Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pumpkin Harvest Demands a Short Spell of Fork Lift Truck Hire

How to Cope with the Peaks (and Troughs) of a Seasonal Business
Shipping News Feature

UK – It’s that time of year again and Halloween wouldn’t be the same without the sight of a gap toothed pumpkin, candle aglow and, as for so many other festivals of various types this means a concentrated period of activity for a short space of time. For Lincolnshire-based David Bowman Ltd., Europe's largest pumpkin grower, Autumn is of course the company’s busiest period, with the crop to be harvested, prepared, packed and delivered to the shelves of retail clients in time for the big night. To help cope with this annual spike in activity, the company regularly hires a fleet of counterbalanced forklifts from Jungheinrich UK’s short term rental fleet.

The electric powered forklifts, which are on site at Bowman’s for approximately two months, are used to transfer crates of harvested and washed pumpkins from the trailers that bring them in from the field to Bowman’s 120,000 square foot temperature controlled store and ‘pack house’. The crates are block stacked five high and the pumpkins are left to ripen at a constant 25 degrees in the facility, which was built in 1997 and recently extended to cope with increased demand.

Once ripe, the crate loads of pumpkins are delivered by the forklift trucks from the temperature-controlled store to the packing area. Here they are placed in shop ready display trays and retail merchandise is added and orders are subsequently palletised and transferred to a goods-out marshalling space where they await collection.

Given the highly time-sensitive nature of David Bowman’s operation, the temporary forklift fleet has to be reliable and this has always been a major factor in the company’s decision to hire Jungheinrich products because, on average, the trucks in Jungheinrich’s 4,000-strong short term rental fleet are less than two year’s old. Neil Warren, Jungheinrich UK Ltd’s Used Equipment and Short Term Rental Director, comments:

“We have what we believe is the youngest fleet of short term rental forklifts available. And because our short term rental trucks are, on average, less than two years old, David Bowman get state-of-the-art equipment that not only looks good but is energy efficient and ultra-reliable, not trucks that have been out on contract hire for five years and come with five years’ worth of problems!”