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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    61

    Default Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    I finished framing an addition on a ranch. Now I will open up the kitchen wall to the addition and install a steel beam as the header. My question is: any suggestions on how to lift this 19' long 430lb beam into place, hold it, adjust it into final position and then install lolly columns under the beam ends? I was thinking of muscle onto large saw horses and then adjustable screw jacks, but I think they wont be stable. I also thought about two come-a-longs onto the cathedral rafters and ratcheting it up, then use screw jacks for final adjustment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,888

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    I would rent a couple of genie lifts. Used to muscle them into place in my youth but I have learned that it's not worth the wear and tear and risk.

    http://www.genielift.com/ml-series/ml-1-4.asp

    dave

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Coachella Valley (Palm Springs CA area)
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    yeah, 2 genie lifts should do the trick. we use them all the time for large wood beams

    Rusty

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oak Park, Illinois
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    Definetly, 2 of the genie lifts, except I know them as Vermette high lifts. I have used them successfully to lift long and heavy steel. Very safe. Rented them from a local rental shop. Just be sure of the weight capacity, and be carefull.

    Good Luck,


    RJC
    Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with quality.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    neptune, nj
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    kevin, i had one 24' grabbed a few friends made a hole in the garage wall and slid that baby in. it weighed 1000lbs had a welder weld my metal posts. good luck. if i had to do it all overe agian i would of rented the jacks. im young and strong so i looked at it like a work out. never again. all my buddies were not happy with me. especialy when they got there and saw this huge metal beam laying in the driveway.lol. later
    -Alain Bagagem-

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    Used the Genie lift and it was a piece of cake. The hardest part was getting the lift into the house. The whole job took about 4 hours and no strained backs. Thanks for the recommendation; I'm glad I asked the question!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Miles City, Montana
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    We have 2 steel beams to set as well. The super hoist looks pretty compact and has 1000 lb capacity. How are these things as far as getting them through a 3' door? And how do you get the beam up on the jack in the first place? I have a welder that has a cart that can roll in the door w/ the beams I need to install but it looks like the super hoist is about 3' off the ground. The last interior big beam (20' and 650lb. Gluelam) we set we used manpower (6 men) and lifted one end at a time on the scaffold, then hoisted to the beam pocket. I'm looking for a better way!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    Doug, we used a Bobcat to lift the beam through the addition r.o. window opening, set it on the window sil and then placed the "Genie" lift under the beam. Four of us carried the lift into a 36" finished door opening with 2 1/2" to spare on each side, it weighed about 150-200lbs. We could have spent some time and taken 6 bolts out to break it down into simple sizes and reassembled after it was in the room. It's capacity was 600lbs. Yours may be heavier. It is the way to go; years ago, there was a local contractor who died when a beam fell.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,888

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    Doug

    I've never used the superhoist and it does look like you have to get the beam up off the ground. Why would you need the superhoist as opposed to a genielift? Genielift fits through a 3' opening.

    My fear with using the superhoist to lift a steel beam isn't the load carrying capacity but the stability of the load when you get it up in the air, I could see using one by itself to lift a section of ductwork but if you try to co-ordinate 2 with the beam sitting on that little platform lets just say I would be standing a safe distance away.

    Every situation is different, if I can't use a genie lift or if the steel beam is bigger than the capacity of a genie lift I will resort to chainfalls. Sometimes you can rig to hoist from the structure, sometimes you have to be be a little more creative. I have lifted big steel beams in commercial by setting up scaffold towers on either side of the beam and at both ends of the beam, then I run aluma stringers between the towers and hoist with chainfalls rigged to the aluma stringers. This works as long as you don't have to go tight to the ceiling. You have to pay attention to how you load the floor when you set up the scaffolding, I have only ever done this on a SOG if you use this method on a wood floor or suspended slab you may have to shore under the scaffold to the basement floor.

    I swear by the Genie lift if conditions permit, it is simple, direct and easy to control. You can hoist the load close to it's final location to avoid damage to finishes then roll the load in to it's final location.


    dave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,022

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    so I guess no one wants to hear about when we used pumpjacks to lift beams into place...


    Genie lift sounds better
    Beware of the man whose belly does not shake when he laughs

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,888

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    Quote Originally Posted by phillip View Post
    so I guess no one wants to hear about when we used pumpjacks to lift beams into place...
    Hell yes I want to hear about it, I am always looking for different ways of doing things. Even if I don't use an idea I file it away for later.

    dave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,022

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    just take your pump jacks and set them up under where the beam will go
    since this is a remodel, there should be able to connect the tops to something
    430lb beam I would use 4
    set a plank on the bottom
    set beam on top
    pump them up...

    brace the heck out of the jacks as you go
    Beware of the man whose belly does not shake when he laughs

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    6,302

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    In my energy-conscious way I'm recycling this thread - I remembered it and we're about to put a couple of 20' W8x31 beams in place, so about 600 pounds each. Do you think 1 genie lift is enough, with a rope on each end to stabilze and for backup? We're on the second floor so need to hump the lift up there and would prefer to only do one.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oak Park, Illinois
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    Dan:

    I would use 2 lifts. I think it would be too "tippy" using only one. The vermette high lifts that I used, could be unassembled, which worked out well as our project was also on the 2nd flr.

    Good Luck,

    RJC
    Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with quality.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Presque Isle, Maine
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Lifting Steel Beam into Place

    I put a 24 foot steel beam in a garage last summer and used moter lifts it worked well, but I had the motor jacks and didn't have to rent them.

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