2021 - Volume #BFS, Issue #21, Page #53
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“$5” Loader-Mounted Truss Lifter
“We call it our $5 telehandler. It was super easy to build,” says Jack Agnew, Gum Spring, Va., about the “truss lifter” he and sons John and Cory built to help construct a new 55 by 105-ft. pole barn.
  “Years ago when I served in the military I learned about something called field expediency,” says Agnew. “The motto is, ‘I’ve done so much with so little for so long that I can do anything with nothing in no time at all.’”
  The men came up with the idea because they needed to raise 21-ft. long wooden beams about 20 ft. high, and then bolt them into corresponding notches cut into the building’s posts. “The beams were made from 3-in. thick by 15-in. wide white oak wood, so they were way too heavy to lift by hand,” says Jack.
  He used 5-in. square white oak and 2 by 4’s to build a pair of 10-ft. long vertical “extenders”, which he notched at the bottom and top. The extenders slip over the back part of the 4-ft. long forks on his loader tractor, and are chained and padlocked to a steel backstop that came with the forks.
  To help load the beam onto the extenders, he bolted notched wooden brackets 10 ft. up on a pair of tall wooden posts.
  “I used the forks to pick up the beam on the ground and my sons set it on edge so I could place the beam into the post brackets,” says Agnew. “Next I loaded the beam onto the extenders and slowly drove the tractor to a pair of the building’s 19 1/2-ft. tall posts, where I raised the loader up and over the other side of the posts. My sons were there to fit the beam into the notches and bolt it on. One son stood on a tall ladder and the other on a homemade portable scaffold.”
  The 21-ft. beam weighs about 365 lbs., so Agnew had to be very careful while driving the tractor. “With the beam raised so high, the leverage on the loader is incredible. I made sure I always drove on level ground to avoid tipping over.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jack Agnew, 4605 Fox Chase Run, Gum Spring, Va. 23065 (ph 804 556-3377).

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2021 - Volume #BFS, Issue #21