Wavin is the leading supplier of water management and drainage systems for the building, construction and utilities markets in the UK. The company offers a comprehensive range of plastic, clay and terracotta systems within a product portfolio that includes the OSMA, Hepworth and Hep2O brands.
In the UK the company has sites in Brandon, Doncaster, Forest Works, Padiham, Exeter and Chippenham while its registered office is based at Hazelhead in Sheffield.
Wavin has extensive manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities at the Chippenham site and the OSMA brand of the plastic piping systems produced for the UK market originate there. On the same site is 30 acres of covered and open storage. This is one of three main Wavin regional distribution centre’s (RDC) serving the UK. Products going to customers – a mix of builders merchants and construction sites – based south of Chippenham are stored and dispatched from this site while clients north of the UK are served by facilities in Hazelhead and Doncaster.
The company has just updated the forklift truck fleet at the Chippenham site with nearly 60 new and refurbished units – including low level order pickers, reach trucks and counterbalanced trucks – from the Jungheinrich range.
Because the trucks spend a lot of their time outside shuttling between the factory and the store it is essential that they are robust and reliable and this was one of the driving factors behind Wavin’s decision to specify counterbalance models from Jungheinrich’s DFG range.
The DFG 2.5 and 3.5 tonne LPG powered forklifts supplied by Jungheinrich feature a hydrostatic drive which makes them particularly suited to intensive materials handling operations.
A hydrostatic truck is the ideal product for applications where a lot of ‘shuttling’ work is involved – such as lorry loading and unloading within and around a busy warehouse or factory environment. The operational parameters of the truck are fully adjustable and can be tailored to suit the customer’s requirements. When combined with the truck’s unique drive control system, the site speed limits are automatically adhered to whenever the truck’s forks are raised above a pre set height. The smooth direction changes associated with hydrostatic drive also lead to a significant reduction in tyre and transmission wear.
Another feature that impressed Wavin is the potential fuel savings offered by the hydrostatic trucks: as well as being designed to offer the lowest noise levels and emissions, the truck’s engine – which is supplied by Volkswagen -is particularly fuel efficient. Test cycles have shown that over the course of 2000 hours of typical operation Jungheinrich’s hydrostatic trucks will save some £2000 in fuel costs in comparison with a standard conventional ‘torque-converter’ counterbalance truck.
In total Jungheinrich has supplied Wavin with ten 2.5 tonne capacity trucks, fifteen 3.0 tonne and one 3.5 tonne capacity machines.
All of the 3.0 and the 3.5 tonne capacity trucks are fitted with Kaup fork spreaders. The fork spreaders allow loads measuring up to six metre wide to be picked up and can be adjusted by the operator from within his cab.
There are 22 aisles of pallet racking at the site. Each racking run features eight storage levels with the ground and first floor levels used for order picking and the upper levels accommodating replenishment stocks.
Picking is undertaken by a fleet of 20 refurbished low level order pickers as well as three very narrow aisle combination hi-rack stackers and a reach truck. Six pedestrian pallet trucks were also supplied for general use in the Production plant.
The low level order pickers (LLOPs) are from Jungheinrich’s Ready To Go range. Every Ready To Go machine undergoes a major overhaul at Jungheinrich’s used truck refurbishment factory at Dresden, Germany, and all of Wavin’s LLOP’s were completely dismantled and all worn or defective parts were replaced. The trucks were resprayed before being reassembled and safety tested.
"A growing number of companies are now looking to order a mixed fleet of new and used products. Typically, the operating costs of a used Jungheinrich truck will be the same as a new model, which means that our fully refurbished trucks will give many years of efficient and productive service," says Russ Palmer, Jungheinrich’s Divisional Sales Manager Russ Palmer.
Keith Rowles, Wavin’s Logistics Trainer & MHE Controller , commented: "Due to an increasing diversity of loads. We needed to ensure that our safety needs were met for the next 5 – 7 years. We have achieved this by including speed control, driver access systems, and the fork positioners manufactured by Kaup. We also must have reliability and the guarantee of service support for the engineers that maintain our fleet. Jungheinrich have proved that they can match this criteria and the trucks have proved their worth. They were also supplied with heated cabs and are very popular with our operators. The refurbished low level order pickers are also performing well and they look as good as new."