Turning Archive 2004

Truck crane for log loading. *PIC*

Al Crandall
>A few weeks ago, someone asked about getting large turning blank logs into the back of their pick-um-up truck. They had injured their back and wanted possible solutions which would bypass the pain and still get the wood to the shop. Below are pictures of my solution to this same problem. The crane is a swiveling type from Harbor Freight which is marketed to be mounted in the bed of your truck. I didn’t want it to be a permanent passenger, so I devised this hitch receiver based system to make it both easily portable and quickly removable. It will look a lot better with a coat of gloss black Rustoleum paint covering all of the rusty metal. The two trailer jacks are rated for 800 pounds each and are from H.F. also. The steel tubing is 2”x2” x 3/16” wall thickness. My total cash outlay was less than $130.

Shown in this first picture is the last and smallest of six log sections which I loaded by myself into my truck during the crane’s initial trial. I’m happy to report that the crane passed with flying colors. The log is a freshly cut maple, 22” diameter and 24” long which computes to over 5 ¼ cubic feet of wet, heavy wood. My guess for its weight is 250 lbs. It is suspended by a 1” wide yellow ratcheting strap tightly bound around it, and a 1” wide red tie down strap which I used to make a “bail” for the crane hook. This two strap system proved to be very efficient for both time and effort. The crane needs to be pumped to its full elevation so that the load may be pivoted into the bed without hitting the walls of the truck.

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