Helicopter dolly makes moving copters easy

helicopter dolly that moves helicopters from landing to hangar
Helicopter Handlers™ make moving a helicopter an easy task, and PBZ helps manufacture them.

Remember when you first learned to drive?

Pulling into the garage for the first time was a daunting task. You had to get the car just-so and not hit any bikes, tools, or lawn equipment.

Imagine having to park a helicopter into its “garage.”

Thankfully, Helicopter Handlers™ makes that task an easy one, and PBZ helps manufacture them.

Helicopter Handlers are landing trailers for skid-equipped helicopters. (See video below)

Most skid-equipped helicopters require two to four persons – depending on the size – to install ground-handling wheels enabling the helicopter to be moved in and out of the hangar. The Helicopter Handler helicopter dolly turns the ground handling into a one-person job.

The pilot lands on the Helicopter Handler and, after shutdown, attaches a small tug or garden tractor to the Handler. Then the helicopter is moved into the hangar.

When the pilot’s ready to depart, the Handler and helicopter are towed to the ramp for departure. In most instances, the helicopter dolly remains on the ramp until the helicopter returns.

Jacques C. Guequierre formed Main Line Helicopter Corporation as an air taxi service company. The veteran helicopter pilot saw the need for a device that would allow one person to move a skid-equipped helicopter, and he began building Helicopter Handler Helicopter Trailers in 1967.


Partners in PBZ Parts: Metal Finishing

Solid partnerships with local companies enable PBZ to offer its customers end finishing capabilities – such as powder coating, zinc-plating, and metal polishing – without the customer having to worry about parceling out the work.

It’s all streamlined, with the final product delivered from one job shop.

powder coated parts
Keystone Koating provides powder coating to manufacturers in PA, MD, NJ, NY and DE.

Powder Coating

PBZ works hand in hand with Keystone Koating, the powder coating facility located next door. The AAMA 2604-certified shop’s innovative powder coating process includes an attribute many other facilities don’t have: a quality assurance lab, with a salt fog cabinet and four-step testing program. Learn more here.

The powder coating standard at Keystone Koating includes: surface examination, pretreatment, various levels of coating, cure & quality testing, defect & blemish detection, blasting, masking, primer and shipping.

Powder coating is a dry, environmentally friendly metal finishing treatment that serves a protective and decorative role.

zinc coated metal
Zinc plating by K&L Plating Company, Inc., in Lancaster.


PBZ has manufactured parts that go to a zinc plating firm each month. Much of its zinc-plating is done by K&L Plating Company, Inc. in Lancaster, PA. Established in 1955, K&L Plating has been providing metal plating services for more than 40 years.

Zinc coating prevents corrosion.

Zinc coating is a common metal surface finishing used in consumer, industrial and commercial products.

zinc plating
Tubing with a mirror finish.


When PBZ customers specify a certain finish they’d like to a stainless steel part, PBZ works with Accent Metals, Inc. of York to get the level of finish desired.

Most commonly, PBZ metal parts are polished to have a mirror finish or satin finish.

Metal polishing smooths out small imperfections in the metal’s surface and improve its appearance.

Logistics: Your Freight Gets a Private Ride

Metal fabricator logistics fleet

When your own guys deliver your products, you know they’ll get your handiwork to customers intact – no damage, no disappointment. The name on your products is the name on their uniforms.

That’s why PBZ manufacturing has an edge over other metal fabricators who have outsourced their carrier operations.

PBZ Logistics serves PBZ LLC, as well as other businesses in the Paul B. Zimmerman Inc. family of companies. The corporate logistics cuts down on delivery costs and ensures that products coming from its entities are handled with care.

And there’s a bonus beyond safe delivery… continue

Avoid Heat Stress In Your Job Shop

protective welding sleeve during hot weather
Welder Addison Good wears a protective sleeve while working inside PBZ LLC.

A job shop can be an uncomfortably hot place.

Working in a job shop in summer raises concerns over occupational heat exposure.

With rising temperatures outside and an increase in humidity, work conditions become even more of a challenge. It’s especially difficult for welders, who must wear heavy protective gear while working, and whose equipment radiates heat.

PBZ takes extra precautions to make sure their employees are not at risk for heat stress and heat-related illness. continue

Metal Recycling: One Man’s Trash …

Steel scraps wait outside PBZ manufacturing in Lititz, Pennsylvania, for pick up by Sahd Metal Recycling in Columbia.

