Lorries fully loaded with building blocks in less than 5 minutes, happy lift truck drivers, exceptional reliability and a low cost of ownership: these are just some of the ways a quarry operation in the South West of England has benefitted since adding a new Hyster® lift truck to its operation.
“We distribute more than 100,000 concrete blocks a week from our site in Ashburton,” says Richard Webb, Operations Manager for Glendinning in the South West of England. “Every single block is handled by just two principal lift trucks, so reliability is critical.”
Established in 1958, Glendinning serves markets including construction, agriculture, home and local authorities and is the largest independent supplier of quarry and concrete products both to the trade and direct to the end user in Devon and Cornwall.
The company recently purchased a new Hyster® H8XM6 specially equipped with a double block clamp to remove blocks from the production line, transport them to the yard and stack them up to five high. The site in Ashburton, Devon, is Glendinning’s main hub and the primary quarry operation.
“We have a semi-automated production facility with packs of mostly 100mm concrete blocks leaving the building on a conveyor,” says Richard, who is responsible for four sites including one in Exeter and one in Plymouth. “We have two lift trucks that must always be available to keep up with production and also load 20-25 vehicles each day.”
Glendinning reports that it can fully load lorries using the lift truck with double block handler attachment in less than 5 minutes, giving exceptional transport turnaround times. The company prides itself on quality service and fast, efficient response to customers in the construction industry, and Hyster® lift trucks help support this. In a year, Glendinning can produce and distribute up to 7.5 million building blocks to customers.
Working long shifts, which could be up to 11 hours a day, Glendinning also recognised that to ensure maximum productivity in the fast-paced operation, it was essential for lift truck drivers to have an optimum lift truck operating environment.
“We made sure that we involved our drivers in the purchase decision, so they trialled numerous lift trucks,” he says explaining that the drivers “discounted most brands after just a few minutes”. “One important factor was the hydraulic operation. With fingertip controls for precise and effortless control of the attachment and load, this is made so easy for drivers with the Hyster® lift truck.”
“We hear from our operators all the time that the H8XM6 is a pleasure to drive and that it is quiet and comfortable for an entire shift,” Richard continues, adding that whatever the weather, the cab also gives drivers a protected environment that aids maximum productivity.
Visibility was also a key consideration, not only of the load through the mast and over the double block attachment, but all around. To give greater driver awareness in the busy yard, the fully trained drivers also have the option to glance at reverse camera screens. This contributes to additional visibility of pedestrians, moving vehicles and infrastructure and helps to minimise damage to the products, buildings and other vehicles.
The robust frame of the Hyster® H8XM6 gives ‘rock solid’ stability and long-term durability when stacking the two block packs five high. The Stage IV compliant Cummins engines produce lower emissions and offer excellent fuel economy, significantly reducing lifetime costs. They also feature performance optimisation features, such as cooling on demand, load sensing hydraulics (power on demand), RPM management and alternate engine idle speed to help further reduce the total fuel consumption in most tough applications.
“It is such a good truck, and it has proven itself time and again in our tough operation. There is truck availability a high percentage of the time, so we can really depend on it,” says Richard. “Plus, we know exactly how strong Hyster® trucks are because we still have a 2003 Hyster® H8.0FT operating as a backup truck and to use during peak periods. It still works perfectly after 15 years!”
Glendinning maintains its own vehicle fleet with additional technical, training and parts support from local Hyster® dealer Briggs Equipment. There is easy service access for engineers and lifetime costs are minimised thanks to features such as the low oil temperature (maximum 88 degrees C) which reduces the risk of brittle components, like hoses and seals.