Even if sales volumes have usually been small, roughly 1% to 5% of the global forklift market; side-loaders have become the dominant choice of machine within the material handling industry for handling unusual cargo in a simple way.
Sideloaders are rather popular in the aluminum, timber, steel, glass, aviation and construction industries. In addition, they are utilized in businesses that are making unusual things including windmill arms and moldings. Basically any business that makes oversized long or awkward objects uses the side-loaders.
Side-loaders were originally designed in the start of the 1950s by Henry Le Grande Lull from the Lull Manufacturing Company. These units were designed in response to a request from the US Air Force. The initial idea was patented for commercial utilization but it was not made until Lull Manufacturing was taken over by the Baker Raulang Company during the year 1959. It was Baker Raulang who produced the design. Afterward, the name was changed to Baker Traveloader. During the latter part of the 1950s, the side-loaders were launched in Europe. The early models were designed by Italian manufacturer Fiora and the afterwards B-P Battioni e Pagani who pioneered the machine's use in timber yards.
The side-loader is a bit different from the counterbalanced forklift, because the traditional forward-traveling lift trucks have front facing forks while the side-loader has side facing forks. The operator however will drive in a cabin similar to those utilized in standard lift trucks. The loading, unloading and lifting functions are performed by the mast located at the right-hand side of the driver. The cargo is typically transported lying on a metal or wooden deck. This helps to lessen stress, distortion and damage to the cargo. New innovations to the side-loader design have incorporated a huge variety of lifting accessories being developed.
The use of side-loaders instead of the reach-stackers or traditional lift trucks: improved visibility, safer operating conditions, and faster traveling speeds as well as the ability to use available space more efficiently.
Only once you assess your work environment and kinds of applications you will be putting your machinery through, will you be able to accurately determine the best kind of machinery to finish your tasks. There are some great rental options available as well in order to know the right kind of machinery to accomplish your requirements. Doing some research online or talking to a respectable dealer is one more good way to get some information also when trying to figure out the right alternative.