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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).


IMG_2579.JPG


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.

IMG_2567.JPG


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.


IMG_2623.JPG


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.


IMG_2764.JPG


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.)


IMG_2766.JPG


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.


skyhook load limit.jpg



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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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:bigthumb:.......:munch:
 

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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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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! :bigthumb:

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

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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! :bigthumb:

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....

FC445956-E0BE-47D2-ACAE-6DAFDEA346C4.jpeg
 

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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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Discussion Starter #10
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.
 
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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.
LOL. I’m not sure of my math either. I just set up a simple ratio...600 ft lbs of torque with 600 lbs at 12inches moment arm Equals x amount of weight at 55inches. For simplicity, I just assumed the force was perpendicular. I probably should have assumed the moment arm was from the loader pivot point rather than the bucket’s pivot point.
 

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keane, I really like your idea and the simplicity of it.

Lots of math and all kinds of ways to calculate what it will be capable of........ in theory.

When you get to the live tests, please be careful, cause stuff happens.

Ray_Pa has some good points.

The point made about the receiver loading, I would guess that the same would apply to the attachment points for the chain. They were meant to have a vertical load as well.

I have no idea how to calculate what the forces would be, but if the load were to swing or bounce, that will increase the force applied as well. I think it is referred to as dynamic. :dunno:

This is the only type of forklift crane I have seen or used.

001cp.jpg


So what are you planning on lifting with your fork frame boom pole?
 

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Good design.....As another thought I chose to use the heavy boom pole from King Kutter and it has a sliding center tube. Now having said that it couples to the front plate adapter I made with the quick hitch. All this is, is the JD plate with a quick hitch welded to the face. This way I can use three point on front of my tractors. Here you see a harrow attached to it...but I can attach the boom pole....rock rake...grader blade...box blade or any three point that will work on the front. Here's a pic of the harrow....
 

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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.
As the math shows, based on the John Deere info pertaining to the H120 lifting capacity at the bucket pivot points, and the distance these pivot points are from the FEL boom pivot point with the bucket on the ground, the H120 has 4766 ft. lb. of lifting torque so you should be able to lift about 400 lb., maybe 450 lb., at the end of your crane boom if it is 6' long, when it is level and at the lowest lifting position.

As i said in the earlier post, the more important issue is the load the will be applied to the chain and fork frame connection points.

With 400 lb. hanging on the end of your crane boom, with the boom level and lifting something off the ground in front of the tractor, the tension that will be applied to each chain and its connection point will be 1216 lb.

So the question is, what is the safe working load of the chain? If you have 5/16" grade 70 chain, the WLL is 4700 lb. If you have 1/4" grade 70 chain, the WLL is 3150 lb. so based on this, the chain should be fine.

So the next question is, how much force will the attaching points on the fork frame take. I would assume they will be able to take the 1216 lb. of load that will be seen when lifting 400 lb., so I doubt this will be an issue either.

The other question would be, in you single chain arrangement, where the chain attaches to the middle of fork frame, if you lift 400 lb. with the single chain, the load on that chain, and the middle of the fork frame, will be 2432 lbs. I doubt the fork frame can take this kind of concentrated load applied in the middle of the fork frame, so be very careful using it with one chain.

Again, I like your design and the idea, in fact many times I have thought about doing the same thing, so cudos on your design. Nice work.

My intent in replying to your post was to point out the limitations so all JD tractor users understand the kinds of things that can happen with attachments such as these. Again, if the user recognizes the limitations, no problem. :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As the math shows, based on the John Deere info pertaining to the H120 lifting capacity at the bucket pivot points, and the distance these pivot points are from the FEL boom pivot point with the bucket on the ground, the H120 has 4766 ft. lb. of lifting torque so you should be able to lift about 400 lb., maybe 450 lb., at the end of your crane boom if it is 6' long, when it is level and at the lowest lifting position.

As i said in the earlier post, the more important issue is the load the will be applied to the chain and fork frame connection points.

With 400 lb. hanging on the end of your crane boom, with the boom level and lifting something off the ground in front of the tractor, the tension that will be applied to each chain and its connection point will be 1216 lb.

So the question is, what is the safe working load of the chain? If you have 5/16" grade 70 chain, the WLL is 4700 lb. If you have 1/4" grade 70 chain, the WLL is 3150 lb. so based on this, the chain should be fine.

