MATERIALS HANDLING: Hyster Satisfies Robertson's Palate
Recent Western Cape Business News
SENDING wine all over South Africa and to more than 35 countries around the world, Robertson Winery in the Breede River Valley requires round-the-clock reliability in the logistics department. To help meet tough distribution demands, the winery has invested in next-generation Hyster electric forklift technology from Barloworld Handling.
The most recent forklift upgrade at Robertson Winery, one of the largest wine producers in South Africa, involved 13 two-ton Hyster J2.0XN machines acquired on a 84-month full-maintenance rental contract. The winery also uses two previously acquired 2.5 ton Hyster ACX forklifts fitted with push-pull attachments for container loading, and a 1.75 ton Hyster on short-term rental.
Robertson Winery was the first South African company to acquire forklifts from the new Hyster JXN electric range – testament to its experience of Hyster and Barloworld Handling over the past ten years.
“Hyster forklifts are reliable, durable and operator friendly, and we receive excellent service and support from Barloworld Handling, with a fast response time from their area-based technician,” says Robertson Winery technical manager Bartho West. “Breakdowns are minimal and any problems solved quickly and efficiently.”
The forklifts are delivering the goods in all aspects of operations, from moving dry goods to the storage and dispatch of wine.
“We considered all options prior to making this latest upgrade and Hyster and Barloworld Handling won the day based on the combination of proven machine performance and good customer support over the past ten years,” says West.
The Hyster JXN series incorporates a range of next-generation productivity-enhancing features. These include a zero-turn capability that is an industry first for four-wheel machines at the lighter end of the counterbalanced scale.
“Hyster’s new Zero Turning Radius steer axle means that the rear wheels are able to turn more than 90 degrees. This, in combination with separate drive motors mounted on each of the front wheels, enables the truck to turn within its own circle like a three-wheel machine while delivering greater stability over uneven surfaces” explains André Els, Barloworld Handling service manager in the Western Cape.
Robertson Winery is situated in town and until the company moves into premises recently acquired from the KWV, goods need to cross a street between facilities. The robust Hyster design makes them well suited to this application, and units were delivered with lights and full road ordinance.
Hyster designed the JXN operating environment to maintain comfort and performance for an entire shift, says Els. Features include a full suspension seat to enhance ride comfort and reduce whole-body vibration levels, maximum forward and fork tip visibility, a “heads-up” information display, easy on-off access, more than ample foot space and a fully adjustable steering column.
Virtually maintenance-free components such as wet disc brakes and brushless AC motors mean that JXN trucks require a full service check only after 1 000 hours, while serviceability is excellent.
CANbus electronic management provides for longer shift life and improved efficiencies.
“Increased driver productivity, a longer battery shift life and low maintenance costs all contribute to a lower cost-of-ownership on these machines,” says Els.
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