Combilift Ltd. is the global leader in multidirectional lift trucks and with over 10,000 units in operation, the company’s products can be found in over 50 markets worldwide offering customers’ solutions for handling long and awkward loads. Combilift is globally headquartered in Monaghan, Ireland, and was formed in 1998 by Martin McVicar and Robert Moffett, two highly qualified engineers.
This Irish based manufacturer has carved itself a very successful niche in the long load handling market by focusing on customized products according to individual user requirements. As well as a variety of chassis sizes, mast heights, platform lengths and power options, the choice of forks naturally plays a crucial role in the customization process. MSE-Forks works closely with Combilift design engineers to supply a range of KOOI-ReachForks® which are making a valuable contribution to safer product handling and better utilization of floor space for Combilift customers worldwide.
One of Combilift’s customers in North America isAssociated Materials, parent of several North American manufacturing and distribution operations. The company’s core products include vinyl windows, vinyl siding, aluminum and steel siding and accessories. These products are marketed on a wholesale basis to more than 50,000 independent contractors through a network of over 125 supply centers and approximately 250 independent distributors across the U.S. and Canada.
One of the recurring issues Associated Materials had to deal with was variations in building dimensions and column spacing. Industrial Parts and Service, a Combilift specialist dealer based in Ohio worked very closely with Associated Materials and Combilift in developing the right solution to help address these issues. Associated Materials Real Estate and Facilities Manager Ryan George explains;
“We approached Combilift and Industrial Parts and Service on how to maximize our storage and reduce the number of aisles. Our four foot pallets for storage don’t change from building to building but what changes is the column and building dimensions. In the past, we hand stacked everything and we chewed up a lot of space, and the problem we kept running into was column spacing and the ability to store more products in fewer aisles.
When you hand stack, your storage density is tremendous but its labor intensive so now when we go to lease a building with KOOI-ReachForks® on the Combilift we can get the storage density up to where it needs to be. The Combilift also allows us to utilize the vertical capacity of a building, so not only are we maximizing floor space with double deep storage, we are also making use of vertical capacity of our buildings.”
As a result of this collaboration, a fleet of Combilifts are now helping to maximize the amount of material stored at Associated Materials supply centers throughout North America. In using the Combilift, Associated Materials can not only handle 16 foot vinyl siding in nine foot aisles, but with the addition of KOOI-ReachForks® they can store their material double deep
The KOOI-ReachForks® fitted to the C6000 pound capacity Combilift are attached to a hydraulic fork positioner and are operated from within the cab for convenient adjustment by the driver. The forks easily extend across racking for loading and unloading pallets of long material such as vinyl siding and make light work of storing product double deep.
At higher lift heights, an added safety feature on the Associated Materials Combilifts is a camera fitted on the fork carriage. The camera allows the operator to better position the KOOI-ReachForks® especially when engaging the second pallet. Once the pallet is securely in place, the forks can be easily retracted to enable the Combilift to travel down the narrow operating aisles.
The combination of the Combilift’s multidirectional capability and the KOOI-ReachForks® has helped address the problem of varying building dimensions for Associated Materials and has allowed for optimal storage density in their supply centers.