“In the mid 60’s, Joe Sumner was the worldwide general foreman for the Sam P. Wallace Co, a large US mechanical contractor, and he realized that there was a great need for good welding tools and lifting equipment to make the job of installing pipe easier and safer.”

With few products available on the market, Joe designed and fabricated his own equipment to use on the job, resulting in completion of the jobs far ahead of schedule and significantly under budget.

From his success, Joe created Sumner Manufacturing, building products for the mechanical contractor like he had needed, already knowing what was required in the field. Demand for Sumner equipment spread across the US, allowing Sumner product offerings to grow as well. Today, Sumner tools are used daily in over 50 countries worldwide.

While Sumner is recognized as the leader in pipe handling equipment, their product range is immense. As one of the original products that Joe set out to create for himself in the 1960’s, Sumner lifting equipment has evolved into one of the best lines available, built with the concept of providing safe, common sense machines that are priced right.

What are Mechanical Lifts?

Mechanical lifts are built and designed for the jobsite, ensuring that heavy loads can be moved, and lifted, safely and easily. These are ideal for overhead projects like installing electrical fixtures, plumbing or HVAC. Mechanical lifts help improve the productivity, efficiency and safety of you and your co-workers.

With decades of experience, Sumner has one of the largest offerings of mechanical lifts in the industry. As experts in their field, Sumner has compiled a list of several factors and tips to consider when deciding what type of lift to rent or purchase.


One of the most obvious questions you will need the answer to when choosing a lift is how high it will need to be. Be sure to take accurate measurements for what you need, and then good practice is to round up so that you have some wiggle room. With lifts ranging from 10 to 25 feet, Sumner has lifts that can reach the heights you need for almost any job.


As important as height but often less considered, you will need to know exactly how much the load you are wanting to lift weighs. If an accurate weight is unknown, always research the weight of similar items and, if all else fails, round up on your best educated estimation. While Sumner has lifts capable of moving up to 1,100 pounds, it’s always best to err on the side of caution when guessing weight so that any overload situation can be avoided.

Load Dimensions

What is the size of the item you are trying to load? Is the weight evenly distributed? The size of the load is an important element to consider, and could result in multiple material lifts being necessary. Because tandem lifting can be very complex, it’s best to consult with a qualified Sumner lifting professional prior to executing any jobs with multiple lifts.

Mode of Transport

What is most commonly overlooked is how you will be transporting the lift to your jobsite. Unless you are always utilizing a flat bed or big box truck for transportation, you need to consider the maximum height of the enclosure your lift will be in.

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If you’re interested in learning more about Sumner Lifts or have any questions, please reach out to the Ohio Power Tool team at 800-242-4424 or email us at sales@ohiopowertool.com. To be the first to know about new products and deals, subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow us on social media!