Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Pallet Trucks Vs 3 Wheel Forklifts

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Using the Right Tools- 3 Wheel Forklift or Pallet Trucks

Using the right tools for the job in hand is important in terms of getting the best efficiency. Lifting heavy loads with a mechanical lifting aid is no different, and it is here where users need to consider whether the right tool for the job in question is a pallet truck or a 3-wheeled counterbalance forklift truck.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the typical characteristics of a counterbalance forklift truck:


Counter Balance Forklift


The Counterbalance Forklift Truck in general 

The type of forklift truck most commonly used in industry across the board is the counterbalance forklift truck. On this type of truck, the lifting forks that carry the load are situated in front of the driver, protruding from the front of the truck.

Basic counterbalance forklifts do not have any out-rigging legs or arms fitted, and this enables the truck to be driven up to the load and positioned exactly where required. In terms of propulsion, counterbalance forklift trucks can be powered by diesel, electric or gas.

As the name indicates, counterbalance forklift trucks are fitted with a counterbalance weight. This weight is incorporated at the rear of the truck to offset the load that is lifted and carried by the forks at the front.

counter balance forklifts


3-Wheel Counterbalance Forklift Trucks 

Ordinary counterbalance forklift trucks normally have four wheels; one at each corner of the truck. However, for increased manoeuvrability, counterbalance trucks are also available with only 3 wheels in a triangular configuration. The provision of a singular drive wheel or steering wheel at the centre of the back of the truck gives them far greater manoeuvrability.

Pallet Trucks

Pallet trucks can be either powered or unpowered. The unpowered variants are usually referred to as hand pallet trucks or pump trucks. They are capable of handling loads of up to 3,500 Kg. Typically they have four wheels; two mounted inline, inside each of the forks.

To operate, the operator simply manoeuvres and slides the forks under the load (usually palletised), and once in position then pumps the steering handle which then hydraulically lifts the load clear of the floor, allowing it to be transported into the desired position or location.

Hiremech walk behind truck

Powered Pallet Trucks

Powered pallet trucks work on exactly the same principle as unpowered, except they have an inbuilt electric motor (battery powered) to assist with both the movement of the pallet and the lifting of the load.

Choosing the Right Kit for the job 

The two most important factors to be considered when planning a lift and deciding which lifting aid to use – the pallet truck or the 3-wheel counterbalance forklift truck – are the height that the load is to be picked up from, the height at which it is to be delivered, and the speed of the operation.

Pallet trucks are ideal where the loads are only ever to be lifted from and delivered back to floor level. The clearance when a load is lifted is minimal, so another important thing to be considered is the evenness of the floor surface.

If loads are being picked up from outside a curtain sided trailer, for example, only a counterbalance forklift truck will suffice. This also applies where loads are to be stored away at height, on shelving.

The speed of operation is also important, typically where time is an important factor. Pallet trucks are confined in speed to the walking pace of the operator, whereas counterbalance forklift trucks can travel at significantly faster speeds.

In terms of manoeuvrability, pallet trucks are limited by the fact that they run on four wheels whereas a 3-wheel counterbalance forklift truck runs on only three and is, therefore, easier to manoeuvre.

How to use a man-up safety cage safely

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Due to the risks involved, a man up safety cage should only ever be used in exceptional circumstances. Below we have written a short guide to help you minimise the risks of using this forklift truck attachment.

Explore alternative solutions

Under the regulations which legislate working at height, employers must prioritise suitability of equipment for the task at hand above all else. While the occasional use of non-integrated working platforms, such as man up safety cages, with forklift trucks is permitted, serious accidents can occur when this is not done safely. It should be noted that non-integrated work platforms do not provide the same levels of safety as purpose-built equipment, so unless you’re carrying out non-routine maintenance tasks – such as checking or replacing roof lighting – seek an alternative solution.

Select a suitable truck

Once you’ve determined that using a man up safety cage is necessary, it is essential that the working platform is compatible with whatever truck you decide to use. Consult the manufacturer or supplier to confirm this before commencing any work.

