When you think of the necessities for improved warehouse operations, generally people may think of the following;
- More staff
- Better training
- Material handling equipment
- Fantastic productivity
Something people may not often consider is the cleanliness and tidiness of floor space. Whilst successful businesses obviously keep their facilities in order, a mop and broom take time and can also cause the employee who carries out these tasks a lot of strain. Not only this, but sometimes elbow grease just can’t cut it.
Cleaning technologies are a simple and effective solution. Let’s take a closer look at how they can help your business.
- Low Cost Solution for a Time-Consuming Problem
For many businesses, especially small to medium facilities, cost is everything. When it comes to keeping a clean area, sometimes a cleaner is employed, but often it’s the shared responsibility of the team.
Whether it’s paid hours or just an additional task, it’s an undoubted fact that cleaning takes time. This is especially the case when all that’s available is a mop, bucket and broom. If a facility is open to the elements, especially in autumn and winter, cleaning can become a full-time job, just to keep the area dry and safe.
Small pedestrian sweepers and scrubber driers (such as Hako’s Sweepmaster M600 and Scrubmaster B12) can make a massive difference. With excellent first-time results that mean secondary scrubbing or sweeping is rarely required, they can provide the deep cleaning solution needed. Not only this, but they’re low cost, low maintenance and with minimal downtime required for servicing, you won’t have to worry about breaking the budget.
If your facility is a little larger, then larger models (such as the Sweepmaster 650 and the Scrubmaster B45) are available to help cover more ground with even more cleaning power, all the while still remaining affordable.
- Low Impact Operation
Manual sweeping and mopping can be an arduous task – but it can also be a harmful one. Repeated motion can not only cause strains but repeatedly bending to sweep up rubbish/dust can cause back, shoulder and knee damage.
If your facility is bigger, then there are also ride on versions of sweepers and scrubbers which can eliminate the need to walk with the equipment. Perfect for large scale warehouses and buildings, the larger models require more due diligence as they’re powerful pieces of machinery, but are a perfectly safe alternative to traditional cleaning methods.
Speaking of safety…
- Improve Facility Safety
Did you know that the most common form of workplace injuries are slips, trips and falls?
At 31% of all non-fatal work injuries, the worrying part is that these accidents can mostly be avoided with good housekeeping (for more safety, see Hitec’s Top 10 Health and Safety Practices). If there’s been a spill, a leak or if water and other elements have managed to get into a facility from outdoors, there’s a chance that an employee could get hurt.
Sweepers and scrubber driers are ready for use at a moment’s notice. Has a crate of alcohol spilled? A sweeper can move all the glass safely away whilst a scrubber can come and take up the liquid, cleaning the floor thoroughly so that there’s no sticky residue or patches of wetness that could cause incident. Not only that, but they can do so far quicker than a mop ever could.
If you’re battling the weather and rain is constantly coming in, then it’s vital to keep the floors as dry as possible for pedestrians and moving equipment – a small scrubber drier can help do so. Quick to utilise and easy to use, it could help keep the floor safe and dry.
Need to move sharp or broken goods? A sweeper is an effective and safe way of clearing the problem without risking pick up and employees harming themselves.
- Compact and Green Solution
A common misconception that many businesses might have is that they would not have room for cleaning technologies, particularly if they have a lot of equipment already or are tight on space. However, you might be surprised as to how little space your cleaning equipment can take up.
Built to be compact, even ride on models can be kept in small areas and corners. As for charging? A majority of sweepers and scrubbers can simply be plugged into the mains; no fancy, large charging ports which can take up too much room.
With models available for all facility sizes, there’s bound to be cleaning equipment the correct size for your needs and business.
You don’t need to worry about environmental impact with sweepers and scrubbers either; all models (except outdoor sweepers) come in an electric powered option; giving your business the peace of mind that you’re keeping your facility, and the air, clean.
If you’re in need of cleaning technologies that can keep not only your outdoor facility clear and tidy, but also your yard and even grounds, look no further. Outdoor cleaners are fantastic, powerful pieces of kit that can do far more than sweep the floor.
With the ability to be hooked up to grounds maintenance and winter attachments, you can keep the area around your facility and yard in excellent order. Attachments include (but are not limited to);
- Snow Brushes
Perfect for businesses that have primarily outdoor facilities, car parks, roads and grounds to care for, outdoor cleaners are a fantastic investment that can complete a multitude of tasks. With enclosed cabs to keep operators safe and warm, even in the cold months, outdoor cleaners could be the multi-functional cleaning equipment you need.
With cleaning technologies available in all sizes and suited to all types of facility (from warehouses to shopping centres, yards to showrooms), there’s a piece of equipment for every business. Even if you’re on a budget, you can still achieve the safe and clean floors that’ll boost your production and increase the safety of all of your employees.
