Room for Expansion with the Combi-CSS Slip Sheet

Now in its fifth generation of family ownership, Robinson Lumber Company looks to Combilift to improve efficiency.

Now in its fifth generation of family ownership, Robinson Lumber Company looks to Combilift to improve efficiency.


Robinson Lumber Company are no strangers to the world of timber processing, manufacturing and transportation. Since the company’s foundation in 1893 by Charles Wesley Robinson, it has grown to serve customers and suppliers in over seventy countries. In 1994, more than a century on from its foundation, the fourth generation of the Robinson family established its New Albany, Indiana facility for US hardwood exports.


While the New Albany branch has shown continued success and growth, and is in its 30th year of operation, inevitably, as is often the case, they ran into the constraints of the site’s physical boundaries. So, in 2023 Robinson Lumber secured the acquisition of new land to expand its facility and overcome these constraints. Determined to gain the most of the new space, Robinson Lumber took the opportunity to invest in a new Combilift CSS (Container Slip Sheet).


“Investment in the Combi-CSS allows us to move forward with our expansion plans for phase 1 for Robinson Lumber here in New Albany. It allows us to focus on building kilns, instead of putting up a warehouse with docks.” says Eric Renneker, Operations Manager at Robinson Lumber Company, New Albany.


The team at Robinson Lumber Company looked to Combilift, the world’s leading manufacturer of multidirectional forklifts and straddle carriers, and who are experts in providing innovative, material handling solutions across a wide range of industries. Designed and manufactured in Combilift’s global headquarters in Monaghan, Ireland, the electric Combi-CSS allows for the fast loading of freight containers, can load a 40’ container in just 6 minutes and has a maximum capacity of 30,000kgs.


Patrick Keenan, Sales Engineer and Product Specialist for the Combilift CSS who has worked with Robinson Lumber Company in organising a tour of their facility as part of the NHLA Annual Convention, is thrilled about the partnership and what the Combi-CSS can offer customers, saying “It gives fast and consistent loading times, so it’s a one-person operation, replacing the traditional method that required two large Lift Trucks with skilled operators. It’s also electric, so it reduces emissions. Plus, the best part is that it can both load and unload, saving time and money.”


On the safety and efficiency benefits of the Combi-CSS, Renneker says; “Traditionally we were loading containers off a standard dock with a forklift, requiring an operator to push the loads in from the rear of the container all the way to the nose of the container. The slip sheet machine allows us to be safer by keeping an operator off of a forklift going in and out of a container, as well of the overall factor of it being electric powered and not relying on a combustible engine inside that container.”


In addition to the Combi-CSS, Robinson Lumber Company are also awaiting delivery of a Combi C10,000XLE. The Combi C-Series models are the original multidirectional forklifts and allow for increased storage capacity and safer handling of large and awkward loads. By effortlessly switching to sidewards mode, Robinson Lumber Company’s new electric 10,000lbs capacity forklift can operate in narrower aisles than a traditional forklift and with its integrated platforms, it can safely carry almost any load, in any direction.


Both the new C-Series machine and the Combi-CSS will be finished in Combilift’s new ECO-Green livery which has the added benefit of being hi-visibility, and reflects Combilift’s vision for a more sustainable and electric future.


Summing up his experience with Combilift so far, Renneker had this to say, “The customer service from Combilift, they have gone above and beyond our expectations here when running and setting up the CSS as well as on the XLE. We couldn’t be happier with their service so far.”


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