Reduced injury using RollerForks®
Hoekstra BV Sneek, located in the Dutch Province of Friesland, started out as a messenger service with just a single horse and cart. In September 1929, Pake Tjitze Hoekstra founded a cart transportation company in the region of Oudega (Wymbritseradiel). Companies and individuals relied on Hoekstra to deliver their goods quickly and safely.
In the eighty years since, Hoekstra has grown into a company employing some ninety motivated members of staff, operating fifty modern truck combos and providing approximately 50,000 m³ (1,800,000 ft³) of storage space. As an all-round logistics service provider, the company provides numerous services:
- distribution and groupage services for primarily fragile and non-standard freight;
- storage and trans-shipment;
- value-added logistics, e.g. assemblage and order-picking;
- relocation for private individuals and businesses.
‘We’ve grown rapidly, but the basis has stayed the same over the years. “Doing what we say we’ll do” has remained the cornerstone of our company’s policies,’ explains Tjitze Hoekstra, current owner and the founder’s grandson.
‘We guarantee delivery punctuality, reliability and accuracy so that you can entrust your logistics product handling to us with complete peace of mind.’
Hoekstra BV Sneek has over 50,000 m³ (approx. 1,800,000 ft³) of storage space at its disposal in Sneek, The Netherlands. With such a sizeable storage capacity, the company is able to take on the entire logistics process for its customers. Customers no longer have to invest in expensive warehousing and staff.
‘One of our customers primarily imports consumer goods from other countries. Every week, several 45 ft long high-cube containers arrive packed full of 50 kg (110 lb) boxes. You can imagine that unloading the first top few boxes can be handled reasonably easily by two employees, but the rest soon becomes problematic given their weight. Our staff started to develop neck and back problems caused by having to adopt unusual postures and this was highly undesirable.
At first, we tried to push regular forklift truck forks under the load, but this only damaged the boxes and sometimes, even their contents. Once the boxes were on the forks, it was even difficult getting them off again. In practice, it was only possible by physically holding the boxes tight while the forklift truck reversed out from under the load. Needless to say, this was a rather unsatisfactory solution.
We took immediate action and asked our forklift truck supplier, Crepa, to find us a solution.
Without virtually any hesitation, our account manager, Rik Streelman, suggested RollerForks®. Within a week, RollerForks® had been mounted on our CAT GP20 CN forklift. Meijer Handling Solutions RollerForks® are a mechanical forklift truck add-on.
Forks consist of two rows of rollers on top of each other that rotate in opposite directions when the forks move across the floor or under the load. This counter-rotation mechanism pulls loads onto the forks as they are pushed under the load. Normally, so-called slip-sheets would be required, but these are not placed under the loads in the container.
Boxes are sturdy; hence, we can slide the RollerForks’ parabolic nose under the loads fairly easily. In more critical situations, gently tipping boxes provides just enough room to slide in the RollerForks® without any problem. It’s a fantastic solution that solved our ergonomics problem so easily. Not only can we unload the containers without causing any damage, but we can also unload far faster than before and most importantly of all, our employees now look forward to the arrival of the next container.’
In 2008, transport company Hoekstra won the national Transport & Logistics business prize. The prize was handed over on 29 November 2008 by Minister Eurlings (Traffic) during the annual Transport & Logistics convention. All six thousand transport companies affiliated with the TLN are eligible for the prize that is awarded to companies on a regional basis in recognition of excellence in the field of customer and supplier relations, as well as employee management and leadership. The selection process is conducted by an independent agency.