If you’d like to find out more about the equipment mentioned or would like to consider purchasing or hiring cleaning equipment, then why not get in touch? Our expert team will be able to help you decide what would be best suited to your business and help find a solution that fits your budget. Call today on 01933 228127, email [email protected] or visit our contact page.
Sooner or later, the working life of a forklift comes to an end. Before you commit to choosing a replacement, there are a few key questions that could save you hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds in the long term.
By pinpointing your precise requirements, it’ll become easier to find the ideal machine that ticks all the right boxes.
Here are some of the top questions to consider before you start your search for a new machine, so that when you talk to your dealer, you feel like you are fully prepared.
1. Are you working predominantly indoor or outdoor?
Whilst this may seem self-explanatory, it plays a vital role in guiding the decisions you make when considering a forklift.
If operations are predominantly outdoor, then in most cases the operator will be more comfortable with an enclosed cabin due to heating and protecting from the elements. Conversely, an open cab will be more appropriate for indoor environments, where an operator requires greater visibility.
This also dictates which fuel type will work best for your needs.
- Diesel forklifts are large, powerful pieces of equipment which makes them well suited to outdoor work.
- LPG forklifts use propane: a versatile fuel that works well for both indoor and outdoor applications. However, the fuel tanks are small and generally require more frequent refueling than diesel.
- Electric options are most common for purely indoor use, though there are now models that can also operator outdoors on different types of surface.
2. Will there be any uneven ground?
The question of indoor or outdoor also requires you to consider the types of surface your forklift will operate on. From thick mud that gets into your boots to polished concrete floors, there is extensive variation in the types of ground your equipment could work on. This in turn will impact on the type of forklift and chassis you need.
Different classes of forklift are uniquely suited to different operating conditions. Some are only suitable for smooth, hard surfaces while others have features that wouldn’t be necessary in the same application.
3. How heavy will the load be typically?
Load dimensions truly come in the full range of shapes and sizes.
In the world of forklifts, the weight of the object being lifted is important, but there are other qualities which need to be considered when determining the required capacity of the machine. The length, height and width of the objects will determine the centre of mass, and this will impact on the capacity of your forklift.
Take detailed measurements of the loads you need to lift, including a good approximation of their weights. This information will be important for your forklift sales rep to calculate the required lift capacity to ensure you get the best machine for the job at hand.
4. What height will you need to lift to?
This question isn’t asking you to look at the maximum fork height of your current forklift. It’s asking you to take a measurement of the highest racking or package in your facility in order to determine the maximum fork height you will require.
It’s also important to factor in any obstacles that you may need to avoid when placing a product onto a higher racking or position.
5. How big is the space you are operating in?
If your facility or yard has any height restrictions, you’ll need to consider these when choosing a forklift.
Things to consider include:
- Overhead ducting
- Trailer/van heights
It’s also important to consider if the forklift is to be operated inside a trailer or a van and if so, will you be required to stack products whilst inside? Understanding the space and height restrictions alongside lift heights will determine the type of mast you need. A standard mast will have the best visibility and capacity retention, but it will increase the overall height of the forklift. A triple mast will offer greater lift heights with a lower machine height than the standard mast, but you will have to make sacrifices in terms of visibility and capacity retention.
6. How wide are your aisles?
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important to be precise.
You need to ensure your staff can operate the forklift safely in the space that’s available in the environment. The width of your aisles will determine the size of the machine they can accommodate, and you need to factor in the machine’s ability to manoeuvre comfortably. This includes turning and operating the forks without bumping into racking units or knocking anything over.
7. Will you need to run your fleet 24/7?
Think about the operating times – does your facility run a single, double, or even triple shift operation? Are you running a continuous operation in which the forklift is an integral part of operations? Perhaps the machine is merely a supporting factor that is used for periods of time throughout the working day.
Higher usage operations will result in more wear and tear on a machine, which will decrease its overall longevity. In this case, you would be best advised to opt for a new machine over a used one, as this will ensure you get the most out of your investment. On the other hand, if your machine is likely to have less than 4 hours operating time each day, a used machine will probably be sufficient.
8. Do you need the forklift long term?
There is more than one way to acquire a forklift for your facility. The first option is to purchase one outright, whether you choose to go with brand new or used equipment. This is arguably the best option for long term, because it means you will own the forklift permanently whilst keeping ongoing costs to a minimum.
If you only require the forklift for a short period of time, you may be better off renting one. This will afford you open-ended usage of a machine for a specified time period, which can be as little as one day or many months at a time. This means you will only have the forklift for the amount of time you require it, and will require less expenditure than purchasing outright (unless the rental extends into years).
Of course, you could purchase a machine and then sell it on when you are finished with it, but there is no telling how much money you would recoup this way, and there are no guarantees that you would even be successful in selling it – particularly if the machine is damaged in any way.
