How to choose the right forklift for your warehouse racks?

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Question 1: The design of regular aisle of rack forklift, how to match rack forklift to reduce collision?

There is no fixed formula for calculating the operating channel width of forklift trucks, it is a range determined by the width parameters of various forklifts themselves as well as the width of operating demands, and the suitable width is selected according to the design needs, the following lists the operating channel width of several forklifts commonly used in warehouses.

The aisle width of manual hydraulic forklift truck is designed to be 1.5m, and the lifting height is 3.6m; the aisle width of hand-pushed electric forklift truck is designed to be 1.9m~2.0m, and the lifting height is 3.9m; the aisle width of electric forklift truck is designed to be 2.0m~2.3m, and the fork weight is 1.5T, and the lifting height is 3.9m; The racking aisle width of electric stacker crane (straddle forklift) is 2.3m~2.8m, the racking aisle width of forklift truck is 2.2m~3.2m, and the loading weight is 2-3T, and the racking aisle width of narrow aisle forklift truck/high rack forklift truck/trackless aisle stacker crane is 1.6m~1.8m.

Forklift for transporting goods

Among many kinds of racks, drive-in racks are the most unstable one, but they are also widely used as a common storage rack, and take drive-in racks as an example to explain those things about racks and forklifts.

Drive-in rack is an assembled rack in which forklifts or stackers are driven into and out of the rack, and storage operations are carried out with pallet unit racks. The forklift will inevitably cause damage to the guardrail, bracket and pallet because of the forklift driver’s operation or technical problem, and this damage will be scraped off the surface powder, or heavily hit the heavy-duty racks and hurt peoples. That as a warehouse rack manager, how should we avoid this problem?

1, at the time of warehouse planning, you can ask the rack manufacturer to appropriately increase the width of the drive-in rack aisle, and reserve some safety distance for the driver in advance, so as to reduce the collision of forklifts to bracket.

2、Increase the protection sleeve on bracket or guardrail, which can reduce the damage of forklift to racks.

3、Painting visual deceleration line on the ground of the channel instead of deceleration signs, very often, experienced drivers, who drive faster, have a certain distance between the visual leading to the measurement gap and the actual gap, so the role of simple deceleration signs may not be very obvious.

4、Installation of fork tine sleeve on forklift can effectively reduce the damage of forklift to the side and middle corner position of the pallet.

drive in racking system

In fact, in addition to the above four points, how to reduce the collision problem of forklift to drive-in rack, the main thing is to ask the manager, on the one hand, to enhance the pre-service training before the forklift driver is hired to improve the safety awareness of the driver, on the other hand, after the driver is hired, to strengthen the assessment work of the forklift driver; and as a forklift driver, also need to continuously improve their technical level and safety meaning. Only then can we fundamentally avoid the collision problem.

The above is a summary of “rack forklift conventional channel design, rack and forklift how to match to reduce the collision?” organized by [Xinmiao, a service integrator integrating the production and design of storage equipment and implementation of the program]. All content, have storage related issues and equipment needs of friends, welcome to contact us!

Question 2 Notes on the selection of forklift for racking system.

Different storage modes require different electric forklift, and the modes will have great differences in FIFO or LIFO, space utilization, operational efficiency and investment costs. For a large distribution center, positioned mainly for goods in and out service, how to configure forklift is very critical. Xinmiao has made a general procurement framework from the following aspects.

A. Forklift tonnage configuration. There are mainly: 1.5T, 1.8T, 2T, 2.5T, 3T; the choice of which configuration of forklift to purchase needs to depend on the weight of the goods, and the highest fork height. Because as the height increases, the maximum safe load capacity of forklift truck gradually decreases. For example, a 5m high 2T electric forklift can fork up to 2T when operating at a low level, but when forking to a height close to 5m, then its safe weight may only be 800KG or at most 1000KG. Beyond this weight, danger may occur due to overload. This point is very important.

B. Drive of forklift truck. It is mainly divided into electric forklift and diesel forklift; the working site is divided into indoor and outdoor operation. Relatively speaking, electric forklift is much less powerful than diesel forklift. However, electric forklift has the advantages of environmental protection, less noise, small operation turning radius and low operation cost. Diesel forklift has the advantages of high strength, fast speed and high efficiency.

