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One-sided approach pays off for Emtec

The introduction of JCB Teletruk technology has allowed Emtec, a leading manufacturer of louvres and acoustic products, to improve operational efficiency by freeing up valuable outside space at its High Wycombe-based production and distribution facility.

The outdoor area at Emtec’s High Wycombe site is constricted so the loading yard doubles up as the staff car park. This means that prior to the Teletruk’s arrival, the company was often forced to ask personnel to remove their car from the car park if a trailer-load of goods arrived at the site during office hours.

Tim Wright, Emtec Products’ Operations Manager, comments: “We attempted to schedule deliveries before 08.00 and after 17.30 – before the majority of staff arrive for the day and after they have gone home in the evening – when the yard/car park is empty, but, of course, this is not always possible.”

Tim Wright continues: “Quite simply, with an average trailer measuring some 2.5 metres wide, unloading or loading with a standard two tonne counterbalanced forklift truck required all of our available yard space to allow the lift truck to manoeuvre safely around the vehicle to load or retrieve pallets, so we frequently had little option but to ask staff to move their vehicles. This, as you can imagine, caused considerable irritation as well as no little disruption to the working day.”

Switching from a counterbalanced forklift to Teletruk technology has provided the solution to Emtec’s problem.

Thanks to its unique telescopic reach, the Teletruk can access curtainsided trailers from just one side and, with a Teletruk, a curtainsider requires a width of just six metres within which to be loaded or unloaded.

Now, trailers arriving at Emtec’s High Wycombe site park up to be processed by the Teletruk against a side wall in an area of the yard where no cars are left. The space would previously have been too narrow for a counterbalanced machine (which has to pick from both sides of the trailer) to operate in.

And furthermore, because, on average, the Teletruk loads or unloads each delivery in around 30 minutes, Emtec is able to complete more trailer turnarounds at the start and end of each day.

The ability to process more incoming and outgoing loads outside of office hours coupled with the more efficient use of Emtec’s outside space means that the disruption caused by the need for staff to move their cars each time a trailer arrives at or leaves the site, has been eliminated.

The gas-powered Teletruk works both inside and outside at Emtec. Incoming goods – which include acoustic products, steel, doors and cladding materials – are delivered directly from the trailer to the warehouse where, in most cases, they are block stacked. Orders for outgoing trailer loads are picked and delivered to waiting vehicles for distribution to Emtec customers throughout the UK.

And, Emtec’s lift truck operators had little difficulty adjusting to the Teletruk’s design and quickly mastered the skills required after undertaking a one-day conversion course. “If you can drive a counterbalanced truck, you can drive a Teletruk,” says Emtec’s Tim Wright.

Paul Murray, JCB’s Teletruk general manager, says: “The Teletruk’s functionality means the area required to load and unload goods at Emtec’s site has been greatly reduced. By introducing a single JCB Teletruk, Emtec has optimised the exterior floorspace available at its site and, as a result, deliveries do not disturb staff from their daily routines.”

He continues: “A great deal of thought and planning goes into the internal design and layout of a warehouse or storage facility, but the efficient use of outside space is frequently overlooked.

“But this is changing as more and more warehouse operators and third party logistics and fulfilment specialists switch on to the importance of optimising every square metre of a site’s external capacity,” he adds.

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