For moving gigantic objects like pipeline sections, concrete K-rails or massive steel sheets, an excavator is often used. Workers must rig slings or chains around the object to be lifted and connect them to the bucket, then stand clear as the object is lifted. When objects are being lowered, they will occasionally rotate as the slings or chains are flexible, and workers on the ground must guide the object into place. Both the rigging and the guiding will occasionally lead to accidents.
An Oklahoma-based company called Vacuworx has devised a safer way to move heavy things. Since 1999 they've created vacuum lifting attachments that obviate the need for rigging and guiding. These vacuum attachments can grab objects and place them more precisely, without any swinging chains. The company makes them in a variety of sizes.
Here's a look at what their attachments can do:
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