Five new Combi-XLE models for ground engineering specialist
If you have driven past a major construction site recently, the chances are that the foundations will have been supplied by Roger Bullivant Ltd (RB), the UK’s leading ground engineering company. With over 40 years’ experience in its field, RB designs and manufactures precast concrete elements such as pilings for installation in its engineered foundation systems for diverse types of buildings and structures.
The manufacturing HQ, which covers over 22 acres of land, is located in Swadlincote in the heart of the National Forest, and as part of the company’s “grey to green” initiative, for every metre of precast concrete pile manufactured there, a donation is made to support the continued creation and management of woodlands.
Sustainability is therefore a key priority, and as part of the group’s strategy to reduce its carbon footprint by 40% by 2030 it has replaced the factory’s entire fleet of diesel powered materials handling equipment with new electric forklift trucks. This investment has significantly eliminated harmful exhaust co2 emissions and exhaust particulates inside the factory, enhanced the company’s carbon footprint and reduced overall fuel costs.
RB was one of the first companies to take delivery of Combilift’s new electric Combi-XLE models in mid-2021, which incorporate the same key design features of their earlier IC-powered counterparts. These include high ground clearance, large cushioned front and rear tyres and a spacious cab, allowing smooth operation on semi rough terrain whilst offering a high level of driver comfort and visibility. The trucks were chosen for their ability to efficiently cope with the vast yearly output of around one million metres of precast concrete piles and 180,000 linear metres of precast foundation beams, whilst now offering the added benefits of quiet and emission free operation.
The five 5t capacity trucks work inside the factory, taking products from the manufacturing area to outside storage bays where packs of pilings, which can be up to 6m in length, are stacked to a height of around 2m and left to cure for 14 days before being ready for nationwide customer delivery. The Combilifts’ multidirectional manoeuvrability enables easy access to tight spots between the stacks or around corners with even the longest loads.
“It’s a very extensive and busy site here with a fast turnaround, and the trucks are constantly on the go,” says Yard Supervisor Neil Parry. “As well as moving the volumes of products from the factory, they load around 35 HGVs a day, which at 27t per load equates to them lifting a daily total of almost 1,000t, so powerful performance and speedy, reliable operation in this intense and demanding environment is a must.”
Production Director Dave Clement comments:
“As we had already been using Combilift units for years due to their versatile and space saving characteristics, the product decision was straightforward, and from a driver perspective, the operation remains essentially unchanged. Battery life generally lasts a whole shift, but we have a number of charged spares that can be quickly changed-out on particularly busy days. To round off this green initiative we have also installed solar panels on the factory which provide the recharge energy.”
Windsor Materials Handling has supplied RB with equipment for over 25 years, and Andrew Lane, Director of Windsor Materials Handling (Nottingham) comments: “With increasingly stricter emission guidelines, manufacturers are constantly improving the performance and run times of their electric trucks which offer the same if not better performance than other power options. As confidence in their usage is increasing, the adoption rate has also accelerated. This means that as an independent materials handling and access company, we can create solutions for clients like Roger Bullivant Limited that not only minimise carbon footprint but also create a better environment for the workforce. We also used the switch from diesel to electric as an opportunity to uncover potential cost savings, and as such fitted a full fleet management system to all trucks giving the client full visibility on utilisation. We have supplied these on a full repair and maintenance contract to provide fixed costs during the contract.”