Models that are made to measure
12 December 2012
Custom designed trucks can prove effective both in terms of cost saving and health and safety, says Hubtex Akey question regarding heavy duty lifting and moving is whether to use custom designed equipment or deploy
Akey question regarding heavy duty lifting and moving is whether to use custom designed equipment or deploy generic trucks.
A 20 tonne steel section 10 metres long can easily be picked up by a large counterbalance truck but it requires a lot of space and questions could be asked over safety. This has to be balanced against the cost of designing a tailor-made handling solution.
The best option is to talk to a manufacturer who is used to providing solutions for these kind of issues. Time is also very important. It can take many weeks to create a solution in concept and a sensible guide to cost is important at the earliest stage for both customer and supplier as much time can be wasted otherwise in development if the cost is never going to be justified.
A good example of this would the facts surrounding a Dedicated Picking Platform. The cost of such a truck is known through similar applications and balancing this with the expected customer benefits at stage one determines whether the concept will be cost effective.
If the project goes forward from here, Stage Two consists of detailed investigation. An example of the importance of accuracy here is simple. If a fork truck dealer provides a customer with say a 2.5 tonne counterbalance truck with a 4500mm duplex mast and a low door height has been missed, the truck can be changed very quickly, even if at someone's cost. However, if a hybrid truck has been specified wrongly, the truck could be scrapped and the cost to whoever may be far more than the truck cost to produce.
A good example of a bespoke truck is the coil and reel handler. Large reels can be very awkward to move around due to their shape and visibility can be a major problem. This truck overcomes these issues and offers greater space utilisation.
In summary, intelligent planning and research means that there is a good chance of a solution being found for awkward loads. In addition, improvements in the way existing material is being handled are possible, offering improved safety and efficiency.