As requirements in the logistics, transport, customs, and manufacturing industries change it may be time to look at the type of container handling equipment your business is using. There are many container handling solutions on the market, here we look at four of them to help you decide which is best for your operations.
1. Mini-Straddle Carrier
Mini-straddle carriers are popular amongst business that have a container throughput of 10- 200 containers a week. The manoeuvrability, low axle weight, increased productivity, and improved safety of the mini-straddle carrier makes it the ideal solution for many companies. A mini-straddle carrier allows you to separate transport from operations, you decide when and where to unpack/pack the container.
Not all straddle carriers are made equal, so for the purpose of this article we will look specifically at the Mobicon mini-straddle carrier and the benefits they can bring to your business. With a unique four axle design, the Mobicon mini-straddle carrier has the lowest axle weight of any container handling equipment on the market. Mobicon straddle carriers can be used on any average industrial yard surface without damaging it, meaning no expensive repairs or downtime. Straddle carriers can lift, up to 35-40 tonne, quickly and safely. Depending on the model they can also stack containers two high.
Mobicon's are designed to be low maintenance and as a result have a low whole-of-life cost. There are no wire ropes to service and replace, maintenance checks can be carried out by local forklift mechanics and many spare parts are able to be sourced locally. Avoiding yard repair costs, and increased efficiency means that long-term the Mobicon mini-straddle carrier will save your business money.
Click here to watch the popular Mobicon 2HL model in action, or visit the website to explore the full range of Mobicon mini-straddle carriers.
2. Container Handling Forklift
Container handling forklifts are suited to a range of container handling jobs. They can often stack multiple containers and are a suitable tool when containers are kept for an extended time. Block stacking containers means that the area to store containers is small. However, when there are a lot of movements, it can be time consuming to take several containers away to get to the one that is needed. In a "first in last out" environment a container forklift is an efficient tool. A disadvantage is that the containers need to be transported width-wise, which means that specifically with a 40' container a very large manoeuvring area is required.
Empty container handling forklifts can stack container up to eight high, but a stable and flat surface is required to avoid the forklift from tipping over. Container handlers that lift fully loaded containers are very heavy and can be costly to run due to the high-powered engine that is required. However, in high container turnover yards they are certainly to be
Click here to explore the full range of Kalmar container handling options.
3. Reach Stacker
If your business needs to move large volume of containers and stack them 3 high (1 over 2) or higher, a reach stacker could be the solution for you. Unlike other container handling equipment, reach stackers with their telescopic arm can lift a15-tonne load up to the third row. They can also lift 31-tonne up to the second row, allowing containers to be stacked and retrieved three rows deep A reach stacker is more flexible than a container forklift, but also needs a large manoeuvring area and has an even higher axle load than a container forklift (up to 100 tonnes).
For stacking containers in more than one row, many warehouses turn to rubber or rail mounted container cranes. While container cranes are a good solution for a high turnover operation, they are far more expensive than reach stackers. If your warehouse is on a budget opt for a reach stacker instead.
To find out more about reach stackers and how they can benefit your business, visit the Kone Cranes website.
4. Side Loader
Flexible and efficient, the side loader trailer offers benefits for some companies. As the side loader travels with the truck you can transport your containers anywhere and anytime via road. The ability to operate independently without the support of other equipment during loading and offloading operations means that a separate container handler is not required. If you receive or send out less than four containers per week, a side-loader is an extremely efficient tool. The only disadvantage is that they limit the weight of the container due to the weight of the two cranes, and once the container is dropped in a yard, it cannot be moved.
If your site is at a distance from the port, the additional costs of a container delivery by sideloader will add considerable costs on top of the normal delivery charge.
Click here to explore the full range of Hammar side loaders.
We hope you find the above useful when purchasing your container handling equipment in the future. When purchasing your container handling equipment please always take into consideration your yard's surface, as significant and costly damage can be caused by using container handling equipment that does not have enough axles. For further information on how axle weights work and why they matter, click here
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