Portable Product Lifts Tips

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What are some terms I should know when shopping for a mobile lift table?

Lift Table Terminology

Mobile lift tables can be very useful items at your place of work. That's because they can be moved from work station to work station to raise and position your work for ergonomic access. Before shopping for a lift table or mobile lift table, here's a brush up on lift table terminology, courtesy of globalspec.com:

  • Lift capacity: the maximum force or load supported by the lift
  • Vertical lift travel: describes the difference between fully lowered and fully raised lift positions
  • Platform width: the narrow dimension of the lift platform
  • Platform length: the long dimension of the lift platform
  • Actuation method: lift tables may be actuated by hand cranks, screw drives, foot pumping and ratcheting, pneumatic air cylinders and air motors, hydraulic cylinders and motors, or electrical motors

   
What is a load center?

What is a Load Center

When dealing with portable product lifts such as lift trucks, you should know about load centers. What is a load center? Here is an explanation, courtesy of Big Joe Manufacturing: all lift trucks have a stability rating expressed as a number of pounds capacity at a given load center. The presumption is that the load is a perfect cube and the load center is in the middle horizontally and vertically. For example, if a lift truck is rated for a 24-inch load center, the load is ideally 48 inches deep and high. If a lift truck is rated for an 18-inch load center, the ideal load is 36 inches deep and high.

   
What is a Hefti-Lift?

What Is A Hefti-Lift?

A Hefti-Lift is a type of portable product lift that can carry up to 800 pounds, depending on the model. This product lift comes with a removable chrome platform built to accommodate jobs
which require forks. Some models have a foot pump for raising and lowering the lift platform, but DC power is also an option. One important thing to know about the Hefti-Lift. This particular portable product lift is not made to lift pallets. If you need a product to move pallets, it's best to skip the Hefti-Lift.

   
What should I ask when buying a discontinued portable product lift?

The Art Of Buying Discontinued Portable Product Lifts

If you are looking for deals on portable product lifts by purchasing discontinued, or otherwise "reduced-for-sale" equipment, it's important to ask a few pertinent questions before committing your money. Does the vendor honor the same warranty and service agreements on the discontinued models as the rest of their products? Can you still locate replacement parts, accessories, and other add-on items? Is the item being discontinued because of manufacturing defects or other problems? Chances are you can still get an excellent deal, but it is important to know exactly what kind of support and accessorizing options you have with any kind of discontinued product lift.

   
What is an aluminum light load lift?

The Aluminum Light Load Lift

Most people think about moving heavy items when they think of portable product lifts, but there are smaller, less expensive lifts which are perfect for some repetitive lifting and moving operations. Do you have an inventory coming up? An aluminum light load lift is an excellent tool to prevent back injuries potentially caused by the strain of repeated lifting and carrying of smaller boxes, file storage systems, and product cartons. These units are operated by a winch or foot pump to raise and lower the platform. Best of all, many of these lifts have capacities of up to 400 pounds, so they can handle the heavier items in your inventory as well as the light loads.

   
Is there a portable lift specifically for plastic containers or pallets?

The Adjustable Box Stacker--Plastic Friendly!

The material handling portable lift category includes a device called the adjustable box stacker. This type of material handling lift is designed to transport and stack plastic containers. All clamps are coated with rubber to protect the plastic. They are one-person operated and include a driving handle, a pump pedal and a steering wheel.

The box stacker is much more ergonomic than a hand-carry operation, and the capacity for the stackers far exceeds what a person should safely carry. The stackers have a raised height of up to 48-feet and come with fork sizes up to 20-inches long and 17-inches wide.

These stackers are foot-pump activated and require no recharging, power supply or battery replacement, making them perfect for use in areas where outlets or power supplies are limited. With any hand or foot-operated device, your workers should be given a brief training session on the proper ergonomics for any material handling portable lift equipment you choose to employ. This will reduce the potential for injuries or strain caused by improper use of the material handling portable lift.

   
Can I find a portable electric lift in a fully manual version?

The Advantage of Going Manual

If you need a portable lift, but are on a tight budget, consider a manual portable lift. One model called the Trans-Positioner Straddle Design, comes in a fully manual version for just under $3,000. Compare that with the cost of the fully electric version which has a $10,000 price tag.

If your facility needs the technology at a reduced price, the fully manual mode may be your budget's best friend. There are also models that feature a manual drive but have an electric lift. This combination is also affordable and may be better suited to your needs depending on the operation. The fully manual version carries a load rated at just over 2,000 pounds. The manual/electric version can carry 3,000, the same capacity as the fully electric version. It all depends on the needs of your operation and the capacity you desire out of your portable electric lifts.

   
What are some training issues for portable material lifts?

Training Concerns for Your Portable Lifting Equipment

If you are training your employees on any piece of equipment, whether it be a lift stacker or forklift, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

  • A demonstration of the proper use of the equipment is one of the most important features, no matter how simple the operation may be.
  • A lift stacker, for example, should be fully demonstrated including the proper use of any hand cranks, foot pumps and the appropriate way to load the lift stacker.
  • You should be sure to explain what the capacity of the lift stacker or other equipment is rated at and if there are any safety concerns regarding potential pinched fingers, eye hazards or other issues.
  • Does your lift stacker have a safety catch, wheel lock or other mechanism? Explain these in full as well.

   
I need a solution for ground-level boxes so my workers don't have to stoop to transport them. Help!

"Low Profile"--Eliminating Back Strain and Adding Efficiency

Some portable lifts are solutions similar to a hand-truck or a dolly but with much higher capacities and better load centers. If you need a portable lift that can handle 500 pounds and has a large platform, it's better to invest in a low profile load lift portable sytle than to make do with a dolly or a hand truck not rated to carry the load properly.

