Mainstream is a leading provider of specialist training courses for the transport, warehousing and logistics and construction industries.
The company offers an extensive range of training packages aimed at both experienced workers and candidates with little or no knowledge of operating or managing a wide range of industrial equipment – from forklift trucks to articulated lorries and heavy construction plant.
For several years, Mainstream has worked closely with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide courses to service personnel. Some MoD students use the courses to update or extend a skill they have initially acquired before or during their military career, while others are working to obtain the necessary qualifications to give recognition to a job they have been doing already. Some personnel also take the opportunity to learn a completely new skill while serving.
As part of its long-running contract with the MoD, Mainstream undertakes five-day lift truck training courses at Army and Navy bases throughout the UK. A combination of classroom-taught theory and hands-on practical training is undertaken on gas-powered counterbalance forklifts now supplied exclusively by Jungheinrich.
Jungheinrich delivers the trucks to wherever they are required on a Monday morning and then collects them again on a Friday evening once the course is complete. The trucks are then delivered to another site for use the following Monday.
Before the switch to Jungheinrich forklifts, Mainstream had used trucks supplied by independent dealers situated near to the Army or Navy bases where the training was due to take place. However, this had proved a less than satisfactory arrangement.
"Any time that our training trucks are down means lost training time for a soldier or seaman," explains Paul Tolley, Mainstream’s national operations manager. "It is essential therefore that, to give our students the best possible chance of achieving success, we have reliable trucks and reliable after sales support and this will be provided by the Jungheinrich trucks.
Because of the unusual nature of Mainstream’s hire requirements – trucks are needed for no more than one week at a time at a variety of sites around the UK – the expense of delivering individual forklifts is significant.
However, by working closely with Mainstream and the MoD, Jungheinrich has been able to offer a cost effective package that minimises truck delivery costs, and therefore makes Jungheinrich’s single source supply option not only attractive in terms of the product quality and after sales care, but highly cost efficient too.
Mainstream now endeavour to arrange courses throughout the year in a logical geographical sequence, thereby minimising the distance travelled by Jungheinrich’s forklift delivery partner. By doing this, and with the help of some careful route planning, not only have delivery costs been kept low, but there is a significant environmental benefit too.
Interestingly, until recently military sites that operated forklift trucks and other handling equipment were exempt from the requirement to comply with many of the health and safety-related regulations that govern lift truck use in civilian life. However, the Government’s recent decision to remove this exemption has meant a notable increase in demand from the armed services for forklift training at military bases throughout the UK. Mainstream is now well equipped to meet the growth in demand from the MoD for forklift training, as Paul Tolley explains:
"Our relationship with Jungheinrich is proving very beneficial," says Paul Tolley. "The feedback from the service personnel who drive the trucks on the courses has also been very positive. Forklift operators play an essential role in the armed services and we are pleased to be able offer them the highest levels of training on trucks that are absolutely ideally suited to the conditions they will work in."