Under increasing pressure to trim warehousing costs and to achieve maximum efficiency, warehouse operators are recognising that the space-saving abilities of Bendi articulated trucks are also creating opportunities for significant energy savings, compared with premises in which counterbalance, standard very narrow aisle (VNA) trucks or reach trucks operate.
Materials handling and industrial warehousing equipment supplier Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) says a Bendi truck offers significantly lower costs and a much smaller carbon footprint for every pallet stored.
“In fact, the Bendi offers the same storage capacity as a warehouse operating counterbalance trucks in just 33% of the space, which makes the warehouse with Bendi 66% more energy efficient,” explains GLTC MD Darryl Shafto.
He says warehouses designed for counterbalance or reach trucks in conjunction with adjustable pallet racking and typical aisle widths from 2.8 m to 4 m are the least efficient, however, turning and loading or unloading space at the ends of the aisles also accounts for a lost space.
“Many VNA machines achieve the same aisle widths as Bendis but require, on average, 30% of the warehouse to be dedicated to transfer aisles, picking and handling area
stations and marshalling areas. This wasted space costs money to build, heat, light, maintain or rent,” Shafto adds.
Shafto says Bendi articulated trucks can stack and destack pallets and load or unload them to or from trucks in the yard, saving space and time, and it can also reduce the lost storage space at the end of aisles.
Also, the high-quality stability and improved point loading characteristics of Bendi articulated trucks allow their immediate use in all warehouses, including those with standard floor finishes and built-in flatness grades commonly used with counterbalance trucks – even where racking up to 12 m high exists.
“This eliminates the requirement for costly specialist flooring or grinding of existing floors. There is also no requirement for guidance rails or wires as is usually the case with VNA systems. Additionally, Bendi articulated trucks are designed to operate in external yards and where the ground is uneven or broken.”
Beating the Squeeze
Meanwhile, beverages producer and marketer Distell was experiencing a warehousing space squeeze. Initially, the company had two choices to make to solve the problem, either to expand the footprint of the warehouse or raise the roof, but both were undesirable because of the high costs and significant disruption.
Distell procurement planning and logistics manager Janke Nussey says Bendis enabled Distell’s Adam Tas Dry Goods facility to double its warehouse space.
“The promise that the Bendi machines would work equally well inside and outside has been fulfilled. “This adds to the overall cost saving as we were able to optimise our existing forklift fleet and reduce double handling,” Nussey concludes.