Unloading and positioning your brewery equipment

If you’ve ever been on site when your truck full of brewery equipment arrives – you’ll know there is a real buzz about the place.

Everyone stands waiting with anticipation – hugely excited, a bit impatient – and nervous, all at the same time.

It’s a momentous day – kind of like Christmas morning. But on a supersize scale.

We know our customers are often anxious about this day. It’s the grand reveal, the crowning moment after months of hard work. It’s a big deal and it’s exciting – but if it’s not done properly – at best, time is wasted. At worst, people are hurt.

So it’s really important to take your time and get it right.

As much as we would love it – our Bespoke Brewing Solutions team are not able to be present at all the installs – especially now, with restrictions in place.. So we have put together a comprehensive checklist to give to our clients.

Because we go the extra mile to make sure they are prepared on the day.

So we thought we would share it with the world – and our friends at Brew News! – so that everybody can experience the Bespoke difference!

Unloading Checklist

The moment the equipment arrives on the truck – is one of our favourite parts of the building process. Seeing their expression when it pulls up is priceless..

It’s a mixture of ‘oh wow, this just got real’ and ‘what have I done’ and ‘all my dreams are coming true.’

Unloading day is obviously really exciting, but it can also be really tricky. There’s a lot of logistics involved, especially if you’ve taken on the challenge to do it all yourself.

If you can expense it, we recommend hiring a rigging team. They can come in and unload for you – and they know what they are doing. They will also generally be liable should any equipment get damaged in the process.

But it’s important you’re fully across what needs to happen, once the equipment is off the truck.

The first step in this process begins with one of our favourite things – a checklist! We put together a list of everything you need to unpack, relocate and install equipment.

  • 2 x fork trucks with fork extensions
  • 2 x pallet jacks
  • 2 x D-shackles
  • 2 x lifting straps rated at at least 3000kg or more
  • 10 x 2 foot wood blocks for blocking up the tanks if needed
  • 1 or 2 x electric drills with HEX and screw set
  • 1 x crowbar
  • 1 x hammer
  • 2 x foam pieces

(Note: For standing the tanks you can use a crane truck or switch out one of the fork trucks with a telescopic fork truck.)

Teamwork makes the dream work

So you’ve got your checklist in hand, as well as the all important brewery design and layout document.

Our first piece of advice – and it’s a big one – is take your time.

We know you want to get it done and there’s often constraints around equipment rental – but this is not the time to cut corners or rush through due process.

There are definitely ways to be as efficient as possible – like making sure you have all the right tools ready to go and easily accessible.

But when it comes to unloading, you should take the time to think through each action and make sure everyone is aware of what needs to happen.

Teamwork and communication is absolutely critical. Failure to do so could lead to an injury.

Unloading brewery equipment from the truck

One of the biggest challenges of the day is getting the huge pieces of brewery equipment from a rather large truck.

You’ve got a few options here. One is to use two fork trucks to slowly pull the equipment out – and lower down.

Here you will need drivers who have a game plan and understand each person’s role. As the first person is pulling the item out, the other will need to support the back half of it, so that it doesn’t slip.

You could also use a side loader. This fancy machine will lift up the entire container off the truck and lower the whole thing onto the ground.

Once the tanks are stood up into their proper position, you can use a standard pallet jack to move them around via the horizontal leg supports.

Installing your equipment

Once your equipment is off the truck and standing to attention, you want to unload the equipment in a specific order, to avoid getting stuck.

It’s really important to assess the size of everything and work out the best way to move it around. Fork trucks are great – but you may need fork extensions for the wider tanks, like the MLT.

This is where your brewhouse design becomes your guide. You’ll need to think about which pieces of equipment will be at the furthest end of the brewery. This way you can move it towards the back with a clear path – and backfill from there.

If your utilities have been installed beforehand – this is wonderful. (We understand this isn’t always possible.) Either way, it’s important to make sure everything matches the layout perfectly..

There are a lot of connections between the brewhouse vessels, so they need to be placed correctly.

The Bespoke difference

We cannot stress it enough – take your time with your unloading.

You’ve paid a lot of money for this equipment, it’s very precious! You don’t want to damage it – and you definitely don’t want anyone to get hurt.

But of course, there is also a need to get it done in an efficient manner!

So find that balance.

There’s no such thing as ‘over communicating’. Double check to ensure everyone is on the same page and check in with your team, in case anyone has questions.

If you’d like more advice about how to ensure a smooth unloading/installation of your brewery equipment, please get in touch with the Bespoke Brewing Solutions team.

We would be happy to help!

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