The company that fits out Toyota Material Handling Australia's (TMHA's) service vans, Caddy Storage, is increasing productivity and reducing delivery times by moving to an all-Toyota forklift fleet.
The latest addition to the Caddy Storage fleet is a Toyota BT Reflex reach forklift, commissioned at the end of February.
The company has installed racking in 382 Toyota HiAce vans for TMHA since 2011, with a further 14 vans to be delivered this year.
Fitting out occurs in Caddy Storage's main workshop at Blacktown in Sydney's west, one of the company's eight facilities nationally.
Established in 1986 by Bob Upcroft in the family garage, Caddy Storage is now one of Australia's largest manufacturers and suppliers of commercial-vehicle storage systems.
Company CEO Greg Upcroft, Bob Upcroft's son, said the new Toyota reach forklift had two key advantages over the older forklifts, including a specialised configuration so it can be used indoors and outdoors.
"With this configuration, it can easily traverse the car yard area outside our factory without halting production," he said.
"Secondly, the improved battery life allows us to operate later into the afternoon, so loading times have vastly improved, meaning we can ship more quickly to our stores and distributors.
"These are great examples of TMHA tailoring solutions that best fit our specific needs, and its famed quality, durability and reliability coming through in their latest forklifts, in practical ways. "We plan on replacing our whole fleet with Toyota forklifts in coming years."
Mr Upcroft praised the comfort of the new reach forklift.
"Toyota is a great brand. This forklift is comfortable to drive and the operators love it. Attention to detail shows through in the height adjuster for the operator's feet and the display of the load weight. It's the little details in the Toyota product that make a big impact to our overall performance."
In terms of the business partnership, Greg Upcroft said the TMHA team has some of the most decent people in the automotive industry on all levels. His regular contacts include TMHA General Manager - Service, Levent Hassan.
"They support Caddy in many ways," said Mr Upcroft, "and allow us to assist in building and supplying our product, whether it is for the fleet service vehicles, parts and service or ancillary items we supply for forklifts. They have a fantastic support network, with branches right across the country so we can always get access to them quickly. We are grateful and glad to be reciprocating in utilising their products."
Toyota's Reflex reach forklifts were developed for intensive warehouse stacking applications and cover a range of lifting capacities from 1400 to 2500 kilograms.
Product upgrades introduced last year increased lift heights to 13 metres and further raised safety standards by introducing a new generation of 'true vision' masts. TMHA General Manager - Service, Levent Hassan, said safety is a cornerstone of the Toyota Advantage. "Unfortunately an alarming number of forklift operators experience workplace accidents every year, so when it comes to safety, we don't compromise. Available on selected Toyota forklifts, the innovative System of Active Stability is the first in the world to monitor and control our forklifts through a combination of sensors and actuators that link to an on-board controller. This enables superb load-handling performance and thus safety."
Caddy Storage has more than 150 employees nationally, with facilities in Blacktown, Prestons and Tuggerah (New South Wales), Brisbane and Brendale (Queensland), Laverton North and Braeside (Victoria) and Perth, and more than 100 distributors for its products.
It is committed to local manufacture and providing well-organised, manageable and practical storage solutions and accessories for any vehicle in any trade.
Products include shelving, ute canopies, cargo barriers, drawers and sliders, service bodies, trade-specific fit-outs, mobility products and vehicle accessories - including bull bars, tow bars and ladder racks.