Advantages of Drive Screw Technology

Posted by Contributing Editor on Thu, Apr 09, 2015

For more than 35 year L P International Inc., the manufacturer of PowerMate®, has been continuously evolving with the changing needs of the market required to meet the demands of their customers around the world! The PowerMate® range of products, value-added accessories and service grows almost daily as they strive to provide the best and safest solutions for lifting and moving heavy loads.

PowerMate® Drive Screw Technology for Moving Heavy Loads

Interestingly, customers find PowerMate® on the web using search terms such as, "Hydraulic Stair Climber", "Electric Trolley", "Automatic Hand Truck", "Step Walker", "Powered Lift", "Powered Appliance Dolly", "Motorized Cart", or "Stair Crawler"! These few search terms do not even begin to address the combination of words and phrases people use to find PowerMate®, including other languages from all around the world. It does not really matter how people find PowerMate®, what is important is they do - period.

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Stairs Are Not the Enemy! - "Hand Truck Tips & Tricks"

Posted by Contributing Editor on Thu, Apr 02, 2015

Climbing up and down stairs with a hand truck can often present a unique set of challenges for the operator that can vary greatly from day to day and job site to job site; do your homework and be prepared! Know the capabilities and limitations of your hand truck and how best to deal with challenges you may encounter on the job site!

 Stairs 101

Stairs can vary greatly between different locations around the world and even from job site to job site. There are interior and exterior stairs; and stairs made of wood, iron, steel, perforated steel, marble, stone, tile, etc. At a very basic level, characteristics they all share are a width, a rise (height), and a run (depth).

For newer construction, most stair dimensions are controlled by local building codes. Dimensions for stairs can vary significantly between regions and even within them. Many irregular sets of stairs are allowed to still be in use as "non-conforming" exceptions due to their age and construction pre-dating the current building code regulations.

What you can be assured is that at some point you will encounter irregular, non-uniform, broken, missing, or suspect steps and will be challenged to negotiate them with your hand truck and load. Not all stairs were created equal!

Today, many safety conscious medium to large organizations make a pre-delivery job site inspection part of their normal routine to ensure they are prepared for any eventuality they may have to face. While this is "best practice" and highly recommended, it is not always realistic for everyone, so what do you do?

The "Trick"

 

With a PowerMate® dolly, you have a 40" or 101.6cm drive screw. This drive screw, when opened, separates the toe plate and load from the wheels, unlike hand trucks where the wheels and toe plate are fixed.

By opening the PowerMate® frame, the operator can create a larger "span", enabling the operator to skip a missing, suspect or broken step and help them negotiate a step having a rise up to 40" or 101.6cm!

With PowerMate® all steps do not have to be there or have a uniform rise and run. This unique ability to expand the machine's frame is a feature found on all PowerMate® stairclimber models. It is also what allows the PowerMate® to be used as a dock leveler, curb jumper, and tailgate lift by treating those moves as "one big step". PowerMate® is 4 machines in 1!

Summary of Stair Climbing Tips

  1. Review your route and formulate a plan to complete your move safely and efficiently.

  2. If a step does not look as if it would hold your weight, it probably won't support your hand truck and load, so plan accordingly.

  3. PowerMate® doe snot require contact with every step. If a step is broken or the tread is suspect or missing, plan to skip it or use a PowerMate® Step Extension. Remeber the PowerMate® drive screw mechanism allows the operator to climb any one step up to 40" or 101.6cm.

  4. Plan to place the wheels in the safest/most secure position on the stair tread. With PowerMate®, you have the option of anywhere on the stair tread from front to back.

  5. PowerMate® shoe style wheel brakes not only reduce operator effort but create a larger surface and spread the weight of the machine and load over a larger area. This is a valuable option, especially when dealing with older steps.

With a ittle bit of planning, PowerMate® can assist you in safely negotiating just about any reasonable eventuality  you may encounter on your job site!

