Escalara- Pros & Cons

(Topic ID: 218665)

Escalara- Pros & Cons


By poppapin

9 months ago



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  • 177 posts
  • 74 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 44 days ago by Toucanf16
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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    There are 177 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 9 months ago

    Wanted to get everyone's opinion on the Escalara stair climber. What model do you guys suggest? Any options you would recommend? Are they only sold by the manufacturer?
    Seems like an expensive handtruck unless you have a crapload of stairs.

    #2 9 months ago

    Fliping out pinball sells them.

    Ive had a few people tell me the power mate is better

    #3 9 months ago

    I have one flight of stairs. It's a 4 foot wide straight shot. I don't regret the cost of the escalera one bit.

    #4 9 months ago

    Best investment I ever made in the hobby

    #5 9 months ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    I have one flight of stairs. It's a 4 foot wide straight shot. I don't regret the cost of the escalera one bit.

    What model did you get? Any attachments? How many stairs is your single flight? I'm on the fence & just starting to gather info. Thanks

    #6 9 months ago

    66" Escalara with forklift lift attachment. Check the weight of they other brands to see if your stairs can handle the weight of pin + machine weight.
    Can they others unload a pallet from a semi trailer or pickup? Can the others hold the pin up while you put the legs on ?
    My wife says it's the best tool I ever bought. Purchased it over 15 years ago. Battery lasts about 3 years.

    11
    #7 9 months ago
    Quoted from Trekie:

    66" Escalara with forklift lift attachment. Check the weight of they other brands to see if your stairs can handle the weight of pin + machine weight.
    Can they others unload a pallet from a semi trailer or pickup? Can the others hold the pin up while you put the legs on ?
    My wife says it's the best tool I ever bought. Purchased it over 15 years ago. Battery lasts about 3 years.

    Cons: Expensive
    Pros: You don't die

    I don't regret mine.

    trekie Where do you buy your batteries?

    #8 9 months ago

    Unloading a pin from a Jeep Liberty with a escalara.

    77A1B610-8F90-40E3-8C8D-42E4379B037C (resized).jpeg
    #9 9 months ago

    Batteries from Amazon,

    #10 9 months ago

    There are few more cons. They are heavy, bulky, center balanced, and still require much more maintenance than a traditional dolley. This is especially true, if bought used.
    Inspect closely to see if you are getting a good buy.

    #11 9 months ago

    To carry Escalara and pin I purchased the carrier that fits into a 2” receiver.
    The thing I use the least is the big wheel attachment. It was a freebie when I bought mine. I bought it factory direct.

    #13 9 months ago

    i’d love to have one, but a pizza and a couple beers drags a buddy over to help a hell of a lot cheaper.

    #14 9 months ago

    Wait to till someone gets a hernia, then it will seem cheap insurance.

    #15 9 months ago
    Quoted from poppapin:

    What model did you get? Any attachments? How many stairs is your single flight? I'm on the fence & just starting to gather info. Thanks

    I think I got the 66" - not the tallest one. I also got the big wheel attachment, but no other add on bits. We have a 9 foot basement so it's a few more stairs than normal, but basically average.

    #16 9 months ago
    Quoted from Trekie:

    Wait to till someone gets a hernia, then it will seem cheap insurance.

    I’ll draft a liability waiver

    #17 9 months ago

    Awesome but expensive. If it helps, if I had/could justify the cash I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

    #18 9 months ago

    Way cheaper than surgery. I don’t have one, but am looking for a used one.

    #19 9 months ago
    Quoted from davijc02:

    i’d love to have one, but a pizza and a couple beers drags a buddy over to help a hell of a lot cheaper.

    Considering you can sell them for almost what you paid for one, a couple rounds of pizza and beer, depending on your beer and pizza of choice, the escalera owner would already be ahead financially, not to mention a happier friend and a healthier back x2.

    #20 9 months ago

    I found a used one on the Facebook marketplace for $400 last month. It was the shorter MS-60 model. No add ons except for the extended toe plate.

    So far I’ve used it once, and it’s already been the best $400 I’ve ever spent.

