Buying warehouse equipment can seem like a chore and can be likened to grocery shopping with a mental checklist - it's difficult to remember everything you need without having a physical list to work from. Unlike groceries, however, not remembering those all important pieces of equipment can lead to a drop in productivity, and a sharp increase in safety violations and hazards. As a warehouse manager you will be aware that there is no room for such hazards, since they can be harmful to your reputation from a legal perspective. But, more importantly, such hazards can lead to potentially harming yourself and your employees. This begs the question - what should you consider when looking to buy new warehouse equipment?
One type of equipment that you should sit at the top of your â€˜shopping list' is dock equipment. It's important to have this equipment if you want to make sure that your warehouse has safe and efficient loading processes and procedures. However, there is some equipment that you will need to keep stored in your warehouse, such as moving equipment for heavy loads and material handling equipment. A trolley and forklift are two pieces of equipment that automatically come to mind. The installation and use of all the necessary tools contribute to a trustworthy repuation - which highlights the professionalism and competence of your organisation.
A Closer Look at Dock Equipment
Since your business exists in the industrial world, you will more than likely have a solida understanding of the functions of a loading dock. It's even more important that you have a good understanding of the varying types of dock equipment on the market today, and all their components. As you may be aware, loading dock systems can be more complex than they appear, and the choices you make in the equipment you buy can affect the short and long term efficiency of the warehouse. Therefore, making the effort to familiarise yourself with the functionality of all dock equipment will help you keep your warehouse functioning at maximum efficiency.
Loading Dock Equipment
- The dock leveler is probably the most recognisable piece of dockign equipment on the market today. They are also considered one of the most essential parts. Coupled with height-adjustable platforms, they are often powered by hydraulic, mechanical, or pneumatic systems.
- Dock lights, although somewhat insignificant to most, are an important aspect of your loading dock. In fact, you'll appreciate them much more when you can see clearly after the sun has gone down.
- A vehicle restraint system can prevent roll-away vehicles from causing damage to your factory and its workers by latching onto a vehicle while workers are loading and unloading.
- And lastly, loading dock software, is beneficial as it can help you track and report your loading dock activities faster and more accurately than any pen and paper could ever do.
Moving the Big Weights
This section is all about the tools and equipment you should consider when looking at how to lift heavy objects as efficiently and effortlessly as possible. It's quite easy to sustain an injury due to incorrectly lifting heavy objects. Therefore, if you don't already have a trolley or a forklift in your factory that can move heavy objects, it's in your absolute best interests to buy this equipment as soon as you can. The use of moving devices such as this will complement your use of dock equipment, since you won't have to struggle with heavy objects while loading or unloading items.
Other machines you might consider are:
- Hand trucks: When you need to move weights that are absolutely stacked, such as a column of boxes, you'll benefit from having a hand truck or two. Furthermore, rather than struggling with a bunch of heavy boxes in your hands, you can easily wheel them around while sparing yourself from back pain in the process.
- Pallet jacks: Unless you are feeling particularly brave, you won't want to attempt to move objects that weigh a few hundred pounds or more. If you have been holding off on storing heavier items in your warehouse because of this, then you can put an end to this limitation with a pallet jack. Your standard pallet jack will make it easy to move objectys that weight up to and including 6,600 pounds. If you go with an electric version, you will be able to pull even mroe weight and have more control over movement thanks largely to the steering handle.