To rectify this situation Moy Park went looking for a supplier to provide lift trucks that could cope with the extra demands. After several demos from the leading manufacturers, Barloworld Handling was selected to supply four Hyster H4.00XM/6, 4,000kg capacity, diesel counterbalance lift trucks.
“We required a solid, robust, reliable truck to cope with the harshness of our operation. Once we saw what the Hysters were capable of our decision was made easier”, says site production manager Neil Thomson.
Part of the OSI Group, one of the largest privately held food companies in the world, Moy Park has seven processing sites in Europe as well as a sales and marketing operation based in Crewe. The company was set up in 1943 in Moygashel, Ireland as a market farming company involved in dairying, potato and egg production.
It now has a head office in Craigavon employing over 3,500 people supplying own label and customer branded chicken products to leading retail and food service customers across Europe. It is a vertically integrated business that includes parent/broiler hatcheries and primary and further processing facilities. In recent years it has seen heavy investment in moving from an agriculture-led commodity producer to a market-led, pan-European food processing company.
At the Ashbourne processing facility 700 people are employed at the four sites covering more than eight acres of the airfield industrial estate where fresh chicken and chicken portions are produced with 600,000 live chickens being delivered each week. The site operates from 6am to 10.30pm five and a half days a week, with the lift trucks in almost continual use clocking up nearly 80 hours a week.
Two of the H4.00XM trucks are used for loading and unloading of up to 23 vehicles a day that carry live chickens in and end products out to the supermarkets, while the other two trucks are used in the packaging area and for moving empty product trays. These trucks are fitted with 1800mm forks to handle the trays of chickens that arrive at the site, and also have Davis Derby engine management systems fitted.
Previously Moy Park had been using 3,500kg capacity lift trucks for these jobs but it found that it was pushing the capacity to the limit. “It is a harsh environment in a processing plant and it was important for us that we had trucks that could cope well with the long operating hours as we can’t afford downtime. We now have trucks on a servicing agreement with Barloworld Handling as this helps us to manage the fleet better and ensure that it is kept running,” says site production manager, Neil Thomson.