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Thread: manual front loader

  1. #1
    rgsparber's Avatar
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    manual front loader

    I plan to soon have a large pile of 3/4" diameter rock in front of my home and need to move it to the back. The standard procedure involves a shovel and a cart or wheelbarrow. My problem is that the lifting and twisting action while using a shovel will likely re-injure my back.

    Got me thinking about ways to do this job with no lifting even if it means more trips. My rough idea is to use an extra wide hand truck as a starting point. I would then take a piece of sheet metal and form it into a curved form similar to a front loader bucket. The bottom edge would bolt to the front edge of the hand truck plate. The top edge would bolt to the vertical bars. I would then weld on side plates. To prevent the hand truck from falling over while I fill it (by raking), I can have a bar attached at the top of the hand truck. This bar would telescope and have a sharp point on the end. It would pivot at the top.

    Swing it out, extend until it locks into the ground, and then start raking in the rock.

    Nice pipe dream. Before I start making it I'm looking for problems with the idea.

    All of us are smarter than any one of us. Hopefully people will lend a hand here.

    Thanks,

    Rick
    Rick

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    Hey Rick,
    If you've got a big pile of rock, I'd think about renting one of the stand-up/walk-behind skidsteers, like the Bobcat MT52. They are small enough to get into some tight places, and light enough to not tear up the lawn too badly if you're careful. But, they're still heavy enough to move some serious weight, and not strain your back. You could scoop a majority of the rock, and then set the bucket flat on the ground for raking in the remaining rock.
    Rock is some heavy stuff to work with, and it doesn't shovel or rake very well. I recently did some landscaping rock, and I was pretty strategic on where I placed the dump trailer to minimize the amount of raking I had to do.
    Here's video I found of the Bobcat MT52 in action:


    Good luck and work careful, back pain is no fun!

    Kent

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    Is it possible to get it dumped onto or into something that would make it easier to move? Something like a raised bed that is easier to load from or a long belt that can be pulled mechanically?

  6. #4
    whome
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgsparber View Post
    I plan to soon have a large pile of 3/4" diameter rock in front of my home and need to move it to the back. The standard procedure involves a shovel and a cart or wheelbarrow. My problem is that the lifting and twisting action while using a shovel will likely re-injure my back.

    Got me thinking about ways to do this job with no lifting even if it means more trips. My rough idea is to use an extra wide hand truck as a starting point. I would then take a piece of sheet metal and form it into a curved form similar to a front loader bucket. The bottom edge would bolt to the front edge of the hand truck plate. The top edge would bolt to the vertical bars. I would then weld on side plates. To prevent the hand truck from falling over while I fill it (by raking), I can have a bar attached at the top of the hand truck. This bar would telescope and have a sharp point on the end. It would pivot at the top.

    Swing it out, extend until it locks into the ground, and then start raking in the rock.

    Nice pipe dream. Before I start making it I'm looking for problems with the idea.

    All of us are smarter than any one of us. Hopefully people will lend a hand here.

    Thanks,

    Rick
    If you have a garden TRACTOR, YOU NEED A STONE BOAT, the most common stone boat is a car hood, you pull it from the front with the tradtor and it slides along the grass. Don't load it heavy, it is better to make many light, fast trips than struggle with a few heavy trips, and it won't damage the lawn as much. lacking that, rent a powered wheelbarrow. Or, for a friend that had to move 30 tons of precast concrete blocks from the front of his house along a 3 ft wide run between his house and his fence, with a 9 foot rise, I had him get four 10" od tires on steel rims from harbor freight, dismount the tires and use the wheels on a 6 ft long plywood and 2x4 cart mounted ising 5/8 " dia galvanized steel rods for axles mounted to the cart by drilling holes in the 2x4s which were under the plywood cart deck. I lent him my harbor freight 800 lb capacity hoist, mounted at the head of a 2x6 rails. He let the car down to the blocksk, loaded it,, walked up to the top and the hoist brought it up to where he unloaded the blocks. As he had to lift the blocks off the cart, he put each in place and build the wall. If you do not have to climb a grade, make the cart, on 2x4 rails on the ground and push the loaded cart by hand.
    Use 2x4s on edge under the cart for stiffening and mounting the axles and 2x4s above the deck to keep the rocks from falling off. Mount the sides by drilling holes through them for vertical pins, maybe long, 1/2" bolts, fitting in holes through the deck and lower 2x4s, out past the axles, so you can remove the sides for unloading, dropping the stones on a sheet of plywood th move them away from the tracks. To save money, at the lumber yard, look for warped 3/4" plywood, culls, preferably pressure treates as they warp the most and offer a fraction of the cost of straight wood. The 2x4s will straighten them out ok. if you hae to negotiate a curve with the tracks, do it with short lengths of track with a small amount of angle at each section, or soak them in a plastic lined timber trough and bend them with a come-a-long. Pressure treated lumber needs to be assembled with construction screws, the type with the torx star drive recesses. Don't waste time and money on phillips or cross point heads, the bit will just cam out and damage the head. Phillips head screws were invented for automatic feed machines, never for hand screwdrivers or hand held power tools. Have fun! Kids might want to ride your rail car.

