Combilift: new product launch for the construction sectors
Irish materials handling manufacturer Combilift has collaborated with some of its customers in the concrete sector to come up with a newly developed product for the improved handling of what can be a problematic material to lift and move around. The attributes of this new model will also greatly benefit companies in other industries who deal with extremely oversized, heavy or bulky loads. Since Combilift was established 24 years ago it has always taken customer feedback on board when designing new products, and this has been a key component of the unparalleled growth of the company which now exports to over 85 countries.
Swap Body Transporter – the Combi-SBT
The Combilift Swap Body Transporter – Combi-SBT – can transport of a wide variety of swap body containers ranging from standard container swap bodies to concrete wall panel swap bodies from production to storage. With a maximum lift capacity of 50,000kg, the machine is available with diesel or LPG power options. It has a 3-wheel design with 6 wheels for lower ground pressure. Its rear wheels are hydrostatically driven and are steered from the front, ensuring excellent manoeuvrability.
A pair of lifting platforms on the machine bed support the load during transportation. In-cab control of these ensures that the operator is in a safe, secure position when the load is being lifted and lowered. The platforms can also be lifted and lowered independently, enabling the machine to lift swap bodies that are not on level ground. The front platform is fitted with guides to suit standard ISO corner castings, with the rear platform having no guides. Having guides only on the front allows effortless loading of the swap body as the operator needs to align only 2 guides, which when in the correct position, guarantees the rear platform will also be in the correct lifting position.
Safety and visibility
In terms of safety and visibility the Combi-SBT offers numerous advantages compared to a shunt truck and trailer where you are driving “blind” with the load behind the driver. The cab is mounted at 90° on the machine and off-centre to the load which offers full 360° visibility and line of sight to all areas of the machine. With the addition of mirrors and a rear-view camera there are no blind spots, making the positioning the Combi-SBT under the swap body quick and easy as well as safer for the operator and surrounding personnel. The operator can also complete a full cycle without having to exit the ergonomically designed low level cabin.
Customer led design and development
The development of the Combi-SBT was, in part, customer-led, as is the case for many of Combilift’s new products. A major manufacturer of precast concrete had designed its facility for high levels of production, but the amount of finished concrete being stored around the factory floor was slowing down production and reducing the safe workable area. They contacted Combilift to see if the company could come up with a solution for quicker removal of products that could lift the concrete from underneath and operate in narrow confines and the Combi-SBT was the result. Cycle times between casting have been reduced and workflow has increased to 50-70 batches per day at 24T each. The previous truck and trailer combination took two men about 15 minutes per load, whereas this is now a one-person job that takes as little as two minutes with the Combi-SBT which can be reversed under the swap body and quickly lift the product from ground to travel position. The 3-wheel design also enables easy operation on areas with compacted gravel where a perfectly level surface cannot be guaranteed.
Combilift CEO and Co-founder Martin McVicar commented at the virtual launch: “Combilift product development has always been solution-based and customer-led, and this new model is a prime example of successful collaboration between our customers who are experts in their field, and our engineers who have a wealth of experience. This results in machines that are not only 100% fit for specific customer requirements, but which often end up being used for other applications, for the benefit of customers in other industry sectors.