View Full Version : Will Grizzly engine hoist lift my Bridgeport?

02-24-2002, 07:48 PM
My mill and lathe are heavy and I am considering buying an engine hoist to move them when I need to. One of those crane types with a long boom and it folds up. Grizzly has one that is $225 with freight and my local auto parts store has one that weighs in at 257# for $295 plus tax. Anybody out there have any experience with these? The Grizzly site and catalog don't have shipping weights listed.

02-24-2002, 09:28 PM
The easiest way of determining that is to check the rated load of the hoist.

Betcha its not enough. I would derate a GRizzly to 2/3 and a Harbor Freight to 1/2 (or less) of quoted lift.

And, look out for the derating with arm extension, its less when full out.

The B'pt may be way too tall anyhow.

Forklifts were made for a reason.

paul j smeltzer
02-24-2002, 10:09 PM
I have a "cherry Picker" from costco, it is the same size as Harbor Freights and severl others around. I don't think that i would try to use it to move my bridgeport mill. I have used four 1" pipe rollers and a 3 foot aligning bar to move my machine on a number of ocasions with ease.

02-24-2002, 10:26 PM
thanks Paul:
Did you use regular water pipe and did it crush it at all? Did you just keep feeding them under the mill as another one rolled out the back side? I have a big johnson bar(6' long) with a tongue that will lift one end. This is at my home and I unfortunately don't have a forklift anywhere near. It is just that the BP is so heavy and if it got away from me it might fall over and hurt someone(me) or even worse bend something on my lifetime dream of a milling machine. The hoists are rated from 8000# down to 1000# at max boom length. They are all rated the same but don't know how allow for exageration. Thanks for the tips--Mike

mike thomas
02-24-2002, 10:42 PM
I have found that others are quite willing to drive their forklifts over. Both the local hardware store, about .5 mile away, and the tire store, about .25 mile away have been quite cooperative. I tipped the tire store guy $20 to unload and place my mill. I offered more but he refused. Just a thought, might work unless the nearest business with a forklift is too far. Mike

Tim Clarke
02-24-2002, 11:33 PM
The ebay ads say that Bridgeports weigh in at about 2200 lbs. The only engine hoist suitable for moving around something that heavy would be the type for truck engines, or heavy equipment. You might call around to the local rental companies, and see what they say. My 2 cents worth.

Tim in Oregon

02-24-2002, 11:40 PM
The safest way to move machinery is with machinery dollys. These have rollers under the dolly and a swivel pad on top of the dolly. Usually they come in sets of 4 and have steering bars to turn the dollys in the direction of travel. These are used to move machunes upto around 1000 tons (many different sizes). You should be able to rent these out from a tool rental outlet or rent them from a machinery dealer. www.kbc.com (http://www.kbc.com) sells them - they are not cheap.
You can also move the machines with your prybar and short lengths of black gas pipe. Forget the engine hoist - you need something that can lift over 3,000 lbs. If your machines are in your basement - forget it and just hire some machinery riggers - much safer and they are insured if something happens.


[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 02-24-2002).]

02-25-2002, 06:32 AM
Considering the potential for disaster, the cheapest way may be be hire a rigger to do the moving.

But can be done yourself, if you think it through and take it slow. One obvious step is to take off as much as you can, and move individual pieces.

paul j smeltzer
02-25-2002, 09:45 AM
I have several pieces of 1" galvanized water pipe about 36" long which have moved some very heavy horz mills and a variety of other machines. Moving a bridgeport is a piece of cake. lower the table to lower the center of gravity a bit. The pipe can be placed at a slight angle if a change of direction is needed. Paul

02-25-2002, 09:52 AM
Rollers or pipe rollers are very effective on concrete, or a good solid smooth floor. Thy are not so good downhill in dirt.

A Bridgeport is pretty heavy, 2000# ++, and top heavy to boot. Those cherry pickers derate quickly as boom is extended.

I am a pretty thrifty person, but when the potential for pain and suffering is great wisdom prevails. A professional may not be any more than price of a hoist.

