Here’s what happens when a new Marina Bull arrives…

Here’s what happens when a new Marina Bull arrives…

Here’s what happens when a new Marina Bull arrives…

Have you ever wondered what happens once a new Wiggins Marina Bull arrives at a marina? Our good friends at The Drystack at Trafalgar Wharf in the UK have created a great time-lapse video (complete with a soundtrack!).

After we finish constructing any Wiggins lift, it is put through a series of tests. We then remove the forks, carriage, mast, and operator guards for delivery on a flatbed truck (or two, depending on the size of the lift). For shipments outside the American/Canadian Continent (like the UK) the lift is loaded onto a ship (and then trucked).

Once the lift arrived at Trafalgar, our master mechanic, Art, traveled there from our facility. The lift is re-assembled on site and all systems are reconnected and tested.

Watch the video below to see the process from arrival to completion. (Thanks, Tom Harding and Trafalgar, for documenting it!)

We’re Celebrating Haulover Marina’s Grand Opening!

We’re Celebrating Haulover Marina’s Grand Opening!

We’re Celebrating Haulover Marina’s Grand Opening!

We are proud to celebrate with our friends at the new Haulover Marine Center in North Miami, Florida! They held their official Grand Opening last week, and Wiggins was there, too!

Located in 180-acre Haulover Park, in North Miami Beach, Florida. This property is on the Intracoastal Waterway at Bakers-Haulover Inlet, nestled between Sunny Isles and Bal Harbor, across the street from Haulover Beach. It is the closest marina to the inlet.

The new marine center was built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, and designed to hold popular multi-outboard engine boats. It holds 508 boats, up to 50′ long, in a five-rack high structure.

It is the home of the largest marine forklifts ever built—by Wiggins, of course!—specially designed for Haulover.

Visit Haulover Marine Center’s website, or view their social media accounts:

Wiggins Lift at the Miami International Boat Show

Wiggins Lift at the Miami International Boat Show

Wiggins Lift at the Miami International Boat Show!

We had a wonderful time at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show—saw a lot of customers and met some news ones! Thanks to everyone who came by—our booth was pretty crowded at times.

Thank you for also celebrating with us—we have been manufacturing the Marine Bull for forty years! Our experience and knowledge is unmatched, and it is what makes the Marina Bull the best lift in the industry. Quality, experience, and money savings over the life of the machine. That’s our dedication to our customers and friends.

Finally, to our partners, dealers, and friends at Taylor, Taylor SSI, XL Lifts: Al, Ozzie, Bryant, Alberto, Mike, and so many others. You’re the best!

Technology, Safety, and Bigger Boats

Technology, Safety, and Bigger Boats

Technology, Safety, and Bigger Boats

The Wiggins Marina FLX is a perfect example of the wedding of technology to meet safety and size requirements in this new age of Marina industry. Bigger boats require more safety measures. Wiggins Lift leads the industry in innovative approaches to address these needs.

A recent article in Marina Dock Age explores these issues and includes quotes from Wiggins Lift’s Mike Wiggins and Bruce Farber, and XL-Lift’s Mike Marzahl.

Today’s world is full of technology, and consumers expect more more more from their products and equipment. Marine forklifts are no different, and manufacturers are responding with new and better offerings.

The article addresses the need to lift bigger and wider boats, the industry desire for “greener” lifts, need for long-term maintenance, and other trends in the industry.

Safety through innovative engineering & technology

Safety through innovative engineering & technology

Safety through innovative engineering & technology

Safety is a critical characteristic of any high capacity machine. Mishaps cost money, time, and, worst of all, can cause injury or even death. That’s why Wiggins forklifts have standard safety features and options that save money.  With the lowest counter-weight in the industry, rear visibility is dramatically improved, which increases customer and employee safety while protecting property from damage.

But we don’t stop there. We use the latest cameras, sensors, and technology. Our Vision Plus™ safety system can differentiate people from objects and track them, warning the operator of possible safety hazards. The IQAN™ System with its adjustable monitor keeps the operator informed about engine performance and status.  Ask about our optional certified Rollover Protection System, which complies with international safety standards.

Visibility, sensors, cameras, engineered monitoring systems, and overload warning systems help ensure that Wiggins Yard Bulls meets the highest possible safety standards.

