Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

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db1216
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Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by db1216 » Wed May 09, 2018 9:51 pm

Hello all,

I posted not too terribly long ago about having items shipped long distances and you all were of great help. I have an accompanying conundrum that I believe warrants a new topic. I have wine barrels that I would like to sell. I am not quite at the level of purchasing a dedicated trailer for them, but we are getting close to that and I need to work (mostly) with what I already have purchased for the time being.

The wine barrels themselves run about 120 lbs and are awkward to lift. I'm not willing to risk my back to make extra side cash so I am looking for a safe way to move these in and out of the trailer-hitch cargo tray I have mounted to my vehicle. This can theoretically based on weight and measurements carry two barrels at a time side-by-side. See below:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Curt-Manufac ... 3=&veh=sem

I am able to maneuver and relocate the barrels and ground level without any issues using a standard dolly as shown below:

https://www.amazon.com/Harper-Trucks-67 ... ance+dolly

Herein lies the problem that I'm hoping you all can give me some ideas for without spending large sums of cash (preferably not over $100): How do I lift the barrel to place it on the cargo tray without lifting the dolly via brute strength? I've considered mounting/hooking ramps to the cargo tray itself, but these really are out of the range of what I want to spend at this time from what I have found. Further, I would need to be able to disembark the barrels once I arrive at a destination, presumably the buyer's home.

I'm currently in the MVP (minimum viable product) from the lean start-up method hence the budget constraints. If everything works out, I would then purchase a trailer instead of messing with the above dilemma. However, I have a few folks who are requesting quotes and right now, I need a good method to get the barrels to them.

:confused

texasdiver
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by texasdiver » Wed May 09, 2018 10:09 pm

I think your best solution might be to find a cargo tray that can be raised and lowered. They make electric ones for those heavy powered wheelchairs. I have also seen them with a hand jack. So you just lower the cargo tray down to the ground, roll the barrels on, then raise it up to its travel height.

Alternatively, perhaps a folding metal ramp that will let you roll the hand cart up onto the cargo tray. Or a cargo tray with a built in ramp like one of these: https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Hitch_ ... _Ramp.aspx

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Sandtrap » Wed May 09, 2018 10:18 pm

Home Depot, or Lowes, or . . . .
(2) 2" x 6" x 8" boards.
(1) 1" x 2 x ? board.
Screw 1 or 2 short pieces of 1x2 to each end of a 2 x 6 so it does not slide off your hitch mounted cargo tray.
Roll either the barrel or the hand truck up the boards.
Done.

j

Point
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Point » Wed May 09, 2018 10:44 pm

You also have the option of using a ladder to role them uphill

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TxAg
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by TxAg » Wed May 09, 2018 10:51 pm

Roll them up

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Watty
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Watty » Wed May 09, 2018 11:53 pm

An appliance dolly like this one might work.

https://www.harborfreight.com/600-lb-ca ... 65685.html

Harbor freight usually has coupons for 20%(?) off.

These have a long rollers on the back for going up and down stairs, basically the roller acts like a ramp.

You could also use these when you deliver if the customer wants the barrels on a front porch that is up some steps.

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by CurlyDave » Thu May 10, 2018 12:41 am

There are two potential solutions I can add:

1. https://www.harborfreight.com/500-lb-ca ... 60730.html This is a little over your $100 price range, but is a fine tool for this type of lift. Essentially tilt the dolly to get the barrel onto the lift table in its lowered position and then pump up the jack with your foot to lift the table platform to your desired height. I have one of these tables and it is a marvelous tool for all sorts of things.

2. This one is free. There is a technique for placing heavy items into a truck bed or any slightly raised platform which could work for you. Using the dolly, position the barrel nearly its full height away from the platform. Take the barrel off the dolly and tilt it toward the platform, gently lowering the top onto the edge of the platform. Lift the end of the barrel on the ground up, and the barrel will end up on the platform, upside down from its original position on the ground.

By using leverage you have reduced the weight it is necessary to lift to half of the barrel weight. This is not using brute force, it is using leverage to reduce the force necessary.

This is a lot harder to describe than to do, and if you have ever seen it done you will be convinced.

