Electric Forklifts

July 2015

We recently invested in four Electric Forklifts manufactured by STILL for our Distribution Centre in Chorley. The decision was made in order to provide a healthier working environment for staff, along with minimising dust and noise pollution inside the building. Warehouse Manager, Darren Swift is over the moon with the positive environmental impact the STILL RX20 Electric Forklifts have made inside the building in the three weeks we’ve been operating with them.

Stored goods and packaging within the warehouse are reaping the benefits of the RX20’s. Where diesel forklifts produced smoke fumes and blew dust around from the environment, the electric counterparts work quietly and efficiently without pollution, and of course they are much more environmentally friendly in other ways too. Darren stated “It’s clear as soon as you step into the warehouse that the air is cleaner, and the guys working on the new forklifts are really pleased with the switch to electric”.

STILL declare their electric forklifts provide superb driving dynamics even when operating on uneven gradients, and are optimised for maximum energy and minimum noise. Due to their quiet nature all warehouse and office staffs have been made aware of their introduction to the site,  and pedestrians within the warehouse must wear high visibility clothing and remain within pedestrian walkways.  To further minimise hazard the STILL RX20’s are installed with reversing bleepers, lights and are operated by fully trained staff members at all times.

The Distribution Centre works on a 12 hour shift pattern and employs 26 staff within the warehouse facility. We interviewed one of the forklift operators to gain his thoughts on the latest editions. “The electric forklifts are brilliant” he assured  “They are so much quieter and more comfortable than the diesel ones we used before, you certainly knew about it when you’d done a 12 hour shift on a diesel, but with these it’s a different story.  They’re easier to maintain, the battery units swap in and out quickly and a service on one of these machines only takes around 10 minutes, whereas a diesel forklift takes roughly an hour. This ensures we don’t lose vital time and continue to get orders out punctually for our customers”.

Darren is confident that GA will continue to use these in our Chorley Distribution Centre, however agrees that the electric forklift prefers a warehouse environment and would not be suitable for use in all areas of GA Pet Food Partners.

GA is continuously investigating ways in which we can reduce our environmental impact and these electric forklifts are a small part in the plan for the future. In recent years we have installed bio beds in order to minimise odour from our Bretherton manufacturing site and planted vast woodland to reduce the visual impact of the factory to the local community. We also collect and reuse rainwater from yards and buildings and reuse this within the manufacturing process. We continue to look at ways we can do more for the environment in years to come.