Toyota forklift rolling on for Ki-Ki

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  • Plant & Equipment

For one South Australian agricultural equipment manufacturer, it was the reliability of their 20 year old Toyota forklift that made an upgrade decision easy.

Ki-Ki Engineering, based in the small highway town of Ki Ki east of Adelaide, first bought a 2.5 tonne Toyota 62-7FD25 forklift 20 years ago.

Its forklift fleet has now doubled, adding a new 3 tonne Toyota 8FD30, which will help in the day-to-day running of the family-owned business with more than 50 years of history.

"We manufacture agricultural stone-rollers to break-up stone in fields prior to seeding," co-owner Laurens Verhees says.

"Mostly we use welders and oxy-cutters, lathes and drills. Our forklift duties include unloading raw materials arriving from interstate or Adelaide, moving steel plate, square tubing, and flat bar around after it's been cut, and putting pieces into position."

Verhees runs Ki-Ki Engineering with his brothers Theodore and Peter and had originally planned to retire their original forklift, but have instead decided to keep the "reliable workhorse" in operation alongside the new 8FD30.

"We didn't realise how handy it would be to have them both at the same time," he says.

"Before, one of us would be doing a job and then something else [requiring a forklift] would come up but we'd have to wait around. Now we can just hop on the other one right away, which is just great.

"We don't have any plans of retiring the old forklift at this stage."

Ki-Ki Engineering co-owner Laurens Verhees has bought a Toyota 8FD30 forklift to double the company's capacity.

Toyota Material Handling Australia area sales manager Brendan Shegog says quality, reliability and durability are a "huge part of our business" and also says their new forklifts are fitted with Toyota's System of Active Stability.

"The SAS computer constantly analyses the potential for a tip-over," he says.

"If the SAS computer finds tip-over potential, it sends a signal to the Toyota forklift actuators, which then minimise tip-over potential."

Verhees says there are several other advantages he had already noticed with their new 8FD30 forklift.

"[It is] a lot quieter and the side-shift is excellent, it makes a lot of difference," he says.

"Also the larger 3-tonne capacity is great.

"The SAS safety feature is a good thing to have. Luckily, we have never been in a situation where we've had a tip over and I hope we never do.

"It's good to know that the SAS system is there just in case something does happen."

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