New Multi-Function Conveyor System

April 25, 2007
The patented Multi-Function Conveyor System (MFCS) is the first product released by Labor Savior Conveyors LLC, a company dedicated to improving material handling processes and reducing associated handling costs to facilities in a variety of industries. Used principally at the dock as a replacement for forklifts or manpower, the gravity-operated MFCS assists in loading and unloading large, oversized and unwieldy products which are difficult to maneuver or navigate through standard dock or truck openings due to their shape. It may also be used to off-load product directly from truck to dock, or vice versa, without use of a forklift. The conveyor saves users time, expense and potential truck or facility damage while cutting the risk of worker injury. Operations where the MFCS has been tested report a reduction in unloading time from a full day to an average of 20 minutes per truck. The MFCS is a completely manual system that operates without chains, motors, fuel or electrical circuitry. Constructed of reinforced, high-strength aluminum, the system is comprised of collapsible crossbar legs, rails and a heavy-duty transfer cart. It is designed to be easily dismantled and re-assembled—with either process typically requiring just 30 minutes—without tooling for convenient portability from location to location. To operate the MFCS, product is offloaded to the transfer cart by hand or by forklift. The load is then pushed from one end of the conveyor to the other, dock to truck or truck to dock. This direct loading/unloading methodology yields significant time and labor savings by eliminating the challenge of using a forklift to maneuver a load through a fixed door opening and reducing the number of workers needed to complete the task. When assembled, the conveyor stands 40 inches off the ground. Each of its adjustable legs may be raised in two inch increments up to 48 inches. Leg height is secured by a quick pull-and-set locking pin, each rated at 30,000 pounds. The system’s legs may be set independently to a grade so that the loaded cart can roll unassisted from one end to the other. Alternately, the track may be set level so that a slight assist moves the cart at the operator’s desired speed. Removable rails rest atop the legs. As a load is transported into or out of a truck, rails may be removed or added to cut the travel distance of workers, increasing efficiency. Further, for low-lying applications, the rails and cart may be used directly on the ground or facility floor without the support legs. A welded, 90-degree brake and stop block is integrated at the termination point of both rails, preventing the cart and load from rolling off either end. Ten sections of 72 inch rails are included standard, which, when laid parallel, yield a transport length of 30 feet. Additional rails measuring either 72 inches or 114 inches also offered. Custom length rails are available. A 48 x 48 inch transfer cart traveling on four bi-directional casters glides over the rails smoothly and without hang-ups. The entire system weighs approximately 536 pounds and handles a maximum load capacity of 4,000 pounds. The transfer cart’s casters may be easily exchanged for optional, more rugged wheels capable of transporting heavier loads as needed. Two workers unload truck in 30 minutes with MFCS Users in a typical application where heavy, bulky and slippery rolls of insulation must be off-loaded from a trailer and transported to a dock by hand due to the threat of forklift damage have found dramatic labor and time savings by implementing a MFCS unit. While the standard off-loading process takes seven workers a full eight-hour shift to unload a single 28-foot box straight-axle truck, the same procedure repeated with a MFCS requires just two workers and 30 minutes. About Labor Savior Conveyors LLC Labor Savior Conveyors LLC’s first product, the Multi-Function Conveyor System, is the brainchild of company president William “Bill” Tarkington. Tarkington has almost 35 years of experience in the material handling field working to increase productivity and cut costs at a variety of companies, including Caterpillar, Inc., International Harvester and United Stationers. He spent over three years developing the Multi-Function Conveyor System to solve a common problem faced by any warehouse or distribution center that handles large, bulky and awkward loads: how to transfer them in and out of the facility without damaging the structure or the product, while reducing the chance of injury to workers. The company is headquartered in Highland, Ind.