Crown Equipment’s legendary reputation for reliability and longevity has been highlighted by an elderly 30WTF154 walkie stacker which is still working hard after 45 years of service.
Not only is the walkie stacker the country’s oldest known Crown lift truck, it is still in top shape, in full working order and in use with Melbourne-based outdoor sign company Jamco Sign Services.
Named “The Old Girl” by the staff at Jamco, the walkie stacker has been kicking goals for more than 40 years and is about to be retired after spending the last 15 years in the company’s Mulgrave warehouse.
Before that, the walkie stacker started its working life in the warehouse of a small Sydney food importer not far from where it was manufactured in Smithfield, New South Wales. Still in good health in 2002, Crown bought it back from its original owner for use in its rental fleet. After serving an array of Crown customers, Jamco then bought it in 2003; used but in perfect working order and it has stayed that way ever since.
Jamco Warehouse Manager, Petar Gajica, said the only thing he really knows about the walkie stacker is its age because its build year – 1973 – is visible on its identification plate.
“It’s been with us for goodness knows how long and I think it’s preceded most of us who are working here. It’s funny though, none of us knew of its historical significance until it came time to replace it,” Mr Gajica said.
“It’s been super reliable and does exactly what it was built to do. It picks up pallets, moves them around the warehouse, puts them down and then does it all over again, day in and day out, all of it reliably and without any complaints from anyone using it.
“It works from 7am until 4pm five days a week and even gets public holidays. It will be kind of sad to see it go but things have changed a lot here since Jamco started in business and it no longer meets our operational requirements.”
Warehouse space constraints mean Jamco needs a more versatile walkie stacker so the company is stepping-up to a new Crown SHR Series lift truck – with reach capability – for better pallet handling and fewer movements through narrow, often congested, aisles.
“I was actually quite reluctant to get a new walkie stacker but it just got to that point where we had to have a better one that could meet our operational needs and the new one does that perfectly,” Mr Gajica added.
Jamco is extremely happy with Crown, not just for the sturdiness and longevity of its equipment, nor for the impressive aftersales service but for the bond that has grown between the two companies.
“A good relationship has built-up between us over the years. Sure, we looked at other brands when we started thinking about replacing the walkie stacker but we came back to Crown, no problems.
“We are absolutely happy with our new Crown SHR Series walkie stacker and also with Crown’s sales and service. They were great at helping us find the piece of equipment that was just right for us.
“There’s never been an issue and Crown’s service technicians are always there if we need them. It all comes down to service and they are very capable guys.”
Jamco’s new Crown is already in service and has been nicknamed ‘Richo’ in honour of the Richmond Football Club.
“It’s black and yellow, Richmond’s colours, and Jamco owner and manager Steve James was a senior player for the club back in the day so it works,” Mr Gajica said.
As for the old walkie stacker, the 30WTF154 will be fully refurbished and see out its days in Crown Equipment’s Australian head office in Sydney where it will be used for promotional duties.
Started by Steve James, Jamco Sign Services is a sign installation company specialising in large-format outdoor signs and employing more than 50 people in Victoria and South Australia.
Recognised for its quality work, Jamco has been a ‘super supplier’ for APN Outdoor for the past 20 years, installing advertising on large format sites across Melbourne and Adelaide. Since 2009 it has also been the exclusive sign installer for APN Outdoor on the Melbourne and Adelaide public transport networks.
Jamco is also the Victorian Transport Accident Commission’s preferred banner installer for that state’s highways.
Caption: “Jamco’s 45-year-old Crown 30WTF154 walkie stacker, known as ‘The Old Girl’, in use at the company’s Melbourne warehouse.”