Four new Moffett truck-mounted forklifts from Hiab are helping leading turf supplier Q Lawns cope more efficiently with an increase in deliveries resulting from growth in internet sales and in its more traditional landscape trade business.
“Both private houses and many of the sites to which we deliver have no mechanical means of unloading the truck, so we have to bring our own,” explains Patrick Chapman, Logistics Manager of the Norfolk company.
“When we made a decision to bring our transport operation in-house with a new fleet of DAF trucks and SDC teardrop curtain-sided trailers we decided that truck-mounted forklifts were going to be an essential part of the package. We surveyed the market and the Moffett stood head and shoulders above the rest both in terms of the capability and versatility of the equipment and the back-up support available to us.
“The turf we cultivate at our 1,000 acre farm has to be delivered as fresh as possible and is often laid as soon as it arrives. Everything is palletised and as soon as the truck reaches its delivery point the Moffett is off the back in minutes and the load is very quickly off the truck and in the customer’s hands ready for laying.
“The fact that the M10 model we are using has an extendable boom is a real efficiency boost because it allows the operator to reach right across the trailer to pick the pallet on the far side. This means that we only have to open the curtains on one side of the trailer, which saves time and can be important from a safety perspective, especially when delivering to private premises or locations on busy roads.
“And the impressive off-road capability of the Moffett allows us to deliver onto construction sites with unmade roads or to go off-road in order to drop each pallet precisely where the layers want it, which can make their work simpler. The three wheel configuration with a single steering wheel at the back provides exceptional manoeuvrability allowing us to operate more easily in places where access is restricted. And it can cope with quite steep hills too!”
The model chosen by Q Lawns is the Moffett M10 20.3N, which is powered by a 50 horsepower (37.3 kW) Kubota diesel engine. The machine has a turning circle of less than eight feet (2410 mm) and it can handle slopes of up to 30 per cent, making the M10 very versatile, especially where space is limited.
Because the M10 is constantly out of doors and working in often arduous conditions, considerable care has been taken in its design to ensure weather and corrosion resistance. Durability features include fully protected electrics, an enclosed dashboard, and the use of a powder-coated paint finish and Nitrotec treated pins. Low maintenance is achieved through the easy access provided to all serviceable parts, IP65 proofed electrical components, and the use of LED lighting.
Much attention has been paid also to operator comfort and safety. The spacious open cab provides maximum all-round visibility and is accessed by slip-resistant steps and easy to reach grab handles. Once at the controls the hydrostatic steering provides a positive yet light feel and the simple joy stick control ensures accurate control of all functions.
The overhead guard has a tinted all-weather cover and is ROPS/FOPS tested. Other standard safety features include an interlocking seat belt, flashing hazard beacon, work lights and a reversing bleeper. When being carried on the back of the truck the LED lights provide maximum visibility to other road users.
The last word goes to Patrick Chapman. “With each of our trucks making up to ten deliveries a day our Moffetts are proving to be real workhorses. They enable us to operate at maximum efficiency, speeding up the delivery process and helping to ensure that our product arrives as fresh as possible so that our customers are kept well satisfied.”
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