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What Is an Order Picker and Why Do You Need One?

What is an order picker? If you’ve ever wondered this, you probably work in a warehouse seeking innovative solutions for narrow aisle capabilities while simultaneously achieving high reaches. Order pickers can be a sound investment for many businesses seeking to boost productivity. Here we’ll cover what an order picker is, why you should invest in one, and things to consider beforehand.

What Is It?

An order picker does just that – helps to pick orders. They help you to pick orders from up to 35 feet in the air! There are a variety of ranges for order pickers, ranging from mid to high-level reaching. Mid-level reaching can range from 15 to 25 feet and typically has a capacity for 3,000 lbs. The high-level order pickers still only hold 3,000 lbs capacity, but extend to reach anywhere from 20 to 35 feet! These higher models must be wire or rail guided for added support and safety.

Why Do You Need It?

Order pickers allow you to access heights ranging between 9 to 35 ft high. Increased storage is invaluable within a warehouse, so investing in an order picker is ultimately an investment in your profits. Not only does the order picker reach great heights, but it also allows for a more narrow aisle as well. More space means better operational efficiency, and that’s why you need an order picker.

Things to Consider Beforehand

These machines are designed to extend 30 or more feet in the air, and there are a few things to consider before bringing one to work. Obviously, ample height is needed in relation to the max extension of your model. Also, your load requirements should be considered seeing as though these don’t exceed 3,000 lbs capacity. If you anticipate needing the high-level order picker, think about ways to optimize for the railing guidance previously mentioned.

We hope this information is helpful when deciding if an order picker is a beneficial purchase for you or your company. If you have any questions regarding order pickers, need more insight, or if you are considering your purchase, please contact us via our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000.

What Is A Reach Truck and Why Do You Need One?

Are you interested in understanding what a reach truck is and how it would be a beneficial piece of machinery to have? If you are searching for assistance in a tight warehouse work environment with great height and narrow aisles then a reach truck is worth your investment. Here we discuss what a reach truck is, why you need it, and things to consider before purchasing one.

What Is It?

A reach truck is designed to handle certain activities, such as: fitting in narrow aisles, to store and retrieve pallets in racks, to provide right-angle stacking, and for unit load handling with rack interface. There are two types of reach trucks, pantograph reach trucks and moving mast reach trucks. Pantograph reach trucks are designed to extend the lifting forks forward which allows them to enter into racking with either a double or single reach arrangement, and a moving mast reach truck is created to enable the whole mast to move forward.

Why Do You Need It?

A reach truck is an excellent piece of machinery to have if you need unity handling, have to maintain capacity at height, or when you need selectivity. It is also great to have a reach truck because most conventional systems would involve and need a pallet truck supplying a reach truck in a unit load storage implementation. While the reach truck dispenses let-down for the pallet truck in low position order picking; this easily qualifies the reach truck as a useful tool for other machines that are utilized daily. 

Things To Consider Beforehand

Before buying a reach truck think about things such as load requirement, load capacity, top load beam, clear ceiling height, and lift off space (usually ranging from 8 to 12 inches). Keep in mind other essential warehouse items to specify when buying a reach truck; this will include thinking about any floor issues there might be, aisle entry, base leg openings, side shift, and battery voltage, and charging systems.

We hope you have found this information helpful when deciding if a reach truck is a beneficial purchase for you or your company. If you have any questions regarding reach trucks, need more insight, or if you are considering your purchase, please contact us via our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000.

3 Things to Know Before Buying a Forklift Attachment

Forklift attachments function to diversify a machine’s range of motion and capacity load. Buying used can have economic incentives, but you need to know what you’re getting into before you invest. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when buying a forklift attachment.

1. Attachments Will Affect Your Forklift’s Net Capacity.

Adding a forklift attachment will add weight to the forklift, taking away from the capacity load potential of that forklift. Depending on the attachment, this can affect the net capacity that your forklift can handle, which may ultimately affect efficient operations. Know your weight before you buy to calculate just how much weight you’re losing from product load in return for the attachment’s benefit.

2. Attachments Can Change the Lift Truck’s Center of Gravity.

Understanding how the center of gravity will change in response to a forklift attachment will not require a physics degree. Just know that heavy attachments that have their weight distributed to the right or left will influence the workload ability and safety of the lift. To see if your attachment is affecting your lift’s center of gravity, observe some weight being lifted and see if the weight shifts, slides, moves off center. If so, there may be a center of gravity issue for that attachment.

