SUMITOMO Rubber Industries (SRI, a leading global tyre manufacturer, has taken delivery of 43 pieces of materials handling equipment on a 60-month rental from Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC). The machines have been deployed to Sumitomo’s manufacturing plant in Ladysmith, KwaZulu Natal.
The fleet comprises 15 DEC five-ton electric tow tractors recently introduced to the local market by GLTC, 20 Doosan diesel forklifts with capacities from 1,8 to seven tons and eight Crown ESR5620-2.0 reach trucks with 11,5-metre lift heights.
Jogen Moodley, Associate Manager Procurement at Sumitomo Rubber Industries, said the DEC electric tow tractors are being used to transport work-in-progress material for tyre production within the factory.
“Space constraints have created a challenge to move material within our factory. The DEC tow tractors can easily access confined spaces which cannot be accessed by conventional forklifts. Another key benefit is that these units use less gas or fuel, which in turn translates into both operational savings and less emissions, ensuring the health of our employees,” Moodley said.
GLTC KZN Sales Manager Dale Rosewall said the 20 Doosan forklifts were all specified according to the different department and application needs within the facility. This was done after an extensive site investigation.
Moodley said the forklifts were being used to move heavier loads than those handled by tow tractors. These include raw materials, equipment and tooling, among others.
The eight Crown ESR 5260-2.0 ESR lift trucks are being used in the raw material and finished goods warehouses. Moodley explained that space between the aisles at the two warehouses is restricted.
“Due to the space constraints, we cannot use conventional fork trucks, and reach trucks are winning the day for us. Offering 11,5 m of lift height capacity, the ESR reach trucks also assist with the height factor for storage at higher level racks,” he said.
Explaining the rationale behind Sumitomo’s decision to rent, Moodley said materials handling equipment is generally an expensive commodity to buy and maintain. “Outright purchasing would cost huge amounts of capital. That’s why we opted for the rental option with a maintenance contract for complete peace of mind.”