Fewer trucks deliver more volume

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n Worldwide Fruit, which supplies top class fruit all year round to UK high street retailers, is using Jungheinrich ERE 20 ride-on pallet trucks at its packing and distribution complex at Spalding, Lincolnshire. The 17 ERE 20s, on long-term contract hire, have the ability to handle increased volumes when compared with the 21 trucks of competitive design that they have replaced, says Worldwide Fruit senior supervisor John Rivett.

n The ERE 20s are used for a variety of functions such as vehicle loading and general goods movement within the chill and cold stores as well as the main warehouse complex.

The trucks include a specially modified machine to handle multiple packs of fruit on dollies and palletised loads. The dual-purpose truck features hinged fork sleeves that act as a load backrest when in the upright position. Once lowered, the sleeves provide a solid base for the simultaneous handling of four-wheeled dollies, each carrying 18 trays of fruit for subsequent onward delivery to Marks & Spencer stores nationwide. Raising the sleeves, allows the truck to revert back to general pallet handling duties.

n In addition to the modified truck, four standard ERE 20 machines are also used in the main packing warehouse, from where 75% of incoming fruits such as apples, kiwi fruit and avocados are processed and packed according to specific retailer requirements. Up to 600 pallet loads are despatched every working day from Spalding.

n Rivett comments: “Based on previous truck utilisation, throughput levels and so forth, it became apparent that ac-powered trucks are more productive, can work longer hours per battery charge, and require less maintenance than conventional dc machines which we were previously using. So much so, that not only ca we now operate longer hours with fewer trucks, using higher capacity batteries has also enabled us to reduce our on-site ‘spare’ battery requirements by 50%.”RFID – THE FACTSlAn “active” tag contains a battery and transmits data at regular intervals. The battery means the tag, which can be read up to 100m, has a finite lifespan. It costs between £5 and £15.

lA “passive” tag is cheaper than its “active” counterpart but has to be energised by a reader in order for its data to be transmitted.

lThe reader for an “active” tag costs between £300 and £400 and is easier to deploy.

lA reader for a “passive” tag is more expensive at anywhere between £3,000 and £6,000.

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