GraysOnline uses new warehousing solutions at its NSW warehouses

Australian online auction house GraysOnline has utilised Toyota Materials Handling to equip its main NSW warehouse.

The 30,000 square metre warehouse at Homebush handles around 85 per cent of the company's products, with approximately 35 000 individual stock movements a week.

Rick Jacobs, GraysOnline's Homebush warehouse manager explained that due to its high volumes in the warehouse, the company needed material handling equipment compatible to that used at Australia Post.

"It is vital that our warehouse equipment can operate with Australia Post's uniform loading devices," he said.

"The high-reach forklifts had to be specified with low multi-stage masts, so they could work under our mezzanine racking and also reach the top pick heights in the seven-metre high racking."

Due to the heavy level of stock movements, coupled with the need to carry these out at speed, the auction company has implemented 35 Toyota battery electric machines.

According to Toyota the site's equipment includes Toyota 1.8-tonne payload 8FBN18 counter-balance forklifts, Toyota three-tonne payload 7FB30 forklifts, BT RRE reach forklifts, and BT low-level order pickers and BT Levio pallet trucks, with the last ones commissioned in March earlier this year.

Jacobs said it turned to Toyota after considering three factors – its safety capability, service maintenance, and whether the company's product range met GraysOnline's warehouse needs.

He stated that the after sale service levels has been high.

"The number of forklifts on site means TMHA's Sydney service technicians are here once a month for regular maintenance," Jacobs said.

GraysOnline uses new warehousing solutions at its NSW warehouses

Australian online auction house GraysOnline has utilised Toyota Materials Handling to equip its main NSW warehouse.

The 30 000 square meter warehouse at Homebush handles around 85 per cent of the company's products, with approximately 35 000 individual stock movements a week.

Rick Jacobs, GraysOnline's Homebush warehouse manager explained that due to its high volumes in the warehouse, the company needed material handling equipment compatible to that used at Australia Post.

"It is vital that our warehouse equipment can operate with Australia Post's uniform loading devices," he said.

"The high-reach forklifts had to be specified with low multi-stage masts, so they could work under our mezzanine racking and also reach the top pick heights in the seven-metre high racking."

Due to the heavy level of stock movements, coupled with the need to carry these out at speed, the auction company has implemented 35 Toyota battery electric machines.

According to Toyota the site's equipment includes Toyota 1.8-tonne payload 8FBN18 counter-balance forklifts, Toyota three-tonne payload 7FB30 forklifts, BT RRE reach forklifts, and BT low-level order pickers and BT Levio pallet trucks, with the last ones commissioned in March earlier this year.

Jacobs said it turned to Toyota after considering three factors – its safety capability, service maintenance, and whether the company's product range met GraysOnline's warehouse needs.

He stated that the after sale service levels has been high.

"The number of forklifts on site means TMHA's Sydney service technicians are here once a month for regular maintenance," Jacobs said.

 

Konecranes receives first straddle carrier order from Maher Terminals in US

Konecranes has announced that in May 2012 it received an order for six straddle carriers from Maher Terminals LLC in the US.

This is the first straddle carrier delivery Konecranes will make to Maher, which is one of the world's largest container terminal operators, being used by multiple shipping lines and customers.

The straddle carriers will be delivered to Maher's terminal in the Port of New York and New Jersey in November 2012. The parties have agreed not to disclose the value of the order.

Maher Terminals LLC has developed a highly flexible and efficient container terminal operation in the Port of New York and New Jersey, which is strategically located in the heart of one of the world’s most affluent consumer markets. The company currently operates a fleet of over 160 straddle carriers.

Jost Dämmgen, Sales Manager, Port Cranes, Konecranes commented that the company is “very pleased that Maher chose Konecranes’ diesel electric straddle carriers to replace aging equipment in its terminal. The state-of-the-art Konecranes straddle carrier combined with service, spare parts, and a training package will surely help our customer reach a higher level of quality and services."

The ordered straddle carriers are equipped with Konecranes electrical drives and power train components, and have a hoisting capacity of 40 tons in single container operations and 50 tons in twin twenty operations lifting one over two containers high.

Toyota Material Handling Australia establishes new premises in Albury-Wodonga and Gladstone

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has announced that it has new premises in Albury-Wodonga and Gladstone.

