Blog articles relating to the heavy construction industry

Kenco Lifters Hoist Massive Rocks at Quarry

Removing, loading and transporting of these pieces has been greatly improved by use of the Kenco Rocklift…

Hooked on the PH9000 Pipe Hook: Atlas Services at the Bailey Mining Site

Atlas using the Pipe Hook

Sometimes we get a little bit lucky here at Kenco and don’t have to drive far for great jobsite footage. This particular jobsite is in our neck of the “west” woods of Pennsylvania at the Bailey mining site, part of the PA mining complex. A quick background on the PA Mining Complex … it is several times larger than the island of Manhattan and the largest producing underground coal mining operation presently in North America with an annual production capacity of 28.5 million tons of coal. (Coal-tastic!)

But this story isn’t about the mines in PA, but rather Atlas Services, who connected with us here at Kenco for a solution to set 8-ft joints of 36” reinforced concrete pipe.

Certainly that’s something we can handle! We were able to not only offer them one but TWO solutions – the PH9000M Mechanical Pipe Hook and the PH9000 Self Leveling Pipe Hook. Both Kenco pipe hooks have a 9,000 pound capacity and can move/set 12” to 48” RCP. There are two distinct differences and often it comes down to the contractor’s preference on which to use.

The Mechanical Version of the Kenco pipe hook allows the user to choose a specific angle the pipe will rest at in order to set it. It uses a slide mechanism that can be moved from one tooth to another to either increase or decrease the angle of the pipe. It is easy to adjust; just relieve the tension on the sling that the hook is attached to and move the excavator arm forward or back to find the wanted position.

The second option and the one that Atlas found to be most fit for their project, was the PH9000 Self Leveling version. This Kenco pipe hook uses a specially-designed, pre-charged cylinder that levels the pipe based on its weight to achieve the proper set position. It requires no adjustments to level the pipe and is as simple as hooking it up to the sling/shackle assembly. As you can see from the video footage and multiple photos we obtained, the hook gave Atlas an upperhand.

They were able to set pipe in much less time that straps would have provided. They also remain safe during the entire procedure, which is something Kenco REALLY likes to see. See it for yourself on YouTube!

Thank you to Atlas Services for sharing your job story with us and welcome to the Kenco Workforce!


Contact/Company Name:

“Bucky” Watters | Atlas Services | Eighty Four, PA

Featured Project Detail:

Setting 36” RCP Pipe at the Bailey Mine Site

Equipment Used:

PH9000 Self Leveling Pipe Hook


If you would like to be highlighted in one of our Featured Projects, please contact

Cast in Gold: The Kenco Rocklift on Gold Rush White Water, Discovery Channel

Kenco was contacted awhile back by Discovery Channel’s ‘Dakota Fred’ Hurt of Gold Rush. Fred was looking for a safe and effective way to move boulders from beneath the rushing torrents of McKinley Creek in Alaska. He said they were in search of gold, but in a way never seen before. Quite intriguing, as our Rocklifts typically stay ashore. But as always we were up to the task.

We shipped out the Kenco Rocklift MG3000, which would allow for them to move boulders up to 30 inches in diameter, maxing out at 3,000 pounds. We couldn’t help but wonder – how is the Rocklift going to help find them gold?

Fast forward to today. Advertisement trailers are amping up for the premiere of Gold Rush White Water. The name is catchy and the job at hand looks thrilling to say the least. Winter weather is just around the corner. The crew suits up in diving gear to gain access to alleged pockets of gold hidden ten feet below the rushing white waters above. The job is risky in every sense of the word. It takes more than a steady hand as the waters are both cold and fast, changing day to day in speed and volume.

With those rushing waters comes ingenuity of rigging techniques as there is no excavator in sight to attach the Rocklift. There are sharp rocks, slippery slopes, and cliff sides – nothing like the typical gold mining excavation site. The show will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering if this big blue beast can save the day. Can it?


