Best practice

Crown Equipment sees 2008 as a milestone year for the industry.

“Where productivity and safety have previously seemed competing ideals, they’ve now become mainstream Australian materials handling best-practice,” says general manager marketing Craig Kenchington.

“The market will see this realised in the form of better management and service solutions and more environmentally friendly vehicles.”

As for the last 40 years, Crown still stands by its statement that ‘there’s nothing like a Crown’.

“All our research and development, investment in Australian manufacturing facilities and commitment to customer productivity and operator safety are testament to this,’ Kenchington says.

Officially introduced to the Australian market early this year, Crown’s most recent innovation is the InfoLink system, which monitors and wirelessly communicates truck usage and performance information to a base station.

This allows for a myriad of reports and intelligence to be presented.

“Infolink shows everything from vehicle location and abuse, to maintenance indicators,” Kenchington explains.

“InfoLink gives full visibility in the usage of every vehicle in a forklift fleet and the operators who drive them.”

“This means operators with lower productivity rates can be trained to become more efficient operators,” Kenchington enthuses.

“It also means that maintenance can be scheduled on an actual usage basis rather than just an assumption of use.”

“Additionally, management is able to know exactly where every operator and vehicle is at any given point in time using InfoLink’s onboard wireless communication system.”

“Safety is dramatically increased through a special InfoLink feature where operators can’t even start the unit without having successfully completed a safety checklist using the vehicle’s onboard computer,” Kenchington says.

“Training schedules are also logged, further ensuring that operators have current qualifications for any particular vehicle.”

“Infolink is unique to Australia in that it’s the only such system developed and manufactured by a lift truck manufacturer,” Kenchington says.

“Until InfoLink, if a warehouse or DC manager wanted such a system, it had to be retrofitted as a third party option. InfoLink is totally integrated into the trucks by Crown and therefore overcomes many problems associated with an after-market add-on.”

Progressively implemented across the entire range over the last 5 years, Access 123, is another Crown initiative.

It provides productivity gains by reducing componentry in the trucks and making them easier to maintain.

“This system is used throughout the entire Crown electric range so it has some benefits from a parts and service training point of view,” Craig Kenchington points out.

When it comes to the environment, Craig Kenchington believes today’s range of electric vehicles cover nearly every conceivable application within a warehousing or distribution environment.

“This provides warehouse and distribution centre management every possible reason to change over existing vehicles to these zero emission electric options,” he says.

“Crown is highly committed to sustainable practice,” Kenchington says.

”Our low-pollution rental fleet program follows on from an emission-reduction program we previously completed covering the availability of newer European Tier 2 and Tier 3 emission standard gas trucks in our rental fleet.”

“Currently we have over 300 of these units in our fleet available for customers who wish to use one of the most environmentally friendly lift trucks in Australia.”

“These trucks actually reduce the emissions over a non certified truck by a huge 95 per cent.”

This complements our already environmentally friendly electric powered rental fleet and provides customers with what are now the most environmentally friendly fleet options available anywhere in Australia,” he says.

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