Arm for loading/unloading van

I am looking for suggestions as to something I can fabricate to load and
unload 30-50kg (~110lb) weight/bags from my van.
On occassions I need to bring home bags of concrete mix, blood and bone,
lime, gypsum, etc and these weigh 35+kg, which is getting to be the
limit of my ability to lift and due to diabetic complications, could
also cause other problem.
Sadly I don't have a grand daughter, and even if I did, OH&S prohibits
the young blokes at the hardware store from showing off and loading
these for me (25kg max). Plus all these bags weigh as much as my willing
helpers at the other end.
So, I'm looking for a van roof or floor mount device (that I can
construct) that will swing out out, lift bag, swing back in and lower
Ideas welcome.
Reply to
Terry Collins
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For that I use the carry-all on my tractor as a power tailgate.
Reply to
Nick Hull
Alas, I don't have one of those {:-), but I would dearly love the land to justify it. Of course, it seems just a tad extreme to hitch up the car float to take the tractor to the hardware store to perform this action.
I'm thinking that my other option is just to build a ramp for a hand trolley.
Reply to
Terry Collins
Pretty simple thing to build, but installing can be a bit tricky. You will need to anchor it either to a large plate on the floor of the van or to the frame of the van. If you had a towing hitch reciever on the bumper you could simply have it removable.
50 kg is pretty light for a transome arm, so it would only need a simple cable winch.
The simplest mount would be a plate on the floor of the van, about 1 meter x 1 meter square.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
Don't Harbor Fright and Northern Tools etc sell a winch powered swinging crane for use in a pick up? Could one of these be modified to work? They look something like this....
Reply to
Pete Snell
You might find that one of these hitch mounted platforms is low enough to the ground that you can handle it yourself.
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Item # 330249
Terry Coll> I am looking for suggestions as to something I can fabricate to load and
Reply to
That would probably be simplest. At the opposite end, you could see if any wheelchair lifts are sitting around at the local scrapyard, and put one of those on the van, but they take up space and cost quite a bit, even if you can find one in a scrapyard.
With a van, for these small loads, I'd be inclined to put a small rail on the inside of the roof, arranged to slide in so the door can be closed, and to slide out to pick up a load. Have a small traveller that runs on the rail, and a block & tackle hung from that. Open the rear door, slide out the rail, pull the traveler out to the end of the rail, hook the load, hoist, roll the traveller into the van, drop the load, slide the rail in, close the door.
You could also make the rail fixed, and have a hinged section which folds up onto the van roof for storage and door closing, folds down to meet the inside rail for hoisting, but that seems more complicated.
If you're sticking to 35-40 kg per load, I'd think the van roof structure would be plenty to support this by itself.
Reply to
My personal opinion is that if you cannot lift these bags at all, it is best not to buy them. For pretty much any method of moving them around, you need to first lift them to hoist them etc.
A second thought would be to buy these items at places where someone can put them on a pallet and load the pallet into your van (I assume that you have a van suitable for it). That takes care of loading.
For unloading, you can construct various contraptions on casters, or use hand trucks, and a ramp.
With a pickup truck (like I have), unloading is very easy, I unload the heaviest MFs with the aid of a cheap $35 2 ton rated chain hoist. I never lift more than 1,000 lbs, so I do not even approach the limits of the hoist's capacity. With a van, hoisting is not an easy option.
My solution to loading/unloading 110 lbs or so items, such as bags, power supplies etc, is to weightlift and tough it out. Of course, I am not a diabetic, yet. It is likely that at some point I wil become one though, I have a "family history of diabetes".
Reply to
I looked into these at one time, pretty expensive but will work on enclosed vehicle like a van or suv if you use the hitch mounted version and it doesn't weigh much itself.
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Reply to
I would make a cart that uses casters for wheels and a rope attached so it can be pulled from the store to the van. And a ramp made with a lip so the cart will not go off sideways. If it is too hard to pull the loaded cart up the ramp, buy one of those electric winches and attach it in the van.
So my way would be pull the cart next to the bag. Tip the bag onto the cart. Slide the bag so it is securely on the cart. Pull cart to van and up the ramp. Roll bag off cart and take cart to get second bag.
Reply to
(clip) hitch up the car float (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ That's a new one on me. Is that what is called a "trailer" in America?
