Reach trucks meet safety criteria

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Phil HanLey, an independently-owned coldstore distribution company, has chosen a fleet of nine Still FM 20 reach trucks for its newly extended coldstore facility at Newark, Nottinghamshire. Supplied by Langley Mechanical Services, Still’s main distributor for the East Midlands, the new health and safety critical fleet provides fast turnaround for the 24-hour, five-days a week operation.

In today’s working environment health and safety at work is increasingly important and, as a responsible employer, Phil HanLey takes every precaution to minimise risks to employees. Operating 24 hours daily, Monday through Friday and at weekends as required, the company employs more than 350 people, 220 of which are employed at the Newark site alone.

Health and safety manager Ian Hancock says: “When selecting the materials handling equipment for our site we needed to know that the trucks could not only perform efficiently, but also perform to our health and safety critical standards.”

The latest coldstore, an extension to Phil HanLey’s existing Newark coldstore, provides an extra 16,000 pallets of storage at a constant temperature of -22.5ºC. More than 1,300 pallets of stock are delivered to the site daily and on average 50-plus loads per day are despatched

To maximise storage space in the new coldstore it has been equipped with a remote-controlled moveable racking system. “All of our new reach trucks have their own remote control to enable drivers to stay in their cabs while moving the racking,” says Hancock. “Each aisle is fitted with infrared sensors as a safety precaution. If the beam is broken, due to a truck working in an aisle for example, the racking won’t move, thus preventing any unwanted accidents. As a visual check, red and green light indicators are attached to the end of each aisle of racking, so that drivers can quickly see whether an aisle is occupied or not.”

There are five picking floors in the coldstore – ground level with four mezzanine floors directly above. It is here that the Still FM reach trucks come to the fore. Working around the clock, they provide safe transport for pallets between racking and the picking floors, where items are picked and packed ready for despatch.

As the Still FM 20s are used in all areas of the coldstore, the trucks have each been fitted with an automatic safety cut-out when forks are raised to 9.8m, the highest point allowed in certain areas. To raise the forks above 9.8m, drivers must depress a button fitted inside the cabin specifically to prevent any unwanted damage to the lower ceilings.

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