Back in 2008, I (Jacqueline) saw an interesting device called “Potlifter” at a trade show. I was glad that the company owner was willing to send me one to test — and then I was delighted! My husband and I became immediate fans!
Out of the wrapper, the Potlifter looks odd – like some sort of corset Victorian ladies might have worn. My tip is to lay it down on the ground – then you can more easily visualize how to put it around your pot or other object for lifting. Yes — it is highly useful for more than just garden pots.
We tried the Potlifter on pots at first. Our dwarf citrus trees are not so dwarf-like and live in huge pots. They get moved onto the porch for frost protection in our Southwestern winter. The handy tool did the task a dolly couldn’t do over our rough ground.
Lifting Other Items
We tried Potlifter for a big boulder. It worked like a charm! The experiment in using it to move a fish-hook barrel cactus was not a success, but it might work for other large cacti if they are sufficiently padded.
We now use our Potlifter at least once a month – and generally for tasks other than lifting pots! It rides in the truck (in its handy storage pouch) and we use it with a variety of heavy objects, like 90-pound sacks of cement, a brick of peat moss, or large bags of potting soil. Transporting these objects from the parking area to the garden is made easy when the task is shared between two people. Yes, a wheelbarrow might work too, but not if you have stairs, like we do.
The straps are fully adjustable and we have ours fixed to “his” and “her” sides. Paul is taller than I am, so his straps are set to be longer to make up the height difference. This means both of us are carrying the load at the optimal arm configuration, which reduces the risk of injury.
Potlifter fits objects as small as 9 inches to as large as 26 inches in diameter, or items up to 85 inches in circumference. I haven’t measured the items we have moved, but it came in handy as a sling when we moved a queen bed. It also can be used to transport full sheets of plywood. For us, what really makes it an ideal tool is partially based on our height difference. The straps render that difference a null concept and even out the load on each of us.
The Potlifter’s handles are made of smoothly ribbed PVC, and I was concerned about leaving the tool in the truck where our Southwest summer heat bakes anything. After more than a decade, our lifter is still intact. That alone is worth the price — around $30.
Five gold stars for the Potlifter — a tool that makes toting things easier. Easier on the back, easier on the arms and shoulders, and easier on the spousal relationship.
You can find the 200-pound Potlifter in local or online gardening stores. If you need even more lifting power, find a Potlifter here that lifts up to 350 pounds.
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