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Monday, January 14, 2008

Facilitator's Question.

Facilitator's Question: What are the constraints and problems of side loader for effective warehousing operations? Explain.

The constraint of the sideloader is that the truck can only service one side of the aisle at each pass. If the material to be picked is at the wrong side, the operator has to re-enter the forks/loading platform on the proper side. This makes the sideloader quite troublesome to use at times, especially if a mistake is made in picking.

The problem of the sideloader is the high cost of maintaining it, as well as the installations of the guide rails on both sides of an aisle to facilitate easy movement of the sideloaders.


Forklifts and front loaders make loading jobs so much easier, and reduce the threat of injury to employees.

Material handling equipment includes forklift, steel ramps, forklift platforms, carts, trailers, and pallets, anything that can be used to transports, store, ormove materials. You will commonly find this equipment on construction sites, loading docks, and in warehouses.These areas are extremely busy, warehoused and construction sites you will find heavy machinery moving about, forklifts are loading and unloading trucks.

On construction sites, you may find forklifts and front loaders moving heavy materials from one location to another.Forklifts and front loaders make loading jobs so much easier, and reduce the threat of injury to employees.

However, there is still a risk when operating any form of heavy equipment. If you need more information or need to purchase loading equipment, the Internet is the first place you should begin. Engineers, technical workers, and manufacturers have collaborated to create online websites that provide consumers instant access to an unlimited source of information on the products they need. With a few keystrokes and a click or two of your mouse, you can locate the precise equipment you need to keep your company running smoothly.



Material handling equipment permits workers to complete tough jobs quickly and effectively, without putting themselves at risk of injury.

You can find industrial material handling equipment in warehouses, on loading docks, and on construction sites, where you'll see forklifts, industrial ramps, and loading equipment, carrying heavy loads of materials as it loads and unloads trucks, or moves equipment from one point to another.

Material handling equipment permits workers to complete tough jobs quickly and effectively, without putting themselves at risk of injury.Loading docks are extremely busy locations with people and machinery moving about. For individuals who are not properly trained, this can be a dangerous place. All workers should be properly trained and skilled in the handling of hazardous materials. In the event of an accident, every worker should know how to proper respond and how to rectify the situation as quickly and safely as possible.Loading docks, warehouses, and construction sites are hazardous places. This is simply because of the amount of activity that is going on at all times. Therefore, during loading and unloading, wheel chocks, safety devices, should be used to prevent trucks from slipping from the dock. Wheel chocks or other vehicle restraining systems should be used to keep trucks and trailers from rolling from the dock, creating a life threaten hazard.




This side loader is designed for use in a variety of applications from pipe to flat sheet metal stock to lumber and more.As a side loader, the Prime offers the advantage of reduced aisle width, allowing for the storage of much more material in the same amount of storage space. A traditional front loading forklift requires aisle widths that not only accommodate the length of the load, but also additional width to allow the forklift to turn into the storage area, deposit or pick up the load and then maneuver out again. With a side loader, not only is the aisle width much lower, which increases the storage density, but the entire operation is safer. The Prime Side Loader just drives along side the load, picks it or drops it off, pulls in its forks and away it goes. Safe and simple operation defines the very nature of this modern side loader.


The Premier series offers progressive solutions to plant managers and operators pressed for space and productivity. State of the art ergonomics in conjunction with powerful engines and automotive hydrostatic drive trains guarantees top notch performance. With foresight in design, space has been provided for environmentally friendly features such as scrubbers, catalyzers and air filters to protect nature and the quality of life.
Some distinct advantages are great stability, great visibility, wide frame cut-out and space saving below deck engine, great balance, low noise levels and a patented axle suspension system to save man and machine from shocks caused by rough floor conditions.


Whether it be for the transportation of steel, aluminum, timber, plastics or concrete, the Prestige Model side loaders provides safe and efficient movement of long or bulky loads. It solves material handling problems with precision and without damage to the material. Because of its extreme maneuverability even in the tightest of places, the Prestige side loader is the answer to those big material handling problems.


This broad range of lift capacities combined with various platform widths and lift heights offers the Cosmos in a configuration suitable for most narrow aisle applications. This electric side loader is designed with flexibility in mind as well as narrow aisles, long loads and tricky to maneuver areas. Some key features of it are multi directional steering and electronic control.


