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Focus on operator comfort pays off for Midland Brick

Supplier: Linde Material Handling
22 January, 2007

A detailed analysis of operator comfort, forklift running costs and truck loading cycle times has worked in Linde’s favour with the world’s largest brickyard switching to Linde diesel forklifts for its materials handling tasks.

Midland Brick is the largest single site clay brick manufacturer in the  world. It commenced operation in Western Australia in 1945 when a  shortage in brick supplies encouraged brothers Ric and Gerry New to  produce their own.

Locating suitable clays in Middle Swan, close to the  WA town of Midland, they founded the Midland Brick Company and  commenced the manufacturing of bricks. In 1990 Midland Brick became a division of Boral. 

With more than 200 trucks  being loaded with bricks per  day, the effectiveness of  Midland’s large forklift fleet and its 23 forklift operators has a major impact on  productivity and customer service levels.  

"While upfront costs are  obviously a key consideration  to any capital expenditure, there are some major issues  with forklifts that have a far  greater impact on our operation than any initial savings," explains Midland’s Forklift Supervisor,Steve Darch.

"One of the most critical issues  is the comfort and safety of  our forklift drivers. Prior to switching to Linde we had an issue with many of the forklift drivers feeling very fatigued in  the afternoon.

Fatigue is a  very serious safety concern when operating forklifts, so I  measured the number of  movements a driver does with  his legs and arms on one of  the other forklift brands.

I calculated that an operator  on a typical day would go  through 2,000 movements a  day. Any driver that now  operates the Lindes has no fatigue problem.  

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