Logistics & Materials Handling Blog

Safer Long Load Handling with Combilift

by Paul Hinz
Filed under: Forklifts

Handling long loads such extended lengths of timber, steel or aluminium can be inherently dangerous for operators and those working in surrounding areas.

Safe handling of long loads is essential to avoid:

  • Injury and/or fatalities to employees
  • Product damage
  • Capital equipment damage
  • Warehouse racking and fixture damage

To safely transfer and move long loads a more manoeuvrable materials handling solution than a standard counterbalance forklift will be of great assistance.

This week’s blog looks at the safety improvements and flow on benefits experienced by customers upon their adoption of Combilift multi-directional forklifts for the safe movement of extended length loads.

Decreased Forklift Movements and Increased Efficiency

Combilift’s range of multi-directional forklifts offer owners and operators the opportunity of greater safety and efficiency in their lifting operations.

Combilift C and CB Series units are effectively three units in one, thanks to their revolutionary design it is able to operate as a side-loader, counterbalance or narrow aisle forklift depending on the task at hand.

The ability for the one Combilift unit to manoeuvre long loads provides increased safety as it removes the need for unnecessary forklift movements and load handovers between units such as from a counterbalance forklift unloading a load from delivery truck to a side-loader that can successful navigate the load through a narrow warehouse door.

Ben O’Hanlon, MD of Todds Leap in Northern Ireland has been impressed by the increased safety of their Combilift unit:

“Before we had the multidirectional Combi-CB we had to juggle with reach trucks and pallet trucks and deploy a number of personnel to safely guide loads of up to 10m long racking through the door into the warehouse. What used to take up to 45 minutes for one load is now done in three or four minutes – with just one driver. As fewer people and fewer forklift movements are involved this is a much safer process all round.”

Todds Leap not only improved site safety by reducing the number of forklift movements necessary to unload their long loads they were also able to dramatically reduce the time it took to offload one delivery from 45 minutes to 3-4 minutes with the adoption of a Combilift multi-directional unit.

Safety was further increased as fewer employees were required to be spotters for loads removing them from the dangerous operating zone and reducing their potential risk of being injured by the forklift or load.

Greater Versatility and No Elevated Loads

Manoeuvring long loads with a counterbalance forklift can greatly increase risks to operators, spotters and surrounding structures and equipment as the load will often need to be raised high in the air to be able to navigate around obstacles which is considered a hazardous practice.

Due to the length of the load and its weight there is a high chance of instability and the risk the load may fall off the tynes potentially causing damage, injury or death.

The Combilift’s dual ability to operate as a counterbalance forklift and side-loader eliminates the need for elevated loads.

The unit is able to safely manoeuvre long loads around objects thanks to its 4-way movement ability combined with the integrated low level base that allows loads to be rested securely during transport.

Alan Boyden, Joint MD of AJN Steel:

“We switched from counterbalance trucks to Combilift’s to ensure the safer handling of our long and heavy products – moving 18m beams with a counterbalance truck is not ideal from a number of points of view. Our C-Series models move around 300t of steel every day and have made a valuable contribution to our aim to establish and maintain the highest standards of health and safety performance within our industry.”

Narrow Aisle Operation and Space Saving

Combilift unit’s 4-way ability allows for quick changes of wheel direction to enable sideways travel down narrow aisles or through narrow doorways.

Capitalising on this narrow operation ability allows adopters to increase the available storage space to allow for larger quantities of stock to be stored providing positive benefits to their stock supply chain and availability.
*Malcolm Wright, Director of Edward Howell Galvanizers Ltd:*_

“Efficient handling which also conforms to the highest levels of health and safety is a key part of our operations. Inch by inch manoeuvring of long and heavy loads through a narrow side door with counterbalance trucks is now a thing of the past with our Combilift. Resting the loads is much more secure and increases the speed with which we can transport goods from the galvanizing bays to the storage yard.”

Increased Operator View

Another safety benefit for adopters of Combilift units is the increased operator view.

Due to the unit’s cabin being mounted to the side of the mast, the operator has a clear view of the entire load.

They’re able to view the load and its surrounds for the entirety of transport seeing any potential obstructions and danger within the path of the load to quickly react and make necessary action in a timely manner.

Combilift CB Narrow Doorway

The four safety benefits outlines above showcase some of the reasons why Combilift multi-directional units are the safest and most efficient way to transport long loads.

To find out how you can improve your operations safety through the adoption of a Combilift multi-direction forklift contact our team on 13 22 54 or send us an email.