Increasing space availability, improving safety and speeding up the transportation of products onsite can be a challenge for modular construction companies, particularly in light of the extremely oversized and bulky loads that the sector typically deals with.
A new US company has solved this issue by using a Combi-SC Straddle Carrier from the Irish handling specialist Combilift. Idaho-based Autovol Inc. is breaking new ground as the first fully automated volumetric modular factory in the USA, and the most advanced of its kind across the globe.
Merrick Macomber, EA to CEO and Co-Founder of Autovol says: “For decades, our industry has traditionally used a combination of a tractor unit and a custom built lifting chassis to move modules,” said Merrick, “but we decided to take an updated approach to handling procedures. Since we started production a few months ago, the Combi-SC has proved to do everything the manufacturers promised. Out of all of the new equipment we bought for our new factory, it was by far our best investment. It has substantially cut loading times, reduced the risk of product damage and improved the deployment of the labour force.”
Autovol’s Combi-SC is diesel powered with a lift capacity of 45 tonnes, with a 1.8m telescopic facility and .5m side shift. Compared to the tractor/chassis method the time savings are impressive: navigating a modular from the factory to trailer previously involved four to six personnel and took up to two hours. This can now be done in a maximum of 20 minutes and requires just one operative to steer the Combi-SC using the wireless remote-control facility. Various lift points on each side of the fixed frame attachment enable drop chains to be fixed in the most suitable position for each individual load, allowing easy configuration for the different sizes of modules that Autovol produce – which can be up to 30.5m long and almost 5m wide.
“Our Combi-SC has made a significant contribution to enabling our breakthroughs in construction cost, productivity, and quality”, said Merrick.