The goal of any warehouse manager is to ensure optimized efficiency, increased productivity, and safety and maximise profitability.  But if your operational expenses are on the increase due to maintaining equipment to warehouse the quality of your warehouse space, your business might just be one that has the incorrect material handling equipment that instead of helping your business is hurting it. Not all warehouses are the same, and the same applies to your material handling equipment.

The type of warehouse to the type of operations and current functions to proposed future functions must be carefully considered when selecting the right material handling equipment that will support your efforts to creating an efficient and profitable business.  Several factors need to be considered when choosing warehouse material handling equipment suitable for your applications.

In this article we’ll review warehouse types and some of the considerations to keep in mind when selecting your warehouse material handling equipment.

1. Consider warehouse type

Warehouses form an integral part of the supply chain impacting on the storage, management, and distribution of goods.  Warehouse type considers the type of products stored, to warehouse environment and operating conditions to the frequency in movement of product.  Whether your warehouse is categorised as a distribution centre, an on-demand warehousing for e-commerce fulfilment or cold storage warehousing or other; your warehouse type, operations to environment plays a significant role and must be considered when selecting the right material handling equipment.

Some warehouses will require narrow aisle forklifts, sideloaders, pallet trucks to electric forklifts for inside operations.  In the event of cold environments, your material handling equipment must be able to withstand cold temperatures whilst still operating efficiently.

 

2. Warehouse environmental conditions

When it comes to selecting a suitable forklift for your warehouse, certain environmental conditions must be considered, such as:

2.1 Cold environments & conditions in relation to forklift engine performance

Cold temperatures, influenced by winter or running a cold-storage warehouse facility can influence the performance of your forklift impacting on productivity levels to increased operational expenses.

With electric forklifts, cold temperatures cause the batteries electrolytes to thicken, which affects its ability to power the forklift, lowering efficiency and battery life.  Our Toyota electric forklifts powered by lithium-ion or lead acid batteries are suitable for cold storage application doing non-intensive work in chilled environments up to -30˚C.  Offering increased productivity through reduced charge times whilst enhancing convenience and durability.

In general diesel forklifts also struggle during winter or within cold storage environments.  Hard starts and forced forklifts require more fuel to operate.  Optimizing your diesel forklift for optimum efficiency in these conditions requires matching your forklift to the load and lifting capacities to ensuring that it is regularly maintained and serviced.

 

2.2 Warehouse floor conditions and its impact on forklift tires

Believe it or not, but your warehouse floor plays a crucial role in selecting the right forklift with the correct forklift tyre type.  Having the most suitable quality forklift tire for your operations can lead to increased productivity, improved safety, lower operation costs and more.  Having the incorrect forklift tires to match your warehouse floor conditions could have the opposite effect.

For example, cushion tyres are made from durable smooth and solid rubber.  Their small turning radius and greater traction on smooth flooring makes them more suitable for ready and efficient indoor operation.  The incorrect forklift tires could damage your warehouse floor, leading to increased costs, risk and damage.

Read our article about the impact of forklift tires on your operations.

 

2.3 Warehouse Aisle considerations

With space constraints being a continuous challenge for warehouse managers, narrow aisles, to very narrow aisles and vertical utilization has become popular solutions to increase your warehouse capacity.  Toyota material handling equipment for warehouses offer compact designs offering greater manoeuvrability and speed in limited spaces.  Our range of forklifts, side loaders, reach stackers to pallet handling forklifts are especially suitable for narrow aisles and high reach aisles.

 

3. Should your warehouse hire or buy a forklift?

Warehouse managers must manage capital and operational budgets carefully.  Investing capital to buy a new forklift versus hiring a forklift to allow for budget to be available for business operations or expansion needs must be evaluated.

Renting a forklift for a short to long-term to cover operational spikes or in the event of damage to existing equipment is a benefit.  At Toyota Forklifts, we offer a range of new and used forklifts for hire and sale.

Read our article on the short to long-term forklift hire options for warehousing.

 

Speak to us

At Toyota Forklift we are global leaders in the material handling equipment industry.  We offer a variety of equipment suitable for your warehouse environment and business needs.  Speak to us about finding the right warehousing material handling equipment for your applications.

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