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Hand tools for moving large rocks.


Desertpilot

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  • 3 years later...
On 3/18/2018 at 12:19 AM, Desertpilot said:

All,

Im needing to move some rocks out of a dry creek bed that are in the 100-200lb range. I've been thinking of using a come along or a griphoist? Having no experience at this, I'd like to ask you all what has worked the best for you in this situation? For the most part I will need to just drag the rocks out of the way but on occasion I will need to pull a rock out of a hole.  

Thanks 

DP

I know this is an older post but here is some great info about manually moving boulders and other heavy loads, and how to split boulders using hand tools:

https://tahoerimtrail.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/USFS-Griphoist-and-Rigging-Techniques-Presentation.pdf

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The old timers moved big rocks with nothing more than levers and ropes. 

For the small prospector the solutions are the same. 

I recently moved a 12x12 building that weighed about 3000 lbs. Loaded it on a trailer, unloaded it and set it up in a lady's back yard. No machinery at all. I lifted it with a digging bar and cribbing. I pulled it with a come along. I skidded it on timbers. I used some logs as rollers to cross a little drainage canal. 

Big equipment is often set by hand before it is grouted. Construction guys often lift equipment with levers to position it. Especially on big industrial jobs. Some big pumps and turbines weigh many thousands of pounds and must be skidded into place and set by hand. I have seen huge iron pumps removed and replaced with a couple guys and an equipment dolly. 

You can rig 500lb. boulders and walk them uphill or downhill fast using a couple metal fence poles rigged together at the top into an "A" frame. This is exactly how hand miners have done it for centuries. If your poles are strong and you use pulleys you can lift rocks that weigh many thousands of pounds. You aren't going to lift them very high in one pull. But if you know how to crib and reset the gin pole you can lift them a few inches every few minutes.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bedrock Bob  is exactly right , If I can get a digging bar under it it can be moved.  I have moved small buildings as he described . I spent many years as the deck boss on on a ship with a 50 ton boom rigged with a 4 sheave double block , it was slow though. We routinely moved 18,000 LB concrete anchors on deck or setting on the ground with big pry bars and setting them on 2" x 4" blocks and skidding them around  with 8 foot pry bars, it was slow but safe.  Also years back when Stanton was Stanton ,Morlock showed up with a griphoist , I don't remember the model but we used it to move every boulder in the creek below the club house . Some of them were huge ! Our method was to dredge out a hole next to it on the side we wanted to roll it , get some truck tire chains below the center of gravity and roll it over in to the new hole. Always put a beer can in the new hole to prove to later people that we had moved it. I don't remember that we found much gold but had a ball in later years when My wife Polly and I were the caretakers there and I would tell people that a beer can was under the big rocks A lot of them didn't believe it and those things had really settled in after a couple of monsoons ! Tom and Norma ( Who in my opinion was the best caretakers Stanton ever had and that I got hired to run Stanton when I got tired of it) can vouch for this story as can Morlock who sold me the grip hoist. I had pictures but all off them burned , but someone out in this old world has some pictures and I sure would like to find a copy !

The griphoist never failed but sometimes the anchor point was a problem.

 

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  • 2 months later...

I used to move boulders from hundred pounders of to the size of a short couch with a pair of cheap 20 ton bottle jacks from Peo Boys.  There are plenty of smaller rocks to use for wedges, as you progress, but it doesn’t hurt to have a 6 or 8 inch square piece of 1/4 inch steel plate to put under the foot of the jack, if that side is in loose material.  After a while, you figure out that with safety and persistance, you can move anything in your way.

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On 3/18/2018 at 6:53 PM, chrisski said:

I moved a 6' tall rectangular boulder with a two tow hoists attached together.  If the boulders just weigh 100 - 200 LBS, I'd consider several lengths of Walmart rope tied together and attached to the truck.  I've got decorator rock I'd like to take back with me, but its 500 feet up the creek.  This rock must weigh at least 400 LBS.  Every year the rains wash it about 6' closer.  Probably won't be around when it washes close enough for me to get it in the truck.

Whatever you get, just look for anchor locations.  If the towed load is huge, not many places in the local desert to attach something to.  When I said there were no boulders or trees to attach my stuck truck to, someone suggested I simply bury a tire 6' deep and then use a hoist.  There's something that looks like a boat anchor that attaches to a wench, and that is the only thing I think would work consistently here for extremely heavy jobs.

There’s a very well made type of land anchor called a Pull Pal that comes in different sizes, including a  6-ton model. (Ihttps://www.pullpal.com/

I bought a used 6-ton model. It weighs a lot but works very well in sand and hard pack. New ones are pricey, but there are used ones out there.  I’ve used mine along with a receiver mounted winch for my truck, and have also used it with a griphoist to move and set large landscape boulders at our house.

Edited by GotAU?
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6 hours ago, GotAU? said:

There’s a very well made type of land anchor called a Pull Pal that comes in different sizes, including a  6-ton model. (Ihttps://www.pullpal.com/

I bought a used 6-ton model. It weighs a lot but works very well in sand and hard pack. New ones are pricey, but there are used ones out there.  I’ve used mine along with a receiver mounted winch for my truck, and have also used it with a griphoist to move and set large landscape boulders at our house.

I like the idea of a Pull Pal. I have not found anything better than that for where I drive.  Would like to get one someday.

After being stuck without the proper gear, I realized there was nothing to tie a winch to most places I go to get unstuck.  The boulders were to small and trees are non-existent.  Someone said all I needed to do was bury my spare tire in four feet of dirt and pull myself out.  Sounds like a good idea until you start to dig the hole and see what a task that is.

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