In spite of unprecedented travel disruption due to volcanic ash clouds over Europe, editors and guests from 30 countries were present at Combilift’s manufacturing facility and HQ in Monaghan on April 15th for the launch of two new products which have been added to the company’s now extensive range of 4-way handling solutions.
Combilift has responded to feedback from customers needing to handle ever larger loads by steadily increasing the size and lift capacity of its range since its “core” C4,000 model was first developed. It has now broken another size barrier with the launch of its 25t capacity C25,000 model, the largest ever Combilift 4-way forklift built to date. With dimensions of around 5 x 5m, three double sets of wheels, an unladen weight of 32t and a 170 HP John Deere engine this is a Combilift packed full of superlatives.
The C25,000 was developed for the requirements of Gloucestershire based BladeRoom, which supplies energy saving factory built modular data centres to the IT sector. The company considered other handling options for manoeuvring the finished modules but ruled out the alternatives. Overhead cranes would have been very costly to install and inflexible in use, and the sheer dimensions of a counterbalance truck capable of lifting the 18t units at extended load centres would have taken up too much space in the production area. BladeRoom’s CEO Paul Rogers: “The ideal solution from our point of view was a machine that could move our 14m x 4.2m, 18t modules in the same way as other operations move pallets – just on a much larger scale of course. Thanks to the Combilift’s flexibility to go anywhere and do anything this is exactly what we have in place.”
The second new product displayed at the launch event was the Combilift Straddle Carrier, designed as a very cost effective container handling solution for haulage, distribution and shipping operations even with relatively low throughput levels. MD Martin McVicar explains the rationale behind the new product: “We saw a gap in the container handling market for a cost effective, very light but nevertheless extremely stable alternative to container handling forklifts, reach stackers or mobile cranes. This latest addition to our range offers customers complete independence when it comes to moving products around a site. Savings made by not having to hire other equipment make for a very quick return on the initial capital investment.”
Aggreko plc, the world leader in the supply of temporary power and temperature control solutions is the first company to take delivery of the Straddle Carrier, which will work at the company’s site in Dumbarton where its generator and container units are manufactured. Aggreko supplies a wide range of industry sectors as well as high profile events such as the Olympic Games.
Aggreko’s Project Coordinator Derek Neilson: “We wanted to cut the very high costs of crane and trailer hire, but conventional reach stackers with sufficient load capacity for our requirements have unladen weights of around 70t. The loading on each wheel would result in considerable extra costs for reinforcing the ground surface. As the Combilift Straddle Carrier is around four times lighter than this, the ground pressure is greatly reduced even when it is used to carry two generators to its full capacity of 35t. It is also three times faster than the crane / trailer combination – taking a unit from the production plant and loading it for dispatch takes less than three minutes.”
The standard Combilift Straddle Carrier is a three-wheel patented design model, (Aggreko chose a four wheel design due to its requirement to double stack generators from the ground up) with a 35t capacity and is suitable for all ISO containers. Two wheel hydrostatic drive, synchronised hydraulic steering and super elastic tyres offer extremely stable operation on uneven surfaces and in harsh weather conditions. Diesel and LP Gas power options are available, and overall dimensions can also be customised to handle non-ISO containers.
Combilift reinvests a sizeable amount of yearly turnover (10%) in R&D, enabling it to be at the forefront of innovation in the materials handling sector. With 11,000 Combilifts in operation in more than 50 countries, what started as an operation to provide a niche product is now a recognised global brand. “The introduction of these two new products underlines our engineering and manufacturing expertise and demonstrates our commitment to the ongoing provision of innovative handling solutions for an ever wider range of applications,” says Martin McVicar.
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