Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Port Orders Multi-Function Fork Lift Trucks to Handle Diverse Freight Types

New Equipment Reflects the Diversity of West Country Trade
Shipping News Feature
UK – Following an original order dating back 8 years the Bristol Port Company were happy to offer a contract to Cooper Specialised Handling, the heavy lifting division of Cooper Handling Group, for the supply of ten new Konecranes fork lift trucks worth £1.5million and the general purpose, multi-functional units have now been delivered to Britain's most centrally located deep sea port. Bristol offers the full range of shipping, distribution and logistics services and can accommodate a wide range of freight, including bulk energy products, animal feeds and gain, motor vehicles and fresh produce. With more than 120,000 m2 of modern warehousing adjacent to berths, the port is ideal for storing high value paper and metal products.

In order to complete this contract and ensure a cost-effective handling solution, Cooper’s held numerous meetings with the port before developing a specification that would satisfy its operational, safety and maintenance requirements. Having purchased the Konecranes forklift trucks outright, Bristol Port Company benefits from an extended equipment warranty. This will see Cooper's dedicated field-based engineering team provide support for all ten machines as well as ongoing servicing and maintenance for the reach stackers which are a vital part of the port's 64-strong materials handling fleet.

One example of the many ideas put forward by Cooper to satisfy the port’s needs centred on the Terminal West system which was required to facilitate a quick interchange of forks and attachments. Cooper proposed modifying this system to accommodate the forks of a variety of equipment manufacturers and counter the lack of uniformity of fork dimensions on big machines. The capability to fit the larger trucks with smaller forks effectively increases the port's small truck fleet size at a stroke and rating plates are, of course, amended to reflect this change.

On Cooper's advice, the forklifts were specified with heavy duty mast sections and finished with extra-thick paint to extend their working life. Other recommendations included 180 degree rotating seats with steering logic and extra protection in the cab to guard against injury in the, albeit unlikely, event that paper reels were to fall from a height of 7 metres. Chris Barnes, General Manager at Cooper Specialised Handling commented:

"The safety of the truck operator was our top priority when finalising this very high machine specification. After winning an initial deal to supply four Konecranes reach stackers in 2008, we have worked closely with Bristol Port Company to fully understand and satisfy its handling requirements. We maintain high contract management standards at all times and, as our relationship with Bristol Port Company continues to develop, we are delighted to support its busy operation with these additional forklift trucks. At Cooper we work closely with customers to fully understand their materials handling challenges and find innovative ways to overcome difficult application issues."