Toyota forklifts the pick of the bunch

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  • Plant & Equipment

Ocean Eight Winery general manager and winemaker Mike Aylward with his new Toyota 8FBN25 8-Series battery-electric forklift. Ocean Eight Winery general manager and winemaker Mike Aylward with his new Toyota 8FBN25 8-Series battery-electric forklift. Ocean Eight Winery general manager and winemaker Mike Aylward with his new Toyota 8FBN25 8-Series battery-electric forklift.

A winery on Victoria's Mornington peninsula is reaping the benefits of upgrading to a new Toyota forklift with a custom-built attachment that makes life easier during the busy harvesting season.


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The winery has used much older Toyota forklifts and found them to be reliable, so the decision to upgrade to the new Toyota 8FBN25 8-Series battery-electric forklift was a natural one.

"We had a great older forklift that could be described as a relic. It gave us an excellent run but at 30 years of age it was time to move on," Ocean Eight Winery general manager and winemaker Mike Aylward says.

Ocean Eight’s forklift is used for general warehouse duties but also takes on a demanding and critical role during harvesting.

"The forklift is very much used in the processing side of our winery. Fruit is delivered in 500kg bins which the forklift lifts and then rotates into our grape press or grape destemmer.

As we process around 90 tonnes of fruit a year it is vital we have a reliable forklift doing this work."

Where previously carrying out these two tasks meant a time-consuming process of attaching or detaching the bin tipper, the new Toyota forklift has been modified so that it can be quickly fitted and removed as required.

"This adaptability is a real plus when we are in the heat of harvest," Aylward says.

"We only get one crack at it and when the grapes are ready to be harvested they must come off straight away. There is no time to waste when making high quality wine."

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) Melbourne area sales manager Grant Owen says it was to modify the Toyota forklift to meet Ocean Eight’s specific needs.

"After we assessed their needs our TMHA engineers created a quick release mechanism for the bin tipper attachment, so the forklift retains its full range of features with the attachment on or off," he says.

"It was previously a difficult process to swap between the bin tipper and normal forklift duties, and by being able to quickly remove the bin tipper they've increased the forklift's capacity from 1.3 to 2.3 tonnes, so they're very happy that they can now get the full range of uses they need from their forklift."

Chris and Gail Aylward began winemaking on the Mornington Peninsula in 1997 when they established the Kooyong Winery. After it was sold in 2004 their son Mike joined them to form Ocean Eight at the family property in Shoreham.

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) is the Australian subsidiary of TICO and distributes Toyota Industrial Equipment, BT Lift Trucks and Raymond Forklifts, along with the its range of Huski skid steer loaders.

Within Australia, almost 50,000 Toyota Industrial Equipment forklifts have been sold, and the brand has been the Australian counter-balance forklift market leader since 1987.

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