How to Build Your Own Photo Booth For Cheap


Photo booths are very expensive, bulky, and difficult to transport unless you have a big truck. Furthermore, custom photo booths are hard to come by these days. However, you can save a lot of money by designing it yourself.

Firstly, the material that your booth will be built out of must be chosen. Generally, the best way to design a booth is to build a frame/carcass using aluminum extrusions or t-slotted aluminum profiles. The reason why aluminum profiles are the best choice in this case, is because they are lightweight, easy to transport, and come together and apart like Lego. In other words, you will be able to put it together and take it apart in a matter of minutes.

For the exterior panels, a wide variety of materials can be used. This can be plastic, plexiglass, or even plywood. Everything depends on where this booth will be used and how you want to decorate it.

Several software applications, such as FrameXpert or AutoCAD, will let you design your own 3D aluminum frames and preview them. Then, aluminum frames for photo booths can be bought or ordered through a wide variety of manufacturers and retailers.

The cost for a complete photo booth using Aluminum Frame Designer is under $1000. Generally, the frame costs around $500-600 and all the panels, shipping, and camera equipment add another $300-400 to this cost. Comparatively, a pre-built photobooth usually sets you back over $7000, hardly a viable price unless it will be used every day. And, unlike the pre-built booth, the aluminum-framed custom booth will come apart in a matter of minutes and fit in the trunk of a regular car, making it perfect for one-time events such as weddings, parties, banquets, and also photo booth rental businesses.


Source by Sonya Blade

Strip Club Vs Gentlemen’s Club – What’s The Difference


What’s the difference between a strip club and a gentlemen’s club? If you’re going on a big night out with the boys, this is something you should know. Once you’ve been to a few strip clubs, it’s time to upgrade and head to a gentlemen’s club to see some real women.

First of all, and this is the most important difference, the girls are hotter at a gentlemen’s club. Not only are they hotter, but they’re also classier. If you’ve ever been to Cooter’s Horndog on Interstate 27, you’ll know what I mean. Sometimes it’s the difference between a Playboy model and a truck stop prostitute. The women at these clubs can be not only sexy, but so classy and attractive that you’ll want to come back and see them over and over again. If you’ve got a few beers in you, it might even be love.

Another difference is that the place will be cleaner. If you’ve been to some local strip joints, you know that there are some places you don’t want to sit down. Some places have tables that are so sticky, you wonder how many gallons of beer have been spilled there, and whether the bartender understands the concept of “wiping down.” At a nicer place, it will really be immaculate in there. They’ll also have it nicely decorated so that you feel a sense of class, unlike some strip clubs that feel like you’re in somebody’s creepy basement. They’re usually better lighted too, so you can see the girls better.

A gentlemen’s club will be less likely to be full of drunken idiots. Or at least they’ll be wealthy, well-dressed drunken idiots drunk on expensive booze. While a strip club lets in any old local yokel (and they roll in there in packs), these places are a little bit pickier. You have to at least be decently dressed to go in. The higher price also helps cut down on the riff-raff that gets blown in off the street.

One of the signs of a gentlemen’s club is that they’ve got a valet to park your car. You don’t usually see this at strip clubs, especially the ones located in storefronts. This shows that the place has some class. You’ll also get this idea from the bouncers when you approach the door. They’re less likely to be drooling as they check your ID, and they’ll make you feel like the amount of money you’re paying is worth entering their establishment.

That’s another key difference – the money. If you’re going to a nice place, you should expect to bring some bills. First of all, the cover charge is going to be much higher. This ensures that only the right kind of people get in. Drinks will also cost you a lot more than you expect. You should also know that you’re one dollar bills aren’t going to get the strippers shaking it over to your part of the stage, and you’re not going to get a lap dance for ten dollars.

If you want to really enjoy your strip club outing, a gentlemen’s club is the way to go. But be careful because some regular strip joints advertise themselves as a “gentlemen’s club,” complete with a cheesy neon sign and $10 monkey suit for the bouncer. Ask around and make sure it’s the real deal or you’ll end up wasting your time and money.


Source by Abigail Aaronson

Understanding the Risk of Concrete Dermatitis


One of the most common construction materials is concrete with more than a million workers in various occupations using it regularly. However, not many people are aware that exposure to wet concrete poses some risks. If you use concrete in your work or you supervise any work that makes use of concrete, it is a must to learn about its hazards, one of which is developing concrete dermatitis.

What is concrete or cement dermatitis?

