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We can not stress this enough when it comes to your forklift or materials handling equipment. The importance of regular Preventative Maintenance services carried out on your Materials Handling equipment cannot be overlooked.
Quite often equipment such as forklifts work in harsh environments, they rely on various lubricants to keep them in good working order. With regular servicing your oils and lubricants are changed and/or checked regularly, safety components are also checked and full report given. Regular servicing of your Materials Handling Equipment also ensures less downtime between services.
There are so many things that can be looked at when regular servicing is being done. Things like excessive tyre wear significantly increases the risk of damaging components like steering & mast rollers.
Tyres should be checked during every service & breakdown visit by our Field Service Technicians. A decent equipment dealer will have a computerized service system, that will both log any service work done, and as well as programming your equipment for service intervals as agreed.
With business these days, operating more and more hours, its important to look for a Forklift dealer that can provide you the flexibility to service when it best suits your business.
That way its less disruptive to your business schedule. Most mechanical based business such as a forklift dealer, will have fully equipment service vans on the road, capable of handling any type of repair to your Materials Handling Equipment, whether it be a simple service to a full strip down and rebuild.
With Fully Trained Technicians and strict quality control systems in place your satisfaction should be guaranteed as well as ensuring that the most current WH&S requirements are covered.
A yearly Major Service and Respray can help keep your equipment running efficiently and looking new.
A lot of dealers also have their own tiltrays on the road, so they can actually pick your forklift up and take it back to their workshop for major repairs, don;t forget you can also ask for a support forklift for the interim period that they are working on yours.
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Flameproofing forklifts, is actually a very common requirement in the necessary environment. Flameproofing of material handling equipment is the science of reducing the risk of an explosion or fire by means of specialized principles and technologies.
The risk occurs wherever a flammable or combustible material is handled. This is not only confined to the mining but also petrochemical, oil platforms, paint, grain handling and food industry to name a few.
It is essential that all equipment used in these areas comply with the appropriate government rules and relevant standards. If you are looking for information or and guidance on area classification, it can be obtained from the Australian Institute of Dangerous Goods Consultants (AIDGC).
When inquiring about or ordering a flameproof forklift from a dealer it is important to specify the area classification, and the type of hazard and its temperature class.
The general phases of the flameproofing conversion are analysis and design, manufacture, installation, duty cycle testing and specialized after sales service. Certification testing, when required, is conducted by one of Australia’s three internationally accredited testing facilities.
Forklift trucks, tow tractors, sweepers, scissor lifts and boom lifts ranging from 1 ton to 32 ton have all been flameproofed. Both diesel and battery electric powered materials handling equipment can be flameproofed.
Something to remember when you are looking for Flameproofing, LPG and Petrol vehicles are not permitted in any hazardous areas.
Flameproofed Materials handling equipment are designed and manufactured in such a way as to remove or reduce the risk of the equipment becoming the source of ignition.
Sources of ignition include flames and sparks from exhaust systems, arc and sparks from electrical equipment, hot surfaces and static build up.
Modifications are required to the basic equipment to ensure it complies with the relevant requirements for the specified hazardous zone that it will be operating in.
If you are still unsure if the area has been correctly classified in accordance with AS2430 series, you can ask a third party to perform an audit on your hazardous area mobile equipment is not only a good idea but a must to ensure correct and safe operation.
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As we’ve developed out site and the more that we talk about Materials handling, we’ve come to realize there is a lot of planning in keeping your work place safe, and when you consider around 55% of businesses that suffer a serious fire never recover.
Workplace fires are a serious issue which is covered by local government, state and national regulations including the Building Code of Australia, Australian Standards and OH&S. An efficient fire safety provider should ensure you are kept informed of any changes in the fire industry and help your business to comply with all relevant local, state and national laws.
It is imperative that your business is prepared against fire to reduce risks. Comprehensive risk assessments and a Routine Maintenance Program can prove to be invaluable.
The early detection of a fire is of utmost importance to ensure all staff have sufficient time to respond and leave the premises safely. Some of the products to assist in fire detection include: smoke alarms; fire alarm panels; engineered detection systems which monitor for smoke, heat or flame; or even a video smoke detection system.
Rapid containment of any fire is essential to reduce the damage suffered. Once started, fires are difficult to contain without the correct fire equipment.
Regardless of whether the business operates in a warehouse, office building, laboratory or mine, there have been systems designed and developed to aid in the containment of fires.
Equipment which can be useful in fire extinguishing includes: fire extinguishers, fire blankets, fire hoses, fire hydrants and hose reels, sprinkler & deluge systems, foam systems, and various suppression systems.
It is essential that staff are trained in the correct use of fire equipment as well as emergency evacuation procedures. Exit lighting, warning & evacuation systems and fire safety training are all essential.
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When you start to look at forklifts there are so many different types shapes and sizes out there on the market. One class of forklift is more unique then most, the pedestrian operated forklifts range.
What makes then unique in Australia is the fact that you do not need a high-risk work license, which means it becomes easier for businesses to train their operators on how to use them, as well being a cheaper option for a business to consider.
Types of Pedestrian Operated Forklifts
There are a wide range of pedestrian operated forklift in this range including the walk behind pallet jack and walk behind stacker range.
