Mini-Crane Attachment for Artillian Fork Frame (H120 Loader)
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    Mini-Crane Attachment for Artillian Fork Frame (H120 Loader)

    I've been jealous of JD4044M's boom crane. There are times when you need a lift in a tight place and need to control the lift with precision. I use my FEL bucket with hooks and D-ring clevises to lift a lot, but the bucket really blocks your visibility and it can really be in the way for a tight lift. So I decided to make my own crane for my FEL using the Artillian fork frame as a base. It turns out that its features are well-suited for this project.

    The basic crane is shown below. I used a piece of 2" square steel tubing for the boom (the same type of steel used in trailer hitches).


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    The boom is mounted in the trailer hitch on the fork frame.


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    The support chains connect into the upper chain slots on the fork frame. They can be made nicely taut without using anything to tension the chain, such as a turnbuckle.


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    The upper and lower shoulder ring bolts at the end of the boom are mounted with a connecting nut inside the steel tube. The 2" connecting nut has been ground down on one end so that it fits perfectly tight in the end of the tube (had to tap it in). My goal was to keep the forces on the rings from acting to distort the sides of the steel tubing and cleanly transmit forces on the rings to each other.

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    The maximum lift height of this crane is about 9 1/2 feet. You could use it to move material to a low roof edge, but most of my house is 2 stories and the garage has high ceilings. It won't reach the roof on any part of my house.


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    For really tight lifts, I also have the hardware for a center chain option for cases where the side chains might be in the way. When moving big loads, the inertial forces to get them moving and stop them can create lateral forces on the boom. The side chains are preferable for providing support to protect the boom in these cases.


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    I was able to get the center chain taut using standard components. I had to lift the boom with my knee while I used both hands to get the clevis connected. Not easy, but it was possible. (I should sell videos of this stuff.)


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    A key question in this design is "How much leveraged force can the trailer hitch in the fork frame handle?". It turns out that it should handle over 600 lbs without even considering the effect of the support chains. The H120 loader can only handle about half that weight at the end of a boom as long as this crane. So I'm pretty confident that the hitch in the fork frame won't be damaged. My math is below, and a pdf is attached. Those of you with serious skills in this area, please advise me if I'm off base.


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    ==========================================

    I will supplement this post with future posts on (1) testing the crane, (2) adding a winch, and (3) storing the crane.

    Keane
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    mjncad's Avatar
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    Very cool!
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    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    .......
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Very nice! If only I had a receiver in my Artillian frame.....
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    Clever idea. It would be interesting to chart the reduction in lifting capacity at various lengths of the boom. Roughly, if you consider the loader capacity at 12 inches to be 600 lbs, then that 600 ft-lbs applied at 52 inches would translate to a max lifting capacity of 138 lbs at the end of the boom. You’d still want 600 lbs of ballast on the back of the tractor because at 52 inch moment arm, that’s the force that the loader would be handling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Very nice! If only I had a receiver in my Artillian frame.....
    I got really lucky. My Artillian frame was purchased before they started integrating the receiver. At one time Chris was considering selling a retrofit kit. I don't remember the exact series of events, but somehow Chris ended up sending me one of them shortly after he sold the company to Curtis. I tried to pay him - he refused.

    He was a great guy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark02tj View Post
    I got really lucky. My Artillian frame was purchased before they started integrating the receiver. At one time Chris was considering selling a retrofit kit. I don't remember the exact series of events, but somehow Chris ended up sending me one of them shortly after he sold the company to Curtis. I tried to pay him - he refused.

    He was a great guy!

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    Just took a look. Looks like the 2300# frame doesn’t have it still - only the 3000#. I never did or will need a 3000# frame for my little tractor....

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    I got the same result by buying the Artillian 3pt adapter and mounting that on my Artillian frame. Then I bought a 3pt boom setup from Tractor Supply.

