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As a warehouse manager, ensuring the safety of your employees, and achieving optimal operating efficiency is paramount. To achieve this, it is important that you understand the manual handling needs within your warehouse, and obtain the best, most reliable equipment on the market.
From the smallest to the largest warehouses in Australia, an order-picking trolley is a key piece of equipment. A proper trolley will make sure that your staff can move goods effectively, smoothly, and safely around the facility. A quality warehouse trolley is proven to significantly increase productivity, reduce pressure on employees, create a safer working environment, and improve overall inventory management.
However, with a lot of different types of heavy-duty trolleys on the market, it can be difficult to select the best option for your warehouse. While a suitable trolley has multiple benefits, choosing the wrong trolley comes with many risks, particularly regarding employee safety. Within this article, we will help you to understand the different options within the market, explain the benefits of using trolleys for your warehouse operations, and outline the key factors to consider when choosing an order-picking trolley for your organisation.
As you can imagine, it is not one size fits all when it comes to choosing an order-picking trolley for your warehouse. There is not one trolley that works for every single business or one trolley that will complete every single task across the warehouse floor.
Therefore, it is essential to understand the different options available and what the functions and benefits are of each trolley. Every single trolley is designed to complete certain tasks and to meet specific requirements. Let’s look at some of the different trolley options below.
The platform trolley is widely used in most warehouses across the world. Often referred to as a flatbed trolley, platform trolleys are ideal for easily moving large, heavy items around the warehouse. The combination of a durable flat deck and sturdy wheels makes this trolley a great choice for any warehouse needing to move larger or bulky products.
Cage trolleys come in an array of shapes and sizes to meet your warehousing needs. From massive boxes in industrial warehouses to smaller items in supermarkets and retail stores, a cage trolley is extremely effective at transporting items without the risk of damage to the goods or causing injury to staff.
When it comes to efficiency and quick movement around your warehouse, the shelf trolley is an excellent option. Particularly for warehouse operatives moving small items and managing inventory, a shelf trolley can be invaluable.
Quite similar to a shelf trolley in terms of its functionality, a bin trolley is an asset for warehouses looking to transport goods at high speed. Bin trolleys are extremely beneficial for warehouses with substantial product ranges that need to be stored, picked, and packed. Bins can be used for storage, but then easily transported to move the goods from one end of the warehouse to the next.
Lightweight, versatile, and easily transportable, a hand trolley is an important cog in the warehousing machine. With two strong wheels, and a durable base, a good aluminum hand trolley is capable of handling up to 100kg, so it won’t let you down. For couriers or delivery drivers, a foldable hand trolley is a great option to keep in the back of their van, to help deliver goods quickly and safely on arrival.
You will never be stuck when searching for the right order-picking trolley to match your warehousing needs. No matter the size of your warehouse, the number of staff you employ, or the types of products that you sell, there is a trolley capable of doing the job.
Trolleys in Warehouse Operations There are multiple benefits associated with using trolleys within warehouse operations, particularly when you choose the best model for your business. Through years of experience working with companies across Australia, we’ve identified three key advantages.
There is no denying the significant impact that warehouse trolleys make at reducing hazardous tasks and the risk of injury for employees. Unfortunately, musculoskeletal injuries or MSDs are all too common within warehouses across the world, due to poor manual handling and improper working conditions, and equipment. By providing sufficient manual handling aids, like the trolleys detailed above, you are looking after your employees and reducing the risk of back injuries, muscle strains, and damage to nerves, joins, ligaments, and bones.
The proper use of warehouse trolleys and hand trucks will immensely improve efficiency and productivity within your warehouse. Due to the reduced manual handling, employees can save incredible time by utilising this equipment properly and will also find themselves with more steady energy throughout the day. It can become very draining and taxing on the body if staff do not have the necessary equipment to do their job. A trusty, durable trolley will also allow significantly more goods to be transported, meaning less unnecessary trips, and more time saved. Additionally, trolleys can help to store, manage, and arrange inventory meaning your warehouse is better organised and efficient on a greater scale.
Every warehouse owner is on a mission to create cost savings. However, this is very rarely an easy goal to achieve. Using trolleys and hand trucks, is a very practical and effective way to reduce costs, while not compromising on quality, speed, or operating efficiency. Trolleys are more affordable than forklifts or heavy-duty machinery, but they are often extremely capable and sufficient for a multitude of warehousing needs. Additionally, they require very little maintenance, and are very easier to operate, reducing future costs down the line.
Every warehouse is different. What your warehouse needs might be different to what your closest competitor needs. However, there is a trolley, or a combination of trolleys to fit every business’s needs. Below is a guide for warehouse managers on the key variables to consider.
It is crucial to be fully aware of your warehouse environment and the overall working conditions. In particular, it is vital to evaluate the available floor space and what capability there is in terms of trolley size and movement of goods. For example, with uneven surfaces, it is essential to invest in a trolley with large, durable, sturdy wheels that will not be damaged.
The same principle applies with warehouses that have lots of steep slopes or stairs. To safely manoeuvre and bypass these obstacles, staff need quality equipment that they can trust. For steep slopes, substantial strong wheels are vital. For stairs and steps, lightweight, transportable, yet durable equipment is the key.
The temperature and climatic conditions are also a key decision-making factor. In extremely hot temperatures (like we experience here in Australia), materials like stainless steel are suitable, to help combat the conditions and ensure dependability.
Additionally, it is vital to evaluate task-specific factors when choosing between different warehouse trolleys. When making your decision, ensure to consider the load capacity, the size of the goods and the overall weight that needs to be stored and transported.
Depending on the nature of your warehouse, and the nature of the task, some trolleys are more suitable than others. For example, bin trolleys are fantastic for organisation and quick transportation of smaller, lighter goods. However, a combination of platform and cage trolleys is better for larger, heavier goods. These trolleys are designed to take much greater loads and protect the goods within them.
Choosing the right order picking trolley for your warehouse is an extremely effective way to achieve greater safety, efficiency, and productivity, and it doesn’t need to be a painful process. By making the key considerations above, understanding your working environment, and the task-specific needs within your warehouse, you will find the right trolley to fit your needs. Once you do, you are creating a much safer workplace for your employees, reducing the physical pressures on staff, and improving overall inventory management and processing.
At Sitecraft, we have Australia’s most extensive range of trolleys and hand trucks. We are proud to supply multiple major retailers, manufacturers, and logistics suppliers across the country with proven manual handling products and solutions. So, if you’re in New South Wales, Victoria, or Sothern Australia, and looking to upgrade your warehouse equipment, make sure to contact our team or make an online enquiry.