As manufacturing continues to grow as an industry
They use a lot of space. A fleet of forklifts requires both parking and charging areas, as well as the individual machines taking up space. Forklifts can only reach a certain height. So, if your company has a forklift that only reaches up to five pallets in height, then you will only be able to stack up five pallets. If you have high ceilings, your walls could feasibly fit many more stacks of pallets. They release emissions. As was previously stated, many companies have had the same forklifts for many years. Although not having to buy new machinery is a financial plus, the amount of emissions that are being released by older machines creates a larger foot print, and more dangerous work environment for your employees. They also have a tendency to leak grease and oil which can create a hazard for ground sanitation later. They are difficult to recycle. If you wanted to get rid of your forklift and recycle the materials to create something else it would be very difficult. Forklift parts are hard to separate, and there are a number of internal aspects to the machine that can not be recycled (battery and other contaminants). The disposal of many of these parts must be done properly otherwise it can pose a serious threat to the environment. Obviously a lot of these issues would require financial action to remedy them. A business owner might be required to make his warehouse space larger to accommodate for more inventory that can't be fit on the five pallet stacks, properly ventilate the warehouse to accommodate for fumes, or spend money on properly recycling machine parts and cleaning up potentially hazardous oils and byproducts. Not only are these problems going to be expensive to fix, but many of them are cause for a much larger footprint than other options would. Many companies are beginning to think that stacking cranes are the best method to turn to when attempting to fix some of these problems. Although it may be scary to move away from forklifts, a method that you are assuredly comfortable with, it will be a better decision in the long run for both your company and the environment. Cranes do not take up a great deal of space. They are one centralized body with a long telescoping neck that can reach up to high places that forklifts might not have access to. Because of this they are able to store things in a much more efficient way, and help to eliminate space usage. That means that you have less machines moving things around and you wouldn't need to have a larger warehouse built! In terms of ventilation and having a safe and healthy work environment for your employees, it has already been pointed out that forklifts emit a lot of chemicals that could be potentially harmful for both your workers and the environment. With an overhead lifting system you avoid the costs of chemical detection equipment, a proper ventilation system and, in the long run, health costs of your employees. Cranes and overhead lifting systems also have one other advantage: whereas many of the parts of forklifts are hazardous and difficult to dispose of, the whole body of the crane is recyclable and can be broken down into easily manageable parts. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the company as well as making sure that no contaminants are getting into the air, ground, or water around your building. The less emissions and exposure to toxic materials that your workers experience, the healthier they will be; there will be less sick time, less break-time, and significantly happier employees. Obviously, for most companies, an overhead lifting system is the green, healthy way to run a company.