Established in 1842, Furlong Mills Ltd, based in Stoke-On-Trent, has become one of the UK’s leading mineral processing companies supplying a diverse range of products to the ceramic industry. The company has a workforce of more than 50 people and an annual turnover of approaching £10million.
The company has recently purchased two new 2.5 tonne 25D-9 diesel Hyundai forklift trucks and two electric pallet trucks which are now fully operational onsite at the historic Furlong Mill. The machines were supplied by local Hyundai dealer, Hystackers.
Mark Nutting, Furlong Mills production director, said, “I was not happy with our current machine suppliers and through research I met with Carl Holdcroft from Hystackers. Carl, after looking at our requirements, recommended Hyundai products, which on use gave immediate improvements which we were pleased about.
One of the main reasons for choosing the Hyundai product were the advanced safety aspects of the machines – for example the flashing blue safety beacon, which warns site personnel not to enter the proximity of the beacon’s beam, and the rear-view camera system. Also, the machines are fitted with a speed limiter, which prevents the operator from manoeuvring too fast around a busy yard!”
Nutting added, ‘Health and Safety is paramount to Furlong and one of my major focus points since joining the company four years ago. We have in any one day seven of our own vehicles, at least nine articulated lorries delivering goods and our own forklift trucks and front loading shovels moving within a busy yard area.”
Other safety features on the Hyundai forklifts include – a load sensor which checks pressure in the lift cylinder to calculate the weight on the forks. The load is indicated on the display and if an overload occurs the operator is alerted by a warning sound and the display monitor will show the weight of the load flashing red.
An electric hand brake system is combined with an anti-roll back function. This means that if the machine is inclined more than three-degrees and the machine comes to a stop, the handbrake is automatically activated to prevent the machine rolling back. To release this function the driver pushes the accelerator to regain normal movement.
“We are really pleased with the performance of the forklifts as well as the safety of the machines,” said Nutting. “We have been really making ground over the last five-years at Furlong Mills and these machines are a good addition to our fleet. We have an excellent working relationship with Hystackers too and they offer a great response time for maintenance and a massive improvement on our previous suppliers.
Carl at Hystackers was also instrumental in redesigning our warehouse facility and we are now able to accommodate 540 pallets where before it was just 300. The company also supplied us with two Hyundai ride on pallet trucks which we are equally pleased with.”
Furlong Mills produces a diverse product range manufactured from raw materials which includes silica, feldspar, alumina, and industry specific composite ceramic fluxes. Its customers include Dudson, Churchill, Portmeirion and Steerlite who manufacture and supply the pottery product industry world-wide.