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Snow’s no problem for Combilift

11 January 2019

Deep snow and ice is no obstacle to efficient materials handling with Combilift sideloaders – as Norwegian timber and roof truss manufacturer Pretre has found out to its benefit...

Being prepared for winter weather is vital for keeping materials on the move. In Scandinavia this is even more of an issue, particularly for Combilift customer Pretre, one of Norway’s leading manufacturers of roof elements, trusses and pre-cut timber. Snow is present at its headquarters and other sites for over six months of the year, making for challenging operating conditions. Pretre recently acquired its twelfth multidirectional Combilift forklift to enable the reliable handling and storage of its bulky raw materials and finished products.

The initial impetus for switching from traditional sideloaders was the tendency of these 2-directional trucks to slip on the snowy and icy surfaces. Combilift’s Norwegian dealer Jørund Woll of Materialhandtering A.S. recommended Combilift due to its ability to cope with tough conditions. “Where other makes of sideloaders struggle with wheel spin, the all-wheel drive and traction of the Combilifts is ideally suited for the weather here, ” he said.   

The first Combilift at Pretre was a Combi-SL sideloader with rear mounted cab, which is beneficial when a lot of picking and placing of product is involved as it gives the operator an even better view of the load. Combilift sideloaders with front or rear mounted cabs and 4.5t or 5t lift capacities now comprise around half Pretre’s fleet. Their multidirectional ability makes for easier manouevering of roof trusses (which can be up to 20 metres long) and allows for additional storage space in the yard. They also speed up the loading of the trusses which need to be upended onto the bed of the HGV.   

4t C4000 C-Series models and an electric powered truck work mainly indoors for the internal transport of materials to and from the production lines but also outside when needed.  “Many electric models from other manufacturers are for inside use only, but the Combi-C4000E is very versatile,” said Mr. Woll. “Full AC electric drive on the front right and rear wheel increases traction and with one of the drive wheels positioned directly under the platform/load, very exact directional travel can be achieved with heavy loads. Regenerative braking increases battery life for longer operations per charge.