Forklift Dictionary

Forklift Glossary Terms

Actual cost—inventory costing method used in manufacturing environments that uses the actual materials costs, machine costs, and labor costs reported against a specific work order to calculate the cost of the finished item.

ASP, Application service provider—a twist in software marketing in which the software licenses are owned by the ASP and reside on their system while the client rents the rights to use the software. The ASP may be the software manufacturer or a third party business. The benefits to an using an ASP are lower upfront costs, quicker implementations, and the reduction of the need for internal IS personnel and mainframe/server hardware. It is hoped that ASPs will allow small to midsize businesses greater access to technology than was previously available. More recently the terms SaaS (Software as a Service) and On-demand Software have emerged to describe this same scenario..

Available—refers to the status of inventory as it relates to its ability to be sold or consumed. Availability calculations are used to determine this status. Availability calculations vary from system to system but basically subtract any current allocations of holds on inventory from the current on-hand balance. An example of an availability calculation would be: [Quantity Available] = [Quantity On Hand] -[ Quantity On Hold] - [Quantity Allocated To Sales Orders] - [Quantity Allocated to Production Orders].

Cantilever Rack—racking system in which the shelving supports are connected to vertical supports at the rear of the rack. There are no vertical supports on the face of the rack allowing for storage of very long pieces of material such as piping and lumber.

Capacity requirements planning—process for determining amount of machine and labor resources required to meet production.

Clear height—distance measured from the floor to the bottom of the lowest hanging overhead obstruction. Sometimes realtors will use the distance to the bottom of the roof trusses to calculate clear height even though portions of the building may have lower clear heights due to HVAC units or other equipment suspended from the roof.

Demand—the need for a specific item in a specific quantity. See Dependent Demand and Independent Demand.

Distribution—describes the process of storing, shipping, and transporting goods. Also describes the facilities (distribution operations, distribution centers) that conduct these activities. In statistical analysis, describes the measurement of a group of events or occurrences (see Normal distribution).

Double-deep rack—a type of pallet rack designed to be used with double-deep reach trucks that allow storage of palletized loads 2-deep in rack. Double-deep rack may be a unique design (designed specifically for double-deep storage) or may just be a double-deep configuration of standard selective pallet rack. Also see Reach truck

Drive-in rack—racking system designed to allow a lift truck to drive into the bay creating very high density storage for non-stackable loads. Useful for operations with limited SKUs and high quantities of pallets per SKU. FIFO is difficult to maintain in drive-in racking systems. a.k.a. Drive-thru Rack.

Drum-handling attachments—describes the various designs of lift-truck attachment used to handle 55 gallon drums. Some are smaller versions of a paper roll clamp while others may engage the upper rim of the drum, or the lower rings. Some drum attachments are capable of picking up multiple drums at the same time.

Flow rack—racking system that incorporates sections of conveyor to allow the cartons or pallets to flow to the face of the rack. Stocking is performed from the rear of the rack.

Forklift—a.k.a Fork Lift. See Lift Trucks.

Forklift-free plants—a strategy to eliminate or reduce forklift use in operations. Used mainly in manufacturing operations, forklift-free usually involves finding ways to eliminate forklift use in specific areas (mainly the production areas). A key benefit is the safety of workers, but other benefits such as better space utilization and reduction of costs associated with lift trucks may also be factors.

Fork positioner—lift truck attachments that allow the operator to adjust the distance between the forks without getting off of the truck. Used primarily in high volume operations where there is a great variety of pallet and crate sizes handled.

Industrial Truck—vehicles used for industrial purposes. Generally used to transport materials and personnel within industrial facilities. Lift trucks (forklifts) are the most well known type of industrial truck.

Inventory—any quantifiable item that you can handle, buy, sell, store, consume, produce, or track can be considered inventory. This covers everything from office and maintenance supplies, to raw material used for manufacturing, to semi-finished and finished goods, to fuel used to power equipment used in the business.

Lead time—amount of time required for an item to be available for use from the time it is ordered. Lead time should include purchase order processing time, vendor processing time, in transit time, receiving, inspection, and any prepack times.

Lead-time demand—forecasted demand during the lead-time period. For example, if your forecasted demand is 3 units per day and your lead time is 12 days, your lead-time demand would be 36 units.

