The Benefits of Buying Used Warehouse Equipment

Distribution centre
If your company has a warehouse, you know that things get expensive. Buying new equipment can put a significant dent in the company’s budget. But what about buying used? It often has a bad connotation in other industries – how are you really going to know what you’re getting? Will the equipment be safe? Those are reasonable questions, but luckily, buying used warehouse equipment is a safe option. And lets be real, as soon as new equipment goes in a warehouse, it’s used. Just like how you drive a new car off the lot and the value drops instantly. So, here are some benefits and tips of buying used warehouse equipment!

Equipment Lasts Forever

Well, not really forever. But most warehouse equipment will last a very long time. I’m mostly talking about storage equipment (ex: pallet racks), because they’re designed to be incredibly durable. When you get into machinery (ex: forklifts), it’s a different story, but not necessarily bad. Storage equipment can get passed on for a very long time – sometimes, even longer than the span of a couple businesses’ lives.

Rare Equipment

Warehouse equipment is similar to a lot of things in life – just because it’s newer, doesn’t mean it’s better. Designs change on certain equipment, and you might like a specific forklift design that’s 10 years old. Or perhaps you noticed a certain conveyor in another warehouse, and the owner assured you it’s a quality purchase. Whatever you’re buying, just make sure you inspect it properly, which we’ll discuss in a bit.

Save That Money!

It’s pretty obvious that when you buy used equipment, you’re going to save money. But it also means you can buy more of it. More storage space and more moving equipment leads to business expansion. And if you don’t have the means to do that right now, you can put the saved money back into other parts of your business. Or use it for the holidays!

Buying Tips

Just because buying used warehouse equipment can be safe and affordable, doesn’t mean it always is. It’s the same as anything else; you want to do your research. First, make sure that the equipment you’re buying will be useful for your business. Consider equipment that could possibly be used two ways. Then, make sure you see the equipment in person. You can often buy used equipment over the phone or online, but you can never be sure it’s exactly what you’re expecting. Also in person, you can have it professionally inspected. And when you think you’re about to make a good purchase, check a few more things. Is the seller reputable? Will my employees and I know how to use this equipment? And is it smart to buy a lot of equipment at once, or should I wait? Once you have all of these questions answered properly, you’re well on your way to a good looking, profitable warehouse.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

Drum Handling Safety: The Intro

If you’re an employee (or business owner) that’s working around barrels and drums, it’s extremely important that you handle and move them safely. I’ll admit one thing – at first, it doesn’t seem like there’s too much to this process. If the barrel or drum is light, you can have a person or two move it manually, right? And if it’s not, you just use a forklift, right? Incorrect. Now this may sound like a movie, but it’s true; if a drum or barrel contains highly toxic or flammable liquid and something goes wrong, you could be seriously injured or killed. And that includes explosions. Make sure that before working around large barrels and drums, you have proper training. There are lengthy manuals and entire courses on this topic. Let this article serve as a a guide to get you thinking.

Note The Hazards

As with any procedure in a warehouse or work site, it’s important to note the possible hazards before, well, even really touching the drum. In this case, we want to watch out for a handful of things. First things first – the contents of the drum. Toxic? Flammable? That will require extra care, and you’ll usually need a health specialist to investigate. Next, you want to know the weight. Some of these drums can weight 2,000 pounds. And always be extra careful of a drum filled with contents that can move around. The weight could shift while you’re moving it and put you in greater danger. Then, beware of your work area. Any wet floors and tight spaces will be an obvious issue (or how about that snow in the picture above?) – but also, don’t forget about sweaty hands, loose clothing, long hair, etc.

Opening a Drum

This task can sometimes be tedious, but necessary, and it always takes careful planning and research. When you’re ready to open a drum, make sure that no unnecessary people are standing near it. Then, make sure you know the proper way to open the drum. Never use anything like a pick or a firearm to open a drum. Then, ask yourself some important questions. Does the drum pressure need to be relieved? Do you have the proper monitoring equipment? Make sure you know what you’re doing when the drum is open, and then how to properly dispose of it or reseal it. Always decontaminate any equipment when you’re done.

Moving a Drum

The truth is, there’s not a universal way to move a drum or barrel. And if it’s an avoidable task, then by all means, avoid it. The first rule, however, should always be that the right people will be moving the drum. After that, it all depends. You could use a drum racker, a drum handler, a forklift with a drum carrier attachment, a drum truck, and more. It all depends on what’s best for a certain drum at a certain time. Always make sure you’re using the proper equipment, or you’re putting yourself at a very high level of danger. There should be no short-cutting when it comes to this process.

As I mentioned before, there’s a lot to learn about the drum and barrel handling/moving process. Always make sure you’re trained properly. If you aren’t, never attempt to figure out this process yourself.  Always make sure you know what you should do in the case of an emergency.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

How to Pack Up Your Kitchen

moving your kitchen
The kitchen can be headache central if you attempt to pack it without a plan. It really doesn’t matter what the size of your kitchen is — the process will take a lot of preparation and careful handling.  You’ve got the fragile items, tables, chairs, major appliances, minor appliances, and more. If the thought of all of this makes you stressed, read the tips below.  You can actually turn the dreaded kitchen pack into a fairly simple process.

Glasses and Breakables:

The very first step is to take care of the drinking glasses and other major breakables, like plates and bowls. Get really familiar with bubble wrap — you’ll want to thoroughly wrap everything in it. There’s really no shortcut to the number of boxes you’ll use — you don’t want to cheap out by trying to stuff everything into only a couple of boxes. If you do, your stuff will end up broken. My best advice is this: get boxes with compartments and pack the fragile items carefully. Glass items go in their own boxes, plates and bowls in their own boxes. Remember that bowls can carry other items in them. When you’re done, mark the boxes as fragile and get them out of the house.

