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Discussion Starter #1
Reading a few posts got me thinking . . . what about a little "crane" to lift heavier items in and out. Bolted solidly to the floor and tied to the D pillar (or C at the slider) ? Since I prefer not to lift anything heavier than 12oz any more. I googled truck bed crane and quite a selection .
Myself I would use the crane for car parts and maybe a "shuttle craft" of 100CCs +- when on adventures.
And powered ?
What do you think ???
 

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Something like this?


(picture from Spitzlift website)
https://spitzlift.com/vans/

I have a Spitzlift crane that I used with my previous van and trailer. I have been pretty happy with it. There are cheaper options available, but the Spitzlift is aluminum, so it doesn't add much weight. I think mine is rated to lift 700#. If you want a powered crane, the prices go up quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's what I'm talkin about !!! Thank you . In my case fold away , light , powered would be nice. Just big enough to pick up a motor or a motorbike .
 

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The load floor in a Promaster is so low, I would think that for most heavier items a folding aluminum ramp and a cart would be more practical. After all, a lift will get the item in the van, but if it's not on wheels you will still have to man handle it into place. You could add a small DC powered winch to aid in loading as well.
 

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The load floor in a Promaster is so low, I would think that for most heavier items a folding aluminum ramp and a cart would be more practical.
Good points. A ramp would probably be better (faster, easier, cheaper) for loading a motorcycle. A shop crane (~$200 at Harbor Freight) is a great option for loading/unloading items without wheels, but it wouldn't be easy to take it with you. It all depends on your particular lifting needs and your frequency of use.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Still have my ramp. But it's the last foot over the peak, bars are mostly out of reach and it's time to hop up into the van and grab the brakes. Not going to happen. I have step stools at each door just for me. I had a friend that would ride up his ramp !
Was in Harbor Fright and the bigger than what I need cranes were on sale , $ 130. for the big one.
What about a linear actuator instead of a hydraulic ram ???
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Winch

The load floor in a Promaster is so low, I would think that for most heavier items a folding aluminum ramp and a cart would be more practical. After all, a lift will get the item in the van, but if it's not on wheels you will still have to man handle it into place. You could add a small DC powered winch to aid in loading as well.
Winch is a good idea . Winch on the pole, cable to pulley on top of pole, cable then to pulley at end of arm and down to load .
Hook load , stand alongside , winch up , brake , push load into van with pivot arm , lower load to floor. Unhook , stow arm .:laugh:
 

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If I understood JohnnyRambles idea correctly, he was talking about mounting a winch near the front of the van to pull a motorcycle or wheeled cart up the ramp. I like the simplicity and versatility of that approach. For loading a motorcycle, you would still have that difficult-to-balance moment at the top of the ramp, but you wouldn't be pushing, so it would be more manageable. You would need some sort of hand-held control (preferably cordless) for the winch.

A couple of issues to keep in mind with a crane:

--It will reduce the size of the opening (width and height) at the back of your van. If you are loading something large, that could become an issue.

--If you are not on flat ground, the crane will want to swing in the downhill direction. With a heavy load, even a mild slope can become a challenge (or a hazard).

--Mounting a crane (safely) can be a bit complicated. If you have a trailer hitch receiver, you might be interested in SpitzLift's receiver-mounted adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very good points Swoop . And the balance point/COG of the bike. Just another goodie to think about while I'm thinking about other PM goodies.
Yes JohnnyRambles the low floor is to me the main attraction to PMs. But the whole van sits sooo high. That Ducato I spied had 15" wheels and it was nice and low.
 
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