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Container handlers for the steel sector

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COMPANIES specialising in the manufacture of steel for reinforced concrete, traditionally face three major challenges – the safe loading of steel, efficient dispatch of product and the prohibitive costs of handling steel using conventional trailers.

That’s according to Ken Mouritzen, Managing Director, BLT WORLD, who said Mobicon straddle carriers, coupled with flat racks, provide a safe, convenient and cost-efficient solution to alleviate the problems of handling reinforced steel.

“In conventional handling, steel that comes off a bending or cutting machine, is transported by overhead crane to the dispatch area and then loaded onto a delivery vehicle,” he said.

“Loading steel on a vehicle bed that is 1.5 meters off the ground is dangerous and if the vehicle is not ready to be loaded, the steel is placed on the ground to wait for the next available vehicle. Disadvantages of this system include double handling, the need for a large area of ground space and extended crane hours.”

As a consequence, he added, production may need to stop or slow down, until the steel has been safely loaded, to make space in the dispatch area for more steel.

“Mobicon straddle carriers are fitted with flat racks that are loaded with steel that comes straight from production. This handling system is highly efficient. – the Mobicon can safely lift over 1,6 m loads, which are transported to the dispatch area and placed onto a delivery vehicle.

“When a vehicle returns from doing a delivery, the Mobicon takes the empty flat rack off the vehicle and places the next loaded flat rack onto the vehicle. The Mobicon returns empty flat racks to the storage area for neat stacking.”

Mouritzen said the delivery vehicle’s turnaround time is minimal, which means it can do more deliveries each day.

“So basically, the Mobicon and flat rack system becomes a buffer between the production and transport sections of a steel business, allowing manufacturers to get volume safely out the door, without disruption.”

He listed several other benefits of using the Mobicon system. “Flat racks are cheaper than trailers and empty flat racks can be stacked to save space. For improved safety, loading is done on ground level, there is no need for double handling and production is not interrupted.”

Rigid lift arms or a guided spreader help ensure the risk of the flat rack swinging or falling is prevented by a rigid, secure connection.

Flat racks for the Mobicon are available in various sizes from 6 to 12 m and can be modified to include safety rails and tie down points. The Mobicon and flat racks can be supplied as a turn-key package.

“These mobile container handlers have excellent manoeuvrability and move loads efficiently around sites, through warehouse doors, effectively taking the container to the stack or the receiving point. Other advantages include easy handling of ramps and speed bumps, faster container handling times in all weather conditions and minimal damage to contents normally caused by long lift truck runs.”

These machines are used in many industries, including transport and logistics, food and beverage production, agriculture and warehousing.

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