Linde Material Handling UK has completed a deal with Biffa Waste Services to supply 25 highly specialised diesel powered forklifts for operation on sites throughout the country.
Biffa is a leading integrated waste management business in the UK which operates across the breadth of the waste management value chain with over 160 locations and 1,500 vehicles. Biffa provides waste collection, treatment and recycling and disposal services to around 75,000 local and national customers in the industrial, commercial and municipal sectors.
The site at Eversley in Hampshire is typical of Biffa operations and is used to sort and bale waste, including plastic bottles, cardboard, paper and tins, which is then distributed throughout the UK and worldwide for recycling. Shifting thousands of tonnes of waste a week demands a materials handling fleet that is not only robust and reliable, but also takes into account the specific requirements of the application.
The working environment at Biffa sites causes paper to be sucked into the forklifts' air vents creating a potential fire hazard. Plastic strapping can become wrapped around axles and waste trapped in the lower section of the masts. Sparks from exhausts further exacerbate fire risks.
A decision was made to source a replacement fleet tailored to the exacting requirements of the application and Linde was approached.
Representatives of Biffa, including Ian Everton, site manager at Eversley, worked closely with Linde Material Handling's Paul Grady to develop a waste paper specification that would provide a permanent solution for trucks operating on all Biffa sites.
The final results incorporated many innovative solutions in the new Linde fleet of H 35 D, 3.5 tonne capacity, diesel trucks now being delivered to Biffa sites throughout the UK.
Brush attachments have been fitted on the hydraulic hose pulleys to ensure that waste doe not become trapped. Air vents have been fitted with special fine mesh filters to prevent the ingress of paper into the engine and the fully enclosed chassis substantially reduces the risk of plastic strapping fouling the drive and steer axles. An exhaust spark arrestor eliminates the risk of fire in the highly combustible surroundings.
The Linde hydrostatic transmission fitted as standard to its engine powered truck range is virtually wear free, eliminating the need for a clutch, mechanical differential and reversing gears. The twin pedal accelerators are perfect for this type of environment where trucks are shunting back and forth continuously throughout the working day. Biffa's previous fleet of trucks repeatedly required new clutches – not an issue with Linde trucks.
The new Linde fleet is fitted with bale clamps with elongated 1400 mm arms and an opening range of 2150 mm enabling larger bales to be handled. An eight-roller fork carriage provides additional strength as this area of the truck is subject to significant strain because of the weight of the attachment and load. The trucks are often used for 'pushing' loose waste paper by lowering the clamp to the floor and driving forward and creating a shovel effect. Wear strips are fitted to the underside of the bale clamp arms to prevent premature wearing and the hydrostatic transmission set-up adjusted to counter the significant forces imposed.
The trucks' low profile makes them ideal for operating in ISO containers, which are extensively used on the sites.
Ian Everton commented: “Seeing recycling waste grow dramatically in the past 18 months, it is imperative that we have equipment suitable not only for the present day, but for the future. Linde actively sought a solution for us that will prove highly cost effective in terms of reduced downtime and increased productivity and, not least, enhanced safety.”
About Linde: With technologically leading products and a comprehensive range of services, Linde Material Handling is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks and warehouse vehicles. Linde is also one of the most important producers of hydrostatic and electric drives. Linde Material Handling's head office in the UK is located in Basingstoke. Linde Material Handling is part of the KION Group, which is the European market leader in industrial trucks; in the global market, it holds second place. Linde Material Handling employs approximately 12,500 people worldwide and in 2006 recorded annual sales of almost EUR 2.6 billion. Visit Linde online at: www.linde-mh.co.uk