3. Clamp Release Interlocking Devices Are Vital for Attachments.

Although these clamps are not applicable to every attachment, they are worth considering before buying any used machinery. These clamp release devices work by reinforcing the attachments to their host. Having this device will prevent the damaging of products, reduce the falling of loaded weight, and increase the overall safety of the operation.

Acknowledging these three considerations when buying a used forklift attachment will lead to finding the right product for your company all while reaping the benefits of saving money!

Warehouse Management Tips

Managing a warehouse includes solving complicated logistical issues, ensuring efficient production, and delegating tasks to employees. Knowing some tips to this trade will be useful in staying organized and on track for the next shipment.

Storage

The most valuable asset within a warehouse is space. Utilizing this space in the most optimal way to serve your purpose should be in consideration. Using stackable and resealable containers has proven to increase aisle space. The use of vertical storage will help to clear paths for picking and restocking. The base location of these vertical stacks should be placed regarding to frequency of use. Work will get done much more efficiently using this stacking method of utilizing air space.

Organization

A disorganized warehouse is not only a daily stressor, but it is also sending a negative message to suppliers, visitors, and employees. Organization is a major key in managing a warehouse. Think to yourself – what are the main functions of this warehouse? Then, re-arrange according to functionality. By dedicating two to four hours a month to re-organization and cleaning, you’ll be surprised with the difference it makes! Having an adequate, clean space to execute picking and stocking ensures efficiency throughout the process.

Automation

The integration of technology within warehouses has allowed increased efficiency as well as organization. Implementing barcoding software along with clearly printed labels has been found to be the quickest way to manage inventory within the warehouse.

Along with barcoding software, there is also software that tracks inventory error rates. Whether something has mistakenly gone out or never even arrived in the first place, this technology allows managers to track error rates. By tracking these errors, managers are able to find problem areas and tackle them with ease.

Receiving-End Functionality

The receiving area of a warehouse is one of the most vital spaces. The unloading of materials, breaking down of pallets, and the counting of shipments are all typically executed within this area. Requiring this to be the largest functioning area will allow employees to do their jobs with less constraint.

Another benefit to making this the largest space is that logistics can be accommodated much easier. Being able to receive shipments simultaneously in the large receiving area will increase the flexibility of scheduling.

How to Become a Forklift Operator

Forklift operators typically work within warehouses or construction sites. They are vital to business operations since they are responsible for moving heavy materials to where they are needed. Operators are responsible for their safety as well as the safety of those around while working. Operating heavy machinery is the bulk of the job, however, there is more to getting the job than hopping on the forklift and turning the key.

Valued Experience

Prior experience working with heavy machinery brings great value to the table, and knowledge on warehouse distribution operations will prove useful as well. The companies leading the industry in forklift technology are important to note when applying. Among top competitors are; Linde and Baoli.

Active listening and effective communication are vital to ensure safe operations for you and those around you. Regardless of where you fall on the prior-experience spectrum, becoming a forklift operator ultimately reduces to passing the certification process.

Certification Process

The OSHA certification process typically takes 2-5 days to complete depending on if you complete it online or in person. CertifyMe.net offers OSHA forklift certification card training for only $59.95. The process is split up into two sections: educational and practical. The focus for the education section will be operation and safety, while the practical portion examines your actual handling of the machinery. This practical portion is typically executed by the proposed employer. With this short time frame and affordable price, you’ll be working the lift in no time!

What to Expect

Aside from actually operating the forklift, there are various benefits to becoming a forklift operator. Hourly pay ranges an average of $15 to $20 an hour. This job is not as isolating as people think, because forklift operators work regularly within teams. Another perk is that these jobs typically operate between regular business hours, allowing you to have a set schedule and a stable career!

5 Warehouse Resolutions for 2019

Making a New Year’s Resolution is something we all plan for and it gives us time to reflect on the past and look forward to new goals and changes. Whether or not you follow through with your personal or professional resolutions, it is best to reevaluate improvements within your business. Start your 2019 off with a productive and safe warehouse with the following goals in mind:

Process Improvement

A goal that most warehouses are very adamant about is process improvement. We recommend testing your workflow by having a customer place an order so the manager can see where advancement is needed.

Facility Space

We suggest that you persistently check your workspace and facility to see what needs repairing or changing. Sometimes warehouses need expansion for more products or machinery to be able to fit comfortably. Also, this allows you to look for out-of-date inventory that may be lying around your warehouse.

Inspect the Floors

There are three things that you always want to be checking up on in the distribution center; those three things are space utilization, workflow, and product flow. The way to make sure that these three things are consistently being examined is by active floor supervision. With active floor supervision, you can ensure that the performance of your warehouse will continually be progressing.

