Overhead bridge cranes and forklifts both perform similar functions in very different ways. You might be thinking about buying new equipment for lifting and moving loads, so it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each choice so you can make an informed decision. Here we’ll take a look at four of the main considerations you should take into account.
Use of space
Cranes and forklifts have very different requirements and advantages in how they use space. Cranes can lift and stack loads higher compared to the limited elevation offered by forklifts. By stacking higher and avoiding spreading product storage over a wide area, you can make more efficient and economical use of space.
However, cranes require more space for installation, and may not suit the needs of a small warehouse. Forklifts also allow for flexibility, especially where narrow and tight spaces are concerned. They can maneuver easily and access loads which maybe difficult to reach otherwise.
Purchasing and staffing costs
Upfront purchasing costs of a crane tend to be more expensive than those for buying a forklift. However, this must be balanced against the amount of overall equipment required and the staff required to operate it. Extra staff and equipment may not cost as much initially but will increase ongoing business spending.
For example, one crane with a single operator may replace two forklifts with two operators needed. A single larger upfront purchase will reduce continuing costs on training, wages and maintenance.
Forklifts are at a disadvantage when it comes to long-term maintenance and repair. They are composed of substantially more moving parts and this means there is more to go wrong.
The materials used in a forklift are not as durable. Rubber tires wear out and need to be replaced. Outdoor gas forklifts have engines which need regular servicing, while the indoor electric models have batteries which have a limited lifespan and also must be replaced after a certain amount of use.
By comparison, cranes use a simpler and more reliable design, The main moving parts are made of steel, and when combined with strong fixed electric motors, can offer decades of service. Forklifts will tend to have a shorter overall lifespan, even when maintained regularly.
If they are necessary, repairs from a reputable company like cranerepairco.com are usually quick and simple to carry out.
Cranes offer a significant safety advantage over forklifts. Forklifts require proper training and careful operation to avoid an accident. The operator and the workers in the surrounding area must be very vigilant when loads are being moved to avoid being caught by the boom. The lack of fine control in a forklift makes it easier for something to go wrong.
An overhead bridge crane is not capable of tipping over, unlike an improperly loaded forklift. A crane can be safely operated with one person, while the safe use of forklift requires two people.
Safer handling of goods not only reduces injury but fewer mishaps will mean less harm is caused to equipment and stored products. This reduction in damage will provide an ongoing saving to the business.
Shubhi Gupta is a professional writer, blogger who writes for a variety of online publications. She is also an acclaimed blogger outreach expert and content marketer. She loves writing blogs and promoting websites related to education, fashion, travel, health and technology sectors.