This is a skin condition caused by contact with cement. The combination of the cement’s wetness and chemical abrasion and corrosion can lead to skin irritation. When people working with cement become sensitive to cement’s additives such as chromium salts then they could develop allergic dermatitis. Some of the symptoms of concrete dermatitis are redness, itching, blister formation, swelling, and scaling.

Who Is at Risk?

Cement is a basic ingredient in many building materials such as tile grout and plaster. It is also a binding agent used in making modern mortars and is also added in modern stucco or render to make it more durable. So, aside from construction laborers working with plain concrete, other workers or using cement-containing materials are also at risk of concrete dermatitis including those who do concrete finishes, who use precast concrete, truck drivers of ready-mix concrete, carpenters, cement block and brick cement layers, tile setters, plasterers and terrazzo workers. In addition, over exposure to cement dust is also hazardous because cement dust when mixed with sweat becomes very corrosive. Those at particular risk include cement plant laborers, cement drilling workers and disaster emergency units such as firefighters.

Why is Wet Cement Hazardous?

Portland cement, the most common cement type, consists of calcium oxide which turns into the highly alkaline calcium hydroxide when water is added to cement. On the pH scale, ph14 is the highest alkaline point and calcium hydroxide has a pH of 12-13, making it extremely damaging once it gets onto human skin which has a normal pH of 5.5 and is actually slightly acidic. That acidic layer of skin helps it repair damage and because alkalis counteract acid, prolonged skin exposure to strong alkaline substances such as in wet cement can cause severe skin damage.

First Aid Treatment

If fresh cement comes into contact with skin, rinse the skin with clean, cool water at once. Likewise, if cement gets into the eyes, flush with clean, cool water for about 15 minutes. Seek medical help if irritation does not subside.


Source by Cory Grant

Origins of the Baltimore County Fire Department


One of the more unique fire fighting forces in Maryland is that of Baltimore County. Its combination service consists of several volunteer fire companies working in concert with the all paid Baltimore County Fire Department Maryland’s oldest municipal county fire agency. This revered and unique cooperative force protects a large suburban county surrounding Baltimore City.

In the middle 1800s the county area surrounding Baltimore becomes known as “The Belt” home to various mills and industrial complexes. Through the 1870s, mills and adjacent company villages increasingly fall victim to fire. The closest firefighting resources are the steam-powered fire companies from the by then mostly paid Baltimore City Fire Department. In 1878, the Waverly Fire Department organizes as the first in the county. The Towsontown Fire Company forms soon after, in the county seat known today simply as Towson. Local residents fund both the county paying for the fire houses and apparatus. While better than nothing this is inadequate for protecting the developing industrial areas surrounding Baltimore.

By 1881, city budget tightening brings a request that the county pay an up front fee for fire protection. Negotiations for a lesser amount are fruitless the city to fight fire in the county no more. With only two volunteer fire companies, County Commissioners contract with Charles T. Holloway. A past Chief Engineer and Fire Inspector of the Baltimore City Department, Holloway also began the city’s Insurance Fire Patrol. He also designs and builds chemical fire engines and hook and ladders and recently helped form the Pittsburgh Fire Department. Holloway agrees to help create a county fire department over which he will serve as Chief Engineer for six months.

In July 1881, the Waverly Fire Department disbands directed to turn their station and apparatus over to the new county fire department. On September 1, the Baltimore County Fire Department begins with seven horse-drawn chemical engine companies all but one built by Holloway. These are housed in as many fire stations in “The Belt” each including the Waverly Station with paid firefighters. The more distant Towsontown company remains volunteer with just a hook and ladder. Property of the Towsontown Fire Company transfers in 1883 to the County Department although it remains reliant on volunteers. On January 8, 1884, Chief Engineer Holloway resigns, his six-month tenure having lasted several years.

By the first half of 1888, the County Fire Department has nine stations each with a chemical engine plus four hook and ladders. The county owned Towsontown Station still relies on volunteers with a similar operation developing in Catonsville. On June 1, Baltimore City annexes the northern 2-miles and western 1-mile of “The Belt”. Seven county fire stations are lost adding apparatus, firefighters, horses and equipment to the Baltimore City Fire Department. The county department is left with fire houses in Highlandtown and Canton each with chemical engines plus two hook and ladders one in Canton the other at volunteer operated Towsontown.

In subsequent months the department rebuilds. In 1890, the new Catonsville Station opens under the county department the volunteers at Towson replaced soon after by paid personnel as well. More county stations follow by 1892. In 1894, the county department begins adding steam-powered pumping engines. About the turn of the century, various volunteer companies form often funded in part by the county bringing suggestions by 1901 the paid county department with its 10 stations be abolished. One volunteer group the Sparrows Point Volunteer Fire Department has seven companies in as many fire houses protecting the expanding Maryland Steel Company complex and shipyard in the southeast county.

