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Action Storage chooses Bendi

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2008 ( #370 ) - Redditch, United Kingdom
News Story
A single Translift Bendi sideloader has replaced two forklifts at Action Storage
When a Milton Keynes racking company had to change its own racking system, it turned to Redditch-based Translift Bendi.

Buoyed by unexpected growth, Action Storage was faced with either moving to larger premises or finding additional off-site space. Instead, it opted to practice what it preaches and transformed its warehouse by rearranging its racking and shelving within its existing storage area.

The redesign provided an opportunity to re-evaluate Action Storage’s forklift usage. The company had been using two different types of forklift: a conventional counterbalance truck for pallets and an old, rented, four-way reach truck for long loads, which had reached the end of its useful life.

Faced with narrower aisles, the company rejected a dedicated, very narrow aisle (VNA) truck for its pallets, with MD Tom Brialey explaining that there would have been the additional cost of wire or rail guidance and a space penalty because such trucks need ample manoeuvring space at aisle ends. They are also cumbersomely slow, costly to buy and run, entirely unsuited to outdoor work and difficult to move to other premises when business conditions change.

Instead, Action Storage selected a single Translift Bendi sideloader. This equipment allows support of 5-metre lengths of steel on decks either side of the truck and its forks, which swivel 180 degrees independently of its two, close-coupled front steering wheels. This ability is a great advantage over conventional sideloaders, which can load only on one side of the truck and so mean that they must egress and ingress the aisles each time if they want to access loads on the opposite side of the aisle.

Another comforting factor swinging the contract in Translift’s favour was its well-established, nationwide network of service engineers.

Action Storage has three distinct storage areas for its 1,500 SKUs range. These include a 30-metre run of cantilever racking for its long sections of steel, decked-out adjustable pallet racking for conventional pallets, and a shelving area on ground floor and mezzanine for staff and student lockers.

By reducing the cantilever racking aisle width to 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) and the pallet racking aisles to 2 metres (6.5 feet), the company gained an extra 125 pallet positions, or a 25% increase, and the right choice of articulating truck also saved the cost of an extra forklift.

"If you really want to look at the payback, just look at how much it costs to move buildings," says Brialey. "This truck will have comfortably paid for itself within a year," he says.

Equipped with flashing light and reversing beeper, the Bendi sideloader can lift 900 kg (1,984 lb) to 6 metres (19.6 feet) at 600 mm (2 foot) load centres. All three Bendi-trained drivers use paper pick lists and are delighted with the truck’s driving ease. When the warranty expires next year, the company will take out a comprehensive truck maintenance scheme.
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