You’ve probably heard how hard people who work at Amazon warehouses have it. With basically no free time for bathroom and lunch breaks, these employees are overworked and underpaid. If you’re a warehouse owner or manager, then you should know better than that and should look to improve the quality of life of your employees while they’re on the job. Not only will that translate into happier, safer and more productive employees, but it will also result in less sick days, reduced chances of liability lawsuits, and fewer turnover rates.
And while there are multiple ways to accomplish the aforementioned, one of the most affordable, yet efficient ways to do so is picking the right material handling equipment. Since warehouses are stacked with inventory that’s handled on a daily basis, it’s safe to say that material handling is your number one most important process. And while there are many different pieces of material handling equipment, such as forklifts, hoists and hand trucks, the most popular one by far is the trolley. Trolleys are practical pieces of equipment used to transport heavy loads. They can make a difference in your ability to load and transport items, and prevent jams at the loading bays of your facility. Not only that, but they can also reduce your overall operational costs.
However, with so many types of trolleys available nowadays, how do you pick the most suitable ones for your warehouse? Well, naturally, you’ll have to know the differences between the types of trolleys available, so that you know which one is most suitable for the type of materials you’re handling. That being said, the most popular types of trolleys are platform trolleys, hand trolleys, cage trolleys and shelf trolleys. Each and every one of these comes in a range of shapes and forms and has unique features, making some models more suitable for specific tasks than others.
Platform trolleys are probably the most popular type of trolley. As their name implies, they feature a flat platform that you can stack items on and a handle at either one or both sizes that you use to push them around. The platform can be made of a few different materials, the most popular being timber and steel. Both steel and timber trolley models are ideal for heavy-duty use, and most of them can carry up to 1000kg, depending on the model you go for. Timber trolley models are lighter than steel trolleys, but that may come at a higher price. Regardless of what type of platform trolley you decide to go for, the platform is mounted on a 4-wheel chassis, and the wheels are usually made of durable polyurethane, nylon and rubber.
Hand trolleys usually feature two wheels, a solid base and a strong back. You can stack items on top of each other, tilt the trolley slightly back towards yourself, and push it around. Hand trolleys are usually meant for lighter loads that need to be transported over short distances. While there are some models that are considered heavy-duty, they’re significantly more expensive and you might be better off getting a platform trolley instead. Some hand-trolleys can be folded for easy transport and storing which makes them ideal for small retail stores and smaller warehouses.
Cage trolleys are similar to platform trolleys in terms of construction, except they feature meshed walls on all sides to prevent the loaded items from falling off during transport. That being said, these trolleys are considered safer than platform trolleys, and they can still be used for a wide range of applications. You can find a wide range of cage trolley models that have different types of shelving or inner rails. Heavy-duty cage trolleys are usually made of steel and they feature sturdy wheels.
As their name implies, shelf trolleys are designed with shelving that allows you to carry a few, differently sized boxes or items. The shelves are typically sloped a little to the back so you don’t have to worry about items falling off during transport. Further, the trolley is surrounded by bars from three sides while one side is opened for convenient loading and unloading. These heavy-duty trolleys can usually carry loads up to 500kg.
Whatever type of trolley you end up choosing, you’re going to notice the differences in your operations almost immediately. Your employees won’t have to go through extensive training like they would if you purchased forklifts, so they’ll be equipped to handle the trolleys from the get-go. You can find a wide range of trolleys with different weight capacity, size, platform types, cage types, etc. online, so you got plenty of choices when it comes to selecting the ideal one for your business.