What is a Warehouse Stacker & How Can it Help You?

A warehouse stacker is an extremely beneficial and versatile piece of equipment that’s desired by many warehouse owners all over the world, and for good reason. But how do you know whether or not you’ll actually need a warehouse stacker alongside your other pieces of material handling equipment? Refurbished Forklifts are on hand to help you.

What is a warehouse stacker?

A warehouse stacker is a highly specialised piece of equipment that many warehouses will benefit from in order to effectively and efficiently move pallets around the premises. What some might not know is that there are actually many different types of warehouse stacker, much like there are several different forklift models.

They’re considered to be relatively cheaper to purchase than a forklift, especially if you purchased a used warehouse stacker from us here at Refurbished Forklifts. Where they can handle similar loads to forklifts, they will require more manual intervention by operators in comparison to a forklift, although this really does depend on the type of warehouse stacker you go for.

If you’re on a limited budget or if you have a particularly small premises, then a stacker would be more worthwhile than a forklift and you’ll still reap the same benefits, just without the hefty price tag. So which warehouse stacker would be best for you? We’ll take you through the different types of warehouse stacker so you know which one would best suit your warehouse operations.

What are the different types of warehouse stacker?

There are several different types of warehouse stacker available to warehouse owners, including the following:

Manual stackers

This is the most simple and least expensive warehouse stacker on the market today. With a load capacity of around 5,500lbs, pallets and heavy loads can be lifted safely by someone pumping the handle of a hydraulic pump located on a steel trolley. The operator will have to position the forks under the pallet itself and raise it off the floor using the hydraulic pump, as previously mentioned.

Once the load has been lifted off the ground, it will have to be manuallysterred to its destination using the same handle. The main advantage of the manual stacker is that it can be loaded exceptionally easily into the back of a vehicle thanks to its lightweight properties and compact size.

Electric walkie behinds

They’re also known as walkie stackers and are typically twice the size of a manual warehouse stacker. It’s generally powered using an on-board battery pack or an industrial battery. As the name would suggest, the operator has to walk either behind or beside the stacker in order for it to be operated.

Unlike the manual stacker, it can lift loads that weigh up to 6,000lbs, but it’s electronically assisted, so manual labour isn’t needed as much as it is with a manual warehouse stacker. The operator can lift loads simply by pushing a button rather than by pumping a hydraulic handle. In comparison to a manual warehouse stacker, this is far less labour-intensive for your warehouse workers.

Rider stackers

Rider stackers are similar to electric walkie behinds but with one additional benefit – a riding safe and secure riding platform. Much like the walkie stacker, this is powered by an industrial battery and it can lift extremely similar weights to the previous two warehouse stackers mentioned.

Unlike with the previous warehouse stackers we have mentioned here, a worker will be able to step directly onto the riding platform in order to operate it rather than walk behind it or alongside it. This makes it an ideal solution for those wanting to move loads over exceptionally long distances – something a walkie stacker and a manual stacker would be unable to do.

Centre riders

Also known as front rider warehouse stackers, these are similar to rider stackers although they have more ergonomic and safety features fitted as standard. Essentially, the operator would be able to face the front or the back completely and with absolute ease, rather than just sideways. This ensures that there’s less of a chance of an operator becoming injured as the whole stacker is protected by the chassis itself on two sides.

However, if manoeuvrability is something you’re looking for, then a centre rider might not be the stacker for you. Although, the centre rider is most commonly applied and is suited to environments where the operators need only to travel in a straight line. Warehousing, general manufacturing and industries that require the moving and handling of beverages will find centre riders most beneficial.

Weight scale stackers

These are quite unique in comparison to more conventional warehouse stackers, mainly because it features a display which will indicate the total weight of the load it’s currently lifting. Where this is a useful feature when it comes to loading bays and factory floors, it can also cater to the niche of any industry that’s required to keep track of the exact weight of each and every load. A printer is included in some cases in order for the load calculation to be printed off and documented.

