A combination of two AC electrically poweredAisle-Masters fitted with KOOI telescopic forks and a double-deep storage system is enabling Walkers Transport to make maximum use of its warehousing facilities in Leeds.
Walkers specializes in express distribution of palletized goods, stocking ‘…everything from motorbikes to mineral water,’ according to Warehouse Manager Chris Burley. The company has been operating a VNA system since it moved to its present site in Morley five years ago, and recently needed to replace the articulated trucks it previously used. ‘We tested all the articulated brands on the market and the Aisle Master won hands down in terms of quality, robustness and operator comfort.’ Four thousand pallets need to be stored in the racks. Double-deep storage is key to achieving these levels. Chris estimates that at least a third of the overall pallet capacity would be lost without it.
Lifting and positioning pallets to the rear position on high racks can take its toll on a forklift truck’s performance. Until the arrival of its Aisle-Masters, Walkers could not use the upper 7.6 m beam for double-deep storage purposes. Powerful batteries and hydraulics, as well as their 3-ton, 8 m masts, allow Aisle-Masters to provide more than enough capacity for an entire work shift, while enabling utilization of all pallet locations. Operations have also been speeded up. Chris states, ‘The mast lift works more smoothly. Control is effortless when extending and retracting the forks, which makes the whole procedure very convenient. The hydraulic fork extension is very easy and quick to operate. The integrated equalization system built into the hydraulic forks means that the outer sleeves are perfectly synchronized while being extended and retracted. With a thousand pallets coming in and out every week, this is a major benefit.’
Drivers have welcomed the changeover to the Aisle-Masters, appreciating their comfortable seats, easy access to the control panel and the excellent camera image on the flatscreen, cab-mounted display. They also feel more secure thanks to the sturdy overhead guard. Routine maintenance, such as topping up the batteries, is easily performed thanks to simple panels for accessing components. Chris summarizes, ‘The Aisle-Master is a solidly designed and constructed truck for industrial applications.’
Aisle-Masters can work in aisles of widths as narrow as 1.75 m, have capacities of up to 2.5 tons, lift to heights of 12.5 m and are also available as LPG models. The trucks have a reputation for excellent quality, robustness and long working lifetime. Aisle-Master also offers a warehouse planning service, free of charge. Customers can supply a layout of their premises, or Aisle-Master personnel will visit to perform an onsite survey. Based on this survey, engineers supply layout proposals and storage density calculations, illustrating optimal use of space.