Choosing The Right Warehouse Racking For You
For warehouses that need every process to be as efficient as possible, storage can be a very important part of maximizing that efficiency. Pallet racks can play a major role in helping to increase your efficiency in many ways, however picking the right pallet rack for your needs is key to achieving your goal of maximized efficiency. Different choices in pallet racks will affect the density of your storage and how easy it is to get to your products. It is important to make sure the pallet rack that you use provides you maximum space while still allowing you to manage your inventory in the best way for what your company does.
There are also many different reasons that someone might choose to use rack storage. For companies with low-volume items it makes sense to use rack storage over floor storage because of the amount of time that you have to store the items. It is better to keep these items stored on a rack than in the floor to keep space open and work conditions safe for those in the warehouse. Using rack storage can also help to keep your products safer than if they are stored on the floor. Products stored on shelves are exposed to less harmful conditions than those left on the floor. Storage racks can even help the way that your inventory flows. Keeping your products organized on racks makes those products easier to find and keeps your inventory moving in and out at a faster pace. The following pallet rack types each have their own advantages and disadvantages from inventory management to making the most out of your storage space.
Using a single-select pallet rack allows you to store one pallet for every location on that rack. This type of rack is excellent for being able to select exactly what you need when you need it and it can be used to store many varieties of sizes and pallet loads. This rack can also store products that are stored together in quantities of three pallets or less. The downside to using a single-select rack however is that this type of rack allows for the least dense type of storage meaning that you will save the least amount of space by using it. If you have items that need to be accessed fast and easily then this is the rack for you as long as space is not one of your top priorities.
2) Double Deep
This type of rack can store pallets up to six deep allowing for double the amount of storage per product than single-select racks. Double deep pallet racks do save more space than single-selects, however it is not as simple to get to products that you may need. Another down side with using double deep pallet racks is that you need an articulated forklift to make sure your getting the most out of your pallet rack, otherwise reaching some pallets can become problematic.
A push-back pallet rack is a good balance of storage space and easy access to your products. This rack, which can hold up to five pallets deep per product, is loaded from the front and each pallet loaded after the first pushes everything behind it back until it is full. This allows for dense storage while not cutting off access to your product. One setback for this rack however is that you will need to have a forklift that is powerful enough to push back every pallet that is in the rack behind the one you are loading.
A pallet-flow rack is a rack that is slightly inclined down allowing products to slide down the incline when loaded from the back. This is great for storing products that are moved on a FIFO (First in first out) basis because it allows products that are loaded first to be moved to the front of the rack making them the most accessible item. Pallet-flow racks are also great for dense storage of products but they do not offer as flexible storage as the selective racks because the different layers of a flow rack usually need to be separated by each individual product.
Drive-in racks provide the densest storage of all the racks that have been listed and are used for LIFO (Last in first out) inventory management, which is the opposite type of inventory management that pallet-flow racks used. This is because the forklift drives the pallet in and places it in the back of the rack starting with the top rack so when the rack is full the first pallet placed is the last one that can be removed. This pallet rack allows you to store a large quantity of pallets in each bay but is best used for storing a large quantity of the same product that is set to be moved all at once. By using this type of rack you will sacrifice selectivity because the first pallet stored cannot be removed until every pallet before it is removed and the rack holds a large quantity of pallets.
Source: MHI Career & Technical Information
About the Author:
Weston Rogers is a GLA (Global Logistics Associate) certified Warehouse and Distribution specialist for Lift Truck Supply, Inc. located in Temple, Texas. With a background in downstream warehouse equipment and storage solutions he brings invaluable knowledge to his clients in central Texas.
5 Forklift Safety Tips That Reduce Costs
Every company is looking to reduce costs while keeping employees as efficient as possible. While there are many ways to do this, the most beneficial to employer and employee alike is investing in safety equipment, procedures, and training. Workplaces that implement safety and health management systems are able to reduce costs by up to 40% by minimizing risks of workplace injuries to employees and equipment. The following five tips will walk you through the basics of how to do it.
Hiring and Training the Right Employees is Very Important
Managers have to find the employees that are the right fit for the job, but when it comes to finding employees that are the right fit for a forklift, it can be more complicated. There are many different skills and qualifications an employee needs to correctly operate your lifts. And, making sure you choose the right employee to do so is important to creating a safe work environment for all employees. Because lift trucks are available in different equipment classes not every employee is fit to operate every lift. The right candidate needs to be hired and assigned to the job that best fits their experience and abilities.
