DSV is a global transport and logistics specialist with offices in over 50 countries. The company has been testing three of Crown’s new WT 3000 rider pallet trucks at their Neufahrn site near Munich. Neufahrn is a high volume distribution hub for one of Germany’s leading pharmaceutical retailers, turning over 1,700 pallets during each two-shift working day between 6.00 a.m. and 1.00 a.m.
A key ingredient to the success of the WT 3000 within DSV was the ongoing close collaboration between DSV and Crown. “While the truck was being developed, Crown engineers spent a lot of time on our Neufahrn site, discussing the operators’ practical experience with the WT 3000 pallet trucks in minute detail. They incorporated ideas and suggestions from drivers who were working with the vehicles day in, day out, directly into the development process”, explains Christian Fuchs, Regional Manager of the DSV Southern Distribution Hub.
Robust + durable = fit for the toughest working conditions
Work at DSV is especially challenging because of the fluctuating workload. Volumes can literally double from one day to the next. “Each Monday morning we may have 15,000 units to sort out and over twice that over the weekend – up to 40,000 units. We have to be flexible to keep up with our customers’ hugely variable sales levels”, asserts Fuchs. To make sure goods reach their destinations promptly, the working day at DSV stretches over two shifts – which means that each and every day the pallet trucks may be in use for up to 16 hours at a time.
During the test period, Crown’s WT 3000 pallet trucks were continuously exposed to ultra-demanding working conditions. Above all else, Christian Fuchs expects a new pallet truck to be durable. “We use these vehicles for loading and unloading lorries, which means they’re travelling over dock ramps hundreds of times each shift. It’s a working process that puts enormous stress on chassis and wheels, so they tend to wear out very quickly.”
The new WT 3000 Pallet Truck Series was designed with precisely these conditions in mind, so it is extremely robust. Steel reinforced chassis, forks and castors all help to minimise wear and tear and extend the truck’s working life. “The sheer strength of the individual components is what I like most about the WT 3000, because thanks to them, the truck very rarely needs repairs. This means the WT 3000 pallet truck stays up and running for longer, and unscheduled downtime – something we can’t afford because of the tight timeframes and enormous fluctuation in order volumes – is a thing of the past”, explains Fuchs.
Prioritising operator health
Protecting the health of the workforce is a key priority for DSV. As Christian Fuchs puts it: “Loading and unloading goods puts drivers under tremendous physical strain. In unfavourable conditions, the constant vibration of travelling to and fro over dock boards can damage knees and backs. Creating working conditions that don’t have a negative impact on health is really important, both for the sake of the workforce and the company as a whole.”
The WT 3000 Series makes an important contribution to health and safety on the loading dock. In Neufahrn, the warehouse team uses the fixed-platform model with rear entry, fitted with Crown’s innovative Entry Bar Safety Switch. This bar is integrated into the leading edge of the fixed platform and does not allow operation of the truck if the operator’s foot depresses the switch. In practice, this means the Crown WT 3040 pallet truck will not move until the operator’s feet are safely within the confines of the forklift.
Crown’s FlexRide™ suspension system, which is fitted as standard to every model in the series, reduces vibration and impact on chassis, frame, wheels and the operator platform by up to 80%. The added value which the WT 3000 contributes to health and safety issues has certainly convinced Christian Fuchs.
“The floating suspension means our drivers don’t suffer from back ache, knee pains or fatigue, and the fact that they’re protected from harm if they stand in the wrong position on the platform makes the truck exceptionally safe.”
About Crown Equipment Corporation – EMEA
Crown Equipment Corporation is one of the world’s largest material handling companies. Crown’s award-winning line of forklifts maintains a reputation for advanced product design, engineering and integrated manufacturing processes. Offering a broad range of forklifts, as well as automation and fleet management technologies, Crown provides customers with forward thinking and innovative products designed to improve performance and lower operating costs. With its Head Office in New Bremen, Ohio, and regional headquarters in Germany, Australia, China and Singapore, Crown operates a global service and distribution network. Additional information about Crown’s ideas for helping its customers advance the productivity of their operations and accomplish more can be found at www.crown.com.