Earlier this year, South Africa-based equipment supplier BLT World announced the launch of its new Mobicon 2HL series mini straddle carriers in Africa.
Mobicon container handlers – key machines in BLT World’s range of container handling equipment – are designed for lifting containers securely onto and off trucks and for moving loads around sites, to significantly reduce on-site congestion, making the yard a safer workplace.
Mobicon straddle carriers increase operational efficiency and reduce demurrage costs for trucks waiting to be loaded and unloaded at harbours and ports.
These mobile container handlers move loads efficiently around sites, through warehouse doors, effectively taking the container to the stack or the receiving point.
Other advantages include easy handling of ramps and speed bumps, faster container handling times in all weather conditions and minimal damage to contents normally caused by long lift truck runs.
“One of the biggest problems associated with using conventional equipment to load and unload containers is damage caused to yards and pavements that are not designed for carrying heavy weights,” says BLT World MD Ken Mouritzen.
He adds that the Mobicon container handlers have good manoeuvrability and can turn in tight spaces, using all parts of the yard.
They are able to travel on pavements, on unpaved terrain and in restrictive areas where a forklift or heavy equipment cannot operate.
With the Mobicon container handlers and straddlers used together as a system, there is no damage to yards and therefore no need for costly repairs.
The flexible system requires little maintenance, unlike conventional container handling equipment, like forklifts, reach stackers, side loaders or self-loading trailers, which are more costly to operate.
“Mobicon specialists are committed to meeting the constantly changing handling requirements of customers in diverse industries globally, by introducing new features to machines, for enhanced efficiency, improved performance and greater safety.
“In all Mobicon designs, these main principles are always upheld – safe and efficient handling of containers, no damage to the yard surface and the importance of avoiding uncontrolled movement of the load, which is achieved by a guided spreader,” Mouritzen stresses.
The risk of a container or load falling is prevented by a rigid, secure connection.
“The latest model in the Mobicon range – the 2HL series, which stacks containers two high – has advanced design features over the previous TF2 model,” he enthuses.
Further advantages include the reduction of the overall height of the machine and simplification of the lifting system.
He explains that unlike the previous TF2 machines, which had a fixed frame structure, with a total height of 8.2 m, the new Mobicon 2HL series has a telescopic frame, with a twin-stage lifting system.
This feature allows the machine to collapse to under 5.6 m, enabling users to take high cube containers inside warehouses and to travel safely below awnings.
Although the TF2 series was fitted with a robust link chain and sheave block lifting system, it required regular lubrication and periodic component replacement.
The advanced lifting system of the 2HL series has a twin-stage lifting design that uses hydraulic cylinders to efficiently lift containers. Minimal maintenance is required, which significantly reduces the cost of ownership.
Another notable feature of the 2HL series is the hydraulic levelling system which absorbs the effects of uneven pavements and avoids spike-loading, ensuring greater comfort for the operator and reduced stresses within the framework of the machine.
Additional advancements include draw-wire encoders that provide synchronised lifting of containers, eight cameras for all-round visibility, thus greater safety on site and a high-powered Caterpillar engine for improved productivity.
The machines, which are fitted with a Safety of Life at Sea, commonly known as a SOLAS-certification, weighing system as standard, can stack containers two high.
Mobicon mini straddle carriers for safe and efficient container handling, which are assembled and tested in Australia, are available exclusively throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands from BLT World as rental equipment, or for purchase.
Mouritzen concludes that the machines are used efficiently in many industries, including transport and logistics, food & beverage production, agriculture and warehousing.