electric lift truck

The Warehouse Guide to Lifting Equipment

Anyone who’s ever had a job in the industrial sector knows of the existence of warehouses. The big buildings that store, stock and organize most of the products before they hit the shelves across the world. Most of us take this part for granted, envisioning the warehouse as just a huge storage place, when in fact so much work goes into maintaining such a complex interplay of man and machine.

In order for the orders to be shipped out properly, people have to not only label them, but transport them around their warehouse for easy access later on, which mostly includes the lifting of heavy parcels of industrial wares. To avoid workplace injury and increase productivity, the involvement of lifting equipment, even in these closed spaces has become an integral part of the job.

Let’s explore the specifics of some of these warehouse lifting machines, what they do, how they work and how much do they ensure that the clockwork order of the warehouse runs smoothly.

Pallet Trucks

electric lift truck types

source: unitedequipment.com.au

First on the list is the pallet truck, also known as an electric lift truck. The electric pallet lift is a simple automated vehicle whose purpose is to lift pallets of wares and transport them around the warehouse with ease.

A quality electric lift truck is easy to use, small and flexible. It’s usually operated on foot, but there are also electric lifters with so-called sit-ons or stand-ons that allow the operator to travel along with the truck. The design is fairly simple, two forks upfront to hold the pallets, rear double wheels for stability, load wheels in front to do the actual pushing and a rigid handle operated by a hydraulic lift, through which the goods can be lifted from the ground and be transported. The average height of these low-lift trucks is between 80 mm and 250 mm above ground and they have a load capacity of up to 2 tons.

The typical electric pallet truck is 1710mm by 775mm in size, weighing in around 710 kg. It’s powered by a 24v 210Ah battery, with a Brushless AC motor that unloaded can reach speeds of up to 7km/h. The wheels are most often made out of polyurethane, braced by electromagnetic brakes that can stop on a dime.

A semi-electric version of these trucks exists. Instead of an electric motor that transports the pallets, the semi-electric alternative uses electricity purely for the lifting, leaving its motion to the operator. This option usually comes with a lower price and a more compact size, but at a cost of higher operator effort being exerted.

As previously stated, the pallet truck is considered a low-lift truck. Unlike some of the other entries of this list, this means that it’s not meant for lifting and stacking, but mainly for transportation of the load. The stacker, however, that’s a different story.

Stackers

electric pallet lift

source: autoline.info/

Stackers are the taller bigger brothers of the electric lift family. They’re not only useful for carrying and transport of wares, but also give the operator extra reach, which allows for easy stacking of pallets on higher shelves around the warehouse.

Like with the pallet trucks, stackers come in a compact, sit-on and stand-on version, each with its pros and cons. They splinter off also into medium-lift and high-lift trucks, which is characterized by the height at which they can lift and stack their palleted wares.

Stackers are available with a manual or a mechanical lift. The manual lift has a load capacity up to 1,200 kg and a maximum lift height of up to 2,000 mm and is aided by a hydraulic valve which is operated by hand or foot. The more common version, however, is the electric stacker, which has the lifting capacity of up to 2,500 kg and can reach heights of up to 5,500 mm. The operator walks with the stacker or can seat in the driver’s cab.

Forklifts

electric forklift truck

source: made-in-china.com

Forklifts are the most common and widespread type of material handling equipment. They consist of a mast and a forklift fork with 1.2 metres distance between the forks. Like our previous entries, this enables the lifting, transportation and stacking of goods. The lift can reach heights of up to 2 metres and have an average baring load of 1 to 8 tons. Due to work in enclosed spaces, I am not referring to a construction-style internal-combustion type of forklift, but an electric forklift truck, which is more compact, quieter and more maneuverable in tight spots.

A wide range of attachments can turn any forklift into a versatile multipurpose material handling equipment.

