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Gravity Is the Enemy of Materials Handling Equipment
Businesses that handle a lot of boxes, pallets, or other materials usually are built for efficiency and speed. Careful planning and engineering go into operational design to eliminate delays in material handling. You normally won’t find any curbs, drop-offs, or other surface transition that will slow things down.
Instead, docks, warehouses, and other workplaces have ramps, pitched flooring, and other design elements that facilitate the smooth, uninterrupted movement of materials handling equipment like forklifts, pallet jacks, and hand trucks. The fewer stops a worker has to make, the more efficient and productive the workplace.
The downside of all this is gravity. This physical force never takes a coffee break. It’s always at work. All you need to do is to park materials handling equipment on an incline to learn this lesson the hard way.
Forklift Accessories — Defy Gravity
Gravity will pull an unattended forklift or pallet jack down a ramp. It will topple a stack of boxes piled on an incline. And it will tip over a pallet that isn’t placed on an upper shelf properly. Gravity is a cruel mistress.
Warehouse personnel, dock workers, forklift operators, and others need to be cognizant of the dangers of gravity in their workplaces. It can cause damage to products and property, slow down work, and even cause injuries and deaths. Gravity is serious business.
Fortunately, there are some basic tools you can use to overcome the effects of gravity, reduce risks, and increase workplace safety and efficiency. Some are as simple as a block of wood.
Forklift Accessories — Anti-Gravity Tools
Wheel chocks are commonly used to prevent tractor-trailers, forklifts, and other wheeled vehicles from moving once they are parked. Even the smallest angle of incline can awaken the effects of gravity, causing wheels to turn and vehicles to roll out of control.
Place wheel chocks under the tires, however, and gravity can be stopped in its tracks — literally.
Pallet truck stops perform the same task for manual pallet jacks. They secure the wheels when the pallet jack is parked when not in use or during loading so that it can’t start rolling away with your products or materials. It’s a fast, simple way to protect your employees, products, and business while improving safety and efficiency.
These helpful tools aren’t terrifically complicated. They don’t require a power supply. They won’t collect data or make complicated calculations. Most don’t have any lights or whistles. Yet something as simple as wheel chocks or pallet truck stops can save lives, improve safety, and make your business more productive and profitable.