Successful scissor lifts
12 December 2012
Edmolift md Darren Papani has been in the scissor lift platform industry for over 20 years.Here are his top five considerations for a successful loading bay lift platform installation. The flexibility and adaptability
The flexibility and adaptability of a scissor lift platform has ensured that over the last decade these robust products have been established as a loading bay essential. Many suppliers produce scissor lifts specifically for use in this specialist environment and utilise years of expert knowledge in the process.
The loading bay lift platform is often the primary means of goods transfer between vehicle and dock.Without a reliable, efficient lift platform the warehouse can be at a near standstill, so it is vital that the lift installed is absolutely right for the job. I would consider five factors to be particularly important in ensuring the job is carried out correctly.
1Safety From the very first time a supplier makes a site inspection the product risk assessment should be at the forefront of the specifying process. The machinery directive dictates that this must be completed. Ensure your supplier considers vehicle movement and load type. They must review the process from yard level as well as dock level but also from the view of the vehicle driver, lift operator and possibly also the forklift or pallet truck operator. Fully understanding the operational environment is essential.
2Specification When determining your specification the obvious questions should be raised such as height, load capacity and platform size. But other less obvious considerations are load distribution, stability of loads, trapping hazards, raised height safety, control location, bridging and barrier methods.
If any one of these is not ideally suited to your application then the success of the project will be seriously compromised.
A good supplier, such as a member of ALEM (Association of Lifting and Elevating Equipment Manufacturers), will assist with all of these issues.
3Goods/load type Understanding the types of load to be moved is very important.Whether it is pallets, roll cages, or loose loads etc. They all present their own challenges that must be understood and tackled. An example of this might be a city centre grocery retailer taking deliveries in the early hours. They must respect their residential neighbours and as such must try to dampen the noise of hard rimmed castors to reduce noise levels. A non-slip grit finish is therefore preferential to a rough tread plate platform finish that will rattle roll cages and impact on noise levels.
4Vehicles While a scissor lift with its extended lift stroke can accommodate most vehicle heights it is also important to understand other areas of vehicle design. The lift's bridge plate must extend beyond the rear buffers or dumper. Can the driver see the lift and off load position? Are reversing and positioning aids required? Is the lift operator safe during this process?
5Operating environment and business culture Your lift specifier must spend time listening to exactly what the lift is required to do but also understand the client's procedures, methods of working and the entire operating environment.
Only when these areas are fully understood and appropriate actions implemented can you be confident your loading bay lift is as safe, efficient and effective as possible.