Warehouse Forklift

C. Lifting height of forklift truck. Considering the need of elevated operation in the warehouse and combining with the height of the warehouse, the lifting height of forklift should be properly considered from 3.5m, 4.5m, 5.5m and 6m of the standard configuration; usually several kinds of collocation will be considered separately according to the low operation and high operation to reduce the total purchase cost.

D. Height of forklift. Considering that the forklift has to enter into the internal operation of container, the height of forklift gantry is also considered, requiring a net height of 2.3 meters or less inside the container, requiring at least two sections of gantry; however, the lifting height of forklift and gantry height will conflict, lifting up too high, whether it is three sections of gantry or two sections of gantry, its gantry height is like 2.4 meters, so the two cannot be combined.

E. Considering the accuracy and flexibility of forklift operation, the side shifter needs to be configured.

F. The problem of the number of tires of forklifts. Considering the width of the forklift operation channel, under the condition that the high-cost forklift trucks cannot be procured, it is also necessary to consider whether to choose three wheels or four wheels, the turning radius of three wheels is much smaller.

G. The problem of flexible configuration for subsequent use of forklift trucks. Considering the cylindrical and large cotton bales and other goods that may exist in the subsequent depot and need to be operated, that is, to increase the holding devices and other attachments, and also consider whether to reserve hydraulic pipeline when the forklift is shipped from the factory.

H. Tires of forklifts. Consider the problem of pneumatic tires and solid tires. The standard configuration of forklift trucks is generally pneumatic tires, but they are easy to burst, and they are not resistant to wear and tear, which increases the maintenance cost, so consider forklift trucks with solid tires as long as the budget allows.

Forklift to put the goods on the racks

I. The engine problem of diesel forklift trucks, which is the core part of the performance of forklift trucks, and there are numerous brands to choose from here, which need to be carefully compared and analyzed.

J. The problem of subsequent maintenance cost. The battery forklift also needs to consider whether to choose DC motor or AC motor, and to distinguish what full AC and partial AC inside AC, because this involves a follow-up maintenance cost problem.

K. Also, the battery forklift should consider whether the battery is maintenance-free or traditional lead-acid battery.

L. Also, diesel forklifts should consider whether the exhaust pipe blows to the ground or to the sky.

M. Of course, the brand of forklift, after-sales service, cost performance and so on should also be considered.

N.There is also some technical innovation design and so on that each supplier will emphasize some safety protection details of their own products.

Purchase of forklift.

When we choose to purchase the same equipment, it does not mean that what is suitable for others will also be suitable for ourselves. Especially in the purchase of electric storage forklift, we have to make comprehensive consideration, such as the various performance of electric storage forklift, and then combine with your own enterprise storage needs, to choose an electric storage forklift that is really suitable for you.

Warehouse workers

The following will give you an example of how to buy and sell electric warehouse forklifts according to your own needs.

First of all, from a professional point of view, if the general weight of the customer’s goods is around 1.5 tons, it is not recommended that you buy an electric warehouse forklift with a rated load of 1.5 tons. Because as an electrical appliance, although the motors of electric storage forklifts have overload protection devices, the motors work under the rated power for a long time, which will definitely have a certain impact on its motor life. The most ideal working condition of electric warehouse forklift is that the load cargo does not exceed 80% to 90% of its rated load. Therefore, when buying and selling, it should be calculated according to the weight of goods in accordance with this standard.

The second thing is to analyze and consider from the working environment of the electric storage forklift. For example, is your electric warehouse forklift used in the area of racks or in the production workshop? Are there racks in the warehouse? What is the width of the aisle in the production workshop? These questions determine what the specification of the whole vehicle should be when you purchase electric warehouse forklift. If it is used in the racking area, what is the height of the aisle and the highest beam of the racks, and how much does the cargo weigh when the forks are raised to the highest level? Is there a loft, elevator and other similar restricted access during the operation? Is there a certain slope of the working road? This series of factors will determine the height of the door frame closure and the lifting height when you purchase the electric warehouse forklift.

Through the above analysis, I believe you have a certain understanding of how to buy and sell electric warehouse forklifts. The correct choice of electric warehouse forklift directly determines the efficiency of work. In a word, when purchasing, you should consider your own needs, the actual working environment of the workplace and the goods to be transported, etc., and avoid blindly following the trend to purchase.

Question 3 Be wary of the various pits in the purchase of racks!

