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I-Beam install options for chain hoist


Oct 10, 2022
North of Baltimore
Greetings. I installed an I-beam across one bay of my garage, supported by 6x6 old growth oak beams. The garage is 79+ years old. I would like to install an I-beam in a larger bay, but in line with the bay so I could lift items off a trailer or pickup near the bay door and move them in via the chain hoist on rollers.

i would have to attach the I-beam to the joists above. These joists are legit 2x8” that are really 2” by 8”. Those were the days! These joists are installed with 24” centers. I would like to attach it to 6 or 7 joists. My question is how much weight could this setup reasonably handle. Not looking for the point of failure, I just want to know if it is reasonable to assume this set up could handle 1500 lbs or less. I’ll select the appropriate I-beam, and I‘ll likely attach plates to the joists and the I-beam to the plates.

i attached pics of the I-beam I have in the small (8-ft wide) bay and pics of the joists in the wider bay (10ft) where I’d like to install a new I-beam.

The shop is a mess as I’m switching from wood working to metal working while tearing down and rebuilding the metal working equipment as I buy it. Please ignore the chaos below the joists :-)

It will have the weight of the beam, plus the weight of the hoist, plus the weight of the thing you're lifting. It would probably handle it but, is 'probably' good enough? If it fails and falls on you, the truck, or trailer, what are the consequences? What damage will it do to the walls? How will you explain the garage caving in to the insurance company?

At very least, I would add basement support columns at each end of the beam to carry the vertical part of the load.

There is still the possibility of shear tearing the whole garage down. You lift something, think it's clear of the trailer and then move the trailer. 1,500 pounds gets pulled horizontally with all the load 8 feet up the wall. Not good.
You're asking a serious question about beam loading here???? LOL

Find an online wood beam calculator that will calculate deflection, stress, and moments.

Each joist is a beam, so has to be handled individually.

The load factor increases the further you move the load to the center. You have a distributed load, and a point load.

A simpler set of calculations is to carry the beam on columns, and then simply calculate whether beam deflection(there is an OSHA standard for gantry deflection) is within standards.

There's stuff you can ask on the internet....................then there's stuff you need to find out on your own, without listening to people who may/may not have any knowledge, or skin in the game.