Snow… sleet… hail… rain… Britain’s notoriously miserable weather can put a real dampener on productivity. Just ask global candy maker Pecan Deluxe Candy (Europe) Ltd.
For nearly a decade, the West Yorkshire-based firm has produced tasty treats and flavours for all major ice cream suppliers. Operating from a site stretched across ten industrial units, the company’s team of forklift operators spend up to 90 per cent of their day shuttling goods outside.
While it’s an ideal arrangement on sunny days, increasingly harsh British winters were taking their toll on the company’s fleet of trucks and – more importantly – its workforce. "As you can imagine," explains stores and logistics manager Ernie Smithey, "working in uncomfortable, exposed trucks in the rain and snow left our drivers feeling down. And this could make a real impact on their productivity."
Looking to boost staff morale and efficiency, Ernie turned to Rushlift Limited, his local Authorised Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks Dealer, for a solution. "The team there understood what was needed straight away," Ernie enthuses. "They were very responsive and quickly delivered exactly what we were looking for."
Business manager Tony Potocki of Rushlift Ltd says: "The customer’s top three priorities for the new fleet were machine reliability, operator comfort and excellent service support. The trucks needed to be robust – in every type of weather – while keeping their operators comfortable, warm and dry. Having assessed the application thoroughly, we put together a package of trucks which met the needs of Pecan Deluxe…and its workforce."
The new fleet includes a versatile, 1600 kg capacity, pedestrian power pallet truck which makes light work of transporting loads over distances of up to 20 metres. And thanks to four highly specified two tonne electric counterbalance trucks (FB20NT), there’s no need for any operator to endure the elements while shuttling products outdoors.
To ensure year-round protection and comfort each of the counterbalance machines has been fitted with a high specification heated cabin which delivers great all-round visibility and operator comfort.
Tony Potocki adds: "The electrics benefit from proven AC technology, which gives exceptionally powerful, controlled and efficient performance. Crucially, these workhorses deliver the same performance as an IC engine – without any of the polluting exhaust gases."
Since the trucks’ introduction, Pecan Deluxe’s Ernie Smithey has noticed a positive change in his drivers – and their productivity. He explains: "Our drivers are delighted with their new trucks, which are as comfortable as any armchair. They particularly love the ease of using ergonomic fingertip controls rather than leaning forward to move big, clunky levers. And thanks to an excellent package of support services from Rushlift Ltd," he adds, "our trucks stay in action – whatever the time, whatever the weather."
"The one thing that most Mitsubishi forklifts share," comments Martyn Davies, regional manager of Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks UK, "is that they could be in use anywhere across the globe, performing in every type of climate: from the sub-zero Siberian Tundra to the blazing heat of Equatorial Africa. Although UK weather isn’t quite so extreme, our customers benefit from the all-weather reliability which is built into each and every model.
"What’s more, our reliable products are backed up by expert service from friendly, local dealers in our UK Authorised Dealer network. Like Rushlift Ltd, each has been picked for its excellent reputation and high standards of customer care. Our dealers benefit from the full support of the global Mitsubishi organisation and its resources. This enables them to respond quickly to their customers’ day-to-day needs and provide a total support package that meets all of their requirements."