28 May 2008
After purchasing a mobile yard ramp, sourced from Eastern Europe, a furniture supplier replaced it within weeks with a 'far superior' version from a British manufacturer.
Norfolk Oak sells a range of furniture including solid oak kitchens and worktops sourced in the United States. A yard ramp is needed to unload containers arriving at its factory in Anmer, Norfolk, in the heart of the Royal Sandringham Estate, as there is no loading bay.
Operations director Jamie Everett said: "We initially ordered a 10 tonne ramp, originating from Eastern Europe, as our 6 tonne forklift has to offload pallets of oak furniture weighing up to 3 tonnes. When it arrived it was obvious that the build quality was low and the plate said it was a 7 tonne version. We asked the supplier to replace it but they sent an identical 7 tonne model which did not even have a CE mark on it."
Norfolk Oak then turned to leading UK manufacturer Thorworld Industries who replaced the Bulgarian-made unit with a 10 tonne (10,000kg) capacity Type 6 deluxe mobile version.
The superstructure of the Thorworld ramp is built of steel and has a serrated open grid deck for positive traction in all weather conditions, with a hand-operated hydraulic pump raising it to the required height. It has four hinged entry ramps giving a constant 7 degree entry on to the main ramp at all working heights.
It is 12.2 m long, has an overall useable width of 2.25 m over its entire length with a lip length into the vehicle of 300 mm, and has 300 mm high side curbs for additional safety.
As containers are unloaded at two locations 500 yards apart the built-in tow bar, which allows the ramp to be moved around by fork lift, is a big advantage. Its compactness means it can be located out of site when not in use.
Norfolk Oak said the Thorworld ramp was well-designed and ruggedly built. This included all the vital components like the chains, hook mechanism and a built-in towbar.
Said Mr Everett: "We need a strong ramp for the job and I have total confidence in the Thorworld model."
John Meale, Managing Director of Thorworld Industries and a former President of the British Materials Handling Federation, said: "It's clear that using inferior imported materials handling and loading bay equipment could be a threat to the safety of personnel in the workplace."
"The solution is always to check with the supplier before you buy that the equipment is CE marked and has been manufactured to EU quality and safety standards; don't just assume it has been. It's a false economy to buy cheap substitutes if they are not totally safe to use, as it could lead to a serious accident."
Thorworld mobile yard ramps are ruggedly built and are ideal for the fast loading and unloading of vehicle trailers and containers by fork truck - particularly where there is no raised loading dock.
Available as light, medium and heavy duty models, with 7,000 kg, 10,000 kg, 12,000 kg or 15,000 kg capacities, they can be purchased outright or rented through the company's specialist RentARamp operation, with a sale or return option.
Bespoke models can also be supplied to meet individual customer requirements and a comprehensive service and maintenance back-up facility is available to help ensure that the ramps are always kept in top condition.
Thorworld provides a one-stop, single source for a wide range of high quality loading & unloading equipment and loading bay accessories & safety aids, such as: dock shelters & seals, dock levellers, dock plates & boards, dock & vehicle bumpers, wheel chocks, modular loading docks and mobile yard ramps, as well as the Truckloada mobile yardlift and the Dockloada scissor lift platform.
For more information about Thorworld's market-leading loading and unloading equipment, and to obtain a copy of their latest product range catalogue, contact: Thorworld Industries Ltd, Station Lane Industrial Estate, Old Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S41 9QX. Tel: 01246 260981. Fax: 01246 260493. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.thorworld.co.uk