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4 Safety Tips for Moving Heavy Construction Materials

4 Safety Tips for Moving Heavy Construction MaterialsSafety is important when moving any materials, but it becomes paramount when you are moving heavy construction materials. When heavy loads become loose and uncontrollable the safety of the operators and everyone around them is in jeopardy. Being able to safely hold heavy materials on your material handling equipment to ensure they do not come unfastened can be one of the biggest improvements to safety you can implement. Here are a few types of the equipment available to better hold and move your heavy construction materials.

1. When the Material Is On Pallets, Use a Pallet truck

The beautiful thing about pallets and skids is that you can strap materials in place for movement. You then only need to find the right equipment to safely move the pallet or skid. By using a pallet truck you do not lift the load too high, which allows you better control when moving. The additional safety features for the powered pallet trucks make them one of the safest pieces of material handling equipment around.

Wesco Heavy Duty Powered Walkie Pallet Truck: This 27 X 48 electric pallet truck has a steel construction and includes a large rechargeable electric unit that moves the unit while the operator walks behind manually steering the unit.

The walkie truck includes an ergonomic handles with throttle with forward and reverse speeds, lift and lower controls, belly reverse safety button, horn and electromagnetic disk brakes with a automatic head-man feature when the handle is released.

Capacity for this heavy duty pallet truck is 4400 pounds, but there is also a light duty version available with a capacity of 3300 pounds. Dimensions are Width 26.5”, Height 59”, Depth 73.75” and the unit weighs 1370 pounds with 10” polyurethane steering wheels and 3” polyurethane load wheels. Light and heavy duty options are also available in 21” X 48” size pallet trucks.

  1. When the Simplest Equipment Works, Use It

When you need to move a large load from one place to another with no loss of control, then considering a simple piece of equipment like a dolly is a good option. Dollies can be placed under containers, equipment or another item where materials are loaded and can turn that load into an easily moveable object. When simple equipment will work, why choose to complicate things?

Steel Deck Machine Dolly: This small dolly has a steel construction with a very large capacity of 10,000 pounds. The dimensions are Width 8.5”, Height 2.5”, Depth 11.75” and a weight of 11.84 pounds. The four steel wheels are size 2, for a low ride, but do not pivot. This dolly is made for moving large containers and other large and heavy loads down a straight path with no loss of control.

  1. When On Uneven Ground, Use Equipment With Large Wheels

When you need to move a heavy load over uneven ground the best idea is to use material handling equipment with large wheels. This will allow for easy motion over the ground without excess effort that can cause loss of control. One of the ideal pieces of equipment for this application is the hand truck. Many hand trucks include straps to fix a load like sheeting or lumber and some are even specially designed for carrying welding canisters chained in place. A hand truck can help immensely when moving heavy materials around outside.

Model 6873-49: For taller loads, this truck features a retractable rear caster carriage attachment and high quality glass filled nylon continuous belt stair crawlers if you need to transport materials up a flight of stairs.

This unit has 8” mold-on rubber wheels with 5” hard core, soft tread casters that come out and turn the unit into a four wheeled truck using the caster carriage attachment. The unit is equipped with a patented double lock ratchet with a 14’ poly belt and also has an optional auto-rewind ratchet.

Dimensions are height 66”, width 18” with a 5” X 24” base plate and a capacity of 1,000 pounds.

  1. When Specific Equipment Is Essential: Moving Drums

Probably more than any other material, large, heavy drums are the most dangerous since when they come loose they can roll and cause further risk to the health and safety of workers. This is why having a piece of material handling equipment to grip and move drums can be a wise investment.

Wesco Drum Movers / Palletizers: These uniquely designed units from Wesco can lift a drum up to 19” high and then quickly and easily move a heavy drum to and from a pallet or around a work area.

The unit works for drums made of rimmed steel, plastic or fiber with a minimum height of 28.5”, and has a capacity of 1000 pounds.

Simply move the drum palletizer to the drum, raise the head to automatically engage the upper drum rim, then the gripper holds the drum in an upright position for you to transport.

When You Need to Find Ways to Make Material Moving Safer, Turn to Douglas Equipment

There are many ways to use material handling equipment to improve the safety of moving heavy materials, but finding the equipment that is right for your unique needs can be tricky. Contact us today and let us help you find the most useful equipment for your construction jobs.