The truck platform must have adequate stability under all circumstances in which it is to be used. The weight of the platform – including the total load of people, materials and tools – cannot be more than half the capacity of the truck it is to be attached to.

Secure the mechanism correctly

The platform must be locked on to the truck in accordance with both the truck and platform manufacturers’ recommendations. Once the platform has been fitted to the truck, the user needs to make sure the platform’s screens and guards give adequate protection against trapping or crushing.

A sign should be attached to the working platform to easily identify the specific trucks it can be used on and users should be informed that working platforms should not be used on trucks which don’t appear on the sign.

Communication is key

Adequate communication between the people on the platform and the truck operator is vital, especially at the points of raising and lowering. If communication is difficult, hand-held communication devices or a system of hand signals must be used.

When using hand signals, a system should be decided upon to ensure its proper use – ensure training for this is given beforehand.

Understand when not to use a cage

Non-integrated platforms are unsuitable in certain circumstances. If you’re using a truck that requires manual sequencing to maintain a horizontal working platform or a vehicle that has a capacity of less than 1,000 kg, you’ll need to seek an alternative solution. They should also not be used for trucks with masts that give erratic movement due to sequencing problems, variable reach trucks that are able to lift to a nominal height of more than 6m and pallet stackers with wrap-over type forks.

Ditch the safety cage and use a scissor lift


Electric scissor lifts are the ideal alternative to the extensive problems around using safety cages. They are easy to service and require little maintenance. They are also compact and versatile for a wide range of jobs; as well as providing excellent safety and reliability for your business, they are ideal for manoeuvring within tight spaces. They increase controllability, they are beneficial when working in confined areas and have reduced noise levels. Not only do they minimise important safety risks, but they also save time and worry in regard to implementing the above safety guidelines required to use a safety cage. Why take safety risks with your workforce or yourself? Electric scissor lifts are the ideal, safe choice for a modern workplace.

To enquire about how to hire or buy a scissor lift, contact us here: https://www.hiremech.co.uk/contact/

Hiremech is the exclusive dealer for the Caterpillar range of forklift trucks in London. Offering forklift hire and sales, Hiremech is your one-stop-shop for your material handling needs in London.

How CAT lift trucks are built to be environmentally sustainable

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Gas ForkliftCAT has a long and storied heritage of innovation and developing outstanding technologies that first started during the conception of the company itself. This continued throughout the Californian gold rush into the beginnings of the Second World War. The company has always ensured that each machine that it designs and manufactures is of the highest quality in terms of sustainability and engineering standards.
The year 2015 is no different, as the manufacturing giant steamrollers on with its plans to make the company more sustainable. In light of some recent controversies involving other large companies not exactly fulfilling their corporate responsibility, it is now the time for major corporations to show more leadership.

Chief of these concerns is the biggest threat facing our planet today. Whereas concerns about the environment used to be a rather niche interest, it is now in the mainstream and has become a concern that is shared by everyone, from Presidents to activists.
Combating climate change is an issue of huge importance and something that requires a collective rather than individual focus. This is why CAT has taken steps to reduce their footprint by providing a service that causes a minimal impact on the planet.

Designed with sustainability in mind

One of the many ways that CAT develops sustainable lift trucks is by manufacturing electrically powered machines. These have minimal impact on the environment as they produce no fumes and do not require fossil fuels to run.
The manufacturing process has been structured in a way that reduces the amount of CO2 produced. This is done through using electric equipment that produce a minimal amount of emissions. In fact, it is the operational stage that accounts for 80-90 percent of all emissions. This ongoing devotion to high-tech product development is one of the reasons that CAT is such a successful company.

Green powered

CATs range of electric powered forklifts use an ‘advanced AC green power’ which improves performance and power while generating longer shift cycles. Electrically powered forklift trucks also have a longer shelf life and don’t need to be replaced or repurchased numerous times.
This means that sustainability isn’t just something that reduces emissions and saves the planet; it’s also a cost-saving measure. It is something that appeals to both environmental activists and thrifty business owners.

