Ben O’Hanlon, MD of racking and shelving company Todds Leap was not really intending to buy a Combilift when he was given a model of the Combi- CB, but after playing around with it on his desk he was intrigued. He also realised that it could make a difference to the 15,000ft² storage area at his premises in Co. Tyrone.
And make a difference it certainly has: Since the multidirectional Combi-CB3000 compact counterbalance design truck was delivered, Ben reckons that storage capacity has doubled and the available working area has been increased by 40%. Todds Leap is Northern Ireland’s largest stockist of new and used racking and storage systems including long span shelving, drive-in and cantilever racking and it also offers a refurbishment facility. Busy and growing, the company needed to rationalise storage for the wide range of varied stock it stores and moves around.
“As well as making the most of our space we wanted to improve procedures for offloading long loads from delivery trucks and getting them into the warehouse,” said Ben. “Before we had the Combi-CB we had to juggle with reach trucks and pallet trucks and deploy a number of personnel to safely guide loads of up to 10m long racking through the door. What used to take up to 45 minutes for one load is now done in three or four minutes – with just one driver. As fewer people and fewer forklift movements are involved this is a much safer process all round.”
The Combi-CB’s 3 t capacity enables heavier loads of racking to now be stacked almost to the eaves of the building, contributing to the increased storage density, whereas upper space was previously not exploited as Ben felt it was not safe to lift to 6m with other forklifts. Hydraulic fork positioners also make it easy for the driver to accurately adjust the fork widths when picking various sized loads. The CB’s 4- way capability is a boost when taking bundles to and from the workshop area, where it can place them exactly where they are needed and it easily manoeuvres around workbenches and personnel.
“The Combi-CB works well on all surfaces, which is good for us as we have some tough, muddy areas around the yard,” said Ben, who also runs an awardwinning outdoor activities centre of the same name on adjacent land. “It is so versatile that one of our reach trucks is practically redundant and we have effectively reduced the fleet down from three forklifts to two. We like the Combi-CB so much that we also now offer training courses for operators which results in driver accreditation, so we’d be happy to hear from anyone in the area looking for this service.”