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Old 05-28-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


I'm wanting to install an electric hoist in my garage very similar to http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=244155 . However, I'm not sure about the best/safest way to mount the hoist. It's rated for 880lbs, but my jeep hardtop probably only weight about 150lbs.

My garage ceiling (12') is 1/3 empty attic space and 2/3 2nd floor flooring (see pic). When I went up into the attic space I was surprised to see 2x4's (see pic). I'm a complete newbie to DIY, but my gut tells me not to hang 880lbs. from a few 2x4's. From what I've read here, those 2x4's are more for keeping the walls together than supporting the garage ceiling.

Any ideas on the best way to accomplish this? I'm open to any suggestions, including mounting the hoist on a wall if necessary. I've included the following pictures, so that I don't confuse anyone with the wrong terms or decriptions.




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Old 05-28-2007, 04:06 PM   #2
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


I would suggest talking to an engineer about this if the hoist will be expected to hold 880 lbs., or is that just the max capacity?....If it is to be used for the same purpose of lifting a top off a jeep...how much does the top weigh?

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Old 05-28-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


He said the top weighed 150lbs.
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:15 PM   #4
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


etriad, the "What is this", is most likely an engineered support beam. As for the 2x4s, that is typical for Roof Trusses. If I was you, I would probably look at a setup designed specifically for hoisting the hard top roof for your jeep, then risk getting woken up the next morning, when the whole set up comes crashing down.
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:26 PM   #5
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
He said the top weighed 150lbs.
oops, I overlooked that. You are correct gregzoll, that is an engineered truss. I would say that you could easily use that hoist for 150 lbs., if it is spread over a few trusses. If my lard ass (225-230) can walk in an attic of a house built with the same trusses, it will hold 150 lbs.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:34 PM   #6
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


I'd locate the position of the hoist, go about a foot to either side and tie verticals into the trusses from rafter to crosstie. This distributes the load to the entire truss not just the crossties.

Limit the load to the weight of the Jeep roof and you will be fine. Just don't start thinking that you can start pulling engines.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:41 PM   #7
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


Personally, I would not do that, due to you are putting extra force downwards, which is what the truss was not designed for. Trusses are engineered for distributing the weight & force evenly. Personally, I would forget about the hoist, and just put it back in the rear of the garage after the extra junk is cleaned out.

It is amazing how much room there is in a garage, when all of the extra accumulated crap is cleaned out.
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:16 PM   #8
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


gregzoll, I'm an engineer, residential contractor and dispute your assessment. Trusses are designed with a safety factor, 3:1 is recommended and generally followed. Loading goes by the sq.ft., difficult to figure out. In your way of thinking a 250# man could never service an A/C air handler OR you could never store all of that junk that people put in their attics. 150#s is almost nothing but due some extra support.

BTW, I over-build everything. It comes from living in hurricaneland.
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:18 PM   #9
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


You could also be misleading future owners of the house when they see a hoist that says 880# capacity, but it can't really lift that much without bringing down the roof.

Maybe not legal, but certainly moral problems.
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Old 05-28-2007, 06:53 PM   #10
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


I thought about that as well. 880# would be a stretch for 2 trusses with the bracing that I recommended but I have seen/done it before.

I used to pull 327 marine engines in my 2 car garage (about 575#'s) by using a 4 X 4 over 4 trusses. It was only later that I realized that only the 2 trusses near the lift point were bearing the load.
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:36 PM   #11
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


What about the 2/3 of the garage that is under the 2nd floor. Is there anything there that I could lag bolt into and safely lift 200-300lbs?... or is it still better to distribute the loads across the trusses and through the sheetrock from the attic space?

Isn't the garage door & opener weight being supported by just a couple of the crossties?
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Old 05-29-2007, 01:26 PM   #12
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


I think the hoist idea may be a little overkill. Some rope, a couple pulleys and a cleat would give you the same result......and for about 95% less money.

Just screw a couple eye hooks into the joists.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:02 PM   #13
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


I'm a newcomer to this blog site and your question/answers really intrigue me. I just finished using an 880 lb hoist I bought from Harbor Freight to remove the body from my 1960 Corvette. I too considered a ceiling hoist because my garage is not finished and I had access to the beams and trusses. However, I decided that this was not only unsafe, but an engineering problem I did not have the "tools" to tackle. I constructed a portable frame on casters as a temporary solution to this problem, but found that it took up so much room in my garage that I could not work on the chassis of my car without tripping over it. I finally built a "body dolly" for my car's body and disassembled the hoist frame.
I'd still like to have a ceiling hoist for the removable hardtop of my 'Vette, but I'm at a loss as to how to do it safely.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:11 PM   #14
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


I mounted an 880 lb hoist from the rafters in my garage like this: I placed a 4x4 across two rafters and mounted the hoist to it. Then I took four 2x4's, made two sets of two bolted together. I wedge them vertically from the floor to the two load bearing joists at both ends of the 4x4. I cut them 1 1/2 in. longer than the distance from floor to joist so that they wedge very tightly.I use tis hoist to lift a 6500w Chicago Generator up to my assembly bench to service it. It works great and is very stable. When I am not usding the hoist I simply remove the 2x4 posts and stand the in a corner or place them along a weall.

Last edited by nighthitch; 02-25-2011 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:21 AM   #15
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880lb hoist from garage ceiling


Interesting post, and one that I am familiar with the situation. In 1996 I built my 24 x 36 shop,, unattached to the house, and used "engineered trusses". These were designed for a 150 lb./sq. ft. of storage in the top (standard I believe) if I wanted to do so later. I also work on older cars and the situation came up with pulling motors and taking bodies off of frames. I went back to the place that designed/built the trusses for me and they not only told me how to do this, they did a quick CAD design of this and gave me the prints. Simple as placing some 4 x 4's or landscaping timbers across at least four (4) of the trusses, using a method of attaching a hoist securely to this, and hoist away. Do factor in the weight of the hoist and any rigging outside of the weight being lifted. I used a 3/4" eye bolt going through the 4 x 4, a plate on top, flat washer/lock washer, HD nut, and then a Ny-lock but just because. Just my two cents here.

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