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Short term forklift truck hire solution for Antarctic exploration

A Staffordshire-based supplier of forklift trucks is playing a part in the exploration and study of one of the world’s most remote and hostile environments.

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is at the forefront of scientific research on the frozen continent and it has recently signed a contract with Briggs Equipment for a short-term hire (STH) truck that will help its massive logistics operation.

Every year BAS sends two ships – RSS Ernest Shackleton and RSS James Clark Ross – to Antarctica and putting the stores together at its headquarters can prove a massive task, especially when the ships are due to set sail or return to the UK.

Mick Cliff, Stores Manager at BAS explained: "Every year we handle around 1000 tonnes of cargo, which can include everything from toilet rolls to high-tech scientific equipment.

"We already have one 2.5 tonne truck from Briggs on a five year contract but during the summer months, when it is winter in Antarctica, we are at our busiest – unloading equipment and samples that have returned from Antarctica and then loading stores and equipment that will be used over the Antarctic summer."

To help BAS cope with the extra workload, Briggs have supplied one of it latest Yale trucks on a four month STH agreement. The three tonne LPG powered vehicle is one of the latest additions to Briggs’s STH fleet and is less than a year old.

With a reach height of five metres and 1300mm forks, the truck’s reliability will be crucial to the success of this year’s expeditions.

Continued Mick: "We are always working to very strict deadlines as the ships will not wait for us and so reliability is essential, as is an efficient stores operation. We have turned to Briggs once again because we have been impressed by both the equipment and their ongoing service and support."

Allan Parsons, asset manager of Briggs Equipment, added: "We are delighted to have been asked to help BAS in the support of its vital research operation in Antarctica. This latest contract also illustrates the high regard in which our STH service is held and the quality of our state-of-the-art fleet.

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