Mega Scavenging is made easy with an improvised A-frame boom for your vehicle.
You can put a rig like this on any vehicle that you don't mind scratching.
My old Ford Pinto was great for moving old cinema equipment with such a rig.
I made an A-frame from two beams and lashed them to the rear bumper. The lift cables ran to the car's front bumper.

Question: Why not just use a forklift?
I used forklifts to collect a couple of  these big steel frames for a greenhouse project.
It was a pain in the neck because they were too big to balance on the forks.
The next time a frame got thrown out I happened to have my tree moving A-frame on the truck.
Night and day! So easy and graceful I couldn't believe it.

This A-frame rig is based on boom trucks I saw in the oilfields of Centralia Illinois, my Mom's hometown.
The A-frame boom rig shown here consists of two poles attached to each other at the top forming a triangle.
Hinges at the bottom of the poles are bolted through my truck's bed.
Two winches are attached to the A-frame. One winch raises and lowers the A-frame. The other winch raises the load suspended from the A-frame.

This is big heavily loaded stuff. It's dangerous. Be very careful.
There are lots of ways for this stuff to break, fall, and crush you.
Don't use nylon rope or any material that can stretch.
That could make your rig into spring-loaded giant mousetrap.
Or a deadly whip-gun.

WARNING Warning:
There are lots of warnings in this project. Your rig will be different and there will be lots of ways for things to go wrong that I won't know about. I'm always afraid when moving big stuff.

Step 1: The Other Way: Forklifts

There are forklifts at source and destination ends of the trip, so you'd think that would make everything easy. Unfortunately the forks aren't long enough to reach past the center of mass of these items. So loading these things onto my truck took some figuring, fussing, trial, error, and time.
The A-frame boom is better, quicker, easier, and safer than the clumsy stuff I was doing with the forks.

Question: Why are these giant steel frames being given away?
The people giving them away get paid too much to justify taking them to the scrapyard themselves, and the items are  too big for the local scavengers to collect.

I like this idea! I have a 1943 GMC CCKW with a 12' flatbed that this would be great for but I would want to anchor it to the bed and not the front of the truck since its in good shape.
Well I have to say is that you are darn lucky that you have not hurt someone with that setup, limited steering and braking on the front, over height and over length all on a sub-standard chassis and over weight. Good Luck with your venture.
those are called gin poles.we have been using those to move oil rigs for decades.you don't see them as often since picker trucks have gotten bigger.the smaller ones were on 1 ton chassis,the bigger ones are one bed trucks.i used one on a pickup years ago.works great.
HI Tim. For an old scrounger like me, this is a great invention. Good ideas from other commenters too. I use a 1990 Ranger small Ford with massive overloads on it to haul everything from scrap metal&nbsp; to the yards in the city to compost for the gardens. Looking for a more heavy duty truck? Often, people are willing to GIVE AWAY old motor homes when they start to fall apart. These are usually built on 1 ton chassis. When de-constructing, remember that the insulation goes FLYING if given the opportunity, so start your tear-down on the INSIDE. I wear a flip down face mask and a dust mask under that. Tear out the walls first as this is the reverse of when it was built. Do this in sections, stuffing insulation into BIG contractors or other large plastic bags. You can really squish a lot of insulation into a big bag if you are clever. The bags of insulation are really light so should cost minimum when taking to the landfill. After finishing the walls (LEAVING framework and outside skin) tear down the ceiling using the same tecniques. Save all of the copper wire, aluminum skin, and throw all of the little screws and ferrous metal fittings into a bucket for CASH at the scrap yard. When you finish, you should have a running flatbed heavy duty truck for very little out of pocket investment!<br> <br> Attached a pic of the Ranger loaded and ready to head out for the 200 mile round trip to Portland.&nbsp; Sorry, don't have pix of the &quot;new&quot; salvage truck right now.<br> <br> Joe<br>
thats a fantastic idea to move big things with a little ute. you might run into problems with the law in regards to oversize loads on the highway s and such
If youre doing this a lot I would get an old 1-ton like a C3500, F350, D350 or an old medium duty truck.<br />
&nbsp;what are you going to do with the frame?
I would use a bigger truck say at lest 3/4 ton to start with and move up from there as the load size increase. The match box trucks like this one just not built for this kind of work&nbsp; <br />
I would like to hang out with you for several weeks. Get us a pile of someones junk and watch the magic.<br />
Seen TimAnderson's <a href="https://www.instructables.com/community/GotWant-Skills-Seeking-Volunteer-InternApprenti/" rel="nofollow">Internships</a>?<br />
Very cool, but I wonder what those frames were built for, and what you're going to use them for?<br />
Excellent 'Ible.....<br /> <br /> and 5 stars for the <strong>WARNINGS&nbsp; </strong>!!<br /> <br /> <br />
Tim, you are amazing.<br /> Puts the way I use my truck to shame<br />
BRILLIANT!!!!!<br /> <br /> I use my tractor and boom pole for most of this type work, when I'm near the house.&nbsp; But it gets really inconvenient when I'm away from home.&nbsp; I've got a 40 year old F250, and this would be the perfect addition.&nbsp; My oldest boy's a great welder, so I'll probably have him build me one soon.
very nice that truck brings back memories we made a cow truck out of a s10 &nbsp;&nbsp;
my dad had&nbsp;built something like this&nbsp;on a boat trailer. it already had the winch at the front. except he made the&nbsp;A frame out of doubled up 2x4&nbsp;and it was used for lighter duty lifting. great job.&nbsp;
&quot;I'm always afraid when moving big stuff.&quot;<br /> <br /> Excellent observation. I&nbsp;am always afraid when using power tools, especially the table saw. I&nbsp;only get into trouble when&nbsp;I'm blase about these things, such as the time I&nbsp;sliced through my hedge trimmer power cord. Scary.<br />
I bet people looked at you funny with that little truck carrying large stuff like that. Ford Pintos are tough little cars. My dad used to have one and still has a Pinto key chain. Nice instructable.<br />

About This Instructable



Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of www.zcorp.com, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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