Lift truck—vehicles used to lift, move, stack, rack, or otherwise manipulate loads. Material handling workers use a lot of terms to describe lift trucks; some terms describe specific types of vehicles, others are slang terms or trade names that people often mistakenly use to describe trucks. Terms include, industrial truck, forklift, reach truck, motorized pallet trucks, turret trucks, counterbalanced forklift, walkie, rider, walkie rider, walkie stacker, straddle lift, side loader, order pickers, high lift, cherry picker, Jeep, Towmotor, Yale, Crown, Hyster, Raymond, Clark, Drexel.

Lights-out warehouse—a.k.a. Lights-out facility. Describes fully-automated facilities. The idea being that if the facility requires no human operators, you can run it with no lights. Use of AS/RS units, AGVs, automated conveyors, robots, etc makes this possible.

Maintenance, repair, and operating inventory—(MRO). Inventory used to maintain equipment as well as miscellaneous supplies such as office cleaning supplies.

Man-up—term used to describe lift trucks designed to raise the operator with the load. Order selectors and turret trucks are the most common types of man-up vehicles.

Motorized pallet truck—motorized pallet trucks are the motorized version of the pallet jack. They come in "Walkie" versions or "Rider" versions. As you would expect, the walkie is designed for the operator to walk along with the truck as they move loads, while the rider has a small platform that the operator stands on. The riders work great for frequent moving of loads over extended distances within warehouses and manufacturing operations. a.k.a. Walkie, Walkie-rider, Rider.

Narrow aisle—describes lift trucks that operate in aisles of 8' to 10'. Narrow-aisle trucks are generally stand-up vehicles such as reach trucks.

Order selector—a.k.a. Order Picker. Lift truck designed specifically for manual handling of less than pallet load quantities in racking. Man-up design has fixed forks attached to a platform that elevates the load and the operator to facilitate manual loading and unloading from racking. Order selectors are very-narrow-aisles vehicles that operate in aisles of less than 6'.

Paperless—when referring to processing in the warehouse (paperless picking, paperless receiving) or on the shop floor, paperless generally suggests that the direction of tasks and execution of transactions are conducted electronically without the use of paper documents. This is usually accomplished through the use of fixed or portable computers, bar code scanners, RFID readers, light-signaling technology (pick-to-light), or voice technology. Or maybe it just means you ran out of paper.

Paper-roll clamp—designed specifically for the handling of large paper rolls, the paper roll clamp is a lift truck attachment that clamps around the roll and also allows for a full 360 degree rotation.

Pallet —a portable platform designed to allow a forklift or pallet jack to lift, move, and store various loads. Most pallets are made from wood , but pallets are also made from plastic, steel, and even paper-based materials. Spec'ing a wood pallet involves identifying wood type (hardwood or softwood), overrall pallet size, number and size and spacing of stringers, whether stringers are to be notched for 4-way use, number and size and spacing of deckboards, number and size and spacing of bottom boards, whether deck boards and bottom boards are attached flush with outside stringers or overhang outside stringers. Other options include using a solid deck (rather than separate deck boards), chamfering the deck boards, using treated wood (for international shipments). 2-way pallets allow entry by a forklift from the front or back of the pallet, 4-way pallets have the stringers notched (or use a blocking system instead of stringers) so a forklift can also enter the pallet from either side. The most common sized pallet is the GMA (Grocery Manufacturer's Association) pallet, also called a grocery pallet. It is a 4-way pallet that is 40 inches wide, by 48 inches deep, by 5 inches in height and has the deck boards and bottom boards mounted flush with with the outside stringers. Also see Skid.

Pop-up sorter—sorting equipment integrated into conveyor to move materials off of conveyor at fixed points. Pop-up sorters are installed in fixed positions and may consist of a series of wheel or small belts that are normally located slightly below the conveyor rollers. The wheels or belts are momentarily raised (pop up) to enable diverting materials off of the conveyor.

Purchase order—a document used to approve, track, and process purchased items. A purchase order is used to communicate a purchase to a supplier. It is also used as an authorization to purchase. A purchase order will state quantities, costs, and delivery dates. The purchase order is also used to process and track receipts and supplier invoices/payments associated with the purchase..

Push-back rack—racking system that incorporates a carriage or other sliding device to allow you to feed multiple pallets into the same location "pushing back" the previous pallet.

