Forklifts and Economics, the Impact

Industrial trucks and forklift sales are directly tied to our economy. When our economy does well, more forklifts are required to move the goods ordered by customers and end-users. Conversely, when a downturn occurs, forklift sales drop, sometimes dramatically as they did with the recession of 2009. What few people understood until now, the economic impact these forklifts make on our economy. Recently the Industrial Truck Association in conjunction with Oxford Economics researched the topic, and below are some of the significant findings.

  • Industrial truck manufactures generate 209,600 jobs in the US, directly and indirectly.
  • The economic impact of forklift on the US economy is $25.7 billion dollars. Here in Illinois forklifts generate over $3.5 billion dollars to our state economy.
  • Over $15 billion of that contribution is a result jobs that support forklift sales and service such as service technicians, the parts that are made and sold and installed on forklifts, training centers etc…
  • The Bureau of Labor and Statistic (BLS) estimates that there are about 540,000 industrial truck operators in the US.
  • There are over 200,000 forklifts sold annually in the US.
  • Over 1 million forklifts are sold around the world each year.
  • The industrial truck industry generate about $5.3 billion dollars in state and local taxes. Here in Illinois, state and local taxes are over $271 million dollars.

As you can see, when we sell a forklift we create a lot of work not only here at Apex, but for our customers, their customers and the impact is felt all throughout our state and national economy.

Report – Industrial Trucks Effect on State and National Economics


5 Tips to Help Reduce Heat-Related Illnesses in Your Materials Handling Operation

The hot summer months are upon us. With increased heat and humidity workers become more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Workers who are not accustomed to working in the heat can quickly become ill and experience heat stroke, which can lead to serious illness and even death. Since your forklift operators will frequently work outside and on equipment that utilizes internal combustion engine, part of your forklift operator training, should be awareness of heat illness.

There are a few things to keep in mind about heat-related illness and what you can do to help prevent it in your workers.

  1. Train your employees about the dangers of heat-related illnesses. OSHA has excellent training information and materials to help you relate this information to all of your employees who work in the heat.  Part of that training should be to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and to act upon them immediately. Never brush it off and continue working. The symptoms exist for a reason!
  2. Understand that all employees are not equally able to resist the heat. Employees should be able to assess their own conditioning and how well they handle heat. Employees who are taking certain prescription medications or have certain chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, need to pay special attention to how they feel while working. Employees who are new to outdoor jobs are often most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Try to ease them into the normal workload gradually, until you’re confident they are acclimated.
  3. Provide additional water stations during the hotter months, at more convenient locations, and encourage employees to drink water every 15 minutes or so, based on temperature. Never wait until you are thirsty to start re-hydrating.
  4. Provide for more frequent breaks. In the long run employees will be more productive in the heat if they are getting proper rest to allow their bodies to cool down while also keeping themselves better hydrated during these breaks.
  5. Proper ventilation and air movement inside your warehouse or material handling facility is very important in keeping the temperature at safe levels and your workers cool. Ceiling fans, screen doors for warehouse dock doors, and roof vents are great ways to keep your facility comfortable and more productive.

OSHA has provided a wealth of information to help you provide a safe atmosphere to deal with the summer heat. While OSHA does not have a standard pertaining to preventing heat illnesses, it is up to us to be sure we have done everything that we can to help our employees stay safe and avoid heat-related illnesses.

Well-trained and equipped employees are more productive employees. Keeping them safe from the heat during the summer months ensures better productivity for tomorrow and years beyond. But it is ultimately up to us as the employers to be sure our employees are prepared to understand and act accordingly to ensure their own safety.


Save Time, Space and Money with Push-Back Racking Systems by Apex Storage Products

Apex Push-Back4 with rmarkPush-back combines the density of drive-in rack with the selectivity of single selective pallet rack using a series of mobile carts that ride on rails within each row. A loaded pallet is placed on the upper cart within the system. As the next pallet is loaded, the forklift gently pushes the first pallet load back, exposing the 2nd cart. The process continues until all carts are used (typically 3-4 deep), with the last pallet resting on the rails. As each pallet is extracted the subsequent pallet flows to the aisle face for selection, allowing for highly productive pallet retrieval.

Push-back is a last-in/first out (LIFO) storage solution and not appropriate for items with expiration dates. Additional vertical clearance is needed per level to accommodate stacked carts which may limit the number of vertical positions available.

Advantages | Considerations:

  • High density system
  • Requires limited number of aisles
  • Ideal for high-volume, low-SKU applications
  • LIFO stock rotation – drive-in
  • FIFO stock rotation – drive-through
  • Systems can be underutilized as SKUs increase (honeycombing)

Learn more about push-back pallet systems, how they work and why they might benefit your material handling operation. For more information or a quote, contact us or give us a call at 877-8703-4374.