Even though sales volumes have usually been small, approximately 1% to 5% of the global forklift market; side-loaders have become the dominant choice of machine within the material handling industry for dealing with unusual cargo in a simple manner.
Usually, side-loaders are used in the aluminum, timber, glass, steel, construction and aviation industries. Moreover, they are used within businesses which are making unusual objects including windmill arms and moldings. Practically any industry that makes awkward or oversized long things utilizes the side-loaders.
Side-loaders were initially designed during the beginning of the 1950s by Henry Le Grande Lull from the Lull Manufacturing Company. These units were made in response to a request from the US Air Force. The original idea was patented for commercial use but it was not made until Lull Manufacturing was taken over during 1959 by the Baker Raulang Company. It was Baker Raulang who put the design into production. Later, the name was changed to Baker Traveloader. In the latter part of the 1950s, the side-loaders were launched in Europe. The beginning models were designed by Italian manufacturer Fiora and the afterwards B-P Battioni e Pagani who pioneered the machine's use in timber yards.
Side-loaders differ a little from forward traveling, counterbalance lift trucks in that they have their forks located on the side of the equipment. The operator drives the machine sitting in a cabin similar to a conventional forklift. The unloading, lifting and loading functions are done by the mast situated at the right-hand side of the driver. The cargo is usually transported lying on a wooden or metal deck. This helps to lessen distortion, stress and damage to the cargo. Recent innovations to the side-loader design have incorporated a large range of lifting accessories being developed.
A few of the advantages of utilizing side-loaders over reach-stackers or conventional forklifts include: safer operating conditions, better visibility, and faster traveling speeds as well as the ability to use available space more efficiently.
You would just be able to precisely know the right kind of equipment to complete your tasks, once you have completely evaluated the work environment and kinds of tasks you would be performing. There are several great rental options available as well in order to determine the best type of equipment to accomplish your needs. Doing some research on the Internet or talking to a reputable dealer is another good way to get some information also when trying to figure out the best option.