Sunday, 18 January 2015

How To Safely Move Heavy Rocks

Large rocks and boulders can be extremely heavy, and pose who risks of injury for those who attempt to lift them with sheer brute force.

6 Ways to move a heavy rock

I'm going to show you 6 different options for lifting and moving a large rock with minimum strain on your body. Some involve using materials you can find in your garage or yard. Others require you to purchase specific tools and equipment.

1. Using pry bars to create leverage. 

Pry bars are often used to loosen rocks that are stuck in the ground, and can also be used to move a large rock across a garden. It is best to do it inch by inch by spinning and gradually pushing, rather than attempting to roll it quickly. Use a brick or other similar size and strength item to give leverage. If you're going to purchase one of these bars, get a longer version for maximum leverage. Also, a good tip when purchasing a pry bar is to get a brightly colored bar, as they will be much easier to find after you inevitably throw them on the ground.

2. Hand Pull Stone Boats

You could also create a small sized stone sled for dragging across suitable surfaces. Obviously, is the rock is too large to safely pull, do not attempt this. This will also not be suitable for slopes or uneven surfaces as the edge of the sled may become wedged, or the rock may tumble off. Obviously, common sense must prevail and over-loading the sled with too many rocks, or rocks too large to pull safely must be avoided. Working together with another person like a tug of war team could make this a lot easier.

3. Rolling on multiple pieces of pipe 

If you have some pieces of PVC, you may want to consider this technique. As the rock moves forward, continually take the rear piece and place it on front. Wear appropriate safety gear such as safety boots if you try this, as you don't want to roll a big rock onto your toes.

4. Solid Deck Wagon Truck

If you're a landscaper who needs to do this job regularly, you may want to consider getting a serious piece of equipment, such as a solid deck wagon truck. 

If you're going to wheel a large rock across garden terrain, you're going to need a cart which provides enough stability to do the job safely. Regular wheelbarrows do not provide the same level of balance as these 4 wheels landscaping carts. Four solid rubber tires, and a lip around the sides allow you to roll heavy objects and equipment safely and easily. Obviously, the downside to using such equipment is the requirement that the rock be lifted 2 to 3 feet up onto the deck. This applies to a greater extent with wheelbarrows.

5. Tow-able Rock Sleds

You can either make your own rock sled out of whatever you can find around your home, or use something such as an old car trunk or hood. You can tie the rock down to secure it. Travel slowly and ensure you inspect the pathway that you will be taking whilst transporting the rock. Obstacles or uneven terrain could destabilize the load and which becomes very hazardous.

Attach strong rope or chains to your sled and drag it along the ground. Car hoods and trunks are excellent as they have a lip which helps prevent the rock slipping off. If you don't have an old car panel, you can make a sled yourself out of wood or other materials around your property.

6. Lifting Slings For Heavy Rocks

Another option is to purchase or make your own sling. These could also be useful when you're required to lift a rock up onto a cart or wheelbarrow. Using proper lifting technique, these straps allow you to team up and lift some heavy weight. 

These straps are available on Amazon


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