So it looks like SWMBO has agreed to a trip to missouri to get some big
iron. I figure I'll get the largest open flatbed that uhaul has and
pull it with my half-ton van. I believe those trailers have a 3000#
capacity. That should be enough. What I can't figure out yet is how
to unload the trailer when I get home.
The best thing I can think of is to buy an engine hoist, chains, and
some heavy nylon straps. I should be able to wrap the straps around
the crates and pick up the machines while still on the pallets. I
could also use this technique to get the machines off the pallets and
onto mobile bases, or heavy parts onto machine bases. And since I do
my own car repairs, I wouldn't mind having one anyway.
The only other thing I can think of is to unhitch the trailer, put a
jack under the tongue and raise the front of the trailer so that the
back is lower. These trailers are really low, and it wouldn't take
much of an angle to make the back of the trailer touch the garage
floor. Then I could use a come-along or something to pull the pallet
off the trailer. That doesn't help me in assembly though.
I also thought about renting something, like a bobcat with a forklift
attachment. I haven't looked into the cost of this, but I bet it will
cost as much as the engine hoist.
Does anyone else have any creative ideas to help unload this stuff? In
getting the tools off the trailer, time is of the essence. But
assembly can take longer if need-be.
Pieces of pipe used as rollers will allow you to move heavy stuff
I've unloaded heavy machinery from a truck by rolling it off onto
cribbing made up of wooden beams, two bys, etc. Then lowering by
jacking it up and removing wood from alternate sides until it's on the
ground. Not something I'd do with something with a high center of
gravity or small footprint, though.
Just how heavy of items are you talking about?
I unloaded my 1023SL (450 lbs?) by myself and put it on the mobile base as
well. I'm 5'7". I found I didn't have to lift anything. It's all about
leverage and sliding the item vs. trying to lift it. I certainly don't
know your situation so your mileage may vary of course. Another thing to
do is usually the tools have heavy accessories packed inside (ie. cast iron
wings etc..). By splitting the shipment up when you get home, you can then
have more manageable weights. Good Luck!
When I bought my 1023 used, a friend and I took the fence off, took the
top and wings off, took the motor off and I went home by myself. Now,
I'm still spry and don't have a bad back, but the worst part was the
cabinet/trunnion and I just bear-hugged it and set it on the ground.
If you've got even one person to help, I don't think it would be too
much of a problem to just hurry up and unload the stuff (bad back
At any rate, a dolly wouldn't be a bad purchase and would certainly
give you a huge advantage. Good luck.
I rented a U-haul with a liftgate when I picked up
my 1023SL in January. IIRC it cost around $75 -
I only had it for a couple of hours, but of course
they charge by mileage and you have to bring it
back filled with diesel.
Worked out pretty well tho - SWMBO & I did it
with no problems.
I did it this way because the freight company could
not get close enough to our garage (which is at the
top of a long, steep driveway) and they wanted $50 for
simply liftgating down to the curb.
If you are driving a long distance, it may not be
worth it, but that liftgate sure is nice.
on 4/13/2005 10:36 AM brianlanning said the following:
You've gotten some good tips thus far, Brian but consider these:
Next time you're in Rockler's or Woodcraft, ask them how they manage.
I'm with Cubby. "Divide and conquer" and slide and tilt, don't lift.
Getting the crate to the garage floor should be no problem. Is the
floor smooth? Epoxied? My garage floor is very smooth and surfaced
with some sort of urethane clear finish. Shop floor is just smooth,
hard concrete (for now). I would take a chance with some of those
teflon moving pads you see in the hardware store, etc. They come in all
sizes and four of the 5" or 6" diameter ones should work like a charm.
I've not tried them on concrete yet but I have used them to nudge
refrigerators, etc. on carpet, plywood subfloor, tile, etc. They work
great. Would be much easier than the rolling pipe suggestion offered IF
the concrete is smoothly finished.
Also, consider renting an appliance dollie from the local rental shed.
They are rated for around 700lbs which should cover your needs nicely.
You MIGHT even get lucky and find one like this:
A dollie with a manually pumped hydraulic lift platform.
Whatever you do, don't let SWMBO get hurt helping you. She's a keeper.
There's damn few out there as supportive of our addict..., er, hobby,
as that. I got one, you've got one -- that's about it for NE Illinois,
I'll see if I can rent one of these manual forklift replacements.
She was on the weightlifting team in high school. I'm probably more
likely to get hurt than she is. My back isn't so great these days. A
lot of my friends seem to have the same problem. That's why I'm
looking for a tool to help out rather than an army of people.
I think she thinks I'm nuts. But I'm supportive of her goals so I
think she's trying to reciprocate. I tried to get the trip moved up a
month or so, but she wants to go down there in july. I'm still torn
about the grizzly tent sale. If I forego the tent sale, I can go as
soon as the kids are out of school. The timing is probably right. I
need time to prepare the new shop anyway.
None of that stuff is necessary. I have a bad back too AND my garage floor is
just plain old concrete. The driveway is gravel with a "L" in it that has to be
negotiated: that's why I didn't pursue the liftgate option. The reality of
moving the really heavy stuff was much better than my worried mind had imagined.
