The Importance of a Proper Site Survey

May 12, 2017
Posted by: Justin Engel

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first forklift or simply replacing old, worn out equipment, it is critical to conduct a proper site survey.  Even if you think you’re certain of your options and only want to replace the equipment you already have, a proper site survey and assessment by a reputable dealer is well worth the time prior to purchase.  This is because a site survey offers a chance to double-check your measurements, review your application, and consider the possibilities offered by new technologies with potential to increase efficiency and capacity while minimizing safety risks and costs.


Double-checking Measurements:

To determine the optimal equipment selection for your business and facility, the inspector will pay close attention to the physical characteristics of the space itself.  Among the primary objectives of a site survey is to verify that all of the listed load and height requirements are accurate and consistent with expectations.  Known as the “four by three” rule, a reputable dealer will closely measure the three dimensions (length, width and height) of four key areas: doors, aisles, pallets and racking/storage space.  Since it is unlikely you’ll find consistent measurements throughout the facility, it’s important to measure all aisles and doors individually as a difference as little as 1-inch (2.2 cm) can present a serious safety issue down the line.

Next, the inspector should determine what kind and size of pallets in use, any overhanging loads, the distance travelled between loads, and the total weight and height requires of the loads.  Since lifting capacity is based on a 24-inch load center and is exponentially down rated as height increases, inaccurate measurements may result in insufficient lift capacity at a given load centre or lift height.


Reviewing Your Application

After establishing the physical requirements, the next step is a careful consideration of your application and usage environment.  Here, the site surveyor will assess a number of factors that combine to determine the type of equipment that’s best suited for your application.  Depending on the load frequency and distance traveled, for example, a reputable dealer will recommend either a walk behind or ride-on model to optimize between production and costs.  Engine type and power source is another key consideration that largely depends on the characteristics of your application.  For indoor or combined indoor-outdoor applications, emission-free electric models are used.  For applications that take place outdoors or in facilities with adequate ventilation, internal combustion models are generally preferred.


New Technologies

Finally, a proper site assessment may present you with the opportunity to improve your productivity and efficiency with the addition of new technologies or equipment approaches.  Here, you may be able to reduce the number of lift trucks you require by purchasing a new type of unit, reduce your reliance on additional batteries with opportunity charging or eliminate some manual labor with the addition of a specialized attachment.

As you can see, a proper site survey from a reputable dealer offers a number of benefits including improved efficiency, reduced costs and removing potential safety hazards.  So, if you’re in the market for a new piece of material handling equipment, reach out to your local Stärke dealer today!


Justin Engel

Justin Engel is the marketing specialist at Stärke Material Handling Group. In addition to content development, he also handles graphic and website design, SEO, PR and strategic planning.

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