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snackdog
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by snackdog » Thu May 10, 2018 4:28 am

Options -

1) sell them with the condition the buyer pick them up at your place
2) get someone strong to lift them for you and/or use enough people to lift safely
3) borrow a hydraulic engine hoist from a friend (need to find way to take it to delivery location)

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by livesoft » Thu May 10, 2018 7:14 am

Teenage boys.
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Watty
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Watty » Thu May 10, 2018 7:26 am

One more thought. To do this right what you really need is a small utility trailer. That would be above your budget but your might be able to find a used one on Craigslist for less than $500 and you could eventually sell it for about the same price if the business does not work out.

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by PrettyCoolWorkshop » Thu May 10, 2018 7:37 am

I feel like a lot of the repliers are missing one of the main constraints of the problem. I see that the cargo tray has a railing that you must be able to lift over. Does this railing swing open at all, or is it fixed in place? If it is fixed in place, I would either remove this railing or install a sheet of plywood on top of it in order to avoid having to lift over the railing when you deliver to the customer. Then you would still need to add enough railing/ support to keep the barrel from falling off the platform.

The idea of using a ramp to roll the barrel up is probably good, and the ideas posted by CurlyDave are good . If these do not work I would do one of the following:

1. Take advantage of the most powerful motion the human body can generate- the squat. This could be accomplished using some 2x4's, some door hinges, and some rope. Fasten two 2x4's, maybe 6 feet long, into a frame whose width is slightly less than the height of the barrel. One end of this frame can be referred to as the "car end" and one can be referred to as the "ground end." On the bottom side of this frame, at the ground end, use door hinges to fasten a pair of 2x4's whose length is the same as the the cargo tray's height off the ground. These hinges would be folded up until ready to use. Additionally, fasten some rope to the top side of the 2x4's near the ground end. The working length of these ropes should be the difference between your shoulder height and the cargo tray's height. Attach another 2x4 between the top of the ropes- this 2x4 is your "barbell." You may also need to add some amount of "cradling features" to the device to cradle the barrel in one place when desired. My preferred cradling feature would be a pair of tie downs that run around the barrel parallel to the length of the frame.

To use this device, start with the device laid flat behind the cargo tray. Lift the car end of the device onto the top of the cargo tray and roll the barrel onto the ground end of the device. Position the "barbell" over your shoulders and perform a squat. As you complete your lift, ensure that the hinged legs unfold and these legs securely support the weight of the barrel. At this point, you should be able to walk free and roll the barrel from the ground end to the car end easily with no elevation change.

2. As a variant of the above device: Construct the same frame, with the same folding hinged legs, and as wide as your shoulders. Instead of using ropes and "barbell" that is at shoulder height, just plan to grab the ground end of the frame with your hands. This variant depends more on your strength than the other variant. I think I like this variant better overall because it removes some unnecessary complexity.

For either of these devices, it is probably worth it to add some sort of locking feature that makes sure the legs don't collapse out from under it. But maybe wait until you have knocked together the prototype first to see if it is worth it.
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Katietsu » Thu May 10, 2018 7:45 am

Could you use a ramp meant for helping dogs get in and out of vehicles?

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by bob60014 » Thu May 10, 2018 7:49 am

Any teenagers around that could help on your end? Two of them could just pick up and over the rails.

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lthenderson
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by lthenderson » Thu May 10, 2018 8:41 am

Sounds like you need a dolly with hydraulic lift on it. We use one all the time for just this kind of situation.

http://www.handtrucksrus.com/product-de ... 87&cx=lift

barnaclebob
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by barnaclebob » Thu May 10, 2018 8:46 am

buy some 2x4's and roll them up. $4.00 solution.

Trailers with ramps are also well under $100 for a day to rent.

If you have someone who can help, shoulder harness dolly straps are also very effective and allow for proper lifting technique.

2 able bodied people should easily be able to pick them up. Call some friends?

Why can't the buyer pick them up?

Its only 120lbs, Thats not very heavy. Any sort of crazy lifting tools are not needed.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Thu May 10, 2018 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by p14175 » Thu May 10, 2018 9:53 am

Those cargo trays are great for fairly light loads, but if you are carrying 240 pounds, you will want to add extra supports that tie the unit to the vehicle frame. Rent a trailer and dolly instead.


