on Land Rover's Freelander 2 production line. The versatility of JCB's Teletruk allows it to play a vital role in the removal of production line robots for maintenance at Halewood Operations, home to the Jaguar X-TYPE and Land Rover Freelander 2.
The JCB Teletruk has proved its versatility in a novel application serving a major automotive production line. As part of Land Rover's highly successful Freelander 2 programme, a TLT 35D Teletruk fitted with a fork positioner is used to facilitate the removal of a robot in the event of a catastrophic failure. Previously Halewood had to hire in a crane or dismantle robots and repair them in-situ.
As the production line for Freelander 2 – the latest model from the world famous off-road vehicle manufacturer – is located close to the X-Type line in the plant, there are a host of access issues that the Teletruk avoids thanks to its forwards reach, making it the ideal solution for a robot removal system.
A Teletruk was chosen for this job because it provides an extending boom with a low pivot design within the required weight range and physical size. The 35D has a full forward reach of 2.43 metres, which allows it to lift 2100 kg at a 2 metres forward extension. It can also lift its 3.5 tonnes capacity to a height of 4.4 metres. With no mast obscuring the view, as would be the case on a traditional forklift truck, the Teletruk also provides the operator with clear forward vision.
Able to reach 90 per cent of the applications, the diesel powered Teletruk supplied through the local Gunn JCB dealership provides a flexible solution to the maintenance lifting and slinging problems within Halewood's Body Shop. The low pivot on the extending boom allows operators to work under the overhead systems without catching the guarding while it still is capable of reaching over the fence lines to provide a safe slinging point.
“The Teletruk allows Halewood staff to change the robot for a new one and repair the unit offline,” says Mark Roberts Teletruk specialist at Gunn JCB. He continues: “When it came to providing maintenance access for slinging, a stacker truck with a 'nose picker' was used previously. As the Teletruk has a hydraulic system using check valves it provides a robust means of fixing a pulley block to the end of the mast to sling equipment from hard to reach places.”
JCB were able to modify the Teletruk to meet the specific needs of the plant. For instance operators needed to be able to slide the fork carriage sideways from the cabin. “We advised Halewood to use a sideshifting fork positioner, which gives the operator the ability to move the forks to the left and right as a fixed pair as well as the ability to move the forks closer or wider from a lever on the control bank inside the cab,” says Mark.
Both the JCB factory and the Gunn JCB dealership were able to supply excellent service and technical advice. Halewood requested various demonstration units and detailed information – from emission levels to training packages – which JCB were able to provide without delay.
Mark concludes: “There are now many practical examples where the Teletruk has been the focal point of a major repair to the assembly lines. It is used daily as part of routine maintenance work and provides the team with a reliable multi-use vehicle.”