Narrow Aisle Flexi manufacturer of the Flexi range of articulated forklift trucks has delivered two of its G4 articulated trucks to West Africa where they are being used by Addax Petroleum the largest independent oil producer in West Africa at its warehouse facility in Nigeria.
The trucks have been acquired by Addax to handle a range of spare parts and consumables used in the oil and gas exploration work undertaken by the company throughout Nigeria.
Space is at a premium within the warehouse facility and at the present time all of the palletized loads that pass through the site are block stacked. This is largely because of the difficulty Addax has had in finding a local company capable of supplying suitable heavy duty racking.
"We have found a local fabricator who is prepared to produce something for us. The cost will be more than an imported racking system, but we know it will fit," says Addax’s Colin Mead. "Other local businesses have previously quoted for racks constructed from old production tubing but the extensive welding involved makes them costly, so for the moment we have no option but to block stack."
The Flexi articulated trucks were chosen because they allow pallets to be block stacked more closely together within Addax’s warehouse than the traditional counterbalanced machines that the company had been using. The switch to Flexis has already saved Addax valuable floor space and the company will be able to store even more product within its warehouse once its heavy duty racks are installed.
Because of the harsh environment in which the trucks work, Addax need a forklift that offers maximum uptime and is quick and easy to maintain.
The Flexi truck, which is powered by a heavy duty 48 volt battery, is designed to be a low maintenance machine and therefore meets Addax’s needs perfectly. For example, no chains or slings are required during battery change over operations – the battery is removed simply and efficiently at low level from the rear using a hand pallet truck or another forklift. This eliminates the risk of the battery being dropped from height.
Furthermore, because the battery is mounted low in the chassis, there are no moving parts below the battery compartment itself and therefore the battery does not need to be removed during routine maintenance and servicing operations.
At Addax the truck has to operate both inside and out. In comparison to many western sites, the exterior yard conditions at Addax’s Nigerian facility are particularly difficult and even the floor within the warehouse itself is less than perfect. However, thanks to its rugged construction and traded rubber tyres the Flexi has operated long shifts with no mechanical problems.
John Maguire, sales and marketing director of Narrow Aisle Flexi, commented: "We are actively promoting the Flexi within the oil services sector as a viable alternative to traditional counterbalance and reach trucks. The high cost and therefore restricted space available in land or platform-based storage areas make the Flexi a very attractive option. We have a number of significant installations globally where the Flexi articulated truck has demonstrated cost savings and handling improvements."
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