Lightening the Load
Heavy lifting is heavy lifting, no matter if it is a hood and mechanism for an exterior retractable awning or a $50,000 front-projector system. And it can be a back-breaking (or worse) task when executed without enough manpower or the right tool to help.
That's the reason Patrice Puissesseau, president of Motion Control Systems, Delray Beach, Fla., came up with the idea to import an electrically controlled lifting device he saw in Europe and make it available as a tool for the segment of his customer base that installs awnings. And since Puissesseau also supplies motors and controls to the home automation and window covering industries, it made sense to him that the Starlift, as the product is called, would serve just as well as a residential installation tool.
In a nutshell, the Starlift portable telescoping lifting device aids in installing projectors, TVs, screens, speakers and any other cumbersome product requiring a delicate touch, with an electric motor and one-person operation. There are two models available: one that lifts up to 11 feet and can fold into a duffel bag and another that lifts up to 16 feet and is equipped with wheels.
The device's four adjustable legs can retract for uneven applications or close positioning against walls, and the telescoping mast is made of aluminum alloy and has a built-in level. A remote-control handle controls the variable-lift speed, and its electric motor has an emergency shutdown feature and a hand-operated override crank.
"Starlift is a unique product and there is nothing like it in the market," Puissesseau says. "Of course," he adds, "there are products installers have adapted to lift heavy loads, and some use a drywall lift for similar purposes, but those are overbuilt and oversized for many tasks. And the footprint on these other devices is a lot larger; they're bulkier and it's difficult to fit them easily into a van."