Carrying long loads with a forklift can be a challenging and potentially hazardous task. Traditional forklifts are designed for lifting and moving pallets and other relatively small loads, but when it comes to long, heavy loads, such as pipes, timber, or metal sheets, they can be unstable, difficult to manoeuvre, and prone to accidents. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using a sideloader for carrying long loads, such as the Baumann EGX sideloader, and provide some tips for safe and efficient material handling.
Understanding The Challenges
Before we get into the benefits of using a sideloader, it’s important to understand the difficulties and risks of carrying long loads with a traditional forklift. One of the main challenges is stability: long loads can be more difficult to balance and can shift or tip over more easily, especially when turning or moving on uneven surfaces. In addition, the operator’s view of the load and surroundings can be obstructed, which can increase the risk of collisions, falls, or other accidents. Finally, the load capacity of a traditional forklift may not be sufficient for carrying long, heavy loads, which can result in overloading and potentially dangerous situations.
Benefits of Using a Sideloaders for Carrying Long Loads
A sideloader is a type of forklift that is designed for carrying long loads. Unlike a traditional forklift, which uses front-facing forks to lift loads off the ground, a sideloader uses a side-facing platform that can slide under the load and lift it from the side. This provides several advantages when it comes to carrying long loads:
- Improved visibility: Because the operator sits on the side of the load, they have a clear view of both the load and the surroundings, which can help prevent accidents and improve efficiency.
- Increased stability: The side-facing platform provides a more stable base for the load, which can help prevent tipping, load shifting, and other hazards.
- Greater load control: The side-facing platform can be adjusted to fit the size and shape of the load, which can help ensure that it is properly balanced and secure.
- Higher productivity: Sideloaders can move long loads more quickly and efficiently than traditional forklifts, especially in tight spaces or narrow aisles.
Sideloaders come in various sizes and configurations, and there are several brands and models to choose from, including the Baumann ELX and EGX electric sideloader. Some models are designed for indoor use, while others are designed for outdoor use in rugged environments.
Tips for Carrying Long Loads with a Sideloaders
- If you are using a sideloader for carrying long loads, there are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure the load is properly secured and balanced before lifting it.
- Adjust the forks and the side shift to fit the load size and weight.
- Use caution when turning, stopping, or changing direction, especially on uneven surfaces.
- Stay within the safe load capacity and avoid overloading the sideloader.
Choosing the Right Material Handling Equipment for Carrying Long Loads
While sideloaders can be a great choice for carrying long loads in many situations, they are not always the right option. Depending on the specific needs of your business, other types of material handling equipment may be more suitable. For example, telehandlers, such as the Manitou telehandler, can be useful for carrying long loads in outdoor or rugged environments where a sideloader may not be practical. It’s important to consider factors such as load size, weight , environment, and space constraints when choosing the right material handling equipment for your business.
Carrying long loads with a forklift can be a challenging and potentially hazardous task, but using a sideloader can provide several benefits, including improved visibility, stability, load control, and productivity. By following some basic safety tips and choosing the right material handling equipment for your needs, you can ensure that your long load handling tasks are carried out efficiently and safely.
If you’re interested in a sideloader forklift or other material handling equipment, consider brands such as Baumann which offer a range of high-quality and reliable models. By investing in the right equipment for your business, you can improve efficiency, safety, and overall performance.
Used sideloaders are fairly limited. If a used Baumann sideloader is not available as an option, it may be worth considering a long or short term hire period. The monthly rate may be reduced as the purchase price can be offset against a guaranteed buy back amount and some taxes may be spread over the term, rather than being paid upfront (as is the case with VAT in the UK).
Ultimately the decision will be based on the expected ROI, but it is wise to consider that sideloaders are not sold and produced in the same way as counterbalanced forklifts, with an expected working life or 5 or 6 years.
Baumann trucks are built to last and can be fully operational when well maintained for ten, sometimes 20 years and longer.