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Or how about this idea? Hang one end of an I-beam in the "archway" at the back of the van, with the other end resting on the ground (or on a support a couple feet above the ground. Put a little roller setup on the lower flange of the I-beam, that you can use to hoist the load off of a cart, and roll up the beam into the van.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
In Jersey, we try to keep that stuff away from home. Usually underwater.
Kevin Gallimore
Reply to
Try one of these.
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My Dad used it to lift his scooter into the back of the car. Works great.
Reply to
On Thu, 03 Mar 2005 17:04:33 +1100, Terry Collins vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
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I really would go with a ramp. It's simple, You can make it dismantlable, or even extendable, and it stores easily (even under the van?) It puts stress on the van where stress was meant to go, too IMO, without mods. You can then choose whether to simply slide stuff up, roll up on a d-handle trolley, or use a winch.
I made one out of two 75mm * 50mm * 2.5mm RHS lengths, each 2400mm long. I am looking seriously at making it extendable (shortening it!).
This is to load up into a ute that is maybe 1 metre off the ground. I get about 25 degrees. Or to put it another way, I only have to overcome any friction and I get 1 2.4:1 lift reduction.
Mine has a piece of angle at the end of each ramp support, to hook over a lip, either on my trailer or my ute. You need to make sure the ramp will not slide in either direction. It can be a real PITA if the ramps start sliding up into the van!
I have a platform to go between the two rails, but on "brave" occasions I have run a trolley just up the ramps ! For lots of gear that is being slid, I just use the ramps.
The dimensions I gave you would be way overkill for your needs. I have slid a 500 Kg compactor up mine. I just did a quick check, and a single rhs 37 * 50 * 2 mm, 2.4 M long, will take a 125 Kg load in the centre, albeit under some stress. Also, the beam in question is flat, not on a slope.
For big stuff, I have a cheap electric winch that came from the local motor supermarket. It pulls easily 200Kg. I think they call it a "2000 marine lb" winch . I have lifted a 205 Litre drum full of water with it. This one has a mounting that allows you to simply hook it on and off.
If you are going to use a trolley, remember to account for your own weight when looking at beam strength.
Reply to
First Buy smaller bags. When I worked delivery for an autobody supply store we convinced everyone to stop ordering th 100 pound bags of sand blasting sand and oreder 50 pound ones instead. Made it easier on us and the customers (the number of body men with bad backs was amazing, and having some of the customers ask us to fill their sandblasters, yeah those kind of customers). Trust me even if the lighter bags cost a few dollars more is it worth wrecking your back over?
Second we had a Trade Magazine for autobody and auto part suppliers and I can remember an add for a roll-out bed for vans and trucks. It was capable of handling something like 500-1000 pounds (I wish we could have had them, but no it cost "too much"). It operated the better variety of sliding drawers. I don't have a name for either the product or the company that made it as it has been years. Ken
Reply to
Ken Vale
| Or how about this idea? Hang one end of an I-beam in the "archway" at the | back of the van, with the other end resting on the ground (or on a support a | couple feet above the ground. Put a little roller setup on the lower flange | of the I-beam, that you can use to hoist the load off of a cart, and roll up | the beam into the van.
This is not an uncommon rig in the back of heavy duty work trucks. My first job was at an oilfield wellhead shop and our truck had a stout frame holding up an i-beam in the middle where we had a hoist. When a single valve or piece of equipment matches the payload capacity of the truck and you're out in the middle of nowhere in the mud and rain, you need something like that.
On a lighter duty arrangement, you can use barn door rollers and tracks with a hoist of your choice. You can get creative and hang one track from another so the lower track can extend outside of your van and still retract. I've seen this stuff for sale at big box stores, IIRC. Go see
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for examples.
Reply to
carl mciver
Yep, your basic trailer big enough to take a car. Funnilly, I am equally used to hearing car trailer or car float.
Reply to
Terry Collins
I've never heard the term "car float" what part of the country is the term common? Karl
Reply to
Karl Vorwerk
Here is my suggestion. Buy the stuff from a place that will deliver it. Think about it, of the materials you describe, you will probably only need 5 to 10 bags a year. Even if it cost you 10% to 20% more you won't wrench your back, and you won't need to make anything for your truck.
That will probably be less than the material for making the winch setup.
Reply to
Roger Shoaf

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