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PLANT

Harness 25 tons of lift with a C25,000


July 6, 2010
by Joe Terrett, Editor

A C25,000, big enough to move a pre-engineered modular data centre.

Photo: Combilift

In the manufacturing, forestry and construction sectors, there’s inevitably a lot of big stuff to move around. Combilift Ltd., the Irish long-load handling specialist, has rolled out the first of its new 25-ton forklifts designed to handle big jobs such as fabricated structures, large-diameter pipes, timber or even modular data centres.

Its C25,000 model is one of two new products recently unveiled at Combilift’s headquarters and plant in County Monaghan, Ireland to journalists representing trade publications (PLANT among them) flown in at its own expense from 30 of its 50 world markets.

This truck, the largest in Combilift’s line-up, is powered by a 170 hp John Deere 6068 HF engine and measures 5 by 5 metres, with a 3.2-metre-high cab.

One of the unique features of its trucks is three-wheel, four-way manoeuvrability. It allows an operator to pick up a load, back up, turn the wheels 90 degrees and head out, thus eliminating the need for the wide turning arc other forklifts require.

However, putting proportionate single wheels on the C25,000 would have resulted in an unworkable platform height, so Combilift’s engineers put double wheels on the front and back ends to keep the height of the 2,600-millimetre platform to 1,150 millimetres.

The fork section is 120 by 300 by 2,600 millimetres. Manually adjusting the forks, which have a 4-metre reach and outside spread of 2,400 millimetres, would also be a challenge so the trucks sport hydraulic fork positioners.

“The mast moves in and out like a regular Combilift, and can handle a 20-foot container,” said Martin McVicar, managing director and one of Combilift’s founders and owners, at the truck’s debut.

Moving data centres
The first one off the line is in operation at the BladeRoom Group’s plant in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, in the UK. The company makes modular data centres that save energy keeping computer servers cool. The C25,000 will be used to move around the 18-ton, fully fitted 14- by 4.2-metre units.

The company is using it instead of costly overhead gantry cranes or a gigantic counterbalance truck, deemed too big for the manufacturing area.

What’s the cost of one of these super-sized trucks? McVicar puts the Canadian price at about $500,000.

For specs link to www.combilift.com/En/PRODUCTINFORMATION.aspx and click on “C-Series.”