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Published June 15 2010

Man’s invention helps workers avoid injuries while delivering goods

Former deliveryman Aaron Lamb has developed a remote-controlled, battery-operated hand delivery cart that lifts and lowers materials, work that was previously done by muscle power.

It’s called Lift’n Buddy Pro, a two-wheel cart fitted with a battery-powered activator that can lift 1,500 pounds to elbow height, reducing strain for operators.

Its predecessor has been the common, two-wheel delivery cart often seen attached to the front of beverage and other delivery trucks that workers load and unload using repetitive muscle motion.

“I lived this,” said Lamb, who was once a route sales and product deliveryman for Sara Lee Coffee and Tea.

The theory behind Lift’n Buddy is to enable people to work in proper ergonomic positions so you never have to bend over again, he said.

“This was specifically designed for supply-chain industries,” said Lamb, a 2002 North Dakota State University graduate in French international studies with a business focus.

Lamb developed the concept and prototype with the assistance of NDSU’s research and technology incubator at 1854 NDSU Research Circle N., Fargo.

“All these hand trucks are completely customizable to a worker’s needs,” he said. “So there’s just a ton of stuff it could be used for.”

On-vehicle docking stations enable users to recharge the hand trucks between deliveries, he said.

The idea of developing an automated hand delivery cart floated in the back of his mind for some time, he said.

“I drew it on a cocktail napkin,” Lamb said, while visiting a friend from Chicago.

Lamb took the drawing to Fargo-based TRS Industries, 4119 14th Ave. N., which built a prototype and hopes to be manufacturing Lift’n Buddy Pro by the end of this year, he said.

“We just took a medium-duty hand truck, two-wheel cart and redesigned it to the configuration they had drawn,” said Richard Cossette, TRS president.

TRS is redesigning the product for end use by literally any industry, Cossette said.

“We already have had customers that would buy it just the way it is,” he said.

Lamb said he expects the hand trucks to sell for about $750.

Lift’n Buddy was one of the top 20 finalists in the 2010 Innovate ND competition.

For more information, call (701) 499-5293.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502