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

Moving Heavy Loads On & Off Vehicles - "Hand Truck Tips and Tricks"

Posted by Contributing Editor on Tue, Aug 05, 2014

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!" 

The PowerMate® Hook Box Can Make Moving Safe and Simple!


Another value-added accessory PowerMate® has created as the result of working with their customers is the PowerMate® Hook Box Part #400090.

This small and often over-looked value-added accessory was created to assist customers moving heavy items, such as larger white goods, safes, vending machines, boilers, commercial water heaters, etc., by securing the PowerMate® M-Series Stairclimber and load to the bed of the delivery or service vehicle. Customers using the Hook Box tell PowerMate® they do now know how they did without it!

Deploy the hook bar (the bottom part of the retractable dolly attachment - found on all M-Series PowerMate® machines) and turn the "hook" up to a 90º angle as illustrated in the image above, then slide the hook bar into the hook. Now the PowerMate® and load are safely locked in place; giving the operator the assurance the load is not going anywhere but safely onto or off of the vehicle!

The Hook Box is an ideal solution for any vehicle the PowerMate® can climb into and out of. To remove the hook bar from the hook, simply release the hook and move the PowerMate® towards you (the operator) until the bar is free. With the machine in a balanced position, return the hook bar to the locked position on the PowerMate dolly and the operator can be safely on their way. It is that simple!

Sample Installation (above) in the bed of a pick-up truck.

In most cases, the installation of the Hook Box into a vehicle can be completed by your regular automotive mechanic in approximately 30 minutes. Many mechanically inclined PowerMate® customers have even installed their own Hook Boxes utilizing the detailed and easy to follow instructions provided with this accessory and documented in your M-Series Operating Manual. If you have any questions about the installation of your Hook Box, or where you can get it installed locally, contact PowerMate® or your local PowerMate® Partner.

With the Hook Box retailing for less than the price of dinner and a movie, many PowerMate® customers with multiple vehicles often have a Hook Box installed in each of them; preparing themselves to move safely and efficiently on and off any vehicle in their fleet.

Remember to include your PowerMate® Hook Boxes in your new machine order or you can have them shipped to you via overnight courier today!

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, accessories, training, hook box, safety moving equipment, powermate, stair dolly

Turning in Tight Spaces - "Hand Truck Tips and Tricks"

Posted by Contributing Editor on Fri, Jun 27, 2014


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Tags: lifting dolly, accessories, training, powermate, stair climbing hand trucks, stair dolly