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A Premium forklift fleet

12 December 2012

A bespoke fleet of Yale forklifts helps Premium Timber Products and its team of forklift operators deliver goods to every B&Q store across the UK and Ireland In the current economic climate, more and more people are

A bespoke fleet of Yale forklifts helps Premium Timber Products and its team of forklift operators deliver goods to every B&Q store across the UK and Ireland

In the current economic climate, more and more people are turning to DIY to improve their homes without breaking the bank. But this demand has increased the pressure placed on suppliers to the retail marketplace, particularly in the area of product supply. With this added pressure comes a greater need to operate the most efficient and reliable handling equipment.

That's why Premium Timber Products, a market leader in the sourcing and development of timber and PVCU products, has taken delivery of nine bespoke GLP25VX Yale counterbalance trucks as part of a new deal with Forkway, a UK distributor for Yale Europe Materials Handling.

With sites located in West Yorkshire and Somerset, Premium Timber's largest operation is at its 160,000 square foot warehouse in Dewsbury where every week 30-40 lorries are loaded and unloaded to deliver stock to B&Q's 380 stores.

Steve Dyer, Premium Timber's Operations and Logistics Manager, explained: "Our operation needs to be timed to the minute as any delay can incur heavy financial penalties for us.

Reliability is fundamental which is why we needed a handling partner we can trust to supply the right product with renowned after-sales service." Forkway has had a close relationship with Premium Timber Products for almost 20 years and when Forkway became a Yale Dealer in 2008, the company systematically sold the benefits of switching to one of the world's largest and most respected manufacturers of materials handling equipment.

Damian Hardy, Area Sales Manager for Forkway, explained: "With our own service experience and the flexibility of the Yale machines we worked closely with our customer to establish a handling solution that fit their application exactly and overcame a number of materials handling challenges." Flexibility was a key requirement for Premium Timber because it works multiple operations, from picking stock to loading and unloading goods in and out of containers. Therefore, Forkway changed the specification on some of the machines so that they could perform a multitude of applications.

Two of the trucks for example have been fitted with 4950mm masts, to enable the machines to work as efficiently inside containers as they do externally. All the trucks also benefit from the Yale electronically controlled Techtronix 100 Transmission which provides auto deceleration (ADS), controlled roll back on gradients (CRB) and controlled power reversal (CPR). This prevents wheel spin on acceleration and fast forward to reverse direction change, reducing tyre wear and costs.

To further help reduce costs and CO2 emissions, an automatic engine shut down facility has been integrated into the seat so that the machine automatically shuts itself down after a set time limit if the operator leaves the truck idling. In addition, a dual purpose radiator system helps cool water and transmission oil.

With the drivers at the heart of the operation, Premium Timber also wanted to improve the safe operation of the machines as well as overall comfort to help increase productivity levels.

Damian explained: "With the operators spending around 40 per cent of their time going backwards, each truck benefits from a handle located on the back of the overheard guard which helps stabilise the operators when reversing. The handle is also fitted with a horn to increase safety as operators don't need to turn around to use the horn in the centre of the steering wheel." As the drivers work mainly indoors each machine has been fitted with a cloth covered seat for improved ergonomics and, in addition, every truck has been installed with operator password access to help managers monitor truck performance.

Overall, the Yale machines are expected to reduce Premium Timber's previous fleet costs by 15-17% due to the standard truck features and options specified by Timber Products as part of the site and application survey carried out by Forkway.

"When everything was laid out on the table from the new technology through to the unprecedented service support we have always received from Forkway, we had no doubt that this was the right move for us," added Steve. "We are really pleased that we made the decision to move to the Yale product through Forkway. Their personal and proactive approach makes us real partners in business." Forkway's Group Sales Director, Richard Greaves added: "Since becoming a Yale Dealer, we have seen huge success. This year we have taken over 1,000 years worth of contract hire business and our largest ever order. Premium Timber is part of this success and we look forward to further strengthening our partnership with them and ensuring they get the best value from their Yale fleet."