Bed Liner Manufacturer Gets a Grip on Safety with Work Station Crane and Tractor Drives


A manufacturer of engineered plastic components was running into problems when fabricating bed liners for dump trucks. The liners were made of three separate plastic panels, which were welded together and formed into rolls. The panels, each weighing 350 pounds on average, are 4’ wide by 10’ or sometimes 20’long. The size and weight made the panels awkward to lift, and often required multiple workers to move.

The Problem

“We were doing things that weren’t good from a safety and ergonomics standpoint,” said Jerry, the plant’s Maintenance and Safety Supervisor. “We were using multiple people to manhandle these large panels of plastic on and off machines, conveyors, rolling conveyor tables, things like that.”

The Solution

The company purchased a 1000 pound capacity Gorbel work station bridge crane with 40’ runways and an 18’ bridge. The bridge was motorized with Gorbel tractor drives, and a vacuum device was used to grip and lift the panels. All movement of the bridge and vacuum was controlled wirelessly by radio. With the Gorbel system in place, the fabrication process is now much safer, with very limited contact of the panels required by the workers.