You can see for yourself by tuning in:

Gold Rush White Water

Discovery Channel

10PM EST every Friday

Episode #7 “The Graboid” aka The Rocklift

Featured Project – Throughstone Group of Truckee, California

Often times we cannot put into words the satisfaction our customers have with our concrete lifting clamp products.. So why not let them speak for themselves! Take it away Jon …

“The only way to make a blog about a Kenco Multilift interesting is to be honest and a little, necessarily, self-effacing.

Last year, I landed the biggest project in my career thus far as a Stonesmith with a 7-figure budget. Due to a lot of weird and surprising constraints I had to get super creative about my approach in order to build on the scale and in the timeline desired by the client while still adhering to the “dry stone” method that I specialize in for all my works. But, this one had a new twist: The client wanted a modern, minimalist, mountain theme, which would require large, square and rectangular shaped pieces.

With these parameters in mind, my stone importer (based in Seattle) and I came up with an approach that combined a “Lego-like” building method with the flexibility of a “modular” design. The stone pieces ranged in weight from 200 to 2,000 pounds. (Now, keep in mind that most of the stone I’ve used over the years can be moved with a dolly, two men and some rock bars.) So, I ordered approximately 750,000 pounds of basalt and granite stone and had it shipped over from the quarries in Southern China. Then, I never thought twice about it because I was also the Project Director and had a hundred other tasks to focus on right away. In the back of mind I figured I’d just use skidsteer machines, 2×4 wood runners and pipe. If you look at photos and videos of the project thus far and the size of the stone we are moving around this is really embarrassing considering that my wall planks alone average 810 pounds each. But, I simply had no schema in my brain for anything like this.

By about the third day of installation I started panicking inside when I realized I’d not done my due diligence with planning and figuring how we were going to efficiently move hundreds of tons of stone around on a very, very tight schedule. A couple of the guys started drilling 2 holes in each 6′ long, 810 pound wall plank, inserted eye bolts and lifted them with straps. It worked! My first impression was that this would be the answer and I was happy. Certainly, a lot faster than pushing these pieces around with rock bars. Then, I did some calculations based on how many wall planks we were actually installing each day with this method and I panicked again.

The owner of the landscape design company that was collaborating with me on this project suggested I look into buying a lifting device he found online and he showed me a photo of Kenco’s Multilift. Once I looked at this, I realized a miracle was about to happen. I called Jessica at Kenco that same day and ordered two of them. We were all honestly blown away by how these lifting devices worked and how much stone they could hold and lift. We’ve been using them every day now for nearly 2-1/2 months. We’ve attached them to excavators and sky tracks. We’ve lifted pieces ranging from 200 to 1,400 pounds with both smooth and rough faces.

Today, if I start thinking about what we would have done (or not done) had we not discovered Kenco’s Multilifts, I feel nauseous inside. Along with some different compression driven vacuum lifters we purchased, Kenco’s Multilifts are such a game-changer for us now that we already see new possibilities for future stone projects where we can scale up the weight, size and shape of the stone we use.”

Jon Aquilar
Throughstone Group – Truckee, CA Project
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Carving the Crazy Horse Memorial

We’re thankful to be a part of the quest to carve the Crazy Horse Memorial! CBS recently wrote an article on their efforts. You can read the CBS article here –

Featured Project – Town of Parker, CO and the Barrier Lift

Today, our featured project takes us to Parker, Colorado, a small “town” located at the southeastern most corner of the Denver Metropolitan Area. The municipality uses barricades mostly for road closures but also for the separation of debris and aggregate piles. In the past, they have used forks which “beat up the barricades.” They also tried straps with a screw-in eye bolt but the “hole would fill with dirt or ice.” More so, Keith states, “(these) methods are not as safe.” And this couldn’t be more true. Safety should always be of utmost concern, especially when moving something of this size.

