How Do You Handle Loading a *BIG* Cab on a High Lift?
I'd like to ask how you guys who handle the heavy cabs deal with one-man transport. I'm in a situation where I'll never have an assistant for loading/off-loading at home because nobody here can help with a heavy lift.
With two people, handling a big cab is easy enough. But when performing a one-man lift, handling a really big or heavy cab, like an 8x10 or a heavy 2x15 like a Road Ready can be a real hassle -- especially if you're dealing with a vehicle that has a high bed height, and especially if your heavy cab is a short one rather than a tall one.
So I thought I'd ask if you fans of the big cabs are using the brute force method do load the cab into your vehicle, or if you've developed some clever way to make the task easier.
In my case, I have to load a short but heavy 2x15 into the back of a K2500 Suburban. Being both a 3/4 ton truck and a 4x4 means that it sits pretty high off of the ground. The bed sits at 34", which is pretty high compared to the 38" total height of my RoadReady cab on casters. When I go to do the tilt, I've only got a few inches of cabinet between the top of the cab and the truck bumper, and I have to do a dead lift and slide forward to get the cab into the cargo bay. If the wheels were to slip, it'd be pretty easy for the cab to slide down off of the bumper, and whack the ground on it's back.
I'm thinking that this has to be a pretty common problem with guys who are using a short heavy cab and a tall truck, like a 6x10 or a RoadReady 2x15 with a 3/4 ton truck. It would be a lot easier, and not much of a problem, if I had a minivan or a 1/2 ton truck with a low bed, but the combination of 3/4 ton and 4x4 makes the lift pretty high.
The engineer in me is thinking that I need to build a sled to hold the cab, and to use an electric winch to do the pulling and lifting for me.
Has anyone else done anything like this?
Make a short ramp to wheel the cab onto, closer to the balance point on the truck tailgate?
I did the tilt & deadlift thing when I had a truck or a big cab. I don't think I ever thought there was an easier way except for someone helping me, which wasn't going to happen.
When I was a teenager I literally just picked it up and put it in.
a pair of wheel chocks? the ones with flat tops to roll the cab up on. this will give you 10 or more extra inches of height making a bit better pivot point to lift and push? my 1500 4x4 tahoe presents this problem to me fairly often with all sorts of things. that was my solution. plus i'm a 5'7" 140lb wuss.
My GK cab is almost 100 lbs but tall, and despite my truck being a 4x4 it has 'normal' height tires (no lifts for me) -- so the tilt thing works pretty well.
If it didn't, I'd rely on either one of the hydraulic floor jacks or (worst-case scenario) cherry picker. With a low-profile floor jack you can probably get the platform under the casters. If not - get taller casters ;-)
Deflate the rear tyres and then re-inflate once the cab's on board? :D
I dealt with the tilt and deadlift for quite a while. After a rather serious shoulder injury from a BMX crash, a subsequent work related knee injury, and dropping a 160 lb Kustom 118B on my good knee trying to unload it solo, I like yer thinkin'! :D
My less complex solution would involve a ramp of 1-2' rise and maybe 3-4' length. You could roll it up there, get a much better tilt, and it would take some of the weight out of the dead lift. It'd be maybe $35 with a trip to your local hardware/lumber outlet. That's a lot cheaper than a winch...
I made a ramp out of an old swingset slide when I was moving really heavy gear solo. It worked. It stayed at home as I always could get some help at the gig.
^ I've always been able to get help at my gigs and I'm very thankful for that. My bandmates, family, and friends have always been really understanding and helpful when it comes to moving the big, heavy cabs. It's only when I'm alone and being proud or stubborn that things go wrong.
My back started to hurt reading this thread.
38 inches off the ground and it really didn't come with a ramp?
A band mate in my last band had a raised F-250 diesel. We installed a small, remote controlled, electric winch in the back; didn't need a terribly high weight capacity - only a few hundred pounds.
Attach straps to the gear, connect the traps to the winch, and turn on the winch; steer your cab with both hands. Works best if your cab is equipped with skid rails.
Im strong as ****, but pretty short..
