The West Country’s leading independent food service supplier, M. J. Baker Foodservice, has recently taken delivery of its second Aisle- Master articulated forklift with a cold store specification to keep pace with its busy schedule of deliveries of ambient, chilled, frozen and confectionery products.

The company, established in 1999, supplies 3,500 product lines to outlets, schools and local authorities from Penzance to Gloucestershire from its base in Newton Abbot, where the trucks are on the go for a good 16 hours a day, putting pallets into racking and transferring them between the cold and ambient storage facilities ready for loading.

A major factor for the choice of the Aisle- Masters was reliability as well as their ability to operate in very narrow aisles of 1800mm pallet to pallet. Operations Manager Chris Bowden:

“We got our first Aisle-Master three years ago after experiencing considerable problems with another articulated brand: constant downtime with this machine was impacting negatively on our customer service. We needed a back-up truck that could work in our pre-existing aisle widths and the racking height of 4.5m. On the advice from Greg Vooght from Westexe, our materials handling provider, we tried a demo of the Aisle-Master, which has since proved to be as dependable as Greg assured us it would be. It made sense to choose the same brand when we added to our warehouse equipment.”

Both trucks are 2t capacity 20SE models with powerful 930 Ah batteries which allows for lengthy operation in the relatively unforgiving temperature of -25ºC. A high frequency charge overnight keeps the two Aisle-Masters running for the whole of the operational shift to ensure constant availability.

Chris is very happy with the outcome: “We appreciate the efficiency of the Aisle-Masters to keep our fast moving operations running smoothly, especially after the issues with our old truck. The drivers like them and find them easy to operate and the change in temperature from the freezer to the ambient area has no negative effects whatsoever on their performance. As a locally based provider, we can also count on Westexe for sound advice and service whenever we need it.”