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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. Continue reading …
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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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As much as we want to say forklifts are sexy, forklifts really are a business tool. Forklifts are designed to do a function and forklift hire is no different, instead of outlaying your capital and buying a forklift.
You have another option and that is to think about forklift hire and paying a fixed rate per day or week, instead of buying a forklift outright. That’s right you get to leave your hard earned capital in the bank.
Here are the 6 most common things you need to consider when hiring a forklift.
Length of Time of hire
If you are looking to hire a forklift, you need to be very clear on the length of time you will be hiring it for. If it is a short time (generally under 12 months) or a long time (over 12 months up to 7 years), can really change the price of forklift rental you will be paying.
It can also decide whether the forklift you will be hiring is a new forklift or if it has some years on it.
The Application You Will Be Working In
Always a big thing to look at when considering forklift hire. When talking to a forklift rental business, they will ask you about the application it will be working in.
- Is it clean ?
- Is it a dirty ?
- Is there hazards ?
If it’s a building site, you can expect to pay more than if the same forklift is working in a clean warehouse on concrete floors.
Can you Expect Service/Back-up
As in any industry there are pirates, you know what we are saying the types of service businesses, that once they have your money you never hear from them again.
When you call them because the forklift you are hiring has broken down, they take a week to turn up and repair the forklift.
Make sure you are dealing with a reputable forklift business, unfortunately there still are plenty of shady back yard businesses out there.
How Many Hows Per Week – Utilization
Forklift utilization is all about how many hours will it be doing. If you are only using it a few hours a week, then you can expect to pay less.
However, if you are wanting to operate it multiple shifts per day, 7 days per week. You can and should expect to pay a lot more.
How much will I have to pay
That really is affected by the above points, forklifts are an expensive outlay of capital, especially for a business that specializes in forklift hire. So you can expect to pay a rental fee that really is commensurate with the forklift you are hiring.
But as always you should shop it around for the best price you can get. After all its your money that you are parting with.
Does a forklift brand really matter ?
That’s a funny question, as long term people in the materials handling industry. We know the “reputable” brands from the “less then reputable” brands.
Considering the factors above, if you are looking to hire a forklift for a short time, its probably not that much of a issue.
If you are looking to hire a forklift of 5 years in your business. We always suggest getting a demonstration of the forklift on your site.
Forklift dealers will generally be keen to demonstrate their forklift on site and usually free of charge. Then it’s best to let your operators trial the forklift and give you feedback.
If you think about it like a car, do you prefer driving a Mazda or a Hyundai ? They both have plenty of features and benefits, but both cars will get you to where you want to go.
Always remember that a forklift is a tool to be used, and forklift hire is no different, you need to think about the above, and the requirements that you have for your business.
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With out a doubt Hyster forklifts are well known throughout Australia for being a tough and reliable forklift for the Australian market. Hyster have been making forklifts for over 80 years now, so you would expect them to get it right., with one on the biggest ranges of forklifts available in the market.
Hyster’s Parent company is NACCO Industries, which is a Cleveland Ohio (USA based public listed company, with the control and management of the Hyster brand being through NMHG, short for Nacco Materials Handling Group.
NMHG, sold out of their retail operations in Australia, in 2009, with the Hyster forklift retail operations being bought out by Adaptalift. The Hyster acquisition turned Adaptalift into one of the biggest forklift companies in Australia.
Founded in 1982 Adaptalift started as Forklift Engineering Australia, designing and manufacturing forklift attachments. Adaptalift has grown to become the largest Australian privately owned and operated forklift company, with a fleet of over 10,500 units nationwide.
Hyster forklifts, have a complete range of forklifts available, from powered pallet trucks to 50 tonne reach stackers, with a variety of fuel types including LPG, Battery Electric and Diesel.
Although the Hyster brand is American owned, and building forklifts throughout manufacturing factories across the world, They have recently made the decision to bring a Chinese made Forklift into the Australia Market. So the UTILEV is now supported by NACCO Materials Handling Group in Australia as the cheap alternative to a fully optioned Hyster branded forklift.
If you have looking for a decent quality used forklift, and are starting to look around, you will most likely find more Hyster forklifts than any other brand available, this is mainly due to the length of time that Hyster has been making forklifts.
With parts readily available, through the Adaptalift dealer network or After Market Parts Sellers like TVH. But talking to any dealer you will most likely get parts to suit your Hyster forklift.
If you are in the market looking to buy a new or used forklift, and if you haven’t made your choice yet to which forklift brand you want to choose then, you really should give the Hyster forklift some decent consideration.
There is more than a decent chance it will suit you environment and application very well. With the back up and support you need and can expect from a forklift manufacturer with over 80 years experience.
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We’ve already taken a took at how to store a forklift for a short period of time, But sometimes you might need to store your forklift for longer than 6 months. So we wanted to help give some instruction for Long Term Storage of your forklift.
6 Months – Long–Term Storage
If you are looking to store your forklift, make sure you do the following steps to prepare the forklift for storage for 6 months or longer:
- Make sure you complete all the short–term storage procedures.
- Wrap or cover all exterior lights, radiator grille, and air vents with a moisture barrier cover. Use tape to hold the covers in position.
- Make sure you remove the batteries from the forklift. Just make sure you store the batteries in an approved space. Be sure to follow whatever your local regulations are. Batteries that are stored for long periods can become damaged so we recommend that you try to use the batteries elsewhere if you can .
- Also spray exterior surfaces and the frame with a preservative coating.
Following the above steps will help you preserve your forklift and help keep its value.
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