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Hyster & Combilift a winning combination at Gunnersen

Hyster Forklifts at Gunnersen


Gunnersen is the largest independently owned Australian distributor of wood-based panel products, timber and decorative materials in Australia. In order for the company to satisfy the need of swift movement of products within their warehouse, Gunnersen utilise Adaptalift Hyster machinery for increased productivity. Adaptalift Hyster and Gunnersen share many of the same values in regards to both service and reliability.

Gunnersen, like Adaptalift Hyster, is a family run business and was founded in 1879. The company currently has 7 sites with up to 250 employees nationally as well as overseas. Gunnersen offer a wide variety of wood-based products that are not generally available from other wholesalers. Gunnersen’s express that their point of difference in the distribution of wood-based panel products is their commitment to people and customer relationships. One way this commitment is pursued is by serving both customers and suppliers through a timely distribution process.

When making their decision, Gunnersen knew they required machinery which had superior manoeuvrability and ease of operation, in order to minimise any downtime spent during the process of moving and distributing their wood-based products. After much consideration with Adaptalift Hyster, the equipment used by Gunnersen today includes seven Hyster Fortis H3.5TX machines and one specialised Combilift multi-directional, for their tighter warehouse aisles.

Having used other suppliers in the past, Gunnersen switched to Adaptalift Hyster as its material handling supplier of choice. Andrew Hamilton, Logistics Manager at Gunnersen, admits that previously Gunnersen had tried a different supplier but they lacked the efficiency and reliability achieved with Adaptalift Hyster. Hamilton states that “reliability and less down time” were of prime importance to them. “It all comes back to less down time”, and the Hyster machines are “the best in the industry”, in turn enabling Gunnersen to better serve their own customers.

The H3.5TX Hyster Fortis model chosen by Gunnersen is an engine powered forklift, renowned for its great reduction in downtime. As downtime is generally due to a problem with the powertrain, electrics or the cooling and hydraulic system, careful attention to design has allowed Adaptalift Hyster to reduce overall downtime by at least 30%. The superior ergonomics of the Hyster Fortis also allows the movement of more loads per shift while reducing operator fatigue. Gunnersen also makes special mention of the benefit of Hyster’s integral sideshift which provides excellent visibility and affords greater capacities than carriage-mounted sideshifts.

Combilift at Gunnersen

Their Combilift also accommodates the needs of the Gunnersen warehouses as it is best utilised in the tight aisles. The multi-directional forklift allows the ease of transportation and storage of products within the warehouse. This is due to the Combilifts 4-way steering system, which allows the machine to travel sideways with long loads, therefore, aisle widths can be reduced and storage capacity can be increased. As the Combilift carries long loads at a low centre of gravity, there is increased stability compared to a conventional forklift which carries the load much higher, leading to an increase in safety when moving products. Therefore, by utilising both the Hyster Fortis and the Combilift within the warehouse, overall downtime is dramatically reduced.

The improvements that Hamilton has observed include “reliability, less down time and increased safety compliance”. In regards to operating the equipment, Hamilton has said “drivers consider [the machinery] comfortable and easy to use”. Hamilton admits it is not only the reliability of the machinery that attracts Gunnersen to Adaptalift Hyster but also because the “service and maintenance is always prompt” and the customer service is “10 out of 10”.

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