A side loader or a self-loading trailer is designed to offer a versatile, cost-effective solution to loading, transporting and unloading heavy containers safely. With side loader services you can handle a large number of freight types, so keep on reading. In this comprehensive article, you’ll find out how it’s the solution you need.
What Can I Do with A Side loader?
One of the best features of a side loader is that it takes limited manpower to operate and doesn’t require extra equipment. Heavy containers can easily be loaded directly onto a truck or trailer or lowered to ground level in order to unpack them safely.
Its smaller size allows it to navigate standard warehouse doorways easily while it’s much stronger than a traditional forklift.
Reasons you may need a side loader:
- Lifting cargo from or to ground level
- Transferring from one chassis or a rail wagon to another
- Stacking containers safely
- Transporting goods on the road
Why not just use a forklift you may ask? The main problem with a forklift is that it doesn’t balance very well and can easily tip over if the weight of the container is not distributed evenly.
Benefits of These Loaders
Loading from the side instead of the front eliminates the danger of the machine tipping over. Other advantages include:
- Decreased labour costs: All side loader transport trucks are fitted with built-in integrated cranes and outriggers. This allows you to load or offload containers more easily, quickly and safely. The system is largely automated so it doesn’t require much manpower to operate it. It would cost a lot more money and take a lot longer if you had to pay people to manually handle the containers.
- Fast turn-around time: The motto for nearly every business is time means money. So, saving time is the ultimate goal. Using a side loader significantly reduces downtime associated with lengthy loading and unloading procedures.
- Easy to use in tight spaces: A side loader can operate effectively in much tighter spaces and can be maneuvered to fit directly next to the trailer. This makes it perfect to use in smaller urban areas or warehouses.
- Streamline loading process: Loading and offloading processes are much simpler because the side loader can be moved alongside the storage racks.
An Increasingly Popular Solution
Side loaders have been around for the past 50 years and can be traced back as far as 1947. A simple garbage truck was modified by placing the forks at the side instead of at the back. The loading process became so much easier that multiple companies requested them.
In the 1960s a hydraulic lifting arm was added that could be controlled with a joystick.
These days they are used in harbours, warehouses and factories all over the world. They have recently become increasingly popular, because of the combination of practicality, durability and safety.
A Reach Truck vs a Side Loader
What exactly is a reach truck? And how is it different from a side loader? Which one is a more practical solution for your business?
A reach truck is designed to work in a narrow space such as a warehouse. It has two outer legs that help distribute weight more evenly. The drive wheel is located directly under the operator’s seat, which allows the driver to sit sideways when operating the machine.
The body is smaller and more compact than a side loader. When loading, a reach truck moves the load back within its wheelbase. This means that less of the load is protruding so it can be operated in a much smaller space. Usually, a reach truck can’t handle very long loads as space under the wheelbase is limited.
Why Choose a Side Loader?
A side loader was designed to handle longer, heavier loads without tipping over. It has forks that reach out and lift the load from its central point and then lowers it to its destination. The entire machine can be tilted horizontally to improve load picking.
Built-in deck leveling means that the load stays horizontal, even if the wheels travel across uneven ground. A side loader is a much better option for your business if you have to work in a confined space or need to off-load or load heavy containers and longer loads.
Improved Safety Features
The main reason side loaders are becoming so popular is the fact that they are much safer than other large equipment. The position that the driver sits in offers a 360° view, so it’s much easier for them to spot a potentially dangerous situation and avoid it.
Another great feature is that a side loader can handle long roads over a longer period of time which minimises downtime and increases profitability.
Important note: Often, there are fewer workplace injuries reported when a side loader is used.
Hopefully reading this article answered all the burning questions that you ever had about side loaders. Use the knowledge to choose the correct one for your business needs.