DFDS have again chosen the JCB Teletruk over standard forklift trucks for operations at its DFDS Nordic Terminal at Immingham.
When Tony Blendell, Operations Manager for South Side, Warehousing and Transhipments, at DFDS Nordic Terminal (DNT), Immingham, saw JCB's Teletruk for the first time at the International Materials Handling Exhibition, held in Birmingham's NEC, he immediately realised that DNT should have one. It did not take long before the Teletruk was introduced on test and then followed by full operational duties at DNT Immingham.
Equipped with a telescopic boom, the JCB Teletruk provided a brand new alternative to the traditional, masted, counterbalance forklift truck when it was introduced in 1997. Opting for a new concept is a bold step for many companies but having experienced the benefits offered by the Teletruk, many of those early adopters who now use the machine in warehouse yards, distribution centres, ports, rail terminals, factories and builders' merchants would now not consider going back to traditional masted FLTs.
Such is the case at DNT Immingham, where the first Teletruks to go into action at the port's operations were delivered in 2001. So pleased were DNT with the machines that when the time came to replace their original, 3 tonne capacity TLT30D Teletruks they chose five of the latest model, 3.5 tonne capacity TLT35D Teletruk painted in DNT colours.
DFDS Nordic Terminal provides ferry operations to Norway, Cuxhaven, Gothenburg, Rotterdam and Esbjurg. Goods for transit in the ferries arrive at the terminal by curtainsider HGVs and via rail. Product arriving by rail is transferred to wagons if the load is palletised, otherwise it is placed on Mafi cargo carriers.
The Teletruk proves its worth
The two-wheel drive Teletruk has proved its worth to DNT in many ways. The telescopic reach allows DNT to load curtainsiders from just one side. This not only saves time unbuckling straps for curtains or dismantling tilt trailer frames but it also means that yard space need not be allocated for both sides of the wagon, as would have to be the case with a conventional masted lift truck inevitably needing to load from both sides. This can save 50% of loading/unloading space in a yard. A further
advantage of loading from one side only is reduced truck tyre wear.
The Teletruk also makes life easier for DNT's drivers. Its boom-end carriage rotates hydraulically through 111 degrees, far more than is possible with a masted forklift truck, to match up the angle of the forks to the load. With no mast in the way, Teletruk drivers get a clear view of the load area.
On occasion, when on rough sea crossings, loads held in vessel cargo carriers can shift. This movement can be extensive making it impossible to retrieve with a conventional FLT. However, the reach and fork rotation of the Teletruk make retrieving these pallets a much easier task, saving a huge amount of time and money for insurance claims. The Teletruk also reduces the risk of injury sustained during manual handling, which is the only alternative method to retrieve slipped loads.
Increased capacity and reach
With the greater capacity and further reach provided by its five new TLT 35Ds, DNT will realise further benefits. The 35D can lift its 3.5 tonnes capacity to a height of 4.4 metres, which compares to the 30D's ability to lift 3 tonnes to 4.1 metres. The new Teletruk also has an increased forward reach, allowing it to load 2100 kg at a 2 metres forward extension (the 30D has a 1500 kg capacity at 2 metres). This provides ample residual capacity for the vast majority of pallets.
Coupled with the truck's full free lift benefits, the increased capacity also makes the Teletruk ideal for container loading / off-loading. A simple and quick disconnect facility allows other attachments to be fitted within a few minutes to bring immediate versatility.
DFDS find the machine robust, able to cope easily within their specific environment, where it operates 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. Furthermore, according to Tony Blendell, the drivers at DNT love the JCB Teletruk and would not want to use anything else!