  7. #5
    rgsparber's Avatar
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    Kent,

    What a wonderful machine! I can rent one for a day for $200 which is not bad. The problem is that I need a much smaller payload over a longer period of time. I couldn't find a smaller machine. Do you know if there is such an animal?

    Rick
    Rick

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    rgsparber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whome View Post
    If you have a garden TRACTOR, YOU NEED A STONE BOAT, the most common stone boat is a car hood, you pull it from the front with the tradtor and it slides along the grass. Don't load it heavy, it is better to make many light, fast trips than struggle with a few heavy trips, and it won't damage the lawn as much. lacking that, rent a powered wheelbarrow. Or, for a friend that had to move 30 tons of precast concrete blocks from the front of his house along a 3 ft wide run between his house and his fence, with a 9 foot rise, I had him get four 10" od tires on steel rims from harbor freight, dismount the tires and use the wheels on a 6 ft long plywood and 2x4 cart mounted ising 5/8 " dia galvanized steel rods for axles mounted to the cart by drilling holes in the 2x4s which were under the plywood cart deck. I lent him my harbor freight 800 lb capacity hoist, mounted at the head of a 2x6 rails. He let the car down to the blocksk, loaded it,, walked up to the top and the hoist brought it up to where he unloaded the blocks. As he had to lift the blocks off the cart, he put each in place and build the wall. If you do not have to climb a grade, make the cart, on 2x4 rails on the ground and push the loaded cart by hand.
    Use 2x4s on edge under the cart for stiffening and mounting the axles and 2x4s above the deck to keep the rocks from falling off. Mount the sides by drilling holes through them for vertical pins, maybe long, 1/2" bolts, fitting in holes through the deck and lower 2x4s, out past the axles, so you can remove the sides for unloading, dropping the stones on a sheet of plywood th move them away from the tracks. To save money, at the lumber yard, look for warped 3/4" plywood, culls, preferably pressure treates as they warp the most and offer a fraction of the cost of straight wood. The 2x4s will straighten them out ok. if you hae to negotiate a curve with the tracks, do it with short lengths of track with a small amount of angle at each section, or soak them in a plastic lined timber trough and bend them with a come-a-long. Pressure treated lumber needs to be assembled with construction screws, the type with the torx star drive recesses. Don't waste time and money on phillips or cross point heads, the bit will just cam out and damage the head. Phillips head screws were invented for automatic feed machines, never for hand screwdrivers or hand held power tools. Have fun! Kids might want to ride your rail car.
    Lots of great ideas here! I don't have a garden tractor but the thought has crossed my mind that I might be able to use a 120V motor and a long extension cord to drive some kind of pulling machine. Could be a winch or could be self propelled. Fortunately, the path is almost dead flat. I like the idea of not having to lift very high. That is where back problems come from.

    If I could move 150 pounds at a time, I'd be happy. A friend suggested solid rubber tires that are wide. Put 4 of them on the axel to spread the weight. I think this arrangement might let me get away without rails.

    Plenty for me to think about.

    Thanks,

    Rick
    Rick

  9. #7
    whome
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    Sone Boat

    Quote Originally Posted by rgsparber View Post
    Lots of great ideas here! I don't have a garden tractor but the thought has crossed my mind that I might be able to use a 120V motor and a long extension cord to drive some kind of pulling machine. Could be a winch or could be self propelled. Fortunately, the path is almost dead flat. I like the idea of not having to lift very high. That is where back problems come from.

    If I could move 150 pounds at a time, I'd be happy. A friend suggested solid rubber tires that are wide. Put 4 of them on the axel to spread the weight. I think this arrangement might let me get away without rails.

    Plenty for me to think about.

