Northern Industrial Pickup Truck Crane - 1000-Lb. Capacity
Reactions after a year of use
About six months ago I took the crane off of the truck and totally forgot why until I had to move a few full 55 gallon barrels this weekend. The metal in the crank is extremely cheap so the handle rounded out and the teeth on the winch stripped out. The pump also leaks. I had to resort to the odd man out method of getting all of the liquids out of the barrels on the ground into the barrels on the truck. If the winch were constructed even slightly better or the handle were reliable I would recommend this product. If you are just looking to move something once and it is only going to be for light duty, then by all means get it. If the answer to this question is "repeated use" look forward to replacing the winch. Also look for some additional angle iron to help spread the weight along the bottom of the truck.
August 23, 2012
Purchased this to use for loading and unloading a generator on a work trailer. It is a simple, but effective, crane. However, it does have some manufacturing issues that may or may not be a problem for you.
Mounting and assembly are straight forward. You must drill into a secure base and bolt it on with 4 bolts. The bolts that came with it are not hardened, so it would be advisable to replace them with better bolts to help prevent shearing or bending under load.
The neck of the crane has several holes drilled through it for a locking pin to secure the boom from swinging during use or travel. We found the holes were not aligned with the base which meant the boom did not lock squarely at anything close to 90 degree angles to the vehicle. In addition, the holes were not drilled squarely to one another, so the locking pin could not slide all the way through. We had to drill our own holes in order for the boom to line up properly in the stored position and for the locking pin to be able to slide all the way in.
In addition, the bolts used in the winch are low grade and will easily bend. The bolt securing the directional latch on the winch, which determines which way the winch is turning and secures the line from feeding out when under load, has bent and allows the gears to turn freely at all times due to the bolt not being hardened steel.
A recent job required us to pull out more cable than we normally do revealing that the factory cable was severely crimped in a couple of places. This has the effect of reducing the load capacity by about 50%. After less than 10 uses, having to replace the winch is unacceptable.
The rotation of the boom is acheived by simply having one pipe slide over another - no bearings. The result is that when under load, the boom can be difficult to swing. You may want to grease the pipes before assembling.
Bottom line, the price makes this very attractive, but as you might have read from other users, modifications are likely to be needed for this to be a long term performer. However, it does provide a good starting point for do it yourself types.
May 10, 2012
Mounted in back of my dump truck. Picks up & unloads my heavy and awkward plate compactor like it is nothing. Can't beat it for the cost.
October 13, 2011
Gets the job done
I restore old Coke machines from the sixties. As you might guess, these things are bulky and HEAVY. I bought this to help me handle these things and what a great job it's done. Lifts them right off the ground easily. I've also used it for lots of other stuff too.
I do suggest welding a ½" piece of plate steel between the crossmembers on the underside of your truck bed cause the angle iron that shipped with this just won't cut it.
I also replaced the hand winch with a reversible electric one.
A great crane!
June 18, 2011
Pick Up Crane
I had originally priced making a crane such as this to lift oysters floats out of the water. There is no way that I could have even come close to the cost of this item even if I used scrap metal. It looks well made and it will suit our purposes perfectly!
March 16, 2011
I have been looking for a way to unload standby generators at customers jobsites, and all the cranes I researched were way too much money. When I found this one I thought it must be pretty light weight for that price. I was pleasently suprised. Its well built, strong, and exactly what we needed. The mounting needs to be reinforced on a typical pickup truck, and needs to be attached to the truck frame. Ours was pretty easy with some 3/8" plate and some angles and a welder. One man can easily unload and place in position a 450 lb generator in minutes.
March 14, 2011
Pickup Truck Crane is more than wonderful
I purchased this product to help with loading my Honda Generator (which was also purchased at NT) but since the purchase I have also used it for many different things. I have Pulled old fence post with concrete out of their holes and placed them in the back of my truck with ease. I have used the truck crane also to hoist the three whitetail deer up for cleaning and placing them in the bed of my truck.
With the several uses of this product I highly reccomend this product as a must have for a individual or contractor. Its many uses make it the best product I have in my list of "TOYS" my wife says!
November 17, 2010
Good Price, Does what its suppose to
Installed in the back of cube van to lower and retrieve a sewer camera. It was installed in less than an hour. We removed the hand crank and installed an electric hoist. We saved over $800 with that combination, versus buying a crane/hoist with the same capacity.
May 24, 2010
Great crane for the price
Use it to transport standby and portable generators to a from jobs. Going to upgrade with an electric winch soon but overall a great crane.
March 16, 2010
Like a helping hand
This truck crane has been so helpful to me, it's like having a friend around, all the time. I have mine mounted on the receiver hitch, and I have loaded everything from engines, to large appliances in the back of my truck. What a back saver, gives a man great independence to know he doesn't have to wait on a neighbor, or relative for help. I also purchased an electric winch, to add even more ease to loading and unloading my truck. Sometimes I wonder how I ever did without it.
February 22, 2010