Do I Need Warehouse Lifting Equipment?
Whether you are just opening a warehouse or perhaps changing the kinds of products, materials, or supplies you deal with on a regular basis, you may be mulling over some questions. One such question might be, "Do I need warehouse lifting equipment?" That is a very good thing to ponder when a change in what you are housing occurs. In this article, we are going to talk about specific considerations that should be given some thought if you are contemplating such a change in the day-to-day operations of your warehouse.
Consider What Your Warehouse Handles
One of the first things to consider when trying to determine if your scenario will require specific lifting equipment is what you will be handling. Is most of the stuff you are handling heavy? Do you have to raise items up a substantial amount? If so, how high do they have to be lifted? Is the item that you are thinking of awkward? How about the physical size of the item? Answering these questions can steer you in the right direction and bring the scope of the problem into focus. If your warehouse is not one that deals with large, heavy, awkward items that must be stored or loaded onto a truck or other high location, you may not need warehouse lifting equipment. However, in most cases, some sort of equipment is needed. Additionally, their are benefits to making use of machines and other equipment for lifting.
Regardless of what kind of items you will handle in total, one piece of machinery that nearly every warehouse has is a forklift. Whether the items housed in the facility are large or small this piece of equipment is used nearly nonstop. For example, even a facility dealing with small items such as knick knacks most likely uses a forklift for moving items on a pallet (a.k.a skid) in the warehouse. Larger items too usually require a forklift.
Larger Items Require Lifting Equipment
In cases where the facility will be handling larger items, lifting equipment is a must. For example, warehouses, fabrication shops, or slab yards handle very heavy materials, it gets stored, moved across the facility, poisitioned on various machines, loaded, and unloaded from transport vehicles repeatedly throughout the process. Can you imagine having to haul these kinds of materials around without lifting equipemnt? Some of the materials that are often heavy, awkward and require careful handling include:
- Stone Slabs
- Metal Plates
- Ceramic & Porcelain Panels
- Sheets of Glass
- Sintered Stone
All of the above materials are potentially very hard and some of them can even be described as brittle. Picking up large sheets or slabs of brittle material takes forethought and care. One wrong twist could break, chip, crack and maybe even shatter the material being moved. Heavy material if dropeped could yield the same results.
Consider the Benefits of Lifting Equipment
As we have been considering, how materials are handled is often times the difference between success and failure. Because of this, lifting equipment yields many benefits. Let's look at some of them now.
The first benefit to warehouse lifting equipment is that it preserves the condition of the material being lifted. We already alluded to this one earlier. But when the right equipment is used to lift materials the appearance and condition of the material is preserved. For example a heavy slab of granite being lifted by workers is not only heavy, but also awkward and hard to orient. The weight makes it difficult to manage and manuever, let alone position easily.
Another benfit of utilizing lifting equipment in a warehouse, fab shop, or slab yard is worker safety. This is an important one. The weight of some of the material in these environments is so high that it can crush a person if it falls on them. Therefore, having the equipment to easily lift materials that are very heavy not only spares your back, but also in some cases allows you to work at a safe distance from the load.
Kinds of Warehouse Lifting Equipment
There are several kinds of warehouse lifting equipment available for making the work easier. Let's take a look at some of them.
Stone Slab & Steel Plate Lifting Clamps
For warehouses that deal with metal sheets like steel plates, aluminum plates, and even copper plates, having scissor lifting clamps for metal plates and stone slabs might be just what is needed to make the handling of these materials easier.
Jumbo Locking Grabbing Clamps
Another item that could pose a weighty challenge for warehouse staff is bulky concrete items. For example, think about how difficult it would be to grab and lift a concrete highway divider. Because it is thicker than a slab of natural stone, a sheet of glass, or a metal plate it could be hard to get some clamp lifters to grab it. That is wherelocking, wide grip, scissor lifting clamps can be the solution. These warehouse lifting machines have a wider grip and the jaws are capable of grabbing thicker pieces of material.
The last type of warehouse lifting equipment that we are going to consider for our discussion is the vacuum lifter. Material that is large and flat is a prime candidate for this kind of lifter. Additionally, if the material must be stored flat, a vacuum lifter makes a good horizontal lifter for stone, glass, porcelain panels, metal paltes, or stone slabs. These units operate by rapidly moving air in such a way that a suction is created between the machine and the material.
So in conclusion, perhaps the question to ask is not "Do I need warehouse lifting equipment?" Rather, maybe the better question is, "Which kinds of warehouse lifting equipment is necessary for me?" Knowing what kinds of things will be in your warehouse, what equipment is available, and how various machines can benefit your warehouse will help you make the best decision possible.