The trend of declining breakbulk and project cargo volumes is continuing in 2017, fueled by lower commodity prices and competition from container ship carriers that have to expand services due to overcapacities and low shipping rates. “Add the rising complexity of breakbulk cargo, and you find breakbulk operators looking to stay afloat in a very competitive market,” explains Brett Schemerhorn, president Big Trucks for Hyster Company.
The right lift truck for heavy loads
When it comes to moving traditional breakbulk such as steel or lumber, terminal operators are looking for material handling equipment to efficiently handle a variety of different load types and sizes, at as little cost as possible. “We are very familiar with the steel and lumber industries on the manufacturing side,” says Schemerhorn, “and we apply that knowledge to help cargo shippers and terminal operators maximize productivity and minimize cost.” One way to make the most of one’s budget and improve productivity is to ensure that your lift truck is able to support many different types of cargo, even if that means different front end solutions are required. The Hyster® H700HD with a coil ram will be on exhibit at Breakbulk Americas 2017 as an example of a flexible solution. The innovative carriage design allows the QD-type mounted coil ram to hook directly onto the shaft without any alterations or adapters needed. Schemerhorn adds that, “the exchange between forks and the coil ram is easy and fast, enabling operators to switch the truck’s front end and get it back to work on different cargo quickly. This exchange improves productivity and saves money.”
Efficiency of connected machines
Earlier this year, Hyster Company revealed product changes that are aimed at supporting the port and intermodal industry. “We are now incorporating Hyster Tracker into every Big Truck and container handler sold in the US, Canada, and Latin America, excluding Brazil. Hyster Tracker helps terminal operators monitor key performance indicators such as lift truck utilization, fuel consumption and service updates via a user-friendly portal, anytime, anywhere,” says Schemerhorn. Included features such as fault code monitoring and impact sensing mean that repairs and maintenance can be handled effectively, while GPS tracking, hour meters and truck use reporting can provide information to help improve productivity and processes, including yard layouts. The package can be upgraded to include wireless verification (access control for operators, truck shutdown when unattended or not in operation, and operator pre-shift checklists) for an additional fee. Hyster Tracker comes with a 60-month data plan at no additional cost for the customer.
Zero Emission Big Electric Trucks
Terminals that are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and total cost of ownership can visit Hyster at this year’s Breakbulk Show in Houston to learn about the zero-emission loaded container handler truck currently under development at the Hyster global design center. “A modular approach gives customers choices when it comes to selecting the best zero-emission solutions for their operations,” explains Jan Willem van den Brand, director Big Truck Product Strategy and Solutions for Hyster Company. To achieve the lowest total cost of ownership, the most suitable power option will depend on the requirements of the specific operation – application and infrastructure. Van den Brand adds “for example, an electric truck with a large battery pack and conventional charging may suit some customer needs. In other cases, more frequent ‘opportunity charging’ will be needed, and different methods of charging might be in order, such as wireless opportunity charging.” “Hyster Company’s current development of the wireless opportunity charging solution will be the first time that wireless charging has been used in this way,” says van den Brand. With the development of the new range of Hyster® Big Electric Trucks, a notable reduction in energy costs is expected. Servicing and maintenance costs are also projected to be considerably reduced in switching from diesel combustion to an electric powertrain, with lithium-ion batteries providing zero-maintenance energy storage.