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Homepage. This page: A 1930s/1940s garage hoist, ideal for those tricky - and heavy - jobs in the workshop.

M.E. Portable Gantry Hoists.

Any garage that regularly had to remove engines from their customers' vehicles, would no doubt have had a form of heavy-duty hoist, either to lift an engine from a car, or to lift the entire front end of the car up in one go. A portable engine crane would often do the job, as would a pulley arrangement hanging from an overhead RSJ, if there was one available.
The equipment on this page, a portable gantry hoist as offered in a trade catalogue from the late 1940s (but no doubt offered prior to the war also), was another useful option, again flexible enough to cope with most tasks thrown at it. In design, it's not dissimilar to the Harvey Frost lifting gantry from the 1930s, also featured in this section of the site. Two versions of this particular type were offered, one rated at 15cwt, the other beefier version at 30cwt, both of which would be supplied with a certificate confirming that it met with the requirements laid out in the Factories Act.

Demonstration with a Commer 8cwt van.

The portable hoist illustration used in the catalogue is demonstrated "at work" with a highly-desirable, and very rare now, Commer 8cwt van dangling from the gantry's chains, attached as they were to both front bumper irons (a good test of the van's chassis!). This style of Commer was produced either side of WW2, and judging by the design of the grille (which changed a number of times during this model's production), I'd estimate this example to be from the late 1930s. Very nice. A slightly later incarnation of the 8cwt van from Commer can be found on this page, within the photo section of OCC.
Commer 8cwt van on the hoist
Its overall height of 9' 4" would enable most small- & medium-sized vehicles to nestle in beneath the overhead beam. The 15cwt variant was listed at 68 GBP, while the heavy-duty 30cwt type could be purchased for 95 GBP all in. Both versions were equipped with steel castors to all four corners as standard.
Read about other tools and equipment in the gadgets and accessories section.

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