New Combilift RT recognised for innovation

Combilift’s new Combi-RT poultry forklift a finalist at the Forklift Truck Association Awards for Excellence 2012, in the UK

New Combilift RT recognised for innovation
New Combilift RT recognised for innovation

January 27, 2012

Combilift’s new Combi-RT Poultry forklift a finalist in the innovation category at the Forklift Truck Association Awards for Excellence 2012, in the UK.

Best known for its range of space saving 4-way forklifts, the Irish manufacturer has developed a new product designed specifically for the needs of the poultry sector.

"Until now the majority of forklifts used for handling live poultry have been modified versions of mainstream models such as counterbalance or truck-mounted vehicles," explains Combilift Ireland, MD Martin McVicar.

"After taking the exact requirements of catching, handling and transportation into account we have developed a purpose built, no-compromise machine which makes the whole process speedier, quieter and more streamlined."

The Combi-RT comes as standard with a clear view 3 stage mast with full free lift and its low profile allows it to work both outside and under the low level eaves inside the poultry house.

Having picked the empty modules from the trailer the operator can then lower the mast without any loss of speed to take them directly to the waiting catchers, sidelining any danger of the module collecting litter on its base as it travels through the poultry house.

A further benefit of the full free mast is that it minimises any chance of impact damage to door structure, drinker and feeder equipment.

This affords a win for both the bio security and H&S concerns. The large diameter tractor grip tyres, all wheel traction with differential lock feature and 300mm (12") ground clearance enable the machine to operate smoothly in all manner of litter conditions.

These features, together with a small turning radius contribute to reduced disturbance of litter which is also advantageous when thinning.

The very smooth controls of both drive and mast functions results in gentler and quieter handling of the full modules, again contributing to lower stress levels of the poultry in the modules and the remaining population.

UK poultry processing giant Keyo Agricultural Services worked closely with Combilift to develop the vehicle.

"Drivers spend long periods in the cab travelling over uneven terrain, a point often ignored by some manufacturers," says Director Mark van den Bos.

"So the RT’s deep suspension seat and ample leg room is very beneficial to their comfort and also reduces fatigue for enhanced health and safety practices.

"The offset driving position and excellent visibility through the mast also affords a good view of the modules and enables them to be easily slotted into place on the trailer."

A further plus for operations such as Keyo is the reliability and ease of maintenance.

"This is a tough application where feathers and dust can easily get into a vehicle’s cooling and fuel system," van den Bos adds.

"The Combi-RT has been extremely robustly built and engineered to minimise these risks – the radiator and oil coolers are fully sealed for example, and the rear wheel arch is enclosed which prevents litter building up in the chassis."

Combilift Australia together with its national distributor Adaptalift Hyster recently released the CombiRT into the Australian market with very positive response.

"In the short time since releasing the product in Australia we have already taken 4 orders," says Combilift Australia National Sale Manger Chris Walker.

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