Equipment focus: Custom Toyota forklifts

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  • Plant & Equipment

AAO manager Doug Gray posing with new Toyota 8FG25 and BT SWE120S forklifts AAO operations manager Doug Gray with the observatory's 8FG25 2.5-tonne capacity forklift and modified BT SWE120S walkie stacker forklift. AAO manager Doug Gray posing with new Toyota 8FG25 and BT SWE120S forklifts
AAO manager Doug Gray posing with Toyota BT SWE120S walkie stacker forklift AAO operations manager Doug Gray with the observatory's modified BT SWE120S walkie stacker forklift. AAO manager Doug Gray posing with Toyota BT SWE120S walkie stacker forklift

An observatory housing Australia’s largest optical telescope has added a pair of customised Toyota forklifts to its fleet at its facility near Coonabarabran, NSW.


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The Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) operates the Anglo-Australian and UK Schmidt telescopes to provide world-class optical and infrared observation facilities for the Australian scientific community.

The observatory recently released a tender for the supply of new material handling equipment with specific modifications to meet its unique needs.

"Our primary telescope is seven stories high, and our storage areas are small in floor space but built high to make the most of the available space," AAO operations manager Doug Gray says.

"We needed a stacker that could reach these high shelves and also fit in a goods lift to enable it to access several levels of the facility."

The contract was won by the Toyota Material Handling Australia (THMA) branch in Newcastle and they immediately set about customising an 8FG25 internal combustion forklift and a BT SWE120S walkie stacker forklift to suit AAO’s needs.

"While we have a broad range of material handling equipment to suit just about every application," THMA Newcastle area sales manager Allan Peacock says.

"We are also able to modify our products to ensure they are tailored to meet our customers' exact requirements. In this instance the AAO needed its BT SWE120S stacker to reach a lift height of 3700mm and collapse to fit into a goods lift with a door height of 1980mm.

"We put the order in for a customised unit with a 3900mm Triple Hi-Lo mast and a collapsed height of 1892mm, and it was delivered earlier this year."

The AAO says it has been impressed with the result.

"We're very pleased with the BT SWE120S stacker, and with the customised design it's operating just as we'd anticipated," Gray says.

"The 8-Series forklift has proven to be very versatile too; we can now move supplies and equipment around the site much more easily than before. It's also very reliable and never lets you down. You just jump in and go."

 

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