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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu May 10, 2018 10:42 am

That harbor freight solution is excellent. I was going to cobble something with a transmission jack. If you look around, 20% off HF coupons are pretty easy to come across.
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by TravelGeek » Thu May 10, 2018 10:59 am

bob60014 wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 7:49 am
Any teenagers around that could help on your end? Two of them could just pick up and over the rails.
Exactly my thought.

I guess the question is, how many barrels does the OP have, how often will this be done. That would influence my decision on whether to invest in tools/machinery for the requirement vs. borrowing human help.

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by 3feetpete » Thu May 10, 2018 11:56 am

I once had to lift a very heavy treamill onto the bed of SUV. I used a folding table I had laying around as a ramp and backed the SUV up to the steps so that the ramp was very nearly horizontal. Very easy to do and cost nothing. You could do the same thing with a couple of long 2x6's You would probably want to tie them together with 1x4's so they don't split apart under load.

renue74
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by renue74 » Thu May 10, 2018 12:46 pm

Guys...guys....I love the idea of teenagers, but the seem to never be around when real work has to be done.

Soooo...you can actually by a cargo carrier with a ramp....roll the barrel right up.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?query=c ... p&cat_id=0

Thx

alfaspider
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by alfaspider » Thu May 10, 2018 1:07 pm

Another cheap option if you have something solid overhead is a rope and pulley system. Harbor freight sells those too, or cheap electric winches if you are feeling lazy.

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Luke Duke » Fri May 11, 2018 10:05 am

A U-Haul motorcycle hauler can be rented for $14/day.

Image

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Watty
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Watty » Fri May 11, 2018 1:24 pm

Be sure to check to see if the barrels will be blocking your tail lights.

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by -buzz- » Fri May 11, 2018 2:08 pm

U-Haul trailers with ramps come in a few different sizes. That would give you the ability to haul more than two at a time.

You could also get some relatively inexpensive ramps like these:

https://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-s ... 44649.html

There are a few different sizes, including some folding ones.

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by Atilla » Fri May 11, 2018 2:41 pm

Get an aluminum folding motorcycle ramp and roll the suckers on. Easy peasy and secure.Image
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F150HD
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by F150HD » Fri May 11, 2018 6:18 pm

db1216 wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 9:51 pm
How do I lift the barrel to place it on the cargo tray without lifting the dolly via brute strength?
Image

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dratkinson
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by dratkinson » Fri May 11, 2018 7:25 pm

I like the idea of adding a hand winch to your existing hand truck.

A hand winch should be cheap to buy. And relatively easy to attach it to the top of your hand truck.

For ideas of final product, see hand truck winch: http://www.google.com/search?q=hand+tru ... 1&tbm=isch

The problem then becomes attaching the cable to your barrel.
--Maybe use an existing barrel hoop, cut on one side for easy attachment/removal.
--Attach cut hoop below bulging barrel middle.
--Join cut ends of barrel hoop with secure fastener (length of chain bolted to hoop ends,...).
--Attach winch cable to hoop.
--Use hand winch to raise barrel to swing onto/off of vehicle cargo carrier.
--Leave hoop in place while you deliver barrel. Remove hoop after delivery.


A problem could be the stability of your existing hand truck's base when the barrel is lifted. Commercial products seem to handle the stability issue by having a wider base. May need to think about adding a wider base to your hand truck. Or just be more careful in using it.


Another problem could be barrel is too unstable to hold upright if lifted from an attachment point below its center of gravity. Could solve this problem by attaching a second cut barrel hoop above it's center of gravity and attach winch cable to it too. So cable runs through top hoop (provides stability), then to bottom hoop (does the lifting).
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by nhdean » Fri May 11, 2018 8:06 pm

Does this work?