With the rise of intelligent storage, racks in warehousing is also increasingly widely used, as long as your products need to store should use racks. Next, we will analyze some of the problems encountered in the purchase of racks, be wary of the various problems when buying racks!

forklift trucks warehouse

First, rack type

rack storage of goods in three ways: manual access to goods, forklift access to goods and automated access to goods, according to which you are access to goods, to choose storage racks, according to their current development and the future direction of development to choose.

Second, the quality

High-quality racks are with racks of steel and rack thickness to ensure that only a good foundation to ensure the use of a long time, rack structure can also determine the good or bad of a rack, the separator can be on the rack strength, safety, overall stability have a very good strengthening effect.

Third, the price

The price is always the most important quantifiable parameters, customers generally have an internal budget when buying racks, but in the actual purchase even if the offer within the budget, often the cheaper the better, know that “you get what you pay for” where the truth is applicable anywhere, raw materials + processing costs + profit = sales price, suppliers will not do business to lose money, the transaction price is low can only have two Reasons, either to reduce profits or in the material or quality of the goods. Profit margin is small, the supplier can not provide good service, material reductions may lead to safety hazards; so that when purchasing should buy the best products within the budget, the most expensive things are not necessarily the best, but the best things are certainly not the cheapest!

Fourth, the rack brand

This is very important, in the case of the budget allows try to buy big brands of products. First, the product is more mature, technically guaranteed; second, once the problem arises, the big manufacturers take into account their brand reputation will provide timely solutions. Third, the continuous supply of spare parts, many customers buy a small company racks, and then buy accessories or rack upgrades only to find that the original supplier or closed down or changed business, can no longer get continuous service. The big brands will not be in this situation.

Five, technical parameters and indicators

Usually, for the sake of so-called fairness or selection of suppliers under the same conditions, when buying racks, all suppliers must provide the same column and beam cross-sectional size and material thickness and even the origin of steel. In fact, it is impossible for each racking company to provide exactly the same column and beam dimensions and material thickness under the same load-bearing conditions due to the differences in their own design standards, processes and procurement channels. Seemingly fair procurement, in fact, may do more unfair and unscientific. Party A should provide load-bearing demand as hard assessment and purchase index, and rack manufacturers should provide their own solutions, so that professionals can do professional things.

Question 4: The use of narrow aisle racking and forklift configuration.

The main body of Xinmiao narrow aisle racking is beam type racking, the difference is that the bottom of the racking is equipped with “three-way stacking forklift” action rails on the ground, its biggest feature is that the aisle is much narrower than the general beam type, about 1600mm-2000mm, which greatly improves the space utilization of the warehouse. It is also because the forklift handling channel of the racking system is narrower compared to the narrow aisle or narrow aisle racking.

Forklift is transferring cargo

Xinmiao narrow aisle racking features advantages.

1. The speed of goods circulation volume is higher than general racks, and the aisle forklift can operate at a height of up to 14 meters, and the electronically controlled stacking crane can even operate at higher heights.

2. Special forklifts or cranes are required, along with other handling machinery, and the establishment of access staging racks not only have the function of storing pallets, but also need to have the function of supporting and reinforcing handling equipment.

3. The structural strength and tolerance fit requirements are extremely strict, and must be integrated with precise design and installation, with semi-automatic auxiliary control in operation to ensure accurate positioning of pallets in the high-level cargo space.

Xinmiao narrow aisle racking in storage or logistics center application requirements.

1. Logistics efficiency requires a high level.

2. The amount of stored goods is large, the goods are in and out more frequently and there are high requirements for picking goods.

3. Forklift trucks can be used as stand-alone warehouse forklift trucks, and it is not planned to use warehouse forklift trucks to go outside to perform other tasks.

4. The storage and logistics center urgently needs to increase the number of storage spaces or requires a certain amount of storage.

5. The available net height of the warehouse is high, more than 8M or more.

Notes on the use of narrow aisle racks.

1. Heavy-duty racks should be used to prevent top-heavy: should do the principle of putting light goods on the top and heavy goods on the bottom.

2. To prevent overloading: the weight of each layer of stacking should not exceed the maximum carrying capacity of the racks.