So the next question is, how much force will the attaching points on the fork frame take. I would assume they will be able to take the 1216 lb. of load that will be seen when lifting 400 lb., so I doubt this will be an issue either.

The other question would be, in you single chain arrangement, where the chain attaches to the middle of fork frame, if you lift 400 lb. with the single chain, the load on that chain, and the middle of the fork frame, will be 2432 lbs. I doubt the fork frame can take this kind of concentrated load applied in the middle of the fork frame, so be very careful using it with one chain.

Again, I like your design and the idea, in fact many times I have thought about doing the same thing, so cudos on your design. Nice work.

My intent in replying to your post was to point out the limitations so all JD tractor users understand the kinds of things that can happen with attachments such as these. Again, if the user recognizes the limitations, no problem. :good2:

Thanks very much, Ray, for the insights and great math. I was hoping someone would help me a bit with this and I'm grateful for all the time you've put into your responses.

The chain is 1/4 inch Grade 70, so this is okay. I also went back and double checked the shoulder bolt eye rings and clevises to make sure the specs on everything exceeded the forces identified. The chain slots on the Artillian fork frame are in 1/2 inch steel plate. With all my testing, I haven't even marred the paint on the back of the chain slots. Still, your advice is good and I will be contacting Artillian to find out if they have a spec. When I cut the chain for the crane, I left it a little long. I wanted a bit of a handle for getting it in the slot, but I also wanted the option of looping it around the top bar and connecting back on itself. It is long enough to do that.

When I tested the crane (as I'll show in a subsequent post), I used sandbags on a pallet and got to almost 300 lbs (it measured at 286). Just before I tested the crane, I tested some forklift extenders I'm developing in parallel that I will use to take the topper off my truck. The load on the extenders was out at 58 inches from the end of the hitch on the fork frame. For ballast I had my backhoe on the tractor and 2 wheel weights on each of the rear wheels. I don't have ballast fluid in my tires. With this load out at 58 inches, I could sense the back end getting a little light. When I tested the crane at 52 inches, I moved the boom and dipper out on the backhoe to shift the center of gravity on the backhoe to further behind the tractor. With this setup, I didn't feel any lightness in the back end.

I have double ballast racks for my quick hitch, so I'm now using these when lifting a lot with the crane or fork extenders. (I just bought a couple more 42 lb weights for these racks.) I'm sure your math is right about how much the loader arms can lift, but I don't think I could put enough ballast on the back to handle that much. I will be marking my crane "300 lbs load max". All of my projects that I'm currently thinking about are well below this limit.

Thanks again for all your help. The additional discussions you initiated are safety focused and that is always good.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So what are you planning on lifting with your fork frame boom pole?

I have several projects in mind. For one, I've been wanting a "sky hook" to help me get batteries out of and into my vehicles. I've been doing this with brute force for many years, but I now have a medical condition that makes this more risky. I don't want to end up with a long-term disability just because I can't adapt to a new way of doing it. So that will be helpful.

I have some terraced window wells for the large windows in my basement. I've wanted to add some rock landscaping in the terraces of these wells but getting the rock down there is a lot of work. So I'm looking to get a big metal bucket with a strong handle and use the crane to raise the bucket of rocks over the fence surrounding the well and then lower it down into the well.

I've been using the crane already to handle large sand bags that I use for ballast in the back of my truck and to hold things down on my property so that the wind doesn't blow it away. I'm getting pretty good at placing them right where I want them. I've used the FEL bucket to do this before, but the accuracy of placement is a problem.

I've also been using the crane to weigh heavy items with a crane scale that I purchased.
 

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Talked to Artillian

I called Artillian today to get some additional specifications on the chain slots.

According to Tom at Artillian, the chain slots are not to be used for lifting. The purpose of the chain slots is to secure the load on the forks, and only 5/16 chain is approved for use in the slots. Tom mentioned that a concern was a chain breaking when lifting and the slot is not designed to secure the chain when this happens. During a break, the piece of chain in the slot could come out and hit the operator.

So I've measured the chain on this crane and if it stays connected at either end, under the worst case scenario it can't reach the operator during a break. (It could cause damage to the tractor.) So for my use, I need to make sure the connection at the chain slot is secure. When I went to do this, I discovered a bonehead mistake I made during the construction of the crane. I can remember how careful I was measuring and cutting the chains, but somehow one of them is one link longer than the other. And I think you really need that extra link to secure the chain end in what I believe is the best way.

