Anyone in the manufacturing and warehousing industry knows that heavy lifting is a large part of the work process. Fortunately, modern technology and machinery exist to make the hoisting process safer for employees and more efficient for the business.
One of the more effective pieces of lifting machinery is without a doubt the hydraulic lift table that offers stability and exceptional strength. Furthermore, many lifting tables boast an ergonomic design that makes it amazingly simple to hoist heavy loads to varying heights.
Choosing the Right Hydraulic Table for Your Next Project
If you’re opting to work with a hydraulic lift table for the first time, it’s essential to choose the right one. We’ve compiled a few factors to consider when you’re shortlisting the best options.
Assess Size and Weight of the Table
The most essential factor to consider is the product being lifted. This is important because you will need to opt for a lifting table that can handle the weight of what you need hoisting.
Choosing a table that isn’t strong enough to handle the weight can result in mechanical failure. This in turn can result in injury to surrounding employees and damage to property and materials.
The most significant aspects to consider when you’re calculating the weight include the following:
Platform size: You will need to determine the general dimensions to ensure that you choose the right platform size. Your product should fit properly and safely on the platform table, without parts of it hanging over the edge.
Product weight: Keep in mind that you should calculate the total weight you plan to lift at one time. For instance, if you want to lift 10 boxes at once, you’ll calculate the weight of each box x 10.
Weight distribution: The weight of your product or materials should be evenly distributed to ensure that the table remains stable.
Are There Specific Applications to Consider?
Be specific about what you’re going to use them for, so you know you’re buying a relevant product. Some of the more common applications include the following:
- Loading and unloading
- Transferring between two conveyor elevations
- Establishing ergonomic work height
Keep in mind that certain applications may require specialised features on the hydraulic table being used. Some considerations to keep in mind are:
Loading via a forklift will be fine if you have a standard lift table. Using a pallet lifting truck may require you to opt for a ground entry table to ensure the required stability.
Lifting in freezers may require special types of hydraulic fluids to ensure the table works correctly in certain temperatures.
If you’re lifting food-grade items, some instances may require a stainless steel table to ensure that there is no transfer of bacteria or other contaminants.
When the work requires employees to use the lifting table to access other equipment, certain safety features need to be in place. These usually include safety belts, handrails and even gates.
How Will the Lifting Table be Operated?
Understanding and choosing the basic operation of the hydraulic lift table is essential. This will guide you and your plant hire consultant to opt for the safest table.
With this factor, you need to consider the following:
Number of times the lift table will work during the day: The general rule of thumb is that the table will be lifting and loading a full load once every four minutes. If this applies to your work environment, make sure your table is strong enough to endure regular functioning.
How the table will be controlled: For the most part, most lifting tables come standard with a foot-operated switch or a push button pendant. If these methods don’t work for your application, you can speak to your plant hire consultant for options that include wall-mounted controls and push buttons.
Guarding the table: If the lift table is going to be loaded and unloaded using a forklift, it may be necessary to place guarding on the platform. This will reduce damage caused by the forklift.
Necessary Safety Features
Adding safety features onto the hydraulic lifting table is often not as easy as it sounds. If your plant hire company offers added safety features, always consider the following:
Audible alarms or flashing lights: Many companies prefer all the machinery in use to have an alarm. This is to notify anyone in the surrounding area that there’s a heavy machine in operation. This can be in the form of an audible alarm or flashing light.
Toe guards: These are mostly used in pit-mounted applications. Toe sensors or bevelled toe guards are often an option here.
Detents: Some companies may require detents which means lifting tables will have turn table platforms that lock at 90 or 180 degrees. This will prevent a swivel effect during lifting.
Since the safety features on offer may vary between different plant hire companies, it’s a good idea to discuss what you need upfront. Be sure to be open and specific about your expectations, so the consultant can offer you the best table with the right features.
Hydraulic tables are excellent for getting things lifted, moved and stored. Choosing the right type of table for the job at hand will ensure that the required loads are moved safely and efficiently.