Material Handling Equipment and Essential Operator Training

Industrial material handling equipment refers to a wide range of mechanical tools, equipment, vehicles, and appliances used for transporting, storing, controlling and protecting materials or products through different stages of manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal. A well-planned and functional material handling system works to improve customer service, reduce inventory, shorten production time, and lower overall handling costs in a variety of industries.

Industries and Application of Material Handling Equipment

Material handling systems are necessary for a multitude of different industries. These industries include:

Lift and Shift Material Handling Equipment

Winch Hire Australia provides winches, hoists, cable handling equipment, and lift and shift gear for a multitude of industrial applications. Learn more about the safety differences between lifting and shifting equipment and their unique industrial applications.


material handling equipment-winches

Industrial winches are essential production and maintenance tools which aid in the movement of heavy equipment. Winches exclusively use wire rope for their operations and can be motorised by electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic power.

When considering the size and capacity of the winch needed for industrial applications, the weight of the load needs to be taken into account alongside external factors such as friction, or angles at which the load is being hauled. It’s also important to consider the braking capacity or holding power required. Understanding and specifying this requirement allows you to determine whether a transmission brake or an exterior band brake acting directly on the winch drums will be the most effective solution for your application.

Heavy-duty winches can be used to anchor large construction machines. The technical details to make these safe, effective and reliable, include grooved drums, wire spooling devices and a triple braking system.


material handling equipment-hoists

Hoists are devices used for lifting or lowering a load, they can be as simple as a hand-operated device for handling light loads, or in industrial applications, hoists can be heavy-duty and high-capacity machines.  Hoists mainly use a chain as their lifting medium, although sometimes rope, and can be motorised by electric or pneumatic power or used as manual handling lifting equipment.

Hoists feature a brake which is designed to hold the load in position and safely lower the load. Typically featuring compact reduction gears, pole-changing brake motors, and variable speed control, hoists are designed to safely lift heavy items. Fail-safe brakes are an essential safety-feature required for all heavy-duty applications. Hoists are commonly suspended from trolleys, wall mounted booms, riggings, portable lifting setups and more.Electric wire rope hoists, available in differing load capacities, are the central components of crane systems when handling heavy loads.

Operating Heavy Equipment

material handling equipment-operating

Heavy equipment is essential for productivity in any construction project or mining operation. Crucially, all heavy handling equipment requires operational skill and training to help mitigate and prevent accidents.

The main difference between a hoist and a winch from a safety perspective is the trajectory at which the load would fall due to mechanical or operator failure. The load being hauled would remain in the same position (given it’s on relatively flat ground), and the hoisted load would fall. This can pose serious safety concerns and result in fatality if due care is not taken.

Safety Requirements

From an equipment safety point of view, Winch Hire Australia adheres to all Workplace Health and Safety requirements with adequate safety testing and certifications for each piece of handling equipment. Safe operating procedures are also provided alongside all specialised equipment as a printout and also on the machine.

Operator Training

material handling equipment-training

A well-trained operator is definitely worth the investment. Staff who are educated on machine controls, maintenance, inspection, safety and operating procedures can significantly improve worksite safety, maximise productivity, and avoid costly downtime.

There are many elements to consider when implementing material handling equipment training, including the type of equipment being used and the application of its use. Every operator should be able to:

  • Identify personal safety, machine safety and job site safety
  • Identify safety warning signals and labels
  • Locate and describe the equipment safety features
  • Identify if the machine is safe to operate
  • Identify warning signs (when operating and maintaining)
  • Understand the maximum load requirements
  • Understand how to operate all equipment controls

If you intend to operate heavy equipment, it’s essential that you’re competent in doing all the above, and more importantly, feel confident when operating the equipment. Winch Hire provides VOC training for safe and efficient equipment use, to help you get the most out of your equipment hire.

Contact Winch Hire Australia

To hire material handling equipment or to find out more about essential operator training, please don’t hesitate to contact us.