On January 1, 1919, the city again annexes over 46 square miles from the county this time on all three sides plus a smaller southern portion from Anne Arundel County. This creates the boundaries of Baltimore City and County as known today. Lost are eight county fire houses plus six volunteer companies. As before, the Baltimore County Fire Department is left with meager resources -13 personnel for one engine now staffed with paid personnel at Towson, one engine at Catonsville and a driver assigned to the county-owned engine of the Pikesville volunteers. Nineteen volunteer departments remain however only about 10 have modern apparatus. Lost are 39 paid personnel, eight motorized engines and two hook and ladders. The County Department will not operate as many engines again until 1943 and it will take until 1949 before they have another ladder truck.

In subsequent years, the County Department rebuilds operating at times from barns as well as taking over other recently defunct volunteer companies such as in Essex and Relay. In April 1942, the County Department begins ambulance service from three of its stations. After World War II, growth brings tract housing and industry seeking spacious locations near skilled but less costly labor. The suburban building boom that follows absorbs once rural areas especially near the city line. Various new volunteer companies form as the County Department also expands to meet the growing demand.

In 1954, radio communications begin from a central dispatch facility in the new Towson Station. In 1957, a paid fire department under Bethlehem Steel replaces the volunteers at Sparrows Point consolidating to a single new firehouse. At the close of the 1950s, the County Department has 14 engines, one ladder truck, one tanker and six ambulances from 10 stations. There are 31 volunteer company stations including at least two ambulance companies plus several campus facility, military and industrial departments.

The 1960s bring further expansion of the County Department as the proliferation of volunteer companies wane. By decades end, the County Department has 22 engines, five ladder trucks, one tanker, eight ambulances and several special units from 18 stations. There are 33 volunteer company stations including two ambulance companies plus facility, military and industrial departments all operating as a cooperative force.

In the early 1970s the County Department like the city begins paramedic ambulance service. In subsequent years and decades, the Baltimore County Fire Department expands further adding more stations including paramedic ambulance only facilities. In 1987, the Sparrows Point department goes to the County Department becoming Station 57. The latest county station opened in 2009 a replacement multi-service facility for Parkton Station 60 in the rural northern county.

Baltimore County’s fire rescue service is provided by a unique system that includes an all career County Fire Department with 25 stations operating 30 engines, 9 ladders and 30 paramedic ambulances. This agency works in unison with various volunteer companies also with an impressive fleet of resources including engines, tankers, ladders, rescue trucks and paramedic ambulances. While other counties in Maryland now have municipal county fire departments these typically came after World War II. The Baltimore County Fire Department is the oldest such entity in Maryland and is one of the more unique cooperative municipal paid and volunteer fire and medical service agencies in the nation.


Source by Rusty Gill

Pros and Cons Of Various Types Of Barriers


A head on crash is very severe when compared to other types of highway crashes. It takes just a few seconds for vehicles moving at highway speed to cross the median and collide with the vehicles from the other side of the lane. Median barriers are effective in separating the opposing traffic streams of a road physically. It also helps to stop vehicles moving into the opposite lane accidentally and to avoid pedestrians crossing the road at risky places. In 2006 there were 821 median cross over accidents that resulted in fatalities on U.S National highway system alone.

The factors that influence the selection of a barrier system are the type of the vehicles involved, roadway geometry and the potential severity of any head on crash incident. In most locations a standard barrier capable of redirecting the vehicles to the right area would suffice. However, in locations with complex geometry, adverse environmental conditions, heavy truck traffic and high traffic volumes and speeds, a barrier with high performance is necessary.

There are basically three categories of median barriers. They are detailed below,

Rigid barriers

The most common type of the median barrier in use today is the concrete barriers.


– They are widely used because of their maintenance free characteristics, low life cycle cost and safety performance.

– They are very effective in avoiding vehicle crossover collision on accident prone regions with high traffic volumes and speed.

– They can also be used in areas where the required median widths to install other types of barriers is not available.

– Jersey barrier is a modular concrete barrier that allows the vehicles to collide on its lower slopped face, pivoting it back in its original direction.


– Comparatively the installation cost of rigid barriers is high.

Semi rigid barriers

It is otherwise called as guardrail or guiderail. These rails are made of metals and they are collected in segments supported by posts or blocks.


