Trucks on the right track
12 December 2012
Despite dust, high temperatures and heavy loads,new trucks bring comfort to a demanding foundry application Balfour Beatty Rail has swapped its century-old foundry for new facilities at South Queensferry in Scotland. Th
Balfour Beatty Rail has swapped its century-old foundry for new facilities at South Queensferry in Scotland. The modern greenfield site houses a complex involved in the manufacture of railway crossing points.With the move looming, managers were keen to review and modernise every aspect of operations - including materials handling.
Looking for expert guidance, the company turned to its longterm supplier, Douglas Gillespie Plant, a Mitsubishi forklift trucks authorised dealer, which has worked with Balfour Beatty since 1989.
"Balfour Beatty relies heavily upon its trucks - and its drivers. So the customer's top priorities were reliability and ergonomic features," says Douglas Gillespie Plant's sales manager, Ronnie Judge. "By working with the customer, we were able to put together a package of Mitsubishi trucks to meet the needs of the business, the site's operations and the drivers." The new fleet consists of three Mitsubishi 2 tonne diesel FD20Ns, a 4 tonne diesel FD40K and a 5 tonne diesel FD50K.
With low noise levels and emissions, the trucks are ideal for working both indoors and out. To keep drivers comfortable - whatever the weather - each IC engine truck has been fitted with a weatherproof cabin.
Car comfort delivered "The trucks are packed with ergonomic features," says Judge.
"The small 2 tonne diesels deliver car-comfort - complete with an automotive-style pedal layout. The fully floating powertrain has been designed for reduced driver stress: keeping vibration and noise levels exceptionally low." The three FD20N trucks work in stores, the pattern shop and the maintenance department. To assist the operator while working on pallet movements in the racking, a sideshift attachment was fitted to the stores' truck.
The two largest trucks support activities in the foundry areas.
The 4 tonne truck is based in the moulding section, while the five-tonne transports castings weighing up to 2 tonnes within the after cast department.
"Working in a foundry can soon take its toll on a truck," Judge emphasises. "Combining high temperatures and dust with heavy loads makes maintenance a real issue. Thankfully the innovative design and high quality of engineering in these Mitsubishi trucks ensures a long life, utter reliability and low handling costs." Trucks are fitted with an enhanced anti-clogging cooling system to ensure optimal engine temperature for a long life and low maintenance costs. High air intakes, incorporated into the overhead guard, also contribute to avoiding unnecessary downtime.
Alasdair McDonald from Balfour Beatty is delighted with the new fleet: "The trucks have performed very well - especially when compared to our previous trucks. I have been particularly impressed with the increased reliability and minimal downtime we've seen since swapping over.What's more, our drivers are very happy with the new trucks. It's definitely made a difference to their working environment." On behalf of Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks UK, regional manager Martyn Davies adds: "Douglas Gillespie Plant has built an excellent reputation for maintaining high customer standards and developing close working relationships. Like all of the dealers in our authorised dealer network, the team there offers customers the best of both worlds: the famously reliable Mitsubishi range backed by exceptional product support."