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EDiA trucks help to meet green targets

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​​​​​​​Leading manufacturer BituChem has taken a big step towards a lower carbon footprint with a new fleet of electric EDiA EX forklifts.

The Mitsubishi EDiA electric forklift has once again proven its unrivalled capabilities having been selected to replace diesel at a busy bitumen manufacturing site in Gloucestershire.

Moving with the times

BituChem was looking to reduce its emissions and improve sustainability, and turned to local Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks dealer HFT for support with future-proofing its MHE fleet.

Paul Paschali, Director at BituChem said: “We wanted to reduce our carbon footprint and swapping to electric trucks was an easy and effective way to do our bit. HFT knows our business and provided trucks that work well with the challenges on our site. We needed forklifts that could work indoors and outdoors, carrying bulky loads, while coping well on uneven ground.”

Robust and powerful electric forklifts

HFT delivered three 2.5-tonne EDiA EX electric forklifts. The trucks are used for loading/unloading, carrying pallets, barrels and drums of chemicals around a busy site 6 days a week.

“EDiA is a nimble truck but powerful with it,” says Rob Perry, Sales Manager at HFT. “It has great ingress protection against water and dust, with fewer moving parts, so these trucks excel at working in all weathers as the risk of damage is much lower.”

The trucks included several additional features to suit BituChem’s site and requirements, including glass-fronted cabins for year-round operator comfort.

“We added a hydraulic accumulator to the EDiA EX trucks to increase suspension and reduce bounce to ensure there are no broken pallets,” says Rob Perry. “It also makes it more comfortable for the operators.”

The trucks were fitted with blue safety spotlights to alert pedestrians of a truck’s presence, which is essential when working indoors near busy intersections like the ends of aisles.

“The electric trucks are really quiet so the blue spotlights help any pedestrians working nearby to be aware of approaching vehicles,” said John Shirley, Site Manager at BituChem. “We have some other great features that we didn’t have with diesel, like the automatic fork adjustment. This allows the operators to pick up different sized pallets without having to get off the truck and manually adjust the forks, which saves them a huge amount of time.”

For enhanced operator safety, the EDiA EX trucks feature an immobiliser where the forklift will not start if the operator has not engaged the seatbelt.

EDiA trucks provide 'peace of mind'

BituChem’s new forklifts use lead acid batteries which can be charged after shifts to ensure high operational availability. “The batteries easily last three days from charging, which is great as we can maintain our productivity levels with the added benefit of no emissions and quieter machines,” says John Shirley.

The EDiA EX trucks are part of a number of initiatives BituChem has implemented in recent months. A new energy-efficient generator has been installed to power the asphalt plant, and by upgrading the power supply BituChem can use less fuel and reduce its energy consumption.

“As well as the new generator and the EDiA EX trucks we also use an electric JCB excavator,” added Paul Paschali. “We will be reviewing multiple areas of the site to see where more efficiencies can be made.

“Importantly, the EDiA forklifts really stood up against their diesel counterparts. It gives you peace of mind that you don’t always need diesel equipment on site. The operators are really happy with the trucks. The HFT sales team has been great with making suggestions and helping us find the best solution for our applications and business.”

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