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Forklifts worked hard

14 March 2014

Timber firm Cranwood Industries has added a fourth Combilift 4-way forklift to its fleet, having acquired its first - which is still going strong - in 2002.

Cranwood’s sawmill at Warrenpoint in County Down has recently been upgraded to a purpose built 3 acre factory to meet consumer demand for its highly specialised custom moulded hardwood and softwood products. Due to the wide variety and varying dimensions of stock, versatile materials handling is crucial for the offloading, transport and despatch of the 2,500 cu m of timber and sheet materials that are housed in the mill.

The current total of three 4 tonne capacity C4000 models and one 4-way sideloader, all diesel powered, have replaced 2-directional sideloaders. Their multidirectional capability has been of considerable benefit as operations manager Paul Smyth explains: "the manoeuvrability of the trucks was a real attraction – it allows them to nip in and out of aisles and around obstacles making procedures quicker all round.”

The C4000s are used mainly for loading, offloading and in the despatch area where they handle lengths of up to around 6m. They service a small section of racking as well as a storage area where bales are block stacked four high and two wide. They can access the spaces between bales to pick wherever and whatever is needed, which was impossible with the previous trucks given their limited manoeuvrability. The higher 5t lift capacity of the SL model is ideal for handling wider and bulkier packs of hardwood and sheet materials.

"We work our forklifts hard here,” says Paul. "They are on the go constantly from 7am to 5.30pm, and it is testament to the quality of the machines that our first Combilift, with over 11 years of service, is still as good as the newer ones when it comes to performance and reliability.”