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Pickup hitch mounted hoists/engine lifts

Spud

Diamond
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Location
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Don't want to install a liftgate because that would cut my payload capacity by half, so looking at hitch mounted engine hoists.

Like below:






Or this:



Anyone have the hoist seen in the first two pictures? How effective is it? Only looking to lift stuff under 500lbs. It is lighter, more compact and costs less than the last hoist in the last picture. The only issue is that there doesn't appear to be a way to rotate the load into the bed.
 
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fciron

Stainless
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Location
Louisville, KY, USA
No way to rotate into the bed seems like a major issue. That thing seems crazy tall and spindle too. If I needed to get 500 lbs. into and out of my truck bed regularly I’d spend the extra on that second rig.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Diamond
Joined
Jan 31, 2011
Location
BFE Nevada/San Marcos Tx
Overland
Did you raise it higher than what is shown in that link? Seems somewhat limited on height.

Spud
Here is the finished product of Adam's build, at the 12 minute mark you can see how it swivels, suspect that one you pictured is the same way, but probably not as nice.
 

Spud

Diamond
Joined
Jan 12, 2006
Location
Brookfield, Wisconsin
I put one of these in my truck bed. Made a bit of a bracket to go under the bed to attach to the frame. Works really well.
Bob
Did not know about this one. Looks like this might work best. Does yours clear the pickup bed sides?

This one is a bit taller , to clear the sides.

Did you weld or bolt the bracket to the frame?
 
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johansen

Stainless
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Location
silverdale wa
I made one, it needs a bunch of improvement. It works but it's heavy, and too much backlash.

Basically I built it all from scrap 2.5" angle iron welded into a square box beams.

So a 5 foot long beam fits into the hitch at a 90 degree angle, with a 4" pipe a foot long welded vertically sticking up a foot at the end, this puts it about a foot outside my tail light on my S10. I need to finish the bi pod adjustable feet support. They need to be screw driven like a trailer jack because as you load the vehicle and it sinks, it's all jammed up and you can't remove it. Last time I used it to unload I just put a pile of blocks under it.


The crane part sits in a socket that goes in the 4" pipe, that is interchangeable with my engine hoist style legs for use as an engine hoist. I need to put a bearing pad in the bottom for it to spin on, as it is it's just a 3.5" diameter pipe grinding on the 2.5" beam. Lots of friction.

So anyhow I used it to unload something that weighed about 900 pounds. ... It twisted the 5 foot long 2.5 inch horizontal beam that goes in the hitch. I half expected this to happen. So I partially supported the crane from the deck I was parked under.

The 2.5" box beam can handle 4000 foot pounds of bending, but can't handle the 4000 foot pounds of torque that is needed to lift 1000 pounds and swing it around on a 4' radius.
So what I want to do is replace the trailer hitch beam with a 4" schedule 20 steel pipe rather than 2.5" steel tube.
 
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Overland

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Location
Greenville, SC
Mine will clear the bed, depending on how high it is raised.
Very easy to make a post a bit higher if you need that.
I've also put a post on the back of my lathe bed for lifting chucks etc, with the same crane. Also another post on that flat area at the other end of my BP clone arm.
I bolted the strengthening bracket to the side of the truck frame.
It's very useful !
Bob
 

Steve Marquess

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Adamstown, Maryland USA
I bought a Chinese one: Maxxhaul 70238 for $220 shipped which is less that the raw materials would have cost me. I had to make some modifications; I extended the two telescoping ("outrigger") feet with some 1" solid bar, and extended the 2"x2" tube that fits in the receiver. Those mods were necessary to fit my F350, with its high dump bed and tall tailgate. But, it also still fits a normal size pickup (e.g. Toyota T100).

Pros: it has saved my back on several occasions. It breaks down into eight (IIRC) pieces (did some mods there too) with no piece over about 40lbs, so easy enough to throw in a truck bed or trunk.

Cons: it will pick up compact heavy loads like a plate compactor, with a total height of maybe three feet. I don't think it would quite have the reach for my welding genset, for instance. If you don't get it fairly level the boom will want to swivel downhill (I added one of those adhesive bubble levels). The 1000lb rating is probably a bit optimistic, unless perhaps the load was something very compact like an anvil.

