View Full Version : 12 Volt screw jacks/Linear actuators - Where to Buy?

03-03-2007, 11:57 PM
I'm working on a design for a lifting arm for my dump truck. Instead of hydraulic rams, I was thinking I could use 12v electric rams or screw jacks or what ever you want to call them. Does anyone know who sells these?

03-04-2007, 12:52 AM
Just a quck search for linear actuators you'll get lots of results. If you know your specs try ebay. I run one on a dump bed I built. You will need to know (or guess) max. load, travel length, travel speed, mounting position, limit switch or clutch. You'll need a DPDT toggle to reverse the current.

Jason Rose
03-04-2007, 01:02 AM
wow, how much load can some of those linerar actuators lift? I would have never thought any would be capable of tipping a dump bed! You are looking at around 2 tons there, for the bed weight + the load of wet grass. Double that just in cause you load dirt or rock and actually want it to dump.

03-04-2007, 01:11 AM
surplus center in Lincoln Nebraska. They have a website. I am thinking its surplusscenter.com but it would be best to google it.

03-04-2007, 10:58 AM
There are some industrial units that cost thousands of dollars that will lift tons. But the one I have dumps a bed that is about 4 x 4 foot. It is a 500 pound actuator with about 16 inches of travel. I believe I paid about $200 for it. The switch is about $7.00

03-04-2007, 11:11 AM
I'm in the process of building one of these from scratch;


It's to transport my boss's helicopter in and out of his hanger;


As you can see this unit has two hydraulic cylinders for lifting and one for steering. I found it cheaper to use liner actuators, This chopper weights approximately 1000 lbs. so I doubled the lifting load on the L/A to 2000 lbs. as to be sure I didn't over load it. All aspects that khouse mentioned is important when using these so do your weight and positioning math.

Also make sure you purchase a L/A that will perform the task at hand. There would be nothing worse than stripping a high dollar L/A on the first lift.
You may even think about double L/A's to assure plenty of load capacity and trouble free lifts.

Just to add; This transporter I'm building has a split rear axle. One side is powered with a 12vdc motor/gearbox combo (slow) and the other side is powered with a 6.5 hp electric start Honda. This is so he can use it for touring the airpark neighborhood he lives in when not transporting his chopper.

03-04-2007, 11:45 AM
So, where did you buy them? That was my question. Khouse? BTW Restro, you're pretty crafty. I could use you right about now. I'm trying to come up with a lifting arm that will mount between the cab and the bed of my dump truck. I'm going to have a bin at the end of the arm that I can dump grass clippings in. The arm will then lift it up and dump it into the truck. I did a google search, but found only the really expensive type. I have one that came with my walker quick-change attachment. I guess I'll have to pull it off and find out who makes it.

03-04-2007, 02:52 PM
So, where did you buy them?

I got the steering L/A from Polaris since we are a dealer, The lift L/A I found new on Ebay. And yes they are very expensive that's why you want to make sure you have all your T's crossed and I's dotted before pushing the button the first time.

How large is this bin going to be.....Also will it be lowered to ground level for loading and how high will it have to go to dump into your bed ?

I work on L/G equipment for a living but have a small welding fabrication shop at home as a hobbie, Always did like building things.

03-04-2007, 04:42 PM
The bin will be about 1 cuyd. Just big enough to hold one hopper full of grass from my walker. It will lower to the ground or close to it. I did a scaled down drawing today and the ram will have to extend to 32 to 36" and the arm will be about four and a half feet long. The arm will be attached to the bin near the bottom of the bin and on the front side of it. That way the bin will tip over when the arm is raised up and over into the truck and staighten back up when the arm is lowered. I'm hoping this will eliminate a ram to be used to tip the bin. I'm planing on using a 2x3 or 2x4 thick-walled box tube for the arm and hope it doesn't try to twist with about 160 lbs hanging from it. Does anyone see any flaws in my design? Is there a formula to figure how much force will be required to lift the weight from a certain lenght arm?

03-05-2007, 12:14 AM
I'll bet you'll be spending $500 plus for an acuator with that much travel. Why don't you use a tiny 12 volt wench, pulleys and return spring? Just build your arm and hopper like your were going to. Then see if a winch and cable will work. You could get by with maybe $150.

03-05-2007, 07:56 AM
I was thinking along the same lines, The smaller boat trailer wenches are rated at 2000lbs and less than $100. It's a little hard to fathom without a pic of the truck being modified.

03-05-2007, 09:03 AM
I saw several wenches at my Home Depot. They have a whole section on them. Your right - some are at or below $100 Take care..

03-05-2007, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the ideas, guys. I never thought about a wench. That's just crazy enough to work. I'll sit down today and figure out how to do it.

03-05-2007, 01:32 PM
I saw several wenches at my Home Depot. They have a whole section on them. Your right - some are at or below $100 Take care..

I didn't know Home Depot was in the flesh peddling business. How good looking were these wenches? Maybe quite common if they're below $100:laugh: .....Lynn . Hopefully one of the wenches can assist you in finding a winch.

03-05-2007, 10:50 PM
The wench can get pretty hot if you over work her. Watch out though cause you'll get hooked on her slow and steady strength. Be careful because her big brothers can put the squeeze on you in no time. She truly is a beauty!

Mechanic Mark
03-07-2007, 10:59 AM
Nice Job on the chopper transport unit Restorob !