– Unlike rigid barriers, semi rigid barriers are designed to absorb more energy from the impact and the entire assembly move or deflect during the crash. Hence, lesser damage to the vehicle.

– Installation cost is less.


– They are only suitable in the areas that are not sloppy and have good soil condition.

– The cost of the repair following an impact is high.

Cable barriers

Typically it consists of multiple cables that are connected to each other in a series of posts.


– It is the most versatile and forgiving barrier system in minimizing the median crossover crashes. This absorbs most of the energy of the impact and reduces the forces exerted on the vehicles and its occupants.


– Considerable time and cost must be spent maintaining, endangering motorists and workers during each repair.

The other factors that are considered before deciding the barrier type are road alignment, crash history and the number of lanes.


Source by Robert Lawson

Wholesale Salvage Merchandise: A Definition


Wholesale salvage merchandise is a product category used in the wholesale and closeout business to refer to merchandise that has either been damaged, or has been exposed to a situation in which the potential for damage is high. Salvage is a term that was first used to refer to products that were transported on trains that derailed. For instance, if a train was transporting a container of electronics, and a derailment took place, the insurance company would pay the owner of the load for the damaged electronics. The insurance company would then take possession of the damaged merchandise and dispose of it through wholesale channels. A salvage buyer primarily purchases inventory that could have become distressed due to an accident, fire, or flood. While the salvage buyer can purchase this type of inventory for literally pennies of the original wholesale cost, he must sort the products out and try to repair any damaged merchandise.

The salvage category is appropriate for a retailer that has access to consumers that can tolerate slightly damaged merchandise in exchange for the implicit savings. A salvage reseller should consider purchasing items where the potential for damages is diminished. For example, a television has a much greater change of being damaged if a truck transporting it crashes, than a pair of jeans would. And because it is much easier to sew clothing than it is to repair general merchandise, most experienced salvage buyers will prefer to focus on apparel, and soft goods for that matter. Because of the nature of this wholesale category, it is imperative that buyers inspect the goods in person, so that they can ascertain what percentage of the inventory can be sold as is, and the cost involved in repairing any damaged items. If an inspection is not possible, the buyer would want to obtain a low enough price that will mitigate his risk in making a purchase sight unseen.


Source by Donny Lowy

How to Make Money Fast by Retrieving and Returning Shopping Carts


Are you looking for a way to make money fast? If you have a large utility vehicle, like a pick-up truck, you can retrieve and return shopping carts for a cash reward.

Most every mid to large retail grocery, variety and department store has a stock of shopping carts on hand. They are purchased by the store, of course, so that customers can use them when shopping in their store.

Shopping buggies are expensive. The average cost to the retailer for just one is between 75 and 100 dollars. Large ones like the kind you find at wholesale and club stores can run upwards of 200 dollars or more.

Most retail stores have dozens of them; busy big-box stores may even have hundreds of them. Purchasing enough of them to meet a store’s demand and traffic levels requires a significant expenditure of cash.

It is, therefore, in the best interest of the retailer to protect that investment. Most retailers do their best to make sure that carts remain on store property. However, shopping buggy theft is all too common. The average store loses about $8,000 $10,000 to per year to this problem.

Because they are so expensive to buy, many store owners and retail companies pay cash rewards for the return of their carts which have been stolen (or “borrowed”) and not returned. Cash rewards typically range from 25 to 50 dollars per cart.

Here’s how you can retrieve and return those buggies for cash: contact retailers in your area which have shopping carts. Find out if they pay for returned carts. Many do, but won’t give cash rewards to just anyone. (Store owners don’t want the public to abuse the reward system by stealing carts themselves in order to get the reward.) Usually you have to sign a cash-for-retrieval contract.

You’ll have to provide some forms of identification, usually a driver’s license plus one other item (like a Social Security or credit card). You may have to sign a waiver absolving the store of liability in the event of something unforeseen.

You can make arrangements with any or all of the retailers in your area. The more contracts you have, the more money you can make.

If you’ve lived in your city for any length of time, you’ve probably seen common dump sites for stolen shopping buggies. Visit these areas regularly. Additionally, get in the habit of keeping your eyes open every time you’re out and about town. You’ll probably spot discarded shopping carts regularly. You can pick these up and return them as you come across them, or store them at home until you have several of them.


Source by Scott Lindsay

How Often Should You Replace Air Filters & Oil Filters?


