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Loading dock solution for purpose-built site

18 January 2019

Yorkshire-based Balmoral Tanks, has streamlined its loading operation using bespoke loading dock equipment, designed and manufactured by Thorworld Industries.

The global water, wastewater and processing storage solution specialist, a division of Balmoral Group Holdings, is based in Thurnscoe, and is an established authority in the creation of sectional and cylindrical tanks, manufactured using a basis of either steel or concrete, and constructed using in the region of up to 400 tank sheets which can be erected in-situ.

Client sectors include civil engineering, fire-fighting, potable/non-potable water, anaerobic digestion, biofuel, biomass, wastewater treatment, desalination and drainage.

The company’s level of customer care, reinforced by its manufacturing assets, has led to significant growth in recent years, and consequently, a move to extensive, purpose-built premises. The new site includes a loading dock area, creating the opportunity to discontinue the company’s need, and considerable associated costs, of involving a third-party loading provider.

Balmoral Tank’s operation’s director, Bryan Bentley explains: “Prior to the site relocation, we’d spent in the region of £125,000 over an 12-month period on third party loading services. Keen to reduce these transport loading costs, we ensured the design of our new premises would include space for a loading operation.

“Having worked in the logistics sector for many years, I was familiar with Thorworld Industries and had brought the company’s equipment into play on several occasions in the past.”

Impressed with the firm’s equipment quality, functionality and safety standards, Bentley had no hesitation in calling upon Thorworld again, to have his customer requirements met by the manufacturer’s sales agent, Darmax.

A considered assessment of the loading space available led James Corfield, director at Darmax to recommend a ramp and a modular dock system, that together would enable a flat access point for operatives to reach containers, with dimensions suitable for accommodating Balmoral’s 3m x 1.5m by 400mm delivery boxes. 

“The construction of Balmoral’s tanks can involve assembly of up to 400 tank sheets, with each delivered in a separate, carefully packaged box,” he explains.

“To enable Balmoral to continue achieving its meticulous delivery standards, we had to ensure the design of the new modular platform was large enough to safely accommodate the length of the load, as well as a fork lift truck. Removable barriers were also incorporated into the side of the platform, as the recommended loading technique involved using a forklift to bring individual loads out of the factory. This allowed loads to be placed onto the side of the platform, before the vehicle’s forks are safely removed. The method has enabled Balmoral’s drivers to access the ramp from the factory floor, so driving up the ramp without a projecting load, prior to lifting the load forward, into the container.” 

James Corfield goes onto explain that the dock height was set appropriately to support the container’s level, and a dock plate was included to ease access. Handrails and anti-slip flooring were also added to the apparatus, further increasing safety levels.

“The new equipment was designed and delivered ahead of the scheduled timings. It performs perfectly and has enabled logistics considerably. Already our loading costs have been reduced by 70% and loading time has decreased by half.

Bentley continues: “We’re now in full control of our loading operation, using equipment that has completely enabled our expanding operation. The timing couldn’t be better, as we’ve plans to expand further next year owing to increased capacity.”