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May 19, 2014, Hannover, CeMAT According to AMR research, up to 80 percent of supply chain costs are incurred in the last 100 yards - the distance from the delivery truck to the storeroom or online customer's front door.  It also accounts for a large share of the manual bending, lifting and related workplace injuries incurred within the supply chain. Yet this phase has seen the least amount of applied innovation.

Australian based Rotacaster Wheel Pty Ltd's ( patented four wheeled, self-stabilising Rotatruck, addresses this issue with dramatic improvements in ergonomics, productivity and safety.

While two wheeled hand trucks and flatbed carts have traditionally been the enduring aid for the "curb side to customers" and "pallet to shelf" movement of goods, their mechanics have not evolved to effectively reduce the effort, bending and lifting required by workers in this supply chain phase.

While goods can in many cases be delivered to the store by pallet, these have to be broken down for delivery to shelf i.e."pallet to shelf". This is still largely a manual handling task involving excessive bending and lifting resulting in high rates of musculoskeletal injuries, negatively impacting the worker's health and the company's bottom line.
"Put simply, Rotatrucks make the last 100 yards easier, quicker and safer. As a result, our customers are enjoying ROI from day one and reporting total cost recovery within months, not years - as well as substantially reduced injury rates."

"Also, the purpose-designed Rotatruck can depalletize stock with minimal effort, bending or lifting, improving both the ease and speed of handling and greatly reducing operator effort and strain," explains Rotacaster Managing Director, Peter McKinnon.

Incorporating revolutionary Rotacaster Wheels, which can change direction without turning eliminating the need for a swivel rig Rotatrucks are self-supporting, requiring the operator to bare less weight as the load is guided to its destination. This feature also diminishes the need to park and pull back at transition or waiting points.

Rotatrucks navigate curbs in a forward direction by levering the load up the face rather than the operator having to pull it up, reducing effort by 78 percent. It also saves 41 percent in time by eliminating the need to reverse direction before and after the curb.

One specific solution, developed for a leading Australian supermarket chain, has revolutionised the way they handle milk crates.

"We replaced their existing manual process with a purpose designed Rotatruck benefiting both the individual and the company" explained Peter McKinnon. "Our system delivered an 87 percent reduction in bending and lifting with an 80 percent reduction in injuries during the trial period."

"The time taken for the process was 21 percent less than the previous system providing a recovery of their investment in just 90 days and a 400% annual ROI." concluded Peter.

Rotacaster is working with a number of companies to develop specialist solutions for their specific product delivery needs such as crates, totes, pails and cylinders.



Rotacaster is an Australian company which designs and manufactures the patented Rotacaster multi-directional wheel and ergonomic materials handling equipment.  Traditionally referred to as omni-wheels and used only in conveyor transfer and robotic applications, the Rotacaster's robustness and ride quality make it the only commercially viable alternative to a swivel caster. The fully molded resin construction provides an impact and corrosion resistant solution, while the simplicity of a fixed wheel mount and space requirement combined with 360 degree directional capability, opens the door for OEMs to design and re-engineer products for improved ergonomics and productivity as demonstrated by the Rotatruckt

Rotacaster is represented in the US by Magnus Mobility Inc. and has also recently established a strategic partnership and distributor agreement with Magline Inc., one of the best known and respected hand truck manufacturers in the US.

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