Comparison: Straddle Carriers, High Capacity Forklifts and Container Handlers
Filed under: Materials Handling
Previous blog posts have looked at the capabilities and benefits of different types of container handling units available, in particular looking at container handlers, reach stackers and straddle carriers.
This week’s blog post compares straddle carries with reach stackers and container handling forklifts.
It will highlight advantages of both unit types, allowing potential buyers to make informed decisions regarding which unit is best suited to their application.
The unique design and capabilities of the Combilift Straddle Carrier often make it the ideal solution when looking to handle containers economically.
A number of benefits are listed and discussed below.
Stability and Safety
Counterbalance forklifts and reach stacker’s carry their loads out in front of them, with the majority of the load being supported by the front wheels.
The unit must be weighted correctly to counterbalance the heavy load out front.
If the load is heavier than the counterbalance the unit is at a greater risk of falling forward with the potential for serious operator, load, property and equipment damage.
Straddle carriers with the load weight distributed evenly across all wheels are inherently more stable when driven forwards and backwards.
Lower Fuel and Maintenance Costs
Due to the large counterbalances on forklifts and reach stackers they have a heavy net weight.
Straddle carriers with no counterbalance are up to two thirds lighter than forklifts and reach stackers; this in turn leads to lower fuel costs as they consume less fuel.
The lighter overall weight of the units lowers maintenance cost as these are often in proportion to a units laden weight.
Space-saving, storage density
As opposed to counterbalance forklifts and reach stackers who carry loads sideways, straddle carriers carry loads lengthways.
This means they only require a single lane access road to move a container as opposed to a minimum 15m wide access road.
Straddle carriers also allow for containers to be stored closely together in parallel lines, providing higher density storage whilst still maintaining access to all containers with minimal lift movements.
Forklifts and Reach Stackers
In situations where a straddle carrier may not be a suitable container handling solution forklifts or reach stackers may be appropriate.
Some of the advantages are discussed below.
Lower capital cost
For high volume container operations where a large fleet of units are run, forklifts or reach stackers are less expensive resulting in less capital outlay.
When operating straddle carriers laneways must be clear on each side of the container for the unit to be able to drive over the top of it for pickup.
Reach stacker’s and forklifts are able to stack containers up to three rows deep and seven containers high. This allows for more containers to be stored in an area.
Un/loading of vehicles
Forklifts and reach stackers are the preferred option when unloading containers from trains and other forms of transport where straddle carriers are unable to drive over containers.
In summary each Material handling type offers a diverse range of benefits tailored to specific need, hopefully this blog has given you insights into the differences between Straddle carriers, high capacity forklifts and container handlers.
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