This summer, Dylan Staal put its brand-new European distribution centre (EDC) on the Borchwerf industrial estate in Roosendaal into operation. Its new premises provide countless opportunities for the future with warehousing facilities covering 25,000 m², a yard covering 10,000 m² and the option to extend this by an additional 15,000 m².
‘This was much needed. At our warehouse in Oud-Beijerland, we had already outgrown our premises for some time,’ recalls warehouse manager Mike van Leeuwen. Dylan Staal is an international supplier of a wide range of steel tubing products and accessories, e.g. fittings and flanges, for the offshore, power generation and process industries. It had been leasing external storage space at several locations for some time. Logistics were far from optimal with such decentralized storage facilities. Additional shipping costs were also being incurred, as well as additional handling. Staff deployment was also far from efficient, since staff members were being assigned to multiple locations. ‘It also meant that we had less insight into inventory levels, which in turn led to longer delivery times. This was something that we had to avoid at all costs. We want to do all that we can for our customers. Proper logistics are indispensable in this respect,’ adds Van Leeuwen.
GREATER FLEXIBILITY AND LESS INVESTMENT
Tubing is collected in the yard using a Combilift four-way side loader. ‘This required less investment than overhead cranes and also provided greater flexibility. We can now load and unload trucks at any location,’ explains Van Leeuwen. The LPG-powered side loader supplied by the importer MABO-lifting BV has a lifting capacity of 6 tons and is custom-built for Dylan’s requirements. The truck is fitted with special-purpose ReachForks from Griptech. ‘Thanks to the extendable forks, even tubing stacked right at the back can be picked up without having to perform dangerous stunts, such as climbing over wet tubing. No extra staff are needed and the driver doesn’t even have to get out of the truck.’
Opting for a four-way side loader has provided Dylan with even more benefits. The equipment’s manoeuvrability makes it possible to pick up tubing on both sides of an aisle without the truck having to exit the aisle first. This was unthinkable in the old situation. Working safety in the yard has also been safeguarded. A wide fork carriage guarantees proper support for the tubing. A Secutex buffer pad on the spine of both forks prevents the tubing from damaging equipment when the mast is tilted and the tubing starts to roll.
”THE COMBILIFT SIDE LOADER HAS A TIGHT TURNING CIRCLE AND IS EXTREMELY MANOEUVRABLE”
Dylan’s drivers are also enthusiastic about the new four-way side loader. ‘At the old premises, we drove a conventional side loader,’ explains driver Raymond Suurbach who admits that the transition took a little getting used to. ‘A four-way drives just that bit differently. Luckily, I got used to it pretty quickly… I’ve been a driver for many years and have developed a feel for these things. But it’s easy to get used to these trucks even if you’ve got less affinity,’ he adds. According to Suurbach, the Combilift side loader has a tight turning circle and is extremely manoeuvrable. ‘This makes it very pleasant to work with. Figuratively speaking, I could turn a circle on a steel-reinforced concrete paving slab with one of these trucks. What’s more, I don’t have to get in and out as much thanks to its extendable forks.’ The trucks are also fitted with an extra-wide fork carriage. Suurbach explains, ‘This provides excellent load stability. When you’re picking up tubing, you only have to guess its midpoint to lift the tubing without this causing a hazard. There’s far less risk of tipping.’ Suurbach also has positive words about the cab’s comfort level. ‘I’m quite tall, but still I’ve got enough leg and headroom in the cab,’ he states contentedly.