Forklift Education

Fallsway Equipment’s experts are leaders in their field. Find more about Forklifts, forklift accessories, and trends in the industry from our experts on our blog.

When to Replace Forklift Tires

Forklift Tires

It is important for every operation to know when to replace their forklift tires and what signs to look indicating that new tires are needed. If they are replaced too soon, you are not getting your money’s worth from them and decreasing operational profitability. However, on the other side of the spectrum, replacing forklift tires after the wear limit will result in

  • Operators noticing lower speeds and reduced ride comfort
  • Increase in maintenance costs
  • A lower ground clearance and reduced lifting height on the forklift
  • Loss of load capacity, causing accelerated wear and overheating

The first reference to look at when looking to replace lift truck tires is the forklift tire operator’s manual, provided by your forklift tire manufacturer. This is a helpful tool that covers wear limits and the proper time to change your tires. While you should follow the manual, there are additional signs that show when it is time to replace the old forklift tires.

Wear Indicator Bar

There are a significant amount of forklift tires that come with a wear bar molded into the tire’s sidewall, which is an indicator that becomes visible as the rubber tread wears out. This is a clear sign that your forklift tires need to be replaced.

Manufacturer Name

Most tires have the name of the manufacturer molded into the sidewall. Generally speaking, when the tire wears to the top of the nameplate, it should be replaced, which provides an opportunity to use an eyeball test as a quick determinate if the tire needs to be replaced or not.

Deformities of the Tire

A forklift tire needs to be replaced when there are any unusual appearances on your tire. There are several different types, including:

  • Tearing and Chunking – When pieces of the forklift tire are falling off, or there are parts tearing.
  • Splits or Cracks – When radial splits or cracks appear on the sidewall of the tire.
  • Non-round Spots – When flat spots appear on the forklift tire.

Contact us today for a FREE Forklift Tire Inspection by an expert from Fallsway Equipment Company.

The next step would be to choose the right type of forklift tire. Read another article written by Fallsway about what to consider when deciding what type of forklfit tire suits your application and needs.

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Truck Mounted Forklifts Showcase

Truck Mounted Forklifts
Manitou Truck Mounted Forklift                                          Navigator Truck Mounted Forklift

 

Truck mounted forklifts, also called piggyback forklifts, are mounted on the rear of a truck or trailer and used to load and unload from the back. These portable pieces of equipment assist drivers with material handling capabilities at sites without a loading and unloading bay. Traditionally, truck mounted forklifts are lighter and more agile compared to industrial forklifts.

Fallsway Equipment company proudly supplies two excellent brands of truck mounted forklifts, Manitou and Navigator.

Manitou

Manitou offers a simple, yet effective solution to your material handling needs. Their truck mounted forklifts, TMT Series, focuses on increased efficiency and freedom from relying on customers and suppliers for loading and unloading, whether it is inside or outside.

Key features include:
Telescopic boom
Compact, lightweight design
Unmatched versatility
Sideshift technology
High traction and stability

Learn more about Manitou truck mounted forklifts and what Fallsway has to offer.

Navigator

Navigator truck mounted forklifts are dynamic and used for a variety of applications. Ranging from 4,000 lbs. load capacity to 6,500 lbs., there is going to be a truck to fit your application. Navigator prides themselves in being the most reliable, practical, and user-friendly truck mounted forklift available. Thousands of hours have been used developing the Navigator series, as is apparent based on the satisfaction of their customers. Operators, mechanics, and business owners have all played a significant role in the design process of these machines.

Key features include:
Highly maneuverable rear wheel steer
Integrated counterweight, adding strength and capacity
Dynamic with options based on application and need
Engineered to be tough and reliable
Time-tested, proven design

Learn more about Navigator truck mounted forklifts and what Fallsway has to offer.

Manitou and Navigator are both extraordinary products with their own unique advantages and features. Contact us today to see which truck mounted forklift is best for you based on your application and needs.

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Choosing The Right Forklift

There are many factors to consider when choosing the correct forklift for your warehouse.  Some factors include frequency of loads, maneuvering space, and duties of the operators.  Your current forklift selection process may be working now, but you could be missing out on a more efficient way of moving materials or goods in your warehouse.  There could be a model that can reduce the fatigue of the operator,  load trailers in a cost-effective way, or allow your operators to get more done.


