Toro upgrades its warehouse network

Australia’s largest single supplier of irrigation, garden and turf care products has selected Toyota Material Handling to provide its counterbalance forklift and reach truck requirements.

“We’d had Toyota forklifts at our warehouses in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth on five-year leases and they had performed very well for us,” says Toro Australia National Distribution Manager, Hank Dirksen.

“We decided to keep our Toyota forklifts for an extra two years while we moved into new warehouses and worked out our requirements for new, high-density and narrow aisle environments.”

“Apart from equipment performance comparisons we considered driver comfort and driver acceptibility because we believe that if somebody is happy with the machine they are given, then they will enjoy their work, be more productive and treat the equipment better.”

The specific nature of Toro’s business makes driver acceptability and equipment durability particularly important.

“We have a core workforce which works the whole year round and in the summer months we supplement it to deal with the seasonal nature of our business,” Dirksen explains.

“Irrigation is traditionally a summer business and at most of our sites the employee numbers can almost double as we add casuals.”

“It’s important to have material handling equipment to which casual staff can adapt quickly.”

“That’s been the case for us with Toyota forklifts. Because of Toyota’s place in the market we find that a lot of the casuals are familiar with Toyota equipment from other jobs where they have worked.”

“After our comprehensive review process the verdict was that Toyota Material Handling provided the best options — including for reach trucks which we hadn’t used before.”

The new Toro material handling fleet consists of two 6FBRE16 reach trucks, 10 LPG powered 2.5 litre 8-Series forklifts and seven battery electric 1.8 tonne capacity, three wheel forklifts.

Aside from its role servicing and maintaining the equipment under five year operating lease arrangements, Toyota Material Handling is working closely with Toro to monitor forklift usage and to suggest periodic role changes to even out machine usage.

It is also providing equipment to simplify battery charging and swaps for Toro’s battery electric forklifts which are now working up to 16 hours a day.

While the battery electric forklifts are Toro’s workhorse units inside its warehouses, the company also selected the advanced technology option for its Toyota 8 Series 2.5 tonne capacity internal combustion forklifts to ensure low exhaust gas emissions.

This also provided Toro with a 15 per cent reduction in fuel consumption over the previous 7 Series Toyota internal combustion forklifts’ performance.

“We’ve provided our operators with the best available equipment, so it makes sense that the emissions they produce are as low as they can possibly be,” Dirksen says.

“That’s what we get with our Toyota forklifts.”

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