Tricks for handling large rolls of materials

Discussion in 'Flooring Potpourri' started by RFI, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    You would think after 30 some years in this business that I would learn not to "man" handle large rolls of lino. Especially since I am not a kid anymore :blink: Everyone once in a while I get this stupid idea that I can still unload a full roll of lino out of the truck by myself. Today I was by myself and had three full rolls :eek: plus it was raining :ohno: Did pretty good on the first one, did ok on the second one, but the third :eek: that one hurt!

    What tricks do you have to share, that would help the rest of us "old timers" and I do not mean having help with you :p

  2. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member


    Eat your Wheaties!

    ........and don't even think about getting old in this racket.

    Seriously, moving a 400 lb. roll of linoleum isn't going to be easy no matter what special techniques you master. Tomorrow I'm dragging full rolls up a flight of stairs----obviously not by myself. It'll be on the hand truck/two wheel dolly. Two guys on the bottom lifting up and one or two guys on top pulling and guiding. One step at a time. There's roundabout 15K square on the second floor and there's no access to the elevator. We completed the three "Pods" which are classrooms time four----meaning four times the average classroom so about 4K square feet per. Most of the cuts are in the 30-40 foot range, pretty easy for two men to shoulder. The biggest cuts were 55' and we used three guys. I threw the roll on my shoulder up top and the other two guys grabbed the bottom and we walked it up. Not that bad once you get the hang of it.

    But the hallway is around 175' plus-----one full shot and most of another so that's going to be lots of fun.
  3. Darol Wester

    Darol Wester Charter Member Senior Member

    Get BIG young helpers that think like we use to.;):D

    We sometimes use a thing that is kind of a tripod with one leg missing. It has a crank up wench with rope on top with a hook to attach to a pipe that slides into the roll. Then you just crank it up till you can get a ruggy buggy under it and off to the vehicle to load. Works for us old folks.

    A person really has to get a whole lot smarter about this or you can get yourself hurt in a heartbeat. Having to do stuff like that by yourself is risky and asking for. I know. I'm doing more than I should and have got bitten too many times. All you can do then is kick yourself in the butt for being stupid. I've gotten good at it, but I am getting smarter.:)
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  4. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    My secret weapon is an 18" hunk of PVC tubing. The thick walled stuff. One lifts one end and shoves the tube as far under as one can. When one pulls one finds that the roll moves much easier when its on wheels! (technically wheel) when one gets far enough the "wheel" hits the door latch and stops rolling. Then one positions the two-wheel cart and repeats the lift-'n'-shove procedure so as to yank enough of the roll out of the truck to get one end on the two-wheeler. Then one goes into the truck and lifts and pushes the roll almost all the way out and repositions the cart at the half way point of the roll. then one takes a well deserved break while figuring out how to get the roll into the attic/basement or what-have-you.
  5. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    Well there are two things that I am going to invent before I get so old that I can't see or remember what I was working on :blink: The first is a gizzmo to pull those damned lino rolls out of my truck and stand them on end :yesss: Second, I am going to make me up some short of giant flexible bar scribe for doing these damned curves that go in every direction. With some sort of pin attachment so I can make peeeeeeeeeerfect marks :cool:

    So there, what where we talking about :hmmm:

  6. Jon Scanlan

    Jon Scanlan That Kiwi Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I don't have trouble with the vinyl jobs I am getting lately
    Bathrooms and toilets. Even did a laundry today
    But the rolls are getting heavier aren't they? Been told the Aussies only have 15 metre rolls whereas we get 25m rolls. Something to do with the unions over there
  7. nimrod

    nimrod Pro Member

    I am with Jon on this....since I do all residential the biggest roll might be a 12 x 25-30. And I always pattern scribe at my shop so I dont have to carry 1 extra sqaure INCH onto the job site. Dont know how u commercial guys do it! 175' roll??:blink:
  8. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Think like an egyptian and use leverage.
  9. Darol Wester

    Darol Wester Charter Member Senior Member

    Does that come in a box?:D
  10. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Put it on a vinyl dolly or conveyers in the van and roll it outl Then when it reaches the half way point stand it up onto a vinyl dolly[stand up kind] and then transfer it to the job area lay dolly down and make your cuts.