Below are three factors to consider when deciding on a lift truck model:

1. How Often Are You Loading Trailers:

If your shipping department only loads a few semi-trailers or box trucks a week, consider using an electric walkie or walkie end-rider if:

  • Jungheinrich EJE Electric Walkie Pallet Jack

    the load capacity is between 3,000 and 8,000 lb.

  • loads are not stacked vertically inside trailers
  • there are no sensitive loads to handle.  The transition from the dock floor, dock leveler, and into the trailer can be harsh to riders.  If the transition is smooth then a smaller load wheel, like the electric walkie or end-riders can be ideal for traveling over dock plates.

Now, if you are constantly loading trailers, a stand-up end control forklift may be ideal over a walkie.  These lift trucks can easily fit into standard trailer doors and their masts allow for stacking if needed.  Capacities can range between 3,000 and 4,000 lbs.

2.  What Type of Space Are You Working With:

Cat  Electric Three-Wheel Forklift

Some warehouses have lots of room for operators to maneuver in and out of aisles with. Others may be filled to max capacity and have limited space for larger equipment.  This may call for a three-wheel electric forklift to perform smoother in tighter turning radius areas.

If space is not a concern, choosing between a three or four-wheel forklift should be based on:

  • what the operator prefers.
  • the capacity required to move the product or materials – three-wheel electric trucks max out at 4,000 lbs, so if you are lifting more, you will need a four-wheel model.

3. What Are The Operators Duties:

Jungheinrich ETG Stand-Up End Control Forklift

An important factor to consider before choosing a forklift is what are the duties each operator has when moving materials.  Are they not only loading trucks in shipping but are they also replenishing lines, storing inventory on racks, delivering paperwork, scanning barcodes, etc..  They can be constantly getting on and off lift trucks, which can cause major fatigue, and you should consider a stand-up option for easy access.

While in other applications, drivers may be on the machine for seven or eight hours a day.  Loading and unloading fairly similar load types constantly, so they don’t have to mess with paperwork or adjust for different loads.  This application may call for a sit-down counterbalance truck with add comfort to improve their efficiency during the workday.

 


Need help finding the right forklift for your application?  Contact one of our experienced account managers to help you choose the best lift truck solution for your business. Contact us at 330-633-6000!

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Anatomy of a Forklift

Forklifts can be complex machines but understanding the terminology of the parts and anatomy of a forklift is important for effective communication with others while on the job. Listed below are some of the key components that work together to make a forklift operate properly.

MAST

The forklift mast is the raised vertical support that allows loads to be raised and lowered. For most forklifts, the mast is designed toward the front of a forklift and directly in the forklift operator’s line of vision.

Forklift masts come with various sections that elevate or lower the forklift carriage along with the forks. These include:

  • Duplex: Two mast stages
  • Triplex: Three mast stages
  • Quad: Four mast sections

LIFT CYLINDER

The forklift lift cylinder powers the vertical movement of the mast, or the raising or lowering of the forklift carriage and the forks. The lift cylinder is generally hydraulically powered and pushes in one direction, due to a single-acting hydraulic cylinder.

TILT CYLINDER

Like the lift cylinder, the tilt cylinder controls movement for operation purposes. However, the tilt cylinder controls the tilt movement of the carriage and the angle of the forks relative to the ground.

FORKLIFT CARRIAGE

The carriage is a platform located in front of the forklift mast that is used to mount objects to be controlled by the mast. This includes the forks of the forklift, the load backrest and other features of a forklift truck that come in direct contact with the loads.

FORKS

The forks on a forklift are used to make direct contact with a load for transport. They are attached to the forklift carriage and are designed to carry a load from the bottom. Forklift forks come in all shapes and sizes. There is a wide variety of fork types available for various applications. Standard ITA forks are the most common type of forklift forks, but they too come in various widths, lengths, and shapes.

LOAD BACKREST

The forklift backrest provides the operator another surface to rest the load against and is attached to the carriage. This helps prevent the load from slipping back toward the forklift operator during lifting and travel conditions. The forklift backrest also helps protect the forklift mast and mast components from being damaged by the load.

