The wide variety of multidirectional forklift models that have been developed over the years by Combilift enables customers with very diverse handling requirements to source their solutions from the one manufacturer. The German family owned Kerschbaum-Haus GmbH has done just this to ensure safe and efficient handling of its raw materials and end products around its extensive site in Bavaria.

The company was established over 120 years ago and manufactures a wide range of timber products such as prefabricated constructions for retail premises, stables and barns, as well as supplying over 200 roof trusses a year to a major house builder.

The varying sizes of product and the volume handled on a daily basis prompted the company to look for alternatives to the counterbalance trucks and sideloaders it had previously used. It acquired its first 6t C6000XL model a few years ago for moving packs of timer, medium and large sized wall and roof elements and composite board. Combilifts have continued to replace other forklift brands and five various models with customised features and specifications, with capacities ranging from 3 to 14 tonnes, are now in operation at Kerschbaum-Haus.

Two compact counterbalance Combi-CBs, with 3t and 4t capacities are used in the production area to handle both pallets of components as well as long loads in relatively tight confines, and the manoeuvrability of the 6t Combilift sideloader is advantageous in the 70 m³ drying chamber.

The challenge of moving 115ft by 17ft roof trusses was met by specifying a purpose built 14t C14000, with a powerful John Deere engine, fitted with forks that can be extended to a length of 5m. This has replaced a 16t counterbalance forklift which struggled with the gradients and the less than ideal surfaces in the yard. Production Manager Michael Piller: “In spite of its imposing size this truck is incredibly manoeuvrable and handling these potentially tricky loads is now much more straightforward.”

Michael Piller continues: “We needed very tough trucks to cope with the demanding conditions here and ideally we also wanted low maintenance and reliable machines to keep up with our relentless delivery schedule. The Combilifts fit the bill on all these counts.”

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