Engine hoist capacity beware

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whateg0
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by whateg0 » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:14 am

liveaboard wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:07 am
Russ Hanscom wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 1:30 pm
could not buy the metal for the price at which imports were selling.
I often have this problem.
Maybe the material isn't quite as much as a readymade thing, but it's so close that I don't feel clever.

Then I look at those thin steel parts with cheese bolts stuck through, get some steel, go home, and start welding.

When I worked in a garage in the 70's we had a fairly solid engine hoist, and the boom would arc like a banana when it had a big block on it.

I have used a tree and chainfall.

I have used a wooden tripod.

A bipod + chain

A 100 year old dutch barge crane.

Now I have a swinging gantry beam in my garage with a rolling electric 1 ton chain hoist; it was a lot of work to build that in, money too, but I recommend it highly.
Safe, easy lifting is priceless.
This certainly isn't the only instance where I've found I could make a Cadillac for the price of a Chevy. Sometimes lack of time dictates that I just buy what is available. Other times it's the easy thing to do. Here, I don't really have a time constraint as I have a second engine hoist that can be used if necessary. It's not ideal, as it won't reach high enough as it is to lift a tall item off of my trailer, but I don't anticipate that being a need in the next few weeks. Otoh, I do have an drivetrain to pull from a parts car soon and it would be nice to just lift the body off.

I plan to build a light jib crane after I get the new to me Bridgeport clone in the garage and everything else rearranged. That vise and rotary table keep getting heavier, as do the jobs I decide to do.

I was thinking about the proliferation of cheap tools and machines and whether they should be available. I too have used other means of lifting in the past such as a tree and block and tackle. Or lifting from the rafters of a building. Having seen what others have done to get a job done, I do think that even poorly spec'd machines like this are safer and far more convenient than some of that. And like the other cheap machines that so many use, they allow people to do what they otherwise might not be able to do. And that's a good thing. We need more people willing to do things with their hands.

Dave

pete
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by pete » Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:29 pm

Afaik OSHA rules and regulations only cover the equipment being used and the employee's working at any job site. There authority does not cover what can and can't be sold throughout the U.S. or whatever Harbor Freight and others happen to be selling STRR. If it did you can bet any equipment meeting OSHA specifications would be well advertised as being so. Industrial level rigging is a whole different ball game, items such as slings and straps do come with traceable certification tags and the equipment does have built in safety factors that meet or exceed stringent industry standards. U.S. made items like crane booms and components, clevises, chain, engine hoists etc., etc., also have those built in safety factors and are no doubt built from certified and traceable steel. Welded assembly's would use certified welders. Anyone here think anything like that is going to be done with a $250 HF engine hoist? Mine just like Liveaboard mentioned and has numerous design and cost cutting issues along with too many unknowns about just how trustworthy any of the components quality and workmanship really might be. This isn't China bashing, I knowingly bought at the cheapest possible price, adjusting my expectations and re-setting my own personal load limits to meet that fact seems pretty logical to me. I don't have a problem with the cheap tools being available, my issue is with the far too optimistic ratings that those with less knowledge and experience might blindly trust.

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liveaboard
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by liveaboard » Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:54 am

pete wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:29 pm
Afaik OSHA rules and regulations only cover the equipment being used and the employee's working at any job site. There authority does not cover what can and can't be sold throughout the U.S.
This is important.

People assume that this sort of gear must be safe if sold in a US shop, safe meaning a safety factor of 4 or 5 at least for lifting gear.
But it seems that in reality it only has to work as advertised, a ton is a ton, after that it can legally break.

Remember Newtonian principles, folks; what goes up must come down, so keep your toes out of the way.

10 Wheeler Rob
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by 10 Wheeler Rob » Wed Mar 18, 2020 5:41 am

Where I worked, which was a major corporation all lifting equipment was inspected and tested on a periodic basis. This was regardless of age and manufactures ratings. Everything had a stamped metal tag attached with a tamper proof attachment.

