Linde fleet upgrade for NZ’s Napier port

Booming business at Napier Port on Hawke Bay in New Zealand’s North Island forced the operator to re-examine its needs – and double down on its reliance on Linde Material Handling equipment.

Over the last few years, the port’s export throughput, primarily of timber, pulp and agricultural products, has seen steep growth. Napier Port realised that reliance on second-hand material handling equipment, even Linde equipment, would no longer suffice.

In recent months the Port Pack facility has taken delivery of seven Linde 396 series H80D eight tonne forklifts which handle one pulp pack at a time, creating stockpiles of pulp packs which in turn are packed into containers by Linde 394 series 4.5 tonne diesel forklifts, fitted with single pack pulp clamps.

“When we looked at upgrading our forklift fleet we were confident enough with Linde to make it a paper exercise,” General Cargo Manager Mark Babbington said. “We have other brands of forklift working in the port so we were familiar with their performance and reliability characteristics.

“Linde made good sense to us when we looked at whole of life costs. The cheaper forklifts we considered just couldn’t offer the reliability or the lifespan we have come to expect from Linde. We see the Linde machines as being the best in the forklift market and that’s what we need for the intensity of our operations.

Four years ago, Napier Port took delivery of three 1401 series Linde H160D-1200 diesel 16 tonne forklifts fitted with double clamps for unloading pulp bales from rail wagons. Their configuration gives operators the ability to unload the wagons with access from just one side. It also has a used 16 tonne Linde forklift for unloading timber from rail wagons and handling steel.

“Our operators have made it clear to us that they like the Linde hydrostatic drive. With the latest Linde forklifts in our fleet a lot of the feedback has been around the comfort they provide, even at the end of an eight hour shift.