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Forklift Battery Wastewater for the Green Warehouse

When you run electric forklifts, you have to wash the batteries, and that leads to the problem of forklift battery wastewater. To be sure, choosing electric forklifts over internal combustion ones offers a multitude of environmental and economic benefits for warehouses. A smaller carbon footprint, lower fueling costs, and less maintenance are just a handful of the many benefits of using battery power. But making your fleet greener doesn’t stop with investing in electric. To get the most life and best performance out of lead-acid batteries, staff must occasionally wash them. This periodic washing creates wastewater that can contain dangerous pollutants that include: Lead, copper, and other heavy metals Sulfuric acid Rust (iron oxide) particles Because of this, the EPA…more

Retaining Skilled Workers

America’s supply of skilled workers isn’t as young as it used to be, and the trend has no end in sight. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that, by 2024, 41 million workers will be 55 or older. For the manufacturing sector and other industries with higher physical demands, this trend could mean more sick days and reduced productivity. While older Americans are healthier than ever, they are still more likely to need time off for episodic or chronic health problems than their younger counterparts. Thankfully, there are a number of ergonomic solutions that can help older workers stay healthy and productive, and one international company has shown a proven way to implement them. One German automotive manufacturer has been…more

Skilled Labor Shortages in Manufacturing: Doing More with Fewer Employees

There’s a skilled labor shortage in manufacturing and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute teamed up for a study of the industry in 2015. They found that over the next decade, manufacturing companies will need 3.4 million workers — but will have a 2 million-worker shortfall. This precipitous drop in skilled talent comes from an unfortunate confluence of conditions: baby boomers are retiring just as the industry is expanding. To make matters worse, fewer tech programs and a general lack of interest in manufacturing among high school students means that reinforcements are not on the way. Because of this, the report recommends that company leadership take a proactive role in increasing interest…more

Women in Warehousing: The Value of Building and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

March is National Women’s History Month, but that’s not the only reason that this is a great time to talk about women in warehousing. We’re also at a crucial point in the development of logistics workforces, which aren’t keeping up with the industry’s growth. If businesses can’t attract new employees, we’ll start to have serious problems keeping up with the seemingly ever-growing demand for the movement of goods from one place to another. Women can help fill these roles at every level. And it isn’t just forklift operators and order pickers and packers that logistics providers will need to hire. The entire supply chain is struggling with personnel shortages. We need to attract and retain the next generation of freight…more

Preparing Docks for the Spring and Summer Seasons: What to Expect

The summer is nearly here, and now’s a good time to start preparing docks and bays at busy distribution centers for the seasonal changes. In particular, warehouse operators should get ready for two trends that are right around the corner: Summer heat — especially at the docks — and a possible uptick in carrier traffic. Consider how freight has been moving in spring and early summer over the past few years: Statistics bear out what you may have seen at warehouse docks in recent years: shipments rising as we move from spring into summer. The trends of the past few seasons could give us some clues about what to expect this year. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Transportation…more

Retaining Warehouse Staff with Ergonomic Equipment

Hiring and retaining warehouse staff could be the next big challenge facing the logistics industry as a whole. And while you might have read a lot about the ongoing scarcity of truck drivers, the entire supply chain, from start to finish, is starting to compete for the best workers to stay ahead of the curve. These new conditions could hit unprepared warehousing operations hard. Consider the following points: In 2017, the unemployment rate in the U.S. dipped below the long-term natural rate of unemployment — the point at which the demand for jobs is at parity with the number of qualified job-seekers. Dipping below that number is a pretty clear sign of impending labor shortages. By the end of last…more

Electric Forklift Fleet Costs Over Time

If this is the year you switch to an electric forklift fleet, costs are bound to be a major topic of conversation in your office. The expense of a capital investment like a forklift fleet can’t be limited to the purchase price alone, of course. You need to consider the future costs, as well, and those can be hard to foresee. When you’re planning an investment in electric forklifts, then, be sure to include the following factors into your calculation to ensure the best return on investment throughout the entire working life of your trucks: The sticker price of each lift truck. This is where you might start, but it’s far from the whole picture. In fact, trade journal Inbound…more

Lift Tables vs. Tilt Tables: Ergonomics for Various Applications

Lift Tables vs. Tilt Tables: Which is right for your application? Both improve the fit between workers and the tasks they must complete, which is the core of ergonomics. By adjusting loads to a more agreeable height or angle, these positioning tools reduce injuries, conserve human energy, and increase productivity. These adjustments can have tremendously positive effects on worker health and overall productivity. But which equipment should employers choose? Let’s take a look at some applications where lift tables and tilt tables can help out. Lift Tables raise or lower loads to a comfortable height vertically, without bringing them closer to or further away from the user (unless, of course, users implement rotating tabletops). Applications for this technology are wide…more

Forklift Work Platforms for Safely Performing Overhead Tasks

Without Forklift Work Platforms, performing overhead tasks in warehouses is dangerous business. A cursory glance at a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) fact sheet is enough to make a warehouse manager wonder, “What can I do to protect my workers?” That’s where heavy-duty safety equipment like Forklift Work Platforms come in. These dedicated personnel-lifting devices can make overhead tasks, like taking inventory, shifting products on high warehouse shelves, or even changing light bulbs safer and quicker than ever before. A macro- and micro-level look at the situation shows the danger that workers encounter when confronted with overhead tasks. Let’s take a look at the big picture first. The BLS reports that slips, trips, and falls are the second-most common cause…more

Park & Charge Technology for Electric Forklifts: Required Support Equipment

There is a lively debate between proponents of conventional forklift battery charging and those of fast charging, or park & charge, technology. As with any competing technology, there’s no easy answer about which system is superior. Different fleets have different needs, and that means either type of technology could be a better fit. That said, here are some of the advantages that some users derive from park & charge systems, along with some of the extra gear operators will need to keep these systems more efficient and durable. One of the most attractive benefits of park & charge technology is its simplicity. Fast charging systems rely on charging forklift batteries during periods of downtime, such as lunch hours or other…more