The Weight of Freight
This blog looks at the side of cargo, freight, and shipping, that doesn’t always get talked about. It explores weighing products prior to shipment, lifting different shaped loads, and securing them while in transit.
When we talk about logistics, shipping, and specialized transport, it’s easy to get side-tracked by weighbridges, loader cranes, large trucks, and long trailers. However, there is much more to the industry than that, especially if you’re looking to equip a warehouse to process smaller freight—quickly, safely, and accurately. Skids are often at the center of this activity, as are Intermediate Bulk Containers (or IBCs).
We’ve selected a few products to look at, including:
- Platform scales
- Pallet (skid) truck scales
- Forklift attachments (like this)
- Speedbinder load securement tools
Know the weight
An often neglected element of safe shipping is a requirement to know the weight of each and every load that is lifted, packed, stored, shipped, and delivered. When people look at large containers being unloaded and loaded on a dockside, it’s clear to them that they need to know how heavy each one is so they can be safely handled throughout a journey from one port to another and then by the eventual recipient.
However, what about the thousands—millions, even—of smaller boxes and packages that are moved around warehouses (on skids, for example) and shipped every day of the week here in the U.S. alone?
You certainly can’t judge the weight of something by its size because some material handling products, for example, are heavier and others lighter, yet they might be shipped from a manufacturer in the same-sized box, or on an identical skid.
Platform and pallet (skid) truck scales
Even where paperwork is provided, loads must be verified and documented. One of our vendors, Intelligent Weighing Technology, a wholesale master distributor, and value-added integrator for weighing products and components, has provided a range of platform and pallet (skid) truck scales, which are very useful tools and extremely underrated.
This steel pallet truck scale allows the operator to weigh on the go up to 5,000-lb. capacity.
The products vary in size and capacity; they are selected based on an end user’s requirements. In the case of a platform scale, the load will be placed on the platform, with a lifting technology such as a forklift truck, and the measurements taken. Pallet (skid) truck scales, meanwhile, are pump trucks integrated with the scale, allowing users to lift, move, and weigh at the same time. The product is popular anywhere that palletized goods need to be weighed quickly and easily.
The Intelligent Weighing product offering is an important and popular addition to this store because it serves a requirement for scales that will be installed in warehousing, distribution, and shipping, etc. versus the more portable weighing products that are supplied by load monitoring product manufacturer Crosby Straightpoint, which might be associated more with on-site use within the lifting industry.
Many buyers don’t initially realize that our steel pallet (skid) truck scales allow the operator to weigh on the go up to 5,000-lb. capacity; the stainless steel pallet (skid) truck scales allow the operator to weigh on the go up to 3,300-lb. capacity. Other users choose our National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP)-approved platform scale and wall-mounted digital display for weighing skids and freight. Also popular are ramps, which are a requirement when loading with a pallet (skid) jack, versus a forklift where no ramp is needed.
This ramp allows a scale to be loaded with a pallet truck.
One of the most common material handling products in a warehouse or industrial facility is forklift truck. We learnt above that loads can be placed on weighing platforms with forklifts. However, these trucks can be misunderstood as being one-dimensional lifting machines, only capable of lifting skids by sliding their forks underneath the loads. But the items being shipped around the states on an hourly basis don’t always fit on standard skids (or pallets).
So, is there a requirement to source an overhead crane, hoist, or another product? No, a forklift attachment might be the better solution, as many end users in the cargo, freight, and shipping industry tell us.
Look at Caldwell’s double hook fork truck beams; they have a strong, sturdy, all-welded construction and are easy to attach to a forklift with no special wrenches or tools required. These double hook beams make forklifts more versatile; they enable the user to safely pick and carry loads otherwise impractical. The swivel hooks make this beam useful in a variety of applications. The same manufacturer also provides single hook forklift beams and single fork hooks. Bulk bags are included among loads that are handled this way.
This Caldwell double hook forklift beam has a strong, sturdy, all-welded construction.
- Might you be missing these simple solutions to make your lift truck fleet more versatile?
- Remember to always consult the manufacturer before adding an attachment to your forklift.
Load securement and tie-downs
We’ve looked at pallet (skid) trucks, scales, and forklift attachments (like this), but it is also important to explore how loads are transported, especially if they are to be secured or tied down on the bed of a truck or trailer. Among buyers of our Crosby Speedbinders product are trucking professionals that use the drill-operated torque drive to achieve faster tie-down and release times, while improving ergonomics and reducing strain injuries.
Trucking professionals use the drill-operated torque drive to achieve faster tie-down and release times.
The product is targeted at anyone who operates, services, and maintains trucks and trailers. We have recently sold Speedbinders to people in equipment rental, manufacturing, haulage, recovery, and logging. But potential applications are far more widespread.
Anybody, regardless of strength, can achieve higher tension than using a traditional binder. This higher tension is achieved by 24:1 gear ratio and continuous torque with equal pull on the chain, resulting in tighter tie-downs, less movement of loads, and reduced risk of binders loosening in transit.
What is NTEP?
When you research industrial weighing, you might come across the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP), which effectively makes sure that makers of commercial weighing and measuring instruments can meet national standards before the instruments are put to market. NTEP provides manufacturers with one evaluation and certification that is accepted in the U.S.