Container Handling Equipment: Straddle Carrier

Transportation of cargo is a crucial part of daily operations all over the world. Globally, manufacturing locations of most industries are far away from most of the end-users, especially due to the rapid expansion of the global market. Containers are the most transported form of cargo in the world. This has had a huge impact on demand for transportation of cargo through container ships. Equipment to handle this cargo has to be selected carefully because ships are subjected to very harsh weather conditions and have to be prepared for many eventualities.

There are many different types of container handling equipment that are used on ships to secure freight. A straddle carrier is a vital part of the process. It gets its name because it carries the load by ‘straddling it’ rather than on top of a conventional truck. They are used in port terminals and intermodal yards for stacking and moving ISO standard containers.

The first straddle truck was built by Harry B. Ross in 1913 at the Stetson-Ross Machine Works in Seattle, Washington. It was called the Ross Carrier. At the time, it was an invention that revolutionized the movement of lumber around mill yards. Over the years, the machine evolved and eventually took the form we see it in today.

Straddle Carriers pick up and carry containers while straddling their load and connecting to the top lifting points via a container spreader. The biggest advantage of the machine is the ability to carry out loading and unloading without the need for cranes or forklifts. This eliminates a lot of extra work. The operator of the carrier does not require any outside assistance and can do the entire job without leaving the seat. Moreover, the driver generally has 360-degree visibility which is a huge convenience in the job.

The vehicle makes operations of container handling a lot safer and faster. The relatively narrow frame also allows for better use of space, increasing storage capacity. It provides all-around efficiency to the container handling process and one must ensure that they choose the right carrier for their needs. They can be available in varying capacities and different models are being developed for purposes other than load handling for ships. Since this is such a vital piece of machinery and requires a guarantee of safety and quality, it is best to choose a reputed and trusted company.

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