The new millennium is now here. Is your factory/warehouse still stuck in the 1900's?  Ask this question to find out: how much time and money is wasted on manual labor, lost time and workman compensation claims?


A new generation of hand-controlled material handling equipment has entered the market and is complete with the latest ergonomical innovations. It is operator-friendly, has a heavy lifting capacity with higher lifting heights and is lightweight. The design works for both small and large operators working with equipment from manual hand pallet trucks to fully powered stackers (up to 206 inches).


Manual hand pallet trucks have been used in the mailing system industry for years. Older trucks were designed with a lift and lowering handle on the right side of the unit, which made it difficult for a left-handed person and smaller operators. Newly designed jacks now have center control handles that make it convenient for both left- and right-handed operators. The hydraulic system requires less pump force to lift loads combined with an airless seal pump, which does not allow contaminates to enter into the system. All of these updates on the trucks provide less maintenance costs with high maneuverability by allowing a lightweight and shorter head length.


Another variation from the standard model includes the mobile scale truck. This truck eliminates delivering loads to a fixed scale for processing. The applications include: shipping and receiving, order picking, piece counting and production.  Scale features have an auto shut-off, lead readout, keypad operation and 100% capacity. This truck is a high-lift pallet truck, which raises up to 31 inches.  It has manual options that are ideal for lifting and lowering goods to feed machinery or working at waist level. This means no more bending over to move material.


The newest and most innovative product on the market today is a fully powered electric light-duty 3,000 pound-capacity pallet truck.  It is extremely maneuverable with a hand that is 1/2-inch shorter than a standard hand pallet truck. Its crawl speed feature will actually work in a smaller confined area than any other truck, and it is operator friendly with an ergonomic low-slung handle that contains all the controls.


Sometimes material handling demands go beyond manual hand pallet trucks. For those demands, there are medium- to heavy-duty fully powered electric pallet trucks that range from a 3,500-pound up to a 6,000-pound capacity. Like the lighter duty trucks, these trucks also offer short head lengths and they allow for the ability to turn around within a semi-truck trailer. They are perfect for space restricted areas, and the crawl speed feature enables trucks to operate with the handle in the upright position.  They come standard with battery paks and built-in chargers with · the option of industrial batteries for multiple-shift operations. They have the same speed empty or fully loaded, which is perfect for loading dock applications with its ramp roll-back feature and electric magnetic brake.


When moving material from Point A to Point B is not enough, there is also a new line of stackers with a manual push. They have a power lift for electric stackers up to a 3,500-pound capacity.  Manual stackers are primarily used for loading dyes on machines and were not engineered for long runs or large operations. They are manufactured for light-order picking in small aisles and are great for working stations.  Operators can raise the forks electrically without constantly standing up and bending over. Larger applications require a fully electric powered stacker. There are many to choose from but few are designed with the operator in mind.  Stackers range from a light-duty 2,000-pound capacity up to 3,500-pound capacity and many have offset handles. These handles enable the operator to see his load without stretching to one side or the other. Trucks are much more stable with the offset handle because there are four points of stability, not three. These stackers also offer the multifunction ergonomic handle as in the electric pallet trucks. With the crawl speed feature, there is infinite speed and lift and lower controls. They can be used as workstations, loading material into presses and machines, stacking rocks, order picking and pallet moving. Straddle legs are adjustable to handle any 48-inch pallet and along with this there are adjustable forks. A battery pak with built-in charger is standard, along with heavy-duty industrial batteries.


We are well aware of how crowded a printing center can be as well as what happens if one machine goes down.  If you can't get a forklift or a pallet jack in a confined area, there are machine-moving dollies from one ton up to 10 tons of capacity that can safely as well as efficiently move machines out for repair or routine maintenance. Skates are available with swivel tops so machines can be moved even at 90º angles, and the large rollers will not harm floors.  There are kits that come complete with four skates and a T-bar connector, or individual skates are also sold. These dollies are not limited to warehouse use only, they can be used in crowded offices to move furniture, file cabinets or safes, and the large polyurethane wheels won't harm tile or carpet.


For more information, you may contact Jim Grieco at the Multiton Mic Corp. by phone at 847-595-9300.