quickly got a post under the broken joist, then I helped him sister another 2x6 to the broken one. After the shingles were removed from up there, the ceiling was jacked up back to being level. Then he added 4 more 2x6s under that plywood loft. The shingles were never put back up there, they got a "home" on the concrete garage floor, in a corner.
He was lucky the whole thing didn't fall on his car!
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• posted on January 29, 2015, 1:07 pm
On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:16:33 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

I put 1/2" plywood sheets on the 2x6 joists in my garage too. My son had 4 car rims/tires he put up there until I noticed the sag in a joist after a about a year, so I made him get rid of them. Only keep light stuff up there, like Christmas decorations and a bicycle. And those are kept near the walls. Don't use the joists for hoisting.
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• posted on January 29, 2015, 2:43 pm
On 01/29/2015 07:07 AM, Vic Smith wrote:

yeah
If the hitch is too heavy to lift by hand, then it would be too heavy for typical garage joists to handle, maybe something like this would do:
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 29, 2015, 8:16 pm

If this is just a one time thing to install that hitch, why not just rent something to lift it, or find several guys to help and treat them for helping. Or maybe you have soemone nearby with a tractor and loader....
If you need to do this often, spend the money and install a steel beam or rig something to lift it from the floor.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 30, 2015, 4:25 pm

The weight of the cherry picker and the load it's holding concentrates on six rather small, skimpy wheels. There are even circular cutouts in the wheels between the rim and the inner hub, to skimp on a fraction of a cent's worth of plastic. (I don't know for a fact if they are really plastic.) I wonder what that highly concentrated pounds/square inch load would do to the floor.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 30, 2015, 4:39 pm
On 01/30/2015 10:25 AM, Rebel1 wrote: ...

Talking 250-300 lb or so total weight for the hitch I'd venture...more than a single guy wants to lift but dividing by (roughly) six it's not much load per wheel, even when dividing out the wheel bearing area wouldn't be terribly high loading for a concrete slab...
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• posted on January 31, 2015, 3:29 am

IIRC, they are made from compacted pigeon guano, mixed with black dye.
I agree that they should make the pigions eat a litte more and then the wheels could be made stronger.

JK
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 29, 2015, 9:33 pm
On Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 10:44:05 PM UTC-6, Fred wrote:

I think this is something 2 people can lift...so maybe put a 4X4 piece of lumber across 2 trusses? Attach the hoist to the middle of the 4X.
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• posted on January 29, 2015, 10:15 pm
On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:33:49 -0800 (PST), bob_villa

You could always go the route of adding a 2X10 on each side of the exixting truss on 2 trusses, and then put 2 2X8s between those two trusses, on top of the 2X10s. Bolt the 2X10s through the existing truss, and extend them over both walls.. This is assuming a single width garage (no more than 12 feet) Buttering the existing truss member with PL would give a bit more strength as well.
I have a "mezzanine" above my garage door - I spiked 2X6 to the studs of both side walls and the front wall, and then spikes another 2X6 across the ends of the wall mounted 2X6, then put more 2X6s in at 16 inch centers lenthwize, leaving a space in the center. I put 2 4X8 sheets of 1.2" G1S plywood on top, screwed down every 10 inches or so. On the studs closest to each end of the side stringers I spiked 1 foot long 2X6 vertically with 4 spikes each for extra support. I've likely got 350 lps on each side, biased towards the wall more than the center opening asnd over 20 years the center may have sagged 1/4 inch or so.
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• posted on January 30, 2015, 1:17 am
On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:33:49 -0800 (PST), bob_villa

The more I think about this, it's just a rather heavy steel plate with a hitch ball on the middle. If this is the case, all he really needs is a friend or two to help lift the thing. Notmally they are bolted in place on a truck, and stay there permanently. If I'm correct about what this thing is, I think the OP is making a mountain out of a molehill, when Ll he neeeds are a few guys to lift it.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 30, 2015, 9:24 am
On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:17:07 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

+1
(Except of course, what good is doing something if it's not an occaion to buy new tools, etc.) ?
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• posted on January 30, 2015, 4:01 pm
snipped-for-privacy@spamblocked.com wrote:

Hi, OP mentioned fifth wheel hitch. You are talking about goose neck hitch.
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<%-name%>
• posted on January 30, 2015, 4:11 pm

I've heard those two terms used interchangably. A lot of farmers call the hitches they put on their pickup trucks for gooseneck stock trailers a FIFTH WHEEL HITCH. And then there are those huge pads that are always covered with grease, used on Semi Trucks.... Which I've also heard to be "Fifth Wheel"....
I know the difference, but the wording does not seem to be standard.... Which does the OP have???? I dotn know..... A weblink picture would help.
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• posted on January 30, 2015, 4:19 pm
On Friday, January 30, 2015 at 10:02:15 AM UTC-6, Tony Hwang wrote:

These are listed as a 207lb base...does that sound like a lot?
http://www.turnoverball.com/products/rvhitch/companion-slider-5th-wheel-hitch
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• posted on January 30, 2015, 8:36 pm
bob_villa wrote:

Hi, Exactly. similar I used to have when I had my fiver. Being modular I could have it slide off the cargo box bed or install it back easily. I had Ford F250HD towing special with 460 cid engine. This thing never over heated driving around in the Rockies in dead summer. I am wondering what kinda hitch OP has needing a hoist.