Faiveley Transport has chosen three Aisle-Master AC electric powered articulated trucks for its depot at Birkenhead, which specialises in the overhaul of train parts such as brake and coupling equipment.
Stripped down parts are received from train operators across the UK and Europe in stillages or boxes. The Aisle-Masters have the versatility to offload the parts in the yard and follow their progress through the overhaul, reassembly and testing process before reloading up the finished product.
Assembly supervisor Steve Gibbs said: “ After trialling a number of trucks with our handling providers Carrylift, the Aisle-Master came out on top – our drivers preferred the ease of operation and ergonomics. Aisle-Master also supplied the add-ons we wanted, and painted the trucks in our corporate colours at the point of manufacture, so when the trucks were delivered they were exactly according to our requirements. The integrated scales have also eliminated constant repairs to the cables needed to attach the scales on our old trucks, which has saved on maintenance costs and downtime.”
The Aisle-Masters have replaced a combination of two other articulated trucks and a gas powered counterbalance forklift, which was greedy on space and not cut out for working inside owing to the fumes it emitted.
There are currently 700 pallet spaces at the Birkenhead site, but this will increase when the annex is racked out this year. By basing the new racking layout around the manoeuvrability and narrow aisle capabilities of the Aisle-Masters, Faiveley will be able to maximise the storage density in this area to accord with the company’s growth and increasing volume of parts it receives.
Two of the Aisle-Masters work primarily within the warehouse, while the third is designated to the assembly area, but all are used outside in the yard. “This area has traditionally been very tough on the tyres” said Gibbs. “But since we have had the Aisle-Masters there has been a noticeable lack of wear and we have saved money on tyre replacement.”
Paris-based Faiveley supplies railway systems and services. Birkenhead is one of two depots in the UK.