Hydraulic side-lift technology increases worker productivity
The technology is becoming popular in the food industry.
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Logistics professionals of all kinds have had to re-examine their last-mile delivery strategies.
Mile Hi Foods, a food distribution company serving restaurants, uses refrigerated vehicles to deliver not only frozen and refrigerated groceries, but dry goods.
Side lift technology on refrigerated trucks are popular with carriers serving restaurants. The time savings associated with a side lifting approach is especially attractive in an industry where productivity and service are vital. And, temperature fluctuations are reduced and cargoes’ overall routes into stores are shortened.
“Mile Hi’s first exposure to [the solutions provider] came when we purchased a refrigerated vehicle with an older version of [the provider’s] lift gate on it,” Blanton explains. “It worked so well that we decided we wanted to explore up-fitting the rest of our fleet with side lifts and asked them to come out to discuss it with us.”
Mile Hi looked at the provider’s latest model and asked the lift gate manufacturer to explore some modifications that would be unique to Mile Hi and its planned side lift applications to 28-, 48- and 53-foot vehicles.
The model currently features gravity down gate action and two hydraulic cylinders to lift its 72- by 68-inch galvanized platform. Power is delivered using a stainless steel chain that is resistant to debris. Meanwhile, the system’s adjustable out/up/stop power pack enclosure holds its hydraulic pump and motor, and has room for four batteries. It installs without the need to cut side rails and, when in use, provides a remarkably level lifting and lowering platform.
“We look at our processes from every angle,” says Mike Blanton, vice president of Mile Hi Foods. “We’ve incorporated proprietary ‘unitized pallets’ that make it easier for our workers to move cargo out of trailers and through doors, so we embrace any new technology that supports greater effectiveness.”
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