Lift Attachments

pillar jib crane

source: qarilens.com

Besides for forklifts, attachments can also be used on all manner of stackers and other fork-based lifters. Some of these include:

  • Brick/block grabs
  • Carpet booms
  • Crane jibs
  • Double pallet handlers
  • Drum handling equipment –lifting, rotating etc.
  • Fork clamps
  • Fork extensions and sleeves
  • Lifting beams
  • Load stabilisers
  • Pallet rotators/tippers
  • Pusher forks
  • Roll handling
  • Rotating fork clamps
  • Scoops and buckets
  • Side shifts
  • Snow ploughs and salt spreaders
  • Sweeping equipment
  • Telescopic forks
  • Tipping skips/bins
  • Weighing systems
  • Wide load stabilisers
  • Working platforms/safety cages

Safety Equipment

Even though these electric machines are relatively safe, you can never be too safe when weights of several tons are in question, to which end, it’s important that we talk about some safety equipment that’s paramount for warehouse work. Items like construction hats, steel capped boots and visible safety vests are key when handling wares, but how can you make the lifters themselves safer?

Like the lift attachments, there are safety systems that can be installed on your lifters that provide for a safer workplace. Some of these systems include:

  • Cabs and canopies
  • Enhanced lighting
  • Flashing beacons
  • Reversing alarm
  • Specialized mirrors
  • Proximity alarms
  • Speed inhibitors
  • Speed cameras and other monitoring systems
  • Operator recognition systems – to
  • Fork positioning systems
  • Data logging systems
  • Onboard weighing systems
  • Ergonomic enhancements
Perfect-Bach-Flower

Mental Health Guide: Relieve Stress with Rescue Remedy Spray

What Are Bach Flower Remedies?

Bach flower remedies are a complementary treatment used for stress and emotional problems. These remedies have been created by Edward Bach, a medical doctor and homeopath, and have been around for close to a hundred years. In addition, homeopathy is the belief that the body can cure itself. Bach’s idea is similar to homeopathy, but these flower essences don’t work directly on physical symptoms, but rather on the emotions. Bach flower essences are small amounts of natural substances like plants and minerals which are used to treat the body and mind. His system contains 38 remedies and different flower essences have a different purpose. Additionally, there is a combination remedy that contains a few different flowers. The most popular out of all Bach remedies is the Rescue Remedy spray. Read More →

caravan awnings

A Simple Guide to Caravan Awnings: Advice & Tips

The perfect time to relax and make memories that you won’t ever forget is during a holiday. One perfect example of a holiday that allows you to bond with family and friends and create wonderful memories together is a caravan holiday. Caravanning, whether you’re going camping or travelling across the country, is an affordable way to take your family on an adventure and bond.

caravan awnings

Although it may be you who needs to do the entire planning, at least you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. You don’t need to pay for expensive hotels or search for Airbnb’s as you already have a place to spend the night in. If you are planning to go caravanning, it’s probably a good idea to do it when the weather is warmer. In that case, you’ll need something to shield you from the sun and a caravan awning is a perfect solution for that.

How to Measure a Caravan Awning

Before you go on a caravan awning shopping spree, you should know the dimensions of your caravan. All caravan awnings on the market require you to know the A, B and C measurements of your caravan since not all of them are made the same. The A measurement is the height of the awning rail from the ground – this includes the height of your caravan from the ground to the roof.

caravan awning for shade

The B measurement is the straight section of the awning rail which is determined by the length of the roof. The C measurement is the distance between where the straight section of the awning rail ends and the edge of your caravan door. This needs to be measured beforehand so there’s enough space for the rear sealing pad.

How to Set Up a Caravan Awning

When you’ve taken every measurement and got your awning in one piece, it’s time to put it up. Before you start though, you’ll need to make sure the awning rail is open all the way and that there’s nothing in its way. You also need to identify the poles and mark them with coloured tape so they are easily distinguishable and spray the awning rail with silicone lubricant.

Start off by threading the awning through the rail/channel. Have someone help you feed it through and ensure the awning is all the way through and in the centre too. Next, fit the front centre vertical pole across the roof canvas and make sure you do so at an angle so the pole is able to support the roof.