It is important to use a load backrest that is designed for the forklift. It is also important to never remove the backrest before operating the forklift for your own safety as well as the well-being of the forklift.

COUNTERWEIGHT

The counterweight is the weight installed onto the forklift to help offset the weight being lifted by the forklift. This helps keep the forklift stable during lifting and travel operations. Forklifts are designed with maximum carrying capacities using the counterweight for balance, so it is important to know the carrying capacity intended for the forklift. Check the rating plate on the forklift for this information.

Internal combustion forklift counterweights are located toward the back of the forklift, or on the opposite side of the forks. For electric lift trucks, the battery acts as a counterweight.

POWER SUPPLY

The power supply refers to the power source of the forklift, which can include an engine or batteries depending on the type of forklift. Forklifts can be electric (battery powered), diesel, gas or propane powered. For internal combustion forklifts, the engine is typically located toward the back of the forklift, below the seat. Propane powered forklifts often have the tank externally mounted for easier access.

TIRES

All forklifts need tires to operate, but the types of tires and layout of tires on the forklift can vary significantly based on the application. There are two main types of forklift tires:

Cushion – Generally used for forklifts operating indoors, where surfaces are flat, smooth and consistent. Cushion tires are generally less expensive and easier to maintain but lack the traction pneumatic tires offer. They are ideal in warehouses and other indoor environments where small turning radiuses are necessary.

Pneumatic – Pneumatic tire forklifts are generally used for operating outdoors, where surfaces can be uneven, rough or variable. These are more similar to your car’s tires making them better at handling non-paved and rough-terrain surfaces. In addition, options include be air pneumatic tires, meaning they are filled with air, or solid pneumatic tires, meaning they are made entirely out of solid rubber.

WHEELS

Drive Wheels

The drive wheels provide the necessary power for the forklift to travel and are often larger than the steering wheels as they are responsible for bearing a large amount of mass during operation.

Steering Wheels

The steering wheels are generally located in the rear of the forklift and facilitate the steering of the forklift. It is easier to control the movement of the forklift using the rear wheel or wheels.

OPERATOR CAB

The forklift cab can be open or enclosed depending on what options are chosen. It is the space of the forklift where the forklift operator controls and operates the forklift. The cab contains a variety of forklift operating components and features used to control the forklift. These include, but are not limited to: The breaks, the steering wheel, mast controls, acceleration pedals, levers, and gauges.

OPERATOR SEAT

If operating a sit-down forklift, the seat will be located in the operator cab. Some forklifts are designed to have the operator stand. Whether you’re operating a sit-down or stand-up forklift, it is important that the forklift operator is seated or standing in the location deemed appropriate by the Operation and Maintenance Manual for that forklift.

OPERATOR STEERING WHEEL

The operator steering wheel controls the movement of the rear wheels of the forklift. Some steering wheels have a knob attached to the wheel to enable faster turning.

LEVERS

There are various levers located in front of the seat that controls the movement of the mast and forks. These can include:

  • Tilt Lever– controls the angle of the forks relative to the ground.
  • Lift Lever– controls the height of the forks.
  • Side Shift Lever–controls horizontal movement of the carriage.

CAPACITY PLATE

The capacity plate is featured on the front of a forklift and gives operators detailed information about the forklift. This will include model carrying capacity, lift heights, forward and back tilt degrees, tread width, tire information and other safety information. It is important for all forklift operators to read and understand the information on the rating or capacity plate before operating the forklift.

OVERHEAD GUARD

The overhead guard is a critical feature of a forklift’s safety. The overhead guard’s purpose is to help protect the operator should something fall onto the forklift cab.

Forklifts are designed to help minimize the potential for objects falling, from loads, on top of the overhead guard. However, factors like accidental bumps or misplaced loads can result in an object falling on top of the forklift cab. Always properly secure loads and follow the operator’s manual instructions prior to lifting any load.

OVERALL FORKLIFTS ARE DIFFERENT

As previously mentioned, forklift models are designed differently and not all forklift anatomies will contain all of the various forklift features mentioned above.

For further information, contact Fallsway Equipment Company to assist you in finding a forklift that contains the right features and components that your business needs to get the job done.

