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Author Topic: How to lift generator out of compartment?  (Read 3121 times)
belfert
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« on: June 15, 2014, 07:23:35 AM »

I need to remove the generator from my generator compartment.  Any suggestions about how I go about doing this?  It is around 600 pounds.  I don't have much top clearance.  My friend with an electric forklift has done this for me in the past, but he is too busy with other projects this summer.  I might be able to rent a forklift, but that isn't cheap with delivery and I don't know how to drive one.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Dave5Cs
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2014, 07:37:03 AM »

What about a hand fork lift. They are cable and crank. They come in sections with 4 wheels on them. We use them sometimes to lift heavy beams if we cant get a crane in there. You can put them in a pickup and  base is assembled and one upright should do it. It has 2 fork sticking out. You crank it up and the cable runs over a pulley at top of the square post to the hand crank. Simple machine. Cheap to rent. Grin
Dave
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2014, 07:59:53 AM »

Hi Dave, never heard of it before, what a great idea! Tom...
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2014, 08:13:47 AM »

A pallet jack works great you may need to block up in some places
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2014, 08:28:05 AM »

Am I going to have issues moving a hand forklift with 600 to 700 pounds on it?  One solution I just thought of is to find someone with a bobcat and forks for it.  I am staying with my parents right now and I recall one of the neighbors has a Bobcat, but no idea if he has forks.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2014, 08:33:03 AM »

If your in gravel lay a sheet of plywood down the pallet jacks handle 5500 lbs 600 to 700 lbs is nothing major I used one to handle a 8v92 and 740 Allison and they roll easy 
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muldoonman
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2014, 09:03:10 AM »

Get that baby out and might be time to put a roller/slide system in if you have space. Mine takes up a bit of space in adjacent compartment (battery area) but works well.
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belfert
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2014, 09:15:19 AM »

Get that baby out and might be time to put a roller/slide system in if you have space. Mine takes up a bit of space in adjacent compartment (battery area) but works well.

I am removing the generator to install a slide rack.  My original thought was just to move the generator over about 10 inches which would make access to the end much easier, but I decided to install a slide rack if I am going to all the trouble of removing the generator.  I haven't actually completely removed the generator since it was installed.  I did spend a full weekend once moving the generator around inside the compartment, but I didn't actually pull the generator out.  I would like to install a whole new generator end that is brushless, but they are too long to fit in the enclosure.

Clifford, a pallet jack wouldn't work all that well considering the compartment is 14 inches off the ground.  I would have to build a good sized platform to do it.  I think a Bobcat with forks is my best option right now.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2014, 10:36:10 AM »

I am hesitant to post this because it is potentially deadly if not done correctly.  It is possible to use an engine hoist to lift the generator even if there is less than an inch of clearance on every side.

- Support the bay floor with jack stands, especially the outside rail.  It will need to support the full weight of the generator.

- Attach one end of a come along to the back of the generator and the other end to the bay floor structure on the opposite side of the bus.  It is critical the come along is in good condition and attached securely on both ends.

- Use a pry bar to push the generator to the edge of the bay.  Keep releasing the come along to give you a few inches of slack with each push.

- Once the generator is balanced perfectly on the outside rail of the bay, you will be able to rock it with the slightest push.  The come along is the only thing keeping it from falling out on the ground.

- Attach the engine hoist to the generator as close as you can to the the skin of the bus.  Start lifting.

- Once the generator is half an inch above the frame rails, slowly release the pressure on the come along.

- If everything works out, your generator will be hanging level just outside of the bay.  Adjust lift points as needed.

Disclaimer:  If you attempt my method, you are doing so at your own risk of death and property damage.  It is entirely possible the bay could collapse; the come along could break free; the engine hoist could fall over.  I don't recommend anyone trying my method.  Your well being is irreplaceable and forklifts are much cheaper than medical bills.

Edit: This method will only work if the generator has a flat bottom or rails bolted to the mounting points.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 01:08:33 PM by sparkplug188 » Logged
wg4t50
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2014, 12:55:03 PM »

Why not build a wooden platform at desired height and slide it out ?
Once it is out, you have choices.
Dave M
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2014, 01:05:13 PM »

This may be a dumb question, but can you drive somewhere that has a forklift and would be willing to pull it out for you?

I have a similar problem.  I own a forklift, but after installing my (400lb) generator, I troubled myself with the thought of what I would do if I were on the road and needed to service the back side of it...etc.

