Testing grounds for forklift trucks is as tough as those in transport industry. The state-of-the-art logistics systems managing ‘just in time’ stocking practices generate enormous pressure on transport companies. For many operators, forklift reliability and product support are paramount to meet client deadlines.
Couriers Please PEP (formerly PEP Transport) in the Perth suburb of Belmont recently took delivery of four new Nissan forklifts. According to Bert Browning, Couriers Please PEP’s Bulk Division Supervisor, Couriers Please PEP has been in business since the early 80’s and have first hand experience with forklifts and their distributors.
As agents for a number of interstate carriers, Couriers Please PEP employ 120 subcontract drivers to distribute their freight and their own customers’ freight throughout Western Australia. During peak times, they handle up to thirty five 45’ drop deck semi-trailers a week.
Last year, when it was time to replace four of their Nissan forklifts, they looked at what was on the market, but after a meeting with Powerlift Nissan - the new Nissan Distributors in WA, they decided to stick with Nissan as they’d been reliable for the past six years.
Derrick Carvalho from Powerlift Nissan was professional and able to answer all questions on the spot. Couriers Please PEP sought his advice on the most economical solution after outlining their requirements. One of their concerns was tyre wear which was being caused by the operators working the forklifts hard and driving them too fast. Derrick recommended installing accelerator controls on the new forklifts that effectively locked them into economy mode. Derrick also explained the advances in engine management technology over the previous models, which meant Couriers Please PEP could look forward to reductions in operating costs.
Based on these benefits and the reliability they experienced with their previous Nissans, Couriers Please PEP decided to update to three of the new 1F Series, two top of the line 3.5 tonners and a 3 tonner for the yard, together with a smaller three wheeled counter balanced electric unit for the warehouse. On arrival, the forklifts were Immediately put to the test - racking up 250 hours in the first nine weeks. They found a significant difference between the new electronic fuel injection 1F Series forklifts over the previous carburettor models they had been using. Their LPG consumption went down by about 22% and they are now getting about 8 hours out of a 16kg bottle. Having the forklifts speed limited to 15 kph has meant the operators can’t drive them as hard as they used to and this had a noticeable impact on drive-tyre wear. They will now need to use four sets over the three years, as against their previous usage of six. Feedback from the drivers has been positive with the ergonomics of the new 1F Series forklifts making their jobs easier and less tiring. This improved productivity.
Couriers Please PEP are running side-shift fork positioners on the 3.5 tonners and even when fully loaded the dual masts enable good visibility at all times, which is good for safety. The new forklifts have a 3-way catalytic muffler system that makes them noticeably quieter than the older model, and produce far less exhaust emissions.
For Couriers Please PEP, the new forklifts have had a positive impact on their business, and Powerlift Nissan’s customer support has been good. According to Derrick Carvalho, the 1F Series is ideal for hard working environments like the transport industry. Not only do they increase productivity and reduce operating costs, they can also be supplied under a long term rental agreement which covers all aspects of the truck’s maintenance and servicing requirements, enabling customers to fix the usage cost of the forklift and then hand it back at the end of the term and replace it with a new one.