Forklifts are used in warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities all over the world, and they are an invaluable tool for any company that needs to move large quantities of materials with precision and speed.
The usefulness of forklifts in warehouses goes beyond just lifting and moving materials, though. With special attachments, forklifts can be used in a wide variety of industries to accomplish many different tasks that no other type of heavy equipment can do. Explore these 8 benefits of using forklifts in material handling and warehousing.
1. Increase the Usable Space in Your Warehouse
Using a forklift means you can store more materials in your warehouse. There are a lot of different types of forklifts with varying mast heights to reach tall shelves. Industrial pallet racking will let you increase the density of materials you can store in your warehouse, which will save you time and money when handling materials. These savings can add up, and your investment in a forklift and industrial pallet racking will pay for itself quickly.
2. Use a Forklift to Get More Work Done Faster
Forklifts aren’t slow, and when you can move and haul more materials at once, work can be done considerably faster. You can get more done with a forklift, and some jobs aren’t even possible without one. It would be dangerous to even try moving large, heavy materials like carpet rolls and 55-gallon containers without a forklift.
3. Move Heavy Equipment With a Forklift
Using special attachments, you can use a forklift to move heavy equipment. The self-locking devices on semi trailer mover attachments make it easy and safe to move trailers out of the warehouse without leaving your seat. Instead of having to get off your forklift to get a truck or tractor to move a trailer out of your way, simply pick up the trailer attachment and move it.
Trailer mover attachments work on 5th wheel, bumper, and gooseneck hitches, so you don’t need a separate attachment for each type of hitch. They are hands-free, with no pins or chains required, and they provide superior stability and control.
4. Save on Labor Expenses with a Forklift
Even when you’re moving lightweight materials, being able to move a lot of materials at once will save you time and money. Moving products by hand isn’t an option when you’re trying to make a profit, and forklifts can easily move entire pallets of materials.
Forklifts move quickly, allowing you and your employees to maneuver large, heavy loads and transport them from one end of your warehouse to the other in a small amount of time.
5. Expand Your Forklift’s Capabilities with Attachments
By using a variety of attachments, you can expand your forklift’s capabilities and make it do double or even triple-duty around your warehouse. Here’s a list of common attachments that you can use and a brief description of what they can do:
|Use to move rolls of carpets or rugs
|Able to rotate up to 360 degrees, these are useful when you need to dump or invert your load
|Expand your carrying capabilities
|Useful for loading products that aren’t on pallets
|Use for moving 30 and 55-gallon containers
|Paper roll clamp
|Clamp and move large rolls of paper
|Side shifter attachment
|Helpful for stacking products in a warehouse because it allows the operator to move items from side to side
|Reach higher with a mast attachment, even on a standard forklift
|Move materials that are baled instead of on pallets
|For carrying two loads side by side
|Trailer hitch attachment
|For moving trailers with a forklift
Forklifts have a short turn radius, which means they can easily navigate corners and fit around tight spaces, especially compared to other types of heavy equipment. When you have a forklift, it means you can fit more materials in your warehouse and still get to them.
OSHA has specific requirements for warehouse aisles, but you can figure out the minimum width of a forklift aisle specific to your equipment with a few simple measurements. Then, plan your warehouse so you can work safely and fit more products under your roof.
7. Safe Material Handling With a Forklift
When workers are properly trained, using a forklift to lift and transport materials reduces workplace injuries. It is important to note that forklifts are rated for handling specific load sizes and any time you add an attachment, it changes the load rating for your forklift. Handling and transporting heavy materials can be dangerous, which is why there are strict guidelines about training and certification for using forklifts in warehouses.
8. Replace Other Types of Equipment
With so many special attachments available for forklifts, they can replace other types of equipment. Forklifts can be used for a wide variety of jobs that need to be done around a warehouse, including snow plowing and sweeping. Industrial attachment sweepers, which have gravity-fed dust suppression systems, are used at large construction sites and lumber yards, and snow plow attachments for forklifts can be equipped with salt spreaders, making it easier to keep your warehouse safe for your employees.