Designing storage trolleys for humans and goods

Storage trolleys are used by many companies to store and move goods. The most common form of storage trolley is the flatbed trolley, which is versatile and suitable for many types of goods. However, there is no single trolley design that can be used for all types of goods. Storage trolley manufacturers work closely with their users to design trolleys suitable for individual needs.

The ideal storage trolley is designed for both humans and the goods that are stored on them.

Ergonomic factors

Though trolleys have been around for centuries, and many different designs have been developed, not all storage trolleys have been designed ergonomically. Swivel castors or a combination of swivel and fixed wheel ones do not guarantee that the trolley is easy to steer or push. Handles can be inadequate or at the wrong height for the operator. The loadspace needs to be designed so that, when loaded, the trolley is balanced and does not hinder the handling of the trolley.

The best practice when designing a new trolley is to test it out with the workers who will use it and get their feedback. They will know if the trolley is easy to push and pull, and how easy it is to steer.

By observing a trolley in use, the manufacturer can see how much the operator has to stretch or twist to load the trolley and if necessary modify the design. What is the posture of the body when holding the handles? If operators have to bend down to reach handles, then they will need to be raised.

Ergonomically designed storage trolleys will put less strain on workers and help prevent musculoskeletal injuries. Any items stored on trolleys have to be safe and in no danger of falling on workers.

Storage trolleys are moveable but spend time in storage spaces. Any areas where storage trolleys are parked need to be level, with no danger of trolleys moving on their own. In locations where a forklift or other motorised vehicles operate, barriers or guards need to be installed so that there is no danger of collision with storage trolleys.

Designing for goods

A flatbed trolley is suitable for boxed items or ones that will not easily fall off when moving. For very small items tote boxes are a good idea as this will prevent items being displaced when moving. For high loads, high trolley sides prevent stacks of items falling over.

Storage trolleys with more than one shelf can maximise available storage space.

Large or awkwardly shaped items such as sofas and chairs need specialised trolleys that hold them safely and securely. Sheet glass and long lengths of metal also need specialised storage equipment.

Storage trolleys made from tubular steel are designed to last a long time but need periodic checks to make sure that they remain in good condition.

The best storage trolleys are designed for both people and goods. Above all, they are designed with safety in mind.

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Posted by Mark
2nd January 2020
Manufacturing

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