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Typical Equipment on Framing Jobs

Different types of framing require specific sizes of material handling equipment to offload, move and lift wood and metal studs, and beams on a job site.

Crane TruckTypically, reach forklifts are the workhorses of framing jobs. Major equipment manufacturers, such as JLG/Skytrak, JCB, Gradal, Genie, Gehl and Caterpillar, have equipment that will help you offload, move and lift wood and metal framing materials. A 280-piece bundle of 2 x 4 x 10 kiln-dried lumber weighs about 6,200 pounds and requires an 8K telehandler to offload and move the bundle around a jobs site. A similar telehandler could easily move and lift a bundle of interior framing metal studs which weighs about 1,000 pounds. It’s important to know the weight of the bundles that you plan to move to ensure that you rent the equipment needed to get the job done.

When framing buildings with metal I-beams, material handling equipment with high load ratings may be required. The different sizes and shapes of I-beams affect the load weight. The I-beam naming method, which describes the height in inches, and weight per foot, can be used to determine how much load the material handling equipment can lift and move. For example, a W18x40 beam that is 10 feet long weighs 400 pounds. Using this measure, you can determine how many I-beams can be loaded on a reach forklift and moved about the job site.

Reach forklifts can horizontally traverse an area near its maximum load capacity, but cannot raise the same load beyond a certain height. Oftentimes, crane trucks are used to raise heavy loads of building materials that cannot be lifted by a reach forklift. For example, the National Crane 500E mounted on a truck can raise 36,000 pounds to 27 feet and up to 1,400 pounds to 65 feet, and is an excellent supplement to reach forklifts on jobsites when lifting heavy loads up five to six stories high.

When considering which material handler to rent for your next construction job, call a nearby Neff Rental branch at 888-709-NEFF, or visit to see the material handling equipment that is available for rent. When you call our branch, we can advise you on the size and configuration of the equipment that you’ll need to get the job done, while also providing on-time deliveries, and 24/7 service and support.