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10,000th Combilift Delivered to Weyerhaeuser

Friday, July 3, 2009

Combilift Ltd, the world’s leading supplier of 4-way forklifts, celebrated another milestone in early June when the 10,000th machine to roll off its production lines in Monaghan was delivered to Weyerhaeuser, the world’s leading manufacturer of engineered lumber products.

Truck number 10,000 will be working at Weyerhaeuser’s Parallam Mill in Annacis Island near Vancouver, and it was officially handed over to Chuck Antonides, Weyerhaeuser’s Director of Lean Processes, by Combilift USA’s President Tommy Cadden. It is also the first 20,000lb capacity Combilift to be operational at a Weyerhaeuser site.

The majority of Weyerhaeuser’s products are oversized loads which can be as long as 66ft, and having identified the Combilift 4-way concept as the answer to handling such challenging products, it now operates 130 Combilifts across its sites in North America. The trucks play a key role in the company’s commitment to the safest material handling procedures and excellent productivity, and were designed specifically for Weyerhaeuser’s requirements.

When a customer places an order for a Combilift, it is individually constructed in Ireland and custom-designed to the customer’s exact requirements. Combilift prides itself on its ability to customize its products to fulfil customer needs.

In fact the majority of ideas put through research and development at Combilift are the direct result of customer feedback. In many cases, Combilift goes back to the drawing board and develops a brand new lift truck. Combilifts ethos of listening and implementing customer feedback has underpinned its growth and contributed to the development of new models. As part of the product development process, Combilift encourages its customers to visit Combilifts headquarters in Ireland.

“Product development was based on close collaboration between the two companies, with Combilift acting constantly and quickly on feedback from Weyerhaeuser personnel,” says Tommy Cadden. “Chuck Antonides visited our manufacturing facility in Ireland on a number of occasions to liaise with the management and engineers. Within a six month time frame from August 2007 to January 2008, Combilift designed, built and delivered the first of the Weyerhaeuser C12000WSL units and throughout 2008 Weyerhaeuser ordered and took delivery of 108 C12000WSL units in total.”

An added benefit of the Combilift is it allows businesses to either reduce the square footage needed in a new facility or maximize the square footage of an existing facility. Through using the Combilift, for example, Weyerhaeuser’s clear aisle spacing was reduced from 22ft to a mere 13ft.

A raft of features designed to ease the handling of extreme loads and to make life easier for drivers are integrated into both the C12,000WSL and the C20,000WSL models, such as a larger operator cab, sticker boxes and containers for chainsaws and tools fixed to the body of the truck, and an integrated side shifting mast which caters for the varying dimensions of product.

Combilift’s customized approach has proved to be such a success that Weyerhaeuser has embarked on a program to phase out all other types of conventional forklifts at its distribution centers and replace them with Combilift models.

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