It handle pallets and long loads with equal efficiency. It is a reach truck and a four-directional side loader all in one. A load weighing 6,000 pounds with a load center 24 inches can be lifted 192 inches (16 feet) high without any down rating. With a footprint of just 78 by 78 inches, the Quaddro has all the features found in a modern lift truck. A true four wheel stance and four-wheel power steering provide stability and precise maneuverability. The total mast travel of 39 inches is another unique feature


-When making a sideloader truck layout, remember that the truck can service only one side of the aisle at each pass. If the material to be picked is on the wrong side, the operator has to re-enter the aisle with the forks (or loading platform) on the proper side.

-Maintenance costs can be a significant part of the expense where side loader trucks are used, there are other cost factors involved in such installations.

As an example, the most effective method for preparing the storage rack aisles to receive the side loading truck is to place guide rails on both sides of the aisle so that side wheels (rollers) mounted on the side loader platform can self-steer the vehicle once it has entered the aisle.

-Additionally, the front end of each rack should have a concrete pad with a rounded steel face to guide the vehicle into the rack aisle in as smooth a manner as possible without hesitation on the operator’s part. The guide rails and the steel reinforced concrete entrance pads are necessary in order to prevent damage to the pallet storage racks. Therefore, these installations to make the side loader work more smoothly made its cost significantly go high.

-Another useful device that will make side loader operations more effective is the addition of a height selector on the side loader. With each tier numbered all the operator has to do is press a button for the proper tier and the forks will elevate automatically to the proper tier height.

-The operator advances the forks into the loaded pallet to retract the load from the storage opening. An important thing to take note is that the higher the installation of the racks, the more important the “height selectors” become. They make the operation move faster and safer with lesser operator fatigue.


The MHE we are going to talk about is the sideloader.

What is actually a sideloader?

Well, the sideloader is an industrial truck that has its forks mounted perpendicular to direction of travel to allow for side loading and straddle load support mast, and has a minimum aisle width requirement of 5-6 feet. The sideloader reaches up to 90 degrees to the direction of truck travel, and is used for loads up to 6-7M high handled in narrow aisles, or in outdoor stock areas. It is normally used to handle greater-than-pallet size loads. (e.g. bar stock)

While sideloading trucks are usually larger in overall configuation than a standard industrial forklift truck, they do possess the same type of mobility in that they can go directly from the storage rack aisle to wherever else in the plant they are required. Unlike the stacker crane that is captive to the aisles of a storage system,the side loader can bring materal from the storage location to the point of use.


Industrial trucks used in warehousing are primarily for the movement of goods, over comparatively short distances, for lifting goods into and out of storage, and for vehicle loading and unloading. The use of trucks also facilitates load unitization and larger loads, so reducing the frequency of movement. It enables quicker movement, and also the use of height for storage purposes.

Industrial trucks can be manually powered and operated or they can be motor(electric) or engine driven. Some powered trucks are designed for pedestrian control, some for control with the operator standing or sitting on the truck. Many trucks have a fork lift capacity, and there are attachments desined for handling loads of specific shapes.

Under Transport Equipment, we mainly name out some of the Industrial Trucks:

1. Hand Truck
Non-pallet + manual + no stack

1(a) Two-Wheeled Hand Truck
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The materials are loaded onto the truck tilted during travel. This is the most common type of transport used when the materials transported are not too heavy

1(b) Dolly
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A three or more wheeled hand truck with a flat platform. Since it has no handles, the load is used for pushing

Sometimes referred to as a "cart" or "(manual) platform truck"

2. Pallet Jack
Pallet + walk + no stack

-Front wheels are mounted inside the end of the forks and extend to the floor as the pallet is only lifted enough to clear the floor for subsequent travel.
-Can be used to transport quite a big amount of load manually.

Pallet restrictions: reversible pallets cannot be used, double-faced nonreversible pallets cannot have deck boards where the front wheels extend to the floor, and enables only two-way entry into a four-way notched-stringer pallet because the forks cannot be inserted into the notches

2(a) Manual Pallet Jack
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Pallet + walk + no stack + manual
Manual lifting and/or travel

2(b) Powered Pallet Jack
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Pallet + walk + no stack + powered

-Powered lifting and/or travel.
-It is more automated which requires less manual handling.