Rent, hell! You can buy a 500 lb dolly at the borg for $40. It's enough to do
what he needs done and then he has something he probably ought to own anyway.
I have a hand-truck with 10" inflatable tires. What do you think the
weight capacity is on it? I worry about it though because I was moving
tile boxes not too long ago and it didn't seem able to hold much.
Take a look through the Grainger catalog and see if you can match it.
Capacities run from about 300-800 pounds depending on the model. With 10"
wheels I'd expect it to be on the heavy-duty end but what I expect and what
is true are not always the same.
On 13 Apr 2005 10:40:28 -0700, the inscrutable "brianlanning"
They're rated for 600 lbs and I've had 500 on one, so I know they'll
do it. I got the HF model on sale for $20 and have adored it. It makes
SO much difference over any other wheel style. I can lift 200 lbs up a
short set of stairs on it without any trouble. They're just loverly.
Hint: Air up the tires before each use. The Chinese schrader valves
don't retain air as well as they should.
VIRTUE...is its own punishment
http://www.diversify.com Website Applications
After I got my 460lb saw liftgated to the garage floor, I
used a dolly (Sears 500lb capacity, pneumatic tires) to
move it into my basement which is adjacent to the garage
and where my shop is. There was one step-up to negotiate.
I made a step with some 2x4's and it was no problem.
I also fretted over this a lot before I actually got the saw.
It was a lot easier than I ever thought it was going to be. If
you balance the load carefully, it moves fairly easily.
A dolly will do ya in my opinion also.
You can rent a manual forklift/hoist. They have forks just like a
forklift but just a set of wheels much like an engine hoist. There is a
tower with a hand crank much like a winch.
These are typically agile enough you can use them on the truck/trailer
to move the items around and then off load them from the ground too.
Take off all the straps, back up fast and hit the brakes. :-) Assembly
is almost assured to take longer.
Seriously though, if the machines are comming with 'some assembly
required', you could probably unpack the crates while they're on the
trailer and use a small two wheel cart to move the large pieces around.
I can certainly understand why you might do this but you're probably making this
harder than you need to. I have in the last six months or so purchased both an
18" bandsaw and an 8" jointer, both of which were then loaded into standard
pickup truck beds. Nothing hung out the back... but then again, it was one tool
at a time. The bandsaw was the bigger of the two, with a crate roughly the size
of a cheap coffin.
Getting them into my garage without damaging anything was easy enough, even
though we are talking about 400-500 lbs here. All you need to do is back the
truck barely into the doorway of the garage, then you and one other guy slide it
out of the bed of the truck until it's almost ready to fall out. The two of you
tip it and guide it carefully to the floor. Gravity and leverage will provide
most of the heavy grunt work. Once you've got it onto the floor, then scoot it
across the floor by swinging the edge back and forth (heel-ball, heel-ball, so
to speak). It's much easier if the smallest possible footprint is on the floor
when you do this. A dolly makes it easy if you have one.
Open your box, measure the footprint of the tool, then assemble the mobile base
before you go any further. Walk the tool onto the mobile base the same way you
walked the crate across the room. Once you've got the tool's base on the mobile
base, it all gets easy from there.
My biggest dread was how to get the deck of that big assed jointer up onto the
base and it turned out to be really easy. As it was, the deck was part of an
assembly that raised the edges of the deck about 6" or more off the ground.
That created plenty of room to get your fingers under it without worrying about
getting them squashed. Also, it raised the machinery enough for two of us to
easily lift it without ruining our backs.
You don't need any heavy or specialized equipment beyond the dolly. I found
heavy straps for the dolly to be a plus. You will need a friend but one extra
guy is all you really do need. More than that and the beer starts getting
Oh, yeah... never offer beer until the machine's put together. You'll get much
better results... trust me. <G>
(1) Look in the yellow pages under "gymnasiums" or "physical fitness".
(2) Visit each until you find the body building or powerlifting gym (gyms
have different clienteles--you want the one where the Governator wannabees
hang out, not the one where the yuppies are trying to stay young). Find a
guy behind a counter, explain your problem, mention beer and/or
money--don't be stingy.
(3) Arrange time and place with your new acquaintaces, most of whom will be
physically imposing in appearance, possibly scary looking, quite pleasant
once you get past appearances, and capable in the collective if not
individually of picking up the fully laden trailer and carrying it wherever
you want it carried.
I'm worried about you, dude. Seriously. When you broached the subject
before about going to the tent sale, you got some answers that
included the prospect of standing in line at 0400 (not in itself
crippling) and having twenty people fighting over two or three of an
I've never been to one of those sales, but I can imagine what it must
be like. I envision you having in mind a half dozen items in mind to
buy, but I suspect the reality of the situation is you will be lucky
to lay claim to one, maybe two of the sale items. You just can't be in
all the places you need to be at the same time.
But you're making a fairly big financial committment (trailer rentals
ain't all that cheap, and gas definitely isn't, and don't think your
trailer pulling isn't going to use even more) on the prospect of MAYBE
saving a few dollars. Is it even worth it? I recognize you're going to
be in the area anyway, so that cuts some of the costs.
Good luck in any event.
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