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Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:07 pm
by strgraw
Hey all,

So..Cutting to the chase, got a big hammer to move. Looking to contact some people who have done this type of thing before so I can pick their brains and who they have used.

Anyone on the forums here have experience with such things?

Re: Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:23 pm
by Martin Pansch
I've moved mine around a little. Big is relative when talking hammers. Also, a lot depends on what material handling tools you have access to (e.g. Trailers, gantry crane, pallet jack, infinitely long lever and fulcrum), how far you are moving it, surface you are moving it over, if you are trying to get it into a crazy restricted corner of your shop, etc.

Anything more specific you can provide on the readers on the hammer and situation might get you some more useful responses.


Re: Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:58 pm
by strgraw
Hi Martin,

Thanks for your response.

The hammer is the one Rome Hutchings had posted - #150 DuPont. Rome disassembled a good chunk of it, so the sow block, hammer, toggle arms, pitman etc, are all off the hammer. Easy enough to move that stuff. It's the body/frame that'll be the tough part.. and always is.

I have access to a trailer capable of hauling it, and a truck capable of towing said trailer with 2k lbs - most of the puzzle is just getting it on the trailer and off the trailer. It's in Rome's pole barn at the moment, which is gravel flooring. I believe Rome had mentioned that he had it placed in there by a construction guys crane. It's pretty accessible in Rome's pole building.. if there were a way to pick it up right, would be able to nearly pull a trailer under it. It's going to my shop, which is concrete. If it's laid down on the bed of the trailer, we'd back it up into my shop, then move it off and maybe winch it upright (or however you would pull something that big!) It's not going too far in a corner but just against a wall. It needs work done on it so likely just somewhere I can work on it. Moving it 20 miles if taken on the freeway, backroads are a very viable option just a little slower paced.. definitely not a bad thing when hauling something that big!

I've been reading some ways to do it, some people using a engine hoist (but, not surprisingly, bending the engine hoist in the process).

I don't have shots of it available right now, but will try to get some up.

Re: Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:01 pm
by strgraw
Ah! I should mention I have access to some equipment rollers as well.

Re: Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:38 pm
by Martin Pansch
Are you sure a 2000 lb trailer is enough? My 100 lb Little Giant weighs about 3600lbs. With it all apart maybe but I would think you have more mass that that. I would do my best to confirm the weight on the bits before anything. You really don't want to be in the middle of a lift when you realize you are exceeding your weight limits.

Depending on the heights of the ceiling in Rome's and your trailer you could borrow and set up a gantry crane over the hammer, pick it up, back the trailer under it, and lower it back down. At your place you could set the gantry back up to lift it off.

If it is already standing up my impulse would be to leave it standing on the trailer. Laying it down and standing it back up presents more risk of breaking it. As does letting it rest its weight on a part of it that wasn't designed to take it. If you are worried about it tipping on the trailer you can bolt it to a skid, mount some support beams, use a bunch of HEAVY DUTY ratchet straps and tow chains to fasten it down. If you are determined to lay it down (I don't know what a DuPont hammer looks like off hand so maybe it is the only way) I would take the extra time to put together a strong wooden cradle or support as needed to keep its weight from hurting itself.

In all steps of it take your time. Don't rush a decision or hurry because it is getting late, the light of failing and you are getting tired. Plan to have much more time than you think you'll need. Over engineer every aspect (e.g. bigger straps, hoist, etc than you think you need). Take everything slow. If the hammer ever looks like it is going to fall don't try to save it. Expensive as it is the hammer can be replaced. You can't.

Of course, the easier way might just be to hire a rigger and truck service to lift, haul, and download your hammer for you. Might not be cheap but they are pros, have the right gear, and have insurance if they wreck it.

Re: Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:38 pm
by Paul Hetchler
I have moved a few very top heavy machines (Bridgeport mill, etc). Martin and others have given some good advice which I will not repeat, but let me add a few details I have learned.

1. Keep it upright. Lift by using heavy fabric straps not chains. The strap will conform to the shape of the casting without putting undue points of pressure against what might be a thin area of cast.

2. If you use a fork lift or fork attachment on a good size Bobcat, strap the top of the machine with a slight bit of slack to the mast or other high point so that it can not suddenly tip. You may need to loosen this upper restraint and relocate it a few times to allow the fork to lift high enough. But keep it tethered so it can't tip even if the forklift or bobcat get out of balance. Always move with your load very close to the ground, so if something begins to tip or fail the machine does not have far to fall. (I have broken 5" wide X 1.5" thick forks while lifting). You never know what may break, so keep it low as possible. When a fork breaks, one breaks before the other so the load drops forward and to the side. Don't allow anyone to be standing close.

3. Use a trailer with tandem axles built heavy enough to carry a car or bobcat. Do not use a "heavy duty" snowmobile trailer. The machine being moved is a very concentrated load, and you do not really know how much of a load you have. So get the heaviest duty trailer you can find. You do not want the trailer frame to get bent from the "bouncing" the load will undergo on these frost heaved winter roads. Load the machine forward of the axles. It is much better to have too much tongue weight than too little. Be sure your truck has a class 4 or 5 receiver for the hitch. Use 2" wide straps (minimum!) to secure the top of the machine in all 4 directions. If your trailer has wood decking, nail down some 2X4s as blocking to keep the base from moving while in transit. Use good size nails (16d minimum), nothing less.

4. You will be hauling a top heavy load, so take curves and corners very slowly. Top heavy loads account for many rolled over trailers every year. One of my drivers rolled over 2 of my loaded hay trailers last summer by taking a corner too fast. His 1 or 2 seconds he thought he was saving cost my crew many hours of clean up until 2 a.m. and then we had trailers damaged to the point we could not tow them to either of our shops. (Bring cutting torches, hand winches, and flatbed trailers...) . The roads are rough and you need to go slowly to be safe. Do not get on the freeway with this load, it is not worth the risk to you or other drivers.

5. Stop often to check straps. With these rough roads, the load will want to move. Make sure your trailer deck is flat (parallel to the road). Adjust your truck and trailer hitch so the trailer deck is flat to minimize the "walking" the load is about to do.

6. I would not use a wrecker service. While some of the operators could do this job safely and successfully, there are just too many low experience cowboys driving those things. They could turn your prize into a nightmare.

7. Do not trust any strap, chain or cable. Anything can break. Do not allow anyone to get close when you are lifting. When you strap the machine down on the trailer, do not depend on the strength of the "D rings" for tie down. Try to make all tie downs go to the trailer frame if possible.

8. Do not get in a hurry. Think about every step. And GOOD LUCK!!


Re: Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:23 pm
by Darryl Ponder

Post a photo of the hammer to the web forum if you don't mind. I saw it on the Bellows and it is a beautiful beast of a hammer.



Re: Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:38 pm
by strgraw
Ah - thanks for mentioning that, Darryl.

Here ya guys go:
10896347_10152551753901193_9191775531607564682_o.jpg (47.45 KiB) Viewed 4794 times

Re: Moving a big ol' hammer

Posted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:43 pm
by strgraw

Thanks for all those great tips. I am glad you said not to go on the freeway. I was debating on that part yet, so thanks.

Still just wrapping my head around things.. I hope to come back to this thread with some more questions after next week. I am gone for a week, then back in town, then I'm heading to attend the Hammer class in Avon at Kenny's where I'm going to try to pick his brain on information. He actually has (I believe) this same exact model, but with some modifications to it.

After that I'll be starting to figure out how to really get this thing moved. Lucky for me, Rome is a great guy, and not in a rush to get it out of his pole barn!