Braxton-Bragg has made the job of moving material a one-man operation with the Stone Pro Rock Jockey. According to the company the Rock Jockey improves both efficiency and safety by reducing the number of workers required from two to one.
The innovative device was designed for slab warehouse and fabrication facilities and allows a fork-lift operator to safely work alone removing materials from trucks, removing or positioning materials from or to a slab rack, and placing materials on an A-Frame or photo stand. With no need for a man to walk along and guide a slab as it is being moved and placed, serious and costly slab-handling injuries can reportedly be reduced. Moving slabs is the number one cause of injuries in the rock industry.
The Rock Jockey provides remote control release of the lifter latch and offers continuous 360 degree rotation in either direction. The hand held remote control has a 12-volt rechargeable battery with a magnetic back to prevent loss and can be used while wearing gloves. Remotes are matched to the Rock Jockey with a unique signal, allowing for multiple units to operate in close proximity without interference. The charging port is military grade and has a built-in safety feature that automatically shuts the unit off after 10 minutes of non-use.
Other features include an all-weatherproof antenna, which is EMF shielded and will not cause radio interference, and a safety clutch to prevent damage to the unit or slab from strong wind or accidentally hitting a stationary object. The unit is the same width as a clamp for getting into tight places. Replacement controls are available, but because the unit is sealed from weather no routine maintenance is necessary.
Made and assembled in the USA, the Rock Jockey features all steel construction and is stronger than the clamp or the boom. The only part not made in the USA is the rechargeable battery pack, which is rated for two years of heavy usage. Two versions of the Rock Jockey are available specific to the brand clamp used; the Abaco 50 and the Ardwolf 50.
You may also be interested in this article about the Groves Stone Handling Catalog.