To optimally use the available space in your warehouse and improve the freedom of movement, you need to store your stock vertically. This often means fitting the warehouse with shelves and pallet racks that are as high as the ceiling. With that being said, it’s impossible to stock and retrieve items from these high shelves solely using man labour.
As opposed to relying only on your workers’ muscles, investing in high-quality material lifting equipment can help speed up the workflow in the warehouse and turn this it into a job with almost no risks involved, both for the people and the goods. Although there’s a large variety of material lifting equipment, most warehouses tend to benefit from the following ones.
The most simple lifting tools you can use are hoists. Nevertheless, they offer much potential. Consisting of only a chain and a lever, hoists do not take up much space and are thus are a convenient solution for a warehouse that’s full to the brim. Although most hoists tend to be attached to a jib crane, there are also many models that are portable and can be attached to various surfaces. When choosing hoists, you need to pay attention to their lifting capacity. Most hoists’ capacity ranges between 250kg and 1000 kg, depending on the loads you need to stock. What’s more, you can also choose between pneumatically or electrically powered.
If you need to stock loads which are much heavier and can’t be lifted by a standard hoist, you may want to consider bringing in a forklift. Forklifts are industrial vehicles that can raise, move and lower pallets, boxes and other heavy items, as well as workers. These vehicles can be powered by petrol or diesel fuel, but also electrically if you want your warehouse to use clean energy. You can also increase the forklift’s performance with various attachments such as pallet hooks, fork spreaders, fork extension slippers and slip on prongs. However, some types of forklifts aren’t able to handle attachments so make sure to check the instruction guide before adding anything.
While both hoists and forklifts are used to move loads very high up the ground, workers also need additional help when it comes to stocking loads at the bottom shelves. After all, some loads are so heavy that it isn’t humanly possible to lift them manually. In those situations, a pallet jack can be of immense help. These types of machines resemble a smaller and simpler forklift and can be either manual or electric. Manual pallet jacks are used for lighter loads, whereas electric models can easily move heavy loads of up to 1500 kilograms.