Apex Steel Basket Cargo Carrier with Ramp

db1216
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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by db1216 » Sat May 26, 2018 9:23 am

I'm out of state for a few weeks, disconnected from the world, and I come back to this outstanding set of responses. Thank you all so much for the time you took to reply to my topic. :sharebeer

I am going through the responses and jotting notes to figure out the best way. As many of you mentioned, a pre-constructed cargo tray w/ a ramp is the ideal method, but if I plan to spend 100-150, then I will just move up to the trailer option. My primary goal is to basically use what I have to delivery a few barrels to ensure the process goes smoothly and is a viable opportunity (which appears that it is at this point).
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:18 pm
Home Depot, or Lowes, or . . . .
(2) 2" x 6" x 8" boards.
(1) 1" x 2 x ? board.
Screw 1 or 2 short pieces of 1x2 to each end of a 2 x 6 so it does not slide off your hitch mounted cargo tray.
Roll either the barrel or the hand truck up the boards.
Done.

j
Looking at this right now. My father used to use simple boards to get his lawn tractor up and down from his pickup truck. My main concern with this was slippage due to the shape of the railing but the double attachment idea might fix that issue. Thanks!
Point wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 10:44 pm
You also have the option of using a ladder to role them uphill
Didn't really think about this, I'll try it this weekend as I do have a small ladder. Not the most glamorous, but could work.
Watty wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 11:53 pm
An appliance dolly like this one might work.

https://www.harborfreight.com/600-lb-ca ... 65685.html

Harbor freight usually has coupons for 20%(?) off.

These have a long rollers on the back for going up and down stairs, basically the roller acts like a ramp.

You could also use these when you deliver if the customer wants the barrels on a front porch that is up some steps.
That is also a good idea with the rollers. I have a dolly considered a "furniture" dolly but it lacks the little wheels. Thanks!
CurlyDave wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 12:41 am
There are two potential solutions I can add:

1. https://www.harborfreight.com/500-lb-ca ... 60730.html This is a little over your $100 price range, but is a fine tool for this type of lift. Essentially tilt the dolly to get the barrel onto the lift table in its lowered position and then pump up the jack with your foot to lift the table platform to your desired height. I have one of these tables and it is a marvelous tool for all sorts of things.

2. This one is free. There is a technique for placing heavy items into a truck bed or any slightly raised platform which could work for you. Using the dolly, position the barrel nearly its full height away from the platform. Take the barrel off the dolly and tilt it toward the platform, gently lowering the top onto the edge of the platform. Lift the end of the barrel on the ground up, and the barrel will end up on the platform, upside down from its original position on the ground.

By using leverage you have reduced the weight it is necessary to lift to half of the barrel weight. This is not using brute force, it is using leverage to reduce the force necessary.

This is a lot harder to describe than to do, and if you have ever seen it done you will be convinced.
I actually haven't used one of those lifts. I saw it in passing but write it off as a complicated / costly purchase for the goal; however, it definitely isn't off the table and I could use it for other things around the shop.
PrettyCoolWorkshop wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 7:37 am
I feel like a lot of the repliers are missing one of the main constraints of the problem. I see that the cargo tray has a railing that you must be able to lift over. Does this railing swing open at all, or is it fixed in place? If it is fixed in place, I would either remove this railing or install a sheet of plywood on top of it in order to avoid having to lift over the railing when you deliver to the customer. Then you would still need to add enough railing/ support to keep the barrel from falling off the platform.

The idea of using a ramp to roll the barrel up is probably good, and the ideas posted by CurlyDave are good . If these do not work I would do one of the following:

1. Take advantage of the most powerful motion the human body can generate- the squat. This could be accomplished using some 2x4's, some door hinges, and some rope. Fasten two 2x4's, maybe 6 feet long, into a frame whose width is slightly less than the height of the barrel. One end of this frame can be referred to as the "car end" and one can be referred to as the "ground end." On the bottom side of this frame, at the ground end, use door hinges to fasten a pair of 2x4's whose length is the same as the the cargo tray's height off the ground. These hinges would be folded up until ready to use. Additionally, fasten some rope to the top side of the 2x4's near the ground end. The working length of these ropes should be the difference between your shoulder height and the cargo tray's height. Attach another 2x4 between the top of the ropes- this 2x4 is your "barbell." You may also need to add some amount of "cradling features" to the device to cradle the barrel in one place when desired. My preferred cradling feature would be a pair of tie downs that run around the barrel parallel to the length of the frame.

