"When you see a fork in the road, take it."
⏤ Yogi Berra
Forklifts and yard ramps are the perfect pairing of mobility and incline to help a business streamline its operation. The efficiency of this combination has been an essential component in warehousing scenarios for decades.
Along with our recent entries on the power and benefit of the forklift, we dug a bit deeper and discovered a world populated by fascinating forklift stories. If it's not enough for a new superhero joining the cinematic universe (Captain Forklift, anyone?), it's certainly worth a pitch as a limited miniseries on Hulu.
We start with how not to operate a forklift.
On May 9th of this year, law enforcement in Rock County, WI, was called to investigate a stalled vehicle. Deputies found a truck stuck in a ditch. As detailed in the police report,
"Additionally, a male subject who appeared asleep was on a fork-lift in the immediate vicinity. The male operator was awoken and it was determined he had been operating the truck just prior. The male had utilized the fork-lift in attempt to free the truck from the ditch.
"The male operator was identified as Vernon R. Schmuck (Jr.), 62, of Clinton, WI. Schmuck displayed signs of impairment. Following investigation Schmuck was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated. A WI DOT records check of Schmuck showed four prior OWI convictions, making this Schmuck’s 5th Offense, which is a Felony."
You can read the Sheriff's Office media release HERE.
The Greening of the Forklift
Helping in its goal of eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, Walmart has recently inked a deal with Plug Power Inc. to purchased green hydrogen for its fleet of forklifts. The deal includes up to 20 tons of liquid green hydrogen to power Walmarts material handling lift trucks in its distribution and fulfillment centers throughout the United States.
Walmart and Plug Power initiated a pilot program in 2012 for 50 vehicles, then expanded to 9,500. From the press release: "Now, the retailer is continuing to decarbonize its operations by striving to incorporate the use of green hydrogen throughout its facilities, in an effort to pursue lift truck operations that are efficient, clean, quiet and most importantly, more sustainable.
Market researcher IMARC reports some seriously impressive numbers for the forklift market:
"The global forklift trucks market reached a value of US$ 58.5 Billion in 2021. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 82.9 Billion by 2027."
The report spotlights growth in the construction industry and rapid industrialization as key factors contributing to the projected jump in market value.