In Their Own Words: How Glaziers Benefit from Glass Handling Equipment

By Jordan Scott

The architectural glass industry is continuing to trend toward larger, heavier glass systems, driving glazing contractors to invest in glass lifting and handling equipment for these jobs. USGlass magazine spoke with several glazing contractors to get their insight on how their company has benefitted from recent equipment investments.


NorTex Glass and Mirror

NorTex Glass and Mirror in Sherman, Texas, recently invested in a SmartLift SL 608 Outdoor High Lifter and an SL 400 Sky Lifter. Josh Reid, president of the company, said that since investing in the new glass lifters, NorTex Glass has been able to safely increase field production while reducing manpower.

“With this new equipment, we can now set large pieces of glass with only two men. The SL 608 Outdoor High Lifter has a lifting capacity of 1,340 pounds and the SL 400 Sky Lifter has a lifting capacity of 881 pounds. The equipment does all the lifting and does not require any hands on the glass. The ability to manage heavy pieces of glass remotely greatly increases our safety measures as it allows our glaziers to stay out of harm’s
way. Our new equipment also helps out immensely in adverse weather conditions, allowing us to continue to work in wet and muddy conditions that would otherwise shut us down due to unstable walking surfaces. Fewer lost bad weather days has certainly helped us stay on top of our schedule.”


Sage Custom

Sage Custom in Annapolis, Md., recently purchased a Glassboy 880 from Quattrolifts. Partner Scott Mullins said his company worked with Quattrolifts to come up with a custom solution to get around exterior muntins.

“The Glassboy has allowed us to handle heavier, larger pieces of glass with fewer people. We already had one that we used a lot, but we couldn’t use it on certain projects so we went back to buy another frame. The new one is sort of one-of-a-kind. The standard commercial Glassboy has an X-frame and four cups but it isn’t adjustable. The majority of what we do is big custom residential glass, which has muntins on the exterior. The standard format cups couldn’t be adjusted to attach to the glass only so the muntins got in the way. We had discussions with the Quattrolifts team and came up with an H-frame that attaches to the X frame. It has adjustable locations for the cups and an adjustable width and height. We can use 2, 4 or 6 cups and we can change the cup size from 6 to 12 inches. It covers a wide variety of grid patterns on residential windows and the cups suction straight to the glass without being hampered by the muntin profile design,” said Mullins. “For one project we had a lite of glass around 800 pounds that needed to go 54 feet up in the air. We used the Glassboy attached to a jib and boomed it up. We only needed one lift driver and two people for the exterior side of the glass and one on the interior. It would have been impossible to do a unit like that in the past because we couldn’t get enough people around the glass. It would have taken eight people and a lift. We cut the amount of people and time in half.”


Vision Systems Inc.

Vision Systems Inc. of Santee, Calif., recently purchased a Manual Rotator/Power Tilter 2800 from Wood’s Powr-Grip to solve an issue it was having with glass lites tilting while in the air. Kevin Farris, field safety manager, says the lifter includes a counter balance to keep the glass lites vertical.

“We pick the panels up in the horizontal position from our racks that transport them to the jobsites. Because we need to put the power cups at the center of the panel to lift it off the racks, when we spin them vertical, they don’t hang straight up and down (the bottom of the panel is much further from the building than the top), which makes it very difficult and
sometimes impossible to install. What these power cups do is move the center of gravity so the panels hang perfectly vertical for install onto the building. The weight stacks are moved outward (remotely) and that allows the panels to go from hanging crooked to hanging vertical,” says Farris. “It’s really helped and it works easy. From what I understand, these power cups are very new. I believe they’ve only made half a dozen of them. It’s kind of cool that we have already used them on a few projects and purchased one already.”

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