Hi-Gear, distributor of camping, two-wheel, ski and general outdoors equipment and accessories, has amalgamated several distribution centres into one newly acquired central distribution centre near Sleaford in Lincolnshire. Starting with a clean sheet when it came to materials handling, Hi-Gear opted for two LPG-powered Bendi Aisle-Masters from Translift Engineering, which enabled it to make optimum use of warehouse space from day one.
In spite of the size of the new premises, it was a priority for warehouse manager Tony Leek to install as many bays as possible into the 4,743sq m storage area in order to accommodate present and future stock levels. He also wanted to eliminate dead space in the form of large turning spaces at the end of racking, which immediately discounted the use of reach trucks.
The decision to use the Bendi Aisle-Masters was made primarily for their articulated design and consequent ability to work in narrow confines. Hi-Gear was able to fit out the new premises with 21 bays, incorporating 4,768 pallet facilities, with aisle widths of 1.8m, as opposed to the 2.7m necessary for reach truck operation. Turning circles are now of minimum size, and the trucks pick to a height of 7.5m.
Due to seasonal surges in demand and the shift patterns in operation, Hi-Gear also needed forklifts able to cope with intense use. Steve Toop, of local supplier Windsor Komatsu, recommended LPG power, available through manufacturer Translift Engineering’s partnership with Irish LPG specialist Aisle-Master.