Sit Down Versus Stand Up Forklifts: Part 1
When it’s time to invest in a forklift to increase productivity and safety in your materials handling workplace, you’ll face a long list of binary choices—the kind that involves choosing between two seemingly equal options in a side-by-side comparison. Should you choose gas-powered or battery-powered lift trucks? What about indoor versus outdoor? Rent or buy? As you make your way through these options, you’ll eventually arrive at a decision that can make or break the financial value of your lift truck investment over the course of the next few years: should you choose a stand-up model? Or should you opt for a truck with a cabin and seat? Here are a few benefits of the second option. Next week we’ll turn the tables and explore the value of a stand-up model.
Sit-down lift trucks reduce fatigue during long shifts
Consider a long unbroken series of lifting tasks taking up the bulk of an eight-hour shift (or more). Examine this prospect from an employee’s point of view and consider each of your team members as individuals. Don’t just count heads; think of your employees as Tim, Sally, Raj, JD and Mary Ellen. How well will each of these people respond to an entire day spent on their feet? If you know your employees won’t feel comfortable in this position (due to their age, physicality or general aches and pains), invest in seated trucks that allow them to stay focused, comfortable, alert and fatigue-free for the duration of their shifts.
Sit-down lift trucks can be customized
Programmable settings are now a common feature in mid- to higher-end seated lift trucks. Allow each employee to enter their preferred settings and you’ll prevent injuries and accidents related to fatigue, muscle strain and eye strain.
Cost may not be a problem
Some employers and operations managers assume that seated lift trucks automatically offer greater power, greater versatility and come at a higher cost than simpler stand-up models. But this isn’t always the case. Don’t assume; conduct a cost comparison independent of your preferred sit-down or stand-up features.
Seated trucks can help users stay focused
Any distraction for a lift truck operator can mean an increase in accidents, collisions, tip-overs or missed environmental signals. A seated truck can allow operators to fully engage all their senses in the task at hand, which can improve receptivity and reaction times.