The history of AJN Steelstock goes back over 60 years when it originally served primarily the agricultural market in East Anglia. Following decades of growth the company now offers a comprehensive range of facilities for general and structural steel sections. It operates from two large bases, the newest of which is in Henstridge, Somerset, which was opened in the autumn of 2015.


The 17 acre site will play a major role in the company’s expansion plans to increase sales capacity up to 150,000 tonnes per year and will hold in excess of 20,000 tonnes of stock at any one time. The offloading, handling and storage of the wide variety of universal beams and columns, flat bars and angles that AJN offers is a therefore a key factor for operational efficiency.

AJN was an early convert to the benefits of Combilift’s multidirectional forklifts at its Kentford site. Following the acquisition of its first model in 2001 it now has a total fleet of 35; a mix of 7t and 4t capacity trucks moving 700t of steel a day, making it the largest single site user of Combilifts in the UK if not in Europe.

When planning the Henstridge site, Joint MD Alan Boyden saw no reason to look elsewhere for forklifts and ordered a further 21 Combilifts which currently move 300t of product a day. Once the facility is at full capacity this is expected to rise to a minimum of 1000t a day.

“We originally changed from counterbalance trucks to Combilifts to ensure safe and space saving manoevering of our long products – moving 18m beams with a counterbalance truck is not ideal from many points of view – and we have been very happy with the versatility that the 4-way capability of the trucks offers us,” said Alan. “Although space constraints are less of an issue at the new site, the Combilifts make a valuable contribution to our aim to establish and maintain the highest standards of health and safety performance within our industry.”

The fleet comprises three 7t capacity Combilifts and 18 C5000XL models, all LPG powered. The 7t trucks are mainly used for offloading 4t or 5t bundles of incoming material from HGVs and the C5000XLs, with a roomy cab and generous ground clearance, are universally deployed for picking, taking materials to and from the shot blast facility, positioning it at sawing machines and drilling lines as well as putting loads into racking in the two 160,000 sq. ft. warehouses. “The trucks are constantly on the go across the large site and cope excellently with anything we ask of them,” adds Alan.

Tel: 00353 47 80500