02-25-2002, 10:22 AM
I used an engine hoist to lift my BP clone from a pick-up bed. It was a fairly nice one that I borrowed from a high school auto shop, probably sturdier than a consumer unit. I knew I was pushing my luck, and it may just be dumb luck that I succeeded. I was sweating bullets for the few minutes it took to lift it, drive the truck out, and lower it, and I won't do it that way again. But as others have said, if you need to move them on fairly smooth, level surfaces, a ton is surprisingly easy to manage with pipe rollers, a long pry bar, some wood blocks, and dollies. I made my own using cast off ball bearings and steel scraps.

02-25-2002, 10:54 AM
neighbors tractor w/ front end lift bucket +chain works great took everything reasonable off my m head, & let it down 4x4 skids holding back w/ 1/2"nylon & tractor/car/come along /garden tractor,,,etc i used 8n ford tractor really no problems
best wishes

mike thomas
02-25-2002, 01:34 PM
How about a laugh, I moved a safe in. About 1000 lbs, and since the moving company only wanted $70. to unload it and place it in the house I said ok. They put a ramp up to my pickup, and put it on a dolly. Now this is an old 4 wheel drive Ford and quite high. They were about 25' from my garage door, and when I saw that they were going to roll it down the ramp, I ran and opened the door. The safe stopped about 3' from the far wall, for a total uncontrolled roll of about 55' Other than the messy drawers, no damage done. The B'port manual lists the weight at 2300 lbs. average. Mike

John Stevenson
02-25-2002, 02:32 PM
Everybody has heard about or used the pipe roller trick in the past.
I often have to move machinery as part of my job. See link below. A few years ago I bought an Elliot Sturdy Mill [ like a Bridgy but bigger and way heavier ] of a local guy who was retiring.
This guy was 68, stood about 5' 4" tall and must have weighted in at 90 lbs tops.
The mill was in a old low building with a blue brick floor. Crane truck loading outside no problem. The problem was getting to mill across this uneven floor and thru the doors.
I asked Arthur if he had any rollers.
Whatdoyawant rollers for ??
"use these" and on saying this he went to the metal rack and got two 12' lengths of 5/8" round bar. I prised one side of the mill up with a long bar and he slid one bar under, repeated the same the other side and we had the mill sat on two rail tracks.
Arthur, remember 68 and 90lbs soaking wet, took the pry bar and slid this machine straight out the door all on his own just to prove how easy it was.
"Remember that lad, don't bother with rollers , getting your fingers trapped and tipping thing of if the roller skids out. If it's only 1/2" off the floor it can't tip." !!

These were some of the most sensible words I have ever heard and had the fortune to put to the test. Since then I have never, ever used rollers. My big lathe which is about 12 foot long and weights in at a good 3 ton I moved one Sunday morning on my own, same for the Bridgeport but being a lot smaller that was easy.
Have a look at one of my jobs:-
This is the base to a large laser cutter, 10 ' wide x 30' long and weights in at 7 ton.
It's just come out the back of that 38 ton truck at the side.
Because the crane can't get access to the inside of the factory we dropped this on 4 lengths of 3" angle iron and slid it into the factory using a fork truck to push it.
The angle was used later to make to extraction unit support frame. Only two people plus the fork truck drive got this machine into place.

John S.

02-25-2002, 05:53 PM
Hey wow, John. Now there is information a person can use. Who woulda thunk it huh?
Thanks for the neat tip.

02-25-2002, 08:42 PM
I have moved my 1958 Bridgeport about 4 times since I bought it in 1963. I always disassembled it. It breaks down into lots of 2 person manigable pieces except for the base. I even took it into and out of the basement at one house we lived in. I am sure that an engine lift would easily handle the base casting with everything stripped off.


02-26-2002, 01:24 AM
I trust you are not the silly bugger standing under the load! The crane operator would get slapped for allowing that here...

That is an excellent tip too. Thank you.


John Stevenson
02-26-2002, 02:53 AM
No I was the one taking the photo. The truck driver in the pic is actually standing about 8' to the side. Its the angles that are confusing.

Meant to say in the original post to oil or grease the rails. If you need to move a longer distance just drop two more rails at the side of the originals. With this method you get a continual movement and not stop start like with rollers. Usually when you get a machine moving it takes less affort to keep it so.

