From the pyramids of Egypt to big city skyscrapers, humans have been figuring out how to best move heavy objects to achieve fantastic feats for the entirety of our existence. During the industrial revolution, moving big things efficiently became a top priority, and we paved the way for the technological advancements we have today. And what advancements are these? Here are the best tools we use for shifting heavy items with ease.
A fixture of any modern warehouse, pallet jacks are incredibly useful for moving large boxes without having to lock your knees, hurt your back, or rely on an extra pair of hands (or two). There are a great variety of pallet jacks out there for different working conditions, so it pays to do some research and look into what kinds of loads you’ll need your jacks to handle. Of the two main varieties, there are standard manual pallet jacks, and their electric alternative: powered pallet trucks. Whilst standard manual pallet jacks come equipped with a powerful hydraulic pump for easy lifting of loads that are anywhere between 400 to 2000kg, electric pallet trucks can usually handle high loads (of anywhere between 2000 to 2500kg) with less manual effort. This means less repetitive movements, but this added ease is only possible through utilising tools that contain more sophisticated technology. Investing in an electric pallet truck can often be unnecessary for businesses with modest warehouses. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your work environment.
Forklifts can move a great number of goods with minimal fuss, with some commercial forklifts being able to lift loads of anywhere up to 6000kg. They can be incredible timesavers for large industrial environments. Generally, forklifts can be powered by either diesel, propane, or battery (these being electric forklifts). There are pros and cons for these three varieties, specifically regarding what kinds of working conditions they are suitable for. For instance, electric and propane forklifts can be used indoors, whereas the fumes from diesel forklifts have marked them unsafe for enclosed environments. But diesel forklifts are also said to be the fastest, as opposed to electric forklifts which can be slower to operate, despite being greener and also more cost-efficient to run than its fuelled alternatives. You should take the differences between these three varieties into consideration before settling on any specific model.
Finally, moving forward into the world of automated warehousing, the benefits of incorporating cranes into our modern warehouses are plentiful, especially for larger environments that generally house an abundance of stock. Cranes like stacker cranes and bridge cranes are becoming more commonly used in warehouses as a method of practicing automated storage. However, it goes without saying that cranes are the behemoth of tools when it comes to moving heavy objects with ease, and they’re only valuable to businesses who can genuinely benefit from fully automating their inventory management.
Whilst this article has covered the big, bigger, and biggest options when it comes to moving heavy items, a lot of small business owners do perfectly fine with your regular roller skids, toe jacks, and other methods for small-scale manual moving. Even so, growing acquainted with the uses of forklifts and cranes now may be beneficial if you’re ever looking to expand your business. Of the three we’ve looked at, pallet jacks would definitely be your most valuable asset, as their flexibility and minimalist design make them a perfect tool for pretty much all warehouse environments.