    I’d say they’re 100% worth it. I’ve seen the taller MS-66 model in use before. It’s easier to break the load back (something to consider since the motor takes the place of the axel where you’d normally put your foot on a standard dolly to aide in breaking the load), but it’s a really tight fit on stairs with turns or low ceilings. If I had the choice, I’d stick with the smaller MS-60 model.

    Things I’ve noticed:

    I do need the big wheel attachment. The tiny stock wheels are horrible on anything but the smoothest and flattest of flooring, but I’m not sure if new accessories are compatible with my older escalera.

    The escalera by itself is HEAVY. So heavy. If that battery dies while you’re relying on it, you’re hosed.

    #21 9 months ago
    Quoted from Trekie:

    Unloading a pin from a Jeep Liberty with a escalara.

    Is that a handle on the left from leg bolts? Did you make that?

    #22 9 months ago
    Quoted from mbaumle:

    I found a used one on the Facebook marketplace for $400 last month. It was the shorter MS-60 model. No add ons except for the extended toe plate.
    So far I’ve used it once, and it’s already been the best $400 I’ve ever spent.
    I’d say they’re 100% worth it. I’ve seen the taller MS-66 model in use before. It’s easier to break the load back (something to consider since the motor takes the place of the axel where you’d normally put your foot on a standard dolly to aide in breaking the load), but it’s a really tight fit on stairs with turns or low ceilings. If I had the choice, I’d stick with the smaller MS-60 model.
    Things I’ve noticed:
    I do need the big wheel attachment. The tiny stock wheels are horrible on anything but the smoothest and flattest of flooring, but I’m not sure if new accessories are compatible with my older escalera.
    The escalera by itself is HEAVY. So heavy. If that battery dies while you’re relying on it, you’re hosed.

    Wow, nice find!!

    #23 9 months ago
    Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

    There are few more cons. They are heavy and still require much more maintenance than a traditional dolley. This is especially true, if bought used.
    Inspect closely to see if you are getting a good buy.

    Agreed but I've found them very easy to work on. There are some great maintenance threads on pinside too. Plus Escalara's customer service was awesome.

    #24 9 months ago

    I have the 60" MS-60 and the big wheels.

    PROS - I have been able to move pinball machines, arcade games, dressers, file cabinets, refrigerators, etc. by myself. I will readily admit I am not that large or strong, there is simply no way I could have done it without the Escalera. It has been great to go up-and-down stairs on a regular basis.

    CONS - weight, it is significant. It is not nearly as easily moved as a regular dolly because of this, but it is not a regular dolly.

    As others have said, after 20 years of dealing with arcade games and pinball machines, the best investment I have ever made.

    Brad

    #25 9 months ago

    Love mine. It makes the job much easier and safer, but be warned that it still isn't "easy". There is a learning curve and you still need some decent muscle to use it. I am a pretty small guy...5'6" 150 lb-ish and definitely not a body builder. Each time the feet grab a step, the center of gravity changes dramatically and it wants to catapult me up and over the pin. You definitely have to be holding on and braced for the force. I have gotten used to it and really do not have a problem doing it, but it's not like you can just push the button and have it do all the work. You also have to be careful about the angle and making sure the feet stay on the edge. The lifting feet are very small, and if you have it tilted back too far, they can come off the step. It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it, and the first stair going down still give me a seriously butt pucker. None of this is a deal breaker, and I'm not trying to scare you off of it...just things to be aware of to avoid surprises. I would say it's one of the best pin related purchases I've made and it's saved my back many times over.

    I have the big wheels, and find them to be a necessity. It makes getting over door frames, carpet, etc so easy. Plus if you are moving it far, the pin can rest of all 4 wheels and be moved with very little effort. I bring mine to MGC set-up each year because of this and it's a life saver.

    I kind of wish I would have sprung for the fork lift to make getting in and out of vehicles easier. I can still handle them myself, but that would be nice. For leg set-up, I have a modified tipping hydraulic table which is super handy.

    It is heavy, but not to the point of being hard to deal with. I put mine in and out of my vehicle myself with no problem. I wouldn't want to carry it around, but have no problem lifting it when needed. Mine is the 60" though...the bigger ones I'm sure are beefier.