As a former machinery dealer, I used to travel to locations to buy machinery at auction.  Depending on the auction, and what you might buy, you didn't bring a forklift with you (and they weren't always available on site).

While the auction is ongoing, you have this constant calculation going on in your head about what you can buy, what is available around you (are you in an industrial area?), and how much lot X is going to cost if you have to rent a lift, or have the riggers called in 200mi away?
You start doing stuff like leaving the hotel early and driving around in your rental car looking for forklifts...just in case.

I've probably bought something at auction that required a forklift I didn't have at least 20 times, and somehow I've been able to find one every time.
Usually you just drive around begging.  "I bought this lot and the company forklift never arrived"...etc.  Follow this with "Would there be any way I could rent your lift and time just for one pick?".

This has cost me anywhere between free, to a case of beer, to a couple hundred dollars.

Anyway, just a thought.  Maybe there's a forklift somewhere around that isn't doing anything at the moment and the owner would like to do a good deed this week?

Sean
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wg4t50
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2014, 01:19:16 PM »

What is the procedure once you find the free fork lift & operator ?  Or is he going to wait until you figure what your going to do while it is on his forks ?
Always felt good work at home base eliminated such panics.  Grin
Dave M
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« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 01:20:50 PM by wg4t50 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2014, 01:29:32 PM »

What is the procedure once you find the free fork lift & operator ?  Or is he going to wait until you figure what your going to do while it is on his forks ?
Always felt good work at home base eliminated such panics.
Dave M
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To answer that would depend on very specific details.   Maybe he can put it on your trailer or a pickup while you do the install?  Maybe he can set it on the ground for a few hours, or a few days while you prep'?   Maybe it's all ready to go and you can do the install right there while he's at lunch and it's on his forks?

Dunno.  It's an equation of building a platform or using levers and pulleys vs maybe finding someone who has one.
Like I said, I've asked myself the same question as I was loading mine in using a forklift.  There isn't a better, or safer way that I can think of, and if I were in a pinch, I think for myself I'd try to find one and work a deal first, and start building carts for it second.  My gen set is small, and even then it's heavy enough to make getting out on to a platform quite challenging.  It's one of those things like *if*, and that's a big "if", you could locate one in an hour of looking, it might save 3 hours of levers and wood, not to mention a hernia.

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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2014, 01:37:53 PM »

Brain where will you get the slide thingy and how much are those?
Dave
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2014, 03:53:19 PM »

Why not build a wooden platform at desired height and slide it out ?
Once it is out, you have choices.
Dave M

Bingo!
I am using a piano dolly and I built a wood box that will sit on top of the dolly which is equal to the height of the bottom of my generator...... all I will need to do is slide it out, roll it to the garage. I will repeat the process to put in the 7KW I bought.

This was about the only way I could think of considering the weight. I guess you could use an old tire and sit it on a dolly, then pull the generator out Wink

Best of luck
Mike
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2014, 04:06:08 PM »

I use my engine hoist to put my Onan in and take it out. Clearance is a bit tight, but I can slide it part way out and get it attached and raise it about an inch and it comes
right out. If I had to do it a lot, I'd make a bent arm to fit the engine hoist that would go into the bay over the generator. But the straight arm works ok for the few
time's I've had to use it.

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belfert
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2014, 06:52:02 PM »

What is the procedure once you find the free fork lift & operator ?  Or is he going to wait until you figure what your going to do while it is on his forks ?
Always felt good work at home base eliminated such panics.  Grin

The guy I've worked with in the past also has done the welding and other machine work for me.  It is one stop generally.  If he did it for me this time he would pull the generator, help with the work to install the slide, and then put the generator back in.  There is a guy across the street who has a Bobcat so I am going to ask him if he has forks and would be willing to lift the generator out.

The generator is quite heavy.  It won't easily slide out onto a dolly.  I spent most of a weekend once moving the generator around in the compartment.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
belfert
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« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2014, 06:57:07 PM »

Brain where will you get the slide thingy and how much are those?

I ordered the slide from Powertech.  They make them sized to fit the various models they sell exactly.  Price was $750 plus $75 shipping.  I know a lot of you guys would cringe at that price, but I don't have the metalworking skills or tools to build my own.  I don't know how to weld and don't have a welder.

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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2014, 07:01:40 PM »

I ordered the slide from Powertech.  They make them sized to fit the various models they sell exactly.  Price was $750 plus $75 shipping.  I know a lot of you guys would cringe at that price, but I don't have the metalworking skills or tools to build my own.  I don't know how to weld and don't have a welder.



Want, but cringing.
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