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winch on stud wall?

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I have a very steep driveway, and sometimes need to get something up the driveway that's too heavy to push. Like, no way you could push a motorcycle up into the garage. It's a 20% or more grade, maybe 30 ft long.

I'm considering mounting a little ATV winch to the back wall of the garage to help with this. The wall base is about 4.5 ft above the garage floor, it's a standard wood stud and drywall wall with 2x6 studs. The wall is fixe at the bottom to a concrete slab like any normal residential home (house is 20 years old FWIW), and it is maybe 9 ft high and attached to the upstairs floor above it.

I know the pullout strength of lags is about 300 lb so I figure I could attach a steel plate with the winch bolted to it across three studs with two lags in each and get 1800 lb or so pullout strength.

The question is, how much lateral load can the wall take?

I really don't want to pull the wall down. Realistically I might try to pull something up the driveway that weighs as much as 1300 lb, and on a wheeled cart or it has its own wheels (like a motorcycle) or in my little utility trailer, which is a 300 lb trailer with 1000lb max load. Doing the math, I don't think I would exceed 650 lb load on the wall. My gut tells me the wall will hold up just fine but I don't want to learn that I'm wrong the hard way. Most commonly it'd be stuff that goes in my steel utility cart that has a max load of 800 lb, like loading it with rocks. The immediate need is that I am going to be getting a very big tool box that's close to 700 lb empty. Pulling that up into the garage under human power is going to be a feat.

Anyone know how to calculate this?
 
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Suggest bolting it into the concrete floor at the rear of the garage using concrete anchors and hanging a snatch block from the header over your garage door to redirect the cable angle down the driveway slope. When the load reaches the top of the hill just reanchor it past the snatch block and let the line out to take the load off it, and remove the snatch block from the rigging to pull it straight into the garage. Concrete anchors are much less likely to fail in a catastrophic manner, and the header over the garage door should be suitable to handle that kind of load.

I'm not sure on the lateral load calculation but the reason I haven't done this for uprighting my Kendon trailer is concern of pulling studs through an exterior wall.
 
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I wouldn't chance the studs. Potentially a very expensive lesson. Bolt a 3/8 steel plate to the slab with a low attachment for your winch. Use a free plate with a small steel pully attached vertically (turns on a shaft) to support the cable as it bends down the drive. As your load comes up the drive it should naturally raise the cable above the free plate/pully assembly and continue up toward the winch. Free plate can be stored out of the way.
 
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I wouldn't chance the studs. Potentially a very expensive lesson. Bolt a 3/8 steel plate to the slab with a low attachment for your winch. Use a free plate with a small steel pully attached vertically (turns on a shaft) to support the cable as it bends down the drive. As your load comes up the drive it should naturally raise the cable above the free plate/pully assembly and continue up toward the winch. Free plate can be stored out of the way.

Yup- something like this would work.
 
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Agree with using the floor instead.
Attach at the front of the garage (all the way in) so you can pull whatever all the way inside. An old college buddy installed a folding hook. Worked well for moving rolling chassis in and out of the garage.
Use a pulley at the end of the garage or even just a block of UHMW plastic if you don't want the winch cable dragging on the concrete.
 
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I definitely considered the floor, and also considered the side of the slab which is about 4.5 feet tall. There are major downsides to both of these ideas, among them that there is no good way to get the winch cable to clear the concrete driveway where it breaks over, which is not at the garage entry but about 6' outside the garage door. So that pulley or whatever would have to be out in the driveway 6' from the garage door. I know it can be made to work but it makes the whole project not worth the effort.

Still looking for the answer, how much side load can a wall take?
 
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Is there a slight lip or ledge right at the entrance to the garage?
If so, you could use that to hold a 6' board that has the pulley on the end.
Or if the pulley is placed high enough at the garage entry, it will provide the clearance out to the break over. It's just trigonometry.
Place the board out when you need to winch something in. Pick up the board when you are done.
 
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Is there a slight lip or ledge right at the entrance to the garage?
If so, you could use that to hold a 6' board that has the pulley on the end.
Or if the pulley is placed high enough at the garage entry, it will provide the clearance out to the break over. It's just trigonometry.

You're saying a 6 foot tall board with a pulley on the end? I guess you mean to lay a board flat on the floor against the lip with a pulley attached atop the flat side of the board. Seriously to clear, the pulley would have to be about 1.5 feet off the ground. So that's a heck of a structure to try to put in the garage entry... and to store when not in use. Guess I could put some kind of roller on my floor jack.

The more I think about it, the more I think there's just no way this won't hold. I mean, I have hung my motorcycle from a 2x6 joist on my garage loft floor in the garage plenty of times using bicycle hanging hooks and a ratchet strap. If a pair of bicycle hooks can hold 250 lb in just one 2x6 which spans a 10 ft. space between supports then I'm pretty sure three 2x6s within a whole wall structure with less than 9ft span between top and bottom will easily support a 500 lb or so lateral load. For that matter, my garage loft has a pair of 10' 2x6s that are butted together to span creating the floor rafters and they are attached to one single 2x6 with lags that is hooked to one single ceiling joist (a 2x8 probably... maybe a 2x6...) with a pair of heavy steel L-brackets with two 5/16" lags on each bracket, all to just one ceiling joist. Not only is that loft being supported, with all of the junk in it, but ALSO one end of a motorcycle hung from this bracket. There is at least a 500 lb or more load on that one ceiling joist.

