XL Joinery is an ISO accredited, market leading supplier of timber doors and associated joinery products. Established in the 1990s, the company employs over 80 staff and distributes over half a million products each year to merchants and retailers across the UK.

When the business moved from its 130-year-old premises to a new five and a half acre site in Birstall, West Yorkshire, Facilities Manager David Crossley and his team set out to create a world class distribution centre. Adopting smarter, cleaner, quieter operations and an ability to meet the company’s future expansion plans were among the ambitions. Materials handling equipment is used throughout a three-shift system, with forklift trucks supporting a multi-million pound stock-holding and handling thousands of doors each day.

After a thorough review of materials handling operations that included trialling five different forklift brands side by side, XL Joinery concluded that Cesab dealership Spartan Forklift Trucks provided a superior mix of service, support and forklift product quality.  XL Joinery and Spartan worked intensively together to ensure a fleet of trucks that would be just right for the environment.

Nine three-wheel electric counterbalanced, Cesab B315 forklift trucks with 800mm forks are now in use across the site. David Crossley: “We had previously been using 2.5 tonne gas trucks that were quite simply over specified for the jobs that they were doing. We needed to look at cleaner sources of energy, without compromising productivity. Moving away from gas power to electric trucks immediately helped to create a more seamless and near silent environment.”

From his assessment of the XL Joinery site, Spartan director Adam Hughes realised that the trucks would need quick and efficient battery charging. Spartan proactively supplied the Cesab trucks with high frequency chargers and battery autofill systems, enabling batteries to be easily topped up at the truck charging station between shifts. Spartan also fitted the Cesab trucks with a deionising system which purifies tap water for use in the batteries. This system is more cost effective and convenient than using bottled water to top up the batteries. Together, the battery autofill and deionising system ensure optimum care of the batteries. The relationship with its dealership is also crucial to XL Joinery. David: “We had dealt with Spartan previously taking a couple of trucks on casual hire and we have always found Spartan Forklifts and Adam easy to deal with. You ask for something and it will be done. The support from the service engineers is also superb. When it comes to being proactive and responsive, Spartan get it just right.”

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