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Old 09-20-2022, 08:16 PM   #1
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Heavy lifting help for geezers

This might be of interest to fellow owners towing with a pick-up who are seniors but have long ago turned in their superman buttons. Ailments be damned, geezers still need a way to deal easier with the heavy lifting trailer travel requires. Talking not just about beer filled ice chests but the other heavy stuff, like a generator, a wheelchair, walkers, an extra tire. You know, bulky things like a portable barbeque you don’t need to bring along, but are glad you did.

Sometimes Egyptian hydraulics isn’t enough. My back has assured me I need a new way to lift that 60-70 pounds. Got the pick-up. Us geezers need a no stress way to load our stuff.

Found a crane-hauler thing I think will help me out. The HaulMaster ˝ ton bolts to a corner of the truck bed, uses a hydraulic jack, and is small enough to nest out of the way under the Tonneau cover. Cost me $120 at Harbor Freight. Instructions claim one size fits all. Don’t believe it. Claims also to lift a thousand pounds but I wouldn’t try it.

Noticed Immediate problems: Mounting plate is flat, my truck bed is not. A simple bolt-through risks flexing, warping, distorting the truck bed metal. Mount instructions insist you must properly bolt through the truck frame underneath. No can do. Planning to sandwich a much larger footprint, a thick mounting plate, on top and underneath, to spread out potential bed stress.

No success pictures yet. Evaluation/planning ongoing.
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Old 09-20-2022, 09:57 PM   #2
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Hmmm, my back and knees all tell me I need to find a 'better way', looks like that has definite potential for benefit, looking forward to your conclusions.

HF product webpage

PDF product installation instructions / manual
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Old 09-20-2022, 10:46 PM   #3
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Definitely it's learn to work smarter as you get older or pay the price.

I repurposed this frame that I made for another project into a rolling gantry. It has a small chain block and heavy duty castors. Helps get things in and out of the back of the truck and is also handy in my shop. Here I'm doing some empirical testing not using it as a swing.

I'm tempted to make a crane that looks like an engine crane and mounts using the trailer receiver with one additional support leg. So far haven't needed one.

The advantage of your type is that it stays with you so that's a plus.

Good luck getting it sorted out.

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Old 09-20-2022, 10:48 PM   #4
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Old 09-21-2022, 09:29 AM   #5
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I have had a portable aluminum one for ny receiver. Works anywhere I have a hitch receiver. Is light enough to move around. I hardly ever use it - yet. As I age, it, and other devices like Genie lift and lifting hand truck get more use. They take more time, so I don’t often use them yet.
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Old 09-21-2022, 09:30 AM   #6
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I’d be interested to know how cumbersome it is to use. I often do my worst lifting while in a hurry. A simple and easy to use product may save me from that impulse.

I noticed in the HF reviews that some have added winches to make it a bit more useful. (Thanks for the link Centex.)
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Old 09-21-2022, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Talking not just about beer filled ice chests but the other heavy stuff....
But why would you need to lift "other heavy stuff"? Sounds like a big win if you can get the ice chest lifted! I've eyed this accessory myself, so am curious as to your eventual solution. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2022, 03:27 PM   #8
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Heavy

That Lift looks heavy, Myron! I think you need another lift to lift it into the bed of your pick-up!
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Old 09-23-2022, 10:07 PM   #9
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Truck cranes are pretty common - similar devices are available from other sources. In Canada, where we don't have Harbor Freight, Princess Auto is one source:
2,000 lb Truck Mount Crane
1,000 lb Truck Crane with 12V Winch
1,000 lb Truck Mount Crane with Hand Winch
1,000 lb Mini Truck Bed Crane
1,000 lb Truck Mount Crane
1,650 lb 12V Hydraulic Lifting Crane

The mounting location for these is typically well outboard of the truck's frame, so a good mounting would require a bracket under the box floor extending out from the truck's frame. My guess is that people brace them to the box wall in pickup trucks, or bolt them to substantial decks of flat-deck trucks.

They are also available in a form mounted to the hitch, avoiding any permanent installation but requiring setup each time:
1,000 lb Truck Hitch Mount Crane
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:25 PM   #10
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For my heaviest stuff, I've gotten by with ramps. mostly, its my 20" f/5 telescope, of which the base+mirror box weighs about 100 lbs, but it has detachable wheelbarrow handles so its easy to roll.

bbq isn't that heavy, stopped bringing coolers when I got a dc compressor fridge in the trailer, and everything else is easy enough to pick up and carry.
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Old 09-24-2022, 10:11 AM   #11
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Drilled a test hole in the truck bed to determine position for the bolt through. That’s when, crawling under the truck bed I saw the truck frame support I thought was not in the area where the HaulMaster would be seated. A geezer error, for sure. Obviously got to take a time out from this job, re-tool disjointed cognition.

Nice engine hoist crane you got there, Ron.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:29 PM   #12
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Congratulations, your test hole missed the fuel tank! I call that a major success.


If you use wood anywhere in that assembly, at least pick a type that is rot resistant.
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Old 09-28-2022, 01:20 PM   #13
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To expand on John's idea, I use come-along (attached to front of the bed) to pull really heavy stuff up ramps into my pickup bed. My "ramps" are just 2x12s attached to a "ramp plate kit".

A more elegant solution as a plan for long term use would be a small electric winch mounted in the front of the bed to pull a sled up a ramp into the bed.
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Old 09-28-2022, 06:15 PM   #14
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Heavy lift from my truck

Custom fit an internal skeleton ladder rack frame to support kayaks. In the cap installed telescoping pipes snd a roller and pulley. All neatly pull together to travel. Generator is 120lbs.
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Old 09-28-2022, 06:51 PM   #15
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Interesting idea, IDSharp - how long are your two 2 x 12 ramps ? - maybe 6-8 feet each? Do you take them along for unloading?
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:16 PM   #16
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I haven't used it for camping purposes since my generator is only 50 lbs. I used the ramp and come along to load a 9000 watt generator and a big air compressor by myself a few times. The boards I used were 6' long. I attached a big chain from the 2 tie points in the front of the bed and clipped the come along to the chain. One nice thing is that it is a slow, and thereby relatively safe way to load something heavy.

Using a winch could also be safe with a proper ramp and sled that could fit in the bed with the heavy stuff staying on it for travel. My truck bed is a bit less than 72" with the the Nissan liner, so the ramps would have to total less than that along with the plates that catch on the tailgate. Aluminum ramps would probably weigh less, fold to fit in the bed and be a better choice. (I just took the cheap route since I had boards and the the come along.)
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Old 10-01-2022, 06:48 PM   #17
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Finally, my heavy lifting issue is resolved. Just posted this U-Tube video I made on the HaulMaster solution.
https://youtu.be/5xbjeJJdoSI
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Old 10-02-2022, 01:27 PM   #18
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I used a utility hoist when I was working my plumbing business and it was a back saver many times. I now never try to lift anything over 50lbs to be safe. The way you are mounting yours is how I had mine mounted and it was successful lifting a mainline snake into the bed no problem.
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