After you’ve set up the centre vertical pole into, fit a roof pole into the middle bracket pad, then extend it and connect it to the centre vertical pole. Make sure to tension the roof pole. When the roof pole is square with your caravan, lock it into place and leave the vertical pole at an angle.

Next, fit the corner vertical poles to the extended front connect pole before you extend the vertical poles to the ground. Then, insert the roof poles in the bracket pads by fitting them to the corner poles. Tension the awning in small steps to ensure that it’s secured into position. Lastly, add the guy ropes, peg out the skirt starting at the nearest point to the caravan, insert the pegs in at an angle and add the draught skirt and curtains.

How to Secure Caravan Awning

awnings-carousel caravan awning

To properly secure your awning, you need to loop one ratchet strap over the awning’s barrel. Then, you need to either peg or bolt the ratchet strap to the ground and add in a second ratchet strap for a backup and to provide an alternative hold angle too. Then, tighten the ratchet strap or straps and secure any loose ends you might have missed previously. Add deflappers to both ends and pull the awning so it’s tight. This way, even strong winds won’t stand a chance against any of your caravan privacy screens.

How to Stop Condensation in a Caravan Awning

As we all know, condensation forms when there is not enough space for water to evaporate easily in the air. There could be moisture in the ground, from people sleeping or from nearby heaters. There are multiple factors that can cause condensation in caravan awnings but there are also multiple ways to stop this.

Colorado-Patio-Annex caravan awning

You can reduce condensation by avoiding parking on wet ground, not storing wet items inside the awning and by turning off heaters. You should also maintain good ventilation and use a non-breathable waterproof groundsheet. Avoid cooking near or in the awning and wipe down condensation as soon as you notice it. If you want to rest assured there won’t be any condensation, park in a spot where there’s a natural soft breeze.

commercial-vinyl-sheet-flooring

Vinyl Sheet Flooring: the Ideal Choice for Early Years Education

Comfortable, long-lasting and easy to clean. These are the three things you should look in a floor as this ‘trio’ is the ideal base for a learning environment. From crawling toddlers to preschoolers, the chosen floor should be comfortable and safe for children of all ages. That is why, choosing a sustainable solution that can meet the highest standards in accessibility, hygiene and indoor air quality is crucial. It seems that commercial vinyl flooring has become the leading in the category.

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Australian Christmas Gins

A Simple Guide to Christmas Gifts For Gin Lovers

Christmas is just around the corner. This year is slowly coming to an end and most people couldn’t be happier about it. Although the world currently faces one of the biggest challenges in the past decades, we shouldn’t give up on our holidays. Maybe this year everything is different and we will delay our parties for some better days, but that doesn’t mean that we should forget about gifts. Giving thoughtful Christmas gifts can be a great way to wrap up this year in a bit more positive light.

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A Simple Guide to Staying Hydrated During Exercising

Staying hydrated is vital for our health. When we are active, like during exercising, hydrating is even more important. During workouts, your body maintains optimal temperature by sweating, which means that it’s losing fluid, or simply put – dehydration. That being said, here’s how to hydrate properly during your workouts.

Exercising and Fluid Intake 

girl sitting in gym with bottle
source: foodnetwork.com

Dehydration is harmful for your body, and it affects your overall performance. Even when you are slightly dehydrated, your body starts feeling the negative impact of fluid loss, and especially during exercising. Dehydration impairs your mental clarity and your ability to make decisions, it causes loss of coordination, it increases the risk of heat stress, and it makes the exercises feel harder. 

In sports, drinking water is crucial in every aspect of your performance. Regardless of your choice of staying active, whether if it’s jogging, going to the gym, dancing, something as light-paced as yoga or some more demanding sport, staying hydrated is crucial.