I too have a cheep engine hoist, chain fall and motor cycle lifts. They saved my back a lot, but I do not lift more than about 50% of ratting, and as you say use safe lifting practice.

You make a good point about inspecting the casters.

Rob

duckman903
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by duckman903 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:35 pm

Just make 2 new legs and machine 2 new caster wheels ,2 discs of steel with a hole thru them. They will be the strongest part of your hoist.

whateg0
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by whateg0 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:00 pm

I've started a design that should be far stronger overall. Bigger, fixed wheels up front, pallet jack-like steering, heavier wall tubing.
Screenshot_20200325-205908_Chrome.jpg

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:26 pm

whateg0 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:00 pm
I've started a design that should be far stronger overall. Bigger, fixed wheels up front, pallet jack-like steering, heavier wall tubing.

Screenshot_20200325-205908_Chrome.jpg
Is that thing on three wheels?
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pete
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by pete » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:28 pm

Those engine hoists work well at what they were designed for, re/re automotive engines. Where they run into real issues when used in a home shop is getting the suspended load up to and onto at least the center of a bench top if the bench has a base that doesn't allow the horizontal legs to roll under it. That problem might be really rare for some shops. But if I was building one from scratch I think I'd design it so the vertical column could be turned and bolted down 180 degrees at any time to it's normal position. You would have to stack enough portable weight on the now rearward facing legs to counter balance the load so it's not ideal. But I could sure use something exactly like that right now. Lifting the weight I need isn't the problem, getting it moved the last 2' and safely onto the bench top is.

whateg0
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by whateg0 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:34 pm

pete wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:28 pm
Those engine hoists work well at what they were designed for, re/re automotive engines. Where they run into real issues when used in a home shop is getting the suspended load up to and onto at least the center of a bench top if the bench has a base that doesn't allow the horizontal legs to roll under it. That problem might be really rare for some shops. But if I was building one from scratch I think I'd design it so the vertical column could be turned and bolted down 180 degrees at any time to it's normal position. You would have to stack enough portable weight on the now rearward facing legs to counter balance the load so it's not ideal. But I could sure use something exactly like that right now. Lifting the weight I need isn't the problem, getting it moved the last 2' and safely onto the bench top is.
Some are built with enough weight to counterbalance a certain amount of weight. Those machines get into 5-digit prices, though. Part of the reason for the low-height legs is to get under things. The way these engine hoists are made, the legs are generally at least 7" tall. Even getting it low enough to get a pallet jack under the load the first try is a challenge sometimes. So, lower height legs will help with that. If I had my druthers, I'd have a gantry crane that covered the whole shop and another that would do everything else, but that's often not practical, like when you only have access to one side of a trailer, for example. Loading things onto the trailer in this instance meant putting the ramps or 2x under the truck's rear tires to get the front of the trailer up high enough to clear the engine hoist once the load was on the trailer. That's just how the slope going up to the sidewalk, then the slope going into the shop worked out. Lower legs would have avoided that hassle, though a hassle is really all it was. The downside to building a shop crane the way I want to for situations like this is that it's going to be heavy. So, the engine hoist might still have to be taken along to load the shop crane onto the trailer. In fact, really, a forklift would be ideal, but those aren't cheap or good at the same time. I can scrounge the materials for this for less than the cost of a engine hoist from HF, not including time.

I think that some of these do have three points of contact with the ground. If the front is wide enough and the load sufficiently far forward that it keeps the CG well within that triangle, it should be fine, though I know even a pallet jack sometimes feels a little unsteady. I would prefer to do that, but with added casters on the rear corners just there to catch it if it rocks a little.

