diesel and hybrid forklift trucks in action at KANN GmbH
Company: Large company, over 90 years of experience, 1200 employees.
Challenge: Need-based equipment at two sites belonging to KANN GmbH. Solution: Tailor-made leasing range for STILL diesel and hybrid forklift trucks.
STILL products: RX 70-35 hybrid, RX 70- 45, material flow range, tailor-made leasing range.
KANN has switched to using diesel forklift trucks by STILL at two of its production locations for concrete goods. The favourable consumption, noise-free drives and excellent clarity were the pivotal reasons for this change. A very flexible leasing solution with reserve trucks also formed part of this.
Leasing instead of buying. KANN GmbH Baustoffwerke Bendorf, a company belonging to the KANN group, has now equipped two of its 21 sites with new front loaders and therefore changed its suppliers in these plants on the basis of this approach. Nineteen STILL RX 70-35 hybrid forklift trucks have been acquired for the site in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz and eleven STILL RX 70-45 hybrid forklift trucks have been acquired for Pulheim. “Extensive negotiations and intensive comparisons of the competition preceded this considerable change”, reports Carsten Märker, Acquisitions Manager and Authorised Officer of the KANN group.
Intensive practical testing
Businessmen and women, plant managers, technicians and drivers were involved in this decision on the part of KANN. “Everyone involved needs to pull together, especially if the new forklifts are a different brand to those that you have been using for many years”, states Märker. In addition to a factory tour at STILL in Hamburg, intensive practical testing carried out on both sites using lease equipment was also one of the cornerstones of the decision-making process.
It was clear from the outset that Neumarkt and Pulheim would place very different demands on the industrial trucks. Neumarkt is geared towards accommodating a large number of items. The aisle width therefore had to be minimised with respect to this, which means that there is less space available for driving routes. Order picking and loading of the wide range of KANN products therefore requires that the forklift has a considerable level of manoeuvrability in order to achieve a high loading speed. The most cost-effective STILL model was selected for these demands. Due to the constricted spatial conditions, the forklifts are not able to pull two pallets at a time, as in Pulheim.
For this reason, the 3.5-ton class front loader was considered for use at the Bavarian site. “The RX 70-35 hybrid was the most convincing in my view for a number of reasons: In addition to the favourable consumption, I particularly liked the fact that it was outstandingly clear“, states Plant Manager Hans Sturm. He was also keen due to the fact that STILL had positioned the exhaust on the left-rear side instead of on the right-rear side. “This gives you a significantly better view behind you, as the driver usually looks over his/her right shoulder when driving backwards”, states Sturm. In a competitor’s model used for comparison, the exhaust was directly in the field of vision when looking backwards.
The technical features of the counterbalanced forklift truck, which is the first in the world to be series-produced and works as a hybrid with the principle of energy recovery and electric power transmission, were also convincing factors. It combines diesel-driven energy generation with an electrical energy storage system in the form of a so-called Ultracap. If the driver takes his foot off the accelerator pedal, the energy generated during deceleration is converted into electrical energy and stored in the Ultracap. The energy that flows back from the system can be made available again immediately.
Undercut consumption data
The construction materials plant in Pulheim places different demands on the new forklift: Pallets are regularly transported two at a time on the fork, which requires a higher load capacity. The RX 70-45 came out on top here with its strong and stable Deutz engine. In this model, the diesel engine also serves as a power generator for the electric drive. “The drive is therefore significantly quieter than in comparable diesel forklifts of the same weight class”, states Axel Singhof, Head of Technology at the Pulheim site and Authorised Officer.
What is more, the RX 70-45 is reportedly exceptionally economical. The low factory specifications would be undercut in Pulheim by up to 0.5 litres per operating hour. This is linked to the wide routes on the 45,000 square metre premises. “Only a small amount of energy enters the brakes here”, explains Singhof, who also attests to the excellent clarity of the big brother of STILL RX 70-35.
STILL gains further plus points in the details of the leasing contract, which takes an average duration of use of 1,250 operating hours per year and per truck as a basis. STILL also supplies a reserve forklift at both sites, which can be used free of charge as a replacement truck if any repairs to the leasing fleet are being undertaken. “What is more, we can use that forklift when we need greater capacities at peak times - although of course we must pay for this”, emphasises Märker.
KANN significantly increased the availability of the fleet of forklifts with this model. “If a forklift has been bought, a decision must first be made when repairs are needed and cost estimates must be obtained - this takes time that we are now saving with the leasing model”, explains Märker. If one of the forklifts breaks down, STILL must make the truck roadworthy within 24 hours or provide a replacement. “That is not only convenient, but also more easily calculable thanks to set leasing rates”, explains the qualified salesman.
The acquisition manager also places great emphasis on the different durations of use of the 30 leased forklifts: “The trucks are assigned to set employees and therefore also to working areas with different loads”, explains Märker. The front loaders used in loading therefore have a significantly greater demand placed on them than the trucks used in the areas of production and sampling. In the long run, this leads to a very different deterioration of the equipment, which should be avoided by exchanging the forklifts every year. “We are in regular contact with STILL in this regard too. We have arranged an annual meeting with our respective contact persons at STILL for every site, so that there are no costly outliers or nasty shocks at the end of the seven year term“. Ultimately, KANN would like to implement the leasing idea at other sites as well.
You can find out more about the trucks and systems that are used at KANN here:STILL Diesel and LP Gas Forklift Trucks