    In the end, both mine and your's do the same thing but I spent a lot more $$ getting there and your's should install/remove much faster and simpler.
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    The idea is good although, I would not be so concerned about the load on the receiver, as the load that will be applied to the receiver will mostly be compression load, not deflection load like it is rated for. The load rating on the artillian receiver is based on deflection load only. The forces that will be applied with your crane will not be deflection forces on the receiver, but will be tension forces on the chains attached to the top corners of the fork frame. I would be concerned about the load that will be transmitted to the chain and the chain connection points at the top corners of the fork frame.

    You will also have to be careful when lifting something when the FEL frame and bucket are at at a high angle and then lowering this load to a low angle by lowering the FEL and rolling the bucket forward. The geometry of the design will dramatically increase the torque applied to all loaded components in the system.

    The reason for this is, if you lift something with the lifting boom at a high angle and the bucket rolled back, the horizontal distance from the center of the front wheels is "x" number of feet (fairly close). As you lower the FEL and then roll the bucket down with this load on it, the distance from the front wheels to the load C of G will dramatically increase.

    So, if you plan to lift things from ground level and lift them to a higher position, you shouldn't have any problems because if you are trying to lift too much, the FEL just will not lift it. Although, if you place the tip of the boom at a high angle with the FEL raised and the bucket rolled back, and then lift something at this high angle, then the only way to lower it is to lower the FEL and roll the bucket forward, in doing this, you will be dramatically increasing the forces applied to the tractor, which could turn it over, or the torque applied to the top chain connection points will increase to the point that they could break or bend.

    Considering the low angle of your connection chains when the boom is level, and the length of the boom (approx. 6'), the tension that will be seen in each chain and its connection point is going to be considerable.

    Below is a detail diagram showing the load that could be applied to the chain and connection points if you load the crane with 498 lb., which based on the maximum capacity of the FEL, this is the maximum that you will be able to lift, break-away, at the end of the crane. Now, you are not going to get 498 lb. very high off the ground at the end of the crane and you may not be able to lift that much at all because to get the tip of the crane off the ground, you will have to start with the FEL raised somewhat which lowers its lifting capacity, in turn lowering the lifting capacity of your crane also.

    All this said, the tension that will be applied to the chains and lifting points on the fork frame is going to be extreme when lifting with the crane boom level. This is where I would be most concerned. You can see in the diagram, the chain tension and connection point loading could be over 1400 lb. per chain with 498 lbs. on the crane. The question is, can the chain attaching points take this kind of load tension. Call Artillian!!!

    I don't mean to be the cold water committee, although, I do want to make sure you are aware of the kinds of loading that can be created in those chains when lifting at the end of the crane boom with the boom level. It is also important to know, the real danger that can occur is if you load the crane when the FEL and bucket is rolled back. Obviously to load it in this configuration, you would have to have the crane boomed up over a roof or other elevated platform, lift the load by raising the FEL or rolling the bucket (boom) back and then backing the tractor up and then lowering it. When you lower a load that is too heavy, the torque applied to the tractor will dramatically multiply as you are lowering it and then rolling the bucket forward. Be careful!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacCool View Post
    Clever idea. It would be interesting to chart the reduction in lifting capacity at various lengths of the boom. Roughly, if you consider the loader capacity at 12 inches to be 600 lbs, then that 600 ft-lbs applied at 52 inches would translate to a max lifting capacity of 138 lbs at the end of the boom. You’d still want 600 lbs of ballast on the back of the tractor because at 52 inch moment arm, that’s the force that the loader would be handling.
    I'm not sure of your math on this one. As I'll show in a future post, my testing has the crane lifting close to 300 lbs with no problem. I agree that ballast is important.
    rtgt and JD4044M like this.
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    54D MMM
    54 Snow Blower
    54 Front Blade
    JD I-match
    10P Dump Cart
    Heavy Hitch: Receiver hitch w/rack, 2" receiver 8-Weight Rack, 2" front & rear receivers, synthetic blade
    Ken's BOGH: Grab Hooks/ Clevis Mounts, Oblong Ring Slings, Differential Pedal, backhoe step, etc.
    Everything Attachments: Pine Needle Rake, Aerator
    Bxpanded: Ripper Claw, Trenching Bucket, Quick Change for 260 BH
    Artillian: 3K fork frame & 36" tines
    Miller Tire: R4 tire chains

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