Timber Handler Boosts Productivity
- 11 December 2006
- Company & Industry News
Forest Garden, the UK's largest manufacturer of timber garden products, has just taken delivery of a Liebherr A 924B HD Litronic materials handler for their mill at Lockerbie. Forest Garden has run two A 904 models for around five years at the mill and this latest addition is already proving to be a great asset in the "pick and carry" role for which it was primarily selected.
Forest Garden was formed in 1999 as the result of the amalgamation of the Forest & Larchlap brands and, since then, has grown to a turnover in excess of £45 million and employs over 500 personnel at four UK sites. Sourcing renewable timber - predominantly spruce and some larch - from forests in Dumfries and Galloway and the surrounding region, the company processes, mills and treats the raw timber material, from which it then manufactures a comprehensive range of garden timber products which are sold nationally through garden centres, builders' merchants and DIY stores. The product range is all-encompassing and includes fencing, gates and trellis, decking, pergolas, arbours and arches, most types of garden buildings, numerous hard landscaping products and outdoor play structures.
The Lockerbie mill was brought on line in 2001 and is ideally located both for accessing the raw timber from Forest Garden's twelve timber suppliers and, after processing, onward transportation of the milled and treated wood to the company's various production facilities. At Lockerbie, some 750 tonnes of logs are handled and processed every day on a 7-days-per-week basis. Materials handling is crucial to the success and productivity of the mill, as this particular operation supplies 60% of Forest Garden's milled and treated timber - some 280 cubic metres of finished products leave the group's production facilities each and every day!
The Liebherr A 924B HD Litronic is proving to be a deft, speedy and productive machine with quick cycle times for the pick-and-carry tasks feeding the mill's log deck and for log grading, which are essential to keeping the hungry mill well fed! Commenting on their new machine, Forest Garden's Bill Simon was full of praise. "We've operated Liebherr material handlers for around five years now - our two A 904 machines both have around 19,000 hours on their clocks and have been thoroughly reliable. We like the fact that our new A 924 is specifically built for the job and well designed for pick-and-carry tasks; it's stable, slick, quick and precise. We are also very pleased with the after sales product support, although I am delighted to say we haven't needed to call on this service very often and when we have, it's been fast and competent! The fuel efficiency and good residual value of Liebherr equipment were also strong considerations when we were sourcing our new machine".
The A 924B HD Litronic timber handler features an eight-wheel undercarriage which is extra wide at 3.3m for stability when load carrying; there is also a 3.3m prop-up blade for added stability on stationary work. Equipped with an industrial 6.50m monobloc boom, a 4m angled industrial stick and load holding valves, the 1.7m² log grab tongs are rotated hydraulically through 360º and the lifting capacity is a maximum 2.40 tonnes at 9 metres radius "free-on-wheels".
A 27 tonnes class machine, the A 924B is powered by a turbo-charged Liebherr engine, type D 924 TI-E, which develops 127kW at 2000RPM. To protect against wood dust incursion into the cooling system, this model is fitted with a pre-air cleaner with dust ejection and a hydraulically reversible cooling fan, which allows cleaning of the radiator grill at the touch of a button in the cab. The operator's cab is spacious, air-conditioned, comfortable and functional with twin joy-stick controls, power steering with a fully adjustable steering column and the added convenience of joy-stick steering - travel speed is infinitely variable up to 20kmh. The Litronic engine and hydraulics system in-cab monitor screen and full instrumentation provide the operator with continuous machine performance data and safe load indication. The 800mm elevated cab has tinted armoured glazing with a FOPS guard and is equipped with additional front and rear lights, a radio set and the air-suspended, adjustable and heated operator's seat is fitted with headrest and automatic ventral safety belt.
For further information, please contact:
Liebherr-Great Britain Limited