 

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Forklifts Operated On a Grade

Forklifts often have to be operated on an incline or grades at a facility.  Operating a forklift on a grade improperly can result in serious injury or damages.  It is best that you have your operators develop some best practices when moving up and down ramps with or without products.  This can result in keeping your warehouse safer and more efficient.    Follow these 5 tips to keep the product, operators, and everyone around safer.


CHECK THE MANUAL

Check your Operation and Maintenance Manual (OMM).  Every forklift manufacture provides an OMM with their forklift that each operator should read before getting on the machine.  Make the OMM part of operator training and keep it accessible to anyone who gets on the machine.  Most manufacturers have an area dedicated for the safe storage of the manual.  If you are missing your OMM for your forklift, contact our parts department for a replacement!

TRAVELING ON GRADES

No matter what, you should always drive a loaded forklift with the forks pointed up the grade.  This will ensure that the load is secure and will not slide off the forks.  Also, regardless of the direction, you should always travel with an unloaded forklift with the forks pointed down the grade.  This helps improve traction and braking while traveling the ramp.

SPEEDS WHILE ON GRADES

The key to operating any type of grade is simply maintaining a consistent and slow speed.  This will minimize the risks of tipping.  You should follow this practice whether you are carrying a load or not.

DIRECTIONAL CHANGES ON GRADES

At all cost, directional changes on a slope should be avoided.  Any type of directional change on a grade can result in serious risk or injury.  The sudden change can create an imbalance in the equilibrium of the forklift, which can cause a tip-over.

In order to prevent this, have your operators familiarize themselves with their surroundings.  Plan the route on the straightest path up and down the grade.  Ensure there is nothing in the way of that path and always travel slowly.

KEEP IT BASIC

Remember the basics that you retained from your operator training course.  Keep it slow and maintain a constant speed while descending or ascending grades.  Apply the information you learned from your operator training to keep everyone safe.


Our forklift operator training programs can help keep operators knowledgeable and safe while operating equipment.  For more information about our training programs contact us at 330-633-6000.

 

 

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What to Know When Buying Forklift Tires

Today, fleet owners are offered a large variety of types, sizes, and application-specific lift trucks that serve a specific purpose.  Equipment choice ultimately factors into the overall throughput, efficiency, and safety of the operation.  When it comes down to it, the choice of tires for the forklift can be one of the most influential factors in efficiency and operating costs for that machine at the application.  Now let’s get into some of the key points when picking forklift tires:

Cushion or Pneumatic Forklift Tires:

The type of tires your forklift has been specifically designed for the surface the machine will be operating most efficiently on and choosing the right tire will impact your machines maximum performance.

  • Cushion tires should ONLY be operated on smooth concrete surfaces, most commonly at indoor working facilities.  These tires are typically smaller than comparable capacity pneumatic models.
  • Pneumatic tires can go indoors and outdoor surfaces like blacktop, stone, or dirt, but not on rough terrains like fields or severely unsurfaced lots.  These tires have a wider versatility of where they can be operated on, thus giving them more resale value.

Tire Tread and Profile Style

Not only are there different types of tires (Cushion or Pneumatic), but there are also different treads and profile styles you can get with your forklift.  Depending on the type of application it is driven on will affect the tread or profile style you may need.  The options available are:

  • Smooth tires:  Typically for dry indoor applications and all steer axles.
  • Traction tires:  A general-purpose use in wide variety of applications.
  • Grooved tires:  Designed for larger-capacity trucks where loads and operating conditions are extreme.
  • Wide-track traction tires:  All-season indoor or outdoor use tire.

The quality and consistency of material are major factors when determining tire performance.  If you want your tires to last longer and perform better, determine the correct tread and profile style for maximum efficiency.

For help with selecting the right forklift tires for your application, contact us at 330-633-6000

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Electric vs Internal Combustion Forklifts

Selecting what forklift to use is an extremely important decision for any company that deals with material handling as the ideal forklift will save both time and money. However, there is not a standard solution to everyone’s problem because every work environment and application is different. This is why knowing the pros, cons, and application of electric vs internal combustion forklifts is particularly important. This article will assist you in learning which option would best suit your business.