It’s amazing how many guys will faithfully go to the gym three times a week yet let their car or truck go for months (sometimes years!) without replacing the air filter or oil filter. While there aren’t hard and fast rules dictating exactly how often you should swap out your filters because it varies by driving conditions and the number of miles you log, there are some guidelines you should consider. After all, just like a good workout, a shower or a haircut, your vehicle needs regular maintenance to function at its peak.

An engine’s primary defense against internal abrasion, and the resulting wear and tear, is the oil filter. Oil filters, like K&N oil filters, remove solid contaminants like dirt, carbon and metal particles from the oil before they can damage the surfaces of bearings, journals and cylinders within the engine. The fresher the filter, the more effective it is at trapping these contaminants.

In modern engines, oil is routed through the filter before it goes to the crankshaft bearings, cam bearings and valve train-gear heads call it “full-flow” filtration. It’s the most efficient way of removing contaminants, assuring only filtered oil finds its way into the engine. As the filter begins to wear, it develops buildups of dirt and debris that obstruct the flow of oil. To maintain performance and prevent engine damage, the filter should be changed before it reaches this point. Waiting too long can result in engine failure due to loss of lubrication and catastrophic damage to your engine.

Many auto manufacturers will tell you the oil filter only needs to be replaced at every other oil change, but with modern vehicle’s this isn’t sufficient. Today’s oil filters have been downsized to save weight, cost and space. What was once a quart-sized filter has been replaced by a pint-sized filter (a pint being smaller than a quart). Obviously, this reduction in size provides less total filtering capacity. Nevertheless, these smaller oil filters should easily stand up to about 3,000 miles, but they won’t make it past the 6,000-mile mark. Replacing the oil filter every time the oil is changed is probably a good idea to maintain the best possible engine integrity.

Regularly changing your air filter is just as important. When air is restricted, your engine can fail, leading to overheating and even a cracked block. Even worse, when airflow drops, your ride has to use more fuel to make the same amount of power, so your MPGs are going to tank. The life of an air filter depends largely on how much crud it collects. Believe it or not, a slightly dirty air filter actually cleans more efficiently than one that’s brand new. That’s because the debris trapped in the air filter screens out smaller particles. Eventually though, every filter reaches the saturation point, causing a noticeable pressure drop that restricts airflow. Fuel economy, performance and emissions erode and continue to suffer until the dirty filter is replaced.

In general, a quality air filter will last between 20,000 – 30,000 miles on a vehicle that sees mostly freeways and major side streets-city driving in other words. Be prepared to change it more frequently if your driving conditions contain poor air quality (we’re looking at you, L.A.) or take place in a rural setting, with dusty roads or other airborne contaminates. In this environment, air filters, like a K&N air filter or Infiniti G35 air filter, may perform effectively for only a month or two. Perform a visual inspection of your air filter every 10,000 to 12,500 miles. If it still looks OK, pop it back in and check it when you hit 20,000 to 30,000 miles of use.


Source by Andrew Bernhardt

The Planning Step of Building a Warehouse


Here are 20 step by step tips and ideas to help you create the warehouse you need at a price you can justify. From industrial tents which retract, through to portal frame structures with loading docks and conveyors to fully equipped and racked out facilities.  This is the place to start your successful design and build warehouse project. Building a warehouse that works for you requires thought and experience for the best results. There are huge choices in warehouse design and construction with a range of models and equipment, one of which will be right for you. This step by step outline guide will alert you to some of the fundamentals to ensure you manage your warehouse project effectively right from the first step you take.

