Lift Trucks: Powered lift a hit at Arkansas hardware outlet

New tool prevents back strain while handling heavy pails and cases.

By ·

Gazaway Lumber Co. in Paragould, Ark., is a top five dealer in the nation for Pratt & Lambert paints, a member of the Ace Hardware cooperative, and a major supplier for the region’s contractors. A new powered lift helps employees handle 5-gallon paint pails with significantly reduced back strain.

Debbie Bailley, a paint specialist in charge of loading 5-gallon paint pails onto pallets, says that before the powered lifter/transporter, she used a dolly and spent hours bending, lifting, carrying the 50-pound pails and arranging them in multiple layers on a pallet. Although the dolly made transport easier, the worker still had to lift every pail to load and unload it, all too often coping with fatigue and injuries over time.

The new transporter has a push-button, battery-powered lift that easily adjusts to the appropriate height, varying from the ground level to an under pail clearance of 35 inches for loading onto tinters, shakers, counter tops and customer vehicles. It can handle loads of up to three pails at a time. As a transporter, Bailley has found that the lift transitions easily from the warehouse to the sales floor and even the parking lot. She often uses it to follow customers out to their vehicles to assist with loading.

“I love it. Now I can work until I’m 90,” says Bailley, who has worked at the store for 21 years. “It has helped my back immensely. It sure beats lifting and carrying pails by hand.”

Bailley adds that her colleagues regularly ask if they can borrow the lift when she doesn’t need it in the paint department since it works well for case-packed goods. A hinged metal platform flips down over the yoke, providing a flat surface for all types of loads. The unit requires no more room to operate than a standard two-wheel hand truck. It functions well in narrow aisles and can easily navigate tight corners.

Lift’n Buddy

About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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