The familiar lift truck is not the only powered vehicle that can dramatically increase productivity in manufacturing and distribution facilities.
Don’t overlook burden carriers and floor sweepers, both of which offer unique benefits, depending on an operation’s specific handling requirements.
From small, one-person stock pickers to heavy-duty utility vehicles with load-carrying capacities exceeding 10,000 pounds, burden carriers can be one of the more useful vehicles in a distribution center or manufacturing plant.
Applications for the three- or four-wheeled vehicles are only limited by the imagination. Indoor order picking, replenishment, towing and outdoor load transport are just a few common uses of burden carriers. In addition, these vehicles are increasingly being used as rolling maintenance workstations.
And, floor sweepers will enhance the appearance of your building and help keep the air clean. Maintaining indoor air quality will help reduce the risk of employee illnesses and improve overall productivity. Floor sweepers available today come with a wide range of hightech components, including dust filters capable of removing the tiniest particles of dust.
Here are some of the latest burden carriers and floor sweepers available.
Wesley International (Scottdale, Ga.) introduces its new AC electric vehicle as an addition to its existing line of DC electric burden carriers. According to the company, the AC vehicle offers greater speed and torque control, lower maintenance costs and longer operating life between battery charges. In addition, the vehicle’s brushless motors do not release carbon dust.
The MX-600 from Taylor-Dunn (Anaheim, Calif.) can move a maintenance worker, tool chest and workbench to down equipment in less than one third of the time required by conventional methods, according to the company.
Equipped with a 24-volt battery system, the MX-600 can travel at speeds of 10 mph. An all-welded steel unitized body and frame and modularized control system design allows for easy maintenance on electrical systems. Safety loop-tiller steering protects the driver, and a solid-state controller and hall-effect accelerator module provide safe acceleration, says Taylor-Dunn.
Taylor-Dunn Manufacturing Co.
Columbia ParCar Corp. (Reedsburg, Wis.) offers its BC3 medium-duty burden carrier, featuring a 14-gauge, diamond-plate steel unitized chassis and 10-gauge steel support sections. The BC3 can be customized for a variety of transportation requirements and work indoors or out, according to the company.
The burden carrier is available in two bed lengths and capacities up to 3,200 pounds. Dual headlights, taillights and stoplights are standard, says the company.
Columbia ParCar Corp.
Charlatte America (Bluefield, Va.) offers its T215 light-duty burden carrier, which has a top running speed of 15.5 mph and a drawbar pull of more than 2,200 pounds. The T215 features hydraulic braking and steering and a low center of gravity. The motor is directly coupled to the rear axle, eliminating the drive line, according to the company.
The operator compartment contains a foot-operated accelerator pedal, directional lever, keyless power switch, light switch and horn switch. The rear platform provides additional cargo space.
The six batteries for the 36-volt E-322 burden carrier from Motrec (Bromptonville, Quebec) are located on the rear of the vehicle to increase weight on the traction drive. The increased weight on the back results in better braking performance, according to Motrec. In addition, less weight on the front axle results in smoother steering and better maneuverability.
The E-322 has a 14-gauge, diamondplate steel body and tubular frame and a capacity of 2,000 pounds. Maximum speed is 10 mph. Optional components include dual headlights, hydraulic brakes, DC/DC converter and bolt-on front bumper.
The E-Z-GO (Augusta, Ga.) Industrial 640 stock chaser with 1,000-pound payload is designed especially for narrow-aisle environments, according to E-Z-GO. Ideal for warehouse and distribution center environments, the 24-volt, DC-powered Industrial 640 features a 29 x 48-inch cargo deck and doubles as a maintenance support vehicle.
The body is constructed of welded steel with DuraShield powder coating. A four- or six-step ladder is also available, according to the company.
The S30 mid-sized rider sweeper from Tennant Co. (Minneapolis) features SweepSmart, a three-stage, dust filtration and control system that filters sub-micron dust particles with a nanofiber canister filter. The sweeper also has a multi-speed, mainbrush control that allows the operator to increase brush and vacuum speeds and a Touch-N-Go control panel with 1-Step Sweeping, a one-push start button that “remembers” previous settings for increased productivity.
According to Tennant, the S30’s easyaccess engine, hydraulics and parts allow for quick servicing and improved productivity, and its ergonomically designed operator compartment improves operator comfort and visibility.
Designed for use in indoor and outdoor manufacturing and warehousing environments, the S30 has a cleaning path of up to 80 inches and operates at 80 dBA.
Nilfisk-Advance (Minneapolis) introduces the Advance Exterra, which combines a 50-inch-wide broom with full-time dual side brooms for a 77-inch sweep path. The sweeper features DustGuard, a dust-suppression system that minimizes side-broom dust, and an UltraWeb spunbond nanofiber technology dust filter that captures submicron particles and is automatically cleaned when the main broom level is returned to the “up” position. The UltraWeb filter captures dust down to 0.8 microns in size, according to Nilfisk- Advance.
In addition, One-Touch controls, Clear-View sight lines and a safety broom stop ensure safety and ease of use for operators. MaxAccess allows for easy access to engine and hydraulic components and results in less downtime, says the company.
Burden Carriers: Versatile, Rolling Workshops
For Joe Salvador, fleet administrator and lead automotive equipment mechanic at California State University at Long Beach, burden carriers are “rolling workshops.”
Salvador’s staff of carpenters, painters, plumbers, metal fabricators, electricians, groundskeepers and movers uses a fleet of 120 burden carriers from Taylor- Dunn Manufacturing Co. (Anaheim, Calif.) for a wide range of campus activities. The 3,000-pound-capacity burden carriers log eight to 10 miles a day on the 300-acre campus at speeds of 8 to 12 mph, according to Salvador.
Salvador says the university has customized each of its burden carriers for a specific trade. For example, metal fabricators use the vehicles to store and move their welding equipment, while carpenters use them for moving plywood, tiles and concrete. Groundskeepers drive burden carriers equipped with turf tires that won’t damage the lawn.
Before using burden carriers, the university ran gas pickup trucks, but a move to go green and a quest for versatility convinced the maintenance department to switch to all-electric burden carriers.
And, the burden carriers are relatively easy to maintain, according to Salvador. “Operators do weekly maintenance inspections, which include a check of the batteries, lights and tires, and every six months, a maintenance team comes in and does a more complete check.”
The burden carriers are even decorated every holiday season and used as floats in the annual parade.