Pallet dispensers are pretty boring! They just sit there and spit out a pallet at ground level when you need one. So why would you buy one?
The answer is not only simple, but it could save you time and money, and possibly an injury claim or lawsuit.
Before pallet dispensers, the forklift would pick up a pile of, say, ten pallets and perhaps place them near a conveyor. The forklift would then take a pallet from the top of the stack and place it on the ground. When the cartons came flying down the conveyor, the operator would remove them in order to build up a pallet load.
The finished pallet would be removed from the immediate area by the forklift, and another pallet would be placed next to the operator.
This scenario allows the forklift driver to get close to the operator. It causes time to be wasted between supplying a new pallet. It allows the line to stop or bank up.
In order to prevent the forklift from coming into the manual working envelope, a delineation line was drawn. Smaller stacks were placed close to the line by the forklift, and on the other side of the line, one or two persons would grab the top pallet and place it closer to the line. This meant that smaller stacks equalled more trips, but it was a safer work environment.
What happened was that there were many more personal injuries. Handling pallets is a risky business, what with splinters, contamination, 30 – 50 Kgs of weight, and the possibility of dropping that awkward load on your foot.
What next? How about supplying a pallet dispenser, where the pallet is taken from the bottom of a large stack of pallets. Prior to the open front plan of the King pallet dispenser, the front and rear lift arms had to be physically moved out of the way, in order to allow access by the forklift. When the stack had been deposited, the arms were moved back into position ready to pick up the stack from the second pallet up, in order for the operator to remove the pallet on the floor, using a hand or powered pallet truck.
King Materials Handling Engineers looked at the range of dispensers on the market, and was struggling with a better design, when the legendary Ralph Leigh of Leigh Engineering offered to sell his design for an operated dispenser. It was the only one of its type that I knew of.
We bought one from him and then bought the rights to manufacture. We changed a couple of things to make it even better, for example, adding a torque arm so that both sides operated at exactly the same time and a couple of extra limit switches to further aid synchronicity.
Since that time, the King Air Pallet Dispenser has been chosen by some of the top international companies and many others. It features a completely open front access and really tough sheet metal side walls with a front taper for pallet guidance.
Being fully air operated, it can work from an existing air line, or it can be supplied with its own compressor if the shop air supply is being maximized.
You can literally throw a forklift at it and it wont break. You can jam it up completely, and it becomes un-jammed after taking the rogue pallet out, without so much as a whimper from the mechanism.
We have had a few companies copy us. Most don’t get it right, or spend enough money on making it tough.
For those customers who don’t like the idea of hydraulic oil leaking on the food preparation or warehouse floor, the King Air Pallet Dispenser is the answer. By the way, we also now offer a hydraulic version for those who actually prefer the electronic touch pad futuristic look.
We now manufacture them all with a 15 pallet base, then add chutes to bring the pallet stack number up (max 20). The reason being that the 15 pallet base fits in a standard pantec truck.