How to move rocks 400-1000 lbs

My neighbor is doing some landscaping and I offered him help in moving a few rocks. These vary in weight between 400 and 1000 lbs.
I have a truck, chains, engine hoist (crane), chain puller etc. If I can lift those rocks, I could just put them on a catr or something, or just drag.
Ordinarily lifting such things would not be a problem, but I do not know how I can grab relatively round objects that are without lifting eyes or corners. I figure that someone must have invented a great way to grab rocks with just chain and grab hooks. Any ideas?
i
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Lots of them use a special hand truck. Go by a landscape place that sells the rocks. And look at their handtrucks. They are not that expensive to rent. Probably cheaper than building.
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On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 21:36:48 -0500, Ignoramus11847 wrote:

A landscaper actually got a patent on an item that looks just like an oversized pair of ice tongs ~ see <http://rockjaw.com/ .
The traditional way of moving rocks on farms is using a stone boat or a drogue (low sled), as shown in the fifth and seventh items at <http://www.journeytoforever.org/farm_library/device/devices7.html If you have a flat 3'x5' sheet of 1/8" or 1/4" steel, it will work ok as is as a stone boat; the pull cable will lift the front of the sheet a little bit so it doesn't dig in. Anyway, no rock lifting necessary, just roll or slide the rocks onto the sled, pull it to where you want the rocks, and roll them off. I've moved rocks up to a few hundred pounds, pulling a stone boat by hand, but on some farms have seen multi-ton rocks that were moved via stone boat.
<http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancefisher/18035812/in/photostream/ says, in the mouseover comments, that flat strap works better than rope or chain for moving rocks. Note the bent frame on the dolly in the picture. :)
--
jiw

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On Wed, 14 Apr 2010 03:21:36 +0000 (UTC), the infamous James Waldby

Note how many people call hand trucks "dollies". <sigh> I've seen them with large side cages, too. It takes two men to move a 400 lb stone with one unless you're on flat, smooth ground.
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Ignoramus11847 wrote:

It shouldn't be that difficult to sling them with chain and grab hooks. Basically if it's somewhat boulder shape, you want a ring of chain below it's "waist", and three evenly spaced chains coming up from that waist to a common shackle at the top to lift from. With that setup and your engine hoist you should be able to lift them into your trailer, or onto a sled to pull.
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I moved two of them that were easily 400 each. I got my two wheeled garden trailer, which is long. I'll post a picture in flickr.
I backed up to the boulder, took the trailer off the ball, backed the trailer up to the rock, and lifted the trailer up to vertical. Then I strapped a two inch ratchet strap around the rock and the boulder. All this with the aid of a helper, mind you. Then we hooked a line on to the end of the tongue, which was about six feet in the air. I pulled on it with the ATV until it got down in the range where we could both put our weight on the tongue and put it on the ATV ball.
Unloading is a snap. Just watch out it doesn't flip up and clip you.
Will take a pic tomorrow. This ATV trailer is odd sized, being long and thin. It actually would not take much for a welder to make a trailer out of big tubing that uses the lever principle, as you only have to lift them a few inches off the ground. A long tongue would make lifting them very easy.
HTH
Steve
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Ignoramus11847 wrote:

If you can drill a suitable hole then a lewis pin may do the job and give you a lifting point. http://www.averyknight.co.uk/itemdetl.php?itemcodea3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_ (lifting_appliance)
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I needed to move a bar fridge sized rock from one spot to another (no real lifting). I used a lever to roll it onto a simple plywood 'sledge', then pulled the sledge across the yard with the pick up truck. Not too much trouble.
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On Apr 13, 10:36pm, Ignoramus11847 <ignoramus11...@NOSPAM. 11847.invalid> wrote:

How about using tire chains?
Dan
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On Apr 13, 10:36pm, Ignoramus11847 <ignoramus11...@NOSPAM. 11847.invalid> wrote:

