When considering the many functions of a warehouse, tasks like loading and unloading shipments, stocking shelves, and packing and shipping goods might come to mind. Regardless of the primary job of a specific warehouse, material handling is a fundamental aspect of its operations. Therefore, warehouse operations rely heavily on material handling equipment, defined as mechanical devices that aid in moving and storing goods. There are many types of material handling equipment, each with a specific purpose, and understanding these details allows warehouses to work with optimum efficiency.
Whether you're starting a warehouse venture or looking to upgrade old equipment, our guide explains the various types of material handling equipment and their uses so you can make informed decisions.
Use the following links to explore different types of material handling equipment:
The term "material handling equipment" is somewhat vague, especially given a warehouse's range of tasks. Material handling refers to the safe transportation, storage, and processing of goods from the manufacturing stage to purchase. Material handling equipment allows workers to do this task efficiently with minimum strain, assisting them in moving heavy shipments with ease. This equipment is vital to every stage of warehouse operations, so having the right equipment is crucial.
There are four main categories of material handling equipment:
Unlike the other equipment categories, storage equipment is self-explanatory. Since warehouses receive, process, and ship goods, they also need to store materials in the interim. While some items might only require short-term storage, you also want to have long-term storage options available. Some storage equipment is better suited for tools or lightweight items, while others can handle heavy-duty shipments.
Knowing the facility's capacity and primary functions will help you choose the right storage equipment for your operation. Below is a list of standard storage equipment for material handling.
While the equipment falling under this category is diverse, industrial trucks are all used for transporting materials. Some options, such as hand trucks, are operated manually by warehouse employees. However, other pieces of equipment are fully automated. Additionally, some equipment requires specific certifications to use, such as forklifts.
There are many types of industrial trucks, but here are some of the most common ones found in industrial settings:
Engineered systems are fully automated units that work together to perform a programmed task, such as retrieving and transporting materials from two predetermined points. Given that this equipment is a system, they often contain several machines. Engineered systems have a variety of benefits, including increasing efficiency, reducing the need for labor, and providing more protection for materials.
Below are some of the engineered systems found in many industrial establishments.
While some assume warehouses primarily deal with pallets of carefully stacked crates, bulk material handling equipment is used for transporting, sorting, and storing loose materials. This category includes goods like salt, grain, liquids, nails, and more. There is equipment available for both vertical and horizontal transportation, as well as long-term bulk storage.
Check out some of the common bulk material handling equipment options below.
Given the importance of material handling equipment, many warehouse employees regularly work with it in their daily tasks. Warehouse owners and managers must understand the various material handling jobs, especially since some equipment requires specific operational certifications. Here are a few warehouse positions that frequently use material handling equipment:
There are many factors to consider when selecting material handling equipment, all of which require you to know your business well. Do due diligence as you make purchasing decisions, especially for equipment as crucial to the successful operation of your warehouse as material handling equipment. Below are a few deciding factors to consider as you choose material handling equipment for your facility.
The safety of your employees and the goods in your warehouse are top priorities, so familiarize yourself with material handling equipment safety standards. While some equipment items require little more than common sense to operate correctly, heavy machinery and large equipment items have extensive safety guidelines. Ignoring these safety standards can lead to significant injuries and even death.
In addition to carefully following safety standards, offer safety training to all employees regarding the equipment they use most frequently. You can check out our warehouse safety measures guide for more detailed guidelines, but here are some basic safety standards for material handling equipment.
Types of Ladders
Ladders are a vital tool for simple repair jobs and everyday industrial use, allowing you to reach all corners of your establishment. However, choosing the right ladder for a job requires considering more than convenience. The wrong ladder with an incorrect duty rating or application can lead to potentially fatal accidents. Understanding the different types of ladders available and their applications, duty ratings, and features provides discernment on which ladders to use for your business or in various areas of your warehouse . Whether you're looking for a ladder for a specific use or buying an assortment of ladders to start your business, our guide on the various types of ladders on the market will help you make an informed purchase. Shop
Types of Saws
Whether you are a professional woodworker, setting up a warehouse , or running a construction company, saws are indispensable tools for achieving precise and efficient cuts in various materials. Both manual and power saws allow operators to efficiently trim and cut through wood, stone, ceramic, metal, and plastic. There are many types of saws with specific applications ranging from removing trees to tiling a bathroom, so be sure to choose the best tool for the project ahead. Shop All Power Saws Use the following links to learn more about types of saws: Jigsaw Table Saw Miter Saw Chainsaw Band Saw Scroll Saw Circular Saw Chop Saw Reciprocating Saw Pole Saw Hack Saw Tile Saw
Generator Buying Guide
Food spoils when the refrigerator won't cool, chefs can't cook when the oven won't heat, and power tools are useless when you're off the grid. Whether electrical access is unavailable or the power goes out in your building , you need a way to keep things running. That's where generators come into play.