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Electric becoming the default option

02 August 2021

RIDGEONS FOREST Products, part of the Huws Gray, has added three new electric Baumann sideloaders to its fleet, as the push to electrification continues to gather pace.

Two 120v volt EGX 70s and a compact ELX 50, supplied by Eastern Forklifts, are now in full time operation at the purpose-built 12 acre site at Herringswell, Suffolk.

The AC powered EGX machines offer incredible battery longevity and higher travel and lifting speed performance. The battery is now fitted in one single box, positioned over the deck, for fast and easy replacement. 

Baumann UK’s Jason Reynolds believes the long shift life, added comfort, zero emissions and lower lifetime costs is making electric the default option, particularly in the timber sector.

“Feedback from the operators is very good, they also see the build quality and benefit of the self-levelling deck, where loads are secure on slopes and inclines. We are supporting Eastern, one of the big dealers in the UK for Baumann products. They have worked with Ridgeons for many years and they know the team here well.” 

The range is also supplied with the patented Variable Reach System (VRS) outreach system for more efficient control. VRS delivers high precision and productivity via the award-winning, low­ maintenance Archimedes outreach method.

Baumann UK’s Jason Reynolds believes the long shift life, added comfort, zero emissions and lower lifetime costs is making electric the default option, particularly in the timber sector.

An electric Baumann ELX model was first added to the operation at RFP’s Galaxy distribution centre near Lakenheath. The ELX is a high performing, high specification machine that has the added benefit of being able to work indoors and out, with no emissions.

“Battery technology is improving all the time,” says Jason, “and the decision for operators is usually a balance between battery duration and performance. When these trucks leave the Baumann factory, they are set for what we consider to be a ‘happy medium’ but increasingly we are finding customers have battery life to spare at the end of a shift. Some to ask for the settings to be tweaked to allow even great performance.”

Continual investment has kept Ridgeons at the very forefront of the industry. Handling timber effectively across fast-moving sites helps drive efficiencies and produces a higher quality service, says Forest Products operations manager, Eddie Hart:

“With a dedicated Forest Products team, working in partnership with selected suppliers, we are able to maintain a very high standard of quality and consistency.”

It was that commitment to quality that attracted independent builders’ merchants, Huws Gray, to acquire Ridgeons in 2018.  The acquisition significantly increases Huws Gray’s store base and broadens its national presence, making the company, it says, the UK’s largest independent builders’ merchants.

Adds Eddie, “We take our responsibilities to sustainability and the environment very seriously, whether its purchasing equipment or our raw materials. We’ve seen significant investment over the years and we continue to look at ways to improve. We rely on our equipment to keep us fully operational, and that’s why we look for good support and the right kit for the job.”

Eastern’s managing director, Paul Brierley, said: “We are very proud of our work with Ridgeons and of our partnerships with Baumann. The EGX trucks are excellent and not many would have thought a 5 or 7 tonnes capacity electric sideloader would work a 10 hour shift. It shows what a brilliant machine the new Baumann is.”

For more information, visit www.baumann-sideloaders.co.uk