If you talk to any wastewater or sewerage field worker, they will tell you one of the most frustrating tasks they have to perform is retrieving submerged pumps from wells.

But a brand new device called the Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell is giving wastewater workers a safer, quicker and simpler way to solve that messy problem – and that means big savings in time and money, but most importantly, big safety improvements for operators.

Traditionally, to retrieve a submerged pump, a worker had to manually guide a hook on a winch wire to attempt to hook it up to a non­standardised eye or loop on top of the pump.

Depending on the situation, this could vary from an eye­bolt to a chain link, or even a simple piece of poly rope.

Working at depth, the operator had to make the connection with the eye and hope the hook­up held while the pump was raised.

While each authority has its own safety regulations in place, in practice it is difficult to use a latched hook to lower the pump back to its pedestal, because of the difficulty of releasing the hook.

Enter the Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell, an innovative solution to an old problem. It is in fact a two­-part device; firstly, the bell­shaped lifting unit, and secondly, a custom­made tongue which is attached to the pump.

The Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell features a unique design which allows it to align itself to the custom-­made tongue.

So, no more peering down a dark hole, twisting and twirling a wire and hoping to make a secure hook­up. The unique, patented design of the Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell uses simple gravity to ensure that it hooks up every time.

The latching release mechanism has also been designed with safety in mind. When there is a load on the mechanism, it cannot be released.

The only time the mechanism can be released is when the load is placed on a firm surface and the weight comes off the hook. This also applies when lowering the pump back down to its pedestal.

The operator gives the wire a shake to ensure the seals are seated in and the job is done. The Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell has a solid industry­based background, invented by an Aussie wastewater worker who had enough of doing the ‘sewer well shuffle’.

Knowing there had to be a better way, Joe Kearney toiled away in his back shed until he had a working prototype design.

Now, with further research and development, the Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell is the latest in clever, innovative design, inspired by a need and realised through dedicated attention to detail.

The Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell offers the triple bottom line for water and wastewater authorities; it offers a solution to an old problem which saves time and effort, thus saving costs.

But most importantly, the Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell offers a significant improvement in safety for field operators, through less time near open wells, less chance of injury through a dropped pump and reduced risk of hand or finger injury.

For example, a dropped pump could mean costly delays in getting compliant operators into a confined space, adding to the risk of workplace injury.

The Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell is a below­-hook accessory that can connect to any standard crane hook, so there is virtually no need to change existing operating procedures. It can be used with almost any type of crane, fixed or mobile, including winch trucks, hoists and lifting arms.

The Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell was originally conceived for use in the wastewater industry but its unique design means it has applications across a wide range of industries.

It is especially useful in confined and hazardous spaces, in dirty, dangerous or toxic situations, or any hostile environment that represents a risk of injury to workers.

The Platycat Snatcher Lifting Bell is precision­-engineered, using industrial quality materials, and fully tested to meet A/NZ standards. It is important that needs no messy guide wires to operate.

This partner content is brought to you by Future in Lifting. 

For more information, visit or call 0455 941 419. 

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