  11. Omnipotent

    Omnipotent Flying Dutchman

    I know a guy who uses a 15 inch broomstick to roll the heavy rolls in and out of his trunk. I don't know how he sets them upright though, he's a real weak guy, so he probably won't do it on his own. Full Artoleum rolls are almost 450 lbs.
  12. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    Like many others have said, I use pipes many times. I have 3-4 of varying diameters on the trailer. I got them from the pipe fitters on some job in the past.

    Another thing I do with a full roll (won't really work with 3 rolls) I have them sting it onto my 3 foot lino roller and I set my 18 inch lino roller behind the roll at a right angle and I roll it off the truck then when it gets to the ground I crawl into the truck and push it up on end. Then just hand truck it in. I do try to keep my truck nearly empty just for this purpose. I try to never load full rolls in the the trailer as it is too low to the ground for me to stand the roll on end.

    I also have a very heavy duty roller I got on Ebay specifically for full rolls of Lino, trouble is it alone weighs 100+- pounds.
  13. icanlayit2

    icanlayit2 Pro Member

    I work by myself quite a bit,and those full rolls seem to be getting heavier.I know its not that i'm getting older,nope.I just grin and grunt,but then again i use a pickup truck so it is a little easier to get out.I once unloaded a full tractor trailer load alone,but i do not want to do it again as i think i would break this time.I think the tube idea is a good one,you just lift one end and then push from the other til you can stand it up,at that point its dolly time.I also use the 2 wheel dolly to help unroll the thing to,roll it out as far as i can,then use the dolly to pull the roll back and pull it out to the desired length.As far as the 175' manpower is the only way---whew,i'm tired thinking about it.
  14. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    I can slide them out of my truck ok, but its the standing them up on end that is starting to hurt! Its like my mind says yes you can, but my body is saying.............Nope you can't :eek:

    • Like Like x 1
  15. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    I never saw commercial resilient sheet goods much over 100' on a roll. It's only commercial carpets that I've seen coming in RIDICULOUS lengths of 150-175' lengths on rare occasions, maybe even 200' but these are fuzzy memories now. Off the top of my head linoleum that comes usually 99'-102' max is just about 400 lbs per roll is the heaviest stuff we contend with. I've had to manhandle full rolls ALONE like Rob is whining about in a few instances. Usually it's understood that those kinds of jobs will require a couple guys-----at least to load up the site. Obviously if you try to move 400 lb. rolls around by your lonesome frequently you will have very short floor covering career.

    So it can be a bear to lift off the floor or even let down. Getting it on or off a truck or up stairs can be physically challenging.

    But moving it around on flat ground once the job is in progress is just a matter of having the right kind of dollies/hand trucks, experience and manpower. You only need Hercules for about 20 minutes to an hour or so first thing in the morning and then ANYONE who knows what they're doing can take it from there.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  16. MarmoMan

    MarmoMan Pro Member

    A installer I apprenticed under had a pair of Forbo Carryset handles, these things were awesome. You could carry rolls comfortably and they also acted as a stand for unrolling the goods. I believe Forbo still produces these but they are limited to overseas markets.
  17. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

  18. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

  19. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton I Support TFP Senior Member Published

    I'm told that if you know the right people and are willing to spend too much money, they can be purchased here too. Did some research about 4 years ago. Mark Doran said he could but the cost was way too high for me to justify it. Also Hooks friend Dan has some contacts that could get those for you.
  20. RFI

    RFI Mr. Nefarious Senior Member

    They have them here? How much are you taking? The contacts are not an issue.


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