“It’s rare that doing something the safer way ends up being the more profitable way too!” Mike Nesbitt, Equipment Manager at Schulte Building Systems.

Schulte Building Systems (SBS) is a privately-owned manufacturer and distributor of pre-engineered metal buildings, steel framing systems, building components and accessories. It operates from three sites in Alabama and Texas and distributes its long, large and bespoke items across the United States.

Employee safety is a priority for SBS, and the company was particularly keen to address the issue of building loads onto flatbeds. This procedure traditionally requires personnel to be positioned 13ft above ground on the flatbed whilst directing large steel material above and around them, and SBS wanted to eradicate any risks associated with this.

Combilift C-Series and Combi-CB models had already exceeded expectations regarding safer and faster manouevering throughout the plant, and SBS was open to the local Combilift dealer’s recommendation of the Combi-SC. With this innovative machine, trailer loads can now be built at ground level using other Combilift equipment and once completed, the Straddle Carrier drives over the top of the load, picks it up in one lift and places it directly on the truck bed ready to be secured for transportation.

Equipment Manager Mike Nesbitt: “The time spent building loads and loading trailers has been reduced by more than 50 percent, which is a huge benefit but it’s not the only one.

What began as a way to improve safety by getting guys off a truck and onto the ground has become a great money-saving and money-making situation. We’ve paid for our purchase by saving on labour and time. Before, our employees were working 80 hours per week. Now it’s down to 50 hours per week or less. We have been so impressed with the Combi-SC that we have recently taken ownership of our third one, and we have more Combi- CBs on the way too.”

The Combi-SC was originally designed to handle containers but was quickly recognised in other sectors as an adaptable, safe and efficient mode for moving long and bulky loads with speed and precision. Safety is of paramount importance for Combilift when designing its handling solutions and the Combi-SC is no exception. Its optimum centre of gravity, broad wheelbase and exceptional 3-wheel manouevrability ensure maximum load stability. The centrally located, ground accessible cab offers 360° visibility, the user interface is intuitive and all functions can be carried out from within the cab reducing the need for operatives to work at height.

“It’s rare that doing something the safer way ends up being the more profitable way too, but our Combi-SCs have not only improved safety in the shop floors and yards but have reduced labour costs and boosted profits,” said Nesbitt.