A mobile dock lift from Transdek UK Ltd is proving a fast, cost-effective solution for loading trailers at a new regional distribution centre opened by A F Blakemore and Son Ltd in the West Midlands.
A F Blakemore is one of six wholesalers that supply 700 of the 2,700 SPAR convenience stores throughout the UK. In order to accommodate the SPAR range and store growth strategy, A F Blakemore recently opened an additional ambient facility at Darlaston to complement and support its local Willenhall facilities. Every day approximately 575 roll cages of grocery products are loaded and despatched on to 12 trailers for consolidation at Willenhall for onward distribution to the stores.
The interior of the warehouse and the outside yard are on the same level. Using tail-lifts to load and unload the trailers would have been too slow and occupied drivers for too long, according to Nathan Black, Blakemore's operations manager, while installing a scissor lift would have been expensive and involved considerable civil engineering work. Instead, the company decided to install a Transdek free-standing dock lift, which required no civil engineering work, was ready for use in two hours and could be moved between loading bays as required.
The lift platform measures 3500mm long x 2450mm wide and has a load capacity of 4500kg, so 16 cages can be carried at a time and a trailer can be loaded in just 15 minutes. A bridging plate automatically adjusts for different vehicle floor heights between 1050mm and 1400mm, including powered double-deck trailers. Heavy-duty buffers protect it from reversing vehicles, and wheels are fitted at each corner so that it can be moved if required. It runs from 415-volt three-phase electricity.