advice on moving very heavy
May 31, 2010 5:11 AM   Subscribe

I need to move this very large round stone object onto the bed of truck using only man power without a hoist. It is probably 500kg. Is rolling it up a ramp the best way? Can two people roll a very heavy round object up an incline? I only have one chance to do this. How to go about it?
posted by Infernarl to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Depends on the angle of the ramp. The longer the ramp, the less trouble to roll the vase.

Possibly the best way is with a ramp and a pulley. The pulley will turn lots of your movement into small movements of the vase, which makes it easier. Also, easier for you to pull down than to lift up.
posted by musofire at 5:16 AM on May 31, 2010

I have moved 1000 lb stones around using just rock bars. Flipping and moving it on a flat surface using leverage should be possible, but I would REALLY want someone around who had done it before. But uphill with only two guys is tough. Any way you can get a hand winch to drag the stone?
posted by shothotbot at 5:17 AM on May 31, 2010

If your truck bed is 1m above the ground, and your ramp is 10m long, then rolling a 500kg item up the ramp would require as much force as lifting a 50kg item - i.e. no problem with two able-bodied people.

But then, if you've got enough material to make a 10m long ramp that can hold 500kg, it might be simpler to make a frame to loop a rope over, then lift the stone using the rope.
posted by Mike1024 at 5:37 AM on May 31, 2010

If you have a ditch nearby, you can back your truck into it so that when you put the tailgate down it is almost level with the ground and then you can just roll it on. Although if that vase if 500kg, you might not be able to get out of the ditch with it on your truck.
posted by little miss s at 6:17 AM on May 31, 2010

Try parbuckling—often used to load barrels on to ships.

Moving Heavy Things by Jan Adkins is a great resource for, well, moving heavy things.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 6:18 AM on May 31, 2010 [6 favorites]

if your truck bed is 1m above the ground, and your ramp is 10m long, then rolling a 500kg item up the ramp would require as much force as lifting a 50kg item - i.e. no problem with two able-bodied people.

shouldn't that be as much ADDITIONAL force to the force require to roll a 500 kg item on a flat surface, which is doable but tricky with two people I can tell you.
posted by shothotbot at 6:19 AM on May 31, 2010

I would seriously look into Moving Heavy Things or some similar internets solution if you don't have time to get that book. A ramp is going to have to be much shorter than 10 m, unless you have easy access to 10m boards that are 10cm x 10cm AND 10m. Last I looked, getting those in lengths much more than 5m is pretty difficult/expensive. So you need an additional mechanical advantage to your ramp, like a pulley or buckle or lever.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:28 AM on May 31, 2010

I would use ropes around one end (not the sides) and put some sliders under the object when you lower it onto the ramp. You would then pull it up the ramp while you are in the truck bed. Also 2 people on either side of the ramp to guide the object.
posted by futz at 6:38 AM on May 31, 2010

I would say try lashing two long metal painter's ladders together to double them up (stacked, not side-by-side), then shore up the center section of the ladder with horses or...well anything stable really. That should create a significantly longer ramp that would hold the rock while you pushed from the side. You should at least be able to drop it on your toes from an increased altitude.
posted by umberto at 6:46 AM on May 31, 2010

The scale is hard to tell from the picture, but your basin appears to be maybe 60cm across and 45cm deep. This natsume chouzubachi is ~46cm across by ~50cm deep and it only weighs ~160kg. I'm not sure how deep the bowl is carved out or what the material is, but I'd guess your basin weighs closer to 200kg. If so, maybe you could use something like Forearm Forklift to lift it? They're rated up to 300kg and are available nationwide in Japan according to the information on the manufacturer's site.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:08 AM on May 31, 2010

With a sufficient number of bricks, you can build two piers, hard up against each other, immediately behind the pickup bed. Start the first pier with one course of brick and roll the stone onto it, placing wedges to stabilize it. Build the second pier with 2 courses of brick, padding the built-up edge if necessary, roll the stone up the one course onto the second pier and wedge it. Add 2 courses to the first pier, pad, roll the stone up one more course onto the first pier and wedge it. Continue until you reach the height of the pickup bed. Roll the stone onto the truck.

The piers must have rock stable footings - poured concrete? - so they can not possibly lean. Overlap the courses so no seams line up over seams in the course below, but lie across them, so the pier can't (is less likely to...) spread outward. The bricks must each be able to stand the object's weight without fracturing; the shape of the object is such that it will bear on only one brick at a time. You probably want one person watching the stone and the pier supporting it, at all times, as there will be heads, hands and feet below a 1000# object.

I have raised a ~100# stone out of a 2' hole this way using smaller rocks. Your object is an order of magnitude heavier, its trajectory, should it fall, would be toward rather than away from people, and once above the ground, the height will give it way more potential to cause serious injury or death. (Not suggesting you don't already know this but I wouldn't feel OK about not pointing it out.)
posted by TruncatedTiller at 7:19 AM on May 31, 2010

If you know anyone with a portable engine hoist that seems like the best bet to me. Are there any exposed rafters nearby that you could hook a chain hoist up to? Lifting it straight up and then lowering it into the truck bed would be the only way that you'd get me involved in this foot-smashing game. Building a ramp long enough to make this possible with two people that can support 500kg[!] is not easy. A long ramp is usually not a strong ramp when it is cobbled together for one-time use. In using umberto's ladder idea you would at least need to lash the sawhorse to the rungs of the bottom ladder so it won't skid out on you.

if you get this on the truck then tie it down so it can't move at all. Then retighten it after the first block. then check on it often. 500 rolling kilograms will do amazing things when you brake quickly because of a rabbit on the road or whatever.

I wish you luck!
posted by Acari at 7:40 AM on May 31, 2010

500kg is a big number. It might also be worthwhile to make sure the truck has that kind of carrying capacity--if it's a compact pickup, you might be cutting things close.
posted by box at 8:55 AM on May 31, 2010

The come along winch is your friend. Even inexpensive ones are rated for 2 tons.
posted by three blind mice at 9:11 AM on May 31, 2010

Don't forget the hardest part: getting the rock down. In many cases, this is the part when things get broken.
posted by 2legit2quit at 9:59 AM on May 31, 2010

TruncatedTiller's plan with the two piers sounds like your best bet. Two men can safely tip a 500kg basin over a few inches, if they are very careful and talk to each other continuously. Do check that the ground will support the bricks, though. The weight will be more concentrated than if the basin were to rest directly on the ground.
posted by d. z. wang at 10:11 AM on May 31, 2010

From the photo it doesn't look all that big or heavy (at least not in the 500Kg range).

You could probably get away with using a 12' ramp if you make it with an "H" shaped cross section and camber the ends flat to the ground. I'd try it with a couple of strong guys and a rope running from the truck hitch, underneath and up around it back to something solid (to secure it while they roll it)
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:36 AM on May 31, 2010

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