Derrick rigging and redneck cranes

Tree09

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I'm putting this in the rigging area because I think that's where I guessed it should go, if you want to, feel free to move it to the gear section or wherever you feel it should be (garbage can, etc lol). My day job is heavy pipe construction, and as part of our apprenticeship, they have over a year of school just on rigging. I fell in love with the problem solving that comes with it, and how every trick or technique adds together to form more and more understanding of how us weakling humans can move stuff that we can't come close to moving by hand. Yes I'm a huge nerd.

Some of the pictures and stuff aren't directly related to tree work, but then again all rigging is related, and so it could be. Quite a few of them could be rigged up at a yard, or on a trailer, and since they lack the sophisticated stuff of today's cranes they are actually quite robust, requiring little maintenance. They can be rigged with rope or wire, or even chainfalls and such. Ok here goes.

Since this is a tree forum, I'll start with ones used traditionally in logging (from what I've read). The first one is basically a gin pole, with a speedline to control the rigging point. This could be used to load or unload a trailer, and by moving the speedline around you can even change where you are placing stuff.
guyline-1.jpg

They are using two load lines, so you can lift level, which isn't necessary but kinda handy and cool. The next one solves that problem more elegantly by using a spider leg to pick level.
 

Tree09

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This one adds a boom, basically turning it into a guy derrick. The gin pole is held upright by guy lines, which actually take the force to an anchor. I'll get to anchors later, once again if anyone has anything to add or point out, please do so. So the gin pole is handy, but all loads lifted are at a line angle to where they swing to the gin pole, so by adding a boom we can push the load out to a radius. The thing I noticed on this is the spider leg type to pick both lines with one hoist, the spread boom, and how it nicely saddles the mast. There is a drawback to this however, and that is by adding the second pick point closer to the mast, you have added a bending force to the boom. A single point pick with a spreader bar underneath would assure that everything is in compression loading, and then maybe you wouldn't need to use 3 trees in building it.

The other really cool thing is the log off to the right. It's tied off to where when you let off of the other swing guy, it pulls the boom back to a certain spot. That's handy sometimes, and on the work pics thread, I solved the same problem by simply rigging the butt of the boom off to the side. For heavier loads, the log trick is better.
 

Tree09

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Here's some pictures of the log loader with boom, which of the two, is better because it can pick far greater capacity because you don't have the highline multiplier on the rigging (keeping the skyline tight takes dramatically more force than the boom).

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In the last one you can even see the log suspended off to the right.
 

Tree09

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Here's another way, they are using ramps, and a sheerleg guyed to a stump. While it would work for loading and is quickly rigged, you don't have much control of the load, and parbuckling accomplishes the same with less force. What is handy tho, if you only have a few to load, you can use this to lift up the log, and then back the trailer under it. Moving trailers under the load is a very handy trick, one that is used all of the time in construction. By eliminating extra movement with a crane, you make the operation safer.

All of the others so far had been with existing trees as a gin pole. That is ideal because the tree in anchored in place with its roots, and will resist the side to side forces placed on the base. Another way to accomplish the same thing would be to step the mast in a hole, or have a baseplate that is otherwise anchored to the ground.
 

Tree09

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The guy derrick is a mast that's guyed, with a boom. They were used extensively in ironworking, because you could jump the whole thing up several floors by using the boom as a gin pole to raise the mast, which would then lift the boom. It was also used for quarries, earthmoving operations, and just about anything else that needed done. By using a mast not a tree, you could place them anywhere, and a few anchors and you are good to go. Some of the largest crane picks are still done using them, because they are so efficient.
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derrick-2.jpg
 

Tree09

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Okay good, I feel better now hahahahaha. As you can see if you look closely at the last pic, there are guylines all around. Which while easy to set up quickly also show the guy derricks biggest weakness, and that is that unless the anchors are way far away and maybe even higher than the base, they are always in the way. The mast then is usually higher than the boom, so you don't have to undo each guy to pass it, you can just boom all the way up. This is slow, but if you are only working in a small quadrant, is not that bad. The one way to greatly improve on this is the stiffleg derrick. It uses two 45? spars to brace the mast, and 2 spars to go on the bottom forming two triangles 90? apart, with the mast being one side of each triangle. Because the spars can take either compression or tension loads, you can swing the boom anywhere between the two supports (~270?). Because there isn't guylines everywhere, you can just move freely, greatly speeding up the work. This is basically what a modern crane is based on, and they perform about the same. The difference is that all three points are anchored to the ground, and that is what resists the overturning force.
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Something like this would very easily be built at a yard or on a trailer. This is a small one, and if built for a trailer it would require enough weight in it to counter balance the load, or a guyline or two till you got it heavy enough.
 

