Trailer Magazine

In the long run

  • From the May 2020 issue.
In the long run

The KEITH Freight Runner dock-to-trailer conveying system can reduce load/unload times up to 80 per cent, according to Keith Manufacturing Co., providing a quick return on investment. By seamlessly connecting the dock conveyor to the trailer conveyor, loading/unloading is both safer and faster.

Personnel and equipment no longer need to cross the threshold of the trailer, eliminating confined space entry and reducing forklift damage to cargo or trailers.

By automating the load/unload process, the KEITH Freight Runner® system reduces transport time while improving safety, particularly in the dock area. Keeping employees out of the loading zone reduces the risk of falling from dock edges and eliminates the risk of injuries from falls from unsecured dock plates. Because employees are no longer physically involved in cargo transport, it reduces the incidence of back injuries from improper lifting and carrying, as well as helps prevent injuries caused from careless behaviour around forklifts and other vehicles. Depending upon the application, load/unload times at the dock can be reduced to less than five minutes. Facilities also realise a reduction in labour and equipment costs because fewer resources are needed for loading/unloading. Loads can be pre-staged in the warehouse and loaded with the touch of a button by the truck driver, freeing forklift traffic for other work.

The heavy duty conveying system uses a series of rails with ‘runners’ to handle loads of up to 27 tonnes. Once a forklift positions the unitised cargo onto the system during the loading process, the conveyor indexes the load forward or back. At the dock, the unique ‘drawbridge’ feature connects the dockside conveyor with another installed inside a trailer. This is reported to speed up the product distribution process, allowing for increased loads per day, per trailer.

Controls are simple, with no specialised training required. This allows loads to be pre-staged with a forklift and loaded by drivers or other warehouse personnel.    

The KEITH® Freight Runner® system requires minimal facility or trailer modifications because it is designed to drop into place on a standard dock plate or in an existing trailer. The customisable design provides warehouse environments with a variety of material handling solutions, including use in refrigerated trailers and warehouses to standard dry vans and open-air docks. Installation is quick and efficient, usually with little service interruption. 

Freight Runner® systems can also be used for assembly line or warehouse in-plant conveyance and are built to facility specifications. Speed is adjustable and weight capacity is variable with additional rails. KEITH Manufacturing Co. has been an equipment partner to the trailer and manufacturing industries for more than 40 years. KEITH Manufacturing Co. encompasses five international locations and has sold equipment around the globe. At the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Madras, Oregon, the KEITH team designs, machines, fabricates and assembles its conveying systems.

Fast Fact
Keith Manufacturing Co. has been hard at work adapting its walking floor technologies to support various tipper operator requirements. This commitment has led to the development and production of safer, more efficient and versatile trailing equipment.

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