Home Made Trailer and Crane

Other Versions
Fully illustrated description of a home-built log trailer and crane. March 2, 2003

by Greg Wallace

This is the trailer and log crane that I built. The trailer is an old mobile home frame and axles, narrowed to 8' wide and heavily reinforced with iron.

The crane: The cost of a crane like this can be quite high unless you have access to some "junk" like I do. My total costs were about $1000, half of that being the Ramsey 5000# winch. The steel was purchased locally. The hydraulic cylinder, valves, winch and other stuff was purchased from Northern Tool. A few other odds and ends was purchased from the "Surplus Center" in NE.

The whole trailer. The boom is off right now and buried somewhere in the snow. I pull the trailer with a '77 Ford F250 4x4.

24" stroke hyd. cylinder will lift the boom straight up. 5000 # Ramsey winch w/100 ft cable.

The crane's frame is 6" channel iron in the center, 3" channel for braces.

20" budd wheel, axle, hub and part of the rear-end housing from a 2-1/2 ton truck used as the swing unit. The rear-end section is welded solid to the trailer frame with 1/2" plate. 1/2" plate is welded to the top of the wheel and braced on the corners.

Front veiw of budd wheel w/1/2" plate. The axle and hub are visable here also. The plugs for the winch plug into a "bumper jumper" on the truck.

Snow plow cylinders swing the unit about 45 deg out from each side of the trailer. A 2 bolt flange bearing was used on the bottom part of the axle.

Front view of the whole unit. The bumper jack also serves as a stabilizer on the side I'm loading from. Disconnect couplers on the hyd hoses hook up to the power unit in the back of the truck.

This crane unit puts alot of weight on the trailer tongue. I wouldn't advise pulling this with a half-ton pickup. I have 1-ton leaf springs in my F250 and it handles it fine.