10 warehouse disasters to avoid

  1. Plan: The Professionals will keep you right? – Wrong, wrong, wrong! The professionals are not here to keep you right, they are here to carry out instructions and to take instructions – your instructions and then follow procedures that they have learned. Rule 1 know what you want or take what you are given.
  2. Read the small Print: Just because it is concrete it does not mean it is load  bearing. Beware of clauses that state that it is up to you to ensure your structures are suitable for the installation. That means if it fails it is your fault. They mean it!
  3. Know the Regulations: You are very unlikely to be able to see your foundations.  If you think you can you are probably looking at a floor. A concrete floor is about 250mm thick, it is the ground bearing pressure that makes the difference. You won’t get this information by guessing but you will be required to account for it.
  4. Ignorance is Expensive: A foundation is up to 300mm below the floor, usually at the base of a major load bearing member like the frame of a building. They are up to 1500mm cubed and weigh over 1000kgs each, for an average warehouse.
  5. Don’t make Assumptions: Don’t presume that because it is a big steel column or quarter of a meter of concrete that it will take anything you want to hang or stand on it, it won’t. So don’t have afterthoughts about suspended gas fired heaters, cranes or mezzanine floors – after thoughts are expensive. Remember people who quote will normally put the lowest price in to get the work, with a specification that matches.  The only thing you can safely assume is if it is not specifically mentioned it is specifically excluded. You should assume architects will have very limited knowledge of technical equipment, they are good with materials and creating attractive space, they don’t spend 10 years qualifying to design a standard portal frame building, but they will make it look a little more pleasing on the eye and design fish ponds in the reception or decide to route assembly conveyors through the administration offices, they are full of creative ideas (BMW)!
  6. Understand the People Limitations: Be sure you know what you are going to put in this building. You may not need an architect at all, a structural engineer will provide the right materials and advice to achieve the creation, a builder will erect it and none of these people are specialists in industrial applications. They are specialists in only their respective work.  You need a materials handling engineer or a specialist in your industry, or both. In other words pick an appropriate project leader.
  7. What you get for your Money: The cheapest steel building will last 10 to 15 years before it needs attention    Even modern cladding won’t last forever, refurbishment is never cheap.  Single skinned buildings are for sheep or goods which don’t mind damp. PVC clad buildings will last 50 years with up to 4 cheap skin changes and still be in good condition – much cheaper than several coats of paint and a completely new outer steel insulated skin. Marquees are for parties or weddings. Industrial quality steel framed independent structures are the lowest cost, highest value asset you can own, you can take them with you and put them up anywhere. Think through what you want to do. Steel buildings can actually devalue your site.  Be careful.
  8. Check things out properly: Don’t use low budget builders or cheap buildings for high profile work that must comply to statutes, you won’t have enough information to get it through building regulations and you might finish up paying for a great deal of unbudgeted and hidden cost. The time to get this information is day 1 before you pay. Never pay a penny for anything you can’t see or own. Exercise caution with progress payments, there are many ways of safely concluding these transactions.
  9. Beware of hidden Costs: Classic unbudgeted and hidden costs that will torpedo your project include: poor ground conditions, not enough water, gas or electricity to service your building, long queues for service provisions, professional fees, local authority fees, landscaping and other local authority orders at the planning stage- e.g. lifts for disabled access, rateable car parking and a whole host of other hidden planning conditions. A basic list of about 30 in the UK, most of which you will never have heard of until they broadside your bank account. If you are in a heritage area you will need specialist advice.  Unless you are a multinational, money no object company, be very wary of heritage tags, you might find your project hijacked by the local archaeologists for the next 5 years or turned into a nature reserve for great crested newts.
  10. Never max out your Budget with no spare Cash: Put a contingency of at least 50% onto your project if you are a novice, 20% if you know what you are doing and 10 to 15% if you hire an agent or professional to help you.  Only a professional as cool as ice puts on 5% and then only if he has been doing the job all his or her life or you can sub out the whole thing to a principal contractor or construction company who will rake in a handsome margin for doing so, but at least you will have someone to sue to get what, after all, is your own money back.

Warehouse planning – To Fee or not to Fee, that is the question

Penalty clauses are doubtful: I can give you a case by case disaster list involving ill fitting equipment, wrong sized buildings, complete project failures and a host of other horrors to scare you and don’t think that penalty clauses will save the day, they won’t and nobody will touch them if they are unreasonable plus there will almost certainly be a  charge to you for them.   Unless you have a datum point, a minimal position, planning out your warehouse is just going to be a slippery slope rather than that  great improvement you want.   How then do you make a positive start to get great value for money and at the same time achieve a memorable project that delivers beyond expectations?  

The principal concept and operating format: My first recommendation is to choose the correct equipment, this means your handling equipment. At this point I would suggest you find a materials handling engineer with a measured amount of grey hair. A mistake at this point will see you buy or build your warehouse the wrong size. Decide what your smallest stock size is going to be and find a suitable recording system to model a business system around. You can now plan out your warehousing equipment and systems including all the access equipment and the picking systems you will need.   If you already have a warehouse or industrial unit this is your chance to improve, upgrade or replace – don’t miss it!  Firstly think about management logistics – quite apart from servicing and turning HGV’s round in your yard, you could just subcontract the whole warehousing operation out or bring in professionals to help you set up.  If you are a growing SME then try some of the big operators, they may lend you people to help you, especially if you are giving them traffic. For smaller operatives the most important thing is a good location, shorter distances mean less costs and more opportunities.  Warehouses are governed by cubic volume. There are several ways to maximise this, too many to explore in this article but here are some basic warehouse planning concepts.  Which of these statements do you agree or disagree with? (Answers at the end of this article)

