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Need More Office Space? How About an In-Plant Office?


A modular office space or in plant office is a cost effective solution and a customizable way to add offices to your storage facility. It is a great way to make the most out of an already existing space, while saving money when compared to costly conventional renovations. Traditional construction of a new office area can cost as much as double the amount it would to assemble an in-plant office. In-plant offices can be used for any type of office setting, including lunch rooms, computer rooms, break rooms, conference rooms, bathrooms, etc.


Some of the other major benefits include:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Flexible
  • Tax Savings


Easy to Assemble – Depending on the size and the complexity of the design, and in plant office can be assembled within just a week. They can be purchased with a predesigned layout, or they can be customized to work around certain obstacles within your storage or material handling facility.


Flexible – ASI sells new and used in plants that use a modular construction method. This means that the office can be reconfigured, disassembled, and moved to a new location extremely quickly. This allows for your office space to grow with your business, because in the future you may require more desks, partitions, etc.


Tax savings – Used and new in-plant offices qualify for accelerated depreciation over seven years instead of the typical 39.5 years, which will result in a tax savings of about 32%. In most situations, an in-plant is considered equipment, instead of an improvement to the property. An improvement to the property raises the value of that property, meaning more has to be paid in taxes. Equipment is considered a capital asset because it has a useful life of more than one year. Capital assets can be deducted against gross income, which lessens your tax burden for that year.


Does your storage facility or warehouse have high ceilings? If so, and if that space isn’t already being utilized, you can always install an in-plant office on top of a mezzanine. This will effectively add a floor to an already existing structure, and allow for a “bird’s eye” view of the facility. The area below the mezzanine can be utilized as additional storage space or more offices.


Modular in plant offices are code compliant, meaning they meet fire codes and other building standards. They are a safe and cost effective solution to expanding the amount of offices your facility is capable of housing.


ASI sells both used and new in-plant offices, and we provide design layouts and installation services. We will recommend the most effective layout based on your specific office space needs. In plant offices are cost efficient solutions to your current and future office space needs. Give our knowledgeable sales staff a call today, they will happily work with you to choose the ideal layout for your application.

Choosing the Right Used Dock Board or Dock Plate


Dock boards and dock plates are a portable solution to bridging the gap from the edge of the dock to the open truck bed. This can be a problem because trucks vary in height, so there is a gap and a height difference to consider. Both styles come in varying capacities that allow for anything from foot travel to lift equipment.


The major difference between used dock plates and use dock boards is capacity. They are similar in design and look except that used dock plates are typically made out of aluminum, but heavier duty models are made of steel, and they allow for lighter loads.


Hand carts and pallet jacks are used with used dock plates, but forklifts and other lift equipment is too heavy. The capacity ranges from around 1,500 to 5,500 lbs., and they contain a 10 degree bend to allow it to be flush with the dock and the truck during loading and unloading.dock plates have no guide rails and dock boards do, and both types have skid-resistant surfaces to ensure safety. Other permanent dock equipment includes dock levelers and lifts, which are generally secured permanently at each dock opening.


Used dock plates also do not contain guide rails, which is typical because they are only supporting foot traffic, warehouse carts, or pallet jacks (manual and electric). Usually the sides of a used dock plate have brightly colored tape or spray to prevent injury due to run-off.


Used dock boards are made of steel and have side rails to prevent pallet jacks and forklifts from falling off. Their decking is made of diamond pattern flooring to prevent lift equipment wheels from sliding when traveling on an incline. Capacities range from 5,000 lbs to 30,000 lbs, which is significantly higher.


Choosing the right dock equipment

Capacity is the most important factor to consider when deciding between a used dock plate or dock board. The first question to consider is whether or not you will be using lift equipment to transport product out of the truck. This will automatically require a dock board due to capacity requirements and the need for side guard rails. To decide which capacity of dock board is required, add together the weight of the lift equipment and the maximum load weight of that equipment. So if your forklift weighs 7,000 lbs. and has a 4,000 lbs. capacity, you should consider a board that holds at least 11,000 lbs.


In manual applications, the width of the used dock plate or dock board should be at least 8” inches wider than the overall width of the equipment. For powered operations, the width should be at least 16” wider than the overall width of the equipment.


The proper length is determined by the height difference between the loading dock and the floor of the truck. This equipment has a maximum height differential, so a longer board can accommodate a greater range of height differences. Exceeding this angle will potentially dislodge the safety leg holding it in place, allowing it to shift and become unstable.


Should I consider buying used? Used dock boards and dock plates are an extremely heavy duty piece of equipment with no moving parts to maintain. The difference in functionality between a used and new dock equipment is non-existent, as they will both function exactly the same.


The difference worth considering is the price savings. New dock plates can cost between $300 and $800, while a used one from ASI can cost as little as $175. New dock boards start at around $1,000, while our used dock boards are sold at $595. This is almost a 50% price savings, and we can offer quantity discounts if the purchaser buys in bulk. If there is only a difference in price and not quality, why buy new if you can purchase used?


Helpful Tips to Consider When Buying a Used Forklift


Forklifts are a vital piece of equipment used for the movement of inventory in manufacturing and warehouse settings. Used forklifts are available with dozens of options and accessories that are required to perform various material handling functions. This guide will help you determine what style is right for your specific application. The main aspects to consider are:


  • the maximum size and weight of the heaviest load and average load
  • the height the product needs to be lifted
  • whether it’s for outside or inside use
  • the aisle dimensions
  • whether it’s electric or propane/gas/diesel
  • how many hours of use per day


Maximum Weight Required


Used forklifts are categorized based off of several factors, with weight capacity being one of the most important. Small capacity three wheel forklifts can hold up to 1,500 lbs., while heavy duty four wheelers can hold up to 30,000 lbs. It is recommended that you choose a forklift capacity that exceeds your maximum load weight. This will ensure you are never stuck in a situation where the load is compromising the lift.


