With the new and ever-growing technology, lift trucks have become more than just lift trucks. It may come as a surprise to you, but modern lift truck can collect data about every facet of its operation.
Most of us already know that even the simplest of lift trucks are ready to interface with computers or a warehouse management system (WMS). We need to realize that this capability is not reserved only for massive fleets. They are also designed to enable small and specific changes to a lift truck’s operation, even for a fleet of one.
What Else Can A Lift Truck Do?
With the help of plug-and-play technology, a lift truck can even be made to respond to voice commands. The forks of a reach truck can be risen to the desired level of the pallet opening at the push of a button. Not only that, by collecting information about a lift truck’s travel through a facility, it’s also possible to identify areas of traffic congestion, restructure the placement of racks or pinpoint problems with the floor surface that could cause damage.
Choose The Best
Various kind of technology has surfaced in the past 10 years which adds to both the variety and confusion. The buyer has so many technology loaded options to choose from that he ends up getting distracted, puzzled and in some cases, fooled. Customers should be careful about gimmicks and look for tangible results.
Here are few tips on how technology options can be best used to optimize productivity and processes.
- Know Your Lift Truck – Lift trucks have turned from mechanical to electronic. Levers have been replaced by wires. Numerous sensors in it can now collect data about every aspect of a lift truck’s operation. Everything in the machine has changed but the user is same.The most common culprit of a failed implementation is the inability of the customer to effectively manage all the data the truck can produce. Thankfully, the technology on lift trucks allows data to be relayed directly to the dealer, who is increasingly called upon to manage that data on behalf of the customer.
- Lift and Learn – Lift trucks should not only be used for lifting. The data they collect can also paint a picture of processes and pinch points throughout a facility. For instance, managers can now identify high traffic points and look at how the facility layout might change to make traffic run more smoothly.
- Tailoring The Lift Truck –Instead of shaping an application around the limitations of an off-the-shelf lift truck, technology enables a truck to be highly customized to the application. For instance, an RFID transponder embedded in the floor of a facility can ensure a lift truck will only lift to a certain height near low-hanging air handling units or conveyors.