3. Walkie Stacker
Pallet + walk + stack

3(a) Manual Walkie Stacker
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Pallet + walk + stack + manual
Manual lifting and/or travel (and straddle load support)

3(b) Powered Walkie Stacker
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Pallet + walk + stack + powered
Powered lifting and/or travel (and either counterbalance or straddle load support)

4. Pallet Truck
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Pallet + ride + no stack

-Same pallet restrictions as a pallet jack
-Control handle typically tilts to allow operator to walk during loading/unloading
-Powered pallet jack is sometimes referred to as a "(walkie) pallet truck"

5. Platform Truck
Non-pallet + powered + no stack

-Platform used to provide support for loads without pallets.
-Used for skid handling; platform can lift skid several inches to allow it to clear the floor, because dragging on the floor will damage the goods.
-Greater lifting capacity compared to fork trucks because the platform provides a greater lifting surface to support a load

5(a) Walkie Platform Truck
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Non-pallet + powered + no stack + walk

-Operator walks next to truck
-Floor hand truck is sometimes referred to as a "(manual) platform truck"

5(b) Rider Platform Truck
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Non-pallet + powered + no stack + ride

-Operator can ride on truck for easy steering.

6. Counterbalanced (CB) Lift Truck
Pallet + ride + stack
Also referred to as fork truck.

Weight of vehicle (and operator) behind the front wheels of truck counterbalances weight of the load (and weight of vehicle beyond front wheels); front wheels act as fulcrum or pivot point.
Rated capacity reduced for load centers greater than 24 in. and lift heights greater than 13 ft.
Workhorses of material handling because of their flexibility: indoor/outdoor operation over a variety of different surfaces; variety of load capacities available; and variety of attachments available—fork attachments can replace the forks (e.g., carton clamps) or enhance the capabilities of the forks.

6(a) Sit-Down Counterbalanced Lift Truck
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Operator can sit in the truck to operate.
12-13 ft. minimum aisle width requirement

6(b) Stand-Up Counterbalanced Lift Truck
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-Operator stands up, giving vehicle narrow-aisle capability
-9-11 ft. minimum aisle width requirement
-Faster loading/unloading time compared to NA straddle and reach trucks

7. Narrow-Aisle (NA) Straddle Truck
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-Similar to stand-up CB lift truck, except outrigger arms straddle a load and are used to support the load instead of the counterbalance of the truck
-7-8 ft. minimum aisle width requirement
-Less expensive than stand-up CB lift truck and NA reach truck
-Since the load is straddled during stacking, clearance between loads must be provided for the outrigger arms
-Arm clearance typically provided through the use of load-on-beam rack storage or single-wing pallets for load-on-floor storage

8. Narrow-Aisle (NA) Reach Truck
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-Similar to both stand-up CB lift truck and NA straddle truck
-8-10 ft. minimum aisle width requirement
-Load rests on the outrigger arms during transport, but a pantograph (scissors) mechanism is used for reaching, thereby eliminating the need to straddle the load during stacking
-Reaching capability enables the use of shorter outrigger arms (arms > 1/2 load depth) as compared to NA straddle truck (arms = load depth)
-Counterbalance of the truck used to support the load when it extends beyond the outrigger arms
-Although the NA reach truck requires slightly wider aisles than a NA straddle truck since its outrigger arms do not enter a rack during storage, it does not require arm clearance between loads (arm clearance is still required when the truck must enter a storage lane when block stacking or drive-in or -through racks are used)
-Extended reaching mechanisms are available to enable double-deep storage

9. Turret Truck
-Greater stacking height compared to other narrow-aisle trucks (40 ft. vs. 25 ft.), but greater investment cost.
-Forks rotate to allow for side loading and, since truck itself does not rotate during stacking, the body of the truck can be longer to increase its counterbalance capability and to allow the operator to sit.
-Can function like a side loader for transporting greater-than-pallet-size load

9(a) Operator-Down Turret Truck
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-Operator not lifted with the load
-5-6 ft. minimum aisle width requirement
-Termed a swing mast truck (picture shown) when, instead of just the forks, the entire mast rotates (thus can store on only one side of a aisle while in aisle)

