Selecting, customising and using the right equipment – why it’s important, plus safety and business benefits
There are three key areas within a fork truck fleet where investing in safety improvements can deliver a tangible return to the business, those being;
- The equipment itself
- Material flow through the operation
- Employing the latest safety technology
However, it is the first of these three – the equipment itself – which represents the lowest hanging fruit and where money invested into increasing safety has the potential to deliver the most immediate and significant returns.
The Right Equipment!
Investing in equipment that is as safe as possible means choosing, specifying and customising machines that are right in every way for your application.
While this may mean a little extra initial outlay, typically such machines will increase operational efficiency and often reduce costs, through maximising loads, providing operators with optimum control and working better within the site. When such savings are considered over the life of the machines they usually far outweigh any initial additional spend.
“It’s an approach we strongly believe in at Impact and one through which we deliver to our customers both enhanced safety as well as proven real world savings.”
Here is a good example where we customised machines and designed unique attachments to handle awkward and unusual loads
Prior to implementing our bespoke solutions, these loads were handled by machines that were compromised in terms of their load centres, operator visibility and compatibility with their site environments. This led to extremely dangerous handling practices which posed serious dangers, particularly to pedestrians, and placed significant potential liability on the business.
Our new equipment was far more efficient in its role, reducing journeys and removing excessive strain from the equipment, which had been causing unnecessary and considerable down time and damage costs.
HAVE YOU GOT THE PERFECT TRUCK FOR YOUR APPLICATION?
Introducing machines into a fleet that are absolutely ideal for their applications does however require some thinking outside the box.
- Firstly, don’t just look at one manufacturer to create your fleet. As comprehensive and capable as the offerings from a major brand may be, you need to consider complementing these with specialist machines from niche manufacturers, where appropriate.
- Secondly, leave no stone unturned in customising machines for your operation’s specific needs. Remember manufacturers can be reluctant to stray too far from their standard spec, so make sure you choose a supplier with strong factory relationships who is willing and able to go further in creating the perfect machines for you – even if this means designing something entirely unique, or able to function across multiple roles.
- Thirdly, ensure you choose a supplier who is flexible, so that if your application or demand changes, you can alter your fleet to suit without those harsh penalties.
- Finally, don’t forget the importance of your operators. Handling equipment that instills greater driver confidence – through enhanced comfort, visibility and control – is not only inherently safer but has also proven to deliver productivity benefits, particularly over longer shifts.
In our next feature we will be looking at one of the biggest material handling safety challenge of them all, where mechanised equipment meets pedestrians, and how with the right advice, approach and set-up operational risk can be minimised.
Check out our Forklift Safety video showing the ‘7 Deadly Sins’ when operating a forklift