Edward Howell Galvanizers Ltd is part of the Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, the UK’s largest hot dip galvanizing organisation. Based in Wednesfield in the West Midlands this family owned business is one of the longest established companies of its kind in the region with a history going back to the mid 1800’s. On a more current note Edward Howell was the first of the Wedge Group to invest in a Combilift 4-way forklift to cope with the requirements of handling increasingly larger loads.
With a reputation for quality and service that has seen its customer base extend far beyond its local area, the company supplies galvanized products to the construction, utility, telecoms, road, rail and engineering sectors to name but a few. The move towards the need to galvanize ever longer lengths has had a knock on effect on various aspects of the business as Director Malcolm Wright explains. “We can offer a more cost effective service by increasing the size of the pre treatment tanks and galvanizing kettles, which are now 10.25m long compared to the old 7m kettles. This in turn means that our finished materials are longer than ever and the counterbalance forklifts we were using to transport them to the storage yard were not really up to the job.”
Alternative methods such as overhead cranes were discounted due to the need for structural alterations and the disruption that this would have caused. Research by Malcolm and Operations Manager Kevin Addiss identified the Combilift range as a possible solution due to its hallmark of 4-way ability which offers very flexible manoeuvrability. After a week’s trial period organised by Combilift’s Tommy Cadden it quickly became clear that this was indeed the speedy and flexible solution.
The C5000XL diesel model from Combilift’s wide range was considered to be the best for the task in hand. With a 5t capacity at 600mm load centre it is more than well equipped to cope with the heaviest loads handled at Edward Howell’s site. It features a large cab, higher ground clearance and was also supplied with hydraulic fork positioners which make for easy handling of varied load sizes. Combilift also supplied a customised tapered platform which prevents round bars or similar products from rolling for more secure transportation.
“Efficient materials handling which also conforms to the highest levels of health and safety is a key part of our operations, and this is now what we have in place with the Combilift,” says Malcolm. “Inch by inch manoeuvring of long and heavy loads through a relatively narrow side door with counterbalance trucks is now a thing of the past due to the truck’s 90° turning ability. Resting the loads on the Combilift’s platform is much more secure and the speed with which we can transport goods from the galvanizing bays to the storage yard enables us to keep up with the very considerable volume of products we process, handle and deliver on a daily basis.”
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