To use this device, start with the device laid flat behind the cargo tray. Lift the car end of the device onto the top of the cargo tray and roll the barrel onto the ground end of the device. Position the "barbell" over your shoulders and perform a squat. As you complete your lift, ensure that the hinged legs unfold and these legs securely support the weight of the barrel. At this point, you should be able to walk free and roll the barrel from the ground end to the car end easily with no elevation change.

2. As a variant of the above device: Construct the same frame, with the same folding hinged legs, and as wide as your shoulders. Instead of using ropes and "barbell" that is at shoulder height, just plan to grab the ground end of the frame with your hands. This variant depends more on your strength than the other variant. I think I like this variant better overall because it removes some unnecessary complexity.

For either of these devices, it is probably worth it to add some sort of locking feature that makes sure the legs don't collapse out from under it. But maybe wait until you have knocked together the prototype first to see if it is worth it.
You're absolutely right. That's my big issue. I really like having the security of the railing around the tray but it does pose its own problems. I'm taking lots of notes on this idea; we will see how far I get. :wink:
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 8:46 am
buy some 2x4's and roll them up. $4.00 solution.

Trailers with ramps are also well under $100 for a day to rent.

If you have someone who can help, shoulder harness dolly straps are also very effective and allow for proper lifting technique.

2 able bodied people should easily be able to pick them up. Call some friends?

Why can't the buyer pick them up?

Its only 120lbs, Thats not very heavy. Any sort of crazy lifting tools are not needed.
This will be a daily activity and therefore I'm not looking to eat rental costs if at all possible. For a large delivery, I would absolutely use a trailer. I have some friends that would be willing to help but I try to keep my crazy ideas as independent as possible. Additionally, I would like my resolution here to serve as a resource in the future if I have a single barrel delivery, then I can deliver without a full-on trailer and without additional assistance. Essentially, an on-demand throw it in the tray and go kind of method.

On the weight, it isn't heavy if the 120lbs was in a chunk, like, a box for example. However, the oblong shape of the barrel causes all kinds of issues when moving without assistance or dollies. There is also potential for some of these to weigh more, based on the moisture picked up in the barrel but in general 120 should be accurate.
TravelGeek wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 10:59 am
bob60014 wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 7:49 am
Any teenagers around that could help on your end? Two of them could just pick up and over the rails.
Exactly my thought.

I guess the question is, how many barrels does the OP have, how often will this be done. That would influence my decision on whether to invest in tools/machinery for the requirement vs. borrowing human help.
It's very likely this could be done several times a week. If it grows, I will graduate to a trailer. However, I would like to see if I can make this work for the future for small deliveries so I would like a good, safe, efficient method at this point to build on.
Luke Duke wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:05 am
A U-Haul motorcycle hauler can be rented for $14/day.

Image
Thanks! This will be a likely intermediate option once I feel I am ready to graduate to a trailer. What a good value, and thankfully, we have Uhauls all around us here.
Watty wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 1:24 pm
Be sure to check to see if the barrels will be blocking your tail lights.
Absolutely, thank you! :happy
-buzz- wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 2:08 pm
U-Haul trailers with ramps come in a few different sizes. That would give you the ability to haul more than two at a time.

You could also get some relatively inexpensive ramps like these:

https://www.harborfreight.com/2-piece-s ... 44649.html

There are a few different sizes, including some folding ones.
That ramp you linked to might actually be a winner. I have been looking at ramps but can't seem to find any that are less than $75-100. With a 20% coupon at harbor, that's a cheap option! Thank you!
F150HD wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 6:18 pm
db1216 wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 9:51 pm
How do I lift the barrel to place it on the cargo tray without lifting the dolly via brute strength?
Image
If only I was that thin. This will be another option I will test, I'm probably making all of this too difficult as your illustration would suggest. I feel like this should be my new profile signature.

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Re: Lifting Heavy Objects onto a Vehicle Cargo Tray; Need Ideas!

Post by MildlyEccentric » Sat May 26, 2018 9:49 am

If you think ramps could work, I bought some "ramp top kits" on amazon for about $20. You attach them to some 2X8 lumber and create your own set of ramps. I used them to load a riding lawnmower into my pickup truck. Not as heavy duty as the motorcycle ramps, but economical. I don't know how well they would mate with the edge of your carrier, but they worked well on a tailgate.

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