Some businesses believe their products are destined to be damaged during the materials handling process. Whether its paper, cardboard or even flat-pack furniture – delivering goods in anything less than pristine condition can increase the risk of disappointed customers.

“When we buy anything, we are much less likely to choose to buy a product in a box that appears damaged,” says Windsor Branch Manager, David Fletcher. “People associate a damaged box with a something that hasn’t been handled appropriately, and come to the conclusion that the product is more likely to be damaged too.”

The truth of the matter is, boxes can be very easily damaged by all sorts of factors in a warehouse environment, and it doesn’t mean the product is any less usable. “Overhanging loads inevitably come into contact with the forklift’s load guard, and as a result the cardboard box is damaged,” adds David. “In an ideal word, products should leave the distribution centre with no evidence of being handled by a forklift truck.”

That’s why many businesses have load protection installed on their materials handling equipment. Not only does it prevent the load from getting damaged, but machinery, operators and infrastructure are protected too.

Companies like IKEA and corrugated cardboard manufacturers use these shock absorbers to ensure their products come away from the warehouse unscathed. Ultimately, this reduces the amount of product that is wasted due to damage.

Load protectors come in many forms – foam or flexible fibre bristles protect the load while attached to MHE by magnetism or steel clamps. “There’s a shock absorber to suit ever kind of load protection need,” concludes David Fletcher. “A small investment in load protectors for the forklift trucks on site can yield a big return in reducing wastage due to product damage.”