Ideas for raising cars temporarily in flood zones

JHZR2

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All good points. This is why it’s difficult and I took interest.

Single guy, not a car guy but owns multiple cars. Single car garage, so not a lot of space. Moving one car away or to higher ground might be doable, but multiple is impractical.

My guess on max flood height lift requirement was based upon google maps. Far from scientific. Maybe 2’ is fine. The area is not tidal, so perhaps my use of storm surge is incorrect. More like lots of runoff potential, and low lying area That a tributary could get overfilled temporarily.

Car is a Toyota Camry or Ford Mustang. Didn’t give it before because this could change over time.

As I said before, was initially thinking of something like my kwik lift, which is easy enough to drive on, and raises about 20” from the floor to the bottom of the tire. Figure a car is a number of inches higher than that, and we’re looking at two feet at least. But they’re not cheap ($750+ in the secondary market), and they are pretty heavy.

I haven’t seen any metal options that are actually compact for storage and light. Some of the examples above look way bulky, even if they’re lightweight. The red Hamer lift above seems like a practical option, I did see that. It’s very flat, very simple (just uses a hi-lift in each corner), but of course it’s made in the UK and I don’t think it’s available.

I haven’t seen any real objective basis that wood is weaker or more risky. People lift buildings with bottle jacks on wood cribs all the time. Sometimes they put I beams under the building, but the lift is all done on heavy wood. IMO, a 6x6 with some sort of dowel or pin approach would not be weak, and the relatively short cut up 6x6 set could be stacked in any number of ways out of the way. But height is a concern, don’t want it toppling like a Jenga puzzle....

So I don’t think it’s as easy for him to just move multiple cars to higher ground, and he travels a lot for work. I just like the challenge; it’s an interesting challenge that I thought might be of interest to others.
 

Astro14

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We have to contend with coastal flooding fairly often. I check the NOAA tidal forecast and move the cars to higher ground if we’re getting water like this. This picture is from Hurricane Sandy, by the way. We have had much worse. Yes, it’s up to the mailbox in the street and yes, those labs are swimming.

Once the water comes in, you’re not getting the car out through the four feet of water in the street. You have to plan ahead and prepare. We’ve got three cars at the house, so not much different than your friend. I move a car to my shop, park one at my mother in law’s house a half mile away (and walk back) and/or park one up the street on higher ground.

My one car garage is filled with woodworking tools, so, not a car option, and when it gets worse, I sandbag the garage to keep the water out and off my tool bases.

For the hundreds, or perhaps, thousands of dollars that a lift/ramp set up would cost your friend, tell him to drive the car to the local airport parking garage (or similar) and Uber home.

But, your concern isn’t really tidal flooding or storm surge, I see from your latest post. Storm surge and tidal flooding are known 24 hours or more in advance. You’re talking about flash flood from a local creek. Much more sudden and unpredictable, but at least it’s not all salt water.

4D73C2AB-F7D4-4368-81DA-EF354A26930F.jpeg
 
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Good ideas in this thread. Since he travels maybe a smart flood detector that will send a message to his phone. Then he can have a friend move the vehicles to safety if he’s not home.
 
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I don’t see how any of these setups could be put together quickly which means they would have to be already put together and taking up space somewhere.

Storm and tidal surges are not something to play with. They could easily knock out the structure the vehicle is set on.

The higher ground idea seems to be the best option here.
 

JHZR2

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We have to contend with coastal flooding fairly often. I check the NOAA tidal forecast and move the cars to higher ground if we’re getting water like this. This picture is from Hurricane Sandy, by the way. We have had much worse. Yes, it’s up to the mailbox in the street and yes, those labs are swimming.

Once the water comes in, you’re not getting the car out through the four feet of water in the street. You have to plan ahead and prepare. We’ve got three cars at the house, so not much different than your friend. I move a car to my shop, park one at my mother in law’s house a half mile away (and walk back) and/or park one up the street on higher ground.