The new Albury branch was established to provide TMHA with a direct presence in the region, while the company's existing branch has moved to larger premises. The Albury-Wodonga region was previously serviced by an agent.

TMHA states that both moves will increase the company's customer support capability, and confirm the company's commitment to these regions.

Gareth Conlan, the manager of TMHA's Albury-Wodonga branch, said service vans based at the facility cover a wide area – east to Corryong, north to Wagga Wagga, south to Euroa and west to Yarrawonga.

"Establishing a direct TMHA presence has many benefits for customers in the area. We can now offer dedicated field support as well as a fully equipped service facility capable of handling all forklift and skid-steer loader jobs," Mr Conlan said.

Gladstone branch manager Steve Anderson said his service technicians cover a huge area – north to Rockhampton, south to Maryborough and west to Emerald.

"The new premises offer a substantially larger workshop area and increased warehouse space for a wide range of spare parts. The new, larger workshop area means we can bring in forklifts for any major service and our earthmoving customers can have their Toyota Huski skid-steer loaders serviced in our facility," Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson said Toyota had a long history of customer support for Toyota forklifts and Huski skid-steer loaders in the Gladstone region, initially via service vans based in Brisbane.

How to safely replace pneumatic tyres

A RECENT fatality in NSW where a container handling reach stacker’s five piece split rim wheel assembly exploded has again brought attention to the danger of wheel removals and replacements on forklifts with pneumatic tyres for the local materials handling industry.

Incidents of this kind, while not a first, is not a rarity. MLA Holdings says technicians and tyre fitters need to be especially wary around big trucks with multi piece rims and pneumatic tyres, and follow safety regulations in regards to these pieces of equipment.

A relatively minor crack or fault on the tyre or rim can quickly develop into an explosion due to the high air pressure within, which can reach up to 1100 KPA or 155 PSI.

Removing, replacing wheels

When removing a wheel from a heavy truck or container handler, the tyre must be fully deflated, neutralising all the inside air pressure. This will reduce the risk of a catastrophic wheel explosion during the process.

MLA Holdings says it uses a wheel and tyre safety supplement to instruct tyre fitters and technicians on how to safely and correctly remove and replace tyres.

When removing wheels, the truck should be parked on level ground in a safe working area. The technician should chock the wheels and isolate the ignition and batteries.

Jack up the truck at the jack points and secure with an axle support device. It is important to not rely on just the jack.

Before removing any wheel nuts fully deflate all wheels that are to be removed.

Remove the wheel nuts and use a suitable lifting device to remove the wheel.

When replacing the wheel, inspect the tyre and rim for damage and cracking, and reject if faulty.

The wheel should be placed into the tyre safety cage and inflated to the recommended inflation pressure.

The inflated wheel should be inspected for defects, then fully deflated for removal from the tyre safety cage. If defects were found, the technician should rectify them.

Using a suitable lifting device, place the wheel onto the truck and tighten wheel nuts in correct sequence to recommended torque setting.

Even at this stage, precautions need to be taken in case of a tyre explosion.

A protection device placed near the wheel assembly will minimise the potential trajectory of explosions.

Inflate the tyre to the recommended inflation pressure from outside the trajectory zone, once again inspect the wheel, before remove the protection device, axle support device and jack.

Test run truck and retighten wheel nuts in correct sequence to recommended torque setting.

Return the truck to service, but after 10 hours of use, the wheel nuts should be retightened in the correct sequence to the recommended torque setting.

No fizzle for green forklifts

Demand for more "green" power options is expected to grow as Australia moves to become a more carbon-efficient economy. Annie Dang writes.

SHIFTING towards more environmental friend equipment options has allowed many manufacturers retain if not gain a competitive advantage in the market, however the up-take of "green" power source technology has largely remained slow in the local market.

Nathan Tiles, Adaptalift Hyster's engineering manager said 'green' power options in the local materials handling equipment field is still in an early phase with experimental work being conducted primarily in Europe and North America in relation to both hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid technologies.

"However in less exotic ways, emission footprints of material handling equipment are steadily reducing due to the implementations of smarter battery charging, for example intelligent HF charging, and or higher level compliant internal combustion engines, such as Tier 4i compliant diesel engines," he told Logistics & Materials Handling.