    Thanks,

    Rick
    With flat, smooth land, make the trolley as I earlier suggested, just leae the tires on the rims, and make wagon-axle steering for the
    front wheels. They are rated 300 pounds each, so what you can comfortably pull or push will set the load you want to transport. The next larger inexpensive wheels at harbor freight are wheelbarrow size, 400x480-8, I think. The bigger the wheel, the easier the cart rolls. You could actually borrow the wheels off your rotary mower, not ball-bearings, 1/2" shaft, lower loading and harder to pull. If there is no rush, that's ok. Is the mower selfe propelled, it might pull a small load. build a tray over the engine and take a small load at a time. If it is not self powered, put the tray over the engine and push it yourself. Maybe, grease the wheel axles. Buy a kid's wagon at a yard sale. If you have a wheel barrow, use hose clamps to tie an axle across the legs for a couple of wheels. Do not try to move too many stones at a time.

    To drag a stone boat with an electric motor you need a anchored motor driving a counter shaft at a lower speed, you need either a drum with flanges on the couner shaft, so it becoms a capstan, with a rope wrspped maybe two or three turns around the drum, when you pull on the rope, it tightens on the drum and the drum helps pull the load. With a capstan, there is no limit to how far you can pull a load. If you used just a small v-belt pulley instead of a castan, a 1/2" diameter rope, when pulled tight might work ok. you could try just wrapping the rope several times around the counter shaft, it will pull a load, you will need a pulley to keep the rope from wineing int the countershaft bearing.

  10. #8
    Frank S's Avatar
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    Rick what you need is a slightly smaller version of my big 2 wheeler
    with it on its big tires I can move 500 to a 1000 lbs around by hand even on grass
    by extending the foot further out than mine which is already about 18 inches adding sides and back to a regular industrial hand truck not a little cheape moving ht axke up far enough to mount a pair of 13" trailer tires or better yet a pair of wide golf cart tires you should easily be able to rake a 150 to 200 lbs onto the platform once you break it over the weight will shift and neutralize
    my little 115 lb wife can break over 300 and move 250 lbs on my 2 wheeler with no problems
    Hand truck ? trailer combo

    Except for having to keep air in tires pneumatic tires will beat solid on grass or loose soil any day of the week a pair with a 6 inch wide tread area and at least 16" OD will support 200 lbs on loose sand without bogging for traversing soil or grass pulling a load by hand
    Last edited by Frank S; 10-04-2017 at 09:10 PM.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  11. #9
    rgsparber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank S View Post
    Rick what you need is a slightly smaller version of my big 2 wheeler
    with it on its big tires I can move 500 to a 1000 lbs around by hand even on grass
    by extending the foot further out than mine which is already about 18 inches adding sides and back to a regular industrial hand truck not a little cheape moving ht axke up far enough to mount a pair of 13" trailer tires or better yet a pair of wide golf cart tires you should easily be able to rake a 150 to 200 lbs onto the platform once you break it over the weight will shift and neutralize
    my little 115 lb wife can break over 300 and move 250 lbs on my 2 wheeler with no problems
    Hand truck ? trailer combo

    Except for having to keep air in tires pneumatic tires will beat solid on grass or loose soil any day of the week a pair with a 6 inch wide tread area and at least 16" OD will support 200 lbs on loose sand without bogging for traversing soil or grass pulling a load by hand
    Frank,

    You have done a brilliant job of making this hand truck on steroids. Many excellent suggestions that I know I will use. The pictures sure helped a lot.

    Thanks!

    Rick
    Rick

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    tractor mounted Small loader

    I had a wheelbarrow with a flat tire that would never hold air. so I mounted the wheel barrow
    to the work platform on my garden tractor and use it for many different jobs. ( firewood shown )

    I mounted an axle shaft where the wheel barrow tire used to be, and I can still manually dump the wheel barrow.

    The wheel barrow attachment can be easily removed ( hairpin locking clips ) for a flat platform to carry chain saws & tools

    The work platform slides into a standard 2" trailer hitch sleeve so I can use on the rear 3 point hitch system,
    on the front of the tractor where I have another 2" trailer hitch receiver system, or above the tractor hood,
    ( three different mounting locations for the work platform ) so I can attach other equipment to the small
    tractor front/rear and still have my very handy work platform right in front of my steering wheel above the motor cover.

    manual front loader-case-wheelbarrow-01.jpg manual front loader-case-wheelbarrow-03.jpg

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