Vacuum lifting system for skid steers are an alternative way for handling concrete slabs, steel plates and other material. Vacuworx, Tulsa, Okla., has developed an array of vacuum-lifting systems tailored for the mobile-equipment industry.
The newest addition, the SS 2 vacuum lifting system, reportedly improves the versatility of the venerable skid steer. The SS 2 attachment lets a machine lift steel plate, saw cut concrete, granite and marble slabs, landscape pavers and other materials. And, according to company officials, the system does it faster and safer when compared to other lifting mechanisms like manual-intensive chains, slings and hooks. The SS 2 can also be used with a variety of mini-excavators or small cranes using a clevis-hook connection.
The vacuum system, which features a hydraulically driven vacuum pump, readily mates to any skid steer. Quick-connect hydraulic hoses and a universal mounting plate makes attachment quick and simple, which helps maximize productivity.
The compact, aluminum design weighs just 98 lb (without mounting plate) but has a lifting capacity up to 2,716 lb. The vacuum pump operates using the auxiliary hydraulics from the host machine (minimum 10 gpm required with maximum pressure of 3,000 psi). The vacuum pump maintains a constant vacuum in a pressure reservoir. When activated, the system pulls a vacuum between the integrated 24 x 24 in. vacuum pad and the object to be lifted, providing a powerful positive seal. Tough elastomer-pad seals on the perimeter of the vacuum pad to cover the material to be lifted and create the necessary suction. The vacuum seal holds until the operator activates the release–even in the event of a power failure.
The SS 2 is suited for floor, sidewalk, driveway, road and landscaping projects. Not only is vacuum lifting a safer alternative than hooks and chains, said Vacuworx officials, it also increases output and productivity. According to the company, vacuum-lifting systems can handle up to 10 times more material than conventional methods, are than safer for workers, and help reduce the risk of accidents and lower payroll and insurance costs.
Related Vacuworx vacuum and hydraulic lifting systems are designed for many applications and lift capacities. Standard models lift a variety of materials including steel, plastic and ductile iron pipe, concrete pipe, pre-cast concrete slabs, culverts and road barriers, saw-cut concrete, and steel plate. Lifters can be attached to excavators and backhoes (with or without a coupler system), wheel or track type loaders, cranes, pipe layers, skid steers, forklifts and knuckle booms and can also be mounted for a variety of in-plant applications.