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Cracker Jack – Maintenance Access Cover Lifting System

The model CJ001 Cracker Jack is a light weight, portable, advanced prototype system for lifting maintenance access covers. 

It weighs 9 kg, can safely lift 500 kg and significantly reduces loads on the user when compared to manual lifting methods.

It was designed to lift covers that would normally be lifted by one or two people using manual methods.  

Lifting maintenance access covers manually is a strenuous, high load, high frequency task often encountered by field workers across all utilities. It is believed that for workers in these industries, lifting access covers can be a significant contributor to injury and lost time. 

The Cracker Jack lifting system consists of a lightweight portable jack driven by a battery-operated power drill, a specialised roller and Wi-Fi camera system. 

By using the jack and Wi-Fi camera, users can quickly crack and inspect inside access structures, without any load from the access cover being placed on them. 

When removal of the lid for access is required, the Cracker Jack allows the user to crack and then remove the lid with minimal effort. This is achieved by using the jack to lift the lid, lowering the lid onto the specialised roller, and then rolling the lid off the access structure. This system has been proven to work with all access cover types, and across the wide variety of terrain which field workers often encounter. 

We hope others see as much value in the use of this device as we do, and that through release of the design under a creative commons license it can continue to evolve and become a big part of the way access covers are lifted everywhere. 

Watch the video below to see the Cracker Jack in action!










Working Load Limit (W.L.L)

500 kg

Max. Travel

550 mm

Max. Input Speed

550 rpm

Max. Input Torque

7 N.m

Weight of Total Assembly

9.0 kg

Height [H] (full extension in working position)

1100 mm

Length [L] (in working position)

900 mm

Width [W] (in working position)

80 mm

H x L x W (folded up)

160 x 900 x 80 mm

Max. Load on User during 70kg lid removal (on flat hard ground)


Max. Operating Gradient


Max. diameter of circular lid that can be lifted

800 mm

Max. size of rectangular lid that can be lifted

600 mm x 600 mm

Types of Lids Device Works On

Centre lift
Edge style lift

Related resources:


Cracker Jack – Disclaimer

© Icon Water Limited 2019. 
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Icon Water developed the “Cracker Jack” device solely for its own purposes and local conditions. 

Icon Water makes this design available on a strictly good faith and “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. Icon Water does not represent or warrant (a) the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the design (b) that it is suitable for any particular purpose nor (c) that You will achieve any particular objective or outcome by use of the design or device. 

You must (a) carefully evaluate the accuracy, completeness and relevance of the design for Your own purposes and conditions (b) exercise Your own skill and care with respect to use of the design and device (c) obtain any specialist advice where appropriate to Your circumstances and (d) accept full responsibility for any use of the design and device.

To the maximum extent permitted by law, Icon Water and its personnel specifically exclude any conditions, terms or warranties that may be implied into, or in respect of, the use of the design and device, and accept no liability for any losses, damages, costs, claims or expenses of any kind arising out of or in relation to the design, its manufacture or use of the device, whether arising in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise.