Designers and manufacturers of material handling solutions, like Combilift, work closely with the companies that use their equipment in a range of different sectors. From the type of work that they must undertake to unique operating conditions, multiple factors can present challenges for firms and the equipment they use.
Multi-directional forklift and container lifting experts at Combilift recently developed a new type of container handler for Good Logistics called the Combilift SC4TA making it the first straddle carrier vehicle of its kind used here in the UK.
The company required a straddle carrier capable of coping with specific environmental conditions. Around the largest container port in the UK where their site in Felixstowe was located, the ground consisted of reclaimed marshland. As a result, the operating surface was unable to cope with the heavy ground pressures associated with large reach stackers and forklifts. In the next sections, we’ll take a closer look at the key features involved in the SC4TA and explore the benefits it can provide.
Combilift equipment has a reputation for being expertly designed, innovative, reliable and hardwearing, but the manufacturer had to completely modify their original straddle carrier designs to handle the tasks and terrain on this site. Combilift added a fourth wheel (straddle carriers normally only have 3) and suspension to the SC4TA without having to lose any of the brilliant SC3 original features such as the telescopic structure which enables double stacking of containers.
The SC4TA straddle carrier uses a four-wheeled design that spreads the weight of the vehicle and its load. As a result, ground pressures are greatly reduced making it highly effective on reclaimed land with significant moisture that can be unstable. The material handling solution is also fitted with state-of-the-art suspension that assists it to operate effectively, particularly on uneven ground.
With its fully automated top lift attachment, the SC4TA can handle 20,30-,40- and 45-foot ISO containers and tanks. As a result, it can deliver a dramatic increase in hourly container handling. Instead of the standard six containers per hour, equipped with this ingenious attachment, the straddle carrier can handle up to 25 containers an hour.
The vehicle’s enhanced chassis design has been specifically modified to cope with heavy usage. The design also ensures it can cope with the increased capacity of overweight containers and tanks.
The SC4TA can double-stack containers using its telescopic framework. However, when the framework is closed, operators will find they can easily access low buildings to store goods indoors. As a result, companies can decrease the risk of products stored in containers being exposed to the elements when they are decentred from them.
The SCT4A can also help companies lower their carbon footprint with each tank or container handled due to its optimum efficiency levels that reduce both fuel consumption and engine emissions. An added benefit of this efficiency is greater fuel economy, lowering operational costs and improving the business’ bottom line.
Finally, the SC4TA is designed to deliver optimum safety levels. All operations can be performed from within the vehicle’s cabin to increase on-site safety by eliminating the need for pedestrian activity in heavily trafficked work areas.
Designed to offer a smoother driving experience, equal braking and drive are offered with a two-wheel drive system on both sides of the vehicle. Felixstowe is known for experiencing an almost tropical climate at certain times of the year. For increased operator comfort, the cabin of the vehicle has been fitted with a dedicated air conditioning system.
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