Timber Firm Invests in Sustainable Forklifts

Briggs Equipment is proud to support the ambitions of businesses in the UK & Ireland with their sustainability requirements and targets. Increasingly, the company is hearing from companies who want to ‘break the mould’ within their industry and take a lead on such an important and relevant topic.

One such business is Vincent Timber, who have been operating from the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham since 1923. With over 100 years of history and experience, they recently introduced a comprehensive set of actions to support an overall strategic target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Amongst these measures, is the installation of LED lights equipped with sensors through the premises, a biomass facility that uses waste products for heating and a significant investment into a fleet of HGVs that are EURO 6 and ULEZ compliant. As a result, Vincent Timber’s carbon footprint has already decreased by 50%.

To help complement this activity, the company has also taken the decision to replace its diesel forklift fleet with three new Combilift electric powered C5000 SLE sideloader models. Briggs Equipment, alongside its partners Combilift and FTC Safety Solutions, were able to present a solution that ticked every box, through from operator comfort, advanced fleet management to on-site safety and productivity.

The new trucks are tailored specifically to meet the demands of a high-intensity operation, whilst simultaneously reducing emissions and noise pollution. There is also a cost reduction as a result of switching to electric, which is exacerbated following the changes to tax exemptions for red diesel that were introduced in April 2022.

The 5 tonne capacity of the Combilift machines ensure efficient handling of products that can be up to 10 metres long and weigh up to 4 tonne. This level of performance is maintained whether the items are being offloaded, loaded or put into the 5m high top racking in the undercover storage areas.

Sustainable Forklifts

Darren Powell, Managing Director at Vincent Timber, commented: “We are delighted at the impact these new Combilift machines are having on our operations. The decision to switch to electric machines is a key part of our sustainability strategy and Briggs fully understood this ambition and were able to deliver a solution that meets every requirement. We have an excellent relationship with the team at Briggs, and we have worked closely together throughout this process. I truly believe that this collaborative approach to managing our fleet will be mutually beneficial. It is an exciting time for Vincent Timber and as well as celebrating the rich history of the company, we are also looking towards further growth, and have purchased some adjacent land from the council to facilitate this. Thanks to the expertise and first-class service of all involved, our up to the minute fleet will allow efficient handling of an ever increasing volume of products across a more extensive area.”

Jake Vincent, Operations Director at Vincent Timber, also commented: “Compared with the limited manoeuvrability of the old trucks, the multidirectional capability is also particularly beneficial when moving product around tight spaces on the premises and between machinery on the factory floor. As a business that has the wellbeing of its 40+ strong workforce at the heart of its ethos, safety around equipment and in the warehouse is paramount. Vincent Timber therefore worked with Briggs Equipment and FTC Safety Solutions to install its Pedestrian Detection Camera System onto the trucks, which uses AI and machine learning to help operators be more aware of pedestrians in their vicinity and to avoid collisions. The provision of real-time detection and alerts minimises the risk of injuries and damage. We will also benefit from the use of the BE Portal fleet management system from Briggs, which will help provide us with a greater understanding of our operational efficiency and ultimately ensure we can get the most out of our trucks.”

Darran Baker, Briggs Equipment’s Head of Sales – South, commented: “We are really excited about the partnership with Vincent Timber. They have shown an outstanding commitment to their sustainability targets by investing in these new electric Combilift machines. We are committed to supporting our customers negotiate the transition from traditional fuel types to more sustainable options. We have a proven track record in this regard and it’s great to see the drive and determination from companies such as Vincent Timber to make a real difference. This project has been a shining example of collaborative working from a number of different industry partners, and alongside FTC and Combilift we will continue to support Vincent Timber in this exciting new chapter for their business.”

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