Established in Hartlepool in the North East of England in 1865, Camerons Brewery has built an enviable reputation in the brewing sector over the last 150 years, producing a wide range of well-recognised craft beer brands, such as the brewery’s flagship brand Strongarm and north east classic Trophy Special. Alongside supplying its growing pub estate, the company has developed a highly successful contract brewing business, providing beers for some of the biggest names in the drinks industry – customers that demand the very highest levels of service.
In Hartlepool, the Lion Brewery produces over 400,000 pints of beer or lager every day – amounting to over half a million barrels of beer per annum. Ensuring fast and efficient fulfilment of orders for the demanding contract brewing side of the business is critical to the company’s success and requires a well equipped fleet of robust, reliable lift trucks capable of handling 18 kegs at a time for two eight hour shifts a day, five days a week.
In July 2014, following an expansion of the Lion Brewery, Richard Forster, Production Planning Manager at Camerons, decided to make a step-change in lift truck fleet performance by switching from trucks with torque converter transmission to five Jungheinrich TFG 425s Hydrostatic drive counterbalanced trucks. All five were supplied with B&B keg handling attachments capable of carrying 18 kegs at a time.
“The hydrostatic drive truck is better than the torque converter for picking up 18 kegs at a time, stacking them and loading 40ft curtain-sided trailers. The hydrostatic operation allows for smoother handling, ensuring that the truck applies the right pressure when picking up loads – which gives the drivers more confidence and in-turn helps increase speed and performance,” says Forster. “In this business it’s important that drivers are reassured and aren’t worried about anything being dropped.”
Further to the smooth, safe handling capabilities of the Jungheinrich hydrostatic control, the environmental and cost saving aspects of the new lift trucks also proved attractive to Forster. “With the increasing cost of fuel and the drive to be more environmentally friendly, we could see significant fuel savings with the Jungheinrich hydrostatic trucks, which would help reduce our carbon footprint,” he says. “Also, tyre wear is important – you can’t spin the wheels with the hydrostatic trucks. We’ve seen a dramatic reduction in the number of black marks left on the floor, so there’s less wear on tyres.”
Importantly, the Jungheinrich hydrostatic trucks’ inherent automatic braking cuts tyre wear and helps prevent driver misuse. “With the better fuel efficiency, and because the engine automatically brakes, we are reducing overall consumables – which is good news!” says Forster. “The lift trucks we had previously were solid trucks, but when we had the opportunity to have the new Jungheinrich hydrostatic trucks – with all we were getting in terms of cost savings, gentle handling and performance gains – we thought that’s the one to go for and we’re very pleased we did.”