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Important Portable Forklift Material Handling Equipment

Whether you are someone who works in a warehouse daily or a key position holder in a factory environment, you realize that handling material plays a pivotal role in the process. And so it is with stone fabrication shops. The ability to utilize material handling equipment effectively in a variety of situations can cause productivity to climb, or crash. In this article we are going to take a look at the importance of portable forklift material handling equipment. As we look at this topic we will explore why this kind of equipment is beneficial and how it affects productivity of fabrication shops.

Material Handling Defined

Before we venture off into an examination of material handling importance as regards factories and warehouses, lets first establish what exactly we are talking about when we use the term material handling. Wikipedia says this about the term:

Material handling involves short-distance movement within the confines of a building or between a building and a transportation vehicle. It uses a wide range of manual, semi-automated, and automated equipment and includes consideration of the protection, storage, and control of materials throughout their manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal.

Examining that particular definition of the term, it is easy to see that this aspect of warehouse, factory, or fabrication shop operations is a very important part of running any of these types of facilities. After all, if you are working with heavy material, you may not be able to handle the weight without equipment. And even if the weight is not heavy, productivity may still suffer because the work would take multiple trips. So being able to handle material is imperative.

Why Portable Material Handling Equipment is Important

One thing to keep in mind is that not all material handling is the same. Some of the gear, machines, and equipment used to handle various materials in factories and warehouses is stationary and serve a definite purpose. However, there is equipment that is portable and flexible too. Portable material handling equipment and machinery is an important part of running a facility effectively. This is because there will be occasions where space will be cramped or another piece of equipment may break down and be rendered inoperable. Additionally, there are times when the size, shape, and weight of materials makes them difficult to handle.

For the reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph, being able to "port" certain machines makes the equipment more flexible. Hence, a warehouse, fabrication shop, or factory becomes more productive since bottlenecks are reduced by the flexibility portability provides. For example, imagine that a warehouse uses a conveyor system to move material from one point to another. But one day, the system has trouble and cannot be used. One solution might be to use a forklift to port the material from point A to point B. If there is no solution available, the only option is to move the material by hand at either a slower pace or in smaller quantities. However, with the portable material handling equipment option (in this case, a forklift and perhaps some other equipment), the challenge is minimized and productivity is only incrementally reduced.

Practical Portable Forklift Material Handling

As we established in the previous paragraph, forklifts make production adaptable. And in some cases other pieces of equipment enhance the flexibility and importance of portable forklift material handling. One such piece of equipment are forklift booms and boom accessories. This gear is very beneficial in warehouses, factories, and fabrication shops where large, heavy material must be lifted at once. Being able to hook a harness, basket, or other container to one of many connectors, accessories, or hooks is very practical and portable. Using forklift booms and accessories transforms a versatile forklift into a machine usable for a specific purpose.

Handling Sheets or Slabs of Material

In cases where handling sheets of material are necessary, using lifting equipment proves to be an effective solution. For example, let's say the situation is a metal fabrication shop that uses sheet metal in the form of aluminum, copper, or steel plates. In this case, coupling one of the many scissor style lifting clamps with the previously mentioned forklift boom and accessory transforms a simple forklift into a lifter for steel plates or sheet metal. Or what if the load is not metal, but a stone slab? Same result. Even concrete material that is wider than stone slabs is possible to lift if wide grip lifting clamps are used. The scenarios are many, but you get the idea. Portability often means versatile too.

Transport Racks & Carts Are Important

What if you want to handle more than one sheet or slab at a time in a factory, warehouse or shop? The solution in this case is to again transform your forklift into a portable material handler by combining its functionality with that of equipment fashioned for moving multiple sheets of material. Single sided, transport racks and double sided transport carts with forklift receivers make an entire fixture of material portable.

As we have seen in this article, the importance of portable forklift material handling equipment becomes very clear when you consider the variety of tasks that can be performed using a simple forklift. Adapting an existing forklift that many factories, warehouses, and fabrication shops already have on site is easily done. All that is necessary is adding another piece of equipment to it to accommodate particular scenarios. Having these transformative pieces of machinery available makes your facility adaptable, flexible, and productive.