Gin Poles / “A” Frame


Whatever you call them the ability to utilize the front mounted winch on a Dodge Power Wagon for lifting is something that’s very handy to have around the neighborhood.  The following plans illustrate the construction of a set made by the author.  This material is presented for reference only and no guarantee or warranty is implied.



A pair of pipes are welded in an “A” configuration and mounted on the frame (winch extensions) on the front of the Power Wagon.  The poles are held upright by a pair of chains running to a tubular frame above the cab.  The length of these chains control the angle and height of the poles.  The tubular frame is anchored in place by another pair of chains, which are anchored to the frame of the truck bed.


In the photo attached a red ratchet strap is used to prevent the poles from bouncing while driving.  The mounting brackets for the poles contain a stop to prevent the poles from flipping back over the cab.

A cable from the winch runs to the top of the poles and around a sheave.


The first step is to get (2) long pieces of pipe.  The pipes pictured above are 2” schedule 40 pipe 12 feet long.  (Schedule 40 is a term which describes the thickness of the pipe wall, this is the standard or most common size).  Cost is about $2.25 per foot.

Next the following pieces must be cut, drilled, and welded.


The bracket assembly shown above bolts to the frame with ½” bolts to anchor the poles.  These brackets use the mounting holes on the winch extensions that were intended for the tow hooks.  A ¾” diameter pin or bolt thru these brackets holds the poles in place.  Use of a pin allows quick removal of the poles.  You can save some material and cutting if you arrange the pieces as shown to cut out of a piece 8 ½” long.

The upper end assembly shown uses a 7” diameter sheave with a ¾” diameter pin.  You may wish to modify this piece depending upon the size of sheave available.


The lower end pieces are inserted 3” into the lower end of the pipes and welded in place.  These pieces must be parallel to each other and 30 ¾” apart.  An easy way to do this is to use a 36” long piece of threaded rod and nuts on each side of the lower end pieces to keep them spaced correctly.

After bolting the lower end pieces together lay the pipes on a flat surface like a garage floor.  Slide the lower end pieces 3” into the pipes.  Then position the upper end of the pipes against each other.  Slide the upper end assembly 3” into the pipes.  Weld the upper and lower end pieces to the pipes.  Weld the 2” pipes to each other at the top.Weld a piece of 1” schedule 40 pipe between the (2) pieces of 2” pipe approximately 64” up from the bottom of the poles.


The chain brackets weld to the pipe 8 feet up from the lower end.   Two of these weld to each pipe ½ “ apart.  Refer to previous drawing of the poles.  A 7/16” grade 8 bolt passes thru these to hold the chain to the poles.

The filler pieces are used to close off the end of the pipes and are also welded to help hold the upper and lower end pieces inside the pipes.


2” square tubing 1/8” wall thickness can be used to make a frame for the bed.  The frame should be at least 3” to 4” higher than the cab of the truck to keep the chains from scratching the roof.  A plate with a slot in it on each side of the top of the frame is used to hold the chains that run over the cab to the poles.  The slot allows the length of the chains to be easily adjusted to change the angle and height of the poles.  The chains should be at least 5/16” and a minimum of 14 feet long.

I used 3/8” grade 80 lifting chain.


Brackets on the vertical portion of the frame are used to attach the chain that is anchored to the bed.  This chain needs to attach to a cross-member of the bed or bolt thru to the frame of the truck.  Do not just attach it to the sheet metal of the bed.


Cable Guide

In order to keep the chain from coming off the sheave a plate was welded to each side of the upper bracket assembly.  A pin thru the (2) plates position as close to the sheave as possible helps to keep the winch cable from coming off the sheave.




A wooden prop made from a 2” x 6” 72” long helps to hold the poles up while attaching the chains.


Installing the Poles

1.  Place a sawhorse about 9 feet in front of the truck.  Rest the upper end of the pole assembly on the sawhorses and place the lower end in the brackets on the truck frame.  Pin the bottom of the poles to the frame.


2.  Pull enough cable off the winch to extend around the sheave and go back to the bumper of the truck.  Install the pin on the cable guide to keep the cable on the sheave.

3.  Use 3/8” grade 8 bolts or 3/8” pins to fasten the chains to the chain brackets on the poles.

4.  Lift the poles up and place the wooden prop under the 1” piece of pipe connecting the 2” pipes.

5.  Place an old blanket on the roof of the cab to keep it from getting scratched.

6.  Connect the chains used to brace the frame in the bed to the truck or bed frame.

7.  Stand in the bed of the truck and have an assistant walk around the side of the truck and hand you the opposite end of the chain attached to the poles.  The assistant then moves to the front of the truck and holds the chain off the fender and hood.  The person in the bed of the truck pulls the chain tight and hooks it in the slot in the frame above the cab.

8.  Use the same procedure to attach the chain on the other side of the truck.

9.  Adjust the poles to the desired height and angle by alternately adjusting the chains on each side of the truck.  By adjusting only 2 to 3 links at a time the chains will stay off the roof of the truck.

10.  Add a chain or ratchet strap from the 1” pipe down to the bottom of your front bumper to prevent the poles from bouncing as you drive.

With a little practice the poles can be installed or removed in 5 to 10 minutes.  Use common sense when lifting or moving items with the poles.

Direct any comments or questions to Ken Kull

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