After the custom stairways, helicopter dollies, agricultural sprayers and other metal fabrications are created, PBZ takes one more step to turn steel and aluminum into something useful.

Through its partnership with Sahd Metal Recycling of Columbia, Pennsylvania, PBZ recycles its scrap metal left after the job shop’s projects and OEMs are fulfilled.

“The reason we chose them is because of the integrity of their business and the transparency of the people we deal with,” said PBZ operations manager Chad Hackman.

Outside PBZ, three bins keep metals segregated: steel, stainless steel and aluminum. When the containers are full, Hackman emails Sahd Metal Recycling for pickup. Sahd hauls it, scales it and sorts the load.

“We’ve had stainless and steel scraps stick together and they let us know,” Hackman said. continue

Students Weld Grills in PBZ Program

students weld grills at PBZ LLC
Pictured: Brandon Alwine, Logan Snyder, Caran Sensenig, Michael Cassel, Ryan Nolt, Andrew Cassel, Joel Groff, PaulB Hardware Sales and Marketing Manager Phil Groff, and PBZ Operations Manager Chad Hackman.


PBZ Manufacturing and Ephrata Mennonite School recently teamed up to offer a weeklong vocational program that enabled several Mini Term students to learn welding at PBZ LLC, 295 Wood Corner Road, Lititz.

students learn welding at metal fabricating company
Designed by Ephrata Mennonite students, this grill was created in a yearly program hosted by PBZ LLC.

This winter, seven students welded their own grills using parts, equipment and blueprints provided by PBZ staff. All materials were donated by PBZ.

At the end of the week, students, school board member Phil Groff, also sales and marketing manager at PaulB Hardware, and PBZ Operations Manager Chad Hackman, gathered at the metal fabricating facility to celebrate their project success.

They grilled chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs outside.

Each student is allowed to keep his grill. This is the third year for the program.

Metal Fabricator Captures Spirit of Entrepreneur

PaulB car - old photo
Paul B. Zimmerman, 17, stands beside his 1934 Ford DeLuxe Fordor with V-8 engine.

Paul B. Zimmerman was known in Lancaster County as a mechanically minded problem-solver whose ingenuity – and honesty – gained him the title as the go-to guy for parts and repairs in the agricultural community. Neighbors quickly learned they could take a parts dilemma or equipment problem to Paul B and he’d welcome the opportunity to resolve it.

In 1947, he founded what was to become PaulB Hardware, in a 40′ X 60′ shop at the intersection of Word Corner Road and Burkholder Drive in Lititz, PA.

Job Shop Solutions Today

Today, that hardware store is now 35,000 square feet. And, as the Zimmerman family grew, that entrepreneurial spirit increased exponentially. Paul B. Zimmerman, Inc. now encompasses the hardware store, PaulB Wholesale, Keystone Koating and PBZ, each of which employs Zimmerman family members, and others, who help in research and development.

Perhaps where that is most evident is at the metal fabricator, PBZ, where the CropCare brand of agricultural equipment is developed.

“The spirit of Paul B’s creativeness and inventiveness is captured by the engineers at CropCare, especially,” said operations manager Chad Hackman. “CropCare’s engineers take ingenuity and turn it into a solid product.” continue

PBZ Offers Advanced Technology in Manufacturing

VCU500 Mazak advanced metal fabrication equipment

Operations Manager Chad Hackman programs the VCU 500C, part of the state-of-the-art equipment lineup that enables PBZ LLC to offer streamlined manufacturing excellence.




When PBZ LLC added a Mazak Quick Turn Smart 200 and VCU 500C to its metal fabrication equipment lineup, operations manager Chad Hackman knew PBZ positioned itself as a steel-fabricating manufacturer able to fulfill the increasing needs of customers seeking streamlined services.

Before investing in these two multi-tasking, technologically advanced parts processors, PBZ fulfilled a lot of its OEM requests – including parts for the CropCare Equipment line of agricultural sprayers, Zimmerman Cattle Control, and Kickout Flashing – through subcontractors.

“We could offer 2D and 3D laser cutting forming and welding,” Hackman says, but their capabilities in-house ended there. “What we found out is, our customers are looking for a one-stop shop,” Hackman adds.

“Now, we can add the machined part, enabling us to showcase and offer the streamlined process of a turnkey operation.”