In some warehouse i saw many times dive in racking systems. It is a good system for those who cannot use, for different reason, FIFO. This system reduce waste space into the warehouse and can be useful for many industries. It have some disadvantages but it is a good racking system. For those who do not not how a drive in racking system works i advise to see this short movie:
Working with this kind of racking systems create some problems in the future because the forklift driver will hit the racking system and in time this will create problems. Even if the forklift driver it is a good one, because the tight space it will hit the racking system in different area. Another disadvantage is that this racking system requires long time to place the pallets into the position. This long time is required because the forklift driver must drive with low speed and very carefully inside the drive in racking system.
To prevent this it is create a new systems call push back racking system. It can replace the traditional drive in racking system, have the same advantage of the drive in system but do not have the disadvantages that i present previously, because the forklift driver it is not necessary to enter with the forklift inside the racking system to place the pallet. He put the pallet like in a traditional raking system and push the pallet in the back. This system will increase the speed and preserve the racking systems in good condition. For those who do not know how this systems works i invite them to see the following movie:
To choose a forklift can be an easy job for most of the professional people who work in logistics sector. Actually the thing it is not so easy because on the market it Is a lot of producers and a lot of models and it is not so easy to choose one which is best for you and for you environment, For my point of view you could do this in 2 ways: based on recommendation or based on number and your experience.
First method consist in take some recommendation for some people who work in the past with forklifts and they can recommend you a certain producers and certain models. For that is necessary to talk with some forklifts driver or logistic manager and they you indicate you the forklifts that they consider could be a good one. In most of the case this recommendation is not based on numbers, is based on a subjective criteria that every people have about this subjects.
The second method consists in take this decision based on numbers and technical and financial analysis. For my point of view 3 criteria it is important when you choose a forklift:
1. Cost per hour – means that how much it cost to work 1 hour with the forklift
2. Productivity of the forklift;
3. Space between 2 racks that is necessary to have to be able to work safe with the forklift;
For sure we can define other aspects or criteria that we can take in consideration when we want to buy a forklift, but, for my point of view, this is the most important criteria. We can take in consideration, for example the rigidity of the forklift mast because a mast which is not so rigid it reduce the working speed when you manipulate the height weight on the high level, but us you see the rigidity of the mast is in direct connection with productivity. Other criteria can be the reliability and the total working life of the forklift, but this is in direct connection with the cost per hour. So, in conclusion, for my point of view, most of the criteria can be reduce of one on this 3.
Cost per hour is the most important criteria for my point of view. Because this is the most important criteria when you choose a forklift you thinks that the producer of the forklift can help you, give the data to take the correct decision. For my point of view, they (the dealer and the producers of the forklift) must do more than that: they must guarantee you in some way for this value (cost per hour) for all the working life of the forklift. If you ask a dealer or producers to guarantee this value (cost per hour) you will have the unpleasant surprise that they will not do that or they will give you a value but they do not guarantee this value. When I said to guarantee this value I mean to have a clear contract where to have this value, for example 1.2 $ per hour and to check this value for a certain period of time, for example 6 months and if this value is higher than 1.2 $ per hour you will pay only 1, 2 $ and the difference will be paid by the producer or dealer. Also the producers/dealer do not guarantee you the normalize consumption of the forklift and they avoid to give you a value. This parameter it is also important because it is the highest cost (represents between 50-70%) of total cost
If you ask them why they cannot guarantee you a value for cost per hour they will told you that this value depends on how you use the forklift. This is real, but they can put on the forklift monitories device to see how you work with the forklift. I agree to pay more for initial price of the forklift (because it have this device and raise the initial price) because on the working life of forklift I will take this money back for 4-5 times. Using this device they can see if you overload the forklift, if you use it in not proper conditions etc, and also they can have a correct value for cost per hour. Even if they give you a cost per hour you must to have this parameter calculate by yourself using you environmental condition. You must do that because in the initial sales process the sales man will give you the most optimistic value for this parameter because they want to sell the product. If you can compare the value you can have a good image for the beginning.
The second criteria: productivity of the forklift is important because if you use less productivity model you use more forklift to move the same quantity of goods in certain period of time. The productivity depends also by the forklift driver and also by the technical parameter of the forklift.
The third criteria it is important because you can increase the using capacity of the warehouse when you use forklift that use less spaces between racks. You can increase this space with 10-15% if you choose the correct type of forklift. Take care because this kind of forklift (forklift who use less space between racks) is significant expansive than a normal one.
I hope that the article wills clarify some aspects regarding the decision to choose the right forklift.