Hiring the right employee is only the first step, however. After you’ve found the employee that is best qualified and suited to your company’s needs there is still work to be done. In order to create the safest work environment possible for employees, every new forklift operator needs to be sufficiently and extensively trained before being on their own with your equipment. This is not only for their safety, but for the safety of everyone around them. Failure to do this cannot only create an unsafe environment for your employees, but can also have a negative effect on the overall efficiency of the company.
According to the National Safety Council, 70% of lift truck accidents are caused by operator error.
Effective forklift training methods for your employees can help to cut accidents by 25% to 30% according to MHL News. This is done by reducing equipment damage, equipment downtime, and damage to your products.
An important part of training employees is the methods you use for training. While training employees in the classroom with videos and other physical materials is important, you must also allow your employees hands on training with other experienced forklift operators that can mentor them throughout the process. This can also encourage questions from your new employees to further involve them in the training and give them a better understanding of safety procedures – increasing their chances of being a successful and safe forklift operator.
It’s also important to make sure you train employees based on the conditions they will be working in. Employees cannot be given a standardized training program, but instead need to be taught with specific training methods that relate to the exact job they will be doing and the conditions they will be working in.
Don’t Forget About Maintenance
Safety is not solely based on the operation of the equipment being used. Equipment that is not properly maintained creates a work environment that is unsafe and can reduce the efficiency with which tasks can be completed. Something as simple as an oil leak can cause downtime for your equipment. If that equipment is not properly maintained that oil leak can lead to other issues before the leak is fixed causing you to have equipment downtime as well as any other delays caused by a failure to deal with the leak – such as employees slipping in the oil. Making sure that you use some kind of preventive maintenance (PM) program for your equipment is the best way to ensure this kind of issue is taken care of before it can cause additional damage.
Maintenance doesn’t only cut costs by reducing downtime, it also reduces the costs of fines being incurred by your company. OSHA requires that lifts be inspected and maintained daily. Failure to do so can cost up to $70,000 for repeat violations. These kinds of fines can have a severe impact on the financial state of your company. Using PM programs offered by lift truck dealers can help to avoid these kinds of penalties and allow you to focus on the performance of your company.
Monitor Your Equipment Closely
With modern technology it is now easier than ever to keep a close eye on your lifts. Now you cannot only monitor your equipment, but your maintenance programs as well. Remote data monitoring about critical maintenance and other metrics regarding your fleet can be available to you at any time. Sensors can be applied to your lifts that will give you important information such as fault codes, notifications about upcoming PM’s, and even hazardous driving.
Monitoring software may also be used to observe different metrics involving the use of your lifts. These metrics can tell you the cost efficiency of your lift or even tell you if you’re spending too much time or money on one lift in particular. Most importantly monitoring your equipment is a great way to stay informed about the needs of your lifts to prevent accidents caused by technical issues before they happen.
Keep Your Operators in Control
A great way to keep employees safe when operating lifts is to keep the operators comfortable and in control of their movement. Ergonomic accessories are great at keeping the operator comfortable and removing the likelihood that your operator is fatigued, making them aware of their surroundings.
These work conditions facilitate higher productivity due to increased awareness and comfort while operating lifts. In recent years many great advancements in ergonomic features for forklift operators, designed to keep them alert and productive when operating equipment, have been produced. Some ergonomic features that help keep a safe work environment suggested by MHL News include:
- Adjustable armrests
- Adjustable steering columns with programmable tilt memory
- Fingertip controls for easy accessibility
- Electric power steering for reducing road shock through the steering wheel/tiller
- Padded compartments for added comfort
- Flexible control and support surfaces so operators can adjust the most comfortable position
Safety Programs Save You Money
Safety programs are beneficial to everyone at your company. Investing in a safety program can help employees by creating safer working conditions that help to avoid injuries as well as OSHA fines. These programs can also help financially by increasing productivity thanks to lowered downtime of equipment and better knowledge of how to operate lifts leading to an increase in productivity from employees involved in the program. Implementing a safety program can allow your employees to stay up to date on how to best operate the equipment they use everyday creating a much lower need to train new employees due to old employees leaving because of unsafe work conditions or being injured and requiring time off to recover.
Pak-Sher Belight Solution
The Belight from Jamas Enterprises was designed to meet the lighting needs in warehouses for employees that are loading and unloading trucks in low lighting conditions. It can be installed to fit any working condition with the option to be cored in, off-set on an existing bollard, or secured using a base plate so that it is never in your way when being used.