Proper fluid intake reduces risk of injuries, by helping your body recover faster, increasing energy, improving movement, agility, etc. and on top of all that, it makes you mentally more alert and capable. So, this is why you should always have your sports water bottle near you at all times, helping you perform better and be the best you can.

Tips for Proper Hydration

picture of bottle and women tying her shoe
source: mypromo.com.au

– Match your sweat rate with fluid intake. To measure your sweat rate, you can weigh yourself right before the exercise, ideally with minimal clothing and with empty bladder. After the workout, dry the sweat from your body with a towel and weigh yourself again. The weight change will show the fluid loss.

– Sipping water too often is not the answer to dehydrating. Too much fluids will make you feel uncomfortable, interfering with your performance. So, don’t overdrink, because it’s unnecessary to intake much more fluids than your body has lost. What’s more, if it’s excessive, over-hydration can even be harmful. 

Include Hydration in Your Workout Plan

picture of water bottle
source: buzzfeed.com

Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your body’s well-being. However, for it to work completely in your favour, and for you to be able perform, you need to do it properly. This includes stretching, doing the exercises the right way, having the right equipment, protecting yourself from injuries, eating right, and hydration. Fluid intake should be an integral part of your workout plan. To make it easier to stay hydrated, always bring your drink with you. 

Choose the Right Sport Bottle

close up picture of water bottle
source: berghasen.com

We all know that using disposable plastic bottles is not a good idea, not only because of some harmful substances the plastic may contain, but also because we should stop using them all together, having in mind plastic waste.

While it may seem like an easy task, finding the right sport bottle can take a long time, even for the most devoted athletes, and many trials and errors. When it comes to choosing a water bottle for exercising, it’s important to find one that’s comfortable and easy for you to carry, and more importantly use during workouts. This refers to volume, design, durability, material quality, and functionality.

Select the size of the water bottle according to the fluid intake you’ve determined that you need during exercise. For lighter exercises, or in colder temperatures, you don’t need as much fluids, as if you were doing a more athletically demanding sport, or running in summer, for instance.

As far as design goes, it’s mostly up to your taste. A bottle you like will make it easier for you to want to bring it, and stay hydrated. However, the design makes a difference in practicality, which is far more important than the appearance.

Choose a bottle that fits your hand right, so it’s comfortable to grab it. The perfect bottle should also be leak resistant, keeping the fluid well sealed, and it should allow you to drink easily, without taking up too much of your attention. A quality sport cap, such as the Klean Kanteen sports cap, features a highly functional spout and valve, making it easy to drink and operate using one hand. 

Good, environmentally conscious manufacturers, like Klean Kanteen, make their Klean Kanteen sports cap and sport bottles to last, using materials such as stainless steel, BPA free reusable plastic or glass. Choose the right one for you according to your own needs. BPA free reusable plastic bottles are lighter, stainless steel is best for keeping cool drinks cool, and hot drinks hot, for longer, and glass bottles keep the taste best.

Drinks for Fluid Replacement

woman drink energy booster
source: self.com

Good old water is of course effective, especially for low intensity, short workouts. However, for heavier sports, water enriched with electrolytes and carbohydrates can enhance performance. Furthermore, many people prefer consuming drinks with taste they like, which can help them rehydrate more effectively.

Manu sport drinks contain caffein and green tea because they help boost your performance by stimulating the metabolic rate and helping in the process of converting calories to energy.

toddler-outfits

A Simple Guide to Picking Stylish Clothing for Boys

Every mother wants the best for their little loves, from making the home a kid’s paradise to dressing their kids in cute outfits. It’s a common opinion that when it comes to clothing, girls’ attire choices are much wider compared to boys’. Choosing the right clothes for boys may be more complex as they damage them faster. However, having a few staples that you can mix and match with the everyday pieces might be a smart choice for dressing up your boy in style. With some careful consideration when picking the right material and design, your little boy may end up looking very cute and charming. Read More →

Natural-Sweetener

A Simple Guide to Choosing a Healthy & Natural Sweetener

White sugar isn’t healthy, and everyone knows that. You don’t have to be a diabetic to avoid it. Of course, there are some foods and drinks that simply taste terrible if they aren’t sweetened, so you have to find a healthier substitute for sugar. Healthy natural sweeteners are ideal if you’re trying to manage diabetes, keep your body in good shape, but also clear your skin, protect your teeth, and boost your immunity.

