Walkie stackers provide a versatile materials handling solution for warehouses and stockrooms when loads exceed the capacity of hand pallet trucks. But with so many walkie stacker models and acquisition options available, selecting the right equipment can get confusing. Follow this guide to explore walkie stacker options for purchase or hire.
Assess Your Application
Before evaluating equipment, audit how walkie stackers would be utilized in your facility. Some key questions to consider:
- What types of loads will be handled—pallets, boxes, drums etc? This determines required lift capacity and attachments.
- What is the maximum lift height required? Standard vs. high lift models offer different reach.
- How many hours per shift will the walkie stacker be used? Impacts battery needs.
- What kind of surfaces and facility space will it operate on? Indoor vs. outdoor conditions matter.
- Will multiple shifts be using the equipment? May influence single vs. multi-unit purchase.
Getting clarity on intended stacking applications will inform all subsequent decisions. Observe current practices and pain points to identify how walkies can enhance productivity.
Compare Power Source Options
Walkie stackers come in three power configurations:
- Battery-powered - Ideal for indoor warehousing. Provides smooth controllable power. Requires charging infrastructure.
- LP gas-powered - Suits frequent outdoor/rough terrain use. Eliminates battery changing. Refueling takes more time.
- Dual fuel - Combines battery and LP gas for flexibility. Higher upfront cost but allows both indoor and occasional outdoor use.
Consider cost of operation, environmental conditions, charging convenience and productivity impact when selecting power type. Narrow options by determining primary usage scenario.
Evaluate Ergonomics and Safety Features
Look for walkie stackers with features that minimize operator effort and prevent injuries:
- Low step heights and non-slip steps for easy mounting/dismounting.
- Spacious platforms with large grips for comfort during travel.
- Intuitive controls positioned within easy reach.
- Good visibility around the lift and overhead guard.
- Tilt indication to avoid inadvertent forward tipping.
- Audible travel alarms and warning lights for pedestrian safety.
Prioritize models with load backrests, low rollback, and smooth acceleration/braking for secure load handling as well. Don't compromise safety for the operator or the load.
Compare Ownership vs Rental
Both purchasing and renting walkie stackers have pros and cons to weigh:
- Lower long term equipment costs
- Ability to customize and modify
- Equity value after purchase payoff
- No risk of availability shortages
- No large upfront capital expenditure
- Latest models with new features
- Maintenance handled by rental provider
- Ability to trial before committing
Crunch the lifetime costs analysis to determine if buying or renting makes most financial sense based on your situation. Factor in tax benefits and financing options as well.
Vet Providers Carefully
Whether buying or renting, conduct due diligence on equipment providers before acquiring walkie stackers:
- Look for broad model selection and inventory depth
- Compare pricing and payment/delivery terms
- Review certifications, customer service reputation, and safety records
- Inspect condition of units before accepting
- Clarify maintenance responsibilities and support response times
Reliable walkie stackers and trustworthy suppliers are key to maximizing uptime and satisfaction. Don't just default to the first provider found—a bit of upfront vetting pays off.
The ideal walkie stacker balances performance, safety and cost-effectiveness based on your exact warehousing needs. Defining those needs first and approaching options with a methodical process will lead to the right equipment procurement strategy. Workers stay happier and stacks stay higher when you give them the right tools for the job.