The problem with Forklifts.
Encore moves a lot of gear, every day. Some of it was ideally suited to a forklift application. We could usually get creative with our cranes and get the job done, but we needed a forklift. And we ran into THE PROBLEM. In a business like ours, working for multiple industries, servicing many clients, many needs. One forklift was not going to do it.
And the one you need most, the BIG one, is by far the most expensive. Nearly ½ of the Big M number.
We had to wait for our opportunities.
Encore’s moment came when we were asked to clean out a warehouse of enormous crates. 30 and 40,000 lb monsters, jammed like sardines into a dock-level building. It was an effort just to climb the ramp and there was barely room to walk thru the door. Our cranes would never work. It was a jack and roll can opener job just to move the first couple.
But a big forklift might be just the ticket.
We rented a 60,000 lb capable big Red Taylor. If it could pick up the end of the crates, we might be able to lift the back, (which was totally inaccessible for any powered machine) by setting a thick block of dunnage in the middle, cantilever the far end up, and slide our skates under. Then use the forklift to slide the crate out of the building, down the ramp to the waiting trailers.
The machine proved amazing. Easy to run, powerful, adjustable forks, individually or together; great visibility and the wheels turned so sharp, the massive machine was almost nimble.
We were inspired, and we realized, once we had the crates outside, even the largest, heaviest, 40,000 lb ones; Big Red could load them herself. No crane was necessary. The smaller crates, the forklift just lifted and walked outside with them
After the first day, we had cleared enough room to back our trailers up the ramp into the warehouse. Big Red then could load the crates directly onto the trailer deck. No removal was necessary. There was so much doubting the value of this machine.
Encore now has a small fleet of forklifts, starting with a 55,000 lb monster, a 30,000, and then a 10 and a little 6. It is a good start, especially when we offer, storage, some warehousing, and of course, loading and reload capabilities.