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Vero Beach, Florida airport packed up
its hangar cable troubles with 14 bifold
liftstrap door conversions

Regional Airport gets T-Hangar and Box Hangar Strap Conversions in Florida

Pilots who rent and lease hangars at the Vero Beach Regional Airport in Florida are happy they no longer have to deal with cable lift doors. Fourteen 50 ft. x 20 ft. hangar doors there have had Schweiss liftstrap and autolatch conversions.

There's a marching song made popular during World War I whose lyrics begin with . . . "Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag . . . And smile, smile, smile!"


“The City of Vero Beach was really, really happy with the whole 14 hangar door setup and how it went down. Schweiss has a better designed and cleaner operating system. By the third hangar we had a system set up to where we had all the structural components ready and our own welders and electricians ready to hook things up. We worked through all the small issues of adapting Schweiss equipment to an existing hangar door. We had great support from Jeremy at Schweiss Doors. By the time we were on our sixth hangar door we were a moving machine where everybody knew what they had to do. I would definitely recommend Schweiss doors and strap conversions to others.”


- Jim Lavold, Contractor
James S. Lavold, Inc.
Jupiter, Florida


In retrospect, that's sort of what Jim Lavold, co-owner of James S. Lavold, Inc. did when his family -owned general contracting company completed 14 Schweiss Door liftstrap conversions on lease and rental Box and T-Hangars for the Florida city-owned Vero Beach Regional Airport. Now the city and aircraft owners are smiling, smiling, smiling because these 20-year-old cable-lift doors ago no longer pose a safety hazard and lift faster and much more efficiently.

"As an approved contractor for the FAA we do a lot of airport work and renovations. We also work on local government-owned and private hangars, hurricane repairs and things like that. We travel all over the country and work in all states. We did a project for the FAA renovating control towers in Hilo, Hawaii, St. Thomas, St. Croix and Puerto Rico," said Lavold.

Lavold's general construction business is located in Jupiter, Florida, about an hour's drive south of the southeastern coast city of Vero Beach. It's a place where you can experience beautiful beaches, luxury amenities and an easygoing lifestyle.

"We picked up on this Vero Beach project because it was something we specialize in anyway. There were other structural parts to this hangar project other than the strap conversions," said Lovold. "Vero Beach wanted the Schweiss conversion kits for their existing 50 ft. wide x 20 ft. high steel doors originally manufactured by, antiquated to say the least, Wilson Doors who are no longer in business. They had trouble with cables busting. On one occasion a cable snapped, and a door came down and hit one of the planes.

Lavold said the pilots are a lot more at ease with the strap systems modernized with automatic latch systems. He got to know a lot of the tenants and they were really excited about this city project that actually got through funding and worked out.

Schweiss Liftstrap Door Conversion approved by City of Vero Beach

The City of Vero Beach approved the liftstrap conversion as part of its Airport Master Plan that projected a vibrant airport to meet the needs of the entire region. The electrical control boxes for the liftstrap doors were mounted just to the right of the bifold walk doors.

"The City of Vero Beach was really, really happy with the whole 14 hangar door setup and how it went down. Now the airport operations people who have taken over maintenance on these doors have said, 'There's nothing left for us to do - everything works great.' We had an independent on-site engineering inspection team that wrote me a nice letter commending us on how we took care of everything," said Lavold.

Once the Lavold team got working on the installation of the liftstrap conversion they breezed right through it.

"Schweiss has a better designed and cleaner operating system. At first, we had a learning curve on how to get through installing it. By the third hangar we had a system set up to where we had all the structural components ready and our own welders and electricians ready to hook things up," noted Lavold. "We worked through all the small issues of adapting Schweiss equipment to an existing hangar door. We had great support from Jeremy at Schweiss Doors. By the time we were on our sixth hangar door we were a moving machine where everybody knew what they had to do.

"I would definitely recommend Schweiss doors and strap conversions to others. We are actively seeking out new projects starting in Florida, but we will go anywhere. The City of Vero Beach still has two box hangars with bifolds on them that they want to switch over when they get approved for funding," added Lavold.

James S. Lavold, Inc. is located at 952 Jupiter Park Lane, Suite 4, Jupiter, Florida. Phone (561) 747-5050. Email: jimlavold@msn.com

Other Brand door gearbox Schweiss door gearbox

These two photos show the comparisons of the small Wilson Door gear box and motor (left) to the heavy-duty Schweiss gear box and motor that activate the drive shaft.

Liftstrap Conversion on Box Hangars for Lease and Rental

James S. Lavold, Inc. of Jupiter, Florida completed liftstrap conversions and autolatch systems on 14 city-owned Box and T-Hangar doors at the Vero Beach Regional Airport. The pilots are a lot more at ease with the strap systems modernized with automatic latch systems.

Best Testimonial Ever

Schweiss has recieved thousands of calls from owners of existing out dated cable bifold doors wanting to retrofit their outdated cable lift system with the Schweiss "Lift-Straps system."