    #26 9 months ago
    Quoted from Jediturtle:

    Each time the feet grab a step, the center of gravity changes dramatically and it wants to catapult me up and over the pin.

    My solution has been to actually sit on the steps as I can to lower myself. Then shuffle my ass down each step. That really helps.

    #27 9 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    My solution has been to actually sit on the steps as I can to lower myself. That really helps.

    Absolutely...but those top couple steps you can't do that, and those are the scary ones for me. Again, I've learned how to deal with it over the years, but it's not "easy" by any means. But still a heck of a lot easier than a normal dolly!

    #28 9 months ago

    What’s the price of an Escalera vs a Powermate?

    #29 9 months ago

    I own both Powermate and Escalera. Both have their pros and cons. We use escalera in most lighter weight applications which have gotten fewer as games are getting bigger and heavier.

    From a pinball standpoint escalera can not do what powermate does. I am able to take a pinball set up in the full playing position and dolly it up or down a flight of stairs. I can also lift it set up directly into my sprinter van without the need for an attached lift. As an operator this is a great advantage. Escalera can take pins up and down stairs but I feel it is necessary to have them folded in an upright configuration for safety.

    The powermate also assists with moving things you would not dare try with an escalera. IE 1000lb safes up and down stairs or just moving units that you can not tip without an extra set of hands.

    Overall I prefer the powermate m1, it is not as light as an escalera but its utility is far greater for what I am doing on my route.

    #31 9 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    What’s the price of an Escalera vs a Powermate?

    Escalera low to mid $2000's. Powermate last I bought one, it's been 4 years was $3,000 picked up in Canada.

    #32 9 months ago
    Quoted from poppapin:

    Wow, nice find!!

    Thanks. Definitely keep your eyes open for a used one. I find it very hard to justify the price of a new one, and used ones seem to come up every so often.

    I chanced upon mine by putting automated alerts on the Facebook marketplace whenever someone listed one.

    #33 9 months ago
    Quoted from Turtle:

    Is that a handle on the left from leg bolts? Did you make that?

    Yes they bolt on using the leg bolts. I have made them in the past and thinking of getting another batch made.

    #34 9 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    My solution has been to actually sit on the steps as I can to lower myself. Then shuffle my ass down each step. That really helps.

    I do the same up and down.

    #35 9 months ago

    I bought one, used it once, and immediately sold it. I lifted a Whirlwind up a flight of stairs and thank god someone was there to help me otherwise I would have dropped both the machine and the Escalera down the stairs. It feels like the thing is going lose grip and fall the entire way up - very anxiety-inducing. I couldn't negotiate getting over the top step properly without shifting the weight of the machine in a direction that I was positive would cause a disaster (so again, thank god I had a buddy there to help lift up the final stair the old fashion way). Maybe I'm just super weak/out of shape, but it destroyed my shoulders and upper chest. I was sore for days after using it. However I will admit - my back didn't feel a thing!

    Sorry to be so negative on it, but after reading all the positive comments here, I figured I'd play devil's advocate. Looks like it was just me who sucked at using it!

    #36 9 months ago
    Quoted from Pinwizkid:

    I bought one, used it once, and immediately sold it. I lifted a Whirlwind up a flight of stairs and thank god someone was there to help me otherwise I would have dropped both the machine and the Escalera down the stairs. It feels like the thing is going lose grip and fall the entire way up - very anxiety-inducing. I couldn't negotiate getting over the top step properly without shifting the weight of the machine in a direction that I was positive would cause a disaster (so again, thank god I had a buddy there to help lift up the final stair the old fashion way). Maybe I'm just super weak/out of shape, but it destroyed my shoulders and upper chest. I was sore for days after using it. However I will admit - my back didn't feel a thing!
    Sorry to be so negative on it, but after reading all the positive comments here, I figured I'd play devil's advocate. Looks like it was just me who sucked at using it!

    I totally get what you are saying. I will say that eventually you learn how to work with the machine instead of fighting it. But those first few times sucked for me too...and I still get nervous every time.

    #37 9 months ago

    It definitely does need real care when learning how to use. I DID flip a machine down the stairs.

    All weight needs to be balanced BEFORE engaging the motor. Bring the small feet down to contact the step, then STOP THERE. Then tilt the machine up and balance on the small feet, adjusting centre of gravity so that you can technically hold the escalera in place with one finger. THEN engage to motor to lift, and it glides up. No stress, no strain. If there are any large muscle groups being used you are doing it wrong.

    #38 9 months ago

    I bought mine from Larry at the expo. It's not the tallest model but mine works getting in smaller spaces to maneuver. It definitely comes in handy, I bought the big wheels and the lower attachment extending the bottom edge. I did not get the forklift didn't need it and add to weight.

    It will help in many ways including making my wife happy moving pins in and out. The whole set was maybe 2k. I look at it as a life saver especially on my back.

    #39 9 months ago

    Best pin fetching/moving investment I made. My back (and helping son) are very happy with it. I got the 66" with the extra top belt, the big wheels, the brakes, and the wide bottom plate attachment. I use the big wheels often to move the pins to and from the door (my blacktop walkway and driveway isn't too even), the brakes are the best option IMO. I use the extra top belt just about every time I use it - well worth it. I bought mine from Larry also. Great to deal with and he will help you to choose options based on how you plan to use it. The brakes really help me near stair edges and give me a little peace of mind to "slightly" reduce the nervous stress issue going up/down the stairs.

    #40 9 months ago

    I tried lifting my Devils Dare (heavy Gottlieb widebody) game up the stairs and it pulled forward and pulled me off the stairs and I lost the machine down the stairs. Luckily I was able to catch myself or I would have been seriously hurt.

    I am quite light which is likely why that happened but I had already been very familiar with the handtruck at that point so that was not the cause. I ended up needing to take the playfield and glass out of the cab to lighten it up to get it up the stairs.

    As an EM collector I consider that game "the heaviest of them all" but in comparison I bet that game is lighter than most DMD games.

    For what it makes up in lifting it does give back in form of forward pull and you have to be quite strong in the arms to control it well. It was easier than lifting but I felt more nervous when using it than I would just using a regular old handtruck up the stairs. I guess you have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself, being tired vs. being scared shitless. I would hate trying a refrigerator or an arcade machine which provides even more weight up top where pinball machines cease to exist past a decent mid-point even.

    Also, never use a spotter at the bottom of the game like you would for a normal handtruck. They serve no purpose and all you could ever do is crush them. It seems like you would not want to operate this yourself alone but that is exactly how it is designed. So, if you must have a spotter make sure they stand well to the side incase you drop it. Not like they can help in any way as the machine does all of the lifting work.

    #41 9 months ago

    I have the 72” and I can’t imagine life without one. I like the longer balance point on the tall one. Big wheel attachment is really nice - that’s my main accessory that I use as it makes it way easier to get over door thresholds.

    #42 9 months ago
    Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

    I am able to take a pinball set up in the full playing position and dolly it up or down a flight of stairs. I can also lift it set up directly into my sprinter van without the need for an attached lift.

    Verified! Move 10 games, when you don't have to take the legs off it goes MUCH quicker. Powermate wins!

    #43 9 months ago

    Don't worry about the $$$.

    Think about how much money you will lose being off work for six weeks to six months from shoulder or back surgery, and how good your medical coverage is.

    Now what were you saying about it being an "expensive" handtruck?

    #44 9 months ago

    Cons: You will wind up with too many games because they are so easy to move
    Pros: You will wind up with too many games because they are so easy to move

    Seriously though, can’t say enough good things about them. First game you move with it, you won’t care what you spent on it. They hold value well too.

    #45 9 months ago

    I completely agree with what everyone is saying here; From the anxiety of moving the first couple games and wondering "Why did I buy this thing! I am going to get launched over the stairs and die!".... to "Wow this is like an elevator for pinball machines".

    I have had mine for about a year now. We moved from a walkout basement to a house with no walkout (but a nice staircase from the garage). The escalara made this possible. It has been pointed out already as far as what to do but to reiterate:
    1. PRACTICE without a pinball machine and get to know the "center of gravity change" when the wheels are going down each stair. Also note how far the small wheels have to be from the ledge when practicing.
    2. Make sure the machine is strapped in tight, and that the strap lock (the pin that locks the seatbelt cam) is in the correct position
    3. STOP on every stair. Do not try to rush things and just keep on going.

