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Cutting Edge - Manhole mover in the pipeline


LOADING and unloading materials on construction sites can be a dangerous business.Webbing straps can snap, chains and pins can fail - normally while banksmen and other operatives are within the danger area.

Now Poole-based Antec International has introduced technology from Germany that will help improve the on-site safety of banksmen and machine operators.

Its Shaftfix system snapped up the overall winner prize and best civils product award at the Interbuild Best New Products Awards held last week.

Inventor, plant operator and Antec director Werner Kotterer was getting fed up of climbing in and out of his cab when lifting manholes and pipes and came up with the idea for the manhole moving device.

Shaped a little like a spider, the machine operator drops the device into the section of pipe.A quick shift of the locking lift from one slot to another and the device locks out, enabling the driver to move or unload the pipe without leaving his cab.

The device saves money because there is no need for a banksman to clip chains and pins around the pipe, according to Mr Kotterer.

He said: 'The device saves on labour costs because it only needs one man to operate and improves site safety because it takes an operative out of the danger area.'

The Shaftfix can be easily adjusted to fit most pipe diameters, including 1,050,1,200,1,350 and 1,500 mm, and a lower second set of grippers can pick up diameters of 900 mm.