The growth of the craft beer business has been accompanied by a corresponding growth in the variety of kegs many distributors must carry to address the demand. And with the growing keg business distributors also are facing the prospect of ever-rising workers’ comp costs associated with how the heavy kegs are handled.
Keg handling may just be the least addressed aspect of a distributor’s operation, with delivery drivers left to use brute strength to man-handle up to 170-pound fully-loaded kegs to their destination. That is, until now.
Enter The Kegavator, a device that transports kegs and allows delivery personnel to unload kegs at their destination without the stress and strain usually associated with the practice.
The Kegavator (www.kegavator.com) is a steel rack that holds eight kegs and that fits in a standard delivery truck bay. A panel attached to the front of the rack swings down to form a shelf and it’s the shelf that allows a delivery person to safely move the keg down to a workable height, then slide it off the rack.
The Kegavator was tested on delivery routes for several weeks at Hartford Distributors Inc. in Manchester, Conn.
“We’ve used it on our worst pallets of the day, the pallets of kegs that are the most mixed,” said Steven Hollander, executive vice president, Hartford Distributors, who added the system allows delivery people to easily find and move a needed keg for a delivery without having to move other kegs that might be in the way.
Hollander believes The Kegavator has a huge potential for lowering costs. “We’ve just been through a 17-month period in which our workers’ comp costs and lost time exceeded $300,000 just from handling barrels (beer kegs) alone.”
He added, “Eliminating one worker’s comp claim more than pays for a Kegavator.” —Kevin Francella