Gower uses electric counterbalance trucks 05 September 2023

Gower Chemicals counterbalance trucks

Swansea-based Gower Chemicals has replaced a fleet of diesel counterbalance trucks with electric models following a recommendation from the local Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks supplier.

For more than 30 years, the industrial chemicals company had been running diesel-powered trucks at its facilities. Its operations include sulphuric acid and dilution for the Welsh car and aerospace industries and a toll packing facility which receives ISO tanks of gases and decants them into different size containers.

The contract includes a fleet of four 2-tonne EDiA EM electric counterbalance trucks and one 2.5-tonne Mitsubishi EDiA EX counterbalance truck.

Andy Flower, site manager at Gower Chemicals Swansea, said: “Our operators were involved in the selection process right from the start and the Mitsubishi forklifts emerged as clear favourite across activities such as: loading and offloading IBCs and pallets of gas canisters, as well as moving them around the site.

“They were much quieter than the diesel, eliminating noise pollution and delivering a calm, stress free working environment. They also had many more built-in safety systems than their competitors.”

The electric trucks are said to be smaller than diesels of a similar capacity, making them far more manoeuvrable. Matthew James, local Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks distributor, said: “As well as being exceptionally compact, the EDiA EX turns through a massive 100-degree lock to deliver the smallest turning circle on the market for safe operation in the very narrowest spaces.

“At the same time, the unique AutoBoost feature maintains momentum by increasing torque when the trucks go up inclines or over uneven surfaces.

“Importantly, the Mitsubishi forklifts fulfilled a fundamental aspect of the Gower Chemicals environmental sustainability strategy by reducing its carbon footprint, doing so without compromise, both indoors and outside.”

Flower added: “Because 70% of their work is outside on a variety of different terrains, we wondered how the electric machines would perform. I’m delighted to say they’ve proved perfectly at home in all conditions with the suspension seats ensuring a really comfortable ride for the operators.”

Additionally, slippery conditions have presented no problems due to a combination of all-wheel steering and an electric differential lock.

James added: “State-of-the art software automatically adapts performance characteristics to the driving style and ability of each individual operator, making handling totally intuitive.

“In tandem with that, EDiA’s Intelligent Cornering System calculates the speed, angle, and load at the very start of a turn, rather than half-way through it, automatically adjusting truck speed and optimising handling — for the highest throughput and the greatest safety.”

Flower concluded: “When the new trucks were introduced, we set up full induction training for all staff via toolbox talks so that both forklift operators and pedestrians were aware of the differences, especially how quiet the trucks are.

Operations Engineer

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