Moving on Slopes & Ramps - "Hand Truck Tips & Tricks"

Posted by Contributing Editor on Thu, Mar 19, 2015

For more than 35 years, L P International Inc., the manufacturer of PowerMate, has worked with their customers providing custom safety lifting solutions for moving loads up to 1 500lb or 680kg. Over the years they have developed many different value-added solutions and discovered even more ways to make moving heavy loads safer, easier, and more efficient; some may even say, "Magical!"

 

Climbing Slopes and Ramps:

If you have ever used a hand truck of any kind to go up a slope or ramp into a vehicle, then you know first-hand this can require a significant amount of effort and energy for the operator. PowerMate can help!

While this may not be the fastest way to get to the top, you can do it safely, with less effort, and with the operator or operators 100% in control of both the machine and the load. PowerMate trainers endearingly refer to this technique as the PowerMate Crawl.

The second application for this technique can be a real life saver! If you have ever been stuck in snow, mud, or sand with a conventional hand truck you can relate. By using the PowerMate Crawl technique, outlined above, you can get yourself out of just about any "sticky" situation. The repeated opening (making larger) and closing (making smaller) of the PowerMate frame as detailed above will ensure you should never get stuck, despite the terrain.

For the heaviest of loads, you will find the M-Series Wheel Brakes create more stability and further reduce the operator effort by as much as 30%. The Wheel Brakes create a larger surface area; especially helpful when you are bearing down to close the machine going up a grade.

Descending Slopes and Ramps:

This does not require a great deal of explanation. PowerMate offers the option of either hand operated wheel brakes or "shoe" style wheel brakes for all their stair climbers.

The Trick?

What many people are unaware of is: the most common way PowerMate users slow down or stop on a slope or ramp is with the help of the "open" button on the PowerMate! By pressing the open button and making the frame larger, the toe plate will touch the ground and act as a brake, slowing down or stopping the machine on grade. This braking technique works for any PowerMate stair climbing model, with or without wheel brakes, big wheels, and even the retractable dolly in place!

PowerMate stair climbers feature a full length bottom rubber guard. This unique bottom rubber guard not only offer the advantage of protecting flooring surfaces of all kinds, but when descending slopes and ramps, acts as an ideal brake!

Sometimes the simplest solutions can work the best! Keep these "tricks" in mind he next time you are challenged with moving up or down a slope or ramp. PowerMate recommends practising these techniques yourself so that when you need them, you will be confident and proficient in how to use them.

Interested in learning more tips and tricks? Check back to the PowerMate Blog for the next post on the topic, or better yet, contact your local PowerMate Partner to schedule on-site operator training for you and your people. Take advantage of more than 35 years of safety lifting experience and learn all the tips and tricks from a qualified PowerMate factory trained team member!

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Tags: lifting dolly, wheel brakes, ramps, slopes, powermate, dolly, stair climber

A Customer's Stairclimber Experience - Testimonial

Posted by Contributing Editor on Fri, Aug 29, 2014

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Tags: HVAC moving solutions, powermate, stair climber, testimonial, Hess Mechanical

Stair Climber Maintenance Tip - Ball Screw Lubrication

Posted by Contributing Editor on Wed, Aug 06, 2014

Little things can help a lot, like choosing the right oil and grease lubrication for your PowerMate® ball screw technology. To ensure the maximum benefit of your PowerMate® stair climbing and LiftGate equipment, correctly complete the minor routine scheduled maintenance, which can help you realize: the lowest total cost of ownership, improve your PowerMate® experience, and maximize your return on investment (R.O.I.)!

PowerMate® Ball Screw Technology

Keep you ball screw assembly thoroughly clean before lubricating and re-lubricating. The objective is to keep the ball screw assembly and drive screw clear of any debris that may increase friction, torque, or decrease efficiency that could have a negative impact on the life of the assembly.

In order to achieve this, the use of a light weight, three in one machine oil, like you would use for sewing machines, is recommended. Today there are many lubricant products on the market that are ideal and offer an operating range of -65ºF to 375ºF or -54ºC to 190ºC.

The ball screw manufacturer cautions not to use penetrating lubricants or other lubricants that contain either molydisulfide or graphite. Further, the manufacturer also warns that failure to regularly lubricate the ball screw assembly can result in as much as a 90% reduction in the potential life of the assembly - it is that important!

When applying or reapplying lubricant, make sure to wipe the assembly down thoroughly with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth approximately every 40 hours of use. For most PowerMate® users that is about once every two weeks. Lubricant can be applied generously so that a light film covers the entire drive screw. If your PowerMate® equipment is exposed to a dirty work environment, you may have to clean and lubricate your PowerMate® more frequently. If the operator notices the machine is not running smoothly throughout the entire stroke, or a visual inspection reveals signs of contaminants or debris, it is time to clean and lubricate the ball screw assembly.

When applying the lubricating oil, cycle the ball nut along the drive screw by “opening and closing” the PowerMate® stair climber several times.

If you choose to use cleaning fluid or solvent to remove excess dirt from the ball grooves, remember to flush the ball grooves thoroughly before cleaning and re-lubricating.

 

Like any tool or piece of equipment, take care of it and it will take care of you for many years to come! With care and minor routine maintenance your PowerMate® can last for years and years.  L P International Inc. has been in the business of building and distributing PowerMate® stair climbing and LiftGate products for over 35 years.

Click here to schedule an appointment for service or re-certification, or to inquire about a “do it yourself” Preventative Maintenance Kit from PowerMate® today!

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Tags: lifting dolly, training, ball screw assembly, maintenance, LiftGates, powermate, stair climber

Customizing your PowerMate Experience!

Posted by Contributing Editor on Tue, Dec 18, 2012

It seems that almost on a daily basis we get requests for specialized solutions from individual customers. These requests vary, depending on the industry. Some of these requests are dictated by government requirements, and other customization requests are simply personal preferences. Either way, we are happy to help any way we can!

At PowerMate, we’re 100% ready-to-go when it comes to providing customized products and solutions to our customers. Depending on how and where they’re using PowerMate, our customers sometimes have very specific needs: Maybe it’s a requirement for specialized training, or a special accessory, or maybe it’s the need to protect and secure their PowerMate. New applications are always arising, and we are ready to meet whatever custom needs you may have. Whether it involves product development or machine modifications, we will analyze your application and create the proper customized solution.

Sometimes the results from these partnerships end up benefiting all of our customers. For example, one of our customers required a storage and charging station for their PowerMate product, in order to protect it when it wasn’t in use and monitor its use. From this custom request and experience, we created the PowerMate Docking Station. It’s a locker/cabinet, designed with wired mesh, and it includes a door with a lock. A clipboard hangs on the outside of the PowerMate Docking Station and this clipboard can hold the maintenance history and a log of the machine’s use, as well as various accessories. It’s ideal for companies who use their PowerMate as a shared resource.

Do you have any special requests or requirements that we can help you with? Let us know! At all times, we have the capabilities in place and we’re ready to go that extra step to help you get exactly what you need from your PowerMate experience.

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Tags: safety moving system, power hand truck, powermate, stair climber, material handling