As promised, their new KL9000 arrived in record time and went immediately to work. And it of course, performed just as they had expected. (In fact, this lifter was a repeat order.) Loading and unloading of the barriers went smoothly which further expedited the process. Keith also made a valid point in stating that “it can be used with minimal manpower.” Smaller municipalities obviously have smaller work forces and this is where the barrier lift can really become a life (and back) saver! Besides, wouldn’t everyone rather stay in the cab on a cold or rainy day?!

Thank you Keith Wittlieff of Parker PW for sharing your story. Welcome to the Kenco Workforce!


Contact/Company Name:

Keith Wittlieff    |   Town of Parker Public Works    |    Parker, CO

Featured Project Detail:

General road closure and debris separation using concrete road barriers. 

Equipment Used:

Kenco Barrier Lift: KL9K6T24V1

If you would like to be highlighted in one of our Featured Projects, please contact

American Pride in Every Kenco Lifting Attachment

Every Kenco lifter that leaves our facility is tagged with a miniature American flag. And that’s not because we have to; it’s but because we want to. We want you to know that Kenco lifting attachments were born and raised right here in western Pennsylvania. From infancy to adulthood, each and every lifter had the privilege of pure red, white, and blue talent impressed upon it. You see, in this day and age it is very difficult to find items that are truly “Made in the USA.”

We take great pride in our lifting attachments and our employees that help them find a new home on your jobsite. Maybe that’s why when you call us, you speak to a actual person, not some automated messaging machine! And maybe that’s why you call back it often times is the same person you spoke with years ago. Good business leads to happy employees. And that’s why we like to still talk to you and ask you how your day is going. It’s very rare you will talk to someone that is not smiling on the other end of the line.

So when you conduct business with Kenco understand that we enjoy what we do and we want you to enjoy it too. We want you to be satisfied with your purchase and our service. That means there are NO dumb questions. And if we don’t know, we often times know someone who does. Trust in us and you will not be disappointed.

Featured Project – D & D Foundations, Inc. and the Multilift

No two residential retaining wall projects are ever the same. Function, strength, and longevity will always be of utmost concern to the contractor. Revisiting the job in the near future to fix a failing wall (especially one they installed) is not a call they hope to get! However, when we talk about residential jobs there is another huge factor that comes into play – the homeowner. Certainly, no homeowner wishes to sit on the back porch drinking a cup of coffee while staring at a boring ole block wall. This wall must not only function well, it must also be aesthetically pleasing.

To solve this problem, many contractors look to limestone block. Its face gives a rough ‘n’ rugged character that seamlessly blends with the surrounding landscape. All the while these blocks provide a strong and sturdy blockade to the naturally eroding earth on the other side. They are a solution that consistently appeases both the contractor and customer.

That’s brings us to today’s featured project by D & D Foundations, Inc of Houston, Texas. The project is one similar to the above situation – 2100 pound limestone blocks and a residential retaining wall. Kenco’s fundamental contribution to this job was the Multilift, more specifically – the ML8K10T48V1. The grip range (10-48”) suited these block quite well and allowed for lifting on the wide or narrow side. For this project, the Multilift was placed from the front to back. The lifter’s capacity of 8,000 pounds exceeded what could have been expected from even the largest of the block.  

Kenco Multilift moving limestone block   Kenco Multilift moving limestone block   Kenco Multilift moving limestone block   Kenco Multilift moving limestone block

“Setup was (also) very easy,” Ruben Gonzalez stated, and he is certainly correct. All that is needed is a lift eye, a Rigmax (or similar), and a machine capable of lifting the weight. D & D had previously “tried moving the blocks with other methods with different tractors.” Although these methods were not without success, they do come at the sacrifice of time spent. And as any contractor knows – time lost means money lost. And Ruben would agree. “This Multilift has saved us time and labor expenses. We would be behind schedule without it.”

Thank you Ruben and to D & D Foundations, Inc. for becoming a member of the Kenco Workforce. We look forward to working with you in the future.


