Barloworld Handling electrifies food and beverage market

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The materials handling solutions offered by southern African Hyster dealer Barloworld Handling are recognised to be among the most diverse and customer focused in the market. This has seen the company become a preferred supplier to an array of customers in the highly paced food and beverage industry.

A Hyster dealer since 1929, Barloworld Handling today has lift trucks and warehousing equipment in operation across the food and beverage supply chain – from packaging, can and glass manufacturing to food processing and beverage manufacturing, to warehousing and bulk food distribution centres, to supermarkets and convenience stores.

“Whatever the application or materials handling requirement, Barloworld Handling will find a way for custumers to maximise their efficiency and productivity,” says Barloworld Handling senior GM Vishal Tilak.

With health, safety and emission standards a prime consideration in this industry, Barloworld Handling finds high demand for its industry-leading range of electric materials handling equipment, which includes counterbalanced lift trucks, pallet trucks, stackers, reach trucks, order pickers and very narrow aisle trucks.

The Hyster electric range delivers high levels of productivity by providing robust, user-friendly trucks designed for optimum performance, says Tilak. “With powerful AC motors, superb ergonomics and high manoevrability, they perform for longer and use less power. As has been proven time and again, Hyster electric materials handling equipment is at the forefront of technology in terms of its ability to deliver low cost of ownership and low energy consumption.”

The electric offering includes trucks adapted for cold storage, with Hyster trucks in operation in temperatures as little as -25 degrees Celsius in local chicken processing plants.

LPG-powered Hyster lift trucks, providing more versatility for indoor and outdoor operation, are also supplied into this market. These trucks are sometimes adapted to enable the use of natural gas, which is more economical for customers with access to a natural gas pipeline, e.g. in the Vaal Triangle.

Value-adding solutions

Barloworld Handling’s success in this market with its wide-ranging requirements is based not only on its ability to provide industry-leading equipment, says Tilak. “The real differentiator is the integrated, value-adding solutions we have developed to enhance our product offering.

“Working in partnership with our customers, we provide solutions that ensure the efficient use of resources, reduce operating costs and increase productivity – whether it’s at a small convenience store with one small used forklift or a company with multiple high-end fleets.”

Barloworld Handling’s offering includes expert consultancy; long-term rental of new and used machines over 24 to 82 months; short-term rental of new and used machines on a daily, weekly and monthly basis; the outright purchase of new and used machines; a choice of maintenance plans; 24-hour service; excellent parts availability (97% off-the-shelf) and flexible, customised fleet management.

Maintenance, service and repair solutions meet specific requirements and maximise machine availability and uptime. Technical support is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with technicians responding to call-outs in an average time of two to four hours countrywide. The service offering also includes on-site technicians, battery maintenance, design, implementation and operation of on-site battery bays.

A state-of-the-art customer support centre ensures high levels of technical support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Barloworld Handling has close to 9 000 lift trucks in the field, big and small. Of these, more than 4 000 units are on a long- or short-term rental or maintenance contract. Their whereabouts and the performance and servicing of machines, are monitored and coordinated by the customer support centre.

Fleet management or remote equipment monitoring technology is available, enabling the remote capturing and wireless transmission of data ranging from hour meter readings to impact detection and reporting. Fleet management reports then enable customers to reduce their cost of ownership, for example by reallocating assets to maximise contractual hours or by reducing damage.

“As with everything we offer, the aim is to use our understanding of industry best practice and our customers’ businesses to make a difference to both their day-to-day operations and bottom line,” says Tilak.