O’Brien Fine Foods is a family run business and a primary supplier of high quality meat products to our Irish market. Following the construction of a new extension on its premises, the company replaced its previous fleet of forklifts with a Combi-CB and three Combi-WR models from Combilift to ensure the highest standards of health and safety.
The move to using walk-behind models rather than ride-on trucks wherever possible was a priority for Head of Procurement Maud Gormley, who chose three Combi-WR models to work in the packaging station and the raw meat area. She said “Forklift trucks can pose a high level of risk to the workforce in this industry and we wanted to minimise this. The Combi-WRs are the solution for us to move pallets in very narrow aisles the safest possible way: the muti position tiller arm means that the operator can stand to the side of the unit to elimate any crush risk and the good visibility from this position gives a clear view of the load and any other personnel in the vicinity.
A further advantage of pedestrian trucks is the short time – around 4 hours – and lower overheads involved to train our operators. Operating conditions for equipment in the raw meat area are quite harsh due to the wet environment and the presence of brine, and the Combi-WR designated for this section was fitted with stainless steel forks to prevent any corrosions when handling the Dolav pallet boxes used to transport raw products, It also has a special 5150mm triplex mast to enable it to operate to a height of 4900mm whilst being able to pass under low pedestrian doorways.
The diesel powered 4t capacity Combi-CB works outside as a versatile machine, handling pallets of packaging and machine parts for the production facility. This compact, counterbalance design 4-way forklift was also the ingenious solution for picking pallets from two high level external first floor storage area and loading them onto HGVs.
O’Brien Fine Foods Combilift fitted with 8m mast
Due to operational requirements it was fitted with a range of customised features it was fitted with a range of customised features including an 8m mast to provide an adequate lift height to reach the loading bays. A Mast mounted camera and wipers on the cab roof offer good driver visibility when the mast is fully extended, whatever the weather. Telescopic forks enable the pallets to be accessed through an up and over gate and the additional feature of a fork positioner allows the driver to easily ajdjust the fork width depending on the load and pallet position.
The Multidirectional ability and tight turning circle of the Combi-CB is also invaluable for working alongside one of the bays which is in a very confined space. It also copes easily with the gradients and slops across the premises.
Ms Gormley added: “The configuration of our factory across various levels is not the most straightforward for materials handling equipment, and the requirement to lift loads weighing up to 1800kgs to 7.7m was a challenge. However, the models recommended by Combilift and our consultants The Henley Forklift Group, together with the customised features, have more than lived up to our expectations. Combilift’s engineers provided layouts for the new premises and made sure everything worked smoothly. The Combi-CB4 is great for accessing tight spots and the low operating speeds of the Combi-WRs have ensured maximum safety”