In my shop, we need to fill empty and stack a lot of barrels. Our old process, using a chain hoist, was fraught with peril – so we decided to build … something. It’s a standard box store manual shop crane, modified with a 2hp motor and a bit of hydraulics. A friend who does repairs on farm tractors lent a significant hand, but I was there and involved for most of the process, learning a whole lot about hydraulics and welding in the process. The project involved about 8 hours of design, 10 hours of fabrication, and about $1700 in parts and materials. Yes, it still operates as a shop crane – but now with hydraulics!
It has about 180 degrees of tilt, and the gripping head goes from touching the floor to 11 feet in the air. The gripping head will crush barrels pretty easily, so we made it bottom out before it would do that. No, no one has gone for a ride yet, but my wife insists on being the first, once we work out a harness.
[Via Build Lounge]