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Portable Crane Sprouts Legs For Heavy Lifts
Sidney Stubbs can easily load a trailer or pickup box using his home-built crane that slips into a receiver hitch. For heavy lifts, he attaches a stable base with legs and a ball hitch for near 180-degree flexibility.
    “There are cranes on the internet that attach to receiver hitches for lifting objects over the tailgate, but I wanted one that had a stable base and worked with the tailgate down,” says Stubbs. “Using the ball hitch lets me move it around, while the adjustable leg jacks let me use it on uneven ground.”
    Stubbs picked up the folding crane mast and boom on closeout, but says any folding crane would work. His adjusts in height, lifting the boom up to 97 in. above the ground when mounted to a receiver hitch. A hand winch mounted to the boom feeds a tow strap up and through the rotating boom.
    The crane mast came with 2 by 2-in. tubing for a standard receiver hitch at its lower end. To get the increased stability and versatility he wanted, Stubbs fabricated a base with a 2 by 2-in. center rail. Two cross arms each have two, 300-lb., RV stabilizer jacks with adjustable legs at either end. The legs attach at a slight outward angle similar to outrigger legs. A quick release lever extends them from 11 to 19 in. in height.
    The center rail has the ball hitch at one end and the coupler for the crane’s receiver hitch tube bolted to the other. The ball hitch locks the base in place while allowing Stubbs to pivot it from side to side for setup.
    The coupler is a length of 2 1/2 by 2 1/2-in. tubing with a 1 1/2-in., male half hammer threaded pipe union with a nut welded to the underside of the coupler. A second male half pipe union is welded to the tongue just behind the ball hitch.
    “The cross bars have female half threaded pipe unions welded to their top centers,” says Stubbs. “To mount them to the tongue, I match the pipe union halves and tighten down the nuts. Once I drop the legs into place and adjust them to match the contour, I attach the crane.”
    Stubbs says the portable nature of the crane and its base adds to the versatility. “You can lift any kind of heavy object and swing it into the bed of the truck,” he says. “When you’re done, you can break it down into 4 pieces. The largest is the crane, and it folds up like a jackknife, only 46 in. long.”
    Stubbs says the crane is handy when deer hunting and can even be used to pull fence posts out of the ground.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Sidney Stubbs, RR1, Site 6, Box 21, Beaverlodge, Alta. Canada T0H 0C0 (ph 780 354-2727; sid.s47@hotmail.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #5