‘Big Thinking’ Design Delivers Solution Capable Of Handling GKN Wheels’ Loading Bay Gradient
With a larger than average load to deliver, the world’s leading manufacturer of off-highway wheels, GKN Wheels & Structures has successfully relocated its dispatch facility and addressed loading bay height differences using the design and implementation services of Thorworld Industries.
Operating from seven manufacturing plants worldwide, GKN Wheels & Structures specialises in the supply of full chassis frames, structural assemblies, cast aluminium wheels and off-highway wheels; specifically manufactured for vehicles primarily used within the global mining, construction, industrial, agricultural and automotive industries.
The company harnesses its reputation for reliability; in part achieved by the effective function of its loading bay systems.
Recently the firm, which supplies many leading Original Equipment Manufacturers with a larger than average load, made plans to relocate its dispatch facility to a more suitable location. The new facility offered improved efficiencies, however presented a floor level 1.4 metres lower than the floor level within the operation’s original loading area.
“The differences in loading bay heights between the two locations would render our existing apparatus redundant,” explains Mark Craister, Site CI Leader at GKN Wheels & Structures.
“We therefore needed to source a new solution that would offer us effective loading access at a lower gradient, while stringently maintaining GKN Wheels & Structures’ health and safety, and quality standards.”
Mark and his team turned to Thorworld Industries, the country’s leading loading and unloading specialist - with over 35 years of sector experience.
With its expert team of apparatus designers and engineers, specifying a purpose-built platform and wide accompanying ramp was a task Thorworld could effectively achieve.
“Normally our ramps measure no more than 12m by 2.4m,” Ian Langan, Technical Director at Thorworld Industries explains, “however, to keep the gradient as low as possible for the GKN Wheels & Structures project, we needed to plan a manufacture design that would measure 20m by 3.15m.
The specifications were taken, and the equipment made by Thorworld; while the project’s installation was managed by the company’s sales agent Loading Bay Service (LBS). The finished design included a platform with swing lip electrohydraulic leveller and access steps from a 1m level off platform; a type 6 wide-version access ramp with expanded metal decking; and appropriate handrails and control systems.
The combination of elements results in a system of effective loading equipment that has succeeded in resolving the gradient issues presented by a new dispatch location, while also supporting the sizeable dimensions of GKN Wheels & Structures’ products.
Commenting on the service he has received, Mark said: “I’ve found the experience of dealing with both Thorworld and Loading Bay Service to be professional, organised and thorough. Warren Craig at LBS and Ian Langan at Thorworld have both been extremely helpful, patient and accommodating from the project’s start, to its finish. I am very happy with the resulting equipment and would recommend the services of both companies to organisations needing loading bay solutions of any complexity.”