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Forklift training: Investing money to save money

Written by Lennart Lövdahl, 2019-10-07

Many managers in materials handling operations would admit that their staff could benefit from training - even for experienced drivers, getting a refresher in the basics and learning more about laws and safety rules that affect drivers.

However, budgets can often be tight, and it's easy for training to drop down the list of priorities - especially when there are more pressing challenges to address in the operation.

This is understandable, but training shouldn't be seen as just another expense. In the long-run, having well-trained drivers with the right attitude can actually end up saving you significant amounts.

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Automating a materials handling operation: what are your options?

Written by Paul Boynton, 2019-09-27

Warehouse automation is a hot topic in the materials handling industry at the moment. Stories about companies like Amazon's financial successes are often accompanied by videos showing swarms of robots shuttling goods to human workers who carry out fewer and fewer manual tasks. 

However, introducing automation to a materials handling operation doesn't necessarily mean getting rid of staff entirely. Instead, fully or partly-automated equipment and human workers can work together, with automation focusing on improving efficiency, safety and sometimes eliminating the need for humans to carry out the most repetitive tasks.

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What is warehouse turnover?

Written by Paul Boynton, 2019-09-10

The wide world of materials handling-specific terms can be difficult at the best of times, especially for someone who may be new to or not so familiar with the industry. One of the more misleading terms is turnover – for most people, a fairly common word which refers to the amount of money taken in by a business during a certain period.

Turnover can also refer to the rate at which employees leave and join a business. In the materials handling industry, there’s a third meaning – here, it’s the rate at which goods are shipped out and replenished from a warehouse or a goods store.

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Controlling mast tilt - the key to fast stacking with reach trucks

Written by Jan Callderyd, 2019-09-04

Even the most well-constructed, stable reach truck will experience mast tilt when stacking at high heights. When you're lifting hundreds of kilograms many metres off the ground, it's impossible to avoid the mast tilting and swaying back and forth when it reaches the correct height.

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Free movement and defined movement areas - what's the difference?

Written by Jonas Tornerefelt, 2019-08-19

Depending on the nature of the operation and the goods being stored, warehouses can sometimes be split into 'free' and 'defined movement' areas. The daily tasks of materials handling in these areas can look very different, and specialised equipment may be needed. Let's take a look at what these terms mean.

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How can you save time on forklift battery maintenance?

Written by Jan Callderyd, 2019-08-06


The traditional lead-acid forklift battery is a tried-and-tested technology that is still being improved, and it's still the most common source of power for electric forklifts. However, there's still not a solution for the regular maintenance these batteries require to keep working at their best.

For one, lead-acid batteries need to be topped up with water regularly. When this type of battery is charged, the fluid inside it dissociates into oxygen and hydrogen gas, which results in the fluid level dropping. If it drops enough, the lead plates are exposed to air, and begin to oxidise. This can cause permanent battery damage, and it's one of the main reasons that batteries become defective early.

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6 simple tips to ensure forklift safety

Written by Jonas Tornerefelt, 2019-07-30

Even if a forklift is developed to be as safe and ergonomic as possible, it can still be a dangerous tool if not used correctly. Almost all businesses that deal with materials handling will have a safety policy, but a busy, fast-moving warehouse will always be an environment where safety is highly important.

Fortunately, warehouse work can be made much safer when some basic rules are followed closely, and potentially risky practices are completely avoided. This list is a long one, but here are a few basic rules which are important to remember in your daily work.

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How to reduce damage to forklifts

Written by Lennart Lövdahl, 2019-07-23

For some businesses, the amount of money spent on fixing damage to forklifts caused by poor or careless driving can be painfully high. These costs not only make the operation less efficient and eat up budget, they're also completely avoidable.

Maintenance costs will always be a fact of life, but it's possible to drastically reduce the costs of avoidable damage by investing in your operators.

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Order picking: How rising forks can increase efficiency and boost ergonomics

Written by Jonas Tornerefelt, 2019-07-16

Sometimes, only the smallest change is needed to make a big difference to your materials handling operation — especially when it affects such a time-consuming operation as order picking (which is also the most expensive process in the handling chain).

For order pickers who spend their working days walking along aisles, removing items from the racking and placing them onto pallets on their trucks, an additional feature as minor as rising forks could have huge benefits — both to their health, and also to their efficiency and productivity.

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How much does downtime cost a materials handling operation?

Written by Jonas Tornerefelt, 2019-07-12

A forklift's sticker price is an important figure, but it's often smaller than the much larger set of costs which arise over the truck's lifetime from things like service, driver costs and financing.

One major cost that every materials handling professional wants to avoid is the cost of downtime. This occurs when the truck is out of operation at a time it would otherwise be in use — typically when it has broken down and needs maintenance.

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