Masons? Advice requested

I bought some new steps for the house, installing them on top of a slab and replacing the pre cast steps there now (spalling). I bought the stone from the quarry and trailered it home. Called every rental place in like a 2 county wide area and no one had a step/stair clamp for rent. So now I am down to using pallet forks and straps to move these risers and steps. I really wanted to use the vacuum system, that is so cool.

Steps 16" deep 60" long, top step/landing 20" deep 480 lbs. I figured a 2" overlap on steps, quarry owner agreed. I have all my measurements, rough sketched on a pad, laid out on slab.

Any advice from experience on what not to do with straps and stones? I have dry laid stone before for retaining walls, but that was rocks and boulders so chipping didn’t matter. chipping does matter on these steps to me, as I want the smooth end exposed. I have a big pry bar and some wedges once i place the stone to get the straps out. I am a little concerned I will have to nudge that top stone into place with a big rubber mallet or the points on the forks. I have a tractor to move them. I have carbide chisels, diamond blades etc.

Looking for advice on the do’s and don’ts of straps and steps if you have done it.

Picture of one pallet of risers

I haven’t built one before but by looking at the possible edge damage from a pry bar I would weld a wide piece of plate on the end of a bar to spread the load along the bottom edge of step when removing lifting sling.
A piece of rubber mat may help as a buffer if you need to manoeuvre step with forks

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Thanks. I bought a wide tip pry bar just for this. I have lots of rubber roofing I was planning on putting on each step to keep the marks off, plus a thick piece of rubber for the edges. Have some wood for fulcrums. I have a couple of big dig bars with wide ends, but I am really hoping not to have to use them.

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I know next to nothing about stonework, but look forward to seeing the finished project. Keep us posted :slightly_smiling_face:

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Being a Boilermaker we do a lot of heavy lifting. Over 2000 tons at times. I would lift those steps by choking. One one side you want the “choke” on the outside top edge and the other on the inside top edge. I can try and draw a picture if need be but I think I might’ve eaten my last crayon though. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I would also use a softener on where the strap goes over the corner of the block. A short section of hose cut in half lengthwise works great as a softener. It’ll protect your strap from the sharp edge and also the step edge. You can also use multiple pieces of cardboard folded over.