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THAI Airways Turns to Hyster for Heavy Duty Lifts

In an industry like aerospace engineering and aviation, where every step in its operation is sophisticated and must be handled with care, material handling equipment can help facilitate and consolidate complicated processes. As each part or engine is huge, heavy and pricy, handling these materials demands durable, effective and reliable lifting equipment.

Hyster, the well-known brand of NACCO Materials Handling Group, has long accumulated fame and a reputation for reliability from the industry as a manufacturer of material handling equipment. With 12 technology and manufacturing centers around the globe to provide flawless parts and components for each machine, all of Hyster’s material handling machines are outstanding with state-of-the-art design, durability, components that are above industry standards and advanced manufacturing and testing technology.

As THAI is planning to update and upgrade its fleet, it is necessary for the technical department to have its own heavy duty handling machine to support the airlines’ larger fleet.

In Thailand, Hyster supplies a variety of material handling equipment, ranging from small pallet trucks, high capacity forklift trucks to heavy duty forklift trucks and container handlers for various applications, from manufacturing plants, general warehouses, container yards to hangars. Customers in the Thai market can access Hyster’s products and services through Dilok and Sons, the only Hyster distributor in Thailand.

Strong Growth and Continued Achievement

Through Dilok and Sons’ quality network of services, Hyster has seen growth and success in the Thai market, along with the strong expansion in construction projects and the manufacturing industry of the country in the last 10 years. Recently the company has marked another milestone in Thailand as its heavy duty fork lift truck, Hyster H16.00xms-12, was delivered to THAI Airways to support the maintenance of THAI’s wide-body aircrafts, especially Airbus A380.

In the aviation industry, when an aircraft goes AOG, a status which indicates maintenance is required, it means a loss of time and opportunities to generate revenue. Similarly, the lack of a solution to lift a large, heavy and delicate jet engine may cause an unnecessary loss of time and money for airlines. At this point, Hyster came up with the best solution for THAI Airways.

Mr. Sumet Phanichkul, Deputy Manager, Store and Material Service Department, Technical Department, THAI Airways International,

Mr. Sumet Phanichkul, Deputy Manager, Technical Department, THAI Airways

Mr. Sumet Phanichkul, Deputy Manager, Store and Material Service Department, Technical Department, THAI Airways International, revealed the reason they made the decision to buy Hyster’s heavy duty lift truck, “As THAI has been expanding its fleet, our technical department has to handle larger jet engines which weigh between 12-18 tons. Before we got Hyster machines, we had to borrow a lift truck, together with a driver, from the ground equipment services department to help handle these heavy engines. It took time as we had to wait for the ground equipment services department to finish their operation first before they came to help us even though we were in need of the equipment. Similarly, we also had to wait for a driver; as this is a large machine, only a skilled, trained and authorized driver could operate it. With all these limitations, we saw the need to buy our own heavy duty fork lift truck. As THAI is planning to update and upgrade its fleet, it is necessary for the technical department to have its own heavy duty handling machine to support the airlines’ larger fleet.”

In the procurement process, Mr. Phanichkul said the airline did not only consider the machine’s specifications and pricing but also other factors such as warranty, maintenance service and training. Hyster won the contract because it has showed that it could deliver all aspects as THAI requested.

The Hyster H16.00xms-12 fork lift truck was delivered to THAI’s technical department at the end of 2013, and was named ‘Plai Somchit’, to honor the retired executive of the same name, who initiated and pushed for the procurement process of this fork lift truck. The word, ‘Plai’, which means elephant in Thai, also emphasizes this machine’s distinctive points in terms of its grandeur, durability, and productivity, like Thailand’s national animal.

Reliability, Productivity and Efficiency

The Hyster H16.00xms-12 fork lift truck can support a maximum weight of 16 tons at the highest lift of three meters. Its strong points over other competitors in terms of short body and wheelbase make it easier for users to operate in a restricted space. Mr. Suchart Chaipimai, Sales Manager, Hyster Products, Dilok and Sons, explains to us the advantages of the Hyster model, “With its ultra-compact short wheelbase, Hyster’s heavy duty fork lift truck is designed for applications where operating space is restricted. It is, therefore, easier to make turns in limited space.

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Mr. Suchart Chaipimai, Sales Manager, Hyster Products, Dilok and Sons (Right) shakes hands with THAI’s trained Hyster H16.00xms-12 driver.

However, in order to support a maximum 16-ton cargo, a counterweight at the back of the forklift has to be bigger to counterbalance the cargo. This is one challenge for material handling equipment manufacturers but Hyster has been able to create the solution. That solution later became this model, which is required by its global accounts, NASA and Rolls-Royce. Rolls-Royce provides jet engines for many models of THAI’s aircraft fleet, and when Rolls-Royce delivered A380 jet engines to THAI, it also recommended that THAI use a Hyster H16.00xms-12 fork lift truck for this engine, which helped us gain THAI Airways’ trust.”

In addition to the outstanding features of each machine, one thing that Hyster always focuses on is maintenance. Mr. Chaipimai said that every Hyster machine is designed to operate longer than others in the market, “Each Hyster forklift is remarkable in terms of long-hour performance but still high productivity, which significantly reduces the maintenance timeframe and total cost of ownership. Take the machine that we delivered to THAI as an example; the truck is designed to operate with hydraulic system and equipped with fuel-filtered system inside, operating as a kidney to filter and clean fuel. This extends the deadline for engine check-up and maintenance. At the same time, we also provide maintenance service at our customers’ operating site every two months during the first year without charge. This is another after-sales service to create the best satisfaction for our customers.”

While environmental issues are playing an important role in the business activities of every industry worldwide, Hyster is also committed to providing environmental-friendly solutions to its customers. “Overall, Thailand’s environmental standards are still one or two steps behind global standards. For example, in Europe and North America, the Euro 4 emissions standard for fork lift truck is currently applied while Thailand is still using the Euro 2 standard. However, many large companies that are highly concerned about the environment, such as THAI Airways, have been applying Euro 3 standard and moving toward Euro 4. As Hyster’s products are manufactured in Europe and North America, customers can be sure that every machine is equipped with technology that is compliant with the environment standards required by each customer and regulations in the area,” Mr. Chaipimai said.

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Another after-sales service that Hyster recognizes the importance of is training, as it is also related to customers’ safety. Mr. Chaipimai explained that after the equipment is delivered, the company will hold a training course to provide certificates for customers’ drivers, with both theory and practical training classes at their operating site free of charge. “The purpose of a training course is to raise awareness on safety by advising how to use the machine correctly. As this Hyster H16.00xms-12 fork lift truck is larger than normal forklifts, drivers have to be more careful in regards to short-distance visibility. There are also more details about its control system, which is different from other smaller forklifts; drivers need to understand it clearly,” Mr. Chaipimai said, “Training is as important as the equipment. After the equipment is delivered, users might have some questions on how it works. To address users’ questions at their operating site is what our customers really need, and Hyster is always ready to assist them.”

With all of these outstanding features: high-quality components, cost-efficient performance and consistent after sales service, both in maintenance and training, it is strong evidence of why Hyster has been gaining trust from leading companies in many industries. In Thailand, in addition to THAI Airways, the company has also received orders of this heavy duty fork lift truck from many leading steel manufacturers and container yard operators. This is not to mention orders of other smaller material handling equipment, with which the company has been gaining a large proportion of market share. All of this success highlights Hyster’s capability to serve industrial needs and enhance its customers’ satisfaction.