American & Australian Style Lowering

    I found this American product video demonstrating two automatic lowering devices for the graveside.  It made me think of the difference between American funeral and Australian funerals.  Many conductors here in Australia do not like the American lowering system.  Continue on for the video!

Operating a Frigid-brand casket lowering device

    The first lowering device shown is the most common type in Australia.  Even though it involves bending and sliding the coffin it is much preferred by funeral directors as it is what they are use to and in many ways is actually a little easier than the other device.

    The second device shown is what Australian funeral directors refer to as an 'American style' lowering device as it was introduced to Australia by American funeral companies.  It never caught on much here in Australia.  Many undertakers do not like it simply because it is American (the funeral industry is very nationalistic) and broke with tradition.  However it is still used by certain cemeteries such as Pinegrove, Castlebrook (which are both InvoCare owned) and sometimes at Woronora.

    This second divice does not need as much bending as the first divice.  Although there is some beding involved it is not to the ground, which makes it safer and easier in certain situations.  Yet it is more awkward to walk around, especially for the inexperienced, as it has bits here and there.  I have seen people stumble slightly as they gingerly walk around the device with the coffin.

    One thing with this device is the way it lowers.  It is more complex than the first lowering machine, it has more parts, gears and things to assemble.  Which is not too bad when done right.  But I remember two occasions where the lowering device damaged the coffin as it was lowered.  Once it was only a slight dent (which the family never noticed nor would have minded) and the second time it was quite a whack which cracked the coffin.  Again, the family did not notice which was quite lucky.

    The biggest difference between the two devices is how much of the grave they show and how high the coffin sits.  In the American version you see little of the grave, fake grass covers almost everything.  Here the coffin also rests high, so it is almost eye level when people are sitting near the grave.  On the other hand the Australian method shows much more of the grave and has the coffin resting level with the ground itself.

    Both devices have positives and negatives.  The American one can look nicer, involves less bending and can hide more.  The Australian version is easier to use, can look elegant, and is easier to get around as well as it shows more of the coffin and grave.

    For more differences between the two countries you can read this post in which I compare the American and Australian hearse.


1 comment:

  1. There are even more solutions. Automatic coffin and casket lowering devices with remote controll and patented design! Open next links for more info: www.honor-pieteitstechniek.nl and www.inno-2000.com


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