While it is not clear how the new tax will be applied or administered, Australian manufacturers have been gearing up for its arrival through embracing cleaner energy options for forklifts and lift trucks, even if not at the same pace as it European and North American counterparts.

"Certainly Blue Chip companies and those with high potential carbon tax liabilities are interested and running internal programs to reduce overall emissions in any manner possible," said Tiles.

Electric forklifts are by far the most popular alterative source for clean power in Australia. This is largely due to Australia having more relaxed environmental laws and standards compared to European, UK and North American markets, where alternative as hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts are being rolled out.

"At present fuel cell technology can be described as immature, and a business must assess whether the benefit outweighs the risk in their particular application," explained Tiles.

Green option for Australia

While speculation is that fuel cell technology might fizzle out of interest in the local market, its uptake abroad, this year alone, proves the technology has market pull.

In January, Air Liquide deployed France's first hydrogen fuel cell powered lift trucks at its Vatry Air Liquide welding supply chain platform. The two hydrogen-powered Crown lift trucks are part of a larger upgrade of the Vatry platform and follows news that Air Liquide subsidiary, Axane, would be working with Plug Power to bring its successful GenDrive technology to European forklifts.

In February, Air Products said it is bringing fuel cell material handling vehicle hydrogen refuelling stations on stream in the US for a new customer with warehouses in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Texas. The refuelling stations are expected to fuel more than 1,000 fuel cell forklifts daily.

Coca-Cola has also revealed a fleet of 37 fuel cell forklift fleet and 19 fuel cell pallet jacks for its huge San Leandro bottling plant in California. Plug Power supplied the GenDrive fuel cells, which are designed as drop-in replacements for the lead-acid batteries used in electric lift trucks. 

In the UK, Marks and Spencer has signed a pilot agreement to conduct the UK's first fuel cell materials handling trial with on-site hydrogen production. 

WA concrete products manufacturer expands business with new Toyota forklift

A progressive West Australian concrete products manufacturer has commissioned a specially modified Toyota 02-7FDA50 forklift to assist with plans to grow its business by 20 per cent.

Having built a strong reputation for its range of pre-cast concrete drainage products, Maddington Concrete Products is expanding to also produce concrete pipes.

The new forklift will be used to handle sections of this concrete pipe, and features a Cascade paper-roll clamp, which is traditionally used for handling newsprint rolls. Toyota Material Handling's Perth branch imported and fitted the attachment.

Maddington Concrete Products General Manager, Tony D'Agnone, explained that the company will offer concrete pipe in 2.44 metre sections, with inside diameters ranging from 300 to 1200mm.

"A 1200mm diameter section of pipe weighs two tonnes and we needed a machine with a special attachment to handle those loads," he said.

Maddington Concrete Products has used Toyota forklifts for more than three decades. Its newest acquisition brings the number of active forklifts in its fleet to seven.

Toyota Material Handling Perth Branch Area Sales Manager Tony McGuire said the high levels of safety, performance and versatility offered by the Toyota 02-7FDA50 forklift made it an ideal choice for Maddington Concrete Products.

"Even with the special attachment fitted for the company’s unique applications, the Toyota 02-7FDA50 forklift performs at the highest level while providing its operator with peace of mind via leading safety features such as Toyota SAS for preventing tip-overs," he said.

Three forklift incidents prompt safety warnings

WorkSafe Victoria has issued a forklift safety warning following news that a man was struck by a forklift on 24 April 2012; the same week three other companies were prosecuted for forklift–related incidents.

The Morwell incident involved a truck driver being hit by a reversing forklift while he was standing near the front of his vehicle. The incident occurred at a business in Swan Road, Morwell. The man underwent surgery at the Latrobe Valley Hospital.

Companies being prosecuted for forklift–related incidents that same week included The Age Print Company, Limnos Poultry and Polycell Australia.

The Age Print Company was fined $20,000 without conviction, after pleading guilty to an incident at its Tullamarine Print Centre where a worker was struck by a reversing forklift in December 2009. The worker suffered serious injuries while working in a loading dock. The court found the site did not have adequate measures in place to reduce the risk of forklifts colliding with pedestrians.