The lowered height on many of these low profile units is only a quarter of an inch, and is adjustable with either a hand crank or foot pump depending on the model. These versatile units are much more suited to certain kinds of lifting which a dolly won't be appropriate for. These portable lifts are designed to cut down on lifting and can load material from the ground making life much easier on the backs of your workers.

   
What is the most preventable forklift injury?

The Most Preventable Portable Fork Lift Related Injuries

It's true that that you can have mishaps from the use of portable fork lifts and other related equipment. But there is also a potential injury waiting to happen for the LACK of use of a portable forklift.

Are your employees neglecting to use the proper equipment when in a hurry, or if the load seems "light enough"? You are purchasing the equipment for a very good reason--to reduce workplace injuries, improve efficiency and make life easier on those who must move heavy loads.

Be sure your training plan reflects a requirement for all loads that need a portable forklift or other ergonomic solution to be used whenever possible. A heavy load in a busy area is dangerous when carried by hand, especially if the load obstructs the field of vision of someone walking in an area with forklift traffic and other hazards.

   
What is a pallet server?

What Are Portable Product Lifts?

Portable product lifts are equipment that can help with your material handling needs such as fork lifts, lift trucks, tote lifters and basket servers. One category of portable product lifts is the pallet server. This is an alternative to a fork truck which is advertised at a fraction of the cost. They are operated by hand by a walking operator, and are available for purchase with an optional portable traction drive system that makes the server easier to maneuver. The traction drive system allows a single operator to both load the stacker and transport it. The advantage of this type of portable product lift is the ability to transport a pallet, skid or crate without an understructure.

   
What are some portable product lifts on the market?

Portable Product Lifts

Portable product lifts such as pallet trucks can lift heavy loads and are easy to maneuver. Here are some other portable product lifts that can make your warehouse or factory duties easier, courtesy of beacontechnology.com:

  • Aluminum lite load lifts: these lifts are designed to lift and move loads from trucks to docks or assist in inventorying storage system items
  • Box stacker: these compact and lightweight lifts are made for moving, lifting and stacking plastic crates and similar items
  • Forklift boom: this high performing lift assists with long, irregularly shaped materials

   
What is a hydra cart?

The Fork Truck Alternative

Did you know some portable product lift solutions are designed as alternatives to fork trucks? One such product lift is sometimes known as the hydra cart. This product lift moves loads in the lowered position, and lets you maneuver in the same manner as a fork truck. A single employee can handle up to one thousand pounds with this portable lift, depending on the lift capacity. Manufacturers of the hydra cart (named because its hydraulic lifting mechanism) recommend its use for unloading and loading trailers, trucks, and similar operations.

   
What is a portable carpet dolly?

A Portable Lift For Home Improvement Professionals

When most people think about portable product lifts, the term usually brings to mind warehouse operations and construction sites. Home improvement pros should know about one product lift made just for them; the portable carpet dolly. This is designed specifically for moving large rolls of heavy carpet. Many of these portable lifts are built to carry up to 500 pounds! Modes with large, rubber wheels are the best, as they can handle small obstacles and uneven surfaces with greater ease. For best results when purchasing, double check the "platform size" of the dolly to make sure it can handle the carpet loads you are used to working with.

   
How can I find better deals on portable lift products?

Shopping For Portable Lifts

When trying to find portable product lifts, buyers on a budget would do well to explore a vendor's line of discontinued models. You may find a better price on a portable lift the vendor is eager to clear out of the inventory. If you locate more than one vendor site offering a particular model that has been discontinued, check to see who has the lowest price; if you prefer to work with one dealer in particular, you may be able to negotiate a better deal than the competition is offering.

   
What safety measures should I take when working with lift tables?

Lift Table Safety Measures

Lift tables can be very helpful in the work place. They allow workers to perform operations without putting unnecessary wear and tear on their bodies. However, lift tables themselves can pose hazards if not used correctly. Here are some safety measures to be aware of when working with lift tables, courtesy of beacontechnology.com:

  • Never load the table unless you are watching it
  • Keep hands and feet clear of all moving parts
  • Evenly distribute the load on the table to ensure stability
  • Always use table on an even surface
  • Never go under the platform if there is weight on it
  • Use only maintenance parts that are supplied or approved by the manufacturer
  • Make sure all operator safety labels are in place

   
Why are portable lift tables good for ergonomic work conditions?

Portable Lift Tables for Ergonomic Work Conditions

Ergonomics is the study of human capabilities while doing work tasks. The concern is unnecessary strain on joints and muscles during work can create musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has paid special attention to this in recent years, developing a national advisory committee on the topic and ergonomic guidelines for workers.

According to ergonomics.com, work injuries would be decreased if:

  • All work activities permitted the worker to adopt several different but equally healthy and safe postures
  • When muscular force is exerted, it is done by the largest appropriate muscle groups available
  • Work activities are performed with the joints at about mid-point of their range of movement. This applies mostly to the head, trunk and upper limbs.
A portable lift table will help you reach these ergonomic goals in the work place. That's because portable lift tables promote ergonomic work conditions by reducing stress on muscles and joints by raising work up to a more reachable level and reducing the need for a worker to repetitively bend and twist his or her body. Portable lift tables are designed to reduce back and shoulder injuries. Manually lift the table using a hydraulic foot pump and lift cylinder. Also get access to difficult-to-reach areas because of its small frame.

There are different types of lift tables. Companies such as beacontechnology.com offer self elevating tables that automatically raise or lower as objects are placed on or removed from the platform. This table can be customized to each work station due to counter-balance springs that can be added or removed to adjust the table's weight-to-height sensitivity. Portable scissor lift tables are ideal for elevating and transporting heavy loads in warehouses, distribution centers and other industrial settings.

   
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