To learn more about the safety advantages of PowerMate® LPM-PA049652 PowerMate Blog CTA 2014/04/03d today!

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A Customer's Stair Climber Experience - T. Webber Testimonial

Posted by Contributing Editor on Thu, Mar 26, 2015

Dear PowerMate,

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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 fatest 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.

Decending 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 fram 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 decending slopes and ramps, acts as an ideal brake!

Sometimes the simpliest 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® reccomends 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,  LPM-PA049652 PowerMate Blog CTA 2014/04/03d 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

Motor Maintenance & New Motor!

Posted by Contributing Editor on Thu, Mar 12, 2015

With a commitment to continuous improvement, there are a number of product initiatives underway at L P Intentional Inc., the manufacturer of PowerMate®. All of these initiatives are happening with the goal of making PowerMate® even more efficient and maintaining their current, competitive pricing structure for their valued customers - both past and future! The second involves the introduction of a new motor for all PowerMate® stair climbing hand trucks and soon: LiftGates!

Why the Change?

The introduction of the new motor will help streamline the manufacturing process, maintain, if not reduce, product costs through volume and lay the groundwork for new product offerings coming soon including:

the introduction of the new motors to the PowerMate® LiftGate Product line-up!

All PowerMate® stair climber models with a serial number greater than 36000 have and are being built with the new “dual-post” motor. The new motors are easily recognizable, they have two posts or terminals, unlike the single post grounded motor previously used. The new motors are insulated and do not require grounding to the stair climber or vehicle frame, as in the past.
 

This very positive modification is just another example of PowerMate® going the extra mile to ensure their customers receive the highest quality products and deliver the lowest total cost of ownership to their valued customers!

Beyond the technological benefits, these motors have been tested and proven to deliver the performance and durability required to meet the highest standards PowerMate® demands.

 

What can I do to help prolong the life of my Motor?

  • Follow the manufacturer recommended ball screw lubrication and maintenance instructions so your motor is not working harder than it needs to. Avoid overheating your motor. Increased excessive motor temperature can have the potential to shorten the life of your motor.
  • Remember to keep your PowerMate® plugged-in when not in use. Ensuring your motor has an adequate power supply, will allow it to run at optimal efficiency.
  • For International customers, ensure you have identified the correct charger and voltage at time of order for your country. Not sure which is correct? PowerMate® will be happy to assist you in determining the correct accessory.
  • Adhere to the machine's recommended lifting capacities published in the Operating Manuals and the back of the all PowerMate® machines, facing the operator.
  • Use only PowerMate® factory sourced parts in the repair and servicing our your PowerMate®.
  • Avoid unnecessary equipment exposure to extreme humidity and water. These two elements can impact the life of the motor brushes. PowerMate® motor brushes can be purchased and shipped complete with installation instructions along with a Preventative Maintenance Kit (PMK) available for all PowerMate® stair climbers. To learn more about PMK’s, please contact PowerMate® or your local PowerMate® Partner.
  • Lastly, be aware of the sound the PowerMate® machine makes while “opening” and “closing” both empty and with a load. A noticeable change in the sound of the machine can indicate a potential service requirement.

PowerMate® invites you to follow them on social media to keep current on all the latest news and developments at L P International Inc. !

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Smart Contractor Products – PowerMate® Winner!

Posted by Contributing Editor on Sun, Feb 15, 2015

The most recent winner of the Smart Contractor Products FREE PowerMate® Give-Away of Model L-1 for 2015 is AIRTECH Heating & Air Conditioning Corp.


Congratulations! As a leader in the HVAC Industry, they are a highly customer-focused heating and air-conditioning company that was originally started in 1972. Located in Bellwood, IL, they employ highly trained people whose goal is to make their company the best service company in West Cook County and East DuPage County, IL.


