If you want to shift heavy loads safely and securely, a beam lifter is an essential tool. Beam lifters are designed to help you lift and lower weighty items such as beams, ductwork and piping, and understanding exactly how they work – and how to use them properly – is key to getting the job done efficiently.
We’ve got our red devilish mascot – also known as MAD-LY – on hand to give you some helpful tips on how best to use your beam lifter. MAD-LY’s got a ton of expertise on how to get tons moved, so pay close attention to his guide to beam lifting effectively.
“First,” says our friendly devil, “you’ve got to understand your equipment and how it works. The bottom bit is the underframe, and that’s supported by props that keep the whole contraption stable. The stand is the tall bit that goes up the back, and on the front, you’ve got the spindle transmission (that’s the knot that holds it all together), the spindle, and the load arm, which is the bit that moves up and down to lift your load.
At the top, you’ll find the heading fork, which holds your load, and ideally, all this works together to lift weights up and down. If you want to stay safe (which I advise!) make sure you stick with all the parts on the original piece of equipment you buy and don’t go replacing anything with unknown bits and pieces.”
MAD-LY himself claims that he can lift beams with nothing but his littlest finger – he’s always refused to prove it, so we’d recommend using a beam lifter. Always check the specifications of the product and the loads you’re planning to lift and make sure no one is in the way of the equipment. High-vis jackets and hard hats are a recommendation whenever you’re carrying out heavy lifting, and even though MAD-LY is a bright red devil, even he recognises the need.
“To get your lifter working, you need to set it up properly. Make sure the ground is stable and flat, and always follow the instructions on the product itself to put the thing together – that’s how you’ll get a devilishly good lift out of it.
Load your weight onto the lifter, and fix it in place securely. There will normally be drillings in the heading fork to help you out here.
Remember that the weight on the beam lifter should always be parallel when going up and down, and always fully secured, using something like a shackle with a bolt, nut and cotter pin. If there are chains or moving parts involved, these need to be fixed in place too.
Now it’s time to adjust the height, and you can do this by cranking the handle to move the tool up and down. Make sure you do this at a smooth, even pace – don’t rush it or jolt it: slow and steady wins the race.”
Your lifting beam should be stored in a safe place where it’s protected from damage, and stable enough that it won’t tip over when tilted to angle of 10 degrees in any direction. MAD-LY advises adding feet to your lifting beam, or using a stand if needs be, because fallen equipment can lead to breakages and costs for you and your business.
“The most important thing is to read the instructions!” Says MAD-LY. “Every tool is different, and you can become just as much of an expert as I am (well, maybe almost as much), if you pay attention to the manual, and always act safely, calmly and confidently with your tools.”
For more ‘How to’ guides, check out our Tips and Guides page on our blog.