For more than 30 years, wood wholesaler Holz Tusche has been using Hyster® forklift trucks. Not only because purchasing and maintaining the trucks is cost-effective, but also due to the trucks’ robustness and durability.
"With us, forklift trucks are being pushed to their limits every day," says Ralph Tusche, Managing Director of Holz-Tusche GmbH & Co. KG, where 5.6 x 2.07 metre wooden decorative panels must regularly be lifted to heights of more than six metres for storage.
"The lifting height and the size of the panels means that a particularly rigid triplex mast is required on the forklifts," says Andreas Wiegers, Managing Director of Hyster® dealer Wiegers Gabelstapler. "The sturdy triple mast also has the advantage of fitting through entrances and doorways in the company’s old warehouses when it is retracted."
800 different designs for kitchens and furniture
Around 800 different wood designs, primarily used for shop, kitchen and furniture construction, are stored at Holz-Tusche. In addition, there is a range of solid and sawn timber boards, as well as parquet wood for various purposes.
In 1934, Josef Tusche, the grandfather of the current owner, founded the business. In 1958 a sawmill was added, but this was discontinued in 1976 due to the relocation of the family business. In 2011, Holz-Tusche invested in new cutting lines, which can now be used to process materials of up to 5.6 m.
The business took over an 11,000 m2, air-conditioned warehouse in Marsberg, Germany in 2013 and just one year later, a fully automated storage area, with capacity for up to 21,000 wood panels, was put into operation. Here, the wood panels are stored and picked using automatically controlled vacuum cups, making it is possible to deliver the products on demand, as quickly as possible.
17 Hyster® forklift trucks for logistics
The extensive company premises, including the warehouses, have particular logistics demands. The forklifts sometimes have to travel long distances, for instance, and must also be constantly ready for use. A total of 17 Hyster® trucks form the backbone of the logistics operation and since 2010, the fleet has gradually switched from diesel to LPG fuel. To prevent the gas from running out, the Hyster® trucks in the fleet are equipped with two gas bottles so the operator can switch to the new bottle right away when it is needed.
“We've been thinking for years about the use of zero-emissions electric forklifts to protect the environment and the performance of forklifts equipped with lithium-ion batteries is particularly interesting to us," says Tusche. "However, at the moment we lack space in our premises to create the necessary infrastructure for charging this type of forklift truck."
Therefore, until the changeover to electric forklift trucks occurs, 10 Hyster® H4.0FT lift trucks are responsible for warehouse logistics, and for loading and unloading 18 in-house lorries.
Low total cost of ownership
"We chose Hyster® trucks because they are very durable and they are easy to operate," says CEO Tusche. "They are also economical to buy and maintain.”
Hyster® dealer Wiegers Gabelstapler has been supporting Holz-Tusche for more than 20 years and provides servicing for the Hyster® lift trucks.
"Service is very important to us," says Tusche. "Quick response times, transparent reporting around service and costs, and good customer care from Wiegers Gabelstapler are all crucial, because we cannot afford downtime."
The Hyster® Fortens® forklifts with a 4.0-tonne lifting capacity and a load centre of 600mm are particularly agile, and robust enough to cope with the harsh conditions in the wood wholesaling industry. The DuraMatchTM gearbox, for example, prevents abrupt braking and regulates the direction of travel to protect brakes and tyres.
The Hyster® lift trucks also use super elastic tyres that are robust enough to even out minor bumps. In addition, the Hyster Stability Mechanism (HSM) improves lateral stability without affecting operation on uneven surfaces, and oil-immersed multi-disc brakes reduce maintenance requirements and increase reliability. Special attachments, such as sideshift forks and container tippers, also provide dependable handling.
Punctuality and quality count
Wood arrives at Holz-Tusche from Germany, Austria, Poland, or anywhere else in the world. When stock arrives, it must move fast, and the lorries must be unloaded immediately. In addition to the 4-tonne Hyster® forklift trucks in operation, 3 larger Hyster® forklifts are on site to enable loads up to 5.5 tonnes to be handled. After unloading the lorries, the wooden panels are taken either directly to the storage area or to the cutting area.
"Due to very high stock availability and a wide, yet specialised, range, we can deliver orders within a 200-kilometre radius very quickly - from laminate panels to 18-metre long planks,” says Tusche. "We also have a large capacity in our own cutting line, so we can cut wood to our customer requirements directly on site."