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Giving a Lift to the Window Industry

Posted by Contributing Editor on Wed, Dec 31, 2014

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Don't Break your Back! - "Hand Truck Tips & Tricks"

Posted by Contributing Editor on Fri, Dec 19, 2014

If the hand truck you are using today requires the operator to put their foot on the axle and pull, then there is an easier and safer way - the PowerMate® way! PowerMate® has been proven by independent research to reduce the effort on the operator by as much as 87% versus a conventional hand truck. Use PowerMate® technology to help avoid preventable back injuries. Here is just one example: the unique 3 point break back system.

PowerMate® Unique 3-Point Break Back

The force required to break back a load when the dolly is loaded and at rest requires the operator to place their foot on the axle of the dolly and pull using thier legs, arms, and back. This exposes the operator to potential injury that can be avoided with the use of a PowerMate® motorized stair climbing dolly!

 

The "Tip":

All PowerMate® L-, LE- and M-Series Stairclimbers feature 3 point "break back". Let your PowerMate® do the work for you! Simply raise the wheels 20-35cm, changing the fulcrum, and effortlessly break back the load without having to place your foot on the axle and pull, avoiding putting the operator at risk of injury.

Similarly, when placing a load down again, the operator is always in control. By "feathering" the close button, the operator can stand a load up without having to place their foot on the axle or use their arms to push. Let PowerMate® do the heavy lifting for you!

For more information on the ergonomic advantages of PowerMate®, we invite you to review the PowerMate® Safety & Profitability Presentation.

Seeing is Believing!

LPK-PA049652 Facebook link image ZC00029WP20140626FB

 At a recent trade show, PowerMate® had the opportunity to review the 3 point break back with many of the visitors. To the left you can see just one of the many "amazed" participants that experienced the value of 3 point back break first-hand! Often times it is possible to safely break back the load with little effort and just one hand placing both the machine and load in a balanced position.

To illustrate this unique feature at trade shows, PowerMate® exhibitors make a point of periodically asking a volunteer to break back the load like they would with a conventional hand truck. In most cases, the can do it with great effort and a few groans.

After raising the wheels off the ground, changing the fulcrum, they try agiain. To the amazement of everyone, the volunteer completes the break back; safely placing the machine and load in a balanced position. At this time, everyone wants to try using the PowerMate® dolly. The difference is astounding and the safety and ergonomic value of PowerMate® is clear.

Following the same procedure as detailed above, utilizing the leaverage/hook bar found on all M-Series machines can further assist you in breaking back the heaviest loads up to 1 500lbs or 680kg! Using the operator's body weight and larger muscles of the legs, makes breaking back a load as ergonomically efficient as possible and requires the least amount of effort for the operator.

3-point break back is just one ergonomic advantage PowerMate® has when compared to other hand trucks that have the wheels and base plate fixed.

For some of the heaviest loads, like customers moving larger safes, vending machines, and built-in appliances, even with the PowerMate® unique 3 point break back, breaking back a load can be challenging. Here is another "trick" PowerMate® has used, over the years, to make break back easier with the heaviest of loads:

The "Trick" - The Wooden Block:

  1. Raise the wheels of the machine off the ground to fit a block of wood underneath.
    Wooden blocks of various sizes can be used as tools to assist in completing a wide range of moving tasks.
  2. Lower the wheels down onto the block of wood and continue to lower them to tilt the load.
  3. Place another block of wood under the load as far away from the machine as possible, ideally beyond the center of mass.
  4. Raise the wheels to remove the first piece of wood and position the wheels to complete the break back process.

To experience PowerMate® 3-point break back for yourself, you are invited to LPM-PA049652 PowerMate Blog CTA 2014/04/03d or check out our NEW upcoming international PowerMate® Trade Shows and Events webpage for an opportunity to see PowerMate® near you!

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A Customer's Stairclimber Experience - Versatech Testimonial

Posted by Contributing Editor on Tue, Dec 16, 2014

September 22, 2014

Dear John,

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A Customer's Stairclimber Experience - Testimonial

Posted by Contributing Editor on Fri, Aug 29, 2014

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