Faccenda Group Orders Combilift RT Forklift Fleet
Faccenda Group is a leading UK supplier of fresh chicken products to major supermarket chains and smaller retailers across the UK, with a workforce of around 2000 in hatcheries, farms, feed mills and processing plants. The company has placed an order with specialist forklift manufacturer Combilift Ltd for a further six Combilift RT rough terrain trucks following the extremely successful operation of its first model.
Maintaining and constantly improving customer service is a byword for Faccenda, the only operation of its type in the country to offer a fully integrated service, and this approach extends to the latest innovations in handling technology. When Catching Area Manager David Plummer found information about the Combi-RT on the internet he could see the potential for it to address a number of issues such as driver comfort, ongoing maintenance costs and quicker and more streamlined operations all round.
Combilift is known for its ability to supply customised handling solutions to a wide variety of industries. Using feedback from those out in the field the company developed the Combi-RT after realising that there was no forklift on the market that suited the specific needs of the poultry catching, handling and transportation sector.
David Plummer and Catching Operations Manager David Alexander visited Combilift’s manufacturing facility in Ireland for a closer look at the truck. “We were impressed with the fact that the RT has been designed from the ground up rather than modified from a standard model as is the case with other forklifts. It was immediately obvious from its robust design and array of driver friendly features that Combilift’s design engineers had thought of pretty much everything to produce a no compromise machine that is ideal for our industry.”
The large diameter tractor grip tyres, all wheel traction with differential lock and generous 300mm ground clearance result in minimum disturbance of litter when operating inside. The very smooth control of both drive and mast functions allows gentler and quieter handling of the full modules and so reduces stress levels for enhanced welfare of the poultry. The small turning radius enables easy operation in older sheds where posts can be an impediment for less manoeuvrable machines and a load capacity of 1,250kgs easily lifts the full modules onto the haulage vehicle.
Drivers spend a considerable amount of time in the cab and this environment has been made as comfortable as possible with generous space allocation, excellent visibility and a deep air suspension seat which reduces the risk of vibration and back strain.
A major benefit of the new trucks will also be cost savings compared with the fleet of forklifts that Faccenda is in the process of replacing. “A significant aspect of this project with Combilift is the ability to substantially reduce running costs,” explains David Plummer. ”The truck’s design incorporates fewer moving parts so this obviously equates to less potential for damage and lower repair bills. Maintenance is very straightforward as the components are easily accessible via lift-up panels. In spite of the tough 24 hour, six day operation the service requirements are minimal at around 2 hours every four weeks. The trial we had with the first Combilift also proved that we will make considerable savings on tyres, as one set will now last around three times longer than those on our previous trucks.”
”The decision to move away from our previous forklift supplier was not taken lightly but we were won over by Combilift’s willingness to work with us on exact specifications as well as the quality and reliability of the end product, which we put through an exacting trial period,” said David Alexander. “All aspects of our operation from transporting the crew and trucks to site to cleaning down at the end of a shift have now been streamlined and improved. This makes for happy operators and satisfied farm managers and customers. As our business continues to grow we will be looking to further augment our RT fleet in the near future.”