Don’t start asking warehouse workers about the back pain and injuries they’ve incurred from work – or you’ll never hear the end of it. They’ll have stories to tell, and why not, they deal with it on a daily basis.
It does seem that these problems come with the job. In a report of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Hazards (NIOSH), back problems account for 30% of the occupational injuries among warehouse workers. It also states that more than 1/3 of warehouse workers are injured in the workplace yearly, which results to a cost of $0.60 per man-hour.
Many things have changed to improve workplace conditions and minimize musculoskeletal injuries. For instance, motorized tools like warehouse tugger carts are now used to positively affect the workers’ health and productivity.
What are warehouse tugger carts?
You’re familiar with carts – these are wheeled tools for material handling. The wheels reduce the friction between the ground and the cart, and thus, make moving easy. When moving thousands of pounds, though, it’s a totally different story.
That’s the reason why warehouse employees use warehouse tugger carts, also referred to as electric tuggers.
These motorized tools make pushing and pulling loaded carts easier and faster!
What are the benefits of using electric tuggers?
They’ll help minimize the risk of injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among your employees. As a result, there will be fewer absences and lower workers compensation expense due to injuries.
Increased employee morale
Cart tuggers reduce the drudgery of warehouse tasks, boost employee morale, and decrease turnover of employees. These things are vital to your business.
A tugger-and-cart system will significantly increase efficiency since a tugger is capable of handling multiple carts. This will help you optimize your resources, including human resource. A single employee can man the handling of several carts at a time.
Lower energy usage compared to forklifts
Forklifts are widely used in large facilities for functions that a tugger is capable of doing. A tugger uses only one motor, while a forklift uses two. It handles tight curves better than a forklift does. It has no extensions that can cause accidents. Also, a forklift needs multiple trips for multiple carts. A tugger, as mentioned, can pull linked carts in a single trip. Fewer trips mean less energy used, less wastage, and a greener warehouse.
Specs and features to look for:
Choose warehouse tugger carts based on your facility’s material handling needs. Inspect the following specs and features:
Load capacity – expressed in pounds; this number represents the weight of the load that the electric tugger can safely tow.
Battery – expressed in volts and battery life in hours; should at least last for the whole duration of one shift; consider the time required for recharging the battery.
Speed – 0-3 mph is considered optimal for most warehouse routines.
Hitch and attachment options – adaptability to various types of attaching carts; also check for ease of hitching and unhitching.
Foam-filled tires – tires that will never go flat but which possess the bounce of pneumatic tires.
Safety features – must include safety or emergency stop switch, safety light, and safety horn.
Solid construction – heavy-gauge steel frame and robust components.
Maneuverability – ease in turning tight corners and confined work spaces.
Ergonomics – adjustability in height of control handles, intuitive buttons/levers, and angled handgrips.
Our highly recommended electric tuggers:
Pony Express Electric Tugger MT-5000
We give our nod to the Pony Express Electric Tugger MT-5000 from Electro Kinetic Technologies. It has a load capacity of 5,000 lb and is powered by deep cycle AGM rechargeable batteries. A full charge provides continuous power for up to 8 hours. A visual indicator makes it easy for the user to check on the battery’s charge status any time.
MT-5000 has foam-filled tires, variable speed range of 0-3 mph for forward and reverse, and Ingress Protection rating of IP54. It has ergonomic hand-and-thumb controls and a handle grip which can be adjusted to the height of the operator.
To conserve power, this tool automatically goes to sleep mode when not in use. It is equipped with an emergency stop button and horn. Whenever the operator’s hands leave the controls, the auto-stop feature is activated. When parked on inclined surfaces, the equipment’s automatic holding brake will stop it from moving.
The front mounting plate of MT-5000 adapts to various hitch types, including ball hitch, Pintle & Hook hitch, and custom hitch. Another item in our website, MT-5000-310, is basically an MT-5000 which comes with a mounted round-bar hitch.
CartMover’s Electric Battery-Powered Industrial Tugger
Another product which we highly recommend is CartMover’s Electric Battery-Powered Industrial Tugger. This compact cart tugger weighs less than a third of MT-5000’s weight but packs awesome power with its 24-volt NiCad rechargeable battery. It has a design load capacity of 10,000 lb – twice that of MT-5000!
This cart mover’s sturdy steel frame is designed for that kind load. It has a variable speed twist grip throttle and a programmable speed controller. Its maximum push/pull speed is 2.4 mph.
In a nutshell
Working people too hard will not only hurt them physically, but will also hurt their productivity. Mitigate this by incorporating machines in your systems. Warehouse tugger carts are fast becoming the top tools for material handling because of their cost-effectiveness. They will not only move materials faster, they will also make your employees happier and safer in their jobs.