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Expect re-invests in hydrostatics for 24 hour hub

16 December 2015

As a full on, 24hr a day operation, fast and efficient loading and unloading of palletised loads from vehicles is absolutely crucial to the success of business at Expect Distribution.

At the busy Bradford hub over 2000 pallets a night pass through the facility, placing a heavy onus on each and every forklift truck to perform to the utmost. For the last five years a fleet of Jungheinrich hydrostatic counterbalance forklift trucks has faithfully fulfilled its duties, ‘day-in, day-out’, with the barest minimum of downtime. In July 2015 the contract was up for renewal.

Kevin Barnes, HSEQ/ Facilities Manager at Expect Distribution, had little hesitation in renewing the contract with Jungheinrich UK and upgrading the fleet of 12 trucks with Jungheinrich’s second generation of hydrostatic counterbalance forklift trucks, a mix of TFG 316s and TFG 320s gas powered models.

“We have a very fast-paced distribution environment, with a rapid turnaround of vehicles, so having robust, reliable and easy to drive forklift trucks is really important to us,” says Barnes. “Over the last five years the Jungheinrich hydrostatic trucks performed well, especially on the wet floors that can result from rain water run-off from the vehicles, and as we have always had a very good working partnership with Jungheinrich - where if they said they would do something they did it - it was an easy decision. The new trucks have been in place for about three months now and are working fantastically.”

The company

Expect Distribution is a £23 million family owned logistics company and is the largest founding member of the Palletline network. Over the last 27 years the company has grown rapidly and now has 260 staff, a fleet of 90 vehicles and in total over 250,000 sq ft of warehousing across three key sites strategically placed at the heart of the UK.

When renewing the contract Barnes took the opportunity to make a few small changes to the trucks’ specifications to further increase the efficiency of the fleet. “We had had occasional problems as a result of heavy wear-and-tear on the sensors in the safety-belt catches and so we asked for bi-folding gates to be fitted and they work perfectly. We also had a more compact gas bottle fitted, with a protection cage, to prevent damage and had guards fitted under the trucks so that shrink-wrap and rubbish doesn’t get caught under the forklifts causing issues,” says Barnes.

"These trucks get a hammering from the drivers 24 hrs a day, so they have to be fit for purpose and well maintained. Jungheinrich think outside-the-box when it comes to saving costs. We have a hand-in-hand partnership really."

Expect Distribution have a full maintenance contract hire agreement with Jungheinrich to service and maintain a fleet of 20 trucks in total at two of the logistics company’s three sites. With a punishing 24 hr a day work-cycle and duties of in excess of 3000 hrs a year per forklift, a full maintenance support package is essential. 

“These trucks get a hammering from the drivers 24 hrs a day, so they have to be fit for purpose and well maintained. A major plus point for choosing Jungheinrich is that their after sales service team are very, very good. The engineers are always here when they’re needed – in good time. And they think outside-the-box when it comes to saving costs,” says Barnes. “We have a hand-in-hand partnership really.”