Robotic Forklifts

As time marches forward, technology eventually catches up with every business- and the materials handling industry is no different. The latest trend is an underlying debate over so-called” robotic” forklifts.

More popular at the moment in Europe, these robotic forklifts do offer some advantages, but at this point- as we’ll see here- the potential pitfalls are outweighing the positives.

Mostly used in horizontal applications like order-picking and transportation of materials, the robotic lifts navigate using a complex system of lasers, reflectors, magnets and wires embedded in the facility to dictate their routes.

Some facilities with multiple units have seen some traffic issues as their robotic forklifts attempt to pass each other in tight aisles. This would mean many warehouses would have to redesign their facilities to create wider passage.

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December Forklift FAQ’s

We still get questions.  We have all these resources, thousands of words in our blogs and we still get questions. That’s a good thing.  We love questions and can talk about forklifts all day.

Here’s just some of the questions we’ve been asked this month:

  • Where can I get trained to drive a forklift?  We offer training to businesses, but if you’re an individual looking to learn how to drive a forklift your best bet may be a local tech school or community college. Remember that your training must be completed on the lift that you will be driving, in the facility that you will be driving in.  That makes training a challenge.
  • When should I replace my forklift?  There’s no easy answer for this, but if you look at the big picture and analyze the cost of operation and determine when it starts to cost you money to run the thing, it’s time. When it is time, we can help you decide new-used, rent or own and help you select exactly the right lift you need.
  • My operator had a minor accident. Do I really need to retrain him?  The short answer is yes. OSHA requires any operator involved in any mishap, no matter how small, be retained and re-certified on the exact forklift he/she will be operating. This is not optional and if you want to avoid OSHA trouble, you’ll make sure this happens.
  • What’s a safe operating speed for a forklift? OSHA doesn’t really issue specific speed limits, but they’ll take a variety of factors in consideration- like the load you might be carrying, the limits and size of the truck, stopping distances and pedestrian traffic. Common sense rules, here.
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    Forklift Rental Options

    Renting a forklift is a great alternative to purchasing a new or used piece of equipment. It is still a big decision though and you don’t want to pay for more than you need or get less than what you need. We can help you figure out the best solution to your equipment rental needs!

    Ask Matt Cox at (704) 842-3242 for more information on renting a piece of material handling equipment from us.

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    Understanding Down-Rated Capacity

    You’ve found the perfect forklift attachment for your truck that will allow you to operate your fleet more efficiently and more safely and things couldn’t be better, right?

    Not so fast.  It’s possible- in fact it’s likely- that attachment will decrease the lift capacity of your unit.

    Here’s how this works- when an attachment is fitted to the front end of a forklift, the truck’s lifting capacity is affected and needs to be down-rated. This must happen to ensure the lift is operating safely, of course, but also for the lifespan of the truck.

    Adding an attachment to the front of the truck, fork extensions for example, alters the center of gravity for the truck- moving it forward. This means if the weight the lift is carrying exceeds the newly down-rated capacity of your forklift- your forklift is going to topple forward.

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