Lift 19: A Cargo Lift to Keep the Beach Clear

Model: Light Cargo Only with Self-Tipping Basket
Track: 40' at 40°
Year: 2008

The tipped basket. There's room under it for their tipping garden trailer to receive the load.


This is the mid-position where the basket stops on the way up. It's a good place to leave the filled basket for the weekend so the load can drain off the excess water before the final trip to the compost heap. The yellow frame of the hoist winch can be seen just below the track.

These cottagers have a sandy beach that was always cluttered with weeds and debris which the prevailing wind regularly deposited. Keeping it clean was a full-time weekend chore; the wet weeds and debris had to be hauled up  stairs, then placed in a lawn trailer, and then moved to a compost heap.

We devised a lift with a wheelbarrow-type bucket that tips automatically as the car travels the last 2' at the top. When the car at the bottom the bucket is in the down position for filling. The first push of the UP button sends the car up the track and it stops 5' short of the top. Holding the UP button in for a few seconds then sends the car the rest of the way to the top and tips the contents into their waiting garden trailer. From there it's a short run to the compost heap in the woods. A single press of the DOWN button sends it back down all the way to the bottom for another load.

When we built the lift the owners opted not to have button boxes for greater safety so they ran it off a remote controller. we later retrofitted a single hard-wired button box at the top station. The lift is turned on using a code entered with the UP, DOWN, and STOP buttons. It can be turned off manually or it will turn itself off automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity. 

It is powered by a low-cost 110-volt hoist and lift plugs into a standard 110-volt protected outlet.

It took about six weeks from the initial site visit to the first load. 

The best part: their children are enjoying the beach and their parents are enjoying spending their weekends not hauling dead weeds up the hill.