Start-Up Guide #5: Material Handling

Andrea Johnson

Andrea Johnson

Why should material handling be a top priority on your set-up equipment list?

Protecting yourself and your workers from injury is not optional. Nowadays, safety pays! The fast and safe movement of material creates efficiency that has a potentially huge impact on your bottom line.

Check out our simple guide to create a safe one-man cutting station.


Download the Material Handling Shop Guide

A diagram and equipment list for the ideal setup for efficient material handling.



Does this sound like your shop?

It's time to move a slab, so you pull 3 or 4 people from your floor to do the maneuvering from forklift to work table. Once the time is taken up loading the slab, everybody's ready for a water or smoke break. 10 minutes later it's back to their original tasks, spending another chunk of time trying to remember what grit they left off on. Repeat 2-4x per day. You've just lost two hours of productive work from each of your guys!

The Time Saving Solution

Invest in the right equipment to make material handling (and slab cutting) a one man operation. Your sawyer is free to load full slabs and unload cut workpieces without any help, and no interruptions for your other workers. And you'll increase your cutting capacity by over 30%.


TipTime-wasting material handling practices cost up to most shops about an hour a day. Let's say your goal is to fabricate and install 5 kitchens a week. That costs most shops about $5,000 a year!


There are four main components to a one man cutting station:

  • A tilting work table
  • A gantry crane outfitted with a vacuum lift
  • Wheeled tables or buggy for moving workpieces between stations
  • A large A-Frame storage rack that can be forklifted from transport truck to work station


Setup for Efficient Material Handling

Check out this diagram to see how to arrange your cutting station for efficient material handling, using only 300 sq ft.

Under a 20' gantry crane (A), you'll have your tilting work table (E) at one end and an A-frame slab rack (G) on the other. A slab clamp (D) will safely move slabs where they need to go. In the room between, you'll have space for a mobile cart or buggy (F)

The A-frame slab rack will store the raw material you pick up from your supplier. With the forklift receivers it'll be easy to move from truck to cutting station.

From the slab rack your sawyer will use the slab clamp on the gantry crane to safely pick up and move the slab to the tilting cutting table. The table will be positioned vertically while it's loaded up, and then the sawyer can easily tilt the table to horizontal to begin cutting.

Once the workpiece is cut, the slab clamp will move it easily to a rolling table or buggy. Now it can be easily transported to the next station for polishing or routing. The finished piece will be brought back to the cutting station to be loaded on the slab rack. Now your countertops are ready for transport to your worksite!

With this setup, you'll move material quickly and safely with just one man. With the increased production, you'll see an ROI on your equipment within 1 year.


Asset 9800x 100


Equipment List

  1. 20’ Vestil Steel Gantry Crane
  2. Vestil Quick Install Manual Trolley
  3. Vestil Powered Economy Chain Hoist
  4. Abaco Little Giant Lifter
  5. AccuGlide EZ-TILT Table
  6. Abaco Slab Buggy
  7. Abaco Truck A-Frame (modified)

Enter your info below to get the downloadable guide sent to your inbox. You'll be cutting down on man-hours and increasing safety on site in no time!

If you'd like a sample quote for this equipment list and shipping cost, give us a call at 888-742-0358 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Download the Material Handling Shop Guide

A diagram and equipment list for the ideal setup for efficient material handling.