    Another pro to the forklift attachment: This thing rocks for taking off Pinball 2000 heads. Just put the forks up to the back of the head, Rotate the head onto it back on the forks, and slide the escalara back. Even then, you can lower the forks a little (once again to put the center of gravity of the p2k head more in the middle), strap it, and go up/down the stairs accordingly.

    Larry at FlipnOut made some Youtube videos too that I watched to help with the practicing.

    Hope this helps
    -Jeremy

    #46 9 months ago
    Quoted from pinballj:

    I completely agree with what everyone is saying here; From the anxiety of moving the first couple games and wondering "Why did I buy this thing! I am going to get launched over the stairs and die!".... to "Wow this is like an elevator for pinball machines".
    I have had mine for about a year now. We moved from a walkout basement to a house with no walkout (but a nice staircase from the garage). The escalara made this possible. It has been pointed out already as far as what to do but to reiterate:
    1. PRACTICE without a pinball machine and get to know the "center of gravity change" when the wheels are going down each stair. Also note how far the small wheels have to be from the ledge when practicing.
    2. Make sure the machine is strapped in tight, and that the strap lock (the pin that locks the seatbelt cam) is in the correct position
    3. STOP on every stair. Do not try to rush things and just keep on going.
    Another pro to the forklift attachment: This thing rocks for taking off Pinball 2000 heads. Just put the forks up to the back of the head, Rotate the head onto it back on the forks, and slide the escalara back. Even then, you can lower the forks a little (once again to put the center of gravity of the p2k head more in the middle), strap it, and go up/down the stairs accordingly.
    Larry at FlipnOut made some Youtube videos too that I watched to help with the practicing.
    Hope this helps
    -Jeremy

    I do not own the forklift attachment. How much does that cost?

    -1
    #47 9 months ago

    Why not spend the money on a gym membership? A healthy grown man with no disabilities should have no problem moving a pinball machine up a set of stairs with a standard dolly. I had one person use an escalara when buying a machine from me and it seems like way more of a pain in the ass to move and position that akward dolly than to just pull the game up my 5 steps manually. I've moved tons of games up and down stairs and never had an issue and I'm average sized at best.

    #48 9 months ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Why not spend the money on a gym membership? A healthy grown man with no disabilities should have no problem moving a pinball machine up a set of stairs with a standard dolly. I had one person use an escalara when buying a machine from me and it seems like way more of a pain in the ass to move and position that akward dolly than to just pull the game up my 5 steps manually. I've moved tons of games up and down stairs and never had an issue and I'm average sized at best.

    I use my powermate every day or at least 4 times every week. That's how I justify the use. I also can not take a pole position cockpit up a bunch of stairs. Some locations are 15-20 steps because some larger units (nonpinball) do not fit in the elevator. I feel these dollies have their uses. I agree a folded pin up 5 stairs every now and again is no issue. Moving 100 units up steps is. Haha

    #49 9 months ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Why not spend the money on a gym membership? A healthy grown man with no disabilities should have no problem moving a pinball machine up a set of stairs with a standard dolly. I had one person use an escalara when buying a machine from me and it seems like way more of a pain in the ass to move and position that akward dolly than to just pull the game up my 5 steps manually. I've moved tons of games up and down stairs and never had an issue and I'm average sized at best.

    Give it a few more years, your back will be messed up for the rest of your life and your future Chiropractor will be a little richer.

    #50 9 months ago
    Quoted from Gnatty:

    Give it a few more years, your back will be messed up for the rest of your life

    I can attest to that. 40 plus years ago I was in great shape. Moved machines with the best of them. First back injury the doctor prescribed valium to get me on my feet. I could lift anything then. In my 30's it felt like a butcher knife was stuck in my back. Back pain seems to go away after 12 years or so.

    Now my knees don't work good, my back is in pieces, and I sleep a couple hours or so at a time.

    LTG : )

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