Cherry Picker, Order Picker & Rider Jack Thoughts


Welcome back everyone, Marty here with Warehouse and Operations as a Career and I’m back in Dallas Texas this week, it’s nice getting caught back up with regular business and visiting with some local accounts.  I was up North, well I guess I need to call it North Western area last week and found it quite cold for my taste, yes I’m a warmer weather soul without a doubt.  I had a question presented a few weeks ago about Cherry Pickers, what is a cherry picker and is it the same thing as a hi lo machine.  I’m most familiar with using the cherry picker or hi rise machine in the food service distribution side of things so let’s talk about that for a bit.

If your purchasing such a piece of equipment it may be called an Order Picker – Stock Picker or Stock picker truck these days.  When checking them out on You Tube you can search with Order Picker and find some great videos on them.  I’ve heard them referred to as HighRise Machines HighRise Pickers, Cherry Pickers and even High Lows before. Check out You Tube, there’s some great tutorials and videos of them in use on there.  These Order Picker Trucks are used a lot in the furniture industry, theirs a pretty slick square platform made for them where you can slide an item from the slot onto the platform and bring it down with the Cherry Picker.  In larger distribution centers they can be used in narrow aisle environments for the smaller wares or items.  As we know a typical pallet bay or the area or slots between two uprights we’ll find two slots for two pallets to be placed side by side, either straight in, the 40-inch front or sideways on the 48 inch side or 4 way side facing out, with a bay or beam of either 96 inches or 102 inches usually, at least around here.  Anyway, with a cherry picker area or department you can have several pick facings like 9 per bay and the slot may be only like 2ft high or something like that, meaning you can have many slots in the aisle.  I’ve seen these areas being 28 feet high.  As you can see, in one aisle you could have many hundreds or thousands of items in them depending on how long your aisles are.  These areas are built for just such a machine.

Operating an Order Picker or cherry picker isn’t to difficult and the learning curve is pretty short.  Controls wise there’s only a few. Usually a vertical steering wheel, flat mounted on the wall of the driving compartment, typically operated with the left hand and then a forward and reverse lever or roll throttle with up and down buttons within reach of the right hand.  The only other necessary button needed is the horn of course!  In ’88 my Order Picker was Rail Driven, meaning I steered it out on the docks and turning from aisle to aisle or coming out of one aisle and into another.  But as I would enter an aisle I threaded my right outrigger onto a Rail which kept my truck straight as I would drive forward and up or down to the next pick slot.  Many of today’s equipment are wire guided, or follow a wire in the flooring and some are computer guided to the individual slots even.  Technology’s come a long way since I was Selecting.  Here’s a great place for me to slide in one of my favorite points which as you know is to Never get on or even touch any piece of powered industrial equipment that you have not been trained and certified to do so.  Remember, any piece of equipment is dangerous, we must know how to properly operate it before we can use it.  Some of today models have light kits and automatic pallet locks, oh I’ve even seen a few with Fan kits on the driver’s platform to cool us off in the warmer months.

I went online, again some of that self-education stuff and found several pictures of the machines, I’ll add a couple of links in the show notes at if you’d like to see one.

While I was looking around on the world wide web, do people even say that anymore?  Anyway, I found a really good Unofficial Forklift Training Video – Order Picker by Raymond Harlall, I’ll add it’s link to today’s show notes. If you’re in Operations, Warehousing or Transportation and have not ran across his channel yet I urge you to check it out.  Raymond does some great videos on different types of equipment, I think you’ll like his work.  There’s no affiliation of any kind with WAOC, we found his channel and are just passing it along, I find them really interesting.

Oh, while I was looking for some pictures of the Order Picker I found two links, one that shows a lot of the different Raymond equipment types and one for Crown equipment as well, reference guides I guess you could say.  I found them really interesting and if nothing else they gave me more ideals to go find videos on.  I’ll add these links in the show notes also.

It’s easy to get excited after looking at all the different kinds of warehouse equipment isn’t it?  I know when we accept a position as an unloader or loader, maybe a packer or sorter and have had the opportunity to be trained on our first piece of powered industrial equipment it’s easy to want a little more.  It’s difficult sometimes to resist the urge to push our experience to the limits but please remember there are no short cuts to our training.  I’m always speaking about not operating any kind of equipment or machine we have not been trained on and certified with but it’s usually the law and it only makes sense.  Let’s not ever even touch anything powered until we’ve successfully completed that training.

Another question we received and it kind of goes along with todays topic is about the word Rider Jack and what is it.  As we’ve learned and speak of the many different types of warehouse powered equipment different industries, regions and even Managers and Supervisors may use a term their familiar with or warehouse slang when calling a piece of equipment something.  A Walkie Electric Pallet Jack is usually one that does not have a platform for the operator to stand on while the machine is moving.  Where as a Rider Jack or Rider Electric Pallet Jack has a platform on both sides for the operator to stand on while operating on it.  Usually their used in the larger facilities and productivity driven environments.  I’ve heard both types called just end control electric jacks before. In this particular instance or to answer the question I’d suggest that you just ask this gentleman to describe the jack to you and explain its operation.  We’ve spoken before how this type of equipment very well may be our first experience with powered equipment.  It’s fairly easy to operate, roll the throttle forward to go forward and roll it backwards to go in reverse turning the end control in the direction we want to travel.  The key is to go slow, very slow until your comfortable with its operation and watch everything around you, be comfortable with your surroundings.  During your training and certification, you’ll learn more about weight capacities, center of gravity with loads and other things like going up or down inclines with your loads.  The key to operating any powered industrial equipment is to Be Safe and know what your doing and following the procedures as you’ve been instructed to do so.

I hope we’ve helped and brought some value to you today and I thank you for listening in with us.  If you have a moment maybe you could Like and share our Facebook page with your friends and check out our Twitter feed, maybe follow us there.  We try and retweet as many job postings as we can each week and share any interesting articles we might find.  You can find us on both @whseandops.

We look forward to you visiting again next week and lets all be Safe on the equipment out there!

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