The loading dock light also has an optional auto on/off switch that will switch on or off based on when you’re door opens or closes to help save on energy costs. This can also add safety for your employees and equipment when being used thanks to the light being concealed in the bollard, reducing costs of damage to forklifts, loading docks, and lights.
This light is almost indestructible with an LED light installed in a heavy gauge steel bollard – making this durable lighting solution the perfect fit for Pak-Sher, a manufacturer in Kilgore, Texas.
Pak-Sher was experiencing damage to their forklifts, docks, and product packaging due to low lighting in their loading areas. With the Belights installed to add extra light the amount of damage done to their docks during loading and unloading times was greatly reduced. The extra light also helped to increase productivity by helping the workers get more light while loading and unloading their products.
Overall the installation of these lights was an efficient way to prevent unnecessary damage to both equipment and products for Pak-Sher and the Belights have helped to add efficiency for Pak-Sher employees working to load and unload their products.
Belight Inquiry Request
FORKLIFT PURCHASES – DEDUCT THE FULL PURCHASE AMOUNT – SECTION 179
“Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015” was passed by Congress and the House and signed by President Obama on December 18, 2015. This act expands the Section 179 deduction limit to $500,000.
What is the Section 179 Deduction?
Section 179 of the IRS tax code gives businesses the opportunity to deduct the full purchase price of forklifts and other qualifying business equipment purchased or financed during the tax year. The Section 179 Deduction is aimed primarily at small and mid-sized businesses.
What does Section 179 Do?
Typically, businesses write off equipment in stages through the depreciation cycle. The Section 179 Deduction facilitates the write off of the entire purchase amount up to $500,000 once the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 is officially signed into law.
(Note: This is for example purposes only – see this section 179 tax deduction calculator to estimate your savings)
|Purchase Price of New Forklift Fleet||$300,000|
|Section 179 Deduction||$300,000|
|Bonus Depreciation Deduction (50% of the difference between purchase price and Section 179 Deduction proposed this tax year)||$0|
|Total 1st Year Deduction||$300,000|
|Cash Savings (Deduction x Tax Rate (35%))||$105,000|
|Forklifts Cost After Tax||$195,000|
Is There a Deadline?
Yes! To take advantage of Section 179 for tax year 2017, qualifying equipment must be purchased or financed AND put into service before midnight on December 31, 2017.
Does all Toyota Forklift Equipment Qualify?
The IRS allows for Section 179 depreciation on tangible property, including forklifts, used in a business or income-producing activity. Your customers should see IRS Pub. 946 for more information and restrictions, and consult a tax advisor.
For more information, visit www.section179.org. Consult your tax professional for additional details.
La Fama Foods spokesperson and CFO, Sandra Roel, talks about the company and how material handling impacts their business.
Territory III Sales Manager
Weston covers Lift Truck Supply’s most western territory that includes – Temple, Belton, Killeen, Waco, Georgetown, and Round Rock.
Relatively new to the Central Texas region, Weston has been diligently making contacts and meeting the business community for the last year and a half.
1. Why do you think Toyota forklifts are routinely voted the best forklift brand?
Toyota has built its name around quality, durability, and reliability. Customers know that when they purchase/lease a Toyota forklift they are getting the best piece of equipment in the industry. I also believe that Toyota’s dedication to having the lowest cost of ownership, as well as their dedication to pushing the forklift industry to being safer with standard features such as SAS (System of Active Stability) let’s customers know that Toyota doesn’t just care about selling equipment, but also helping to create a safer and more efficient workplace.
2. How does it feel when a material handling solution you’ve recommended for a client completely exceeds their expectations?
Anytime I am able to help a client improve their efficiency is exciting for me. This past spring I was able to work with a client that has always purchased used forklifts and therefore had a lot of downtime and high service bills. We talked with them about going to a lease program to put new equipment in their facility. Last year they ordered and put 5 new Toyota lifts into their facility and are looking to add 5 more this year. Their service bills are almost non-existent now (outside of regularly scheduled PM’s) and they love the way the Toyota’s operate in their facility.
3. When you’re not on the job, how do you like to spend your time?
When I’m not working I spend my time with my wife Grace and our dog Buddy. We spend a lot of our free time enjoying Baylor sporting events with our family and friends… Sic Em Bears! If I’m not supporting Baylor athletics or helping my wife around the house then I like to work on my golf game when I get a chance. So when the weather is nice you can find me on the driving range or playing a round at a local course.
If you’re from Temple, Belton, Killeen, Waco, Georgetown, or Round Rock and need recommendations or quotes on forklifts please call Weston at 214.202.3313.