Forklifts Have Become Vital in Many Industries
Forklifts were created out of a need for something more powerful to help people move heavy objects short distances. For most of history, people have had to use a combination of hoists, ropes, and cables to lift large objects. However, this way of operating was not near as efficient nor as safe as many industries and workers would have liked.
During World War I, the lack of people available to work pushed the need for a more efficient and powerful means of handling material. The forklift was the answer. Eventually, in World War II, the use of forklifts began to vary and grow during the war effort. Shortly after, the innovation and efficiency the forklift provided could no longer be overlooked.
Industries all across the globe began to implement them into their operations. Businesses were looking for faster and more efficient ways to handle their products. As the needs grew and more industries began using them, forklifts experienced a handful of changes and innovations that would make them more efficient pieces of machinery.
Today, they are a welcome and crucial part of how most industries operate. However, some industries rely on them more than others.
Before forklifts were introduced, those working in the construction industry relied on ropes, pulleys, and cables to move heavy crates that contained the necessary materials. For obvious reasons, this was not the safest environment to work in. Cables and ropes could potentially snap at any moment. The likelihood of injury and even death was extremely high.
Forklifts not only improved the safety of workers within the construction industry, but they also helped speed up the time it took to finish a project. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) established regulations to protect employees while working, including regulations that protected those operating a forklift. No one is authorized to drive a forklift unless they have the appropriate certifications.
Prior to forklifts, workers’ bodies were put under more stress due to the amount of heavy lifting they were forced to do. Now, the majority of the lifting is done by their equipment. Forklifts can easily move pallets of bricks, lumber, steel, and more in a much faster time, meaning workers no longer have to put their bodies through as much stress.
Have you ever driven by a shipping yard? If so, then you have seen the incredible amount of shipping containers in use at one time. These containers are far from small. They are often large, metal vessels, measuring in at incredible weights. Once you include the products they carry, it becomes obvious why a powerful piece of equipment is required to transport them.
During the Second World War, there became an apparent need for a quick and efficient method of loading war supplies, including weapons, vehicles, and food. This need led to specialized forklifts being created to speed up this process. Today, these pieces of heavy machinery help move containers from delivery trucks to shipping yards and vice versa. The shipping industry carries these heavy containers over great lengths. Without the help of a forklift, the number of products moved would decline as would the speed it takes to move them.
Inventory Warehouses/Distribution Centers
The ability to move products quickly and reliably is what keeps a warehousing company or distribution center so successful. When these warehouses don’t operate at the speed and efficiency asked of them, the entire supply chain is hindered. With the help of forklifts, warehouses can increase their productivity and efficiency.
When the supply chain is slowed down, the stock backs up. This hurts the product manufacturer, forcing them to halt production to a given site. It also hurts those awaiting the arrival of these products. They don’t receive the goods they require in the time they were promised.
Forklifts allow workers to carry pallets of products in a timely fashion. They are an essential part of the warehouse, from loading and unloading trucks to moving heavy pallets to new storage areas.
Warehouses can be full of beverages, freezers for food, retail and grocery stores, and even the likes of Amazon Fulfillment Centers.
The manufacturing industry is full of heavy materials. Whether you are building vehicles, specialty materials, or something else entirely, there will come a time when a forklift will prove to be more than useful.
The manufacturing industry has a wide variety of material handling needs. You may be tasked with lifting parts, moving them throughout a facility to be worked on elsewhere, or simply moving pallets full of products throughout the workplace. Whatever the job may be, without a forklift to help with the heavy lifting, your business’ level of productivity will surely be affected.
While there are plenty of industries that have found stable and consistent jobs for forklifts, there are many people throughout the world who have found more unique roles to use their forklifts. Some of these include:
- Helping in natural disaster relief
- Purchasing an attachment to turn their forklift into a snowplow in the winter, clearing parking lots, walkways, and workspaces
- Purchasing a broom attachment to wet or dry sweep warehouse or dock floors, parking lots, and streets
- Lifting people to high places they would not be able to reach otherwise (a harness should be worn during this use for safety reasons)
- Attaching a boom attachment to turn them into loading cranes
As already mentioned, the jobs that forklifts were asked to do evolved as the needs of businesses began to change. These are just a handful of special jobs people use their forklifts to complete.
Ace Equipment fully understands how crucial forklifts may be to the productivity and success of your business. Our forklift experts possess the knowledge to help you find the right piece of equipment for whatever your job may be. Some industries require a different type of forklift to do a different type of job. If you and your business are in the market for a new or used forklift to help you with your day-to-day operations, contact Ace Equipment.