I've moved rocks up to 1100 Lbs on this shop crane with extra wheels added to run on dirt: http://picasaweb.google.com/KB1DAL/Wheels#5290051034176921634
Each rock is different, but in general I wrap a chain around it and test which way it slides off, then hook on another chain between the points where it slips to hold it. My 5' sling chains have a grab hook on one end and a shackle on the other. The shackle can be connected anywhere to take up slack. They are really helpful to turn the chain into a net. When you buy shackles be sure the pins and eyes fit through the chain. There are only a few combinations that work.
The 1100 Lb rock was roughly football shaped, the chain would slip off either end. IIRC I looped a chain around each end and joined the loops at the top. That is a 20' (?) chain with grab hooks on both ends. If it had been rounder I would have connected the two loops with short chains down low. When pulled tight that makes a ring of chain around the rock hung from four supports, and the chains hang in place (from the crane hook) during setup.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel_hitch
jsw
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OK, guys, thanks. I did some reading of my own, it seems that people recommend fabric slings over chains, so I will try slings first. One way or another, we will get them to move.
i

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P
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On Apr 14, 8:54am, Ignoramus18864 <ignoramus18...@NOSPAM. 18864.invalid> wrote:

Maybe people who borrowed the fabric slings liked them. I keep mine clean enough to lift furniture and appliances without scratching the finish. They participate in rock-hauling only when wrapped around a tree trunk as an anchor point.
jsw
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On Tue, 13 Apr 2010 21:36:48 -0500, the infamous Ignoramus11847

Rent a rock hand-truck for the smaller sizes which you and your strong neighbor can manhandle.
Rent (or use your existing) a loader from a larger rental agency. Backhoes work extremely well, too.
Rent a tree planter from the rental agency. It has two spades which can work to pick up an delicately place stones up to about 3' in diameter. Some of the tree guys aren't working enough and will hire out, too.
Pay the stone mongers for the stones + delivery/placement.
If they're rounder, you can use a pair of long digging bars to lever under them and roll them. All this leaves marks, though.
With the crane in the back of your pickup, you could put regular nylon lifting straps around the rocks and tie them together with twine to hold position while you back the stone to its location.
Put a strap around the rock and tie it to the back of your truck, then slide it to where he wants it placed. THEN landscape around it. That said, he probably got everything else done, _then_ wanted stones placed, didn't he? That's the typical housewife-driven-hubby way. =:-0
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Ignoramus11847 wrote:

I have one next to my carport that needs to migrate to somewhere else in the yard. This one is red sandstone, about 4'x8'x18" I have no idea what it weighs.
When are you going to be available next? <G>
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http://www.simetric.co.uk/si_materials.htm Stone weighs around 2.3 to 3 times as much as water. For rough mental calculations I use 2.5 for the specific gravity of both stone and aluminum, or 2.8 for stone if I have a calculator. Notice that stone is "heavy" and aluminum is "light" but they are actually about equally dense.
Water weighs 62.4 Lbs per cubic foot.
jsw
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On Wed, 14 Apr 2010 09:49:04 -0700 (PDT), the infamous Jim Wilkins

A cubic yard of granite gravel weighs 4,000 to 5,000 pounds, depending on grit size. The finer, the heavier.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

So, rounding my dimensions to account for taper = 45 CF Assuming this sandstone is at the low end of weight = 143 lb./cf I get about 6500 lbs.
I think I need a rough-terrain forklift
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Make a circle of chain around the narrow base of the rock. Hook the chain, so it's a circle. Smaller than the wide part of the rock.
Put chains across the top of the rock in a letter X fashion, and hook to the "around" chain.
Makes a pattern similar to a belt and suspenders below a fat man's belly.
--
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On Apr 14, 5:18pm, "Stormin Mormon"

That's functionally the same as what I wrote, except that I hung the suspenders and sides of the belt over the rock first and then fastened the buckle, front and rear. (Still can't describe it right). I rarely can count on help and have to organize a job so as much as possible stays in place by gravity. Chains are particularly hard to hold in place since a shackle takes both hands to assemble.
jsw
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