Justifying tailor-made trucks
12 December 2012
While specialist trucks can greatly enhance operations, Hubtex sales and marketing manager Jim Hammond argues care should be taken to ensure it is the right option. A 20 tonne steel section 10 metres long can easily b
A 20 tonne steel section 10 metres long can easily be picked up by a large counterbalance truck but it requires a lot of space and questions over it's safe operation could be asked. This has to be balanced against the extra cost of designing and producing a tailor-made handling solution.
A company with a handling issue of such size will find the best solution is talking to a manufacturer used to providing a solution to similar problems. Time is also very important. It can take many weeks to create a solution in concept and a sensible guide to cost is important at the earliest stage for both customer and supplier as much time can be wasted otherwise in development if the cost is never going to be justified.
Take a dedicated picking platform, for example. The cost of such a truck is known through similar applications and balancing this with the expected customer benefits at stage one determines whether the concept will be cost effective.
If the project goes forward from here, Stage Two consists of detailed investigation. An example of the importance of accuracy here is simple. If a fork truck dealer provides a customer with say a 2.5 tonne counterbalance truck with a 4500mm duplex mast and a low door height has been missed, the truck can be changed very quickly, even if at someone's cost. However, if a hybrid truck has been specified wrongly, the truck may need to be scrapped and the cost to whoever may be far more than the truck cost to produce. An example of a successful specialist truck is the Container Destuffer. It unloads a full trailer from the rear lifting 12,500kgs at 4,000mm load centre.
In summary, only through intelligent planning and research is there a good chance of a solution being found for anything awkward to handle. However, with expert guidance improvements in the way a product is currently being handled is possible - enabling better safety and greater efficiency.