It can be difficult to choose the right piece of material handling equipment without understanding exactly what each machine does and the capabilities they have. Where one vehicle might be better for one warehouse owner, it might not be what the other is looking for.
However, some warehouse equipment can be so similar that you might struggle to decide which one would be ideal for your operations. Warehouse stackers and pallet trucks come under this category. They’re relatively similar to one another, but there is a striking contrast between the two and that’s what we’re going to be discussing in this article.
But before we delve into the benefits each one has to offer, there are some things you should consider in order to ensure you’re picking the right material handling solution for your warehouse and your staff, including the following:
- The overall size of your facility
- The clearance of doorways, entrances and exits
- Your individual needs and requirements
- The size of your budget
The benefits of powered & manual pallet trucks: which is better?
Pallet trucks are available in both manual models and electrically-powered vehicles, so there’s choice with regards to that. If your budget is modest, then perhaps a manual option would be better as you wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of powering it. But each model comes with its own advantages:
Advantages of manual pallet trucks
There are a number of benefits associated with manual pallet trucks, including:
Advantages of powered pallet trucks
Powered pallet trucks are able to benefit a warehouse in many different ways, sometimes providing more by way of features and capabilities than a manual pallet truck. The advantages of a powered pallet truck include the following:
- They’re inexpensive to buy – these cost less than a forklift or reach truck and can be operated with absolute ease and reliability
- They put less physical strain on the operator – power-assisted lifting means the user will be able to carry out their role comfortably
- They help to improve productivity and efficiency – they’ll make short work of operations that are traditionally done manually, cutting execution times in half
- They can handle heavier loads than a manual pallet truck – being power-assisted, they’ll make short work of pulling heavy loads so your employees don’t have to
- They’re eco-friendly – zero emissions are given off when in use so you can keep your carbon footprint to a minimum
- They’re ideal for both indoor and outdoor use – as they give off zero emissions, these can be operated inside the warehouse with absolute peace of mind
The benefits of a warehouse stacker
There are several benefits that warehouse stackers have to offer with some of them being different to that of a manual or powered pallet truck. But what exactly is a warehouse stacker and how can it help you with your material handling operations?
What is a warehouse stacker?
A stacker is essentially a pallet truck but with much more impressive lifting capabilities. They enable pallets to be stacked at a height and are commonly used for moving and lifting pallets for when a traditional forklift isn’t needed.
Again, like pallet trucks, warehouse stackers are available in manual or powered models, so the choice is up to the warehouse owner and the size of the budget they have. However, dissimilarly to pallet trucks, there are three different models on offer:
- Semi-electric straddle stackers – equipped for lifting, transporting and unloading heavy goods with a load capacity of 1,000kg
- Fully-powered counterbalanced stackers – loads and unloads stock much like how a forklift does and comes with a heavy-duty battery to make short work of heavy tasks
- Manual straddle stackers – compatible with a range of pallets and includes a hand-operated lifting mechanism, but they’re more streamlined than a pallet truck
Advantages of a warehouse stacker
The benefits of using a warehouse stacker include:
- The operators do not need to be certified, like they would for operating a forklift, they just need to be trained to use the equipment safely and efficiently
- Manual models and those that are battery-operated cost considerably less to run
- They’re eco-friendly as zero emissions are given off
- Ideal for either indoor or outdoor use
- They’re easy to manoeuvre around even the tightest of spaces
- Operators will have excellent visibility when operating a warehouse stacker
Hire Forklifts are on hand to provide customers throughout the UK with transparent, reliable and affordable rental contracts when it comes to acquiring the right material handling equipment for you. Whether you need to hire a warehouse stacker or rent a pallet truck, either powered or manual, you’ll be able to count on the professionals here at Hire Forklifts to provide you with everything you need to get the job done. For more information about the warehouse equipment hire we have available, get in touch with a member of our expert team today – we’re always on hand to help.