Electric stackers were developed to make lifting and loading much easier on warehouse workers. Before the invention of gas and, later, electric stackers, workers loading heavy supplies or tools onto trucks for transport had to use pulley systems. The pulley systems worked effectively, but they were often unsafe and difficult to use without the help of many workers. The invention of electric stackers made it possible to free up several workers, as only one person is required to operate it. In addition, electric stackers are safer for loading heavy supplies and tools.
Electric stackers are easy to maneuver, as they contain both a steering and a pulling handle. All electric stackers are on wheels and weigh an average of 364 kilograms (802.48 pounds). This makes it easy to set the unit into the area needed, as well as to begin working again without requiring a lot of extra help. The unit also comes with a hand break for easy stopping and placement.
Electric stackers look like a forklift without the wheels or driver's seat. Most electric stackers work on a hydraulic system. The average lifting capacity of electric stackers is 1200 kilograms (2,545 pounds), which makes them handy in places such as warehouses, where large heavy boxes are stacked. The length of the forks of most electric stackers is 1120 millimeters (about 3.67 feet), while the width is approximately 570 millimeters (about 1.87 feet). The fork base is 1193 millimeters (about 3.91 feet), and the average unit has a turning radius of 1775 millimeters (about 5.82 feet), which allows them to fit into fairly tight spots while still being able to turn around in order to get the job done.
The lifting power of electric stackers is impressive, with the ability to lift 408 kilograms (900 pounds) to an average height of 1300 millimeters (about 4.26 feet). If this were done with manpower and a pulley system alone, it would take an average of five to six men to lift this weight to the same height. Electric stackers also allow for faster stacking of objects, with a typical speed range of twelve meters per second (about 39.37 feet per second). With a heavy duty electro-hydraulic power pack, which most electric stackers have as standard equipment, they are capable of completing the same amount of work in a much shorter amount of time.
Most electric stackers are rechargeable and come with a 12-volt battery, though they are evolving constantly. Companies are building bigger and better electric stackers every day. These large stackers are used in shipyards to aid in loading ships, while there are also stackers small enough to be used in a homeowner’s garage.