I need to move a heavy-ish piece of concrete, a part of a garden sculpture, weighing about 300lbs, to about chest height. I'd like a hoist, but don't know the equipment I'd need to assemble an A-Frame-style hoist. What would I need to build a small, easy to move hoist for awkward sized rock and concrete formations? I need it to work in dirt, so wheels / casters are possibly not viable (like a mechanics crane has).

  • Is this something you'll be doing often? That is, is this something you'll use once and then throw away or do you plan to use it repeatedly? – Joel Keene Apr 27 '15 at 4:57
  • I only have this specific task I want to complete, maybe a one time deal. – Jon Mitten Apr 27 '15 at 4:59
  • Take the wheels off of a mechanic's crane and put wood blocks underneath? – gbronner Apr 27 '15 at 14:24

Rent or purchase an engine hoist. The definition of a small easy to move hoist, and pretty inexpensive, with some level of engineering built in (while you can still hurt yourself with improper use, at least you remove one area of hurting yourself with improper kludging of a lifting mechanism.)

They store pretty compactly and most can be easily taken apart for easier moving or storage in pieces. They have wheels, though small wheels will require some sort of base to run on or they are useless. Planks can provide that base on dirt, or you can not worry about moving it with a load on.

Never put yourself in a position where the thing you are lifting will crush you if it slips free (especially with rocks, which can be hard to get a reliable grip on.)

  • Thank you. I agree this is probably the best option. I was thinking alternately of creating a tripod from 2x4 and putting a hoist in the middle above the sculpture, but that doesn't speak to being able to lift it from the ground safely, only for placing down once lifted. – Jon Mitten Apr 27 '15 at 20:44
  • I would be very leery of using wood of any kind in the application. Both the wood itself and the fastening techniques are just too unpredictable, especially with no engineering. It may fail suddenly and in unpredictable ways (think broken pieces of wood flying around). An engineered steel tool designed for this very service, like an engine hoist, seems to be the way to go. Perhaps you could modify the hoist by adding appropriate wheels to it for moving around. – Joel Keene Apr 27 '15 at 22:45

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