Counterbalanced walkie stackers

This is one of the most advanced types of warehouse stackers. It’s electronically-powered with a heavyweight chassis and a lifting mast which can lift loads to impressive heights in comparison to conventional warehouse stackers. As the name would suggest, these are designed to avoid tipping over in order to protect your workers and your inventory.

It can lift loads to over 100 inches and, what’s more, a counterbalanced walkie stacker can navigate throughout narrow aisles as it doesn’t include arms that protrude outside of the chassis. Out of all of the warehouse stackers available, the counterbalanced walkie stacker has the tallest lifting mast of them all, ranging from 2,600mm to 5,800mm. It’s generally used in warehousing and manufacturing thanks to its incredible lifting capabilities and versatility.

Walkie straddle stackers

Featuring outrigger arms that are able to reduce the chance of the stacker tipping over, it makes it one of the safest warehouse stackers on the market, especially if you’re wanting it to carry large or heavy loads.

Where modifications are available for walkie straddle stackers, including a reaching carriage for use throughout smaller, more narrow aisles, they’re typically used in low-to-mid level racking applications, such as those present in smaller warehouses.

All-terrain stackers

As the name would suggest, these are the most versatile warehouse stackers available. It’s exceptionally lightweight but it shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to their robustness and durability. It has a strong tubular frame that can effortlessly handle an evenly-distributed load.

It is fitted with large wheels that can navigate across a wide range of different surfaces and terrain types, including those that are uneven, loose or rough. It comes equipped with a 3-position handle that can seamlessly lock in up, down and neutral positions. The construction industry would benefit most from one of these.

The benefits of a warehouse stacker

Warehouse stackers are commonplace in many warehouses these days, mainly due to the number of models available and the benefits they’re able to offer. So how advantageous are they, exactly?

It will maximise warehouse storage

Goods can be stacked vertically onto warehouse racking with very little effort when using a warehouse stacker of any kind, something that’s also known as block stacking. By doing this, you can increase the storage capacity of your warehouse extremely easily and all without installing additional racking or shelving units. As well as making the most of the space you have available, it also helps to keep infrastructural costs to an absolute minimum.

They’re highly-versatile machines

They can be used to transport goods effortlessly across long distances and along varying terrain depending on the warehouse stacker you choose, similar to the work that can be done by powered pallet trucks. Goods can be moved onto racking, mezzanine floors and other platforms that aren’t quite tall enough to need the assistance of a reach truck.

A stacker mast can reach heights of up to 4-5 metres, giving you the capability to access at least the first and second warehouse racking levels. This means that warehouse stackers are able to perform multiple jobs and functions within one warehouse, essentially offering extremely high levels of versatility as a result.

They have impressive manoeuvrability capabilities

Carefully designed with a compact chassis, these can be operated in and around narrow aisles and tight spaces with absolute ease. Often, a warehouse stacker can reach places that an electric forklift or even a VNA forklift cannot. But having said that, often with narrow aisles it means that space can be maximised throughout the warehouse which can also help with maximising profit margins and saving money.

Warehouse stackers also have a small turning radius meaning that, essentially, a warehouse stacker can move and unload pallets in even the most compact and smallest of places. But generally, warehouse stackers are also extremely safe, offering a turtle mode feature which dramatically slows down the speed of a warehouse stacker.

The stacker’s tiller arm can also be positioned fully-upright, even if the driver wishes to engage in operation. Steering sensitivity also adds to the overall safety of the stacker, especially when in operation.

Refurbished Forklifts are experts in the material handling industry, with over three decades’ of knowledge and expertise to draw upon. We have a team of dedicated engineers who work tirelessly around the clock to recondition and refurbish the used warehouse machines we acquire. Having been rigorously safety checked, you can rest assured that you’ll be purchasing warehouse equipment that’s safe to use and will stand the test of time. For more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our specialist team – we’re always happy to hear from you.

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