The third option is to lease a forklift, which involves acquiring a new machine for which you make regular payments for an agreed number of months (usually 36-60 months). At the end of the lease, you return the equipment to the lender. This is a good option when usage is likely to be 3 hours per day, and you know the application of the forklift will change in the coming years.
9. What kind of budget are you willing to spend?
The choice of whether to buy, rent or lease should be guided by the usage requirements you have and the budget at your disposal. Renting and leasing are better for the short or medium-term. Renting or leasing may also bring the added benefit of not having to pay extra for maintenance.
If you do require a forklift for the long-term, and you have the capital to invest, then purchasing is usually the best option. However, usage requirements still need to be factored in to help decide whether a new or used machine would be best for you.
If forklift usage will be less than 3 hours per day, a quality used forklift is worth considering. Any longer than this and a new machine would be best. Of course, if you don’t have the budget for a new machine, and even the finance options aren’t enough for you, then you may be forced to go with a used forklift.
10. Will a forklift fulfil all of your material handling requirements?
You know your facilities and operations better than anyone. Will a forklift will be the answer to everything you need to do on site? There are all manner of accessories available for different types of forklift. This includes various tyre options as well as lights, backup alarms, ergonomic support, mirrors and fork/lift attachments.
If you have a good understanding of your material handling needs, a forklift dealer can guide you on the most appropriate tyre options and choices of optional accessories. If you find that there is no forklift that can handle all of your needs, you may need to consider investing in more than one type of forklift, or examine your options for what else might be available to meet your criteria.
If you’re ready to start looking for some new equipment, or you need a little help finding the answers to these questions contact Hitec and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you out with an on-site evaluation.
For the past two (and a half) days, Hitec Lift Trucks have been exhibiting at Donington Park’s annual access equipment event, Vertikal Days!
Situated at stand 207, we were out in the beautiful sunshine for the full two days of the event and were lucky enough to meet some fantastic industry professionals and were able to show off just what a broad range of equipment we have available; some people were genuinely surprised that we were able to provide for all areas of material handling equipment! Also, most of us got sunburn.
In the evening of the first night, we took part in a networking evening that saw delicious food and fantastic entertainment from the band Rollercoaster, although we didn’t get down and boogie on the dance floor, we probably deafened a few people with our singing along!
Day two was a little more overcast but still a fantastic opportunity to meet and talk with the event visitors.
Thank you Vertikal Days for having us, we look forward to next year!
Saturday saw both joy and a few tears as we belatedly celebrated Christmas and also bid a fond farewell to Andy Selbie who, alongside Prospero Girardi, began Hitec Lift Trucks over thirty years ago.
Nearly everyone from the Hitec family was able to make the meal, including partners, husbands and wives. Held at Oriental Paradise in Billing, the team were treated to three courses of delicious food and many a laugh. After everyone had their fill, Pros took center stage to thank Andy for his service. Much Mr Selbie’s embarrassment.
Andy has taken part in nearly every area of Hitec since it’s inception, from working the tools to driving the lorry, from hire to ownership of the office dog. Now, he has plenty of time to rest and relax alongside Pip! As a thank you for all of his help, support and partnership over the years, Andy was presented with a certificate for steam train experience and given more than a few thankful hugs from Pros. Andy will be retiring from Hitec at the end of May and he’ll be dearly missed!
Alongside Andy’s retirement, the Hitec team finally had the opportunity to celebrate Christmas. A bit late perhaps, but we still managed to have a fantastic time with more than a few members becoming a little jolly.
Hopefully next time we’ll celebrate Christmas a little closer to December…
The Waendel Walk was a success!
After setting off at 10am alongside the rest of team Mind, Hannah and Adam completed the 9 (and a bit!) mile walk in 3 and a half hours and walked over 23,000 steps.
Thank you everyone for your support, let’s do it again next year!
On May 11th, team members Adam Lantsbery (Sales Director) and Hannah Newman-Plummer (Marketing Administrator) will be taking part in 2019’s Waendel Walk to raise money in aid of local mental health charity, Wellingborough Mind.
For two people who are known for a love of doughnuts, it’s going to be a big challenge but all in aid of a good cause.
Joining ‘Team Mind’ for the morning, Adam and Hannah will walk alongside Wellingborough Mind staff, volunteers and other fundraisers for the 9 mile (15km) hike on the second Saturday of the Month.
A fantastic organisation, Mind operates throughout the UK and offers support for anyone who struggles with their mental health. With an aim to reduce stigma and ensure that anyone who experiences a mental health problem receives help and respect, Mind is a wonderful resource and can help many better understand mental health.
If you’d like to help support Adam and/or Hannah, you can sponsor them by getting in touch with us on 01933 228127.