6 industrial equipment elements you need for warehouse work
If you’re about to get a new business off the ground, then it’s probably an exciting time for you. This might be your brainchild, and you probably put a lot of effort into getting the funding together. Perhaps you feel confident that your products will change people’s lives, and they’re all going to be bestsellers.
Maybe this is your first foray into industrial manufacturing. If so, you’ll need to learn a little bit about what it takes not just to create your products, but to load them safely onto trucks for shipment to your brick-and-mortar locations. Here’s a short list of some of the industrial equipment in which you’ll need to invest.
You’ll likely need gantry cranes to move heavy loads around your warehouse. Gantry cranes:
- Are a critical element of most manufacturing setups
- Are available to purchase, or you can rent them in some instances
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a gantry crane is simply a crane that sits atop a gantry. A gantry is a structure that straddles a workspace or object.
Manufacturers make what they call “full” gantry cranes, which can lift extremely heavy loads. These are gigantic, and if you’re not manufacturing products on a massive scale, you might not need one, at least not when you’re getting started. There are also smaller “shop cranes,” with which you can lift automobile engines, etc.
Most physical products that you would manufacture end up on pallets, which are flat transport structures, usually made of wood. A pallet jack:
- Can lift heavy loads, generally up to 6,000 pounds or so
- Features a three-position handle
Once you learn how to use a pallet jack, you can switch the handle between the three positions, which are raise, lower, and neutral. Someone who has mastered the pallet can maneuver it with fingertip control, or one-hand operation.
They look a little unwieldy, but if you hire some experienced warehouse workers, they will likely impress you with how quickly and efficiently they can maneuver a pallet jack.
Perhaps you plan on loading your products into planes that will carry them out of state. What’s more likely, though, is that you’ll use trucks for hauling.
While your trucks are in the warehouse or next to it, ready to receive their product loads, you’ll need some truck restraints. These are equipment pieces that you install at the loading dock. They prevent vehicles from accidentally leaving that dock during the loading or unloading process.
Putting them in place helps to maximize loading dock productivity and safety. When you’ve applied them, you won’t have to worry about trailer creep. The driver can’t pull away while you’re loading if they mistakenly get their signals crossed with the warehouse workers.
There are many different types of lighting rigs that you can use for warehouse work. There are ones on mechanical arms that swing into place to illuminate dark areas all around your warehouse and dock.
You’ll probably want to get one of the models that you can adjust precisely. There are some that you can move three hundred degrees horizontally, so you can shine them directly at the area that needs them.
You can also look into some energy-efficient bulbs. Remember that a poorly-lit workplace is a dangerous workplace.
Warehouse Ceiling Fans
You might need industrial ceiling fans for your warehouse as well. Several companies make massive fans with many blades.
Some of these fans can cover up to 20,000 square floor space feet. Many warehouses get extremely hot in the summer months, and you want to make things more tolerable for your workers. Some manufacturing processes also generate a great deal of heat, so you’ll want fans that can help to dissipate that.
Also, some manufacturing processes create unpleasant odors, and your workers will certainly be glad of fans for that reason as well.
Yard ramps are equipment pieces that you’ll want to speed up your loading and unloading. There are portable ones that you can have ready in the loading dock. You can move them across the tarmac and set them up next to trailers or trucks.
They’re especially useful if you also have some utility carts. You can wheel the carts up the yard ramp, load them, then wheel them down again with minimal effort.
Even if you won’t be working in the warehouse yourself, it’s best that you familiarize yourself with some of this equipment, what it’s called, and how it works.