Two Combilift 4-way forklifts are making light work of Asset International’s long loads at its plant in Newport, South Wales. The company is the leading manufacturer of high density polyethylene WEHOLITE pipes in the UK and Ireland, which are used across wide ranging applications such as storm water storage, sewage treatment, landfill and highway drainage.
Asset International supplies stock sizes of 6, 12 and 14m as well as customised products, and as it also manufactures the world’s largest plastic pipe with an internal diameter of 3.5m, it was facing a number of challenges when it came to manoeuvring finished product around the extensive site. In a bid to make handling procedures safer and more streamlined, Production Manager Graham Bennett called in the experts from South Wales Industrial Equipment (SWIE).
“We were using a counterbalance forklift to move pipes from the production facility to outside storage in the yard,“ says Graham. “As space is tight in this area the limited manoeuvrability of this truck made it complicated and time consuming for drivers to get loads out of the building. We also realised that we needed a pretty special machine to cope with our largest loads which weigh around 9 tonnes and can be up to 25m long. SWIE did a thorough site survey and their recommendation of the 4-way Combilift trucks has turned out to be the ideal solution.”
The differing requirements of taking bundles of standard sized pipes from the extrusion lines and loading the largest products onto HGV’s for customer delivery have been addressed by two diesel powered Combilift models, both of which were specified by SWIE after analysis of Asset International’s individual needs. The dimensions of the C5,000XL model allow it to move easily around the manufacturing area and according to Production Supervisor Ben Hillman this has considerably improved operations: ”The beauty of this truck is its ability to work as a front loader as well as to travel sideways. The drivers are also very impressed with its carousel facility and they make good use of this for optimum manoeuvrability.”
The second truck, one of Combilift’s largest products, is a C14,000 14 tonne capacity model which is capable of lifting loads of 9000 kg at 1900mm load centres. With 2440mm long forks, wedges fitted at the end of the decks and a hydraulic fork spreader this is the hefty solution for the stable and safe handling of Asset Internationals’ extreme loads. The high ground clearance of both Combilifts make them ideally suited for the uneven surfaces around the premises, and the robust build copes easily with 24/7 operation in a tough environment.
“Since we took delivery of the Combilifts earlier this year, we have seen benefits all round,” says Graham Bennett. “The 4-way capability, excellent driver visibility from the cab and fewer truck movements than before have improved safety. With a capacity of 1,000 tonnes of product to be shifted every month, the increased speed at which we can now operate is a boost not only for us but also for our customers.”
Combilift 4-way forklifts are all designed and built in Monaghan, Ireland, where the company also has its HQ and R&D facility. The current Combilift range now encompasses at least fifteen base models with capacities ranging from 2.5 – 25 tonnes, with LPG, diesel or AC electric power available. Combilift has won numerous awards for its products since the company was established in 1998, and there are now around 14,000 units in operation around the world.
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