Are you looking to purchase an electric stacker? The choice of trucks today is large and each model comes with different features and benefits. It can be confusing to know which one to choose, and as these are expensive pieces of machinery that can make or break a warehouse-based business, the decision is an important one. Work out what your needs are, what size your business and warehouse is and what your budget is, then read our article to find out what type of truck will be best for you.
What is an electric stacker?
A stacker is a vehicle that is used to lift, move and stack pallets. If a warehouse or workplace has stacks of pallets, then there will be a stacker on the premises. Stackers are an alternative to traditional pallet trucks as they can lift as well as move, and they are a better choice than forklifts as they are less cumbersome and easier to manoeuvre.
Electric stackers are far better than hydraulic stackers as they are capable of lifting greater loads and require a lot less strength when handling. They also eliminate any safety concerns as pressing a button is much less dangerous than jacking up pallets manually.
Electric pallet stackers are a far better choice than petrol- or diesel-powered machines and are overtaking them on the market. They are far more efficient and far better for the environment than fossil fuel powered machinery. A lithium ion stacker is even more efficient and environmentally friendly versus a lead acid powered model.
What are the uses of a stacker?
E-commerce gets bigger every year. Almost 20% of all shopping is now done online and this is set to continue into the future. That means that warehouses need to be bigger to store more products and the space that is available must be used efficiently. Pallets can be stacked up to 13 meters high in some warehouses so an electric stacker is needed, as moving these about manually would be impossible. Pallet stackers are perfect for warehouses, construction environments and store rooms. They can be used to move pallets of cement, tiles and other heavy building materials. They are ideal for shifting heavy boxes and getting pallets up to high places for convenient and efficient storage. They can also be used to quickly fetch stock items for customers. This means you can have a small front shop attached to your warehouse to serve customers in the flesh as well as online, increasing your business and profits.
What are the benefits of stackers?
Stackers can bring lots of benefits to your business. Read on to find out why one of these trucks can not only save you time and money but give you numerous other benefits too.
Economical and environmentally friendly
Electric tackers do not require fossil fuels such as diesel or petrol making them extremely environmentally friendly. Li-ion powered vehicles are better than lead acid powered. They have lighter batteries that do not require any upkeep and are very quick to charge, making further savings on your power bills.
Doubles as transport
Some models of stackers allow the operator to ride on them in a carriage. This means that they can get across the warehouse, store room or factory floor quickly and efficiently. The speed these trucks can travel at depends on the model, what it is carrying and what area it is in. You will need to go at a different speed in a busy factory to in a yard with plenty of space. The speed of the trucks can range from 2 mph to 26mph.
Reduces physical labour and safety concerns
If you are using a manual hydraulic pallet lifter then you run the risk of injury. Using one of these machines could cause strain or even seriously damage your back, shoulders, legs, arms, spine and joints. An electric stacker eliminates all these issues, meaning your workers are less at risk of injury and you are less at risk of expensive litigation. Pallet stackers also save time. Stacking many pallets by using manual equipment like pulleys to transport pallets and hydraulic lifters to stack takes far longer than using an efficient, battery-powered electric lifter.
Stacker trucks are more easily manoeuvred than forklift trucks and are ideal for fitting in small spaces. They are perfect for tightly packed warehouses and to lift difficult shaped items.
What stacker is right for you?
The type of stacker truck that is right for you will be dependent on a number of things. The size of your business, how many pallets you need shifted per day, if you are going to expand in the future and of course, your budget. Make sure you know what load the truck will need to carry and how long you need the battery to last before starting your search for an electric stacker.
What types of forklift stackers are available?