So in summary my backhoe or forklift are far better, or ramps for something that rolls. But when nothing else is available this can be a backsaver.
 

john.k

Diamond
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Location
Brisbane Qld Australia
The sellers of this kind of stuff inevitably rate the lifting capacity on the hydraulic cylinder...........and picture it lifting a pyramid shaped object with "1ton" or "2ton" written on it.....in actuality the weight would have to be made of tungsten or depleted uranium to be of a dimension the crane could handle.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
Back in the horse and wagon days freighters used to use an A frame swivel hoist that attached to the wagon frame. Perhaps a modern version mounted to the hitch with stabilizing feet (trailer jacks?) that help transfer some of the weight to the ground might work. It would need a (removable?) winch at the front of the bed to operate. In use the rope/cable first lifts the load by swinging the frame upward and then as it hits a stop it swivels the frame toward the truck bed. Once over the bed you reverse the winch to lower the load. It does require some sort of control over the pivoting motion so the load doesn't slam down in either direction.

Much simpler than an engine hoist.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
Overland
Did you raise it higher than what is shown in that link? Seems somewhat limited on height.

Spud
Here is the finished product of Adam's build, at the 12 minute mark you can see how it swivels, suspect that one you pictured is the same way, but probably not as nice.
That one seems to cover all the bases. It swivels, it's offset to one side and it has an inline stabilizers that transfers much of the load to ground. If I were Spud that is a design well worth basing his on.
 

Steve Marquess

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 14, 2007
Location
Adamstown, Maryland USA
The sellers of this kind of stuff inevitably rate the lifting capacity on the hydraulic cylinder...........and picture it lifting a pyramid shaped object with "1ton" or "2ton" written on it....

This exactly, stated better than I did.

Incidentally I bought this hitch crane for the primary purpose of loading large bucked pieces of firewood. I heat primarily with wood and salvage most of it roadside, and most of the wood is usually in the bole. A bucked section of oak 16" long and 30" diameter (or 32" long and 24" OD, say) can be easily rolled but is more than I can hump chest high by hand. I have large tongs to grab the wood which attach right at the end of the boom (no chain). Wood is light enough for this hoist to handle, up to the dimensions it can swing over the tailgate.
 

Scottl

Diamond
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Eastern Massachusetts, USA
This exactly, stated better than I did.

Incidentally I bought this hitch crane for the primary purpose of loading large bucked pieces of firewood. I heat primarily with wood and salvage most of it roadside, and most of the wood is usually in the bole. A bucked section of oak 16" long and 30" diameter (or 32" long and 24" OD, say) can be easily rolled but is more than I can hump chest high by hand. I have large tongs to grab the wood which attach right at the end of the boom (no chain). Wood is light enough for this hoist to handle, up to the dimensions it can swing over the tailgate.
Sounds fine for that. Another option would be to roll them up ramps the way a sawmill gets them onto the bed of the saw.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
When do you use something like this?

I can't think of a use for it and I perpetually load and haul stuff on the bed of my pickup (flatbed).

At one time I saw a clean looking headache rack for a flatbed that was actually a light duty knuckle boom. Pretty neat I thought, but not all that useful without outriggers.

You guys ever used a crane on a service truck without outriggers? Go ahead- Try lifting 500 lbs 10 feet out. See what happens to your 15K lb truck lol.

The advertising pictures of these little hitch and pickup bed cranes lifting stuff is hilarious. "Look we lifted a 100 lb welder 6" shy of getting it on the tailgate!" "Look we lifted a generator a 12 year old girl could set in your bed!"

A resourceful scrapper friend of mine has a an old Peterbilt cut down to a single axle tractor he uses to haul weird 5th wheel trailers that are built for wrong to be hauled by double axle trucks. He added a wet kit to it, a pair of hydraulic winches and outriggers behind the cab. He built a gin pole setup with a 5th wheel pin and pads that locate it on the frame. He uses that regularly to self load messed up trailers and recover vehicles off the road. Scale that idea down to a pickup with a gooseneck ball in the bed and I think you'd have something worthwhile.

But really, 99.9% of the population just uses a tilt deck trailer with a winch to pick up craigslist deals that the seller can't load. They might even haul their skidsteer with forks or just bring their mini excavator out, leave it chained to the trailer and just load whatever it is with the bucket.

Like when I bought my scissor lift I wasn't sure if my trailer had the clearance to load it so I rented a scissor lift trailer from the local rental yard for 2 hours for $40.

All much simpler solutions that some clunky, borderline useless hitch/bed crane thing. You see a newer pickup with one of those and it's like the badge of a Harbor Freight platinum club grandpa.
 








 
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