Loading and unloading goods as they come into the warehouse can be one of the more expensive and potentially problematic processes in the materials handling process.
There’s many reasons why forklift owners are moving towards electric trucks more and more - high fuel prices (which don’t show signs of falling), greater ecological awareness and improved technologies have made electric trucks an obvious choice for many.
A high-quality electric truck can last years, but downtime can occur if the battery is not properly maintained. Optimised battery life is always a good thing, and it’s essential if you want to quickly recover the initial investment you made when procuring the forklift, whether it’s new or used.
Most people in this industry will have heard of the 80/20 rule, or Pareto Principle, as it's sometimes known. It's a basic theory that claims that around 20 per cent of any process is responsible for 80 per cent of the results of that process.
In manufacturing, for example, it is said that around 20 per cent of the defects in a product are responsible for around 80 per cent of the problems. The rule can apply to sales as well — in this case, 80 per cent of sales often come from 20 per cent of customers.
Densely-packed, high-bay warehouses are excellent at using floor space efficiently. However, they’re not necessarily easy to work in – lifting 1000kg+ weights to heights of well over 10 metres is a challenge, and places high demands on both drivers and forklifts.
But it is possible – and some companies haven’t just made this system work, they’ve seen major benefits.
Cold store operations are one of the toughest material handling challenges. Not only do the sub-zero temperatures affect your trucks’ battery capacity, electronics, lubrication, bodywork and drivers’ ability to operate the truck, the need for high storage density can reduce selectivity and throughput.
However, there are solutions which make it possible to operate trucks reliably, efficiently and safely in these extreme environments.
Building a solid and efficient materials handling operation doesn't start with buying a truck — instead, the process should always begin with a careful analysis of your needs and current operation, so you can see what is being done right, and what needs to change.
Logistics simulation can help you achieve this, whether you're planning an entirely new warehouse, or just want to improve your current one. In this guide, we've collected some of the main benefits of simulation.
A common question which often pops up when big capital acquisitions are being considered is - 'should we buy or lease?'
If you're looking to bring on new machines on a long-term basis, both options have their advantages, and bring many of the same benefits — but depending on the nature of your company and what your daily challenges are, one solution will likely be more beneficial.
The ‘dead man’s switch’, or ‘dead man’s pedal’ is a standard safety feature on many forklifts, but it hasn’t seen much innovation over the years.
These switches appear on lots of different vehicles and machines, and are designed to stop the machine from operating if the driver isn’t in full control. In the case of a forklift, the dead man’s switch must be held down (usually with the foot) in order for the truck to operate. This makes sure that if the driver becomes incapacitated, isn’t in control of the truck, or even isn’t in it at all, it won’t be able to move.
It’s a smart and simple solution that has prevented countless accidents. But on trucks where the operator is standing, like some order pickers, it’s far from the perfect solution and can even introduce some new safety issues itself. Here’s why:
For many of the most demanding warehouse applications, a stand-in stacker can be a fantastic choice, especially in narrower aisles. In fact, if you want to improve stacking efficiency and safety, there’s no better forklift truck than a stand-in stacker - and no, even though UniCarriers pioneered the stand-in stacker in 1961, we’re not biased!
Many other kinds of trucks can stack pallets just like a stand-in stacker, and if their purchase price is lower, they may seem like more attractive machines. But the stand-in stacker’s creative design offers some major benefits.
If you’re looking to get a new forklift truck which will provide you with years of reliable service, rather than just a short-term hire forklift to help you deal with periods of high demand, your first thought may be to purchase one outright.