Homeowners might see the big paving stones we haul in to complete their projects and be stunned by their size. The stones we set all depend on your project, the traffic of the area being paved, and the aesthetic you want to be achieved, meaning they can be as light as 10 pounds. But when they’re big they can get upwards of 1000 pounds, and believe us, they can be a lot heavier than they look!
So how do builders install a massive stone unit without hurting the backs of the crew or damaging the stone? The thing is, even as concrete became more popular and the slabs used in residential work became bigger, technology and know-how kept up, making the installation safer and the job much easier!
Safely Lift Heavy Paving Stones By Hand
Many projects don’t require stones that are too heavy or awkward; in those situations, builders will often transfer stones by hand. Of course, anyone who has to put in paving stones by hand has to learn proper technique, and with solid instruction, it’s still a very safe way of lifting paving stones.
It’s common knowledge – and common sense – not to try and lift more than can be carried. Every good builder knows the key to preventing strains and pulled muscles: always lift with your knees, not your back!
Use Paving Slab Lifters
If the paving stone is too big or bulky, most builders will get an assist with a paving slab and block lifter. These carrying tools are older technologies, but they’re definitely reliable. They are essentially hand lifting tools that allow builders to get a better grip and lift with more force without having to strain. The paving stone can be grabbed much more easily, without having to bend as much and risking back injuries.
Some Builders Require Machine Lifters
What do you do when massive paving stones have to be installed beside, or even behind a home? Modern tools have allowed us to put in paving stones without having to get too hands-on. Many builders have tools that allow them to get heavy stones into hard-to-reach places safely and gently. They’re often referred to as “stone magnets”, but there’s no magnetism involved – just a little bit of genius.
One of these types of tools is vacuum lifter. This innovative tool uses suction power to manoeuvre a heavy stone into place. This type of lifter is generally designed to position smaller paving slabs used in smaller projects, but some are quite suitable for the heavier blocks – some can even lift as much as 1000 kg!
The other main type of machine paving stone lifter is a stone grab. This type pinches the block at each side, allowing us to lift it – not too far from the handheld paving slab lifter, though with a lot less backache!