Abracadabra. Device moves loads quickly and safely, users claim. (Photo courtesy of
Signal-Rite LLC)

Moving construction materials into tall buildings and parking garages just got easier thanks to an Israeli crane mechanic who invented the “Magic Arm,” a $20,000 crane attachment that is quickly gaining national interest.

Jerry D. Harper, a project manager at Summit Construction Co. Inc., was the first U.S. contractor to put the Magic Arm to the test. Since last summer, his crew has used it on a $170-million hospital expansion in Indianapolis. “We’ve been flying up drywall, pipe, roofing materials and masonry,” says Harper. “If it can go on a skid, they lift it in there.”

Others are interested, and a former crane operator on the West Coast recently became the region’s distributor. “I believe it is much safer than a work deck,” says Jeff York, the former operator who is president of Signal-Rite LLC in San Leandro, Calif. “Anytime you put a man on work decks you are exposing that worker to fall protection,” he explains.

The device rolls onto a concrete slab and releases the load on the floor below. It attaches under the hook and carries up to 1.5 tonnes of material. Eitan Leibovitz, the inventor, showed it for the first time in the U.S. last year (ENR 5/16/05 p. 21). Various sizes are available, and an adjustable version is due out soon.