Tree09

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Now because of the anchors holding the base and the two sides, the only substantial forces are either straight up or down. This greatly simplifies calculations of force, because you just have simple torque equations (foot pounds from boom has to be less than foot pounds from the sill plates). It also allows them to be placed on towers, which looks weird as hell at first glance. This is the one on the NASA rocket towers, where the two supports are on cantilevered supports out of the side of the building.
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This one is actually on a tower, which is perfectly in tension or compression. The picture isn't doing it justice, because the telescope is the largest manmade object on earth iirc.
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SkwerI

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At one time I would have been interested, but then I discovered hydraulics. All this stuff goes out the window once a person gets over his fear of investing in equipment and buys his first piece of hydraulic equipment to lift logs. Hydraulics will do 100x as much with less effort once you get past the fear of investing more than a few hundred dollars into your business model.
 

DMc

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I think it is fascinating, Kyle. Thanks for taking the time to lay it all out and explain things.

Brian, there can be many other reasons besides fear, that guide how a business takes shape.
 

Tree09

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Hydraulics are awesome, I own a 4 ton backhoe, a 21 ton hiab (alas with a short stick), and hope to own, at the very least, a mini this next summer. I cut trees part time at best, and I love hydraulics that much. However if you are starting out, or have a situation where some rigging techniques that have literally built entire cities of skyscrapers could come in handy, this is the thread. Some of the stuff here is being overtaken by other machines, some of it is alive and well. A sideboom pipelayer is a sheerleg derrick welded to the side of a dozer. All lattice boom cranes work this way, in fact for most picks so do hydraulic cranes. Knucklebooms have found a niche in treework, but they are wayyyyyyyyyy to light duty to be used in heavy industry. These techniques still reign supreme in heavy, duty cycle work. I've seen big equipment, like a Deere 350 excavator, be completely undersized for a particular job. Just because something is old technology doesn't mean that expensive new technology is better. That said, hydraulics are awesome.
 

Burnham

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Old school methods, learned or re-invented.

I have to admit to a little pridefulness...having on some occasions seen far better educated than I types...engineers or architects, etc. look at me with surprise, and maybe even a little admiration, when I moved some seemingly unmovable item with a bunch of pulleys, lines, and a bit of muscle, electric winch, snowmobile, ATV, even plain old gravity, or some other power source.

I liked those rare moments quite a lot :D.

We should not be surprised that I came to be called on somewhat often over time by those selfsame experts, when a big thing needed to be moved when blunt power was hard to deploy.

So pay attention, kids. Knowing these skills can make you valuable.

Great posts, Kyle.
 
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Tree09

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If you could please B, relate a story or trick you have utilised in the past. I remember reading a story by Jerry about him winning a beer by using a gin pole as a yarder, tightening a swingline, then easing off the load drifting it to a loading area. I'm sure you have tons of hands on experience of solving problems in this manner, and guys like me need to learn more. In construction the insurance companies have gotten their fangs into using ingenuity and rigging skills, demanding manufacturer stamped load ratings on stuff that used to be done with common sense. Slowly the skilled part of the rigging trade is disappearing I'm afraid, and if nothing else sharing together here might help that.
 

MasterBlaster

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Absolutely awesome thread, Kyle. Some of that stuff, I never even knew existed!

Outstanding! Pay no attention to the naysayer...
 

pantheraba

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Kyle...I read it all. A lot to wrap my brain around but the concepts of what CAN be done with ropes, pullies and wood is incredible. Thanks for putting that together.
 

Tree09

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That's kind of the beauty of it all, the ideas are simple, but adding technology pushes the envelope of what can be done. It also demonstrates that a crane, no matter how advanced it seems, is really just the addition of various parts to achieve a certain goal. Most of us in the states are used to a hydraulic crane, where the boom is extended by hydraulics (as opposed to being bolted together), luffs by hydraulics (boom up and down) rather than by winch, and slews (turns)by hydraulics (as opposed to a winch line around a bullwheel). The winch part is unchanged. One of the biggest problems of hydraulics is that they tend to bleed off, cranes controlled by winches only are simply dogged off, and they don't move. Very important when you are doing critical work.

The other cool thing is that the winches aren't necessarily tied to the derrick, but can be almost anywhere. In the days of setting steel by guy derricks, the winches were left on the first floor, and sometimes even around the block. They would use pulleys to run the lines through the building, and they would sometimes go down hallways and stuff. Stiffleg derricks are used to dismantle large tower cranes, and actually are designed to be dismantled themselves and carried down in an elevator. They also have much larger capacities at a longer radius, because the mast gives better line angles. Hydraulic cranes use a cantilever boom, which is much larger and heavier than what is needed for a winch style fixed boom (compression loaded only), which limits their capacities. Lattice is still king on heavy picks and duty cycle, and that's why. They can be very lightweight compared to their loads, which adds to their capacity.
 

pantheraba

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Kyle...since you are clearly bored I'll throw this at you...some of it might catch your eye. My son and I have been working on a water slide...here is a thread from "before your time" I think...a mess of pictures of the build in the thread and a few attached here that did not make the thread.

We did a boom/derrick/jib...something!...at one point...a bamboo pole base mounted and basically horizontal that we rigged off..can't find that picture yet...it may be in a video. I'll see.

https://www.masterblasterhome.com/s...-Slide-building-a-water-slide&highlight=slide
 

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