Working with agriculture products can be dirty and demanding work. Lift trucks used in farm-related applications are often exposed to thick dust, grit, and heat, which can compromise their performance. That was the problem facing Peri & Sons Farms, one of the largest onion-to-seed companies in the world.
During peak growing season in California, the lift trucks run for 10- to 12-hour shifts in temperatures that may exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, the forklifts in the company's former rental fleet weren't tough enough for the job. For one thing, the vehicles were prone to overheating, which led to a lot of downtime. During daily operations, their air filters would become clogged with thick dust and onion peels, forcing drivers to shut down the forklifts, clear the radiators, and wait 10 minutes for the engines to cool. For another, the harsh working conditions caused excessive wear on the trucks' brakes, wheel hubs, masts, and chains.
Eventually, Peri & Sons turned to Crown Equipment Corp. for help. Crown recommended replacing the existing fleet with 17 Crown C-5 Series gas forklifts. These rugged vehicles are designed to stand up to harsh environments. They feature an industrial powertrain with an advanced cooling package as well as a dual open-core radiator that provides separate cooling for the engine and the transmission. On top of that, the trucks include Crown's On-Demand Cooling system, which controls the fan speed independently of the engine to maximize cooling performance and clears the radiator each time an operator starts the truck. It does this by reversing the fan when the engine is started to blow out debris that would otherwise get sucked into the radiator and cause overheating.
Today, the rugged lift trucks operate reliably throughout the farm's extended shifts, moving onions from the loading trucks and transporting bins of products weighing up to 1,000 pounds from the storage room to weighing and bagging lines. As a result of the improved performance, Peri & Sons is averaging 127 hours of additional fleet uptime every week compared with the former lift trucks.