Moving fabricated metal products in and out of a paint booth can be a messy job. From paint overspray suspended in the air to sticky residue on the ground, the environment is challenging for people and equipment alike.
Kice Industries, a Wichita, Kan.-based manufacturer of pneumatic conveying, dust control, and product handling systems for the food, milling, and oil seed processing industries, knows that firsthand. A few years back, the company realized that years of hard use were catching up with the older-model forklift used in its paint-booth operations and that the vehicle was no longer able to meet the four- to six-hour workday operational demands.
As he had done in the past for other major equipment purchases, Tim Kice, vice president of production, called on equipment dealer Berry Material Handling to help find an inexpensive replacement truck. "We've been working with Berry Material Handling, and in particular, with Lorne [Autry, sales manager,] for a number of years," Kice said in an article on lift-truck maker Utilev's website.
As for what the company wanted in a forklift, one of the main considerations was that it not be too expensive. "Putting things in and out of our paint booth, we knew there would be paint overspray and wear and tear on it, and we knew it wasn't going to be kept in the best condition like our other forklifts," Kice said in the article. "But we definitely wanted something that would be reliable and wouldn't break down."
Based on those requirements, Autry recommended the Utilev forklift product line. Utilev forklifts are designed for users that do not require advanced functionality or specialty attachments in their material handling applications. The truck's simple, straightforward design makes it easy to operate and maintain, and the vehicle comes backed by a standard 12-month, 2,000-hour manufacturer's limited warranty.
The company purchased the Utilev forklift truck, and four years later, it's still going strong. "The main way the forklift improves our operation is that it's reliable," Kice said. "When our guys hop on it, it's going to run. That's critical for us."
As for the decision to go with a Utilev truck, Kice has no regrets. "I'll be recommending we replace [it] with another Utilev," he said. "We've had a positive experience with this forklift."