WHAT ARE STACKER TRUCKS?Manual pallet stackers are a tool used for the lifting and raising of heavy loads. They can generally carry loads of up to 5 tonnes, making carrying larger items and heavily stacked pallets much easier. Made with either hydraulic pumps or winches, they also allow you to raise these heavy items, generally up to 2850mm (higher on request). Some stackers are even designed to be used together with ladders for loading and unloading to and from higher storage units. Often stacker trucks will be fitted with smooth steerable wheels, permitting you to transport large items around the workplace with relative ease. These wheels will sometimes be designed with sturdy brakes, giving you total security when you stop to load or unload your stacker. And then there are Mini Stackers, which generally carry loads of up to 150kg. These can be very handy in work environments that require lots of lighter weight industrial lifting to and from delivery trucks and domestic lifting tasks like moving house.
HOW DO THEY WORK?Most stackers act much like forklifts, designed with forks that lock into pallets so that you can raise them off the ground. Once the forks are locked into the pallet, or the load is stacked on top of the forks, lifting is achieved through the use of a hydraulic pump or winch. In a hydraulic manual stacker, you use a pump-activated lever that activates a jack to raise the forks off the ground. The hydraulics in these stackers are optimized by high-quality seal kits that also help keep them safe and secure. On the other hand, you also have winch-operated pallet stackers. These stacker trucks are operated by turning winches that are attached to either link chains or strong wire cables. A winch pallet stacker can often lift and lower loads quicker than the hydraulic variety, and they are fitted with special brakes to reduce the risk of accidental lowering, giving you complete control. You can also get stackers with tables in place of the forks, offering a larger surface area onto which you can load items, some of which use scissor lift mechanisms. However, they can also be a little trickier when handling pallets, as forks can make purchases in the gaps between planks that tables cannot. It’s also worth noting that some stacker trucks are semi-electric, doing the hard part for you and making lifting easier than ever. Perhaps the most noticeable change when switching to Li-ion is the use of opportunity charging. Instead of exchanging batteries between shifts, you can simply plug into a fast charger during short breaks and keep the same battery going 24/7. This, together with other efficiency, environmental and safety benefits, makes Li-ion a very appealing alternative. Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery technology is now available as an option in almost all electric ounterbalance and warehouse truck ranges. While lead-acid batteries remain a popular choice for our customers, and still have much to offer, they present various challenges which Li-ion can overcome.
GeePower Li-ion advantages over lead-acidSwitching to Li-ion requires a higher initial investment, but this should be viewed against Li-ion’s ongoing savings on energy, equipment, labour and downtime.
- Longer life – 3 to 4 times lead-acid lifespan – reduces overall battery investment
- Higher efficiency – energy losses during charging and discharging are up to 30% lower, so electricity consumption is reduced
- Longer runtime – thanks to more efficient battery performance and use of opportunity charges, which can be given at any time without damaging the battery or shortening its lifespan
- Consistently high performance – with a more constant voltage curve – maintains greater truck productivity, even toward the end of a shift
- Faster charging – enables full charge in as little as 1 hour with the fastest chargers
- No battery changing – fast opportunity charges – 15 minutes for several hours of extra runtime – enable continuous operation with just one battery and minimize the need to buy, store and maintain spares
- No daily maintenance – the battery stays on board the truck for charging and there is no need for water top-ups or electrolyte checks
- No gas – or acid spills – avoids the space, equipment and running costs of a battery room and ventilation system
- Inbuilt protection – intelligent battery management system (BMS) automatically prevents excessive discharge, charge, voltage and temperature, as well as virtually eliminating misuse