My one car garage is filled with woodworking tools, so, not a car option, and when it gets worse, I sandbag the garage to keep the water out and off my tool bases.

For the hundreds, or perhaps, thousands of dollars that a lift/ramp set up would cost your friend, tell him to drive the car to the local airport parking garage (or similar) and Uber home.

But, your concern isn’t really tidal flooding or storm surge, I see from your latest post. Storm surge and tidal flooding are known 24 hours or more in advance. You’re talking about flash flood from a local creek. Much more sudden and unpredictable, but at least it’s not all salt water.

Yeah, it’s an area that can see flooding under the worst conditions, and it happens maybe once every ten years or more as I understand. As in the neighborhood has experienced it over time, But no guarantees when or how much time between events... and what mix of scenarios are necessary.

Concrete parking garage is a good idea, while trees fall in the NE, the chance of massive flying debris isn’t as significant. The wild card was if this is before a storm or in a storm, what if transport isn’t available.

Hope was there would be something simple, And fast. Having one car elsewhere makes sense to me, so it can get out and away. But two is more of a challenge.

I just can’t see it because jacking cars up is inefficient due to decompression of the suspension, and lifting from underneath requires too much infrastructure.
 
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This brings back bad memories of the greatest flood in history, hurricane Harvey. The following is ONE TINY BIT of the cars flooded out. This is about a mile from where I live. Its staggering.

1605378971835.png
 

JHZR2

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Car up on cinder blocks is never a good idea.
That's asking for a spectacular fail.


nobody is going under it.

I trhink wood is a better bet if done right. Buildings are lifted on 6x6 and 8x8 cribbing.

the challenge is lifting a car up by its wheels easily.
 
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the challenge is lifting a car up by its wheels easily.

Not really, that degree of difficulty is going to be determined more by the space available and the cost the friend considers 'cheap"

Please follow the train of logic here for simple (mechanically) but cheap is a relative term. ( my main focus is this would be safe and have a degree of overstrength if needed)

Need to know the vehicle weight and center length ( go high maybe to the next whole ton)

Figure a 6x6 ( top quality) on an 8 ft span could hold #2000 dead and #3000 distributed ( with a significant margin of safety)

A base with tire cut outs could be made/welded and lift by them ( give maybe #6000 total) with chain falls and if needed 1-2 belly straps for weight support

Depending on his garage and ceiling- there could simply be holes cut out for the straps so it could be covered if not needed.

So depending on the specifics of his situation, this can be done safely, economic on space requirements and cheaply and only take 1 person maybe 20 minutes to jack the car up ( 1 pull per chain fall and keep alternating just like we do in long runs of pipe)

OTOH, it will take some thought, math and wont be "free" or take 30 seconds.

All depends on what cheap and fast turn out to be in real numbers.

Still believe ( except in the case of a flash flood or immediate action unanticipated situation) his best bet is to get a buddy and remove all things from the line of fire- but if that's not possible or can be depended on then he does need a contingency.
 

4WD

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I broke a Dana 44 axle and my Dodge pickup sat on the rear tires and one piece of 4” SCH 160 for a month …
That was plenty strong … what I had … more square tubing out there these days …
 

JHZR2

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Not really, that degree of difficulty is going to be determined more by the space available and the cost the friend considers 'cheap"

Please follow the train of logic here for simple (mechanically) but cheap is a relative term. ( my main focus is this would be safe and have a degree of overstrength if needed)

Need to know the vehicle weight and center length ( go high maybe to the next whole ton)

Figure a 6x6 ( top quality) on an 8 ft span could hold #2000 dead and #3000 distributed ( with a significant margin of safety)

A base with tire cut outs could be made/welded and lift by them ( give maybe #6000 total) with chain falls and if needed 1-2 belly straps for weight support

Depending on his garage and ceiling- there could simply be holes cut out for the straps so it could be covered if not needed.

