The remodeling contractor’s job is to create revitalized structures. During the process, all kinds of building materials, including lumber, masonry products and drywall, along with appliances and cabinetry, are removed or demolished. New materials, along with updated HVAC equipment, windows and doors, are brought to the job site. Paint, joint compound, ladders, job boxes and power tools are carried in to get the job done. All these tasks require transporting materials to client locations and hauling away debris, as well as moving the equipment needed to accomplish the work.

Due to limited availability of workers as well as time, choosing the best and most productive method of hauling becomes an increasingly critical business decision. Efficiently coordinating equipment and materials drop-offs with effective management of employees’ time can mean a difference in several percentage points of profit.

Options to get the job done include heavy duty commercial trucks, hiring a hauling service or renting a dumpster that is dropped off and picked up. However, dumpster rentals are pricey and take up space for extended periods of time.

For many routine tasks, that leaves the time-tested pickup truck, but there are limitations to the volume and weight that can be transported. Since the bed is elevated off the ground, it may require two people to load, and the risk of injury is increased. OSHA identifies lifting and awkward postures as chief hazards of such work. Even a hand truck or dolly with a ramp increases the potential for injury. Trailers are another option, but can be unwieldy in certain driving situations, are difficult to back up and take up a lot of space when parked.

The ideal answer is in the efficient middle. One solution that is increasing in popularity is commercial-grade hook lifts that, with the push of a remote-control, can take a container and lower it to the ground, where it can be filled with up to 5,000 – 10,000 pounds of material before it is smoothly lifted back into the bed. It takes just one person to operate.

“Remodeling contractors don’t necessarily need large commercial debris boxes or a fleet of commercial trucks for many routine jobs,” said John Neuens, owner of and sole distributor of Smartlift, built by Milwaukee-based BCA Industries. “They need flexible hauling that allows them to quickly drop off their equipment and remove debris when stops may be required at multiple sites.”

This realization led to the invention of the Smartlift universal ground-loading roll-off system, designed to fit into any long- or short-bed pickup truck. The lifting mechanism can be installed with just four bolts and safely operated by remote control by one person. The lift can load and unload the bin, positioning it over the bed without affecting the use of the tailgate or any toolboxes.

A patented lifting mechanism is a swing-arm that gives the Smartlift its unique ability to lift more weight and at different heights. The boxes are available in 2.5-, 4-, 6- and 8-yard as well as custom sizes. The containers are about the size of a mid-sized car, which allows them to be placed in driveways or tight spaces without causing obstructions—or clients’ objections.

There are other manufacturers selling bolt-on lift arms that claim to lift up to 2,500 pounds, but the Smartlift base unit can easily handle 6,000 pounds. The largest available option, the Smartlift 60, has a lifting capacity of 10,000 pounds.

Potential Efficiencies and Workforce Enhancers

Even using one Smartlift box, personnel can be deployed for efficient and effective workflow. Ground-level equipment or material delivery/removal can be accomplished using fewer people in less time. Also, the potential for accidents or injury is reduced by not having to load using a ramp. With several yard boxes, a company could use just one pickup truck to distribute the boxes to various sites without having to hold up work waiting for the contents to be loaded or unloaded.

In addition to the various sizes of dump boxes, remodeling contractors can choose a Convert-A-Deck box from Smartlift. The 2.5-yard box transforms into an 8.6-foot-wide deck by folding down the sides of the box and locking them in place. Large equipment can fit into this spacious area. Then, the deck can be quickly converted back to a box in just a few minutes.

Commercial-grade hook lifts provide the perfect solution for remodeling contractor companies that need versatile and flexible transport. These vehicle accessories offer the convenience and flexibility of a pickup truck with the capacity of a large commercial vehicle, dumpster and equipment hauler.