Thursday 27th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Turning in tight spaces fully laden crucial

Supplying more than 300 tonnes of foam a week to the bedding, furniture and automotive industries from its UK headquarters in Derbyshire, it is crucial that the warehouse at Recticel, one of the UK’s leading foam manufacturers, runs smoothly. Lifting blocks of foam – they are up to 2.5m long and 2m wide within tight aisles – the trucks have to be highly manoeuvrable, as well as energy efficient to fit in with long shift patterns.

Turning to Toyota Industrial Equipment (TIE) for its materials handling needs has meant that the warehouse is now running at optimum efficiency.

Impact Toyota recently reviewed the company’s warehouse requirements and realised it would benefit from Toyota’s new battery transfer system and its latest three-wheeled forklift – the 7FBEF.

Chris Gooday, warehouse manager at Recticel, explains why Toyota’s 7FBEF trucks and battery transfer system were the obvious choice to replace its previous fleet of Toyota 5FBE three-wheeled trucks.

“The load that the 7FBEF forklifts have to carry is larger than the trucks themselves. We decided on these three-wheeled trucks as they are compact, ideal for working in confined spaces and are able to turn with a full load in tight spaces.

“With our previous system we had to use a forklift to lift the battery out and replace it with a recharged one. Now with the new battery transfer system the whole process is much more safe and efficient. We are able to run two shifts a day. Before the battery transfer system was in place we often found that the old trucks would run out of energy before the end of their shifts, which meant that workers had to stay late. Now with the Toyota AC? Power System installed on the trucks, the trucks performance levels are maintained even when the battery is low – making sure we get the most out of our fleet.”

Developed by Toyota, the AC2 Power System ensures optimum productivity on its electric trucks. AC2 technology ensures performance levels are maintained even while the battery charge is decreasing.

Gooday comments: “When we first looked at reviewing our materials handling contract 12 years ago, we invited Toyota along with other leading manufacturers to demonstrate their trucks. We asked our drivers to test them and they were unanimous that the Toyota trucks were the best.

“Since then we continually ask our drivers’ opinion about the trucks. The new 7FBEF electric trucks are very popular. They are comfortable and easy to operate. The mini levers are now at their fingertips which they think is a great improvement.”