Newark Refrigerated Warehouse (Newark, N.J.) is the definition of a demanding lift-truck environment. The facility, strategically located near the Port Newark docks overlooking New York City, moves 15,000 pallets of exotic frozen foods from around the world in and out of the warehouse every month. Crates of Serrano hams from Spain, seafood from Thailand, and more unusual delicacies from Asia, Europe and South America are processed and stored in the ware-house's freezers before heading to specialty food markets and importers across the United States.
Newark Refrigerated Warehouse's lift-truck fleet includes counterbalanced electric and propane units, as well as freezer-modified double reach narrow aisle units. The equipment must stand up to an array of demands, from a dock environment with rough surface conditions to the cold storage and freezer areas (operating at 0ûF) in the warehouse.
"The key to our business is in keeping the product fresh, which means keeping products solidly frozen from the shipping container, across the docks, into our freezer warehouse," says Jerry von Dohlen, president of Newark Refrigerated Warehouse. "Our biggest challenge with our previous fleet was the trucks were always down for repair due to the demanding requirements of the loading and unloading of product for our counterbalanced equipment, and the low temperatures for our reach truck fleet in the warehouse. And the longer our lift trucks are down, the more difficult it is to keep everything fresh."
Von Dohlen's primary issue was that he needed a double-reach narrow aisle lift truck that could withstand dramatic changes in operating temperature and the effects of freezer conditions on truck components and operation.
Three years ago, Skip Russo, president of Barclay Brand Ferdon (BBF, South Plainfield, N.J.), a Yale Material Handling Corp. dealer, provided von Dohlen with eight Yale narrow aisle double-reach trucks with freezer modifications designed for high-density warehousing. Newark Refrigerated Warehouse tested the new Yale fleet, and worked with the dealer and Yale engineering to develop a list of design changes that would optimize truck performance in its demanding freezer application.
The team came up with a number of ideas to increase truck productivity and solve the freezer problem. Yale Material Handling president, Don Chance, even flew in from Yale's headquarters in North Carolina to visit the warehouse, see the specifics of the application, and review the design changes proposed by Newark Refrigerated Warehouse and Barclay Brand Ferdon. BBF and a team of Yale engineers retrofitted all units with 28 suggested design changes, including moving to a solid state design, changing hydraulic connections, adding stainless steel hinges, and replacing various fluids and lubricants for others less susceptible to the cold.
"Yale replaced our entire fleet with these upgraded lift trucks," reports von Dohlen. "Each truck was far superior to the previous fleet in terms of productivity and efficiency in the freezer sections of the warehouse: increasing our productivity by 30%."
Today, the warehouse is equipped with a fleet of 26 lift trucks, including 14 reach trucks and 12 counterbalanced trucks for use on the docks. Yale has incorporated the aftermarket changes made for the Newark Refrigerated Warehouse fleet into its current lift trucks.
This extended product focus featuring Newark Refrigerated Warehouse (Newark) comes courtesy of Yale Material Handling. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.
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Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc., www.toyotaforklift.com
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Crown Equipment Corp., www.crown.com
Yale VNA Truck
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Yale Material Handling Corp., www.yale.com
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Komatsu Forklift U.S.A., Inc., www.komatsuforkliftusa.com
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Hyster Company, www.hysterusa.com
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Landoll Corporation, www.landoll.com/mhp
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JLG Industries, Inc., www.jlg.com