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Switch to refurbished Jungheinrich forklifts helps Sainsbury’s make significant efficiency savings

Leading materials handling and intra-logistics solutions specialist Jungheinrich has completed the refurbishment of over 140 forklift trucks operated by retail giant Sainsbury’s at its St Albans distribution centre.

Jungheinrich originally supplied the trucks -a mix of low-level order pickers, reach and counterbalance models – as new products to Sainsbury’s in 2005.

After six years of service at the St Albans facility, the fleet was due to be replaced and, in line with Sainsbury’s corporate environmental responsibility policy, the company was keen to explore ways of upgrading their trucks in the most environmentally-friendly way possible.

Of course, Sainsbury’s also needed to ensure that its forklifts offered the highest levels of productivity and remained cost-effective to run.

The solution suggested by Jungheinrich, involved Jungheinrich buying back Sainsbury’s entire fleet and refurbishing each truck – together with the batteries used to power them – and then contract hiring the forklifts to Sainsbury’s on a three year deal with parts and maintenance included.

"My colleague Gary King and I both looked very closely at Jungheinrich’s proposition and the kind of environmental and financial savings which the deal could bring to our business," says Sainsbury’s mobile plant equipment fleet manager, Derek Boghurst.

"We concluded that it was an excellent opportunity that worked well for us on a number of levels," he adds.

The refurbishment process began in Autumn 2011 and was completed in phases over six months – which included the busy Christmas period.

Trucks and batteries were removed from Sainsbury’s St Albans operation and sent to Jungheinrich’s dedicated forklift refurbishment plant in Dresden. Jungheinrich supplied ‘bridging’ trucks to ensure that Sainsbury’s business was not interrupted during the phased refurbishment process.

At Dresden every machine was completely dismantled and all worn or defective parts replaced – including tyres and lift chains. The trucks were cleaned and repainted before being safety tested.

Jungheinrich is the first forklift truck manufacturer to have a factory dedicated to used truck refurbishment.

Jungheinrich’s Corporate Accounts Manager, Vernon Hill, says: "The advantage of carrying out this work within the group – rather than through third party dealers – is that we know all of the trucks that leave Dresden have been overhauled according to Jungheinrich’s quality standards so that they meet all legal requirements as well as our customers’ needs."

"Because we refurbish our trucks to such a high standard, our fully refurbished trucks will give many years of efficient and productive service."

"Our aim is to help clients manage their forklift cost base effectively. We were able to demonstrate that by refurbishing their existing fleet we were able to offer considerable cost and environmental benefits for Sainsbury’s without sacrificing productivity or safety, which meant that the company was more than happy to embrace ‘second life’ truck technology."

Neil Warren, Jungheinrich UK Ltd’s Used Equipment and Short Term Rental Director, comments: "We have always contended that a good quality used truck that has been fully refurbished to the relevant European standards represents far better value than certain new models on the market. As I believe this deal demonstrates, Sainsbury’s agrees with our view."

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