Have you seen NASA’s Suspended Equipment Technology (SET) and how they’re using it to load 1,000-pound space components into the payload bays on their next-generation rockets?
Prior to the development of this advanced technology, if you can believe it, NASA technicians had to muscle these awkward systems into place under the wing and then lift them from ground level up into the open loading bays.
Back injuries were so commonplace that the job was dubbed the early retirement career track.
But now, NASA techs merely set the device in the path of the item, and 90% of the weight is suspended, enabling the techs to easily maneuver the parts into place. They are now doing this job faster, with fewer damaged parts, and with ZERO injuries!
Now I know what you’re thinking, “How does this technology work, and when will it be available to the stone industry???”
Well, I’ve got good news and a confession to make.
The technology is already available and the story about NASA is completely made up to get your attention!
The “SET” technology is simply “RAMP” technology, as in an inclined surface connecting a lower elevation to a higher one — just a good old fashioned ramp.
They’re found on UHAUL moving trucks, used to get motorcycles into pickup beds, and cars on and off the freeway. Noah’s Ark had one for the animals and some believe the Egyptians used them to build the pyramids.
They should be on every granite counter install rig, too.
Approximately 75% of residential job sites have between 1-4 steps leading into the home from the driveway elevation. This presents a scenario so common for installers that it’s virtually overlooked. Let’s call it the counter-stairway kabuki dance.
The installers roll each counter up to the first step and stop (assuming they have a cart or dolly). They look at each other, talk through it, take a deep breath, and then grunt and struggle up the steps; the upside guy has to do this blindly as he is backing up the steps. The guy on the bottom ends up with more than half the weight of the counter and the corner gouging him in the chest or arm-pit.
When they get to the landing, they must set the counter down on blocks to rest and then retrieve the cart or dolly (again, assuming they have one) so the counter can be picked up again and loaded for its final trip into the work area.
With a ramp, this time-consuming dance is completely avoided! There is no stopping, no talking, and no huffing and puffing. Counters roll straight from the trailer and into the work area.
The fact that an average granite or quartz kitchen weighs around 1,400 pounds and on a good day when there are no stairs, will be lifted a minimum of three times (into the install rig, out of the rig, and then onto the cabinets. The cumulative weight lifted is 4,500 pounds. That’s over two TONS!
On a day with stairs, the counters are lifted a total of four times, and the cumulative weight approaches three TONS!
At that point, the crew is completely spent physically and mentally. They must take a break and attempt to regain a fraction of the physical and mental reserves they have just expended so that they can actually begin the install: checking templates, leveling counters, and gluing seams.
When a ramp is used, the installer’s physical stamina is preserved, and available to solve problems, deal with picky customers, and do their best work.
That is why installing with ramps is BETTER!
The awkward nature of lifting and stepping back upstairs is such that a minor miscalculation, slip, or stumble can trip the upside installer with a 500-pound counter dropping into his groin.
You know it happens.
And you know your crew has close-call stories of how an installer’s future offspring were in genuine danger and future generations were barely preserved.
A ramp eliminates that risk, making installing SAFER!!!
If you were feeling sorry for the NASA technicians in the fictional story above is it because you can relate?
Is it possible that your own install crews experience a similar scenario every day out on the job site, and are in need of a career-saving technology?
While you ponder that question, know that the technology exists and it’s available today at No Lift Install System.
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