So depending on the specifics of his situation, this can be done safely, economic on space requirements and cheaply and only take 1 person maybe 20 minutes to jack the car up ( 1 pull per chain fall and keep alternating just like we do in long runs of pipe)

OTOH, it will take some thought, math and wont be "free" or take 30 seconds.

All depends on what cheap and fast turn out to be in real numbers.

Still believe ( except in the case of a flash flood or immediate action unanticipated situation) his best bet is to get a buddy and remove all things from the line of fire- but if that's not possible or can be depended on then he does need a contingency.

Yeah, I get it cheap is a relative term. I don’t think a crane system in a one car garage, even made from scrap and cheap, is going to be compact. Nothing really is. There’s no good option - hardly a good option to get a car up a true 12-18”, let alone higher (I do really like my kwik lift though, the base is 20”+, and all it takes is for me to drive up on it, and use a jack once).

We talked about it some, he’s not an engineer, and I thought it was an interesting thought exercise. In hindsight, I’m also glad my home is on elevated land (probably 4’ above the street), and I have a kwik lift should I ever want more height (knocking on wood now, I’m 1.5 blocks from a non tidal river, but it couldnt reach me, and I’m not even in a 500 year zone though I’m so close).

Again, interesting thought exercise. I won’t have a beach house for a few years, but it became of more interest because I could see having one and keeping a 1980s SL roadster there... but I digress.

I can’t get past the inefficiency of raising a vehicle any way but under the tires. That’s why my kwik lift shines. That’s why jack stands like this also stand out:

1605499013105.jpeg


Thise type of stands arent expensive, but they’re also not uber cheap. I’m always hesitant to lift a car high enough in one corner to get something as high as that base under the tire. But that’s just me...
 
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I would be worried more about the house and garage than the car. Assuming the house is taken care of, I would buy full coverage insurance of the car during the storm season, at least during that time frame of the year by calling the insurance company at least 1 month before and 1 month after.

Then let's say if this is not possible, since it is inside the garage where water won't be flowing like a river knocking off pillars, just bottle jacks and stacks of concrete blocks / tiles to land the tires (like the photo above). The bonus is you can return these tiles when you are done or if they are not working.

How much is the said vehicle we are talking about? If it is a used beater I'd not do all these. If it is a Ferrari then I'd buy a lift mechanism.
 
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If the water is up 3'-4' won't the garage fall in around it? Or is it one of those garages with wood piles holding up "walls"? That is really high to lift a vehicle. if 1-2' with some length available at end I would make a ramp out of cut boards stacked to drive up on.
 
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Mississippi
Yeah, I get it cheap is a relative term. I don’t think a crane system in a one car garage, even made from scrap and cheap, is going to be compact. Nothing really is. There’s no good option - hardly a good option to get a car up a true 12-18”, let alone higher (I do really like my kwik lift though, the base is 20”+, and all it takes is for me to drive up on it, and use a jack once).

We talked about it some, he’s not an engineer, and I thought it was an interesting thought exercise. In hindsight, I’m also glad my home is on elevated land (probably 4’ above the street), and I have a kwik lift should I ever want more height (knocking on wood now, I’m 1.5 blocks from a non tidal river, but it couldnt reach me, and I’m not even in a 500 year zone though I’m so close).

Again, interesting thought exercise. I won’t have a beach house for a few years, but it became of more interest because I could see having one and keeping a 1980s SL roadster there... but I digress.

I can’t get past the inefficiency of raising a vehicle any way but under the tires. That’s why my kwik lift shines. That’s why jack stands like this also stand out:

View attachment 34202

Thise type of stands arent expensive, but they’re also not uber cheap. I’m always hesitant to lift a car high enough in one corner to get something as high as that base under the tire. But that’s just me...
I saw something similar some with milk crates. I wouldn't do it though.
 
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Cheapest option would be to get solid concrete pavers. Use them as garden trim, but rip them out and stack them under the wheels when necessary. Have cribbing to put under the floor jack to allow it to keep up with height gain. Don't go under a car supported by concrete.
 
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