A lot has happened since Modern WorkTruck Solutions first reported on the revolutionary RazerLift in the September 2018 edition. Most notably, production, as RazerLift units are with or making their way to customers. Paul Buller, founder and president of RazerLift, is excited about turning this major corner.
“We’ve been building momentum and excitement for the RazerLift for some time now through field testing early production units to attending tradeshows to crisscrossing North America in our company van to raise awareness,” Buller says. “Having reached a point where the design has been thoroughly tested and is ready to go, the production is ready to go, and our regional upfitters are able to take delivery of packaged units and install them on fleet vehicles is deeply gratifying. It took a lot of hard work to get here.”
IN THE FIELD
Some of the first units were shipped to Boston Truck and Van, an established family-run business in the New England region. Jeff Maron, owner of Boston Truck and Van, is always on the lookout for new innovations and is excited to bring the RazerLift to his region.
According to Maron, “When we first learned about the RazerLift, the safety advantages were immediately obvious to us. The winters here in the New England region bring a lot of ice and hard, crusted snow. This frequently brings down power lines, so large energy providers in the Boston area respond by sending their workers out to repair the damage. But the same snow and ice that brought down the power line in the first place presents a significant hazard for accessing roof-top ladders.
“Our customers have a choice. They can put their staff in harm’s way, risk losing an employee for some time, and deal with the worker’s compensation costs. Or they can invest in the proper safety equipment to keep their staff safe and their overall costs down. The economics make a lot of sense, especially to large fleet companies with a strong safety culture.”
Boston Truck and Van has been in business for over thirty years and prides itself in featuring the latest technologies to hit the market; their interest in the RazerLift continues that tradition of adopting new innovations.
David Walker of Hendrickson Truck Center is also looking forward to integrating the RazerLift into his customers’ fleets.
“The RazerLift answers a need that customers have been asking about for years,” Walker says. “How can we safely store ladders on the top of our work trucks without putting our employees in a dangerous position to remove the ladders? As workers compensation claims continue to skyrocket, employers need to do everything possible to keep their team safe. RazerLift can prevent many types of injuries experienced by loading and unloading ladders from unsafe heights.”
Hendrickson’s 50-member team leans on more than three decades of experience designing and installing custom solutions for virtually every kind of fleet—including specialty vehicles—and puts that knowledge to work providing solutions for fleets across the Northeast. The adaptability of the RazerLift to custom vehicles and custom cargo solutions is advantageous to Hendrickson because of the wide diversity of its customer base.
“Our partnership with RazerLift will expand our safety solutions to our fleet customers,” Walker says. “We have showcased the RazerLift to our major fleet customers and received great feedback.”
The ergonomic advantages of the RazerLift compared to existing cargo management solutions may seem self-evident at first glance, but the staff at RazerLift decided to take it a step further. They contacted a team of researchers at the University of Alberta to conduct a formal ergonomic study of the RazerLift, assessing the back strain, shoulder strain, and other injury risks compared to a standard drop-down ladder rack. Results of that study will be published in a medical journal later this year. Antonio Miguel-Cruz, Adriana Rios Rincon, and Lili Liu are three PhD researchers assigned to the project.
Back injury is a big issue in the industry, and the team has seen that time and again over their years of experience in rehabilitation medicine. The team says they intuitively understood that the RazerLift had the potential to reduce back pain and back injury after they saw it in action.
Miguel-Cruz, Rincon, and Liu focus their research on assistive technologies, which not only relates to technologies that support those injured but also relates to preventive products that reduce the likelihood of injury in the first place. And they agree that RazerLift is a great example of an assistive technology that is preventive in nature.
The Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta has a long history of partnering with the industry to find better solutions to safety issues. The team particularly enjoys partnering with young companies that bring innovative new solutions to market to improve worker safety.
ONE FITS ALL
Safety is not the only advantage of the RazerLift, however. Paul Buller received a lot of positive feedback about the RazerLift’s customizability.
“We’ve had inquiries about tall vans, we’ve had inquiries about traditional vans, we’ve had inquiries about service bodies on trucks, we’ve even had inquiries about trailers and rail equipment,” he says. “The same basic unit can be mounted to almost anything. And the same basic unit can be used to lift multiple ladders or pex pipe or even kayaks for our recreational customers. With a little creativity it can handle multiple sorts of cargo at once. We offer an extension option as well, just in case the basic reach isn’t low enough for some customers. From day one we designed and built this product to be expandable and customizable to fulfill the diverse needs of our customers.”
Jeff Maron and Bryan Carpenter of Boston Truck inspect the first RazerLift installation for Eversource Energy’s field-testing unit.
The RazerLift company continues to expand its upfitter network across the continental USA. Installation is reported to take approximately four to five hours for an experienced installer on a standard van, and the mechanical preassembly is done with a single allen key, so getting new upfitters established requires minimal training. RazerLift is also in the process of establishing distribution centers at strategic locations across the US to minimize delivery times.
“We’re doing everything we can to get the RazerLift into the hands of as many workers as possible, as fast as possible,” Buller says. “Every day longer that it takes to deliver a unit is another day that someone is putting their shoulders and back at risk. We consider it our responsibility to work hard with our upfitters to streamline the process in every way possible to protect the men and women at the front lines of industry.”
Not even a year since Modern WorkTruck Solutions reported on the RazerLift’s preproduction units, the brand is swiftly bringing its product into the hands of work truck users across the country. Who’s next to join the revolution?
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find out more about vehicle cargo management using RazerLift, visit www.razerlift.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS:
OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE
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