Corporate responsibility

Sustainability is a massive part of corporate social responsibility. You may not have heard this term before but it is becoming a massive part of the way that modern businesses operate. It is absolutely necessary that in this complex, interconnected world that companies (big and small) are aware of the need for them to manage their social, cultural and environmental impact.
This is achieved through incorporating these objectives into their daily operations. This renewed interest in corporate social responsibility isn’t something that’s gone amiss among others in the forklift truck industry. Contempary manufacturers such as Jungheinrich and Toyota have started to see the benefits and importance of increasing their efforts to make sure that they fulfil what is required of them as large corporations. As this attitude rubs off on other industries, we will surely reap the rewards sooner than later.

How to prepare your forklift for Christmas and the upcoming cold months

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The nights are certainly drawing in and the weather is definitely colder. All of these things affect how a forklift will run and can also impact on your machines ability to perform. Follow this guide to ensure that you prepare for the winter weather.


A lot of people working in the logistics industry do take care of their forklift trucks. However, here’s a quick reminder of the importance of proper forklift truck maintenance for the minority that unfortunately don’t.
A well maintained machine is something that should be a source of pride. Keeping a machine working by repairing and replacing any faulty parts is a sure-fire way of minimising costs and increasing sustainability.
Cold weather can seriously impact on a machines ability to perform to the best of its capabilities. Ensure that your forklift truck survives the winter by taking proper care of it.


Icy floors and pathways

A warehouse is a busy environment, so it is natural for pathways to sometimes become clogged up by dirt or mess. However, during the colder months, water will freeze. This can cause numerous problems for warehouse managers as frozen water can cause moving forklifts to become unstable which in turn can cause accidents or damage to the vehicle itself.
The best way to manage this situation is by keeping a vigilant eye on any mess or excess water that may be left behind by busy or careless employees.


Clear snow quickly

We all wish for a white Christmas (we should be so lucky). However, in the unlikely event of snow, make sure that you have the right equipment to deal with whatever frosty situation may arise. You will need to act as quickly as possible as snow can cause a multitude of problems if it isn’t dealt with immediately.
Snowed up buildings and roads can impact on productivity as well as the general operations. Snow can damage forklifts and other logistics equipment by leaking through and ruining the engines or rusting through the metal.


Correct equipment

In some ways, running a forklift truck is quite similar to what you do with a car. You need to make sure that you have all the correct equipment and chemicals quick to hand. This includes anti-freeze as well as oils and lubricants. These are all really valuable in the fight against the cold weather. I’ve lost count of the number of times that an oil change or a quick dose of anti-freeze has resurrected one of my forklift trucks.


Employee education

Last but not least, employee education is of the upmost importance when trying to battle the winter weather. You need to make sure that everyone working within the business has the same level of urgency when dealing with the many weather related problems that logistics businesses face.
This can be achieved through creating posters and distributing literature throughout the company. Make sure that everything is quick and easy to digest. You don’t want to lose your employees interest by waffling on. Also, depending on how big your workforce is, you could run some instructional sessions that show them the best way to maintain the vehicles.

For more information on how to maintain your forklift truck

& also on how to prevent many of the problems that come with the colder weather, contact us now.

Hiremech Sponsor Action For Kids Charity Race Night

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action for kids charityWe here at Hiremech Ltd are proud to sponsor children’s charity Action For Kids who provide specialist support for young people living with disabilities. Last night the charity held their Race Night fundraising event which saw a fantastic lineup of special guests and entertainment turn out to celebrate the fantastic work carried out by their volunteers.

As a gesture of goodwill this festive season, Hiremech have decided to send out e-cards instead of Christmas cards. The £200 usually spent on these cards will then be donated to Action For Kids to carry on their good work.

Action For Kids exists to support disabled children and young people to live the life they want – just like everyone else.

The charity provides courses and events during school holidays for students as well as young children to keep them active, creative and developing skills all year round to enhance their lives no matter what difficulties they face.

The charity was founded by Sally Bishop in 1991 in response to a friend’s disabled son who was unable to receive the wheelchair he needed on the NHS.

She raised the necessary funds and ordered the wheelchair herself giving the young boy a new lease of life and a much happier childhood.Word spread and soon other requests for equipment arrived and Action For Kids was born.

