Plant & Works Engineering

Streamlined success

Published:  16 August, 2007

Two electric powered Aisle-Master articulated forklifts have helped to streamline overall warehousing operations at Marley Plumbing and Drainage's 40 acre manufacturing and distribution site in Lenham, Kent. The Aisle Masters have enabled Marley to do away with its old system based on a combination of counterbalance forklifts for outside work and reach trucks in the warehouse. Warehouse manager Stuart Hawkins explains: "The beauty of these trucks is their multi-functionality. We can offload and take product directly to racking with the one type of forklift, reducing any double handling. Operations are safer as there is no need for drivers to chop and change from one truck to another.”

The 2 tonne capacity Aisle-Masters handle palletised loads in Marley"s five main picking warehouses. A total of 20,000 internal storage spaces house the various types of product supplied to all the major UK household names in the DIY and builders’ merchant sectors. In accordance with the plan to move towards a narrow aisle storage system, the truck’s space-saving articulated design has enabled aisle-widths to be cut by 30%. This, together with racking installed to a height of 10m, has achieved a significant increase in the amount of storage space available.  Stuart and his team have also noticed a marked reduction in the damage caused to racking compared with the reach truck, ticking additional boxes when it comes to safe and cost effective operations.

The Aisle-Master range can work in aisles of just 1.75m, with capacities to 2 tonnes and lift heights of up to 12 metres. Benefits include; excellent visibility from the cab, a high quality suspension seat, adjustable steering column and lack of rear end swing when manoeuvring.  Electric and LPG power is also available - all LPG models are fitted with 3-way catalytic converters as standard, with CNG power also an option.

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