Arranging to buy the right steel lifting bin, cage or pallet to use when lifting stock can be a nightmare at the best of times – budgeting, knowing what specs to look for and establishing how heavy your loads will be can mean the difference between thousands of dollars.
This isn’t all there is to worry about, however, with Australian Standards imposing stark regulations for what is and is not okay when it comes to manufacturing bins for lifting purposes.
So not only do you need to find a product that suits your department’s budget, but you need to be absolutely sure that the company supplying this container adheres to the latest industry standards as outlined in AS4991.
For example, did you know that in Section 2 of this document, it is stated that,
“Where a lifting device is being designed for general application, the lifting device shall be capable of withstanding:
(a) a minimum design load of 1.5 times the capacity;
(b) a proof load in accordance with Section 12;
(c) a minimum of 20
000 lifting cycles at the working load limit/rated capacity and
(d) induced horizontal forces.”
If we break this down, this means that to lift a product weighing two tonnes, the bin actually needs to work with a design load of three tonnes. Or, if you’re trying to lift an eight tonne load, your bin needs to work with a design load of a whopping twelve tonnes.
Further, “a proof load in accordance with Section 12” means that, except as otherwise determined by Clause 12.3, lifting devices need to be proof-loaded in accordance with the following:
(a) Up to 10 t = 2 × working load limit or rated capacity.
(b) 10–160 t = (1.04 × working load limit or rated capacity) + 9.6 t.
(c) Above 160 t = 1.1 × working load limit or rated capacity.
Again, this would mean your two tonne load requires a bin proof loaded to four tonnes.
The next stipulation, “a minimum of 20 000 lifting cycles at the working load limit” is one of the most important things you, as a customer, can be aware of. Your new bin should, according to Australian Standards, be capable of at least 20 000 lifting cycles in its life span.
A lifting cycle is considered to start when the load is lifted, and to end at the moment the limiting device is ready to start the next lifting operation.
Finally, “capable of withstanding induced horizontal forces” means that if it gets knocked, it won’t fall over.
If you have any doubts about purchasing a bin, you should always ask your supplier or manufacturer for further clarification – don’t let it slide or you may find yourself getting dropped in hot water. Metaphorically speaking.