Internal Combustion Forklifts

CAT Internal Combustion Forklift

Mitsubishi Internal Combustion Forklift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internal Combustion (IC) is the more traditional form of lift truck, being fueled by a replaceable and refillable Liquefied Petroleum (LP) tank. A key advantage of an IC forklift is how easy it is to refill, done simply by loading a new or refilling the old gas tank. This process can take as little as a couple of minutes. In terms of performance, IC forklifts are generally utilized in heavier-duty applications where larger capacity is required to move the load. Below are some pros and cons of using an IC propane forklift compared to the electric alternative:

Pros:

  • Lower initial cost
  • Better for long runs
  • More power when using at high speeds and going up ramps
  • Capacity of over 35,000 lbs.
  • Easy to refuel
  • Ideal for outdoor use

Cons:

  • More maintenance and inspections required
  • Higher fueling cost
  • Good ventilation required for indoor usage

Electric Forklifts

Cat Electric Forklift

Cat Electric Forklift

Jungheinrich Forklift

Jungheinrich Electric Forklift

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electric lift trucks are battery powered machines and traditionally are outdone by IC in terms of capacity. However, advances in engineering are resulting in more power and utilization of outdoor applications. A key advantage of using electric forklifts is the significant fuel cost savings over time. In addition, there are less moving parts in the engine, requiring less overall maintenance and lowering costs. The biggest consideration of an electric forklift is the process of recharging the battery, which takes 8 hours to recharge completely and 8 hours to cool down before using. It is common in an operation with multiple shifts to purchase additional batteries to decrease downtime. The duration of a single charge depends on the application but can be anywhere from 3 hours with older batteries to 16 hours with the 2 Shifts 1 Charge Guarantee from Jungeinrich.

Below are some pros and cons of using an electric forklift compared to the IC alternative:

Pros:

  • Zero emissions produced
  • Reduction of maintenance costs
  • Decreased noise levels when running
  • Decreased fueling cost
  • Economic life is longer
  • Decreased aisle width requirements

Cons:

  • Must have a battery charging station
  • Additional training for battery maintenance
  • Limited availability over 15,000 lbs.
  • Higher initial cost when purchasing

In conclusion, finding the perfect forklift for your operation depends on several different factors. To learn more about the differences between electric and IC forklifts, as well as which best fits your operation’s application contact your local territory manager today.

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Jungheinrich ETR: Pantographic Reach Trucks

The Jungheinrich ETR: Pantographic Reach Truck is a leading industry stand-up end control reach truck, built for longer run times and excellent stability for exceptional operator confidence.  The ETR series combines Jungheinrich’s technological advances and design to guarantee these reach trucks are energy efficient, dynamic in accuracy and control for outstanding productivity for your business.


AC Technology: No competition:

It’s no secret… Jungheinrich has set the industry standard with their advances in 3-phase AC technology.  They have continued to improve and perfect this technology over the past 20 years.  This advance in technology  has been integrated into each one of the new reach trucks, delivering:

  • Lower energy consumption.
  • Longer run times (2 Shifts 1 Charge).
  • Powerful acceleration.
  • Lift speeds up to 160 feet per minute.
  • Excellent energy management.
  • A quick change in direction of travel without delay.

Speed, Precision, and Handling: Results in Performance:

Moving more pallets quickly is what every operator and business owner wants right?  With the technological advances in the ETR reach trucks, precisely handle pallets with confident stability – even at high lifting heights.  The intuitive control handle and security features provide operators with greater productivity through their shifts.  Top benefits with the ETR include:

  • Intuitive operator controls.
  • Added security like:
    • Automatic speed reduction or curveCONTROL.
    • Steer with control.
    • Automatic parking brake.
    • Three programmable performance levels.
    • Customized for max performance in your business.

Reaching New Heights:

The ETR reach truck delivers industry-leading performance with its unmatched high lift height stability.  Keep your operator feeling confident, while reducing the risk of costly product damages.  Some of the top benefits include:

  • Jungheinrich ETR pantograpic reach truck visibilityJungheinrich ETR pantograpic reach truck Superior stability with:
    • Baselegs welded to chassis.
    • Dual-articulating load wheels.
    • The advanced mast for increase load stability.
  • Informative display monitor.
  • Operator compartment comfort includes:
    • Soft rubber back, arm, and knee cushions.
    • Ergo-cushioned floor.
    • Low entry step.
  • Enhanced visibility through the compartment.