With 5 extra links beyond the link in the chain slot, you can secure the end as shown in the photo below. The chain goes through the structure of the fork frame and the connection is very tight. I think this is the best connection:


IMG_2811.JPG


On the other side, where there were only 4 links beyond the link in the slot, I simply secured the end of the chain to the fork frame. This approach is a little loose.


IMG_2814.JPG


The next time I place an order with Tulsa Chain, I'll get another piece at the longer length. Meanwhile, the chain is secured at both ends. I think this is good. I'd hate to have chain pop out of the slot while going over rough ground with the load bouncing around. And if the chain should break, I believe it is unlikely it can get to the operator in the seat. I certainly don't expect Artillian to endorse this use of their product. But I'm comfortable using the crane with this change as long as I limit the load to 300 lbs for reasons discussed in a previous post.

Keane
 

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I called Artillian today to get some additional specifications on the chain slots.

According to Tom at Artillian, the chain slots are not to be used for lifting. The purpose of the chain slots is to secure the load on the forks, and only 5/16 chain is approved for use in the slots. Tom mentioned that a concern was a chain breaking when lifting and the slot is not designed to secure the chain when this happens. During a break, the piece of chain in the slot could come out and hit the operator.

So I've measured the chain on this crane and if it stays connected at either end, under the worst case scenario it can't reach the operator during a break. (It could cause damage to the tractor.) So for my use, I need to make sure the connection at the chain slot is secure. When I went to do this, I discovered a bonehead mistake I made during the construction of the crane. I can remember how careful I was measuring and cutting the chains, but somehow one of them is one link longer than the other. And I think you really need that extra link to secure the chain end in what I believe is the best way.

With 5 extra links beyond the link in the chain slot, you can secure the end as shown in the photo below. The chain goes through the structure of the fork frame and the connection is very tight. I think this is the best connection:


View attachment 706526


On the other side, where there were only 4 links beyond the link in the slot, I simply secured the end of the chain to the fork frame. This approach is a little loose.


View attachment 706528


The next time I place an order with Tulsa Chain, I'll get another piece at the longer length. Meanwhile, the chain is secured at both ends. I think this is good. I'd hate to have chain pop out of the slot while going over rough ground with the load bouncing around. And if the chain should break, I believe it is unlikely it can get to the operator in the seat. I certainly don't expect Artillian to endorse this use of their product. But I'm comfortable using the crane with this change as long as I limit the load to 300 lbs for reasons discussed in a previous post.

Keane
Hello Keane, I like your setup and instead of locking chain on the frame and worring about 5he chain popping out while driving around. You could go under the mount and lock chain back to itself. If you can get it tight that way?

I like it better attached to the frame, just in case it was to break it cant go anywhere. Also you could put a small keeper that you can swivel over the top of the chain and then lock down to help keep the chain from bouncing out.

Just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work!

WB
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Testing the Mini-Crane

I wanted a crane that could handle at least 200 lbs. So my test was for about 300 lbs. If it was good at 300 lbs, it should be very solid at 200 lbs. I have to consider the rough ground where I often use my tractor. Think about turning on rough ground and getting a heavy load swinging on the end of the boom with all the leverage it has. It is prudent to derate the maximum load whenever there will be additional environmental adversity.

In looking for something to be a test load, I kept considering things that I already had, but many of them were expensive. It's best to test with something that won't cost a lot if the load gets dropped somehow during the test. I decided on sandbags on a pallet, and I was shooting for about 300 lbs.

The crane easily handled the load. For ballast on the rear, I had 2 wheel weights on each rear wheel and the backhoe with the boom and dipper extended out to amplify its weight reduction on the front axle.

Backhoe position:


IMG_2547.JPG


Crane lifting the load:


IMG_2545.JPG

IMG_2546.JPG


This static load was able to be lifted by either the attachment curl back or the boom raise on the front loader. It was my sense that the loader was not struggling at all to handle this weight and that the rear ballast was adequate with the backhoe extended, although this is not an ideal way to operate the crane. If I need to handle loads this big with the crane, I'll use both my ballast racks in back with all my weights. It did not feel unsafe moving the load, but I was on the flat driveway. I would not take a load this size on rough ground.

The crane scale indicated 287 lbs.


IMG_2542.JPG


This testing was done before I had learned that the chain needed to be secured at the chain slots, so you will notice in the photos that the chain in the slots is unsecured. Now we all know better.

Keane
 
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