Handling Stone Slabs

Efficient Granite Shop: Handling Stone Slabs

Do you want to run a more efficient Granite Shop?

Sam, a good friend of ours and a very good customer, after working several years in the Granite Industry, decided to start his own Granite Shop a couple of years ago. He has been equipping it, trying to improve the efficiency of the Fabrication Process. He is always researching new ways of fabricating better, reducing costs and overall improving quality. He recently approached us with the following inquiry:

My business is growing by the hour, but I feel I could be more efficient, I am sure there a lot of things I could do better. What would you recommend I do?

This inspired us to write a series of articles, focused on the main points of the Granite Fabrication processes. We use the term Granite in a broad way; when we say Granite, we are really referring to any Stone (natural or engineered). Today, let’s focus on Handling Stone Slabs. Sam just closed a contract to build a kitchen countertop. They built the template. The customer chose the perfect piece of material. Now the Slab Stone arrives at Sam’s Shop. Sam needs to be prepared to unload the Slab, and properly handle it and store it.

Handling Stone Slabs: Safety first

Stone Slabs are heavy and voluminous, for which Handling them needs to be done with much caution. Slabs are delivered usually in trucks, from where you will need to pick them up. It cannot be repeated enough, the Slabs must be handled appropriately, and for qualified people who know how to do it. For retrieving the Slab from the truck into it arrived, Sam uses a Forklift.

It is highly recommended to use a Forklift which can handle 5,000+ pounds

A Boom must be attached to the Forklift, to act as an arm to reach the Stone Slab. In our Stone Lifters category, you will find different choices. A favorite choice of our customers are the Aardwolf Forklift Booms.

However, there are more options to choose from the Stone Lifters category, which you can browse to choose the product which adjusts more to your Shop and Budget.

Please remember, and I’m sorry to bring it out again, the Safety is the most important variable here. Handling Stone Slabs can be dangerous if done for people not prepared to do it right.

You need to be very attentive and establish the procedures for Handling the Slabs and make sure they are properly executed every time, in order to avoid injuries to your personnel, without mention how valuable the Slabs are themselves.

Securing the Slab…

The Boom will allow the Forklift to reach for the Slab sitting in the delivery truck, now Sam needs a way to securely grab and retrieve the piece of Stone and handle it properly.

This is accomplished by using a Slab Clam, which is designed for lifting, moving, and in general, handling large-size Slabs.

Here, we have the Aarwlof Lifters, which has proven to be of excellent quality for Handling Stone Slabs, and a very popular choice among our customers. Their compact design will help resolve the issue where headroom is a problem.

There are other choices, depending on the volume of material your Shop usually handles, which can be found in our Stone Lifters category.

You can find a lot of Accessories to enhance the Handling of your Slabs around the Shop -and even when you need to transport the fabricated pieces- in the Stone Lifters Accessories category.

Storing the Slab

Once that Sam has the Slab secured using the Stone Lifter, he needs to be safely put in a place from which he could later work it.

The most common storage solution for the Stone Slabs, are A-Frames and Racks. We have compiled a large selection of the most relevant items used for that purpose, and you will able to select the one that fits your Shop better, thus improving your Handling Stone Slabs ability.

Here is shown the Groves Econo A-Frame, which is an excellent choice with a very attractive price tag. Our customers have been using them for a long time, and we have only heard good comments about them.

A second choice would be the Groves Foldable A-Frame, at a very irresistible price too, and with the advantage, as its name implies, it can be folded for storage purposes, reducing its shipping costs too.

As Sam’s business is growing, he usually receives several Slabs in each shipment for his providers. Stone Slabs are not only valuable because of their costs, but are the cornerstone of the business, so they need to be properly stored in order to avoid them getting any scratches, or even worse, get broken.

So, as Sam usually has 20+ Slabs in the Shop, we strongly recommended him to get a Groves 9,000 Lb. Bundle Rack, so he can safely and comfortably store all the Slabs and use it as a pivot center from which he could manipulate the Slabs to and from the Fabrication tables. The Bundle Rack is a very efficient solution at a low cost, which you can expand in the measure your Shop grows and you need Handling Stone Slabs even more.

In Summary...

Handling Stone Slabs is a very important part of any Granite Shop.

Every Fabrication Process is attached to it. Properly handling those Slabs is the correct way to improving the efficiency of your Shop. In this article, we have touched the surface of the Tools you will need to make this improvement a reality.

You will need, at least:

  • A Forklift, to move the Slabs

  • A boom, which is the “arm” attached to the Forklift to reach the Slabs

  • A Slab Clam, attached to the Boom, to Grab & Lift the Stones

  • A Rack or A-Frame to securely store the slabs

There is a lot of other equipment you can use for making your Granite Shop even more efficient, not only with respect to Handling Stone Slabs but in many other areas as well. We recommend you to browse the Granite Shop & Installation category when you will find plenty of opportunities to make your Shop even better, and so growing your business. Handling Stone Slabs is only one of the areas you need to attack.

Now, it is time to read your comments. We invite you to express your opinions and let us know what have you done about Handling Stone Slabs, which has resulted in an improvement. We are sure it will help the entire community.

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