A Combilift Straddle Carrier has recently been put into operation at Ferguson Modular, the first to be implemented in North East Scotland. The Combi-SC will improve the safety and efficiency of loading and unloading the company’s accommodation modules, a procedure which previously involved a combination of standard forklifts and mobile cranes.
Part of the Ferguson Group, Ferguson Modular is a specialist provider of workspace and accommodation modules to the offshore energy industry around the world. Based in Kintore, Aberdeenshire it has operations in all major global oil and gas locations. The acquisition of the Combi-SC was part of a major programme of investment to equip its base with state-of-the art plant equipment to ease daily operations.
Until the Combi-SC was in place the handling of modules was a complex logistical exercise which entailed the hiring of cranes, the completion of lifting plans and the deployment of four banksmen to ensure safe operations. The forklift/crane combination was also time consuming, taking over an hour to complete one single lift. The procedure could also be delayed in the event of high winds or bad weather which affected delivery schedules and therefore impacted on clients.
The machine has a 35t capacity and offers complete independence for the transportation of containers and similarly oversized loads. It benefits from a much lower axle weight than reach stackers or container handling forklifts and is therefore ideally suited for operation on lightweight surfaces with no ensuing damage to yards.
Installed with assistance from Aberdeen based Gray Forklift Services, the straddle carrier allows Ferguson Modular’s loading/unloading process to be easily managed by just one operative in a matter of minutes. The straddle carrier’s versatility has also eliminated the costs associated with crane hire and bad weather is no longer an impediment to operations.
Mr. Martin McVicar, Managing Director of Combilift said: “Combilift’s business model offers customers material handling solutions which allow them to handle their products more safely and efficiently. Ferguson Modular is an excellent example of this put into practice as the management worked very closely with our engineering team during the design and manufacturing process so that we could meet their bespoke requirements.”
Graeme Bisset, Modular Hire Manager said: “Having such a specialised piece of equipment will prove invaluable to Ferguson Modular. We now have a system in place which streamlines the movement of expensive accommodation and workspace modules around the site and onto delivery lorries safely, quickly and cost effectively.”