Drawers and Shelves:

If you have a lot of drawers and shelves in your kitchen, you probably have a lot of stuff you don’t use. Now is the time to grab the trash can and throw things away. If you have a ton of non-perishable food that you know you’ll never use, get it in a box and donate it to your local food bank. There’s no sense in having it all sit in your next home for another 10 years!

Silverware can be tricky to pack. Make sure all the silverware is pointing the same way, and wrap it up before you pack it in a box.  If you have a silverware box instead, use it!

Appliances and Large Items:

Life in the fridge.
Smaller items like toaster ovens and microwaves are fairly simple to move. Put each item in a padded box and move it out — that way you won’t be killing yourself with really heavy boxes later. But what about the fridge, dishwasher, chairs, table, etc.? You’ll want to use the proper moving dolly. Make sure you go through the right process to moving any appliance. You’ll want to clean it thoroughly, defrost it, etc. And if you’re lifting heavy items, you’ll want to read this.

Miscellaneous Items

You might have a kitchen with random items you’re unsure how to pack. These are three of the most common items I come across: cleaning supplies (Windex, floor cleaner), wine, and storage containers. The first thing I do is use any containers to my advantage. Put items in them because it will save you space. For wine and liquor, use a divided box and wrap the items very well. For cleaning supplies, chuck what you never use. Then give the remaining items their own box. You wouldn’t want your plates and silverware to stink of cleaning supplies.

As with anything moving related, the better you plan, the better your move will go. Good luck!

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

The Best Shelving Options for Your Garage

My nice organized garage

For really organized people, the garage is just another room of the house. It’s welcoming, spotless, and if it’s heated – you can spend your life in there. But for many others, the garage is a headache and a half. And cleaning it is never the highest priority on the “to-do” list. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not having enough storage and shelving. People are often worried about getting shelving and storage, because if it doesn’t get used, it’s more clutter. But, it’s really the only way to go if you want to have a truly clean garage. Here’s a little info about the three main types of garage shelving:

Floor Shelving

This type of storage is a good choice if you don’t have the time or desire to set up wall shelving, which we’ll discuss in a bit. The disadvantage? If you don’t keep up with cleaning the garage, it’s simply more “stuff” on the floor. This type of shelving is pretty self explanatory – the more stuff you keep in your garage, the more shelving you need. If you have heavier stuff, you’ll want to buy a durable, metal or steel unit. Avoid shelving with wheels, as well as tall shelving. Most people don’t have their ladders set up in the garage, so they reach excessively, which is a recipe for disaster.

Wall Shelving

Wall shelving is nice for getting the showroom feel going in your garage. It just takes some time to install everything. Some of these units are adjustable, which is nice if you’re always getting new things that need to be stored. A lot of times you can build wall shelving yourself. It’s similar to building shelves in your home, but garages often have sheet-rock you have to worry about. Make sure you have a plan and build everything to be extremely sturdy. You don’t want to damage your cars, or worse, any people.

Ceiling Shelving

Ceiling shelving is the best option for maximizing your space. But as you could probably guess, it’s not easy to access anything. People often invest money in these units and never end up getting anything out of the storage containers; it would be better off to just throw away anything you know you won’t use. I find them really useful for hanging bicycles upside down. It’s best to have ceiling shelving professionally installed, as it is the most dangerous type of shelving when installed improperly.

If you want to make the most of your garage, it’s best to utilize all three types of shelving. Good luck!

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

Material Handling: The Basics & Advantages

Sealey Power Products Warehouse
Have you ever ordered a product and paid for shipping and handling? You might understand the shipping aspect, but what exactly is handling? The more professional term is “material handling” and it goes hand in hand with logistics. Logistics is the process of coordinating supplies, warehouses, and people to make something happen. You’re working to get products from their point of origin to the place they need to be. Well, material handling is the similar in a lot of ways; you’re working with materials from their early warehouse stages all the way through distribution and disposal. The material handling process could include cleaning, packaging, storing, etc. The logistics come after all of that. So, it’s very important for your company to have a quality material handling process.

Types of Operations

Material handling can be as simple as moving things on and off some shelves, or as complex as automated guided vehicles and production lines with robots. If you’ve ever worked in the stocking department of a grocery store, you worked in one of the most simple material handling jobs. You were bringing products from their storage stages and preparing them to look good for the customers. A more complex operation could be a brewery, where the beer is bottled, packaged, stored, and shipped with the help of machines. Of course, it’s always important to have people overlooking the process, but they’re doing less physical labor. We’ll get into more about that next.

Automated or Manual?

Businesses have to decide whether they want their material handling process to be automated or manual. Smaller businesses might be able to get away with a manual system, whereas large companies should be doing it automated. Workers in a manual system would be moving materials by hand and doing the physical labor. Some businesses that aren’t fully manual but not quite automatic will use things such as jib cranes to assist in the process. An automated system is the way any company would want to go, it’s just a matter of having enough money. It’s a very expensive process of having products go from their development centers all the way to the shipping truck without having any physical human handling. It’s also much safer, more efficient, and there’s a good chance the quality of product will be improved.

Why Is It So Important?

You might be thinking that the material handling aspect of your company can be put on the back burner. But this department isn’t something you want to cut costs on. Lets think about why it’s important. First off, you’re maximizing your storage space over time. By having a team of people that’s devoted to this, you don’t need to worry about losing valuable warehouse space. And then of course, there’s the movement of materials. Your team will have a good grip on getting things out the door on time. All of this will help with having good customer service. And finally, there’s much less of a chance that the goods will get damaged.

There is a lot to know about material handling, so it’s important to decide what is best for your company in order to ensure a quality product delivered on time.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!