Forklift, friend or foe?

Nov 19, 2019 | Blogs

It’s no secret that forklift-related incidences in the workplace have adverse effects for all parties involved. On the one hand, these incidences result in hefty finical penalties which are incurred by the employer, and on the other hand, the same incidences can result in life-changing physical issues for the employee. According to the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) Forklifts: How do I prevent accidents and damage publication, three primary considerations cause accidents and damage. These are; lack of experienced forklift operators; insufficient training and pedestrians.  Human error, irresponsible behavior, technical inaccuracies, poor machine maintenance,  hazardous and health-threatening diesel fumes are just a few noted factors which can make matters even worse.

As stated by, Marc Kuipers, Inspector General at SZW, “safety is not just about machines, but also about tackling unsafe behavior and culture in the workplace.” This [unsafe behavior and workplace culture], among other reasons, has led to the industrywide trend that seeks to decrease the use of forklifts and eventuality stop the use of forklifts altogether, in hopes of creating a fork truck free (FTF) workplace.

In the past, forklifts, logistic systems, and employees worked hand-in-hand to store and transfer goods, quickly and efficiently. However, as the frequency of safety incidents, injuries and casualties associated with forklifts continue to rise, industries and clients alike have turned to manufactures, engineers, and logistics experts to create and facilitate FTF workplaces. However, if forklifts become obsolete in the future than who or what shall do the heavy lifting? Here is where electric tugs and the use of AGV technology come in.

 

At Movexx, we continuously push the envelope in efforts to offer innovative solutions which create safer, smarter, and sustainable products and workplaces. Since the day we started our business, we always knew that AGV machines and electric tugs would offer significant benefits to our customers. Now, in light of the recent concerns around the safety and future of forklifts in the workplace, we now more than ever believe that our electric tugs are the solution to safer, sustainable and efficient workplaces. 


Safe:
According to (UK) Health and Safety Executive inspector Jane Carroll, “those in control of work have a responsibility to provide safe methods of working and a safe working environment.” The SZW publication attributes the lack of training as a cause of fatal forklift injuries. To resolve the above remarks, we ensure that before any Movexx electric tug sets foot on your premises, a trained and qualified dealer undergoes (re)training. We do this to ensure that your dealer can help onboard managers, operators and others who may encounter the tug, as well as to make the team feel comfortable and confident to operate your new Movexx electric tug independently. Should you need further assistance along the way, our after-sales services teams and local dealers are at your service.

The SWZ publication also stated that 50% of the forklift accidents were to the feet. Our solution to this problem is our AGV tugs. Firstly, AGV tugs have safety sensors to enable them to work with high precision. The sensors and internal software, which together form the tug’s built-in safety measure, stop it from moving when it encounters people, barriers, or obstructions in its course. The tug’s internal software then recalculates the safest and optimal route to take to deliver the goods.

Secondly, since our tugs pull, push, move and slightly lift goods, they are less likely to result in foot injuries that are caused by goods which fall from great heights or forklifts driving over people’s feet. Also, our AGV tugs are so precise when it comes to transporting goods that they can safely navigate vast turning areas that would challenge even the most experienced forklift drivers. Thus, eliminating the risk of congestion, collisions, and harm to people or products. Moreover, efficiency while reducing errors and accidents becomes a reality.

 

Sustainable:
Electric tugs consume less energy, improve productivity, and save more time when compared to forklifts. The physical and environmental energy required to operate a forklift (repeatedly), is higher than that of an electric tug, and this is due to one main reason; electric tugs can move more containers in a single trip than say a forklift, which has to travel back-and-forth to finish the same delivery. The physical demand on the driver of the forklift and far more than that of the operator of the tug.

Our tugs are ergonomic, which means that they work efficiently, comfortably, and in unison with your body. No excess physical strain means that operators can use the electric tug for more extended periods without developing serious injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendinitis, or lower back pains.

What’s more, is that our tugs are fully electric and come with an interchangeable battery, which means you can change and charge your battery when needed, and resume work within seconds. The rechargeable AGM or Lithium battery offers more power for longer, so even if your employees experience downtime, you can rest assured that your electric tug or AGV tug can keep on going.

Unlike forklift’s dangerous diesel fumes that can cause serious health risks, electric tugs emit zero fumes, which is better for you and the environment.  Moreover, the tug’s ergonomic design makes it safer and more enjoyable for you in the long-run.

Together, our tug’s ergonomic and sustainable design translates into improved productivity levels. By using electric tugs, employees become less prone to injuries, and your downtime is dramatically decreased, allowing your business to reach new heights.


Efficient:
As an experienced business with over 13 years of industry insight, we know that maintenance, repairs, and fuel costs can paralyze a company’s budget. It is for this reason that we strive to achieve maximum productivity while minimizing wasted efforts for both our products and people. Put simply; efficiency is in our genes.

Our efficient machines and people have proved successful in several different sectors. For example, when assisting logistics customers who seek to streamline their material flow process. Such customers make use of traditional delivery systems which use forklifts to move goods. This process not only requires several more people than what is necessary, but it is not ergonomic, nor does it incorporate LEAN practices —and sadly it is in such similar cases where injured employees become the norm.

Our solution to this problem, and indeed to that of the SZW (inadequate segregation of forklift trucks and pedestrians within the workspace) is a combination of electric tugs and AGVs. Our electric tugs and AGVs can work in conjunction with forklifts to create a safety buffer zone (forklift and pedestrian-free zone) between the pedestrian zone and the forklift range. By incorporating electric tugs and AGVs into the material moving process, warehouses can optimize the workforce and improve safety and productivity levels within the workplace.

Ensuring that you have the right assortments of machines and trained personnel for the job, is an essential part of complying with workplace safety regulations as well as creating an environment which reinforces employee and employer competence. If you are interested to see what role our electric tugs or AGVs play in preventing accidents and damage in your workplace, feel free to contact us, or one of our trusted dealers. You can find our contact form here: https://movexx.nl/contact/