The Most Efficient Way to Handle Long or Heavy Loads in Your Warehouse

Forklift Driver
Forklift Driver

Warehouse owners might think that the best way to handle long or heavy loads would be to buy larger premises in order to acquire more space. However, with property prices increasing, not just in the housing market, it’s not always the best option for those wanting to maximise efficiency throughout their warehouse when it comes to the manoeuvring of long or heavy loads. But there are far easier and far cheaper options available to you before you consider moving to a larger warehouse.

Consider the impact of switching to a narrow aisle warehouse layout

It might seem counterintuitive to implement a narrow aisle layout throughout your warehouse, especially if handling long loads, but by doing this, you’ll actually be maximising the amount of space you already have. By doing this, you’ll be able to have additional warehouse racking installed and also implement the use of both multi-directional, counterbalance and VNA forklifts.

Counterbalance forklifts, especially, require just over 50% of floorspace within the building in order to manoeuvre effectively and efficiently. A VNA and a multi-directional forklift will also offer the same benefits, and so taking your racking higher or having more of it constructed will be the most ideal solution for you.

Reconditioned multi-directional forklifts, second-hand VNA forklifts and used counterbalance forklifts are all available from us here at Refurbished Forklifts, and all for an affordable price. We specialise in refurbishing second-hand forklifts, giving them a brand new lease of life and supplying them to customers throughout the UK for a fraction of the cost of a brand new alternative. All of the used warehouse equipment we have available have been through rigorous safety checks for absolute peace of mind and you’ll be supplied with all of the necessary paperwork upon purchase.

Think about whether long or heavy loads can be handled effectively with a VNA forklift

Where counterbalance and multi-directional forklifts have excellent benefits when it comes to navigating around tight spaces and narrow aisles, no other forklift type is better than doing the aforementioned than a dedicated narrow aisle forklift. However, their effectiveness is only optimised when they’re operated by highly-trained individuals in order for loads to be transported and offloaded as safely as possible and this is especially important when it comes to long or heavy stock.

Despite VNA forklifts being able to navigate around small spaces, not all of them have the capability of reaching heights as tall as some of the additional racking you might have already implemented. So in order to support this specific application, a VNA forklift can be expertly modified with a walk-on platform with specially-designed lattice gates on both sides of the vehicle.

The gates can be opened in order to give a two-man team the capability of walking right out onto the platform to gain access to extraordinarily high racking. But to ensure this is done as safely as possible, your employees need the right training and the equipment you use should also be proven to be safe and secure to protect your staff at all times.

Consider other options when it comes to order picking applications

Order picking is an entirely different process from transporting goods around the warehouse. Order picking applications need to consider the retrieval of both light and heavy stock. Standard order pickers have an in-built platform for workers to step out onto that measures around 2.2 metres wide and 2 metres long – an impressive size considering they can also reach heights of up to 5 metres carrying up to 300kg of weight – an impressive capability all round for a standard order picker.

One could use a reach truck for similar ventures, but a reach truck will simply allow stock to be lifted off tall racking without the need for an employee to step out onto a platform to retrieve the necessary items.

Are there any limitations when it comes to ‘going narrow aisle’?

Forklift width will hinder this process slightly, especially if you already have an existing fleet of large, powerful forklifts. However, complete replacement of these machines won’t be completely necessary as they could be used elsewhere, such as outdoors or in and around another site located close by.

Alternatively, if you cannot keep your current fleet due to the new, narrow and tight spaces in your warehouse, then you could sell them to forklift dealers, such as us here at Refurbished Forklifts. We take pride in offering fair, transparent prices for the vehicles you no longer require. In some cases, you might even be able to part-exchange them for a more appropriate forklift, such as a VNA, counterbalance or a multi-directional forklift.

When it comes to implementing space-saving measures, VNA forklifts will provide you with more benefits than other forklift types. Electric VNA forklifts, especially, have many advantages that will outweigh any and all of their limitations. The benefits of using an electric VNA forklift include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • They’re eco-friendly
  • They have exceptionally low noise levels
  • They give off zero emissions
  • They can turn tight corners and navigate narrow aisles effortlessly
  • They’re easy and inexpensive to maintain
  • They’re affordable to power

Maximise space accordingly throughout your warehouse

Maximising space throughout your warehouse is an easy task and it’ll become even more of a breeze with the right warehouse equipment being implemented. You won’t need entire fleets of specific machinery to navigate around and run your new warehouse efficiently. Instead, you should seek to implement several vehicles, each with different capabilities, including:

  • Order pickers
  • Reach trucks
  • VNA forklifts
  • Multi-directional forklifts
  • Scissor lifts

If you’d like further information about how Refurbished Forklifts can help you today, get in touch with a member of our specialist, knowledgeable team – we’re always happy to hear from you.

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