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marine battery monitor

A Simple Guide to Buying and Installing Marine Battery Monitors

How do you know if the batteries on your boat are getting enough charge? Are the wind turbine or solar panels sufficient to power every appliance you need? These are all questions worth asking if you have a boat, and in order to find the answer, you need a marine battery monitor. These devices display the net amps that go in and out of your boat’s battery and the net amp-hours since the last charge. Most marine battery monitors also show things like the percentage of full charge and the battery’s voltage, the battery’s temperature and a few other things, depending on the type of unit you got.

As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to use more than half of your boat’s battery, simply because it shortens its lifespan. In fact, some battery experts recommend using the battery only down to about 60-70% before recharging. For that reason, knowing your battery’s total capacity in amp-hours, and how much you’re down at any given time allows you to preserve the life of your battery. The amps in/amps out metric are also worth knowing as it helps you figure out which appliances on your boat are spending energy. You can test how much every power every appliance spends by plugging it in and turning it on.

endrive battery monitor

Source: youtube.com

A boat battery monitor can monitor a single battery, or they can also show the voltage on a second battery (starting battery, for instance). You can also wire up relays that automatically start a generator (if you have one on board) if the battery’ charge state gets to a certain point. Some monitors also allow you to control the shore charger and inverter. Installing marine battery monitors is pretty straightforward, and most people can do it themselves. However, if you want to wire the relays for charger, inverter or generator, you should consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.

There are quite a few companies that make marine battery monitors, the most popular of which are Victron, Xantrex and Blue Seas. All of these brands feature similarly priced monitors. Victron monitors come with everything you need to install them, whereas Xantrex ones require a separate installation kit. Victron monitors are also easier to install – almost plug-and-play – whereas installing a Xantrex monitor is slightly more complex. Victron monitors work with just about any type of battery, including AGM, gel, Li-Ion and wet cell.

marine battery monitor

Source: faroutride.com

Before you install a boat battery monitor, make sure you clean up the previous wiring, if any. If you didn’t know, battery monitors operate with the help of a shunt that’s installed between the load (devices) and the negative post of the battery. If you want to properly track the amps in/out, you shouldn’t connect anything directly to the negative side of the battery beside the shunt. If you connect anything directly, it won’t be tracked. The easiest way to hook everything up is with the help of a bus bar. The negative wire will then go from the battery to the shunt, from the shunt to the bus bar, and then from the bus bar to every appliance.

I personally use a Victron battery monitor, the main reason being is that it’s too easy to install. It took me about a dozen hours to install it, but a fair portion of that time was making space to mount the monitor, and since I’m not a handy carpenter it took longer than it should. Where you decide to mount the monitor is completely up to personal preference, although that place should be easy and convenient to access so you can check the battery status whenever you want. The Victron battery monitor comes with a long cable, so you can place it almost anywhere on the boat, away from the battery itself. The Victron battery monitor is connected to the shunt with a phone cord, which makes it easy to run the wires and connect them properly.

victron energy battery monitor

Source: inutec-int.com

Lastly, you need to install the shunt and run the wires to it. You can use a negative cable to run from the shunt to the bus bar. The shunt features large posts, which are 3/8″, so you might have to place a new end on the negative cable. In order to do this, you might need wire cutters, crimpers and strippers that can be used on large wires. You’ll also need to buy and place the ends on a short jumper from the battery to the shunt. Lastly, you’ll need to connect the positive wire to the shunt so that the monitor is powered. Victron battery monitors come with either a single ring terminal on one end or a straight crimp and power wire on the other. There’s a fuse in between which you may need to remove while performing the connections.