3. Anti-impact: Forklift trucks should try to take and place lightly during operation to prevent impact on the racks.

4. When there are goods above the rack, the operator should not enter the bottom of the rack directly.

5. Prevent the use of non-standard pallets etc. on the racks.

Electric Forklift

When the height of the racks exceeds eight meters, corresponding loading and unloading machinery is required. Therefore, the total required aisle area is larger and the storage density is smaller than other systems. Heavy-duty storage racks can realize fast access to various pallets, and the maximum cell capacity can reach 2000KG, which can adapt to various types of pallets and racks. The height of the crossbeam can be adjusted according to the requirements of the cargo size. The goods circulation is large, according to the convenience and rapid. Heavy-duty racks have the lowest cost and can be quickly installed and disassembled.

Which forklifts are suitable for Xinmiao narrow aisle racking operation?

In warehouse operation operations, the advantages of switching from traditional aisles to narrow aisles are clear at a glance. By adopting the narrow aisle configuration, companies can store 20% to 25% more products in the same space, however, under the trend of building buildings higher rather than more spacious to achieve the goal of limiting their horizontal footprint as well as enhancing space utilization, the warehouse aisles have instead become slightly wider for the following reasons Simple physics and safety factors, higher heights require larger bases for narrow aisle trucks, resulting in larger bodies and aisle widths that must be matched, and ergonomic design factors that result in larger operator rooms, resulting in larger truck volumes and wider aisles.

The three main types of forklifts suitable for narrow aisle operation are reach trucks, lateral forklifts and order pickers, which are classified by the American Industrial Vehicle Association as Class 2 industrial vehicles, which also include high lift forklifts, goods pickers and low lift pallet trucks.

People driving forklifts

The choice of narrow aisle forklift truck type depends on the usage and has two main functions, rack transfer and order picking, today we are going to introduce a narrow aisle four-way reach truck. The four-way forklift is designed for handling large quantities of up and down rack goods on high loading and unloading commissioning, and it also has the ability to operate in narrow aisles and transport products over long distances, and the four-way electric forklift combines the functions of forklift, side fork and counterbalanced forklift. In terms of structure, it is basically the same as the forklift truck, the door frame is located between the front and rear wheels, and there are two legs in front of the truck in the form of arms, and the front end of the legs is equipped with support wheels, and the goods can move back and forth with the door frame in the longitudinal direction of the forklift truck. The turning ability it has makes them flexible to be applied to the pallet cargo handling operation in the rack.

Can the lowest level of narrow aisle racking be used for direct storage of goods?

The answer is no.

Narrow aisle racking is different from ordinary heavy-duty beam racking in that the aisles between the racks are narrower, and guide rails are installed on both sides of the racks to guide the three-way forklifts and prevent them from hitting the racks. Because of the installation of three-way forklift rails, the rails form a certain height on the ground, so that the pallet goods can not be placed directly on the ground at the bottom of the narrow aisle racking, otherwise it will bring some difficulties to the forklift to access the goods, and it is also easy to cause damage to the goods and the racking, if you want to put the goods at the bottom of the narrow aisle racking, you must install the crossbeam and put the goods on the crossbeam. Since there is no rail, there is no obstruction on both sides of the rack, and the goods can be placed directly on the ground, so there is no need to install a beam on the bottom level. Narrow aisle racking saves about 50% of aisle space precisely because of its narrower racking aisle, and improves about 20% of space utilization than ordinary heavy-duty beam type racks. In today’s world of tight land resources and skyrocketing housing prices, choosing narrow aisle racking can seem to save companies a considerable amount of capital investment in the long run.

Forklift being transported

Question 5 What kind of forklift should be used with gravity, shuttle and double depth racking?

What kind of forklift should be used with gravity type, shuttle type and double depth racking? Regarding the forklift matching of racks, Xinmiao summarizes these three types as follows.

Gravity racking warehouse system

Ordinary forklift, roller track collocation: forklift carries the goods to the high end of the rack, and the goods use their own weight to slide down for storage.

Shuttle car racking warehouse system

Ordinary forklift, shuttle car with: according to the instruction by the shuttle car between the racks to access, inventory and other operations.

Double-depth racking warehouse system

Scissor forklift pairing: The racks are designed to be stored in double rows side by side, with a height of up to 8 meters and 50% pickability.

So far, we have almost introduced all the forklifts for different racks in the warehouse, and the matters needing attention in the operation of forklifts in the warehouse. If you have any questions, you can send an email to, and we will answer them for you in the first time.

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