Fertiliser manufacturer Mole Valley Forage Services has increased efficiency in its tough blending and bagging facility, thanks to a compact Hyster 7 tonne forklift truck from Barloworld Handling. The Fortens S7.0FT "Spacesaver" model is reported to be the narrowest and shortest of its type.
"The Hyster Fortens Spacesaver truck is the only diesel forklift we could find that has a 7 tonne lift capacity and is narrow and short enough for our operation" explains Neil Stallard, Operations Manager for Mole Valley Forage Services Ltd. "Trucks from other brands with this lift capacity are physically much bigger."
The blending and bagging facility in Teignmouth located in the picturesque South Devon port, handles 75,000 tonnes of fertiliser a year. Bulk raw material is delivered by ship, which is stored, blended, packed in 600kg bags and then transferred to quayside warehouses.
"The Hyster Spacesaver is used to transport six 600kg bags at a time from the narrow aisles in the warehouse to the waiting lorries for onward distribution to suppliers and farmers" says Neil, explaining that the S7.0FT Hyster forklift truck is fitted with a unique 2.2m attachment similar to a twin carpet boom, weighing 800kg. It is a ‘live load’ operation where the bags, which are stored three high, are lifted from the top handles and can swing.
"Thanks to the Hyster forklift, our highly experienced drivers can pick and load flatbed or curtain sided lorries extremely quickly, loading bags three deep and two wide on each cycle" adds Neil. "This means we only have to access one side of the lorry resulting in just eight lifts to load 48 bags."
Peak season runs from February through to May according to the agricultural calendar when the site can load up to 800 tonnes in one twelve hour day with the compact Hyster forklift truck. "Fast turnaround of the specialised and assured transport is essential to keep costs down, so we depend on the reliability of the truck and local support from Barloworld" he says.
Steve Fogg, Regional Key Accounts Manager for Barloworld Handling conducted the site survey at Mole Valley to help ensure the truck was fit for purpose. Steve explains "Hyster Fortens forklift trucks are proven to provide reliability and a low cost of operation in the most arduous applications, such as exposed port operations. However, this is a hostile and dirty environment where corrosive products are handled, so to ensure continued reliability, we also provided extra protection on key components on this space saving truck."
The forklift features the innovative DuraMatch transmission with adjustable Auto-Deceleration (ADS) that slows the truck when the accelerator pedal is released, resulting in less brake pedal usage. The power reversal feature also allows even the most aggressive direction changes in this stop, start operation to be smooth without wheel spin, helping to increase the cushion solid tyre life by up to 50%. The truck also features oil immersed brakes helping to ensure continued reliability and control in the dirty environment and the drivers are reported to like the stability with a full load at height, comfort and finger tip controls.
The diesel powered forklift truck is on a full service contract with Barloworld Handling that provides planned maintenance services and fast local engineer response. Barloworld Handling, the exclusive distribution partner for Hyster in the UK, has also supplied a Hyster H3.0FT Fortens forklift to help transport bags from the bagging area to storage.
Mole Valley Forage Services Ltd. is a joint venture company between Mole Valley Farmers Ltd., a farmer controlled co-operative with nine branches in the South West and many smaller stores throughout the UK, and Group Roullier, an international fertiliser manufacturing and distribution business.