The efficient flow of material throughout a plant or warehouse is critical for maintaining a lean environment. This often requires motorized vehicles to deliver parts, assemblies or finished goods from one stage to the next.
While many plants use forklifts to move material, it's not always the safest or leanest delivery method.
A more efficient, and potentially safer, way to deliver parts and materials is through the use of carts. Opting for carts or trailers instead of forklifts allows users to bring materials closer to the point of use, which reduces unnecessary movements for greater efficiency and less physical exertion.
In industrial applications, manufacturers may need larger carts to transport heavier loads. This is where battery-powered trailer movers become critical, says Ryan Blesi, vice president of material handling, Nu-Star Inc.
Nu-Star produces two trailer movers in their Power Pusher, material handling division that can support heavy-duty applications. For example, the company's Heavy-Duty Trailer Mover can support up to 25,000 pounds or more of push/pull capacity on level ground and 16,000-pound or more capacity on 5% grade. Some of the key applications include the ability to move industrial and manufacturing trailers, semi-trailers, and general-purpose trailers.
One of the key features is the ability to connect to multiple hitch options, Blesi says. "The differential is up front," Blesi says.
"When the differential is up front, it works really well for ball hitches, tongue & pin type attachments, and toe-ring attachments. The other unique thing about these products is that they support more tongue weight than our other products do."
This provides versatility for manufacturers who may need different types of carts or trailers to move various pieces of equipment. For example, some manufacturers may build large assemblies inside a trailer, which they later hook up to a truck for shipping, Blesi explains.
"The nice thing about this mover is it's battery-powered, so you can use it indoors," Blesi says. "You use the mover to pull it outside, where it's no longer indoors, and then you can hook it up to a truck to tow it to its next destination, so it has the potential to eliminate a step."
Nu-Star's heavy-duty trailer mover was designed to perform the work of more than 10 people. Its compact design allows for moving trailers in tight locations where using a truck or gas-powered engines is not practical, according to Blesi.
Other key features include:
- Configurable with a ball hitch, NATO-style tow hitch, pintle or tractor hitch
- 3,000-pound tongue weight
- On-board battery charger
Nu-Star also offers a similar, smaller Trailer Mover that offers more than 7,500 pounds of push/pull capacity on level ground and 5,000 pound capacity on 5% grade.
This Trailer Mover also features a quick-change attachment system that allows users to quickly swap out attachments, such as a ball hitch for a flatbed, Blesi says.
Another key feature on both trailers is the use of foam-filled, puncture-proof tires.
"The advantage of that for industrial applications is the ability to prevent the possibility of punctures in rugged environments," Blesi says.