Just the colum of a bridgeprt is capable of being lifted by an engine hoist.
I have one of the 1 ton import folding models. With the ram full in, it lifted by base casting out of the side door of the truck no problem.

John S.

[This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 02-26-2002).]

02-27-2002, 03:06 AM
Glad to hear that, John. The Workers Compensation Board here would have a bird if they seen that! Still too close for this hoser.


02-28-2002, 04:30 AM
The rails sound real interesting, but maybe tricky to get around corners? My basement is all on a level with the driveway, thank God, but I have to go around some corners.

I have never moved a BP. I moved a mill-drill very easily with an engine hoist (rented from local rental store $37 a day, very reasonable). Totally without any drama. I had riggers bring in my lathes (had two at different times, both about 1200-1500 lbs). One rigger used a pallet truck, and it was no bother. Pallet trucks are actually pretty cheap to buy, not much more than a hoist, and I bet you could rent one. The other guys used the equipment dollies, and they had no trouble also, but those things are very, very expensive. How hard would it be to make them yourself, I wonder?

My first lathe was bought by some boat enthusiasts who didn't think much of 1200 lbs, and they did move it OK. They used mainly steel pipe (I forget the official name, but it's used to support basement ceilings, it's about 4 in dia or so) as rollers. At one point, the end of the lathe was lowered onto a 900lb rated furniture dolly, I forget why, but it must have been uneven as a ball bearing exploded and steel balls went flying everywhere. Could have been very unfunny. A reminder that ratings usually apply to evenly distributed loads, and the rating of one caster of a 900 lbs dolly is only going to be 225 lbs at most.

I recently replaced the mill-drill with a Millrite, which is about half to 2/3 the weight of a BP, and is almost as awkward. Forklift is the best choice, I'd say, if available. If I move it again, I'll try the rail thing. This time, I decided to practice my welding and made up a 12ft high gantry and a heavy dolly 2-3 ft square from 4in and 5in channel. I shared four steel industrial casters (rated at I think 1000-1200lbs each) between the gantry and the dolly, as they are pricey. It wasn't hard to switch them around. I used a puller as the hoist for the gantry, but a chain hoist would be much better. The puller was a bit feeble, but apart from that it worked fine. It needed a pull from the pickup truck to erect the gantry from flat on the ground, as it weighed in at about 200-300lbs. That was the hardest part. I designed the gantry to handle about 3 tons, and I seemed to have plenty of capacity.

I drove the pickup with mill under the gantry, lifted the mill up, drove out the pickup (though I could have trundled the gantry away also), then dropped the mill onto the dolly. No problems so far. The advantage of the engine hoist (forklift too) is that it is easy to pick up the machine amd set it down again. If you have rollers, or rails, or anything under the base, you have to get it out from under the mill, which can be tricky. If the rail is only 1/2", that would make it a lot easier, I guess. A technique I used when moving the mill drill slightly was a hoist from 3 inch pipe suspended across two beams. Worked fine before, but the Millrite was too much for it, and I now have a badly bent piece of pipe and a palpitating heart. I won't do that again if I can help it. Actually, the method isn't bad if you have the height, but the unsupported span of the pipe is the problem. I had about 8 feet. If I'd takent he machine apart, it would also have been much easier to move - but of course you have the extra work.

take it easy, and please be carefull....


paul wehrmeister
03-01-2002, 05:33 PM
i have moved a few machines too and from a basment we removed as much as possible to lighten it up and fit through the door way the garage was a straight shot to the base ment with a brease way in between two steps up many steps down we layed 3/4 plywood on the steps fastening to what we could at the bottom the ramp was made gradual we set the machine on 4/4s lag bolted ply wood was used on top of them we used pipe roller to stage it too the ramp then removed them .just skidded up and down to control the skid up and down .we cut a hole in the garage floor and cemented in a pipe 3inches dia a foot long flush with the floor we then installed a lonnger steel bar inside of it, and block and tackled it. i had a friend with a electric winch mounted to the front of his jeep doubbled line it so it was nice and slow very controlled .you can also drive a vehicle hooked to a good hitch if you dont have a winch this worked very well and amazed quite a few people how smooth this worked good luck paul wehrmeister