Jun 22, 2016 - 3 years ago
By Supply Post
The Fornebu Lumber Company needed a reliable material handler to keep up with the seasonal peaks of their business. When Fornebu bought a second SENNEBOGEN this year, they gained 50% more material handling capacity without increasing the number of machines in their fleet.
On a busy day, 100 trucks can pull into the Fornebu Lumber yard with thousands of 9’ (2.7 m) logs to be unloaded. Truckers will pace around, checking their watches hoping to be unloaded as quickly as possible in order to get another load, while at the same time, the saw line was spitting out framing lumber at 700 to 800 ft (213.4 to 243.8 m) per minute, hungry for more logs.
On the other side of these unrelenting demands, Fornebu originally had 4 wheel loaders and 3 material handlers. They were good machines, but even a small problem with them cost Fornebu a lot in terms of downtime and lost productivity. Everything required a service call, and replacement parts weren’t easy to come by.
The question of how to keep up the pace caused Michael Godin, General Manager of Fornebu Lumber, many sleepless nights.
SENNEBOGEN wins on quality, safety
Soon after joining Fornebu three years ago, Godin put a plan in place to replace the aging equipment in the fleet. When he began the RFP process, SENNEBOGEN was an after-thought because he wasn’t familiar with the brand.
But during the demo-phase, the SENNEBOGEN 830 material handler went from last to first on Godin’s list. The more he learned from Strongco about the machine’s easy-maintenance design, its robust reliability and safety, the higher it rose in his estimation. Godin says his strong mechanical background helped him assess the structural integrity of the machines as well as the relative ease of maintenance. “The way they designed the machine, it’s very, very tough. The unique shape of the frame is stronger than what any other machine has,” he says.
Godin purchased the SENNEBOGEN 830 M-HD S in 2013, and couldn’t be happier with its performance so far.
“I recommend SENNEBOGEN material handlers to everyone,” says Godin. “When we brought the SENNEBOGEN on line, our costs went down. Our downtime was reduced. We save time. We save money, plus we are more efficient in the yard.”
Two SENNEBOGENS are better than one
Godin was so impressed with the quality and reliability of the 830 that he bought a second SENNEBOGEN. It is a purpose-built SENNEBOGEN 830 M-T wheeled material handler equipped with a logging grapple.
The new SENNEBOGEN has all the advantages of the first one, including an attachment capacity that’s 50% larger than the material handler it replaced. The SENNEBOGEN 830 M-T can handle 1.5 cords of wood in one scoop, requiring more power and more stability. The 830 M-T has no trouble stacking 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) loads higher than the other machines he compared it to. By stacking the piles even a few feet higher, Fornebu can get the most use out of its 15 acre (6 hectare) lumber yard.
“The other manufacturer’s machines are good machines, but from a safety, stability and reach standpoint, the SENNEBOGEN is far superior,” says Godin.
“With the SENNEBOGEN 830 M-T, Fornebu has 50% more unloading capacity. That means 50% faster unloading and 100% happier truckers,” says Godin.
Godin also noted that the 830 M-T material handler has “a lot more power,” partially due to its dual transmissions. Operators use the 830 M-T to haul a trailer filled with 22 cords of wood over muddy, uneven ground.
“It’s easier to haul wood with the new SENNEBOGEN. When we go up the hill, we can feel the difference. You can even speed up if you want as you go up hill!” he says.
Simple design saves hassles over minor issues
The SENNEBOGEN philosophy to empower end-users is a huge advantage for Fornebu. The company provides free training programs for mechanics and familiarization programs for operators in its world-class Training Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The material handlers are also purpose-built to work with off-the-shelf parts.
“With SENNEBOGEN, our technicians get the same training as our dealer, Strongco,” says Godin. “It means we can handle routine maintenance and service on our own, and that’s a very, very big plus for our company.”
With two SENNEBOGEN material handlers in the yard, Godin has found keeping the pace (and sleeping) to be much easier.