Companies across the globe, from the construction industry to high street retailers, are interested in lifting and handling material and goods. As such, there is a plethora of industrial and commercial machinery available to hire and purchase for all manner of applications and a whole range of budgets. Deciding which handling machine is most appropriate for you company is no easy task, let alone how best to access it. This article takes a look at five types of popular handling machine available here in the UK and how your company could benefit from investing in them.
Fork Lift Truck
The classic forklift truck needs no introduction, although many people have this staple piece of industrial kit down as something found only in warehouses or pallet yards. In fact, fork lifts are deceptively versatile and particularly manoeuvrable, making them ideal for both commercial and industrial usage.
There are dozens of fork lift designs, each unique in one form or another. Whilst typical examples are battery powered, sturdier, industrial designs are often run on diesel and some high-tech fork lifts are even run on fuel cells.
Depending on the specification, a brand new forklift will typically cost anywhere between £15,000 and £100,000. Rental rates start as low as £50 per week.
On the larger end of the spectrum, cranes are found in industries such as construction, transport and agriculture and are ideal for moving large objects across difficult terrains. Modern crane designs provide incredible lifting capacities in terms of weight, power and distance allowing companies to construct buildings and move freight that would have once been deemed impossible.
Cranes aren’t always big business though and smaller companies may find use for jib cranes for manoeuvring items around workshops or warehouses. There are a wide range of mobile cranes, such as those mounted on trucks, ideal for medium scale applications such in construction and agriculture.
Procuring a crane of any notable size is likely to be out of most UK companies’ budget although rental rates typically start from £200 to £300 per day.
An incredibly versatile piece of machinery, the telescopic handler (or telehandler for short) is used across the agriculture, manufacturing and construction industries. It is a hybrid between a mobile crane and a forklift truck with the added versatility of an extensible, telescopic boom. On the end of the boom an operator can attach one of any number of attachments, including winches, buckets, forks and muck grabs.
It’s versatile but sturdy design means it is ideal for transporting goods and materials across rough terrain and moving loads to otherwise hard to reach places. Whilst care must be taken not to overbalance the telehandler, it is typically a very safe and practical machine.
As is with the crane, there are an entire range of telehandler specifications to meet your company’s requirements – depending on the size and scale of the job at hand. The smallest telehandlers have a reach of just 5m whilst the largest can stretch up to 20m in total.
Investing in a brand new machine will set a company back somewhere in the region of £50,000 although many choose to purchase second hand for considerably less. Companies such as UK Forks also offer a range of telehandlers to hire for very competitive prices.
Originally designed for orchards and agricultural applications, cherry pickers have recently found themselves deployed in a number on commercial and industrial applications. The lifting platforms, often mounted to the rear of flatbed trucks, are often used for servicing electricity cables, television wires and light displays. The cherry picker differs from other handling devices mentioned here as it’s attachment typically hosts a person as well or instead of material.
Whilst investing in a cherry picker might set your company back somewhere in the region of £10,000 to £15,000, rental prices start at around £100 per day.
Finally, at the foot of our list, is the reach stacker. A reach stacker is a heavy duty telehandler/forklift hybrid designed specifically for the movement of shipping containers and freight. As such, they can be found across air and seaports moving medium sized containers from cargo vehicles in to storage and back again.
The machines are not only for use in shipping yards though and can be found deployed in a number of agricultural and construction industries. A typical machine will cost your company around £60,000 brand new. Rental rates start from around £150 per day.