Two Combilift 4-way forklifts are being used to manoeuvre Asset International’s long loads at its plant in Newport, South Wales. The company manufactures high density polyethylene weholite pipes in the UK and Ireland, which are used across wide ranging applications such as storm water storage, sewage treatment, landfill and highway drainage.

Asset International supplies stock sizes of 6, 12 and 14m as well as customised products, and as it also manufactures the world’s largest plastic pipe with an internal diameter of 3.5m, it was facing a number of challenges when it came to manoeuvring finished product around the extensive site. In a bid to make handling procedures safer and more streamlined, production manager Graham Bennett called in South Wales Industrial Equipment (SWIE).

“We were using a counterbalance forklift to move pipes from the production facility to outside storage in the yard,” says Bennett. “As space is tight in this area the limited manoeuvrability of this truck made it complicated and time consuming for drivers to get loads out of the building. We also realised we needed a pretty special machine to cope with our largest loads which weigh around nine tonnes and can be up to 25m long. SWIE recommended the four-way Combilift trucks. ”

The differing requirements of taking bundles of standard sized pipes from the extrusion lines and loading the largest products onto HGVs for customer delivery have been addressed by two diesel powered Combilift models. The dimensions of the C5,000XL model allow it to move easily around the manufacturing area and according to production supervisor Ben Hillman this has considerably improved operations: ”The beauty of this truck is its ability to work as a front loader as well as to travel sideways. The drivers are also very impressed with its carousel facility.”

The second truck, is a C14,000 14-tonne capacity model capable of lifting loads of 9,000 kg at 1,900mm load centres. With 2,440mm long forks, wedges fitted at the end of the decks and a hydraulic fork spreader this is the hefty solution for the stable and safe handling of Asset Internationals’ extreme loads. The high ground clearance of both Combilifts make them suitable for uneven surfaces around the premises, and the robust build copes easily with 24/7 operation in a tough environment.