Dave

whateg0
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by whateg0 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:42 pm

A friend and I were discussing today the woes of these little machines and one of the issues is that there is enough slop in the joints that a load can swing a little bit, but still pull the boom off center a ways. Mine, the boom goes from center to several inches to the right, when extended. Static, the load hangs inside the leg, but if it were to shift, say, as the low point clears the trailer, for example, it can swing enough to make a guy nervous. So, that swinging is always kept in check with somebody on a tether. He has alleviated much of that slop by welding in tubes to all the holes, then boring them for a close fit to the pin, adding grease zerks along the way. His is a much better machine now. He also upgraded his wheels to 4" kingpinless casters and reports that it moves much more easily because the casters are bigger and it steers much better because of the kingpinless design. Of course, he spent over half the cost of the engine hoist on the good casters and quite a bit of time making the pivot clearances smaller, and it is still limited to the weight that the tubing will support. (I say that because I do believe the thin wall tubing is the second weakest link after the thin-web wheels on the casters.) When I bought my surface grinder, the guy selling it already had it on his engine hoist when I arrived. He had the boom extended all the way. I don't know the weight of the grinder, but it's heavy. The end of the outer tube on the boom was stretched and the whole thing bowed badly. I was honestly scared it would kink and the whole load would come down. I don't think my grinder is much over 1000#, if it's that. Or, it could be. But if it was 1000# and the boom in the 1000# position was that strained, like the casters, I would say there is absolutely zero safety factor built into the ratings.

pete
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by pete » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:59 am

100% agree about that zero built in safety factor for sure. I'm no welder and don't even own one. But a bit more food for thought about those cheap engine hoists. Since my mining jobs have always had a convenient supply of welders around I started surveying them about 15- 20 years ago when the cheap off shore steel starting hitting North America in large amounts. I've asked the same questions every few years whenever I remembered to so with a changing variety of welders. This isn't China bashing, it's simply restating what they had to say. Not a single one had anything good to say about the welding quality's of that cheaper steel, most mentioned a fairly high amount hidden inclusions in the steel, and all said it was a lot tougher to get consistent weld penetration that could be fully trusted because the steel seemed to change from lot to lot and sometimes even plate to plate. So there's your zero safety factor minus some. Because of what they've said and my own opinions I've rated mine to 500 lbs if it's something expensive, and 1,000 if it's really cheap.

Lucky for me I don't own anything expensive over 500 lbs that I'd use mine for :-) Not a hope I'd ever try the full 2 tons with anything I might have to pay for. Yes it somehow might even do the full 2 tons, unless it decides it just doesn't want to. There's no way to tell in advance. That gantry would solve most issues, no real room for one in my shop and the floor wouldn't really take one anyway unless it was a light load. A version of what most hospitals have for ceiling mounted patient lifts might work for most if the loads were at that really fat patient rating or less. Mill vises, dividing heads etc. I've spent enough time staring up at them a few times I'd like to have one in my shop. I've also seen forum pictures where some are using large sliding door hardware meant for barns etc bolted to the ceiling and it seems to work well as a light gantry system. And Liveaboards rotating and sliding ceiling mount hoist he's posted pictures of here is pretty slick and well thought out. His is way heavier and capable of lifting a lot more than I'd ever need though.

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Engine hoist capacity beware

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:12 pm

whateg0 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:34 pm
I think that some of these do have three points of contact with the ground. If the front is wide enough and the load sufficiently far forward that it keeps the CG well within that triangle, it should be fine, though I know even a pallet jack sometimes feels a little unsteady. I would prefer to do that, but with added casters on the rear corners just there to catch it if it rocks a little.
If the cherry-picker has three-point support it is susceptible to tipping, even though the load is being suspended within the the support triangle. Unlike a pallet jack, whose load stays (more-or-less) in firm contact with the forks, it's impossible to move a cherry-pocker without the load swinging and moving the CG. As soon as the load's CG goes outside the support triangle's boundaries the cherry-picker will tip over—and it will be impossible to stop it. Exacerbating the situation, as the load is elevated to the cherry-picker's maximum lifting height, the CG will move rearward in the support triangle, making it more likely that movement will result in toppling.
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