Walk Behind Pallet Jack
Very much like a manual pallet jack, there are also battery electric operated pallet jacks. Ranging from a small 1500 kg Battery electric walk behind pallet jack through to a 3000-kg walk behind battery operated pallet jack, as well as ride on models.
As we construct bigger and bigger warehouses, ride on pallet jacks are becoming increasingly common with both end rider types and side standing types of pallet jacks, being used. As it allows the operator to ride with the pallet jack and load over greater distances very quickly.
Of course, there is also the Sit on Pallet Jack as well. Again, very useful for when pallets need to be moved greater distances in large warehouses.
Types of Walkie Stackers
There are many different types of walkie stackers, the best way to describe them is, if you think a battery electric pallet jack with a mast you wouldn’t be far wrong.
Walk Behind Straddle stacker
The most common type of walkie stacker with general capacities ranging from 1200 kgs through to 1600kg, and lift heights from 2500mm to 4500mm.
The mast will only travel straight up and down, they are designed so they have outrigger legs so they can straddle a pallet, as well act as a stabilizer.
There are also leg over walkie stackers where they are designed for special pallets that don’t have a bottom board configuration like the popular Australian Chep Pallet.
Walk behind Reach Stackers
The walkie reach stacker is growing in popularity with the ability for the carriage to reach out in front of the machine. So, it can pick up and move a pallet jack back toward the operator.
This type of function is very popular when needing to unload trucks or pick up a pallet that might be a little out of reach.
The walkie reach also has stability legs protruding from the front of the forklift,
Walkie behind counter balanced stacker
These types of walkie stackers are longer than normal as they don’t have stability legs out the front, they have more counterweight in the back of the unit to counterbalance the load.
The benefits of Pedestrian Operated Forklifts
No Forklift Ticket Required
Despite popular opinion there is currently no forklift license required to operate a walkie behind forklift at all.
All that is required is familiarization training given to the operator which is usually a short 15-minute run down on how to operate the walkie stacker.
This makes these type of pedestrian operated walk behind forklift very popular, in the back of loading docks where younger people are employed. Such as a supermarket that employ school children after school hours.
Lower maintenance cost
Due to the nature and design of these types of forklifts there is less maintenance required on a pedestrian operated walkie then a ride on 2.5T Internal combustion forklift.
They are designed with electric drive motors, and usually come with a large type industrial battery. As always, we recommend servicing as per the manufacturers recommendation.
Reduces manual handling
Especially the pedestrian battery electric pallet movers, if your business needs to move pallets around a warehouse. Instead of your employee moving 2 ton pallets with a manual pallet jack you can use a battery electric pallet mover to move them from A to B.
This reduces the need for the operator to physically move pallets around with a manual pallet jack, reducing the manual handling effort and the likely hood of back strain.
The Limitation of Pedestrian Operated Walkies
Limited lift heights
Due to the design limitations of walkies particularly the walkie stacker range. The Mast lift heights are limited to how high you can go.
Although in both a 2 stage and 3 stage configurations, they will generally lift no higher than 5000mm. If you are wanting to lift higher, then that you need to consider a ride on reach truck.
Designed with an operator tiller handle, when operating in a tight space this can sometimes take a knock that can damage the handler. Or if operating in a tight area, it can be difficult for the operator to maneuver around.
Which way should you go
In deciding which walkie, you should go for your business, it depends on what type of warehouse you have. Talk to your local forklift dealer about what is the best option for your business.
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Forklifts have so many different specifications, when it comes to capacities, lift heights and attachments. Well its no different when it comes to forklift tyres, you have a few different options such as cushion Tyres, pneumatic tyres, solid tyres or polyurethane.
Well there there is also the option of solid filling your pneumatic tyres. It basically includes ‘In-fill’ materials (for Pneumatic Tyres) and ‘In-fill’ materials include sprays, rubber foams and urethane fills.
Along the way in developing these fill products, there have been many problems associated with these types of fillings, they have tended to leave voids in the material. The latest urethane/rubber fillings, which are not a foam, are put into the tyre as a liquid, then pressurized and cured.
Over the last 10 to 15 years a number of proprietary items have been marketed to prevent punctures in pneumatic tyres, but very few have been successful until recently.
Advantages of ‘In-fill’ materials
The advantage of ‘in-fill’ materials is that the tyre —
(a) can operate at higher speed ratings than the resilient type of tyre;
(b) gives similar ride characteristics to the pneumatic tyre; and
(c) completely avoids ‘down-time’ on expensive machines which operate on difficult sites and away from a service point. Obviously you don’t get punctures with a Solid Filled Pneumatic forklift tyre, so it will save you from down-time with less tyre punctures.
Disadvantages of ‘In-fill’ materials
The one biggest disadvantage of ‘in-fill’ materials is that once the tyre is pressurized it cannot be altered to obtain more or less flotation.
With the above in mind, before you are looking to solid fill your pneumatic forklift tyres, you should always talk to your Industrial tyre supplier before you go down the solid filling route to ensure it’s the right thing for your operating environment.
You also need to way up the cost of solid filling vs. buying a solid puncture proof tyre, as its usually charged by the Kilo and can get quote expensive.
Once you wear out the tyres that has been solid filled, it can also be a problem and getting the remaining tyre off the rim so a new tyre can be fitted. You can potentially damage the rim.
So there you are, if you are looking at solid filling your pneumatic forklift tyres, we are not saying don’t do it, we are just saying be aware of what you are doing it for.
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