Product Flow

Make sure that all of your products are still flowing smoothly through your warehouse. This should be a regular inspection, but if it isn’t, make it a goal for 2019. By inspecting the flow of your inventory, you are making sure that the flow stays rational and continuous.

Monitor Operations

Measurements are vital when observing your overall performance. Make sure to keep a log of deliveries and shipments, so you are aware and up-to-date on where your inventory is coming from and the location they are headed to.

We hope you have found this useful in making sure that your warehouse improves and advances in 2019. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us via our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000. Have a safe and happy new year!

 

8 Forklift Winterization Tips

With the colder months approaching quickly, equipment must adapt to the new circumstances. Winterizing equipment isn’t hard to do if you do it correctly. The following tips are helpful for properly preparing to winterize your forklift to ensure better productivity and a longer lifespan.

Batteries

Batteries are vital to the operation of an electric forklift, however, with winter bringing harsh weather conditions batteries will become more susceptible to a shorter lifespan. Have your batteries and charging system checked regularly during the colder months.

Cooling System

Checking on the cooling system is imperative. We recommend adding anti-freeze to the system. Be sure that the system is cleaned out and flush before adding the anti-freeze.

Tires

Before winter comes, look into getting tires specialized for snow and ice if you are located in an area with these weather conditions. If you prefer not to purchase specialized tires for the weather, be sure to check the tire pressure and tire tread depth, this way you can make sure there isn’t a decrease in performance of your forklift.

Braking System

Inspecting your braking system is a must all year round but especially in the next few months. Your brakes are extremely important, and if they aren’t functioning correctly, then you may run into a safety dilemma. To avert this, examine your brake system before you use your forklift.

Oil Change

It’s best to have an experienced technician change your oil. Make sure they check other critical components which include: fuel, air, transmission, and hydraulic filters as well. It is essential to try and have this done before winter arrives.

Lights

Since it is getting darker outside earlier, lights are a big part of the overall forklift check. Look at the warning lights, work, and tail lights, and make sure that they are all running and working satisfactorily.

Exhaust System

It isn’t safe to operate a forklift if the exhaust system isn’t checked thoroughly. Be aware of any carbon monoxide leaks in your exhaust system. If you spot any, please call a technician immediately for further assistance.

Tune It Up

Winter will decrease the overall performance of your forklift. To ensure that this won’t happen or be an issue, give your equipment a tune-up as soon as possible.

We hope you have rendered this information useful. If you have any questions or concerns with the preparation of winterization or your forklift in general, you can contact us via our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000.

 

Incentives for Purchasing Electric Forklifts

Investing in new forklifts is a huge expense for most warehouses, and maintaining and repairing the machines is also costly. However, one way to save is by taking advantage of sales and use tax exemptions. It’s important to understand each state’s qualifications in order to receive the sales tax exemption.

Today, nearly all of the incentive programs are managed at the state level. After investigating more on different types of incentive programs we found that certain states may have better incentive programs. While interstate arrangements might be difficult to create, it is possible. This will allow leverage with rebate programs, but only if you are willing to do business in other regions. The AFDC can also be of value to keep up with state environmental laws and to also determine the betterment of contrasting different kinds of fuel.

Every state has individual sales tax models and shifting incentive programs. In other words, there are sales tax incentive programs in California, Idaho, and Washington that might be suited for you in what you are trying to become more qualified for. In South Carolina, the relevance of this machine exemption varies on if the machine or sequence of mechanical powers, components, connectors, and equipment are very essential and fundamental to the manufacturing development.

You may want to ask about possible fleet enhancements, battery room infrastructure, and potential advancements that might alter your power usage. If you choose this
option, then a few of your rebates and tax incentives can undoubtedly decrease the capital costs of electric forklifts and you can begin appreciating all of the perks of fewer maintenance dilemmas, reduced fuel costs and strengthen productivity.

Also, some states may offer a partial exemption. It’s important to know a few common terms when looking into sales tax exemption. For example, “substantially” means over one-third of the time, “predominantly” means over half of the time and “exclusively” means 100 percent of the time. You, as the buyer, are solely responsible for claiming the incentives. You’re required to provide the seller with the properly completed forms claiming the sales tax exemption.

At KION North America, we understand that investing in new equipment can be expensive, so we’re here to help. If you have any further questions about how to apply for sales tax exemption, please contact our Summerville office in South Carolina at 843-875-8000. If you’re ready to purchase a new forklift, visit our website to find a local dealer.