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hoists & harnesses

Royboy Member Posts: 223
looking to get better equipped for the upcoming season of solar roof work. wondering if any fellow solar thermal installers have any suggestions/recommendations about:

1) preferred means of getting flat plate collectors to roof. I'm particularly curious about motorized hoists (and one hand-cranked) that run up ladder-like tracks (by RGC, Tranzsporter, & SafetyHoist). anyone try these? other improvements on the muscle & rope them up a ladder approach? I know another approach is to bring in bigger hoisting equipment. I'd rather go, if possible, with something I can own and readily transport.

2) fall-protection harnesses/systems that you like.

always good to have the right gear for the job and be safe ...


  • Kevin_in_Denver_2
    Kevin_in_Denver_2 Member Posts: 588
    Ladder Hoists

    Ladder Hoists are great, I had one for years.

    But you still need two guys on the ground and two guys on roof, to work quickly.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Royboy
    Royboy Member Posts: 223
    Ok, what do the rest of you do?

    shove/pull-with-rope up a ladder?

    up scaffolding one lift-grunt at a time?

    rent a boom truck?

    I've done the first two enough to be looking for some mechanical assistance. and boom trucks seem pricey and not always workable ...

    thought a manually powered lift would be considerably cheaper than a motorized one, but not really, it seems. pricey little buggers.
  • Karl_Northwind
    Karl_Northwind Member Posts: 139

    Hey Roy,

    We use a contraption that I built that goes on top of the scaffolding. it mounts on the pins and is a pyramid, it has a block and tackle hanging from the top, and can be hoisted from the bottom by hand, or with an electric winch (we have a manual winch that I can run with a cordless drill.)  great for those 2+ story roofs. 

    I'll see if I can find a pic to email.

    one guy on the ground can move the panel into place (larger guy) and 2 on the top can remove the panel and get it mounted in most cases.   we do most installs with 3 people, and no one spends much time sitting around.

    I installed it on one section of scaffold on the ground and 2 of us (400 lbs total) hung from it and bounced around a lot, and it didn't bend much, so I figure we'd be fine with a 150 Lb panel.

    on taller roofs (and larger systems) we install the scaffold as it's just a handy work platform for making sub assemblies, staging materials and such.

  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 1,047
    Haven't used the equipment you ask about

    But be careful ofinsurance costs with boom trucks. They are great equipment, but make sure you get all the costs right before going that way. Depending upon wha tyou might want to fabricate, look at that 1000# Warn winch. Nice compact set-up. Electric. Pretty easy to handle.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,251
    sign companies crane trucks

    Is how I would get panels on tall or steep roofs. $150.00 per hour around here includes travel. if you have everything staged most installs can be done in that one hour. I had some custom sized slings built and have the collectors all rigged with slings and clevis so they just hook on and go.

    For low roofs setting up a section or two of scaffolding works great as Karl mentioned. it's nice to have your tools up at roof level, saves a lot of ladder time.

    I just remounted my collectors on the shop. Four 4X8 DB. I bought some square tubing and welded a custom rack. Previously I used unistrut for the bottom rack and it was very springy. Now they are rock solid and materials, including paint was less than 100 bucks. I used 3/4 EMT conduit for the legs on back.

    I installed these working alone on a fairly low pitch roof and a tractor with forks to load them up.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
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