  1. It is always cheaper to go up rather than out.
  2. Very narrow aisle (VNA) is the most efficient use of space.
  3. Mezzanine floors are best put up by the builder when the warehouse is built..
  4. Second hand mezzanines are good value for money..
  5. Pallet racking can be fitted in any warehouse application.
  6. If I have a heavy duty concrete apron in my yard I can bolt any steel warehouse straight on to it.
  7. I don’t need planning permission for PVC clad tent buildings especially if this warehouse retracts.
  8. I don’t need planning consent if it is only a temporary warehouse structure.
  9. You will always get a better job if you employ an architect to design and build your warehouse.
  10. 6 months is more than enough time to design and build a new warehouse.

Understanding your professional  appointments and what they do: Your unit of space and your unit of productivity, I guarantee, will govern the entire structure of your business – do you know what yours is? Modelling your business is the best way to iron out many of the problems you will encounter. By adopting such a method you will quickly see, step by step, just exactly how your project will fit together from equipping, operating and resourcing your  entire warehousing operation, but how do you turn it into reality? A principal contractor will put everything you need together.  Unless your project is over £5m you would probably be better off with an agent who works for you directly. Architects will project manage as will structural engineers, frequently working together to deliver a project. 

They do undertake such works as their bread and butter tasks but it is not usually so case specific. Warehousing involves systems and equipment that frequently requires specialist knowledge on such a scale that without it from the very beginning your project will have serious information gaps. Even the principal contractors employ these specialists as do the other professionals but for small projects you will pay more for these extra facilities if you assemble your advising team in the wrong way. A bit like going to the wrong doctor, who then decides to operate just because he is a doctor. Just like doctors it is really important to get the correctly skilled professional to handle your case.

Picking  the right Warehouse Equipment – What you need to know

Forklift Trucks: A fork truck on average will handle about 125 pallets a shift – that is one every 3.84 minutes, there are all sorts of ways of modelling this information but if you are achieving anything like this ratio you have a very busy forklift driver.

Racking: Racking can go up to 12m or so, many mills will cut it to any length you want.  However 6m is often the standard height because they have to be painted and the paint ovens are vertical so that height is the governing factor.  Pre-galvanised steel is always a good choice if you are having trouble with high one piece frames and want to avoid splicing costs. 6m is a quick turn round height and with frames this height you can store about 10 pallets in a 2.7m width or 15 euro pallets since they are 800mm wide.

VNA (very narrow aisle): will have aisle widths down to 1,200mm.  At this width your £40,000 to £60,000 truck will be guided, you can have ‘man up’ or ‘man down’ and you need a set down area for picked work and feeder trucks which are all extra operations. if this is the answer you can get very small bin picker systems which work very quickly, in very high density storage systems but these are usually big money items.

Specialist Forklift Trucks: Articulated trucks now play a very big role and work in aisles of 1750mm upwards and need very little manoeuvring space.  They will multi-task and have both electric and IC power units.  There are two market leaders and a third contender who has a very considerable and experienced engineering resource across the materials handling industry.

Money: Some dealers are very good at tailoring finances if there is pressure on cash – never let cash be a problem, remember this is just as much part of business management as your warehouse based business.

Stock control: Once you have picked a good warehouse truck the racking is easy.   However remember the unit of space I talked about earlier, this is when you need it. It defines picking, packing and shipping, not to mention profit. It dictates the nature of the warehousing operation. If your in unit is 6m x 500mm x 500mm and your out unit is 6m x 50mm x 50mm or sub divisions of the 6m cut down into smaller bits, then your storage and picking operation is governed by that.  If you then have 4,000 stock lines, titles, colours, weights etc then you must do this for each variant.

Warehousing and stock processing: Any processing of stock requires thought. Mezzanines are good people space and multi level/tier shelving systems also provide very high density, good organisational facilities. Work stations are not an afterthought and correctly specified and built are capable of putting their own cost back in to your bank every hour of the day.

Remember to plan your lighting properly and think about good identification systems right from the outset. The more you can de-skill, the more efficient you will become, otherwise when Harry the warehouseman is off and is the only person who knows where everything is, you could have trouble.

From new it is not hard to spend £1,000 per square meter by the time you are operational,  half of which will be the shell, the land is extra. You can extend from under £280/sq.m. The shell only (above ground) will be around £180.00 of this.