If you have strength on your side, thats a good start.ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR BACK, **** CATCHES UP TO YOU, SOONER AND/OR LATER.
one of my favorite Secrets is to use a packing blanket, either on the cab or on to whatever surface you're loading it onto. this allows you to use a little more 'rough' approach without damaging the car or the cabinet ( in other words, rather than having to hold something at chest height for a long time so that you don't break something, you can kind of 'toss'it on there, just don't get carried away)
I have a 4x4 F250 pickup and when I load my greenboy 66 [dual 15"s / dual 6.5"s + a high frequency horn = +/- 90 lbs], I back it to the edge of the tail gate - grab the bottom of the bottom shelf port - lift until level with the bed and slide her in. Its still a 90 lbs. dead lift to start, but bend your knees and do a smooth up and push and it aint no big thing. Must admit the process is made easier by having a pair of plastic "rub rails" on the back side so the cab slides in easy. Reverse process gets the cab out [a dead drop?]- from there its tilt and roll. Nothing to it really.
Seems to me the problem you're having is an annoyingly small difference in cab/tailgate height and a heavy cab. Assuming swapping for a lighter cab aint in the mix, then maybe some device to change the height differential and ultimate lift angle.
Not familiar with your truck - but some [mine included] allow the tailgate hangers to be easily removed [no tools] so that it drops down at an angle - look at a late model Ford tailgate for an example that might be retrofitted. If that isn't practical, perhaps a cab width wedge/ramp piano hinged or clipped to the tailgate that folds-in/unclips for storage and folds-out/clips on for loading and hangs down when the tailgate is deployed so you have a lower edge to lift against and you land on a slightly angled ramp to push the cab up and into the truck - sorta like dropping a tailgate.
Something like this:
I installed a handle strap on the bottom of my GK NEO 412. Helps a ton
FYI I've got a Suburban that has the two barn doors on the back, not a tailgate and swing-up window. I chose the barn doors because I had always thought that they would make loading easier because they eliminate about 1 to 2 feet of sliding across the tailgate.
It seems like a couple of obvious solutions would be: A) carry around a ramp, or B) get a little winch, or C) build a tilting sled.
Ramps are kind of a PITA because they take up so much space and I don't have a garage. I like the idea of a winch. that would probably work great in a pickup, where you could mount into the stake pockets in the bed, but there aren't any good mount points on the inside of a suburban's passenger compartment. I was thinking that I might be able to mount a little winch to a 2x4 that slips through the two open doors and rests against the B pillars.
I'm beginning to think that modifying the speaker cab will be necessary. Unlike the Ampeg design which has slide rails, the RR Mesa cab comes with no rails at all. It's a bear to slide it on it's back because the the entire back of the cab rests on the suburban's carpeting, and the wide load bearing surface provides a lot of friction. Mounting a couple of sliding rails on the back of the cab should help with that problem.
BTW, the Mesa RR 2x15 is HEAVY. It's probably made of 3/4" plywood, though it looks like 1-inch. I haven't weighed mine, but I've heard that they weigh something like 165 lb. It's really unwieldy and hard to control. I really need to find a good way to move this beast because I had it get away from me once and it went tumbling down a set of concrete steps ... and it took chunks out of the concrete steps.
I'm thinking that the ultimate loading rig might involve a lightweight winch up front, and fabricating a hinged wooden sled that sits in the cargo bay. Slide the sled out, swing it upright, push the cab onto the sled, and use the winch to perform the tilt and pull...
I was thinking that I can't be the first guy to think of this, and that somebody else has to have already built something like this. I was hoping to see some pictures!
I am pretty strong in a squat. Getting it out must be ten times harder than getting it in. I would lean it back and pick up the bottom no problem to load but getting it out, no way.
Take care. Damaged backs tend to stay damaged.
Winch. They're cheap enough. You'll make less of a spectacle- pulling out some ramps, saying a quick prayer and rolling up and still struggling to get the cab in. Just hook up to the bottom front of the cab, hit the switch and guide the top in. Bam. Done. Ten-years-older-than-you-are-now you will thank now-you for the winch and the less busted back.
30-years ago I had a big Sunn 2-15 bass cabinet that weighed a ton. I took it apart, cut it in half, and made it into two 1-15 cabinets. Stack 'em, split 'em, or just bring one if that's all you'll need.
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