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Yale Europe overhauls GEFCO fleet

Thursday, 6 Mar 2008 ( #350 ) - FLEET, United Kingdom
News Story
GEFCO UK replaces fleet with Yale Veracitor forklifts.
Peugeot Citroen Group division GEFCO’s UK operating centres have taken delivery of 40 Yale Veracitor internal combustion and electric counterbalanced forklifts and powered pedestrian pallet trucks.

GEFCO’s UK logistics manager, Andrew Hill, says about 36 manufacturing companies worldwide are supplied from GEFCO’s supply division’s UK headquarters in Coventry and 90% of them consider the timing of deliveries as critical to their operations’ success. The clients’ contracts allow them to penalise GEFCO if the deliveries are late.

"Our in-line sequencing service involves supplying parts directly to the manufacturers’ product line," Hill explains. "If a part is not there on time, the entire production process could stop."

At the 20-acre (80,937-m²) Coventry site, a fleet of two-tonne LPG Yale Veracitor counterbalanced forklifts unload incoming trailers and deliver palletised loads to a marshalling area from where they are picked up and packed in the racking by reach trucks.

Besides the racked storage area that holds up to 30,000 pallets, the site has a bulk store area where 4,000 to 8,000 stillages containing awkwardly shaped items like windscreens, engine parts and complete motorbikes are block-stacked.

When goods arrive, lorry drivers report to the gatehouse where they are validated and issued a time slot before reversing into one of 20 loading dock bays. The Yale Veracitor forklifts drive to the lorries and remove the pallet loads.

Hill says GEFCO was operating 2.5 tonne Toyota counterbalanced forklifts at all of its sites before switching to Yale. The bigger machines often damaged the curtainsiders delivering to the various sites and caused problems for the operators.

"The 2.5 tonne trucks that we had been operating were designed in such a way that our forklift operators had difficulty seeing the entry point of the pallets when working in a lorry.

"We often had to dedicate a worker to stand inside the delivery vehicle and issue instructions to help guide the truck’s forks into the pallet," he says.

The Veracitor GLP20SVX’s smaller capacity and shorter wheelbase removed these problems.

Hill says Yale Europe Materials Handling completely overhauled GEFCO’s fleet, resulting in cost savings.

"At certain sites, we have been able to reduce the number of trucks in operation … while at others, the introduction of, for example, 3.5 tonne counterbalanced trucks with extended forks to handle unusually shaped stillages has made a big difference to our efficiency."

The fleet is supplied on a five-year contract with a full service and maintenance agreement.
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