Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Plymouth Naval Base Automates Control of its Forklift Fleet

Custom Telematics System Implemented to Maximise Efficiency
Shipping News Feature
UK – The Babcock International Group has automated the control of its materials handling operation in the Devonport Royal Dockyard and Naval Base site in Plymouth using the Hyster Tracker system. The fleet management system helps manage eighty forklifts and other trucks deployed in various roles across the base.

Plymouth is the largest naval base in Western Europe, and Babcock is responsible for providing 24/7 support for the huge facility where they employ Hyster warehouse equipment ranging across reach trucks, electric counterbalance and pallet and higher capacity lift trucks. With several hundred drivers, many of whom are multi-skilled to operate the various types of equipment within the fleet, Hyster Tracker ensures that only appropriately trained drivers can use the equipment by presenting their RFID site security/ID card. Mark Jackson, Logistics Centre of Excellence Manager, Babcock International Group said:

“Our trucks have diverse roles across the site as we have almost every type of materials handling operation here, from ship maintenance to logistical ship support. Using the Hyster Tracker telematics system has automated control of our fleet, helping to support our existing processes which focus on safety and efficiency.”

The Hyster Tracker system transmits a range of data from the trucks via GSM which can be accessed via a secure online portal. The portal allows clear, customisable reports, tables and graphs to be viewed and created which helps managers to enhance productivity, control costs and optimise their fleet using accurate business intelligence.

“We can see trends and peaks,” says Mark. “Some trucks are used less frequently for very specialised operations, and the reporting helps us to manage asset decisions according to over or under-utilisation.”

The system can also enforce pre-shift safety checks requiring the operator to complete a series of verifications on a control panel before a truck can be started. It reassures Babcock that drivers are complying with all legal requirements to carry out appropriate checks before starting work. For convenience, the questions included in the pre-use checks can be edited and managed via the secure online portal.

As a wide variety of factors from sea salt and seagulls to extremes of weather are tough on trucks, particularly for those parked on the sea wall, the build quality of the Hyster equipment is very important and one of the reasons for their selection by Babcock. David Worboys, Corporate Account Manager from Briggs Equipment, the Hyster distribution partner for the UK, said:

“Babcock’s operations require a diverse fleet across a diverse site. Working closely with Babcock to understand these unique needs means we have been able to identify the tough Hyster trucks that are best for each different application, while helping to maintain efficiency and manage costs.”