Lift Height & Aisle Width Required


Another factor to consider when deciding on a used forklift is how high the product needs to be lifted. The lift height needs to be the height of the top of the deck you are looking to store the pallet on plus an additional 6 inches. The extra 6 inches is to ensure you can lift product off of the shelving or racking.


The width between each of your aisles must also be considered when choosing a used forklift. A standard used forklift will require a width of approximately 12 feet or more. For aisles that are narrower, a narrow aisle forklift is required, which can maneuver through widths of only 8 feet. There are also very narrow aisle lifts for aisles that are as little as 6 feet.


Electric or Internal Combustion

The following table will outline the pros and cons of electric vs. internal combustion powered forklifts.



Cost Higher operating costs Lower operating costs
Indoor/Outdoor Both/Outdoor/Outdoor Indoor
Fuel Replacement 5-10 minutes 8 hours
Maximum capacity < 35,000 lbs. < 15,000 lbs.


Of the internal combustion types of forklifts, only propane can be used inside because it emits very little emissions. It is still recommended that propane lifts are used in well ventilated areas because they emit small amounts of fumes. Gas and Diesel powered forklifts cannot be used indoors with low ceilings because they produce more emissions.


Although electric forklifts are less expensive to operate than internal combustion, batteries can be very expensive to replace. If purchasing a used electric forklift, make sure to get the hours of usage on the forklift to determine approximately how much life the battery has left.


When an internal combustion powered forklift runs out of fuel, it typically takes 5-10 minutes to refuel, whereas electric can take up to 8 hours.


Why buy a used forklift over a new one?


Used forklifts are typically about half the cost of buying a new one, so there are certain factors you should keep in mind when making this consideration. Ask the buyer how many hours the forklift has been used, which is a more important factor than the model year. You also want to look over the maintenance records to see if it has been serviced on a regular schedule, and if any major parts were replaced.


ASI does something uncommon for its customers. We provide a 30 day ASI guarantee on all used forklifts to ensure the customer’s satisfaction. If something is not operating correctly on the used forklift in the first 30 days, it can be sent back for a full refund (less a trial fee). All of our used forklifts can also be looked at on our website or viewed in person at our facility in East Providence, RI.

How to Purchase a Used Pallet Jack


What is a pallet jack and how does it work?


Used pallet jacks are one of the most useful and commonly used warehouse tools. Pallet jacks transfer thousands of pounds of inventory with ease, and can be used to unload trailers as an alternative to forklifts.


pallet jack manual

Pallet jacks are a tool for lifting and transporting pallets that can be either hydraulic (manual), or powered. Manual and hand powered pallet jacks have forks that are separated from the wheels, allowing them to move upwards while the wheels stay firmly planted on the ground. The forks are hydraulically lifted enough for the pallet load to be raised just off of the floor.


pallet jack electricPowered or electric pallet jacks are motorized, allowing them to lift moderate sized loads. This style will allow you to move the used pallet jack with a throttle-control for forward and backward motion, and a handle for steering. Some models of electric jacks contain a platform for the user to stand on while operating.



What is your required width, length, and weight requirements?

forklift openings

To determine the width required for the forks of your used pallet jack, measure the width of the forklift openings on the pallet. The forks on the pallet jack should have one inch of space on either side when inserted into the openings of the pallet. So subtract two inches from the width of the pallet openings when selecting your used pallet jack.


The length of the forks should typically be the length of the stringers, which are the parallel pieces of timber on a pallet. If you have different sized pallets, it is recommended to get pallet jacks that are fitted to the largest length you have.


Electric or Hydraulic?


Both electric and hydraulic used pallet jacks can hold a considerable amount of weight, but the standard hydraulic lift capacity is 5,500 pounds, with some models that can hold more. Electric pallet jacks usually range from a 3,000 lb. capacity to 6,000 lb. capacity. When purchasing a used or new pallet jack, be sure to check the weight restrictions specific to that model, as they can vary widely.


Hydraulic pallet jacks require you to manually transport the load once it is raised off of the ground, but they also require little to no maintenance and no external power source. Electric pallet jacks are easier to maneuver, but also require charging and some upkeep when used over an extended period. Both are extremely useful, so it is determining which is more appropriate for your application.


Pros and Cons of Buying New vs. Used


The main advantage to purchasing a used pallet jack over new is it costs less. A new electric pallet jack can cost several thousand dollars over the cost of used. Lead time is a bigger factor when purchasing new, because typically lead time for buying used equipment is much less (depending on the company and product). On the other hand, buying used can be risky if you aren’t dealing with trustworthy vendors. If the hours of usage aren’t accurately recorded on a used electric pallet jack, the battery will need to be replaced sooner than expected. This can cost as much as the pallet jack in some cases.


How to Purchase a Reliable used Pallet Jack


There are certain things that you must look out for when trying to find a trustworthy and reliable reseller of used pallet jacks. Ask the vendor for pictures of the specific used pallet jack that you are considering buying, and ask for up-to-date usage logs. The picture will be able to tell you the current condition and how or where it was being stored. You should also look for some sort of guarantee that allows you to return the product if it isn’t working properly. For example, here at ASI we provide a 30 day ASI guarantee on our used electric pallet jacks. This allows the customer to inspect and test the used pallet jack to ensure it is working properly.


You also want to make sure you have good customer service supporting the purchasing process to ensure you get exactly what you need. At ASI our sales team will work with you to determine the specific used pallet jack that is right for your material handling needs. They will answer any questions you might have, and figure out what you are using it for and your capacity requirements. They will then choose the specific used pallet jack that is right for the end user and explain why it was chosen.