Rebuilt trucks offer eco cost benefits

Flexi Narrow Aisle – the Tipton, West Midlands based designer and manufacturer of the Flexi AC range of articulated forklift trucks – has increased the availability of completely remanufactured ‘second life’ Flexi articulated trucks, the Flexi ECO AC range, first introduced in 2013 this popular product has increased in popularity especially when supplied in ‘contract hire’ agreements over a five-year period.

Flexi ECO AC trucks feature all new component parts – only the truck chassis, four counterweights and heavy fabrications are re-used, and these components are tested and repainted to the highest standards at Flexi’s UK manufacturing plant.

Because the heavy steel and cast-iron parts used in their construction are recycled, the trucks deliver obvious environmental benefits. They offer price advantages too.

Flexi ECO AC models come with an identical warranty but cost some 30 per cent less than an equivalent all-new model.

Flexi ECO AC trucks are available through Flexi Narrow Aisle and their authorized distributors only.

Used Flexi’s that are selected to undergo the ECO AC ‘makeover’ process are completely stripped down. All the original major direct components are graded and either disposed of or reworked for onward sale to the service exchange spare parts market.

All the cast-iron and steel components of the truck are assessed and tested to ensure that they are perfect for re-use.

Once passed fit for re-use, the iron and steel body parts are cleaned and repainted before joining the Flexi ECO AC production line where all-new componentry – pumps, motors and all hydraulic parts and even the latest Zapi AC motor technology – is introduced.

John Maguire, Flexi Narrow Aisle’s Managing Director, commented:

“The UK material handling market is in many ways unique in that some 80 per cent of all equipment is contract hired for a fixed period, often over 5 or 7 years and includes a comprehensive maintenance package.

“This means that there is a constant flow of used end-of-contract equipment returned to distributors and dealers. Which will then be included in rental fleets or sold on as a used truck to a low utilization end customer. In due course, these used trucks will become uneconomic to run and sent for scrap.

“The Flexi product is very different. Our truck is built with heavy gauge steel plate, ‘I-beams’ and four cast-iron counterweights. The Flexi G4 design is based on a unique registered chassis and counterweight design that provides the trucks’ `True Radius’ in-aisle turn that eliminates the kind of product and rack damage that is often associated with other warehouse truck types.

“This means the heavy chassis components – even when 10 years old – are able to be re-used and brought up to the latest specification, saving a great deal of primary and secondary manufacturing cost and the normal energy and CO² usage.

“We know from talking to our customers that there is a potentially large market of articulated truck users who are keen to take advantage of the large reduction in carbon saved in the manufacture of the Flexi ECO AC product. The significant cost savings that our remanufacturing process allows us to pass on is an added benefit.

“The Flexi EC AC range is very environmentally friendly and – at 30 per cent cheaper than a new truck – cost friendly too.”

“Furthermore, thanks to our new truck warranty terms, users have complete peace of mind.”

Flexi Narrow Aisle developed the Flexi articulated truck in 1990s since which time many thousands of units have been sold throughout the world to customers operating in hugely diverse industries.

With their ability to operate in aisleways as narrow as 1.6 metres – articulated to 220 degrees – and lift pallet loads to heights of over 14 metres, Flexis can save warehouse operators at least 30 per cent of their storage costs. Furthermore, the ability to unload pallets from road vehicles or goods in marshalling areas and deliver loads directly to the storage racks can reduce existing handling costs by a further 50 per cent.