Rock hoist on a crane

He didn’t want to have to work around large rocks, make a trip back to pick them up later – or pick up rocks at all. So Kirk Gerstacker made a jib crane out of spare parts and a 2,500-pound-capacity winch to go with him into the field.  

“It’s bolted right onto our cultivator – we keep it on that. I can easily lift 300-pound rocks, swing them over, and lower them into the rock basket,” he explains.   

Steel mesh grate forms a tray to carry rocks in the tongue on the frame of the cultivator. The screen bottom filters out dirt. With remote control for the winch, the operator can be mobile too. The boom is mounted on two bearings for easy rotation. 

This project went together in late winter. He says the 12-volt deep-cycle battery he uses on it hasn’t needed a recharge all year, and the battery comes off easily for use elsewhere.  

Speaking of other purposes, Gerstacker has used his crane for things he didn’t plan on. For instance, he came across a fallen ash tree that was stuck 3 feet in the ground in a field some distance from home. “It was handy having that jib winch – it pulled it right up and out,” he says. “It’s been surprising how effective this thing really is.”

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