Push sorter—a very simple fixed-position sorting device used with conveyor systems. A push sorter may use a swinging arm or a simple piston-type pushing device to push materials across the conveyor.

Rack-supported building—warehouse design that uses structural pallet rack to support the roof of a building, eliminating the need for posts. Rack-supported buildings are usually designed for AS/RS systems or turret truck systems where racking is 40 to 100 ft in height.

Reach truck— a.k.a. Stand-up reach, Straddle reach , Double-deep reach. The reach truck is a narrow-aisle (8'-10') lift truck designed specifically for racked pallet storage. It consists of outriggers in front and telescoping forks that use a hydraulic scissors-type mechanism that allow you to pick up the load and retract it over the outriggers reducing the overall truck and load length, allowing you to turn in a narrower aisle. Double-deep reach trucks use an extended reach mechanism that allows you to store pallets two-deep in specially designed double-deep rack. Reach trucks are designed for racking areas only and do not work for loading trucks or quickly moving loads over distances.

Roller conveyor—type of conveyor that uses rollers to move materials. Roller conveyor may be automated (live roller) or simply use gravity (gravity roller) to move materials.

Selective pallet rack—the term selective pallet rack implies standard single-deep pallet rack configurations (and rack designs) where each pallet is immediately accessible from an aisle. In contrast to double-deep rack, drive-in or drive-thru rack, or push-back rack where some loads will be stored behind other loads.

Sideshift—a very common lift truck attachment, the sideshift device allows the fork carriage to slide left and right to allow more accurate placement of the load. Sideshifts will increase productivity and safety as well as reduce product damage by allowing the operator more flexibility in load placement.

Slip-sheet attachment—lift truck attachment used where slip sheets (a sheet of cardboard, paperboard, or plastic) are used rather than pallets. The slip-sheet attachment has a push/pull mechanism that clamps onto the slip sheet and pulls the load onto a thin platform and then pushes the load off of the platform when the truck reaches the destination

Standard cost—inventory costing method used in manufacturing environments that uses the materials costs in the bill of materials combined with the labor costs (based on standard labor hours and rates per operation) and machine costs in the routing to calculate the cost of the finished or semi-finished item.

Straight truck—delivery trucks that do not have a separate tractor and trailer. Straight trucks (also called box vans, or box trucks) usually only have 2 axles and generally have box lengths of between 12 and 30 feet (as opposed to tractor trailers that have 5 axles and trailer lengths of 45 to 53 feet). .

Structural pallet rack—racking system that uses bolts or other mechanical fasteners (as opposed to Boltless Pallet rack). Structural Pallet Rack is sometimes used to support the roof of the structure (Rack-supported buildings), eliminating the need for posts.

Tandems—Refers to the rear tandem axles (the back 8 wheels on an 18 wheeler) on a trailer that can be adjusted forward or backward on the trailer to even out load weights or make for more stable loading (tandems all the way back).

Trailer— a.k.a. Semi Trailer, Tractor Trailer. Generally describes enclosed trailers used to transport materials between locations. Standard lengths for trailers are 45', 48', and 53, with standard internal width of 98" to 99" and internal height of 105" to 110". Refrigerated trailers, also known as "reefers," have smaller internal widths of between 90" and 96" and heights of 96" to 100". Other types of trailers include flatbeds, low boys, and container chassis. Also see Container

Turret truck—turret trucks are a man-up lift truck similar to an order selector with the exception that rather than fixed forks the forks are mounted on an additional mast and carriage that operates as a turret, turning 90 degrees in either direction facilitating picking and stocking on either side of the aisle. The man-up design makes it easer to handle loads in very tall racking. Very-narrow-aisle trucks are generally recommended to be used in conjunction with a guidance system (wire, rails, optical) within the aisles to increase safety and reduce property damage. Also Turret Trucks require that the floor be perfectly flat and level to operate correctly.

Very narrow aisle—Lift trucks that operate in aisles less than six feet and often use guidance systems (wire, rail, or optical) to travel within the aisles. Types of VNA trucks include order selectors, swing mast, pivot, mast, and turret trucks.

VNA—Very narrow aisle (see separate listing)

Walkie or Walkie-rider—see Motorized Pallet Truck

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