Articulated truck option helps seed company to grow at low cost
Aug 03, 2011 Comments (0)
Seeds are expensive and if they are not stored properly, they can easily perish. In simple terms, they readily absorb moisture from the air, which shortens their life, so the relative humidity within CN's warehouse has to be carefully controlled.
However, thanks to consistent year on year sales growth, CN's 45,000 sq ft humidity controlled warehouse at Ely was reaching capacity. Faced with the prospect of building a new store and incurring the significant construction and ongoing running costs that would entail - CN decided to reconfigure its existing facility by narrowing the aisleways and introducing Flexi articulated truck technology.
Originally the store had been divided by two aisles with single pallet runs on the outside of each and two further back-to-back runs in between.
Arranging the racking in this way gave CN high quality storage but did not utilise the available floor space effectively, so by reconfiguring the site around 1.8 metre aisle widths CN has been able to add an extra 176 pallet locations nearly 25 per cent more places - within the dehumidified warehouse.
The warehouse is now served by a rebuilt Flexi VNA G4 AC model.
"All rebuilt Flexis are specified to the latest standard at our UK production plant. Which means that our clients have the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that they are acquiring a completely up to date product that will give many years of efficient and productive service," says Flexi Narrow Aisle's John Maguire.
The Flexi G4 AC is the most popular articulated truck in Europe. Built on a standard platform it offers low maintenance costs and low rental costs. Its unique twin load wheel drive offers safe traction in all conditions especially when laden.
An electric-powered truck, the Flexi G4 AC is powered by a heavy duty battery for long shift working. No chains or slings are required during battery change over operations. Many customers in the logistics industry need to operate two or three shifts per day and this often requires battery changeover to take place. The Flexi battery is removed simply and efficiently at low level from the rear with the driver using a hand pallet truck or another forklift. This process is very fast and eliminates the risk of the battery being dropped from height.
At CN incoming orders arrive in bulk bags and are unloaded from trailers using a counterbalance truck. The seed is cleaned and repackaged in 25kg bags which are put away in the humidity controlled store on a Chep-style pallet before they are picked for onward delivery to CN's customers.
"The articulated truck option was more space efficient for than using a reach truck, which we had considered," says CN Seeds' Dan Nye.. "Furthermore, the Flexi is easier to drive and faster in operation than reach trucks which, given that each pallet load of cleaned and packaged seed can be worth as much as 40,000, was an important consideration too."
The Flexi G4 AC rebuild programme offers the latest Flexi energy technology and safety features on a product that can save up to 30 per cent on the investment cost.