In 2013 Sally was awarded an OBE for her services to children and young people.

Hiremech are the stars of the show in Cadbury’s big advertising campaign

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Hiremech are proud to say that we’ve been involved with one of Christmas’ biggest advertising campaigns. Cadbury’s have just launched their TV spot as part of their bid to ramp up interest in chocolate (as if we needed any more motivation) as we get closer to everyone’s favourite time of the year.

For most people, chocolate is a massive part of Christmas and this advert really evokes some of the imagery and warm feelings that we associate with everyone’s favourite time of the year. It really was a great feeling for everyone involved at Hiremech to see their fork lift trucks involved in such a fantastic video.

Check out the video below to see those Hiremech forklift trucks in action:

A History of CAT: the Worlds Biggest Forklift Truck Manufacturer

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This neat infographic quickly explains the amazing history of one of the world’s biggest manufacturer of lift trucks. What an amazing ride it’s been, from rural California to the front lines of WWII. A brilliant story.

history of caterpillar

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A guide to diesel and electric powered forklift trucks

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N Range 2

Today we are taking a look at electric and diesel powered forklift trucks. These two are considered to be the more ‘traditional’ types of internal combustion engine forklift trucks commonplace in many warehousing environments.

Diesel powered forklift truck

The first diesel engine was developed by Rudolf Diesel, who registered a patent for “Method of and Apparatus for Converting Heat into Work”. The method is that the ‘combustion engine’ compresses air in order to raise its temperature above that of the fuels igniting-point. Fuel is then introduced into the engine which then provides the ‘combustion’ which then creates energy.

Suitable for different environments

Diesel powered forklift trucks are best used in an outdoor environment as their exhaust fumes and diesel particulates can be harmful. Inhaling diesel fumes is obviously not good for you!

However, diesel powered forklift trucks really come into their own during the winter. They can be used in bad weather conditions – anything from wind, snow and rain.

Cheap to run

Diesel forklift trucks are also very cheap to run. Diesel has always been the cheapest type of fuel when compared to its more expensive sibling LPG (liquified petroleum gas). Fuel is the biggest cost to account for when running a forklift and the fact that this comes so cheap is a massive plus.

Electric powered forklift truck

Electricity powered forklift trucks are considered to be the ‘greener’ choice for logistics companies as they produce no fumes or carbon emissions.

The electric powered motor was created by a Scottish monk named Andrew Gordon, it is thought that he developed it sometime during the 1740’s but it was British physicist and chemist Michael Faraday who modernised and developed the motor that we know today.


As well as being energy efficient, the electric powered forklift truck also works brilliantly in indoor conditions. This is partly because the electric engine creates a small amount of noise which will come as a blessing to anyone who has ever worked in a noisy warehousing environment.

Electric powered forklift trucks are also incredibly easy to drive when compared to their diesel counterparts. The reason why they are so simple to operate is that there is no clutch or engine revving involved. You just start the engine and go!

Extra costings

However, electric forklift trucks are more expensive than diesel forklift trucks. This is because you need to counter the batteries and chargers into the initial purchase cost. However, you will make the extra cost back as they are on a whole – cheaper to run than a diesel forklift truck.

Both diesel and electric forklift trucks are fantastic pieces of warehousing equipment. They each feature their own pluses and minuses. However, it is up to you to decide which forklift truck will be best suited for your business’s needs.

JCB digger crowned fastest in the world

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The past few days have been quite interesting for the JCB GT as it was crowned the fastest digger on earth in Bathurst, Australia, after reaching a speed of 70 miles per hour. The event took place on the 20th of November 2014.


The CAT® NR14-25N2 is finalist in the FLTA Awards for Excellence

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The Fork Lift Truck Association has announced the finalists for its Annual Awards for Excellence which is now in its 21st year. The ceremony will take place on the 28th of February 2015 at The International Centre in Shropshire, which is an exciting new venue for the event. The location is also the birthplace of the British Industrial Revolution. It is the biggest and most prestigious event in the Materials Handling Industry and will be hosted by ITV London Tonight’s Johnny Gould.