The purchase of warehouse equipment can seem like grocery shopping with a mental checklist – it’s hard to remember everything you need without a physical list! Unlike groceries, however, failing to remember important equipment can lead to a loss of productivity, and an increase in hazards and safety violations. There’s no room for such hazards, since they can be detrimental to your reputation on a legal front, but more importantly, injurious to yourself and your employees. So what should you consider when seeking new warehouse equipment?
One type of machinery that should sit near the top of your list is dock equipment. It’s essential to have this type of equipment if you want to ensure that your warehouse has efficient and safe loading procedures. However, there are pieces of equipment that you will need to store in your warehouse, such as moving devices for heavy loads and material handling equipment, so that everything runs smoothly. The installation and use of all necessary tools contributes to a trustworthy reputation – one that shows off your professionalism and competence.
Get On Board: A Closer Look at Dock Equipment
Since you are in the industrial world, you most likely have a solid understanding of loading dock functions. It’s even more important that you understand the varying types of dock equipment out there, and their components. Loading dock systems can be more complex than they seem, and the choices you make can affect warehouse efficiency in both the short and long term. Therefore, making the effort to acquaint yourself with dock equipment functionality will help you keep your warehouse functioning to the highest degree possible.
Pile It On – Loading Dock Equipment
- Dock Leveler – The dock leveler is probably the most recognizable piece of docking equipment. They are also one of the most essential parts. These height-adjustable platforms are often powered by mechanical, hydraulic, or pneumatic systems.
- Dock Lift – A dock lift is another important part of the docking equipment family, and they perform a similar task to scissor lifts.
- Dock Lights – Although seemingly insignificant, you can’t go wrong with a set of dock lights. In fact, you’ll be more than thankful when you can see clearly in darker settings.
- Vehicle Restraint System – A dangerous warehouse scenario is the rolling away of a vehicle during the loading process. However, the use of a vehicle restraint system – which is basically a metal hook – prevents roll-aways from happening by latching onto a vehicle while workers load/unload.
- Loading Dock Software – In today’s technological world, it doesn’t hurt to own some extra gadgets or software to make work easier. There is loading dock software out there that can help you track and report loading dock activities faster and more accurately.
Moving Big Weights – Hand Trucks and Pallet Jacks
This section isn’t about the ability to squat or bench press heavy weights. It’s all about using the tools necessary to keep the lifting of heavy objects to a minimum. It’s easy to sustain an injury due to improper lifting technique or lifting objects that are too heavy. They are also difficult to reverse. Therefore, if you don’t already have wheeled machinery that can move heavy loads, it’s in your best interest to buy such equipment at your earliest convenience. The use of moving devices will compliment your use of dock equipment, since you won’t have to struggle with heavy objects while unloading or off-loading them.
- Hand Trucks – When you need to move weights that are “stacked”, such as a little column of boxes, you’ll benefit from having a hand truck or two. Rather than staggering around with a bunch of brown boxes in your hand, you can easily wheel the weight while sparing yourself from back pain in the process.
- Pallet Jacks – Unless you feel very brave, you won’t 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, then you can put an end to limitations. Your standard pallet jack makes it easy to move objects that weigh up to 6,600 pounds. If you decide to go with an electric pallet jack, you will be able to pull more weight and have more control over movement thanks to its steering handle.
No Weak Links – Chain Hoists
You’ve most likely heard about expressions referring to weak links on a chain. When it comes to your warehouse efficiency, the lack of some equipment can serve as a ‘weak link’ in the function of your business. Depending on the type of business you have, it might be worth your while to invest in a chain hoist. The use of a chain hoist is a great addition to the loading dock area (if possible), and can save you much time and effort when it comes to the loading/off-loading process. These hoists can reduce the need to go back and forth with dollies and even reduce the risk of damaging certain items.
Additional Benefits of a Chain Hoist:
- Handles High Loads – If you need to lift very heavy loads and speed is of the essence, then a chain hoist will be a great asset to your arsenal. These devices can pull up to 6,300 kg and move quite quickly due to their motorized nature.
- Versatile Movement – One of the greatest benefits of a chain hoist is its versatility. You can manoeuvre these units both forward and backward, and sideways as well. This takes the pressure off when you need to start packing items quickly and don’t have time to struggle with a faulty dolley or jack!
Don’t Feel Overwhelmed
With warehouse equipment-shopping, you’ll quickly learn what it is you’re missing. It’s similar to the scenario of leaving your car keys behind at a friend’s house – you won’t go anywhere! Likewise, when you need to get a job done, a lack of the right machinery will be very apparent and obvious. Owning a warehouse is a learning experience, so don’t expect to get things right the first time. The machinery listed above, however, should serve as a reminder for the basic tools needed if you are to maintain a productive and safe environment. The inclusion of dock equipment, moving equipment (hand trucks, pallet jacks), and chain hoists can ensure that your warehouse meets those standards. With that said, you can be sure to keep things running smoothly and efficiently while remaining safe.
Need help selecting and installing dock equipment for your warehouse? Send an email or call us at 1-888-244-4171 so that you can get started!