hand truck to lift rounds to the splitter beam?

twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
411
Southern New Hampshire
Making some progress on my grapple load of logs. I have been using a hand truck to move the larger rounds to the splitter, then lifting them by hand onto the beam.
Was thinking it would be sweet to have a table lift to raise them up with some mechanical advantage. The platform would then provide a bonus log cradle/table, which would come in handy when I have two large halves to manage and I don't want to toss one back onto the ground to make room.


I've seen some hand trucks that have an adjustable table . Some use a winch and pulley system, some use a hydraulic that looks like a bottle jack. Would be nice to have a foot pedal to raise the table, leaving both hands free to maneuver the round. Most of the commercial examples are designed for warehouses with smooth flat concrete floors, so the tires are all wrong for the yard. Also bulky as some are designed to lift 750-1000 pounds. I figure the biggest round I'm splitting in horizontal mode is 300 lbs (24" diameter, 18" long red oak). Anything bigger than that is going vertical.

https://handtrucks2go.com/Hero-Hand-Truck-Beer-Kegs-and-Water-Tank-Lifter.html

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Vestil-400-lbs-Winch-Lift-Truck-Fixed-Straddle-A-LIFT-R-HP/303208828

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/wesco-industrial-products-260001-750-lb-2-wheel-steel-hydraulic-pedalift-with-20-x-16-platform-and-40-lift-height/934260001.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=freeclicks&utm_campaign=GoogleShopping

So is there a product out there for us firewood monkeys? I do I need to do some garage DIY to add a lift table to an existing hand truck?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,681
South Puget Sound, WA
Most of what I have seen have been added to as extensions of the splitter which already has powered hydraulics. There are lift tables, cradles etc. Some can be ordered with the splitter and others as add-ons.
 

twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
411
Southern New Hampshire
Most of what I have seen have been added to as extensions of the splitter which already has powered hydraulics. There are lift tables, cradles etc. Some can be ordered with the splitter and others as add-ons.
yeah I've seen some of those solutions. The Gorillabac looks too slow, and only 250 lbs capacity.

I like the hydraulic lift tables, but I don't have a welder or the means to custom-fabricate something like that. I don't think DHT offers a lift option.

Also not excited about having a permanent fixture hanging off the splitter - I do tow it around the yard, and use it vertically at times, and it seems like it would get in the way.

I like using the hand truck to move the rounds, so it makes sense to me to stick with that for getting them up in the air. I'm picturing some simple Harbor Freight jack could be easily retrofit to a hand truck to make an articulating platform

It occurred to me that a full keg of beer is a similar form factor as a round of wood - check this out:

 
Last edited:

fullofbaloney

Member
Nov 4, 2013
12
CT
I've long used a hand truck and ramps to load large rounds into my truck for transport. I find anything larger than about 20" in diameter is too heavy for me to push though. I may just try using the ramps to load large rounds onto my splitter. Thanks for the idea!
 

twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
411
Southern New Hampshire
I've long used a hand truck and ramps to load large rounds into my truck for transport. I find anything larger than about 20" in diameter is too heavy for me to push though. I may just try using the ramps to load large rounds onto my splitter. Thanks for the idea!

yeah it's all about the incline angle. The inertia of large rounds is considerable, and once it wants to go past the balance point, you're not in control anymore. I'm lucky that my log pile is just slightly uphill of my splitting spot, so I can let gravity take the hand truck coasting down the slope with just a bit of control and guidance. The ramps up to the splitter is an interesting idea - would be less steep than loading into a pickup truck bed, as the beam is probably only 3' off the ground. I'd have to think about where to brace the ramps...the tow bar might work even if it's a little low, you might be able to rotate and nudge the round onto the beam with your hip once you've got it elevated a couple feet off the ground...
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,681
South Puget Sound, WA
Bigger than about 18" I split vertically. My back thanks me for this. Well, it did in the past. I think this might be my last year for splitting.
 

twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
411
Southern New Hampshire
Bigger than about 18" I split vertically. My back thanks me for this. Well, it did in the past. I think this might be my last year for splitting.
yeah, I can appreciate that sentiment. I'm not quite 40, but trying to age as gracefully as possible. I go vertical when I absolutely need to, but I find it even more ergonomically uncomfortable than lifting a heavy round. I end up hunched over on one knee bear-hugging the round to get in under the wedge. There's always a pile of splitter trash on the ground, so the foot plate is walking away from me when the ram engages. Then when I have the round chunked up to manageable size, I have to stop and convert the beam back to horizontal mode. On a typical 20' log, there may be 3-4 rounds too heavy for me to lift, and the rest are easier to split horizontally.
 

twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
411
Southern New Hampshire
I've long used a hand truck and ramps to load large rounds into my truck for transport. I find anything larger than about 20" in diameter is too heavy for me to push though. I may just try using the ramps to load large rounds onto my splitter. Thanks for the idea!

thought a bit more about using ramps to roll the hand truck up to the splitter beam. I measured the beam height last night - it's only 30" above grade. a 6-foot ramp should be plenty of run length. I could replace the factory log cradle table with a larger table - maybe 16"x30", then brace the ramps on the new table. Roll the round up the ramps on a hand truck, then rotate it onto the beam. Ramps are out of the way when I don't need them, and I've gained a larger work table in the process.

something like this should work: https://www.harborfreight.com/6-ft-x-9-inch-tri-fold-load-ramps-1-pair-96513.html
 

twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
411
Southern New Hampshire
wanted to follow-up on my solution, in case others are interested

I picked up a second-hand drum stand - this is used to move 55-gallon barrels around in a warehouse setting. It came with two axles and hard rubber wheels for the smooth concrete floors in a warehouse. I removed the rear axle, and replaced the front axle with solid 13-inch wheelbarrow tires. Label says it's a Meco W12R - rated for 1,000 pounds capacity.

I added some unistrut to raise the rear end so it sits level at rest. I also added a piece of perforated steel stock to span between the two front feet to grab smaller rounds. When it's tilted back resting level, the log round is just about 30" off the ground, the same height of my splitter's work table.

I can comfortably lift and move 18" long by 20" diameter oak rounds with this thing. I use my pickaroon to assist when tipping it up to the balance point, then push it like a wheelbarrow. Once I park it alongside the splitter table, I can roll the round a quarter-turn right onto the splitter beam. Plenty of mechanical advantage so I'm never lifting the full weight of the round. This gives me an all-in-one solution to move and lift rounds from my cutting area onto my splitter, without transferring to a hydraulic log lift.

Anyways, I'm fairly happy with the solution and hope it helps a fellow wood burner to work smarter, not harder!

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fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,784
Massachusetts
my friend around the corner has a splitter that has a log elevator it has picked up logs heavier than he and myself put together. unreal to watch this in action the splitter is a animal with wood. he runs this just a little north of a idle. it a timberwolf . a wood splitters dream
 

twd000

Feeling the Heat
Aug 28, 2015
411
Southern New Hampshire
twd000
Very nice ingenuity.
I had been looking at the
Pittsburgh Automotive
500 lbs. Capacity Hydraulic Table Cart


from Harbor Freight. $179.
But your idea is a lot simpler and is not made by Harbor Freight.
yes, I looked at similar hydraulic lift tables but as you'll notice, they require flat and level concrete floors. A round log would roll right off that table

My cutting pile is a few feet uphill of my splitting area, and the terrain in between has plenty of lump and bumps. The wheelbarrow tires are appropriate for bumping over that terrain

The ergonomics of this problem were an interesting challenge. Once I saw the drum dolly and watched a YouTube video with an average-size guy moving a full 55-gallon drum around a warehouse, it turned on the lightbulb in my head that a round log has a lot in common with a shorter version of a barrel. It cradles it right into the frame when I'm walking it, and rolls off easily once I reach the splitter.