Marina Lifts —The Problem and Solution to Load Capacity

When a marina owner or operator wants to buy a marina lift, the first question is usually “what capacity?” How big of a boat does it need to lift, and how high?

The answer to that question is not as simple as one might think. In our last post (“A Brief Note on the History of Marina Lifts and Capacity”), we discussed how the terminology for forklift “capacity” was not developed with boats in mind.

The First Problem

In brief, the 36” or 48” “load center” terminology was not coined for lifting boats. Boats are heavy in the stern, light in the bow , and longer and narrower that regular forklift loads. Manufacturers began to specific 96-inch load centers (eight feet), yet even as early as the 1990s, boats had 10’, 12’, and even 15’ load centers. Accidents happened because of the lack of an easy and precise terminology.

The problem was exacerbated when marinas began asking to lift 40- and even 50-foot boats. Some manufacturers began using 144” load centers (12 feet!), but this didn’t solve the problem.

Operators just want to move boats, and do it safely. Using a 96” and 144” load center capacity is not the easiest or most precise terminology.

The Second Problem

Because boats are so long, with unusual weight distributions, they place heavier stresses on the carriage, mast, and forks of a marina lift than regular forklift loads.

For example, 5,000 pounds at 36″ puts 50% more stress on the forks and carriage than 5,000 pounds at 24”. When we lift a 42’ boat heavy at the stern and a bow that extends well beyond the forks, the stresses on forks, carriages, and masts are far more than typical non-marina loads. Accidents happen because some manufacturers do not build beyond the capacity of a typical 96” or 144” load center, necessary for these added stresses. (Wiggins Marina Bull are built 30% to 50% stronger than other forklifts designed for 96” load centers for this very reason.)

So, 96” and 144” load centers:

  1. do not accurately reflect the load center of any boat
  2. give no indication of the strength of the carriage, mast, or forks to lift any particular boat

The Wiggins Solutions #1: Build to the Boat

Wiggins spent many decades thinking through all these issues. We constantly research, test, measure, and innovate. We engineer, design, and construct our lifts to the largest boat a customer needs to lift—not to a 96” or 144” load center. Easy for you, standard for us.

The Wiggins Solution #2: MIPs

We use two capacity terminologies: the common “load center” (because it is expected), and a more precise and easy measurement of capacity called MIPs.

In the real world, no one is lifting a boat that weighs 35,000 pounds with a 96” load center (they don’t exist!). A 35,000-pound boat might have a load center closer to 240” (20’). A better measurement of the forces a boat will place on a lift is “millions of inch-pounds” (MIPs). An “inch-pound” describes how much force is exerted by a boat on a forklift per square inch, and takes into account weight and torque when turning or braking. How do you figure MIPs?

Weight of boat (lbs) x load center (inches) = MIPs

MIPS#2A 35,000 pound boat with a 20’ load center is 8.4 MIPs. Since Wiggins’ Marina Bull have MIPs in their model numbers, you know you will need a model W8.4 M2 or higher. (It would be listed as 52,000 lbs at 96” load center for continuity.)

If you have a Marina Bull W8.4 M2, and a boat arrives at your marina that weighs 36,000 lbs with a load center at 216 inches, can you lift it? Multiply 36,000 by 216 to get 7.8 MIPs—then get out there and move that boat with complete confidence!

Lifting Boats in the Real World

Wiggins model numbers are based on boats, not an out-of-date 96” load center. Do you want to know if a competitor model compares to the Wiggins W 8.4 M2? They might tell you that you need their model 600 which has a capacity of 60,000 lbs at a 96” load center. Will it lift your boat? Maybe, but how do you know? First, there is no 60,000 lb boat over 50’ long with a load center at 8’! Second, did they design the carriage, mast, and forks for that much boat? In order to lift the same boat as a Wiggins M8.2, you might need a lift of larger capacity from our competitors, because many manufacturers use the same carriage, mast, and forks across a family of marina lifts.

Wiggins builds our Marina Bulls to lift the largest boat you need to lift, and provides an easy formula for safe lifting capacity. A measurement that ensures the safety of your lift, your facility, your employees, and your customer’s expensive boats.

We will delve into the details of load capacities, strength of components, and MIPs in future posts. Join our mailing list to keep up!

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