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Cooper Specialised Handling

brings incredible bulk to Uk steel industry. Cooper Specialised Handling, the UK's sole national distributor of SMV Lift Trucks, has supplied two 60 tonne SMV forklift trucks to the Multiserv Group in Rotherham. The trucks are the largest lift trucks ever supplied in the UK and are handling 40 tonnes of steel blooms at temperatures of up to 800 degrees.

Multiserv handles the steel mill services for its client, Corus Engineering Steels in Rotherham. When Corus introduced a new casting operation, Multiserv looked to Cooper SH to provide the solution for handling the high grade steel.

Brian Kilminster, senior operations manager at Multiserv, explains the challenges, “When we understood the new process it was clear that we needed a forklift to move the steel between the casters and the cooling stillages. This steel is the highest grade product that Corus makes and is used for high performance, safety critical applications in the automotive industry, such as gearboxes for Formula 1 engines, as well as in energy generation. A single cast can be worth as much as £50,000 and needs to be moved through several processes to meet stringent cooling requirements.”

There wasn't a truck in existence that could do what Multiserv needed it to do. In order to design a truck that was perfect for this special application, Cooper SH undertook a detailed site and application review and talked at length to operations people at the steel services site.

Cooper SH designed a special seven fork carriage attachment for the two 60 tonne machines. To ensure the forks could handle both the weight of steel product and exposure time to extreme heat, the forks had to be specially manufactured and heat treated. Each fork as a 12 tonne capacity and the 13 metre spread ensures that the valuable casting isn't compromised in any way.

Accuracy of placement and movement of the forks was also crucial. Peter Astley, sales manager at Cooper SH, explains, “The SMV machines have sideshift integrated into the truck as opposed to a separate attachment, this means that the machines can work to full capacity at full height and also allow for great precision when moving such high value steel. In addition, the box design means that the chassis is up to a third stronger than conventional machines and ensures reliability and robustness in such a demanding application.”

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