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How to Build a Grain Bin: Types of Lifting Rings

Joy worked in construction for 7 years alongside her husband (25+ yrs. experience)—working on pole barns, grain bins, and barn repairs.

Professional Lifting Ring

This professionally manufactured lifting ring with articulated arms supports the grain bin at the peak, allowing it to be lifted with a crane, etc. during construction, disassembly, or any moving process.

This professionally manufactured lifting ring with articulated arms supports the grain bin at the peak, allowing it to be lifted with a crane, etc. during construction, disassembly, or any moving process.

About Lifting Rings

What They Do

Lifting rings are devices designed to lift grain bins during construction, disassembly, or moving. They fit against the bottom of the peak ring and distribute the stress of lifting more evenly over the roof sheets and collar or peak ring.

How They Are Built

Lifting rings are made in a variety of ways. Some are literal rings of one sort or another. Others have moving parts and arms which fit against the collar. A simple DIY idea uses a big truck tire or old tire rim. We've even seen vintage metal wheels used.

Few Photos

I regret that I am unable to give examples of all the varieties we've seen. The examples featured in this article are a few of the options available.

A Professionally Manufactured Lifting Ring

Manufacturing

Our first example has welded steel construction and four articulated arms. I unfortunately don't know who manufactured this ring, as we were not responsible for purchasing it.

It works well, but is a bit more trouble to set than some, being harder to get exactly centered and balanced.

Foldable and Removable

We have built at least four medium-small grain bins with it, and have enjoyed using it. During the roof building process, it can be folded for removal through the hole at the peak whenever the grain bin roof is stable enough to do without it. This prevents it being in the way, either dangling at the peak while the upper peak ring is being installed, or being a tripping hazard on the ground inside the bin. It is simple to set and remove as many times as needed throughout the building process.

DIY Lifting Rings

Large truck rims may be used in place of a specially designed lifting ring.

We have used these with and without tires attached. Whether to do so depends on the size of the rim in relation to the collar (peak ring), and how much you want to cushion your bin.

Most often we use an old semi-tractor wheel with the tire still attached. On the semi wheel, we use a round plate that is placed under the wheel and is of a size that it cannot fit through the center hole of the wheel. On that, we have welded a large-diameter rod in a semi-circle, to which we attach the boom truck hook.

You can also make a lifting ring out of a large-diameter spoked iron wheel. Just wrap a length of log chain around it where it will stay level on its own, and be easy to hook up.

Old Rim Style

This old wheel is a good lifting ring. It can be centered as needed against the grain bin collar, and chained easily for secure lifting.

This old wheel is a good lifting ring. It can be centered as needed against the grain bin collar, and chained easily for secure lifting.

Is Your Bin Strong Enough to Be Lifted?

If the bin collar has few attachment points to the roof panels, you will need to drill more bolt holes and strengthen the peak ring and roof to prevent tearing when the bin is lifted. One bolt inserted per roof sheet is a good starting point.

For tips on how to do this, see our article on building a grain bin roof.

Bin Halos

We are unable to discuss bin halos at this time, but below are videos showing the use of this alternate lifting method. This would provide more stability in some cases than would a lifting ring, so may be worth your time to look into.

Grain Bin Halo Lifting Ring Being Constructed

Grain Bin Halo Lifting Method

Big Bud Grain Bin Mover Moving Bins

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2020 Joilene Rasmussen

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