What sort of warehouse and where to build it:  Avoid cheap buildings on different levels and slopes, they are cheap for a reason. Think about loading docks and pre-shipment preparations, you get much better rates from your contractor if he is in and out quickly. Trailers glued to dispatch bays only cost money. You can turn round HGV’s in  less time than the driver can make himself a cup of tea with the right equipment.

How to create a Warehouse with a strong asset value: I doubt that any of the Yorkshire mill owners ever visualised their mills being divided up and selling for huge sums as luxury properties.  It is usually cheaper to build up rather than out, however over 6m starts to get slow for forklift trucks and building sections get pricey too. It is possible to clad the pallet racking and turn it all into ‘the warehouse’  but unless you have an exact buyer it will be worth scrap value when you have finished with it, and you will lose value on the land due to the cost of reconstruction. Think though the cost of ownership.  It goes without saying that payback times, function and design are critical but not as critical as thinking through  “life after warehouse”. In other words try to keep the build appeal as broad as possible. There are many good ideas and schemes about to help you. The more you can do with the warehouse, the more money it will hand back to you and that makes it less risky. This is also why I always consider limited fee appointments, pardon the pun, but this is my way of thinking outside the box!

  1. It is always cheaper to go up rather than out. Very often it is
  2. Very narrow aisle (VNA) is the most efficient use of space. It is dense but can be slower than other methods
  3. Mezzanine floors are best put up by the builder when the warehouse is build. Never for industrial applications – use specialists
  4. Second hand mezzanines are good value for money. Avoid. In 38 years I have yet to see one fitted properly, I have seen several condemned and one collapsed.
  5. Pallet racking can be fitted in any warehouse application. Providing you have level floors in good condition, which are of correct structure. Pallet rack can impose enormous point loadings. Avoid expansion joints.
  6. If I have a heavy duty concrete apron in my yard I can bolt any steel warehouse straight on to it. Extremely risky
  7. I don’t need planning permission for PVC clad tent buildings especially if this warehouse retracts. You probably do
  8. I don’t need planning consent if it is only a temporary warehouse structure. Yes you do, always check
  9. You will always get a better job if you employ an architect to design and build your warehouse. Not in my experience, but you will get a great job using limited fee appointments. A good agent will arrange this for you,
  10. 6 months is more than enough time to design and build a new warehouse. If you have planning consent and you know exactly what you want. From green field/brown field site 3 years is not leisurely! Two can be tight and one year is very good going indeed with absolutely no problems – Never rush it, it will just empty your bank account


Source by Paul Casebourne

Several Ways to Customize Your Leased Vehicle’s Entertainment System


Do you own a leased car, truck or SUV, but aren’t quite happy with the dealer-installed sound system? Would you like to have a video system in your leased vehicle, but are deterred by the expensive costs of the DVD player and overhead drop-down screens offered by the dealership. In the past, if you were unhappy with the entertainment system in your leased vehicle, you either had to accept the system as it was or pay to have it customized to your preferred taste and then pay once again for the original equipment to be reinstalled before returning your leased vehicle to the dealership. On top of that, if your custom installer did not restore all of the original equipment to make it look as if nothing had been changed, the dealer would tack on yet another fee.

This situation is obviously very reasonable unless you really love a quality automotive entertainment center and you have plenty of money to burn. Luckily, over the past few years, there have been products to hit the market that directly meet the needs of those who own leased vehicles and also enjoy the benefits of a quality sound and video system in their vehicle.

To enhance your sound system, consider an easy-to-install XM Satellite receiver. There are kits available that offer the receiver along with plenty of mounting and placement options. The kits include mounting hardware, a micro antenna, and both a cassette and power adaptor that allow you to play the XM Satellite radio through your vehicle’s original sound system. There are also wireless kits to accommodate vehicles that don’t have a cassette player.

In the video arena, there are new and innovative products that give you more options than the traditional drop-down or in-dash video screens. Now there are video monitor headrests and sun visors designed to replace the headrests or passenger-side sun visor in your vehicle. The manufacturers have even been so creative as to match the fabric, leather or vinyl to what is in your particular vehicle’s model and color. They’ve even gone so far as to match the stitching as well! The monitors easily connect to your vehicle’s sound system. They can also easily be connected to a DVD player or video game system. There are absolutely no holes involved as the wires run easily through the posts of the headrest. When you are ready to return your leased vehicle, you simply pop out the headrest monitors and reattach the original headrests.

These are just two examples of how you can customize the entertainment system in your leased vehicle. There are several other devices that can accommodate the needs of a leased vehicle owner as well. Just because you drive a leased vehicle doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it as if you owned it!


Source by Dwayne Wright