As one of the largest trust ports in the UK, The Port of Poole is a thriving freight port for commercial shipping, as well as an important destination for a variety of passenger and vehicle ferries, and cruise vessels. Conventional cargo handled includes commodities such as clay, steel, timber, grain, road stone, brick and fertiliser, as well as yacht transportation and project cargo. Ships of up to 210 metres (689ft) in length and with a draft of up to 8.7 metres (28.5ft) can use the port thanks to their new deep-water facilities which were opened in 2018.
Poole Harbour Commissioners are no strangers to Scandinavian forklifts, in fact, they have been purchasing forklifts from southern Sweden for nearly 3 decades. Having been impressed with in-house fabrication and true manufacture all those years ago, along with innovative design and ergonomics, it’s easy to see why this love story has lasted the test of time. So, when the chance arose to visit the only true “in house” manufacturer left in Sweden, PHC had no objections in an explorative visit to lift the lid on the best kept secret in Sweden.
Speaking on behalf of Cooper SH, Chris Barnes Sales Director takes up the story, “In 2018, Poole Harbour accompanied us on explorative visit to Ljungby, southern Sweden, to visit a forklift manufacturer that has literally written the history books on big forklifts. A manufacturer that is credited with the first ever clear view mast design, quick release forks and a cabin that is truly designed around operator comfort.” Chris continues, “to be honest, I was jealous of the guys at PHC. They were going to see SveTruck for the very first time and I knew exactly how that was going to feel having recalled my first visit to the factory. The anticipation of seeing actual fabrication, the heart and soul being welded and built into every machine and the tireless attention to detail that each of the 250 trucks per year receive. This is not just a simple assembly plant; this is an establishment that is proud of its heritage and even more proud of its reputation. Given Poole Harbour Commissioners infinity with Swedish forklifts over the years, I knew this would not be lost on our customers”
After passing all the PHC quality assessments with flying colours SveTruck then set about building an indestructible 16 tonne forklift specification that would match PHC requirements both in application and life expectancy. Using specially sourced Swedish steels such as SSAB (more commonly used for container spreader structures with a minimum life of 2m cycles) for hard wearing items like mast and carriage PHC had the confidence to reduce extra bearing rollers that they had to previously adopt with other Swedish suppliers.
Paul Gillingham, Engineering Manager for PHC explains the rationale behind the SveTruck design, “It has reminded me of our fist Kalmar 25 years ago but just better, even back then some of the fabrication was being outsourced but not with SveTruck. At PHC we review forklifts in several ways, is it robust enough to last the test of time, will the operators be safe and happy in the cabin environment, can our engineers work on all aspects of the truck and most importantly, can the OEM provide us spares for as long as we want to keep the truck.”
Paul continues, “On all aspects SveTruck has not only met these but promises to exceed our expectations. We had heard that SveTruck is expensive before we travelled but now seeing the total operation, it is easy to see why; the quality is second to none. There is no redesigning for the sake of redesigning which helps us massively in the future with spares. It’s easy to see that SveTruck got it right first time in 1969 and why they won’t change what we see as the best design. We are proud to become part of the SveTruck family and our customers will recognise our statement of investment that we are making to improve terminal reliability form them.”
The new SveTruck 1612-38 has been delivered this month after passing stringent line testing at SveTruck’s production facility. A joint celebration was held for the first forklift to PHC along with the 100th machine delivered to the German Smelting giant Aurubis AG, sold by company Jetschke, through SveTruck’s affiliated company Svetruck Deutschland GmbH.
Operating in all sectors of heavy lifting across the UK and Ireland, Cooper Specialised Handling is the exclusive UK distributor for SveTruck, RAM Spreaders, Telestack bulk material handling conveying systems and Sany mobile handling equipment, sole UK importer and exclusive distributor for Mantsinen cranes, Movella Translifters, TEC Containers and a long-term specialist in Konecranes lift trucks. The company, which celebrated 20 years in business in 2018, also has a dedicated after-sales division, Cooper Handling Solutions, which specialises in engineering support.
Independently owned, Cooper offers total solutions in both solids and bulk handling. Its customised solutions comprise high quality, high value products and reliable service for businesses operating in the most challenging heavy handling environments, including ports, freight handling, inter-modal terminals, manufacturing and other heavy lifting industries.