Aberdeen based Gray Forklift services has installed a new 150 tonne capacity static tyre press from Penny Hydraulics to shorten response times and broaden its service capabilities for customers throughout the northern half of Scotland. The new tyre press will allow the company to replace solid tyres on rims up to 24 inches in diameter, used on the largest forklift trucks, so that it can offer a same day swap-in service using its own resources rather than relying on third parties.
"Customers cannot always wait the whole day for a set of replacement solids," says Keith Robertson, Operations Manager at Gray Forklift Services. "With this new press we can offer a better service to our customers with faster response. Penny Hydraulics took our specification and built us a lift that has helped us build our business."
With depots in Aberdeen and Inverness, Gray Forklift Services supplies lift trucks in the 7 to 48 tonne capacity range for rental and purchase to customers through the north of Scotland and the outlying islands. It also offers a wide range of related maintenance and support services. Before installing the new tyre press the company relied on third party providers for replacement tyres. However, lift truck operators, especially those with larger models serving extremely demanding customers, need very quick turn round to maintain their operations. Gray Forklift Services recognised that by installing its own tyre press it would able to offer a swap-in or exchange service for most common wheels and tyres that would ensure rapid response and low downtime for its customers.
After assessing a number of options and discussing its requirements with potential suppliers the company approached Penny Hydraulics for a bespoke solution to its requirement. Using the specification provided Penny Hydraulics designed and manufactured a 150 tonne capacity tyre press that can accommodate rims as large as 24 inches in diameter.
"We bought some new rims and added the tyres so that we always have a set of wheels ready to supply when a customer needs them," says Keith Robertson. "Once we have swapped the wheels for the customer we can remove and replace the worn out tyres using the press which means we have a fresh set when the next customer calls."
Penny Hydraulics supplies static and mobile tyre presses to customers throughout the UK and used its experience when it was devising the new unit. The largest wheels currently handled by Gray Forklift Services have 20 inch rims but the company wanted the capability to handle 24 inch rims from even larger lift trucks that it expects to add to its own fleet, and service for customers, in the near future.
"We knew about Penny Hydraulics and they are well regarded in the industry," says Keith Robertson. "They worked with us to meet our specification and provide a unit that will meet our current and future requirements."
The tyre press is floor mounted which avoided the need for a floor pit. Although a pit would allow some of the mechanism to be mounted below floor level and lower the bed height to make it easier to place and retrieve wheels and tyres this was not an issue in this particular installation. Instead, because the various items are so large and heavy, service engineers use a lift truck with a special attachment to handles rims, tyres and assembled wheels on and off the press. This avoids all forms of manual handling and simplifies the overall process. For customers without their own handling facilities Penny Hydraulics normally supplies one of its 250kg maximum working load Swing Lift cranes fitted on to the frame of the press.
The press capacity of 150 tonnes and extra large aperture dimensions ensure the unit can be used to change almost any solid tyre used on lift trucks, warehouse trucks and other types of mechanical handling and industrial equipment from 300 x 4s to 1200 x 24s. The maximum wheel dimensions are 635mm (25in) wide and additional performance parameters include 850mm ram stroke, 1050mm bed width and 915mm diameter spider plate. The complete unit is 3240mm high, 2020mm wide and 915mm deep.
Safety is a primary consideration. A hold-to-run handle ensures the operator is standing in a safe position well away from moving parts. The milled steel press plate, activated by a downward stroking ram, allows precise removal and application of solid tyres. Robust construction promotes durability for life-long reliability and ensures a good return on investment. Penny Hydraulics also supplied a complete set of tooling for the press, designed on its own CAD systems and manufactured in the company’s factory.
Each Tyre Press is designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned by Penny Hydraulics to the precise requirements of the specific application and customer. Exacting quality assurance standards ensure safe, economical and reliable performance with long maintenance-free service intervals. The company provides a complete design, installation and training service with a nationwide network of engineers to minimise downtime and ensure the continued reliability of the Tyre Press. It’s comprehensive after sales service and maintenance programme is also designed to provide complete peace of mind and help customers meet their statutory inspection and maintenance obligations.