I did a bunch of load calculations when designing and building my deck, mostly for 2x6 floor joists. I assume this is no different with a wall. Lateral load on a 2x6 wall is just like static weight on a floor joist.
 
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I wouldn't run a sheave from the garage ceiling. Folks have collapsed their garages trying to lift engines, etc from the joists. They don't resist that side load as well as you would think.

I would pop 2-4 concrete anchors in the floor, then build a "winch jig" which bolts to the floor, has 45 degree kickers to the back wall and lagged into 2-3 studs like you said earlier. Then attach the winch to that.

The concrete anchors will take the bulk of the load, and the wall anchors will prevent the jig from rotating and twisting the whole thing out of the concrete. Not to mention the whole contraption will stabilize the wall so it won't move during the pull.


Personally I'd be ok building it out of some nice 2x6 lumber too. No need for steel. Wood is strong stuff. Way stronger than most folks give it credit for.
 
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You mentioned a cart and a motorcycle trailer. Are you talking about moving anything that doesn't have a hitch on the front of it? If not, your answer may be a small electric trailer dolly. I had one for years that I used to push trailers all over my very steep driveway. Alas, I sold mine when I left Texas, and I'm already regretting it.

You can find them on Amazon. I bought mine used for $400, used it for 15 years, and got most of my money back out of it.
 
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I wouldn't run a sheave from the garage ceiling. Folks have collapsed their garages trying to lift engines, etc from the joists. They don't resist that side load as well as you would think.

I certainly wasn't planning to do that. What I was pointing out is that in this few hundred lb load kind of thing, "side load" on ceiling joists has been holding up just fine for nearly two decades now. Just evidence I might have been overthinking this.
I would pop 2-4 concrete anchors in the floor, then build a "winch jig" which bolts to the floor, has 45 degree kickers to the back wall and lagged into 2-3 studs like you said earlier. Then attach the winch to that.

The concrete anchors will take the bulk of the load, and the wall anchors will prevent the jig from rotating and twisting the whole thing out of the concrete. Not to mention the whole contraption will stabilize the wall so it won't move during the pull.

Personally I'd be ok building it out of some nice 2x6 lumber too. No need for steel. Wood is strong stuff. Way stronger than most folks give it credit for.

I am seriously considering this plan. However the base of my stud wall is 4.5 feet above the garage floor. That's a heck of a structure! The boards would have to be at least 7 feet long! I could make a smaller structure that goes between the garage floor and the side of the slab that is below the wall, but I'm not sure of how thick the concrete is in this area, how much of it is just mortar, or what the pullout strength of concrete is anyway. I know bolting concrete and loading it in shear works great but I doubt in tension it would hold up very well. I think I'd have to epoxy an anchor in there.
 
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You mentioned a cart and a motorcycle trailer. Are you talking about moving anything that doesn't have a hitch on the front of it? If not, your answer may be a small electric trailer dolly. I had one for years that I used to push trailers all over my very steep driveway. Alas, I sold mine when I left Texas, and I'm already regretting it.

You can find them on Amazon. I bought mine used for $400, used it for 15 years, and got most of my money back out of it.

I think anything would have trouble getting traction on the driveway. It'd have to weigh 3000 lb. That's the reason I can't physically pull a 400lb load in a utility cart up the driveway, my feet slip on the driveway. I can *just* get my utility trailer up there (it's one of these HF folding trailers with 3/4" pressure treated decking, probably weighs 350lb+). But that's the limit of traction between my feet and the ground.

But to answer your question, no most of what I am trying to move does not have a trailer hitch on it. But if I had a way to move heavy stuff up there, I might get something like a convertible hand truck to haul stuff up.

Or like I say, I have one of these these 660 lb carts and one of these 600lb carts. I can tell you from experience I cannot pull either of these full of gravel or river rocks up the driveway. I moved 8 cu yards of basalt and Llano river rocks from where the dump truck dumped them on the end of the driveway and I could only load that smaller cart about half full and still pull the cart up the driveway, limited by foot traction. I'd like to be able to pull them up mechanically. I have a few yards of pea gravel that I will need to move up to garage level very soon.
 
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Yeah. it would probably be a good idea to figure out the thickness of that bit of concrete wall.

Here's another idea:




This forces much of the load into the floor where you have the strongest anchors. Hope that 5 minute doodle makes sense.
 
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Yeah. it would probably be a good idea to figure out the thickness of that bit of concrete wall.

Here's another idea:




This forces much of the load into the floor where you have the strongest anchors. Hope that 5 minute doodle makes sense.

That also converts nearly all of the load to shear. Pulling would tend to rotate the structure as you have drawn it counterclockwise which in addition of pushing the load in compression along the bottom boards against the floor/foundation corner also would cause any load against the foundation to be primarily upward in shear.