Electric pallet stacker
Electric pallet stackers have many varieties and many uses, so it’s important to know what you need to lift and which pallet stacker may be right for you. An electric pallet stacker can lift up to 1600kg and has a lift height of up to 4.8 metres. Powered by lithium ion batteries, these stacker trucks are efficient, convenient and save on any physical labour. Designed to manoeuvre well in small spaces, these beat traditional forklifts and manual stackers hands down. Pallets can come in different shapes and sizes depending on the country of origin, so make sure you check where you’ll be receiving pallets from before purchasing an electric stacker truck. Electric stackers use lithium ion batteries so are eco-friendly and will save you money on costly fuels like petrol and diesel or any upkeep of lead acid batteries.
Walkie stackers are any stacker that your staff will walk alongside. These are great to help with moving and lifting that would be difficult, dangerous or time-consuming for your staff to do manually. Despite being moved around by a pedestrian, walkie stackers can be quite large, lifting to increased heights and taking more weight, as they are operated by your trained staff and are not heavy to move around your warehouse.
Counterbalance stackers are great to use for small and medium loads where there is not enough space for a lift truck. They are also helpful where the transport distance is too short for an electric forklift. Where space is at a premium or forklifts are not able to manoeuvre then these are a great alternative.
Straddle stackers are another great option for small spaces, or where aisles are narrow. The straddle legs can lift both open and closed pallets with bottom runners.
Manual pallet stacker
Manual pallet stackers are exactly what the name suggests, manual and hand operated. They are also called hydraulic lifters. These lifters work by utilising hydraulic pumps and a lever or other pump operating mechanism to shift pallets. It can take over 100 turns of the pump to lift pallets 1.6 metres, which in comparison to an electric stacker is extremely inefficient when the same can be achieved with the touch of a button.
Mono mast stacker
A mono mast stacker truck is an electric stacker truck, but is a lot more lightweight and designed for smaller spaces and smaller loads than general electric stacker trucks. These trucks are used to lift items to head height so employees and customers can examine and adjust the pallet contents. They do not have a huge lifting capacity at around 1200kg but if you own a small company or deal with lighter goods, this may be perfect for your needs.
Ride-on pallet stacker
If your warehouse is massive you may need to move pallets over long distances. That’s where the ride-on pallet stacker comes in. This machine travels at a decent speed while allowing you to ride in the carriage. It can carry pallets while going at a reasonable pace, allowing you to move inventory quickly from one side of the warehouse to the other. Generally, these machines come with a foldable platform which allows you greater access and flexibility.
What types of electric stacker are available?
Lead-acid battery stacker
Lead acid batteries are a good option for stackers. Any battery operated forklift decreases the need for diesel or gas to be stored or brought to site to power forklifts, these batteries can be charged on site instead.
For many lead-acid forklifts there is an option to have more than one battery, so that one can be charging while the other is being used. This is a good way to use these batteries to increase the time that forklifts can operate on site, rather than having forklifts that are out of action while their battery is charged.
Our ES-WA range of stackers are a great option which uses lead-acid batteries. Ideal for non-standard pallets, they are great for warehouses where there is a need for flexibility in pallet size and shape. Our ES-CA range has these benefits, but includes the advantage of being a ride-on, so that your staff can move more quickly around your warehouse. Compared to the AGM (Gel) range we talk about below, these ranges also have an increased lifting height of up to 4500mm and 5000mm respectively.
AGM (Gel) battery stacker
Absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries require very little maintenance as they need no watering. Without the battery acid in traditional lead acid batteries there is no risk of spillage if the battery case cracks.
AGM batteries last longest and perform best if used for up to 50% of capacity per cycle, so this is something that needs to be factored in to your Battery Maintenance System (BMS) and working arrangements. They are often seen as a good alternative to lead acid for these reasons.
At EP we have a great range of AGM (Gel) battery stackers. Our ES10 and ES12 range feature mono masts with a lifting range of up to 1955mm. These are ideal for small warehouses where space is limited, especially at height. As well as being ergonomic for workers, they also increase visibility to aid health and safety.
Remember, before you buy your electric stacker make sure you research exactly what you require. Get your warehouse manager involved as they will know what’s needed on a day to day basis. To find out more about our range of stackers, contact our friendly team today.