Cargotec’s business area Kalmar has received an order for a new fleet of 16 specially adapted Kalmar DCE100 heavy duty forklift trucks from GrowHow UK Limited, a major UK fertiliser manufacturer and supplier of process chemicals to industry. The order was booked in 2008.
In order to keep pace with production and the loading of delivery vehicles, GrowHow’s operators handle 6 bags of fertiliser at a time – each weighing around 600 kilograms – at an extended load centre of 1,800mm. The application also requires the bags to be stacked 4 high, presenting a unique challenge as Steve James, Kalmar Area Sales Manager explains:
"The drivers need to accurately position the forks into the lifting points on the bags. But when stacking above the first level, the fork pockets on the bags are out of view when using a standard truck. The solution was to develop an elevating cab so that the drivers can continue to look down onto the fork tips, even when the mast is fully raised," he said.
The rising cab allows operators to raise the cab by an additional 1,900mm taking the overall maximum cab height to just over 5 metres, the optimum position for visibility determined by Kalmar’s extensive site survey. For added health and safety, each truck comes equipped with a camera and monitor inside allowing the operator to clearly see that nothing is obstructing the underside of the cab should he or she wish to lower it back into position. Longer forks were also developed with guides clearly marked on so that operators can see the ideal position for lifting six bags of fertiliser at once.
The Kalmar DCE100 has a capacity of ten tonnes and comes from Kalmar’s medium capacity range, which is perfectly suited to GrowHow’s application. Innovative features abound on the DCE range, including class-leading levels of visibility – an essential for safe and efficient handling when using a truck of this size.
The DCE range is highly fuel efficient, presenting lower running costs over the lifetime of the truck. This is thanks in part to the standard CAN-bus electronic control system which allows the truck’s operating parameters to be adjusted to suit the site’s characteristics. Fuel consumption can be further reduced with the addition of Kalmar’s optional Optidrive system. Optidrive automatically maintains engine revs at the optimum level and controls gear changes, ensuring that just the right amount of power is delivered to the transmission or hydraulic functions depending on travel speed and lifting speed. This makes a significant contribution to fuel savings.
One of Kalmar’s major strengths is its focus on customer service and this played a key role in GrowHow’s decision to award it the contract.
"Whilst we had to be sure that the trucks were up to the task, it was vitally important to us that we had a sound working relationship," said Ed Sharp, Production Manager for GrowHow. "Kalmar’s clear understanding of our needs coupled with their professional approach was a significant deciding factor," he said.
GrowHow is the UK’s only ammonium-nitrate and true granular compound fertiliser producer supplying British agriculture. The company came into existence at the end of 2007 following the merger of the UK activities of Yara International ASA (formerly Kemira GrowHow Oyj) and Terra Industries Inc. The Ince manufacturing site was first established in 1965 and employs some 400 people. It occupies 55 hectares and produces around one million tonnes of fertiliser each year, supplying key market sectors for grass and arable farming.
Kalmar is part of Cargotec. Cargotec improves the efficiency of cargo flows by offering handling systems and the related services for the loading and unloading of goods. Cargotec’s brands, Hiab, Kalmar and MacGREGOR, are global market leaders in their fields and their solutions are used on land and at sea – wherever cargo is on the move. Kalmar container and heavy duty materials handling equipment and automation applications are provided to ports, terminals and intermodal facilities world-wide. Extensive services close to customers ensure the continuous usability of equipment.
Cargotec is the technology leader in its field, its R&D focusing on innovative solutions that take environmental considerations into account. Cargotec’s sales total EUR 3.4 billion and it employs approximately 12,000 people. Cargotec’s class B shares are quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.