Improving your warehouse with some decent material handling equipment is a necessity for anyone who wants to optimize their operations.
First of all, you need to keep in mind the importance of safe materials handling. Having an employee (or yourself), injured is something that you should try to avoid at all costs. This is smart from both an ethical and entrepreneurial perspective.
Second, the capacities of your warehouse may be determined by the type of equipment that you own. The stacking order and stacking height may be affected by your ability to handle these pallets. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top five types of material handling equipment that every warehouse needs to have.
Trolleys, also referred to as pallet jacks are one of the basic items that every warehouse needs to have. These tools allow some of the pallets to be transported easily and reliably around the place. The key thing is that they’re inexpensive, which makes them perfect for small warehouses, pallets that are not overloaded, as well as improvised warehouses. Keep in mind that with more and more people renting out their private storage space, this piece of equipment could be more important than ever before. Trolleys are simple and versatile but, most importantly, once you no longer need them, it’s quite easy to sell them.
When it comes to warehouse materials handling equipment, it doesn’t get more iconic than the forklift. There are a couple of caveats here, however. First, just buying a forklift is not enough, seeing as how you also need the training to actually drive it. This is the main reason why hiring a forklift is such a popular alternative to actually buying it. Second, forklifts are incredibly powerful and durable but they have their limitations. Make sure that whoever’s behind the controls doesn’t try to push it past its limits. The owner’s manual is essential in understanding this delicate machine.
When it comes to huge halls, especially those connected to the manufacturing facility, there’s nothing more important than a conveyor. Keep in mind that a powerful conveyor even has the power to make cross-docking an attractive alternative to your current warehouse method. Just keep in mind that conveyors require a huge amount of maintenance. This means that you need to get some additional equipment like an original conveyor plough. Remember, this is a basic requirement, not an optional addition to your system.
4. Platform truck
If you’re running a medium-sized warehouse, you might want to consider getting a platform truck for your operation. This is one of the best possible investments, seeing as how the carrying capacity will be drastically increased, thus saving you from having to make a large number of trips. The platform truck is surprisingly easy to operate. This will save you from having to pay for an arduous (potentially expensive) training process for your staff. Just remember that these platform trucks need to be stacked by hand.
5. Specialized equipment
Now, depending on the type of warehouse that you’re running, chances are that you’ll need some specialized equipment. For instance, if you’re in the agriculture business, chances are that you’ll need a grain elevator or a silo. On the other hand, you may also need a bucket elevator. This piece of equipment is designed to transport items vertically (usually small loose items). Still, this is not a universal piece of equipment, seeing as how its application outside of agriculture isn’t very common.
While there are some pieces of equipment that all warehouses are expected to have, a lot of this list is situational. Sure, agricultural products may require a specialized device but even when it comes to some universal devices, there’s no general rule. If you’re running a particularly small warehouse, having a trolley can completely replace your need for a forklift. After all, it’s far more cost-effective. In other words, start by examining the needs of your own warehouse.