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Solution to a slippery problem

Mitsubishi trucks give fish auctioneer confidence in tricky conditions. The city of Hull is at the heart of the North of England's fishing industry … and at the heart of Hull is the state-of-the-art facility of Hull Fish Auction Ltd. Since opening its doors in 2000, it has developed a reputation as the most quality-conscious fresh fish market in the whole of Western Europe.

Each day the auction takes in countless tonnes of fresh fish from the northern seas off Iceland, Faroe and Norway, creating wet surfaces that make it very difficult for tyres to get a grip. In such a non-stop business, and in such a precarious environment, reliable equipment is not merely desirable – it is essential.

So when Hull Fish Auction decided its existing fleet of forklift trucks was not up to the job, local Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks dealer MH Industrial Ltd was approached for a solution. Well used to dealing with fish-related applications, MH has been supplying counterbalance trucks for more than 19 years.

“The customer needed counterbalance trucks that could be relied on to work round the clock in wet and slippery conditions,” explained Andy Tuffnell, MH Industrial's Sales & Service Manager. “The trucks needed to provide excellent traction, manoeuvre well in tight spaces, and offer strength and flexibility.

“Having assessed the application thoroughly, we put together a bespoke package of trucks and service that met the facility's needs perfectly. The new fleet consists of five Mitsubishi FB25K PAC electric counterbalance trucks and one gas-powered FG20N. The electrics benefit from leading-edge AC technology, which gives exceptionally powerful, controlled and efficient performance. They're also quiet and emission-free – which is just what you need for work indoors. At the same time, very low emissions make the gas-powered truck suitable for enclosed settings as well.

“The standard trucks have a high specification, and to that we added a number of special custom-fitted features to meet the particular challenges of the job. These included rotators to tip half-tonne fish boxes into hoppers, and wider carriage-mounted side shifts to make light work of picking up and loading boxes into containers. We re-sited the lights, to reduce the risk of damage within the confines of the containers, and specified white non-marking tyres that won't leave black tracks on the building's hygienically sealed floor.”

“These FBK PACs are amazing,” says Hamish Duncan, Site Engineer for Hull Fish Auction. “They do the job miles better than the fleet we had before. And they're so efficient. The charging system and battery life are a great improvement on the other trucks we've used. Our main running time is at night, and the trucks will go from late afternoon right through to early morning, then onto the market floor, so they really are used 24 hours a day. They've speeded up production time, loading time, handling time… in fact everything. What's more, the service I'm getting from MH is excellent.

“The drivers are happy, too. They've noticed how much more traction and grip they have, which gives them confidence out on the floor. They love the ease of using ergonomic fingertip controls rather than leaning forward to move big levers, and they're really impressed by the auto brake feature that kicks in as soon as the driver takes his foot off the throttle. That's an important safety feature in a wet workplace.”

Terry Foreman, General Manager of Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks UK, is certain the new relationship between MH Industrial and Hull Fish Auction will bring continued success for both companies. “Hull Fish Auction has a really great reputation and they couldn't have picked a better forklift dealer than MH Industrial. Whether it's additional forklifts or shelving and racking solutions, MH will be there in an instant to meet every need.”

For further information on Hull Fish Auction Ltd, call 01482 380400, email info@fishgate.co.uk or visit the website www.fishgate.co.uk.

MH Industrial is one of the UK's leading suppliers of forklifts and materials handling systems. Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks has recently presented MH with a Gold Award for its performance, as well as a special Award for Outstanding Achievement. For further information, contact MH Industrial, MH House, Madeley Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU3 2AH. Tel 01482 328896, fax 01482 225867, email sales@mhindustrial.co.uk or visit www.mhindustrial.co.uk.

For further information on the award-winning Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks range, and the services available from local dealers.
Tel: 0118 988 0221
Fax: 0118 988 0347.

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