FLEMINGTON Markets is the heart of the fruit and vegetable trade in Sydney, with several hundred wholesalers supplying the bulk of the city’s fresh produce requirements.
One of the leading independent wholesalers at Flemington Markets is Advance Produce, which distributes around 400 tonnes of produce each week. The company handles both local fruit and vegetables and specialises in citrus fruits and grapes.
Advance Produce utilises a small fleet of seven forklifts, three of them Linde LPG-powered 1.8 tonne models. Advance has run the three Linde forklifts for over three years, on a long-term hire contract from Linde.
Sam Theocharous, Principal of Advance Produce, said he had been very impressed by the reliability and overall performance of the Linde units. “We start work at one o’clock in the morning,” said Sam, “and at that time we’ve got deliveries coming in off the trucks left, right and centre.
“That is why we need fast and reliable forklifts. If one were to break down, we’d have trouble getting a mechanic to fix it at that time of the morning. Sam added: “Over the years we have run all types of forklifts, but I have to say the Linde units are definitely a cut above the rest.
“They cost a little bit more, but at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. The quality is far superior to other forklifts. Every other type of forklift we have had starts to rattle and creek, after you’ve used it for a while. Whereas, driving a Linde is like driving a new forklift everyday. They never seem to wear out.
“They have never caused us any trouble, have been very fuel-efficient and offer good ergonomics for our drivers."
One of Sam’s forklift drivers, Charlie, has clocked up more than 7000 hours on one of the Linde forklifts over the past three years.
“I have driven lots of different forklifts, and the Linde is easily one of the most comfortable I’ve used,” he said.
“It is quick, the controls are nice and light to use, it is easy to manoeuvre and the vision through the mast and all around is excellent.”
Advance Produce has been so happy with the performance of the Linde forklifts for the past three years that it has just signed up with Linde for a further three year hire contract.
Sam Theocharous said: “We were the first people in the markets to give Linde forklifts a try, and they have made a big contribution to the success of our business over the past three years.
“I’m really happy to have signed another deal with Linde and the drivers are excited about getting their hands on the new models, which are a bit more powerful and faster than the current units.
“We’re sure the sight of our nice new Linde forklifts will turn some of our competitors green with envy,” joked Sam.
Linde manufactures an extensive range of forklifts, with capacities from 1.2 to 52 tonnes. The company has a national factory-owned customer support network and operates one of the largest rental fleets in the country.