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THE BENEFITS OF USING SELF-PROPELLED CARTS OVER TRACTOR-TRAILER SYSTEMS FOR HEAVY LOAD HANDLING

Battery Powered Trolleys Vs Tractors+trailers

Handling heavy loads in manufacturing is a persistent challenge. Key issues include operator safety, costs from non-productive times, and the risk of damaging transported products. Sectors such as automotive, steel, power generation, nuclear, and heavy carpentry frequently face these challenges. For example, the automotive industry often needs to move press molds, while the steel industry handles heavy raw, semi-finished, and finished products. Efficient and safe handling of power transformers, chillers, and turbines is critical for the power generation sector.

 

Problems with Tractor-Trailer Systems

The traditional tractor-trailer system has several significant drawbacks.

Safety Concerns:

  • Lack of Certification: Forklifts or small electric tractors are often not certified for towing specific trailers, which can compromise safety.
  • Inadequate Braking: These tractors may struggle to effectively brake trailers on inclines, leading to hazardous situations.
  • Complex Maneuverability: Articulated tractor-trailer systems are challenging and risky to maneuver, especially when reversing.
  • Operator Risks: Walk-behind electric tractors (pushers/pullers or tugs) can cause severe accidents if brakes fail or on inclines, potentially harming the operator.
  • Tipping Hazards: High-speed turns can result in trailers tipping over.
  • Human Errors: Mistakes such as improper hitching or leaving the trailer brake engaged can lead to dangerous situations.

High Operating Costs:

  • Longer Handling Times: Maneuvering tractor-trailer systems is complex, requiring longer routes and more time-consuming positioning at loading and unloading stations.
  • Large Space Requirements: These systems need significant space within the facility, which can be economically valuable.
  • Energy Inefficiency: Moving three components (tractor, trailer, and load) is less efficient and increases energy consumption.
  • Increased Maintenance Costs: Maintaining two separate vehicles (tractor and trailer) raises operational costs.

 

Advantages of Battery-Powered Carts

Enhanced Safety:

  • Certified Design: Self-propelled carts are certified to handle and brake specified loads safely. They are tailored to meet customer-specific requirements (load type, flooring, slopes, etc.).
  • Remote Control Operation: Remote controls or pendant push buttons keep operators at a safe distance, providing optimal visibility and reducing risk.
  • Stability: Software-controlled steering prevents tipping.
  • Collision Avoidance: Advanced systems, including laser scanners, further mitigate risks by monitoring movements in both directions.

Improved Operational Efficiency:

  • Shorter Handling Times: The compact build of self-propelled carts allows for quicker handling and more direct routes.
  • Optimized Space Usage: These carts require less space, making them ideal for facility layouts. Morello’s omnidirectional steering carts enhance space utilization even further.
  • Energy Savings: Only the cart and load require power, significantly lowering energy consumption compared to tractor-trailer systems.
  • Reduced Maintenance: With only one vehicle to maintain, overall costs are lower.

 

Comparison with Multiple Trailer-Tractor Systems

Even in setups using a single tractor with multiple trailers, battery-powered self-propelled carts outperform. A system utilizing a self-propelled cart with a liftable loading platform and several steel “pallets” offers distinct advantages:

  • Lower Costs: Steel pallets, lacking wheels or steering mechanisms, are cheaper than full trailers.
  • Operational Efficiency: These carts streamline operations, reducing both management and maintenance expenses.

Conclusion

Battery-powered self-propelled carts provide a modern, safe solution for handling heavy loads. They deliver substantial benefits in safety, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness over traditional tractor-trailer systems. Designed to meet specific customer needs, these carts offer tailored solutions for diverse industrial applications.

To learn more about our self-propelled carts, visit our page here.

For more details or a personalized quote contact us here.

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