Haldane Fisher has taken delivery of two 5t capacity Combilift 4-wheeled sideloaders at its Newry-based head office in Northern Ireland to move large packs of timber in and around the production and sawmill areas.

Two other C4000 4-way Combilift models - one for Newry and another for the Belfast site - have also been purchased for optimum space utilisation when it comes to handling and storing bricks, blocks, plasterboard and other products.

Serving trade customers and the general public, Haldane Fisher’s range encompasses building materials, plumbing, heating and home improvement products. It is also a major manufacturer of machined timber as well as engineered roofing and flooring solutions in Ireland.

The 4WSLs replaced old models of another brand and the decision to swap suppliers was influenced strongly by Combilift’s ability to offer a high level of customisation according to Colin Morrison, transport manager of the Newry branch.

He said: “David Vuagniaux from our materials handling suppliers Briggs Equipment UK initially recommended that we look at the 4WSL and I immediately recognised the quality of the design, engineering and manufacturing process when we visited the factory in Monaghan. Following a demo and our feedback, Combilift incorporated some features we requested for our specific application such as extra lights and added protection around the cab.”

Combilift’s 4WSL range was developed to cope with tough conditions and long runs, and as such, is ideally suited for Haldane Fisher’s operation. One of the trucks is designated to supply the sawmill with large raw materials such as 6m x 1m packs of timber weighing up to 5t. The other works mainly in the timber storage area and both are also used to take machined products to the warehouse. The ultra-clean Deutz engine is beneficial when working with timber as it eliminates the possibility of any exhaust residue settling on the product, with David Vuagniaux adding that this engine offers outstanding transmission and traction.

A new warehouse is in the planning stages at Newry and its configuration and racking will in great part be based around the space saving and narrow aisle capabilities of the C4000 model. Haldane Fisher worked with Combilift design engineers who supplied layout plans to ensure maximum storage density in the new facility. Until this is completed the truck is being used to maximum effect on-site picking, moving and loading all manner of orders.

“As with its counterpart in Belfast, it’s on the go all day long, indoors and out, so we can keep up with the demands from our calling customers and subcontractors,” said Mr Morrison. He adds that drivers are impressed with the comfort and ergonomics in the 4WSL’s cab, and that as well as being reliable workhorses they also look great from a design point of view, which is an extra bonus.