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Planning is key to effective materials handling

Home Transport & Logistics Commercial & Fleet Planning is key to effective materials handling

EQUIPMENT selection is a major consideration in the movement of items in various processes and throughout the supply chain. It has the potential to make or break an operation’s effectiveness.

According to Smith Power Equipment’s Devan Govender, the authorised distributor of Baoli materials handling equipment in South Africa, there are many considerations when choosing a forklift or reach truck that go far beyond the price and current application of the equipment.

Factors such as future growth, product expansion, underfoot conditions and production hours can play a significant role in machine selection. Furthermore, weather and climatic conditions may play havoc with the best plans where temperature can affect charging times or traction of machines among other factors.

Trusted experts

That is also the reason why Govender recommends working with companies that have the expertise and product range to ensure the right equipment for the job. “Proper planning in the selection of material handling solutions is the most important part of the process for businesses.

“It contributes to the optimisation of operational efficiency and productivity in a business. If the handling division can maintain high levels of operating efficiency, then it should be able to generate greater profits per project with the same resources.

“It all starts with current and future plans and the compilation of a comprehensive site survey document per application. This takes all the factors mentioned previously into account and looks at the height that loads need to be lifted, weight, available space, energy requirements such as battery, diesel or LPG, for example, and any other requirement such as floor surfaces, outside terrain including gradients and other factors.

“To make it even more challenging, we recommend gaining insight into the operation’s future plans with consideration to possible changes of premises, energy efficiency and other considerations. Proper health and safety planning also needs to be done, as does understanding hour usage and site application to get the best results,” says Govender.

Machine selection

He explains that the last and most important requirement is to choose an equipment partner with the expertise and product range to meet the unique needs of each site. Rather than just focusing on price, it is important to deal with a company like Smith Power Solutions with the infrastructure and nationwide dealer network to be able to provide parts and services wherever the customer needs them.

Its unique customer-centric approach extends to Baoli South Africa and promotes the building of longstanding relationships with customers and ensures personalised service from the point of sale to aftersales service, support and ongoing advice and assistance throughout an operation’s lifespan. Its strong product line-up means that there are machines available to meet customers’ requirements.

Depending on the application, Baoli has a range of equipment designed to meet the diverse needs of businesses across various industries. These include diesel forklift trucks from 1,8T to 5T, LP gas driven forklifts from 2,5T to 3,5T and new generation battery-driven forklift trucks ranging from 1,8T to 2,5T. a 2T reach truck with a mast height of up to 11m as well as a choice of 1,2T, 1,5T or 1,6T power pallet trucks are also available. The stackers complete the line-up with 1T, 1,5T or 1,6T options available with lifting heights of between 1,6m to 3,5m.

Various options

There are various options available for machines with different terrains, mast heights, and attachments. Customers can also request industry-specific modifications for cleanrooms, cold storage, and certain mining applications. In addition, there are numerous options available for common applications in logistics, warehousing, manufacturing and retail.

Baoli equipment is a part of Europe’s market-leading Kion Group and has gained a strong reputation for its effectiveness in an increasing number of applications in South Africa since first being distributed by Smith Power in 2018. The durability and manoeuvrability of these machines have made them popular among fleet owners and operators ever since.

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