The Knauf Insulation manufacturing site at Queensferry, Deeside has recently been supplied with a new fleet of Hyster Fortens H2.5FT-A, 2,500kg capacity diesel powered counterbalance lift trucks by Barloworld Handling. “We have used Hyster trucks for the last 25 years and have always found the trucks to be extremely reliable, and the service received from Barloworld Handling first class,” comments Dai Jones, Maintenance Engineer at Queensferry.
The trucks are the workhorses of the site being used throughout the manufacturing and distribution process. Raw material in the form of basalt, coke and slag is put into a furnace where it is melted down and spun into fibres. The fibres then pass down the line where they are compressed to different thicknesses depending on the end-use of the insulation. Once it has gone through this process the insulation is packed in cubes, hooded with plastic and then palletised.
Once the insulation has been palletised it is removed from the line by a H2.5FT-A equipped with a double-pallet handler. It is then taken to the warehouse where it is stored in racking, or to the plentiful outside storage on-site. In some cases it is taken direct from the line to customer's vehicles for immediate dispatch. The lift trucks will be carrying out this operation 16 hours a day loading up to 40 artics a day.
As the trucks are being used constantly comfort for the operator is of paramount importance. In this respect the new ergonomic features on the Fortens are first-class. All the trucks are fitted with touchpoint mini-levers situated on the adjustable armrest for ease of operation, the steering column is infinitely adjustable, the cab and overhead guard provides excellent visibility, and a horn is conveniently situated on the overhead guard to reduce unnecessary movement when reversing.
In the new fleet of trucks there are four that have double-pallet handling attachments and one that has a bale clamp. In addition to this there are two short-term hire trucks that are used to cope with the extra work until their manufacturing facility in South Wales is up and running. All these trucks are serviced by Barloworld Handling who have their own workshop on site. On the service received by Barloworld Dai Jones comments, “We have been very lucky to have only had four different service engineers dealing with us in the last twenty years. This has helped with continuity and the engineer who looks after us at the moment, Huw Roberts, is a credit to Barloworld with his knowledge and professionalism.”
Knauf Insulation is the UK's leading insulation company and was formed in 1946 as Fibreglass Insulation. It has 100 production plants in over 30 countries worldwide with an annual turnover in excess of €3 billion and is the market leader in the UK. They are the only UK manufacturer of glass mineral wool, rock mineral wool and extruded polystyrene insulation products that gives them an unrivalled range of building, H&V, process and appliance insulation.