Combating the Hiring Shortage in Manufacturing: Fork Lift Operators

posted on: Tuesday June 9, 2015

XtremelargeAs an industry, confidence is currently high in manufacturing. These businesses feel good about the economy and energy costs. In turn, manufacturers are paying better and hiring more. Unfortunately, however, these plentiful, high-paying jobs are left empty as manufacturing suffers a labor shortage.

As a result of retirements, qualified, skilled workers are much harder to come by. Bob Kill, president and CEO of Enterprise Minnesota, speculates that manufacturers are competing across industries for workers, and that other concerns include health care costs and government regulation.

With thriving businesses, it is paramount to have the labor to keep up with the work. Finding skilled workers during a labor shortage is an even greater challenge when you need certified personnel, like forklift operators.

One of the strategies that many industry experts have embraced is to appeal to college students. Two-year colleges have beefed up their skilled labor programs, and graduates like knowing that they will have a good job after graduation. However, how can a company short on labor keep up with demands now?

The simplest answer is to make production more efficient. This is a unique challenge when you rely on forklifts to move product and parts; no matter how efficient the rest of the process, you still need forklift operators to make it complete.

That isn’t the case if you substitute the forklifts.

Battery-powered electric tugs, or tuggers, haul more material than forklifts, and move it safer. By placing product or parts on carts with wheels, a tug operator can move hundreds of thousands of pounds without strain. Some manufacturers link carts together like train cars so that multiple loads are pulled in one trip. The job gets done in less time with less risk of injury or damage.

One of the most advantageous qualities of these cart pushers, or electric tugs, is that several workers can operate one without outside certification. Several trained personnel on the floor can grab a tug, attach it to the cart(s), and safely haul loads.

The tuggers are compact and designed to maneuver around corners and through narrow aisles. Overall, this provides an opportunity for a more efficient use of space as well. Additionally, battery-operated tugs cost less to run and maintain than forklifts. Units built by Load Mover, Inc. will hold a charge all day, and maintenance is minimal.

Overcoming the labor shortage is an ongoing process. Improving efficiencies will not only alleviate some of the labor burden, it will also create a smoother long-term process. For information on how a Load Mover will make your production more efficient, contact us at 952-767-1720 or