9(b) Operator-Up Turret Truck
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-Operator lifted with the load to allow precise stacking and picking
-5-7 ft. minimum aisle width requirement

10. Order Picker
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-Similar to NA straddle truck, except operator lifted with the load to allow for less-than-unit-load picking.
-Typically has a fork to allow the truck to be used for pallet stacking and to support a pallet during less-than-pallet-load picking.
-"Belly switch" used for operator safety during picking

11. Tractor-Trailer
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-Non-load-carrying tractor used to pull a train of trailers (i.e., dollies or floor hand trucks)
-Extends the transporting capacity of floor hand trucks
-It is also used in airport for baggage transportation.

12. Personnel and Burden Carrier
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Non-load-carrying vehicle used to transport personnel within a facility (e.g., golf cart, bicycle, etc.)

13. Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV)
-AGVs do not require an operator
-Good for high labor cost, hazardous, or environmentally sensitive conditions (e.g., clean-room)
-Also termed "automated" guided vehicle
-AGVs good for low-to-medium volume medium-to-long distance random material flow operations (e.g., transport between work cells in a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) environment)
-Two means of guidance can be used for AGV systems:
Fixed path: Physical guide path (e.g., wire, tape, paint) on the floor used for guidance
Free-ranging: No physical guide path, thus easier to change vehicle path (in software), but absolute position estimates (from, e.g., lasers) are needed to correct dead-reckoning error

13(a) Tow AGV
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-Used to pull a train of trailers
-Automated version of a tractor trailer
-Trailers usually loaded manually (early type of AGV, not much used today)

13(b) Unit Load AGV
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-Have decks that can be loaded manually or automatically
-Deck can include conveyor or lift/lower mechanism for automatic loading
-Typically 4 by 4 feet and can carry 1–2,000 lb. loads
-Typically less than 10 vehicles in AGV system

13(c) Assembly AGV
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-Used as assembly platforms (e.g., car chassis, engines, appliances)
-Greatest development activity during the 1980s (alternative to AEMs)
-Typically 50–100 vehicles in AGV system

13(d) Light Load AGV
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-Used for small loads (< 500 lbs), e.g., components, tools
-Typically used in electronics assembly and office environments (as mail and snack carriers)

(< style="color: rgb(255, 153, 0);">13(e) Fork AGV
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-Counterbalanced, narrow-aisle straddle, and side loading versions available
-Typically have sensors on forks (e.g., infrared sensors) for pallet interfacing


Material handling equipment (MHE) is used for the movement and storage of material within a facility or at a site. MHE can be classified into the following five major categories. They are transport equipment, positioning equipment, unit load formation equipment, storage equipment and identification and control equipment.

We will be only focusing on Transport Equipment in this blog.

Transport equipment is used to move material from one location to another (e.g., between workplaces, between a loading dock and a storage area, etc.) within a facility or at a site.

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There are basically three basic types of material handling equipment:

Manual – It is very labour intensive. Typical pieces of equipment would be the hand dollies, drawers, low racks, bins, excessive manual labour, and gravity flow conveyors.

Mechanised – It is the most common type of the system found. The forklift truck is the backbone of a mechanised material handling system. Others include pallets, towlines, cranes, storage rack systems, and wheel conveyors.

Automated – It uses carousels, automatic robots. It has the ability to fully utilise all of the available cubic space in the facility. The investment costs are normally very high and prohibitive for many companies.


Movement – Movement of product into, through, and out of warehouses in the most efficient manner. It is incumbent for a warehouse to efficiently move product from one location to another.

Time – Time means that product must be available at the various production stations when needed. From a production or warehousing viewpoint, there is nothing worse than having the product in the facility but not in the right place and not at the right time.

Quantity – It is important that the right quantity is moved to and between the production stations as well as to the customers.

Space – It states that the material handling system needs to effectively utilize all of the available cubic space within the warehouse or plant. Space is expensive and must be used to its fullest capacity.


Material handling equipment(MHE)is used for the movement and storage of material within a facility or at a site. The type of equipment used is dependant on, what is being handled in the facility, the routing of the material throughout the facility and placing the materials in the right place at the right time in the right quantity. There are three basic types of material handling equipment, manual, mechanised and automated, but we are only focusing on mechanised.