We, here at Shelving, Inc. believe in constantly pushing the envelope to bring you the best organizational systems, as well as DIY projects that will make your life easier. In our spare time we like to brainstorm for ideas on how to improve the products we offer to our customers, and although some of the ideas never come to fruition, many of them ultimately turn out to be a really cool products! This week’s brainstorming session centered around ideas on how we could improve our standard Utility Push Cart, which we use in the warehouse to transport completed orders.

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These utility push carts make warehouse-life a little bit easier. Instead of hauling heavy boxes by hand, our push carts allow us to stack orders off to the side and move the entire order to it’s destination with very little effort. Unfortunately our push carts don’t have a very long “shelf-life” in the warehouse, as many of the orders we process consist of large, bulky boxes that weigh hundreds of pounds. Looking to the right, you can see the toll that this weight takes on our push carts.

Our standard Wire Shelving is certified to support up to 800 lbs, but large orders can easily exceed 1,000 lbs., and our poor utility carts reflect that!  Looking at the warped surface of this cart, we knew that we had to think of something that would help alleviate the stress these carts endure on a daily basis.

The first thing we had to do was identify the major flaws that this cart had as it transported orders. The casters were strong enough to get the job done, but slowed significantly when large amounts of weight were added to the cart. The singular shelf on top was getting the job done, but it was beginning to warp and sag in the middle because it had no support. The cart itself was hard to maneuver around corners, especially when carrying a payload, and threatened to tip if the turn was too sharp.

After identifying the main problems with our cart, it was time to set out and fix them! We figured that using a single plane along the top was making our cart too rigid, and therefore much easier to tip while going around corners. Additionally, a single shelf cart meant that all of the weight was on that one shelf, which resulted in the shelf sagging and buckling under the weight.

So what did we come up with? Our very own AerodynamIMG_20130913_105433_128ic Cart! No, it doesn’t go any faster than our standard cart. No, it doesn’t get better mileage or cut down on wind resistance. What it DOES do is transport weight with ease. Breaking the single shelf idea into a multi-shelf support system, we cut down on the bending and sagging, as well as increased the weight limit. Doubling the number of casters underneath the cart resulted in an even distribution of weight as well as increased support for the shelf above.

We broke apart the single-shelf system and incorporated two 18″ x 18″ shelves, connected by a pair of hanger rails. These hanger rails are able to twist on the post, allowing the entire cart to flex left or right, making it incredibly easy to navigate around corners. The dual-shelf top evenly distributes weight while still giving a large surface area to support larger boxes. Lastly, we’ve added two 48″ hanger rails that run from the rear posts and extend all the way to the front of the cart. These hanger rails flex to connect to the front and rear, leaving them bowing off the sides of the cart. These rails serve as bumper guards when going around tight turns, and ensure the cart will not tip over. Additionally, the hanger rails keep the cart from flexing left or right freely, while still allowing the cart to bend when the user wants it to.  Pretty neat!

The “Aerodynamic Cart” has become a favorite around here. It has made warehouse-life so much easier. Looking at the two carts side-by-side, the old cart looks almost primitive by comparison. It was so simple that it was TOO simple. In a workplace that is constantly changing and every day is different, change is a necessity. In this case, we’re thankful for it. This cart has made life so much easier; and it was fun to build, too!

Aero-CartBuild your own ‘Aerodynamic Cart’! :

Two 18″ x 18″ Chrome Wire Shelves

Two 8″ Hanger Rails

Two 48″ Hanger Rails

One 18″ Utility Push Handle

Two sets of four – 3″ threaded casters w/ brake

Two sets of four – 6″ chrome posts

 

Good luck building your very own Aero-Cart!

Have a cool idea of your own? Send it to us and we may just build it!

Let us know what you think, and be sure to send us pictures! Your pictures may just make it into our next Blog! 🙂

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