Should have gone to Combilift…

Nov 11, 2021 | About us, our people

Here’s a pertinent question for all you wood-wielding folk, ‘what do you do when you run out of space?’

Oak Stack

Now we know better, our answer is ‘Go to Combilift!’ but for a good long while was ‘Um.. plonk it in the first bit of clear floor space you can find?’

We used to drive Peter mad.

That clear bit of floor space was usually in front of the Prime 27mm Oak stack or something else he needed to be able to get to at least 20 times a day.

But in a shed packed to the gunwales where are you meant to put the 20m3 of Kiln dried plank that just came off the lorry?

It’s a woodyard fact that there is never enough storage space and we all need bigger buildings.

But expansion is costly and most of the time isn’t even possible.

We thought we’d done about as much as we could here at the woodyard. We moved to ‘proper’ racking and expanded up. Then we squeezed racking closer together and expanded out. Which meant we needed Combilift sideloaders which turned out to be magic.

jared using the pedestrian combilift to unload super prime oak for a customer cutting list selection Oak StackOak Stack

But still.. not enough space.

And we really worked on it too. We got really geeky about logistics. Gemma worked with David on ‘leaning’ the sheds and we mapped everything, floors, walls, racks, stock flow, people flow, working levels the lot… and still the stock and selection team needed more.

We were stumped until the dear Combilift people tactfully pointed us to the pedestrian lift trucks.

Which is how we’ve learned (it’s slowly sinking in) that Combilift people basically solve space problems with trucks, not truck problems. They know space. They know working practices. They totally understand woodyards and safety and moving timber and goods in and selection processes.

We probably should have gone to Combilift a long time ago and got them to do all our shed mapping in the first place ‘cos they probably would have saved us a few thousand man hours and we probably could have bought everyone their own personal liftruck with the proceeds.

Ok, we might be exaggerating there.

But also, we might not.

Turns out these little Combi-WR4 electric pedestrian lift trucks are all the extra space we needed. You get to squeeze your racking even closer. And they’re smaller, but they still lift ‘heavy’ from on high. There’s no compromise.

In total Ian thinks it’s made 35% more storage space for us, and at the same time we’re 30 – 40% more efficient at moving timber.

That’s because we have more trucks. So we can have more people, and yet amazingly we don’t really need to wait for someone to be finished with a truck anymore to pick the next order, and it takes 2 minutes to get in and out of an aisle.

We move faster and we’re also safer.

And it’s quieter.

And they’re electric – no emissions! – so you can add ‘more environmentally responsible’ to the accolades, but also more healthy for our people to use, both of which are incredibly important to us.

So. What do you do when you run out of space?



Visit the Combilift website

Search the Elm board stock and see what waney edge Wayne’s wheeling around on his WR4.

Search Super Prime Oak to see Jared’s square edge truck load.

Read the Furniture Journal article about our Combilift kit here

See all the latest Furniture Journals here