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Lift Trucks Help Keep Food Fresh

June 1, 2006
Improved lift trucks help keep frozen food fresh at Newark Refrigerated Warehouse.

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.

Pallet Trucks

Class 3, 7-Series pallet trucks offer an ergonomic control handle, mechanical chassis enhancements and a cushioned rider platform. Options include double and triple-length pallet forks, fork entry rollers, battery gate interlock switches and a redesigned coast control system with jog buttons to increase order-picking productivity. Separately Excited (SepEx) drive motor enhances acceleration and top travel speed, while improving overall efficiency through regenerative braking. SepEx transistor control allows precise positioning. Polyurethane torsion block casters give consistent, easy cornering and load handling. Multifunction control handle features ergonomically positioned dual thumb wheels with twist grips, lift, lower and horn buttons.

Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc.,

VNA Turret Stockpicker

TSP 6000 series turret stockpicker has multi-task controls for blended operation of travel, main and auxiliary lift/lower, traverse and pivot all at the same time. Auto Pivot keeps the auxiliary mast's forks evenly centered between racks, reducing rack, product and pallet damage. Load Path Stability Design evenly distributes the force of the load through the truck to the ground. Mono-mast minimizes mast twisting and swaying. AC lift and traction motors feature smooth and precise acceleration. Patented braking system eliminates abrupt stops and reduces platform sway. MoveControl seat swivels to four different positions and has controls integrated into the armrests.

Crown Equipment Corp.,

Yale VNA Truck

Very narrow aisle truck, available in 3,000 and 3,500-lb. capacities, offers AC motors, Smart Guide continuous height sensing, an auto-deceleration braking system and tri form or quad form mast with lift heights to 55 ft. NTA-SB lift trucks feature AC motors and direct-gear steering. Ergonomic features include: adjustable operator console, open front operator platform that lets operators exit the truck for floor-level case picking, seat-side joystick controls, swivel seat and soft touch electronic steering. Foot switches are integrated into the compartment floor to minimize trip points.

Yale Material Handling Corp.,

AC Powered Three-Wheel Lift Trucks

Three-wheel lift trucks feature a MicroCommand alternating current (AC) control system, an operator presence detection system and an increased range of motion and maneuverability. Three models have capacities from 3,000 to 4,000 lb. All can handle uneven surfaces and trailer loading in manufacturing, industrial and commercial applications. Operators can control torque and speed separately, and reduce turning radius. Thermal protection systems guard against overheating of the pump motor, drive motor and control panel. A full-suspension adjustable vinyl seat offers weight and lumbar support.

Cat Lift Trucks,

Less Vibration for Operator Comfort

Internal-combustion engine lift trucks are available in capacities from 5,500 to 7,000 lb. EZlift hydraulic system uses tandem pumps for lifting and steering, allowing for lifting without accelerating the engine and more control in tight areas. With a low center of gravity, the BX50 lift trucks are styled for maneuverability. One set of vibration-dampening mounts separates the frame from the engine and transmission, and a second set isolate the operator compartment from the frame. Redesigned counter weight and consol increases visibility. Tilt cylinders are mounted under the floor. An operator presence system locks travel and hydraulic lift and tilt movement if the operator leaves the seat.

Komatsu Forklift U.S.A., Inc.,

Cushion-Tire Lift Truck

Boxcar-style Titan series cushion-tire lift truck has an 80-in. wheelbase, capacities from 18,000 to 22,000 lb. and a load-center from 24 to 36 in. Two-or three-stage mast are available, featuring improved visibility with lift cylinders located on the outside of the rails. Standard features include a 4.3-liter GM Vortech LP engine, three-speed automatic transmission and Rockwell planetary drive axle. All service points, including engine, drive train, transmission and electrical system are accessible through flip-open hoods and bolted access panels. An adjustable semi-suspension cushion seat, soft-touch hydraulic levers, and a tilt steering wheel, are all included.

Hoist Liftruck Mfg., Inc.,

Low-Maintenance AC Lift

AC technology that powers the E45-65Z series of lift trucks provides torque, speed capabilities, reliability and thermal performance throughout the entire usable discharge cycle. Brushless design of the AC traction motor reduces service requirements, giving the lift trucks a lower cost, higher reliability and longer life.

Hyster Company,

Three-Wheel Articulating Lift

Bendi B3 series, 3,000 lb.-capacity, three-wheel articulating lift truck has 205-degree articulation and is suitable for use in very narrow aisles. Single front wheel drive and steering provide good traction, reduced steering effort and smooth inching motion in tight storage operations. Machine has a battery with fork pockets making it easy to remove and it can be serviced while still in the truck.

Landoll Corporation,

Mast-Style Boom Lifts

Electric-powered model E26MJ mast-style boom lifts have a vertical telescoping mast with a 360-degree pivoting jib boom that extends the platform away from the mast. With the mast lowered and jib retracted, the compact lifts are easy to navigate through narrow aisles. They can be driven at speeds of 2.5 mph and have a 26-ft. two-in. platform height, a seven-ft. two-in. jib boom, and outreach with 440-lb. platform capacity. In its stowed configuration, the lift is six-ft. six-in. high by three-ft. three-in. wide by six-ft. three-in. long. Non-marking, lugged tires are suitable for both inside and outside operation.

JLG Industries, Inc.,

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