I like this idea! But it's way too bulky for the space where I could put it. But I still like it, a lot. I'd have to see if I could pull this off in a way that it could be removed and installed as needed because the only location where it could be installed is right in the bottom of the stairs leading from the house to the garage.

I still think I could put a 4' long 2x6 across three studs with lags and bolt the winch plate straight to it and it would work fine. Maybe build a brace and put an anchor in the floor and when I use the winch, add the diagonal brace, then remove the brace when the winch is not in use.

Like this:

And BTW, how did I not know about this Google sketch tool! COOL
 
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And BTW, how did I not know about this Google sketch tool! COOL
It's a little hidden away, but I use Google Draw all the time at work to do just this. Sketch out some visual to explain a more complicated thing. It's easy and fast!
 

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Mount to the base plate, not the studs.

Base plate will be anchored to the concrete every 24 inches or less. I'd spread your mount plate over 6 or 8 feet. Maybe mount a piece of 8 foot uni-strut with lag bolts every foot. That will give you 9 bolts and spread the load over 8 feet.

Should be fine for about a 1.5 to 2K pound winch.
 

2WheelNut

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Btw...the answe to "how much side load can a wall take?" Is.... "It depends".

2x6s are affixed the the base plate to keep them from shifting. The nails are not there for strength, they are there to keep the 2x6 vertical so that it can take load.

So...it is not designed with lateral load in mind at all.

If the framers toe nailed the 2×6s to the base plate, it won't have much strength at all. If they nailed the 2×6s to the base plate from the bottom and then stood up the wall, it will have quite a bit more strength but even then you'd have 2 or 3 smooth shank 16 penny nails that wouldn't have near the holding power of a lag bolt.

The weight of the 2nd floor and roof will help give you friction but I still wouldn't chance it personally.

Go with the base plate mount method or the anchor into the concrete method. If the cable rubs the break over point, mount a pulley upside down on a flat piece of wood or steel,.lay it on the driveway, and run the cable over the top of it.
 

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You're saying a 6 foot tall board with a pulley on the end? I guess you mean to lay a board flat on the floor against the lip with a pulley attached atop the flat side of the board. Seriously to clear, the pulley would have to be about 1.5 feet off the ground. So that's a heck of a structure to try to put in the garage entry... and to store when not in use. Guess I could put some kind of roller on my floor jack.

The more I think about it, the more I think there's just no way this won't hold. I mean, I have hung my motorcycle from a 2x6 joist on my garage loft floor in the garage plenty of times using bicycle hanging hooks and a ratchet strap. If a pair of bicycle hooks can hold 250 lb in just one 2x6 which spans a 10 ft. space between supports then I'm pretty sure three 2x6s within a whole wall structure with less than 9ft span between top and bottom will easily support a 500 lb or so lateral load. For that matter, my garage loft has a pair of 10' 2x6s that are butted together to span creating the floor rafters and they are attached to one single 2x6 with lags that is hooked to one single ceiling joist (a 2x8 probably... maybe a 2x6...) with a pair of heavy steel L-brackets with two 5/16" lags on each bracket, all to just one ceiling joist. Not only is that loft being supported, with all of the junk in it, but ALSO one end of a motorcycle hung from this bracket. There is at least a 500 lb or more load on that one ceiling joist.

I did a bunch of load calculations when designing and building my deck, mostly for 2x6 floor joists. I assume this is no different with a wall. Lateral load on a 2x6 wall is just like static weight on a floor joist.
Don't confuse compression load with lateral load. You'd probably be safer mounting the winch to the ceiling than the wall studs.

It's not the lag bolts that will fail...
 

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Just sayin'.
Exactly....compression load vs lateral load.

Probably could have hung an engine from that patio cover but a little girl's weight was more than it could handle when applied from the side.

It's not the force, it's how it is applied.
 

DFW_Warrior

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Mount to the concrete, throw the idler pulley that is mounted to a 12x12 piece of plywood down on the ground at the break over point in the driveway, and live happily ever after. Simple, it works, and with the correct anchors you will probably be good for 7-10k lbs. and, you also won’t pull a wall down.

Aka, exactly what @_RG_ said. 👍
 
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Yep anchor to the slab, then your idler you can mount to a plate and leave some threaded anchors in the driveway at the breakover point so it does not move around
use stainless button head allen bolts and when you are done put them in the driveway so your threaded inserts dont fill with debris
 

DFW_Warrior

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Yep anchor to the slab, then your idler you can mount to a plate and leave some threaded anchors in the driveway at the breakover point so it does not move around
use stainless button head allen bolts and when you are done put them in the driveway so your threaded inserts dont fill with debris
I wouldn't even anchor it down. heck, the downforce of the cable over the pulley will keep it from moving. :)
 
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I had a drive with a steep grade when I used to drag raced. Made a frame out of 2" square tube and plate. Bolted tubing to floor with 1/2" tapcon anchors and mounted winch on plate. At entrance to garage there was a 1" step-down in the floor. When using winch, I put 2x4 against step-down to prevent cable from rubbing concrete. I pulled that 3200# car up the drive MANY times. I had to pull the car up while steering. The car had slicks and a spool.
 
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