Which is the best load moving system for you?
You need a safe, cost-effective and flexible way of moving heavy parts and machinery from one place to another within your facility. You could go for transfer carts. Or you could go for drag chains. Read on to discover which material handling system is best for you.
Drag chains are material handling systems that use chains or cables housed in a track in the floor to pull wheeled carts. They typically move loads of up to 100 tons.
Transfer carts are self-propelled modular transporters that move heavy loads at ground level. They typically run on wheels, are usually battery powered, steerable and operated by radio remote control. They frequently lift and move loads of up to 100 tons.
|Drag Chains||Transfer Carts|
|Lifting capacity||None||100 tons|
|Moving capacity||100 tons||100 tons|
|Travel path||Can change direction, but chain must pull cart along a linear path||Unlimited maneuverability because units can typically be steered 360°|
|Turning radius footprint||None||Most transfer carts rotate 360° within their own footprint|
|Rotate in place||Limited ability||Many transfer carts can rotate a load in place|
|Reach||Can reach only where track exists||Can reach anywhere the load can fit|
|Vertical Path||No ability to raise or lower loads||Typically elevate loads off the ground by a few inches.|
|Loading||Loads must be placed onto carts using another system, such as a crane or forklift truck||Most transfer carts can slide under a load and lift the load from underneath, provided that the load is resting on a skid designed for this purpose|
|Floor space||Consume a lot of floor space that cannot be used for any other purpose. Impede traffic and decrease productivity when installed in tight quarters.||Operate on any floor surface in a facility that is flat, level and engineered to withstand the weight of the load being transported.|
|Cost of installation||High||Low|
|Cost of operation||Low||Low|
|Cost of training||Low||Low|
|Cost of maintenance||Low||Low|
|Installation time||Weeks or months||Minutes|
|Flexibility of use||Low||High; no first-in, first-out concerns|
|Transferability||Low||High; easily, quickly and cost-effectively relocated to different locations.|
|Training||Level of training is low. Operate with push-button simplicity, requiring little training.||Level of training is low. Operation is simple.|
Tracks create tripping hazards.
The bottom line
Drag chains can be an effective option when you must move loads of up to 100 tons consistently on a fixed path, and when flexibility in move paths is not a concern.
Transfer carts are the perfect choice when you must move loads of up to 100 tons, when you need to get up and running quickly, and when move path flexibility is a requirement.