Forklifts: The Key of Efficiency in Warehouses

Posted By Marta Bennett on 05 October 2018

Posted in Kitmondo Blog

Little trucks, fork hoists or fork trucks; these names are given to forklifts. They might be small in size, but they are mightily efficient. Forklifts irrevocably belong to the family of construction machinery called trucks. Forklifts are designed to lift and move loads, goods and materials over short distances. They have lived in all types of warehouses for ages.

A Brief Return to the Past

Forklifts are mostly human-powered trucks that which have a long history of improvements. The first forklifts were invented in the beginning of the 20th century by several companies. Before forklifts, as we know today, were manually powered hoists which were specially designed to lift loads. Not too long after, manual power hoists were replaced with battery-powered platform trucks. During both world wars, forklifts made a huge step forward. They became a necessary unit in everyday storage workflow. They reached their highest popularity point after the introduction of hydraulic-powered and electric-powered forklifts. At some point during the long journey of forklifts, they became one of the most important pieces of equipment used in warehouses and distribution centers.

After World War II, safety while using forklifts in warehouses became more important than ever. As people relied on forklifts more and more and used them to lift heavier loads at higher heights, the question of capacities became crucial. Forklifts gained advanced safety features which made their operator’s daily work much safer and easier.

In the1990’s, emissions standards were implemented for forklift manufacturers worldwide. Brand new AC-powered forklifts with fuel cell technology became the top-of-the-line, best sellers of all forklifts. The continued development of new environmentally friendly and safe forklifts is still on the schedule of forklifts manufacturers today.

Higher Efficiency for Forklifts Use

There are many ways to makework with forklifts more efficient. Here are few points which will help to catalyze it. A periodical check of the machine is necessary, especially its tire pressure to prevent any incident or damage of the forklift. Turning on the machine just before using is a given.

Do not forget about the importance of recycling. Recycling is both a cost-effective and eco-friendly way of reusing various components and parts and is one of the keys to efficiency in modern warehouses.

The layout of the Warehouse is Important

When thinking about how to use forklifts most efficiently, let’s talk about the layout of a warehouse. Here are few pieces of advice on how to make work with forklifts easier. Think about aisle widths. Too narrow aisles can be very dangerous for forklifts and too difficult to navigate dow. No object and nobody can stand in the way of moving forklifts. Nothing should become an obstacle while the forklift is moving.

The organisation of the warehouse has a big impact on efficiency as well. Enough space is necessary to allow a natural flow of the drive. Segregating a sector such as the picking and shipping or receiving materials areas has to be well organized in order to not badly influence the effectiveness of the workflow.

Safe Forklift Operation

As we are talking about the efficiency of using forklifts in warehouses, we cannot forget to say few words about safe operation. Everyday warehouses’ workflows include operating forklifts, so it is necessary to follow warehouse safety rules for regulatory compliance and accident prevention.

Having a trained staff is mandatory while using forklifts in warehouses; do not allow anyone who is not authorized to touch the forklift. All employees working around forklifts need to go through the safety training to know how to behave around these machines. Every forklift has its own capacity for the load weight and size. Do not push beyond the capacity limit. Before picking any load, check its stability. As with any construction machine, forklifts need to be inspected and maintained periodically to prevent any damage or exclusion from daily use.

The Future of Forklifts

What is the future of forklifts in warehouses? Automated intelligent forklifts might replace the work of human operators. They are able to pick a specific pallet in a specific place to move it to a given spot. Manufacturers are saying, the work of automated forklifts is much safer, faster and preciser than the same work of human operators. It means fewer risks and less loss for warehouses. Is this new age technology the future of a new look of warehouse operation?