The phrase “Work smarter rather than harder” was something Aaron Beiler, president of New Heights LLC, often tried to practice when he ran his own roofing company. Aaron and his son Raymond invented the Equipter, a self-propelled, towable trailer with a lifting box that is able to fit into tight areas while streamlining shingle removal and jobsite cleanup.
“The Equipter RB4000 minimizes landscape destruction and keep lawns cleaner, with more time to focus on installation,” said Raymond.
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The Equipter can be hooked up like any trailer and hauled to the jobsite. Once at the site, the RB4000 can move around under its own power with its gasoline-powered hydraulic drive system. It is designed with a rear extension rollback feature that extends its large container over obstacles like shrubs and flowerbeds. It also places the container well within reach of the crew on the roof for either debris removal or new material transport. The wide doors extend the catch area to 10.5 feet, ensuring all debris goes into the Equipter.
From 1985 to 2011, Aaron owned and operated a residential roofing company along with his son. The Beilers noted that they were always trying new ideas to make it easier and faster to tear off old roofs. In 2003 they came up the concept that would eventually result in the Equipter, and a prototype for a self propelled trailer with a lifting box was manufactured. Not everything went smoothly during the creation process, though. Raymond explains that their early ideas were based on tarps and cables and little trailers pulled by ATVs. However, the concept evolved to a fully self-powered, drivable, lifting and dumping trailer. The conversion of the tow-able trailer to a jobsite drivable piece of equipment was the most challenging feature to design.
Beiler Hydraulics in Lancaster, Pa., played an instrumental part in developing the first units for Aaron’s roofing company. In 2006, Aaron Beiler established New Heights LLC for the purpose of manufacturing and distributing the Equipter and other quality equipment to the roofing industry.
Raymond Beiler says it’s no surprise that contractors have taken a liking to the Equipter. He notes the machine specifically helps contractors reduce the amount of cleanup time on the jobsite, resulting in increased profits. The bottom line: more jobs are completed with fewer employees.
“Many of our customers have told us they save the equivalent of at least one laborer (sometimes more) in their cleanup process,” said Raymond. “Some contractors say they can complete 25 percent more jobs per month by utilizing the Equipter.”
Out in the Field
Contractors who spoke with Roofing Contractorwere impressed with the product. Ben Kottke, owner of B Kottke Construction LLC in Fond du Lac, Wis., started using the Equipter three years ago. Kottke explained that the Equipter is not only impressive to the client, but it is well built and actually does what it promises. “Unlike a lot of other tools on the market, this one has not disappointed me in any way,” he said. “There have been no big breakdowns with standard maintenance.”
B Kottke Construction LLC has been in business since 2000 and the company does both residential and commercial work. He noted that the Equipter is a favorite of both his employees and his customers. “I figure on average it saves me a minimum of 4-5 man hours every day that used to be spent on cleanup,” said Kottke. “By eliminating that and putting that man back on the roof, it has more than paid for itself. Plus, it keeps the employees happy to not have to clean up tear-off and the homeowners are happy to not have their landscaping destroyed. Another added benefit is that it separates you from the competition and attracts the eye of the neighbor who is potentially your next customer.”
John Roberson, president of Joe Roberson & Son Roofing, Inc. in Greenville, S.C., starting using the Equipter in 2007. He has specialized in residential work since 1965, and he explained how much safer, cleaner and faster the Equipter makes each project.
“The Equipter makes my job faster by cutting way down on ground cleanup, as well as having the ability to carry the shingles from the buggy right to the roof,” he said. “The jobs are made safer, of course, by not having to carry the shingles up the ladder. We actually have two of the Equipter buggies so we use one in the tear-off phase and the second is loaded with the new shingles so as soon as a section of the roof is torn off the second buggy is moved into place and the re-shingling starts quicker.”
James Boose, owner of Boose Roofing in Glen Mills, Pa., has been in business for 30 years doing residential work. Boose pointed out that he first found out about the Equipter while reading Roofing Contractormagazine, and he has owned one for about six years now.
“I haven’t been to the chiropractor in years,” he said. “It has been the best piece of equipment I have ever bought in my life.”
Boose said he and his employees no longer dread going to work every day and the company saves hundreds of hours in cleanup time annually. “I’d even like to buy another one,” said Boose. “I’m just as thrilled about it today as when I bought it six years ago. It is worth every penny.”