Combilift is not the only Irish manufacturer to enjoy success around the world with its engineering expertise and innovative products. Around 30 miles away from its HQ in Monaghan, Dundalk based Multihog designs and builds its range of multi-purpose vehicles which it supplies to global customers including contractors, airports and municipalities. Established 14 years ago, the company has enjoyed growing customer numbers, thanks to its concept of one base vehicle that can be fitted with a wide array of attachments front and rear to carry out multiple tasks all year round, such as sweeping, snow clearing, grass mowing and pothole repair.
Multihog had been using an electric Aisle Master articulated forklift for 4 years for moving pallets of components from its warehousing area to the production facility, and due to expansion – yearly units number 350 and are growing – the company was looking for a second truck to cope with the increased volume of goods handled. “Narrow aisle capability was one of the main initial reasons for choosing the Aisle Master, to make the most of the storage space we have available,” said Dallan McHugh, head of procurement and supply at Multihog.
“When we got in touch with Combilift about the second truck, we found out that they had just launched a new version of the Aisle Master in the form of an order picker – the AME-OP. When we had a closer look at this it was obvious that this would be the perfect fit for Multihog.”
The AME-OP is a stand-on electric powered model that combines the advantages of a narrow aisle articulated forklift and an order picker for versatile operation. A main feature is the step-through operator compartment with a low floor height of just 280mm. This enables convenient single step access from both sides of the truck which speeds up order picking compared to the operator having to get in and out from a seated position.
It is available in a number of variants, with lift capacities from 1,500kg to 2,500kg, lift heights of up to 12.1m, and can operate in aisles as narrow as 1650mm. The multifunctional programmable joy stick control lever in the operator compartment, which includes controls for the hydraulics and traction, is adjustable to enable comfortable and ergonomic working conditions for operators of all sizes.
“It wasn’t until the truck was on site and operational that we realised how much we actually needed it,” said Dallan. “The number of parts that need to be picked per kit can be 20 or 30 each, so with a conventional truck that means operators are climbing in and out of the cab 20 or 30 times – and that’s a pretty time consuming process. Stepping off and on the order picker either side from the low step in contrast is easier, quicker and safer. Operators in the stores also found the transition from the original Aisle Master to the Order Picker very easy, and they were fully up to speed with the controls within just one or two hours. And when it’s not being used for order picking it has all the key advantages of our original Aisle Master such as indoor/outdoor operation for loading and offloading and for stock replenishment at other times. So it’s versatile – just like Multihog’s products!”