Picture perfect handling solution
Published: 10 March 2012 - Heather Ramsden
GB eye, a supplier of posters, prints and associated licensed merchandise to the retail and wholesale sectors is achieving more efficient handling in one of its storage areas since it has taken delivery of the new narrow chassis 15E Aisle-Master model, replacing two other forklifts
GB eye delivers to 200 customers in over 60 countries from its newly extended distribution centre in Sheffield, which also houses a frame manufacturing facility.
The previous combination of a man down rail-guided VNA forklift and a reach truck proved to be cumbersome and restrictive, particularly as the VNA truck could not be used for outdoor work. Operations manager John Scally was therefore looking for a more versatile vehicle but with the proviso that it could also work in the existing very narrow aisles and tight turning circles. He says: “Our local materials handling consultants, Rotherham-based Ability Handling, recommended an Aisle-Master, which we have been using very effectively in another part of the warehouse. We have been so pleased with its all round operation as well as Ability Handling’s service that we would have ordered another one, but unfortunately the original model would have been too wide to fit between our racking. When Lee Brown from Ability informed me that there was a new narrow chassis Aisle-Master on the market I knew we had the answer.”
The electric powered articulated truck’s 1.5t capacity is more than enough to cope with the pallets of posters, display equipment, packs of cardboard and the heaviest loads which are made up of the raw materials for the picture frames, even when lifting to the top beam height of 5.5m. The chassis width of just 1,030mm also enables it to easily manoeuvre around the storage facilities and GB eye has also benefited from its indoor/outdoor capabilities which enable seamless on and offloading from delivery vehicles in the yard.
“The 15E ticked all the boxes,” says Scally, “and as with our other Aisle-Master it doubles up as a reach and counterbalance truck, does exactly what we want and the drivers are very happy with it. We also need a very reliable vehicle as the workload is constant and at certain times of the year such as the run up to Christmas it can be relentless. The e-commerce side of the business has grown recently by 300 per cent, and the downtime we experienced with the old trucks would now have a serious impact on our productivity. Ability’s contract hire package and Aisle-Master’s excellent track record of dependability mean that this is no longer an issue.”
Aisle-Masters have capacities of up to 2.5 tonnes, lift heights of up to 12.5 metres, with a choice of AC electric or LPG power. The range is designed and built at the dedicated production facility of parent company Combilift in Monaghan, Ireland, and can be customised for individual requirements. Aisle-Master design engineers also offer a site visit and warehouse layout service and supply free layout proposals illustrating how to maximise the use of available storage space.
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