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Hyster fork-lifts overcome tough tests

Hyster H13XM-6 fork-lift

Truck fleet copes with dust and extreme temperature variations at German sand-lime brick plant

FROM large quantities of dust to extreme temperature variations, Hyster fork-lift trucks are helping to overcome the tough conditions at Radmacher Kalksandsteine, a sand-lime brick production plant in Wendeburg, Germany.

The family business has been producing sand-lime bricks using only sand, quicklime and water since 1963. The blocks are hardened in 15-bar pressure autoclaves and more than 60 employees ensure continuous production in a three-shift, round-the-clock operation.

Due to the demands of the application, including a climate that varies from –15°C in winter to more than 30°C in summer, the business tested various fork-lifts thoroughly before selecting new trucks.

The sand-lime bricks are manufactured in standard sizes as well as in varying dimensions dependent on customer requirements and specific building plans. Hyster trucks ensure a continuous, reliable process, from production to storage of the blocks.

‘No stone is moved without a Hyster fork-lift,’ said Christian Baars, production manager at the plant, who is especially pleased with two new Hyster H13XM-6 heavy-duty fork-lift trucks. These trucks, with a lifting capacity of 13 tonnes and a load centre of 600mm, were acquired after testing several different trucks from well-known manufacturers. 

While all trucks tested performed well when unloading trolleys and equipping saws, one competitor was unable to deliver the required performance working on the ramp. The heavy fork-lifts, fully loaded with sand-lime bricks, have to manage a short ramp with a grade of approximately 12%.

Although some competitor trucks with powerful engines managed the ramp, they consumed significantly more fuel than the Hyster H13XM-6, which is equipped with a six-cylinder Cummins QSB 6.7-litre engine.

‘The engine power was not the only deciding factor though,’ commented Torsten Franke, managing director of Hyster dealers GS-Gabelstapler Service, in Wolfenbüttel. ‘The truck has to be a good overall fit, from the three-speed ZF hydrodynamic transmission to the transmission ratio.’

‘For us, the high power reserves and low fuel consumption of the Hyster H13XM-6 were key,’ said Christian Baars. ‘After all the testing, we put the first fork-lift into use in our sand-lime brick factory in Uslar, and then ordered another 13-tonne truck, with an S+H stone clamp, to use at our Wendeburg plant.’

The state-of-the-art heavy-duty trucks, which comply with Stage IV/Tier 4 final requirements, ae said to consume around 20% less fuel compared to their predecessors.

Good all-round visibility is delivered by the ergonomic Hyster cab and further enhanced by the VISTA mast with external chains and three, instead of four, hydraulic lines. The noise level has also been reduced, allowing the driver to concentrate during the shift. Additionally, the wide chassis and wide drive axle ensure maximum lateral stability when using attachments.

To avoid the problems caused by dust, an optional extension to the air inlet of the pre-filter reduces the amount of polluted air that is sucked in when the standard pre-filter is no longer sufficient. An automatic lubrication function can also be installed to keep dirt out. Drivers also benefit from the Hyster VISTA cab, which features an easy-to-clean air filter.

Moreover, temperature fluctuations pose no problem for Hyster fork-lift trucks as they leave the factory in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, ready to withstand operation at temperatures from –18°C to 50°C.

Radmacher Kalksandsteine use four Hyster H3.0FT Fortens ICE fork-lift trucks to their maximum performance, reaching up to 3,500 operating hours per year. Equipped with Superelastic tyres and the maintenance-free Hyster stability mechanism (HSM), the rugged Hyster Fortens fork-lifts are primarily used to transport the sand-lime blocks around the site.

When set to the ECO-eLO fuel-efficiency mode, these are said to be among the most fuel-efficient fork-lift trucks available, which was another deciding factor for Christian Baars.

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