How Carts Have Evolved for Efficiency in Manual Material Handling

posted on: Tuesday December 15, 2015

XtremelargeWhile carts have been around a long time, manufacturers have longer relied on the forklift to transport product and materials. In its day, it was the most practical means of accomplishing the work. Thanks to the evolution of cart systems, that is no longer the case. In fact, forklift-reduced and forklift-free environments are becoming the norm, and cart systems are efficiently picking up where the lift trucks leave off.

The most important applications of cart systems are where horizontal space is at a premium, and in replacing one-at-a-time deliveries.

Where horizontal space is concerned, conveyor systems have been popular. However, today’s lean strategies have taught us that solutions should be flexible enough to change with evolving needs. There is a lot of reluctance in building fixed stations, especially over a large area. Cart systems will move numerous loads at a time and are completely mobile.

Moving many loads at once is another huge advantage to a cart and tug system. Where a forklift is only able to move one load at a time, carts shave a lot of time off the process when linked together in a train. Additionally, it is faster and easier to accomplish one-side loading with a cart.

Improvements to the cart systems have made them much more versatile and practical in manufacturing. A significant development in cart systems has been the mother/daughter carts. The mother cart is a larger unit used to corral the smaller daughter carts inside it. They all move together in a train. The advantage of this system is that the train doesn’t have to be dismantled to separate carts from the mother. The mother carts are more expensive, but fewer are needed. One might need ten mothers and 200 daughters, for example.

Wheels have also undergone numerous improvements to better handle turns and weight. Depending on your needs, one of four wheel configurations will work for you. These include four -wheel/caster steer, four-wheel caster, four-wheel diamond, and wagon with fifth wheel steer. You can read about these here.

To move the carts, an electric power mover is used. These produce torque with a good walking pace speed. They supply the initial force required to get a heavy load moving, so they’re capable of handling thousands of pounds. Battery-powered tugs are walk-behind systems, so they increase visibility over a lift truck and they don’t require a licensed driver.

Overall, cart systems add productivity, efficiency, and safety to manufacturing. They’ve evolved into an extremely versatile and easy substitute for forklifts. To put together a system that works for your facility, contact Load Mover Inc. We build quality electric powered tugs for these systems. Our experts understand the industry and application of carts and tugs. Call us at 952-767-1720 or email