Fleet investment for safety

Made for Trade has expanded its fleet of delivery vehicles, which includes a design upgrade: each of the 10 new vehicles comes equipped with a MFT design improvement, which changes the way products are handled at the factory and at delivery sites.

This decreases risk and puts safety of its employees first, the company said.

“For some time, we have been looking at the handling challenges presented by the loading and unloading of large heavy products from our wagons and we had some good design ideas of what we wanted to achieve,” Chris Wann, business manager, said.

“With sales dictating a need for more wagons to satisfy increasing delivery requirements we took the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and had a custom fleet developed with local vehicle suppliers. We think this is a first in fenestration and is a significant step forward in transport safety.”

The new 12-tonne Rollaflex vehicles have been commissioned from a local vehicle supplier with the functional design concept provided by the engineering team at MFT. The brief was to come up with a cost-effective loading and unloading solution that minimised the risks associated with manual lifting and provided a safe means of working at a height.

The logistics cycle starts off with the doors being moved from coded dispatch racks and loaded onto specially made stillages at floor level. As each door is placed onto the stillage a set of soft slings are fitted to predetermined safe positions depending on the style of door. Once all stillages are full, the wagons move into the loading positions, the retractable curtain is drawn back, and the stillage is moved by forklift onto the wagon bed and locked into place.

Once at the customer’s site, the driver conducts a risk assessment, cordons off the area and uses an articulated crane mounted to the vehicle bed for the safe and secure unloading of the door from the wagon to the ground in readiness for the customer to collect. The new design ensures that manual lifting of the doors is eliminated and that the operator is always safe, even when working from the unprotected wagon sides to attach the crane hook to the slings via a retractable barrier.

More vehicles also allows MFT to increase its delivery coverage area to include several new postcodes in Scotland.