Jungheinrich ETR pantographic reach trucks are leading the industry in performance and efficiency that your business demands.  For more information about these innovative forklifts, contact us to speak to our Jungheinrich specialists.

 

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Renting a Forklift: Factors and Advantages

Flexibility is essential for any business and renting forklifts can be a different approach to lowering costs on a short-term basis. Understanding a lift truck rental agreement will help maximize the benefits you can gain from using a short-term forklift rental, thus aligning with your business’s particular needs.  


Factors to Consider:

The first factor to consider would be if there will be a demand for more forklift capacity in the future. Depending on the need, the cost to rent a forklift on a short-term basis can save you money if you’re able to secure a low rate. Short-term rentals are ideal for:

  • Replacing forklifts that are out for service or repairs.
  • Temporary goods demand larger capacities or extended reach.
  • Seasonal demand increases.
  • Need to maintain productivity until a new forklift works with the budget.
  • Testing different models to determine what fits best.

Rentals are Temporary Costs:

Forklift rentals are a temporary expense for decision-makers to have a much greater flexibility when managing the budget. Not every business can go out and spend money on a new or used forklift, especially when other business questions should be answered first, for instance:

  • Is there room for in your budgeting for flexibility?
  • Will growing the business require more equipment needs?
  • Are you providing your own forklift maintenance or leaving it to someone else?  (Local forklift dealer)
  • Does your business demand guaranteed uptime? (Full-Maintenance)

Rental Agreements:

If you need to go beyond the short-term rental, consider speaking to one of our local territory managers first to make sure you get the most out of the rental. Talk to us about the type of loads (weights & sizes), height required to lift, operating condition and surface, or any special requirements your facility has.

Once you feel like you have a general idea of your forklift needs, we can talk specifics like:

  • Is there a need for additional features, like attachments, alarms, or warning lights?
  • If you use an electric forklift, you will need to review the battery charger requirements.  Do you need professional help for installation? Ask us what options we would recommend for your application.
  • Establish a general idea of how long you will need the rental. This can help reduce the rates, thus saving you money.

For more information about forklift rentals call our rental department at 330-633-6000 or visit our forklift rental page.

 

 

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AGV: The Evolving Material Handling Industry at a Glance

The material handling industry is evolving with new technology every day.  Companies are finding new ways to move products at efficient rates, saving both time and money.  AGV’s or Automated guided vehicles are forklifts that do not require an operator to function. The goal of an automated solution is to improve your operations warehousing efficiency and thus increasing profitability while reducing the overall costs.

Why choose AGV’s?

Automated Guided Vehicle application single stack

  • Operators are eliminated, along with the error that comes with them.  There are no damages to customer products, buildings, or machinery, thus saving costs on replacing misuse and abuse.
  • The increase in warehouse safety will dramatically increase safety records.
  • Reliably work 24/7 in critical 3 shift operations.  Sleep easy at night knowing that your warehouse is still hard at work!
  • Every AGV’s path is traceable, thus being able to identify product movement in your warehouse.
  • They have a low life-cycle cost.
  • Dramatically reduce operation and maintenance costs from hefty repair bills on machines

Automated Guided Vehicle Application double stack

Traditionally automation projects have been expensive, slow, or inflexible to implement, but technology has been changing and developing to make the futuristic warehouse more of a reality.  With the help of our experts, we can design a warehouse capable of full automation with various units all working in sync towards one common goal, efficiency.  Automation can show impressive cost savings to the warehouse, especially in areas that your employee is handling longer load transfers.  It will save employees for other tasks around the warehouse instead of cookie cutter, routine tasks automation can handle.

Take reliability and efficiency to the next level with AGV’s.  They are a durable, flexible, and modular solution that will deliver a short ROI.  The technology has been around for decades and has been proven to work in various applications.

 

For more information contact us at 330-633-6000 to speak with a material handling expert.

 

 

 

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