When you are running a business, you would want to have every cost justified, especially if the budget is tight. When your staff implores you to buy a forklift for your warehouse operations, you may find yourself hesitating. After all, all it does is just to lift stuff when no one can reach it.
However, your warehouse staff can enlighten you on what an industrial forklift can do. Just like other pieces of equipment, such as an industrial sweeping machine, you need to see the functions clearly for you to realize its importance and give your approval.
Here are some of the primary functions of a forklift:
Lifting and Stacking
The main function of a forklift is not really that complicated. It will lift heavy loads that your staff would not be able to lift and stack manually. The forklift can be used to lift pallets, which look like small platforms where you can place boxes or any item. The forklift has blades or tines (that’s why they’re called “fork” lifts) that fit through the holes underneath the pallets, and this enables the forklift to lift anything that you can fit in the pallets. Whether the items are heavy, bulky, or misshapen, as long as you can place it on the pallet, the forklift can lift it.
The forklift is simple to operate, as it was meant to be handled by warehouse staff. It can adjust the tines to fit through any type of pallet openings, and it is stable when they lift, as long as the load is within its capacity. The load capacity of the forklift can range from 3,000 lbs to 70,000 lbs, so it can be very specific to your needs. They can raise the pallet and stack them on top of each other or on the higher shelves.
The forklifts can also transport items across the warehouse or anywhere in the work area. They do have limitations when they transport tall boxes or items. They can obstruct the view, so they need to be assisted while driving. Forklifts have horns to call attention to the warehouse staff and clear the way.
Benefits of Forklifts
With forklifts, lifting items and stacking them even on the higher shelves seem like an easy and simple task. That was not the case before. Prior to the invention of forklifts, lifting large and heavy objects involved a complicated system of ropes, pulleys, and cables, and it definitely placed the staff in serious danger. Any slip up could result in an injury or product damage, at the very least.
That is why forklifts are a staple in many offices that have a warehouse and a quick product turnover, as well as frequent needs for deliveries, stacking, and storage. The added efficiency of work, the money saved through avoided damage, and the priceless cost of worker safety made the purchases worth it.
Types of Forklift
One of the good qualities of the forklift is that you can buy what you need. For the forklifts used outdoors for heavy-duty loads, there is the internal combustion or gas-fed type. They exhaust gases like cars and other vehicles, so they are ideal for outdoor work areas.
There are also electric forklifts that run on a rechargeable battery. They are cheaper than their gas counterparts and they are not very noisy. They can also be powerful, depending on the size, and they are also the ideal indoor warehouse forklifts.
The forklift is an example of how necessity leads to inventions. It efficiently solved a dilemma for most companies, and a growing company should definitely invest in them.