Devon Meadows chicken processing company, Limnos Poultry was fined $15,000 without conviction, after an employee was struck by a load fell and struck him causing him to suffer serious injuries including a broken leg in February 2010.Limnos pleaded guilty at the Frankston Magistrates’ Court, to failing to provide a safe workplace. The court was told a lack of traffic management and a lack of information, instruction and supervision contributed to the incident.

Dandenong South company, Polycell Australia was convicted and fined $100,000 after a worker fell almost two metres from a pallet that had been raised by a forklift. The company which makes bubble wrap, pleaded guilty at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court to two charges of failing to provide a safe workplace. The October 2009 incident happened when the worker, was thrown from the elevated pallet after the forklift driver suddenly braked. WorkSafe Victoria said its investigation found no safe working procedures were in place relating to this particular task and that the company failed to provide proper supervision, instruction and training.

All companies have since implemented relevant measures to eliminate the risk of incidents involving forklifts, WorkSafe Victoria said in a statement.

Forklift servicing tips – 10 tips to save you time and money

Adaptalift Hyster’s Victorian service manager, Alex Enticknap shares his top 10 tips to servicing forklifts. 

  1. Ensure your forklift is serviced within the prescribed service intervals. This will keep your forklift in optimum running condition which in turn will reduce fuel consumption.
  2. Complete your daily checks such as oils, water and tyres, and don’t forget the safety items like seatbelt, mirrors, rating plate, and emergency disconnect for all you battery electric users.
  3. Raise those fork tynes. Excessive wear on fork tynes is generally caused by dragging them around on the ground. Not only is more fuel being used in this process, you are also wearing out your fork tynes which again is an avoidable cost.
  4. Call in those problems. Don’t leave it for the next operator, as components can wear out during a shift. If you see a problem report it!
  5. Keep an eye on those hydraulic hoses for wear (Splitting/cracking or weeping). Organise replacements prior to them failing.
  6. Forklifts are the vacuum cleaners of the warehouse industry. If you have compressed air, blow the unit out including the radiator weekly. This will keep your unit clean inside and also keep the unit from having a blocked radiator which is a common problem.
  7. Ensure your operators are licensed and trained to operate the equipment. Having unlicensed or untrained operators can be detrimental to the safety of others and the condition and use of your forklift. Operating the forklift without the knowledge of completing a licence can lead to ineffective daily checks. Knowing the boundaries’ of your equipment such as “Stability Triangle” or “Rear end Swing” can prevent overloading and damage to your equipment and surrounding structures.
  8. Check your tyre wear. Is the forklift operating in the same direction and turning the same corners? This can cause premature tyre wear. During the routine maintenance ensure the tyres are rotated for maximum efficiency. This is the same for tandem load wheels on Reach & Pallet Trucks.
  9. Traction battery maintenance, use the WOW Principle (Water On Wednesday). Top the battery up after charge, and do not opportunity charge your battery as this will reduce the life of your battery. Keep in mind it is the fuel for the forklift.
  10. Uptime versus Downtime. Call it in prior to a failure. This will increase productivity and reduce downtime and most of all maintain equipment to manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines.

Sourced: Adaptalift Hyster Logistics & Materials Handling Blog

New forklift fleet lifts transport operator business

Perth-based transport company, Warners Transport, which specialises in small to large scale transport and warehousing services for range of industries, including mining, says the switch to Toyota forklifts last year has helped to improve its family own-operations.

Last year the company invested in a fleet of new Toyota forklifts and reach trucks to replace its existing fleet from another materials handling provider.

"We put the forklifts through a lot of hard work and they are extremely reliable and easy to operate – overall they’re a real step-up for our day-to-day operations," said Warners Transport co-owner, Shane Warner.

The company acquired four 32-8FG25 forklifts and one 32-8FG30 with container masts for its Welshpool warehouse, where forklift operators each move between five to 20 containers per day.

According to Warner, the safety features and running performance of forklifts made the large workload more manageable.

"My operators have told me the machines are quieter and more comfortable to use with easier controls than those we previously used," he said.

"They are also better balanced and more stable when cornering, which is very important when carting such heavy loads."

The 8FG forklifts feature Toyota’s System of Active Stability (SAS) for safe manoeuvring and Operator Presence Sensing (OPS), which prevents accidental movement.

Other features include SAS Automatic Fork Levelling Control, 2237cc 4Y petrol engines for ergonomic control and smooth, quiet operation.

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