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The World is Now Going Slower

NOT! We all seem to be moving faster and faster these days. As they say, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get”. So what can we do to reclaim some of that time and efficiency when we’re racing around in the warehouse, trying to get stuff loaded and unloaded, picked and put away, but still being safe about it?

One of the first things that can be done is PLANNING the work. Before you start driving, start thinking about the safest path through the warehouse, how to avoid pedestrian traffic (which can slow us down) and perhaps save multiple trips with one longer trip. It might even involve a new warehouse layout to have the most frequently picked items nearer to the door.

The second thing we can do is make sure we have the right tool for the job. Trying to put away cartons using a paper clamp just doesn’t work. Plan the work so that you get the forklift with the right attachment, the rubber mallet instead of a hammer that will damage equipment, or the properly rated rail board for unloading the rail car instead of the board that’s nearest to the dock door.


The last thing you can do is to think about your warehouse environment when you are replacing or buying new equipment. Taking a few extra moments to assess how your equipment is going to be used can save you time, money and personal injury in a big way. Don’t just replace the board you have… think about the equipment you really want. Here are some things to consider to maximize your investment and efficiency when buying new equipment:

  • What capacity do you really need for that dock board or plate? The answer is not just the weight of the product you are carrying. A higher grade going either up or down into a truck or rail car really accelerates the wear. Higher use (multiple shifts) and three-wheel forklifts also require higher capacity boards. And buying a board with slightly more capacity than you think you need can be your best investment. In some cases, higher capacity boards and plates can double your product life for a very small investment up front.
  • What are the traffic types and flows around the area?   What directions do forklifts go when they come out of the vehicle? Is there enough room on the dock?
  • If you can think of any design modifications to the product that will help you with your efficiency, talk with your dealer or manufacturer (especially those with good engineering support) to help you get a customized product that can give you a real advantage in efficiency.
  • Lastly, good rapport with an experienced dealer can help you identify best practices and where you may have an opportunity to improve the equipment you’re using now. The dealer’s knowledge is usually free to you, and can result in years of faster and safer use of your tools and equipment.