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Hyster and Combilift set to work wonders at Simmonds Lumber

Combilift at Simmonds Lumber

Simmonds Lumber and Adaptalift Hyster have been strong partners for the past 15 years. This partnership is set to be extended as Simmonds Lumber lengthens their rental contract, which includes a Hyster H4.5FT forklift and three Combilift multi-directional forklifts to cover the next 5 years. These machines are vital to business operation as they allow maximum space utilisation and provide reliable movement and storage of the company’s timber products.

Simmonds Lumber was established by Kevin Simmonds in Sydney in the early 1980’s and has since expanded to include Melbourne, Brisbane and New Zealand. The Simmonds Lumber Group employs over 70 people and sells a wide range of timber products for the domestic housing industry, commercial construction, home renovations, and industrial markets. Products are sourced from producers in Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and North & South America. Simmonds Lumber prides itself on being “simply the best” in service, product and technical support. To ensure their company mission is upheld, Simmonds Lumber requires movement and storage of their products. Simmonds Lumber were the first company in the world to use DNA testing to certify the legality and provenance of timber imported from Indonesia, and continues to work closely with organisations such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund on this issue. This is one example of the company’s constant objective to use leading edge technology and to sell sustainably produced timber products.

Simmonds Lumber will soon be swapping their current 4.5 tonne forklift for a Hyster H4.5FT forklift. Roger Healy, State Manager at Simmonds Lumber, believes the Hyster machine is “a lot more robust.” The Hyster H4.0-5.5FT Series has been designed for use in demanding applications, and particularly with attachments, as is required at Simmonds Lumber. These forklifts provide a range of engine, transmission and equipment configuration options, which can be adjusted to configure a complete solution for the particular application needs. This series of forklifts also appealed to Simmonds Lumber as the electronically controlled DuraMatch™ transmission manages truck deceleration & direction changes, which contributes to the extension of brake and tyre life as well as preventing transmission wear. This technology appealed to Roger as “we had a lot of brake pad issues with previous forklift machinery.” The innovative operator compartment design also offers easy driver access, excellent all-round visibility and conveniently located controls. Complete cowl-to-counterweight service access means faster, more efficient maintenance, which leads to decreased downtime for the critical operations at Simmonds Lumber.

Since acquiring the Combilift’s at Simmonds Lumber, the layout of the warehouse has been redesigned in order to more efficiently transport and store timber of various lengths. The C-Series Combilift was originally rented because of its multi-directional forklift use which is ideally suited to handle long loads safely, with greater speed and precision. Previously a second warehouse had been constructed in order to house all the timber products at Simmonds Lumber. Roger explains that this was because the use of ordinary forklifts meant “double the turning space was required and so were larger aisle spaces.” However, the use of the Combilift’s now allows the user multi-directional capability and the advanced steering system allows for narrower aisle space. Roger explains that “these days storage is more compact due to the superior movements of the Combilift’s.” The advanced technology of the Combilift’s allows the machine to travel sideways with long loads and Roger admits “if Combilift’s were available 13 years ago, we wouldn’t have had to lease the second building. Using forklifts meant 6 metre aisles were required, however with Combilift’s that space has been halved to a 3 metre requirement.” This space saving machinery has allowed Simmonds Lumber to store higher volumes of products within their warehouses.

Reliability of the machinery is also an important factor in regards to successful day-to-day operations at Simmonds Lumber. Roger states “the business demands a high level of service and we can’t afford to have our machines break down.” He goes on to acknowledge that “if more than one machine broke down in a day it would mean big trouble.” Simmonds Lumber are dependent on the swift movement of product as Roger explains “our machines run for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with little downtime.” Therefore, the machinery used by the business must be reliable in order to carry out productive operations. Roger explains “the network on the ground and the availability of service people is set up very well at Adaptalift Hyster. They understand the demands of our business and have experienced people who are prompt with any issues we have ever had.”

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