New trucks boost loading efficiency by 15%

A fleet of five Mitsubishi Grendia trucks has been credited with making an 'enormous' difference to Solent Stevedores' cargo handling operations at sugar giant Tate & Lyle's Silvertown facility.

Each month, up to 4,000 tonnes of loose sugar is transported by sea from the sugar manufacturer's East London dock.  Solent Stevedores has been responsible for ensuring that its customer's products are moved swiftly and efficiently from warehouse to ship container holds.   



Long battery changeovers, truck breakdowns and poor servicing of their previous fleet led Solent Stevedores operations manager Martin Hiscock to put his materials handling supply out to tender. He explains: "We had two key aims. Our new fleet needed to deliver on performance and reliability."

After careful consideration, he chose to work with the premier Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks dealer for the South East, Bronze Mechanical Handling. "They were able to deliver us with the best products, the best turnarounds as well as the best after sales service."

Bronze's sales director Chris Slater carefully reviewed the application with the customer.  "Silvertown is a site that really sorts out the best trucks from the rest," says Chris. "Wet, dockside operations can really take their toll on a truck's performance... especially in such a non-stop application as this. To meet the needs of this challenging application, I knew that only Grendia would do."  

Chris put together a package of five 3.0 tonne Grendia LP gas trucks (FG30N), each fitted with Cascade double pallet handler attachments.  He explains:  "The customer required all of the power and speed of a diesel... with none of the associated emissions. The FG30N benefits from an advanced, clean-burning engine that comes with a three-way catalytic convertor as standard."



Previously, Solent Stevedores' counterbalance operations at Silvertown came to a halt as soon as the trucks reached the quayside where product would be dumped, awaiting transfer onto ship using pallet trucks.  

"The introduction of Grendia to the site has changed all that," says Chris. "The compact nature of the FG30N, combined with its high-visibility mast, means that drivers can confidently manoeuvre the heavy sacks of sugar directly into the holds of the ship."   

Increased reliability and excellent after sales care, combined with the new truck configuration has benefitted Solent Stevedores and its blue chip client. Solent Stevedores' Martin Hiscock reports: "The introduction of Grendia to our Silvertown operations has made an enormous difference: improving loading times by 15 per cent."

Mike Jones, general manager of Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks UK is pleased with the progress at Silvertown. He says: "Like every Mitsubishi product, Grendia takes reliability and performance to even greater heights: setting the standard for others to follow.

"To ensure our customers gain full advantage of this dependability, our trucks and our customers need excellent back-up from award-winning dealers like Bronze Mechanical Handling. That's why our Authorised Dealer Network has been hand-picked for its high service standards and it's why we have invested so much, and continue to invest, in the training and in the electronic systems that maintain our position as leaders in product support."   

Solent Stevedores Ltd is a UK firm specialising in the provision of stevedoring, storage and the re-handling of bulk and general cargoes. In 2000, the company commenced operations at the Port of Southampton, building up enviable reputation as a proficient and professional cargo handling operator. 

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