Contact/Company Name:

Ruben Gonzalez  |  D & D Foundations, Inc.  |  Houston, TX

Featured Project Detail:

Retaining wall system installation using limestone blocks weighing approximately 2,100 pounds

Equipment Used:

Kenco Multilift: ML8K10T48V1


If you would like to be highlighted in one of our Featured Projects, please contact

Behind the Scenes Prep for ConExpo

Jess working on ConExpo exhibit

One of our warehouses has been buzzing with some unusual noises this month. Although they sound much like teacher’s nails down a chalkboard, I couldn’t help from sneaking over the other day for a “look see.” It’s not nails, rather a hot knife and the chalkboard? Well, that would be styrofoam. (Don’t worry, we haven’t cut back on manufacturing costs of our lifters!) So what has been going on here at Kenco HQ? So what has been going on here at Kenco HQ? Preparation for ConExpo March 2017, of course! The sounds, smells, and sweat are all too familiar to our marketing department who heads up the design of this castle-like structure. And what better way to understand the trials and tribulations of the stage-hands for ConExpo exhibitors than to jump right in?!

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I am not the most patient person. That being said, It took every bit of self-control I had to sit idle for instruction on how to use the hot “butter knife” for cutting foam block. (Oh, just let me try it already; I can do it!) With the lesson finally over, I tossed my gloves on and went to work with my melt-tastic, samurai sword in hand! (Watch out world; this woman has skills no one could have ever imagined!)

Maybe I was overzealous or a tad too confident in my first cut because it didn’t go as smoothly as I had planned. Styrofoam can be quite persnickety. And so I calmed my horses and decided slow and steady will win the race. As I worked ever so carefully along the edge line of each individual brick (yes, hand-melted INDIVIDUAL brick), my mind started to revert back to being a kid watching marshmallows melt over the fire. It is quite mesmerizing to say the least. Could be the childhood memories – could also be the fumes…

Either way, thirty minutes in and I have a newfound respect for all that it takes to prepare this exhibit that will be unveiled at ConExpo March 2017.
When you walk by it, you will probably think similar to what I had. “Just some foam blocks; nothing to be seen here.” But let me assure you, each and every block was meticulously created and painted to give you a realistic stone/brick exterior you would swear was the “real deal.”  

I hope you take a gander by our castle in the North Hall. I’ll be there basking in the glory of the mere dozen or so brick I created. Come join me!


Con-Expo March 2017

Las Vegas | March 7-11, 2017

North Hall, Booth N11749

Top 5 Funniest Names for the Actuator

Every once in awhile, we all need a little comic relief. I’m not here to poke fun at anyone because if the tables were turned, there would be plenty of reasons to laugh at myself! However, sometimes I find it really hard to contain a chuckle when I hear the names our customers have called our actuators. If one of these happens to be yours, please feel free to claim its notoriety – you deserve it!

I think it would be best to do a simple countdown:



I was pretty certain I moved into sales to steer clear of anything that sounded like it belonged in a toilet. I just … ugh … let’s just move on.



Now, this name doesn’t really bother me too much. Although it really is quite confusing. I’ve seen many thing-a-majigs in my life and none of them look like this. They are usually under the hood of my car making some odd clicking or whistling noise and spewing mass amounts of oil.



You probably already know this as a “tie down”. Makes perfect sense to me. However, I know this as the “knuckle blaster”. It somehow tightens extremely easy but then it becomes the devil in disguise. I push and pull and grip and pinch but it stays jammed. I’ll walk away in anger to come back and on the first try it flies open and blasts my knuckles! (Ouch!)



This just sounds downright fancy! Sorry but this five dollar word would best be used elsewhere.



Listen, I like laundry like the rest of the world… Wait – no one likes laundry! In fact, even the term AGITATES me!


You can call it whatever you want and sometimes you may try your best to stump us. But the cold hard truth is that we’ve heard them all … or have we?