Bird Stainless, headquartered just north of stainless steel’s home city of Sheffield, has taken delivery of its second Combilift 4-way forklift to enable it to cope with increasing demand for its products. Established in 1987, Bird Stainless is a privately owned independent company specialising in the supply of precision ground bar stainless steel that it supplies to the home, European and Middle Eastern markets.
The company replaced its old counterbalance forklifts and sideloader with a C8000 8t Combilift four years ago, which considerably improved handling procedures as Managing Director Nigel Bird explains: “This gave us enhanced flexibility and using a racking system enabled us to locate and retrieve bars in a matter of minutes rather than up to an hour. The multidirectional ability of the truck also enables us to handle longer lengths than before and we can now confidently negotiate all areas of the site with bars as long as 10m.”
Due to the increased volume of stock now carried Bird Stainless has doubled its storage area by building a structure which will accommodate up to a further 1,500 tonnes, hence the reason for the second Combilift. The new facility was designed around the truck’s capabilities, with 5.5m high racking and guided aisle operation, which allows aisle widths to be set at a minimum for optimum space utilisation and productivity.
The new diesel powered C8000 is fitted with slightly shorter forks than standard – 750mm – which accord to the depth of the new racking to avoid forks going through to the next bay, eliminating the risk of damage to racking and stock. Drivers also appreciate the in-cab camera when placing or picking bars to the top beam and automatic fork positioners avoid the need for them to get in and out of the cab for manual adjustment.