Safe and Quick Backyard Roller Coaster Lift Hill Design

Pulley System for Easy Lifting

I’ve always wanted to make a “complex system of ropes and pulleys” to do some work. Well this is not complex, but it is a system of ropes and pulleys. Anyway, it is the method I initially used to lift passengers to the top of the hill.

I’m using a 3/8″ nylon rope, but I would encourage you to use at least 1/2″ rope for your design. The larger the rope diameter, the less it digs into your hands and the easier it is to pull. I started off with a 3:1 system, but I had enough rope to do a 4:1. This lowered the needed force from 45 lb to 34 lb. A significant reduction. Another benefit of this is when the cart is stowed, I can connect the free end to the hook. The cart pulls against the rope hard enough to keep it off the ground.

Anti-Rollback Devices

It is critical that the cart not be able to roll backwards down the lift hill. This prevents injury from collision or damage to the track. I have 10 simple levers that act as our roll back prevention devices. As a result the cart cannot roll backward more than 15 inches. Not only is this a safety mechanism, it also doubles as an easy way to rest the car while walking back to choke up on the lift rope.

Transverse Shear

In one week, I experienced 2 failures on the rollback prevention devices on the lift hill. Both cracked along the length of the 2 x 4. Why is this happening and how can we prevent it?

Corey Rasmussen

Corey Rasmussen is an award-winning professional engineer (NC and TX) with over 20 years of product design and development experience. He has two patents related to aerial lifts machinery, has advanced certifications in hydraulics and electronic controls, and specializes in designing mobile equipment. Corey is the principal engineer of Rasmussen Designs and is based out of Durham, NC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Save 20% Off Most Items! Use Code: 20%OFF
Save 20% Off Most Items! Use Code: 20%OFF
Shop Now