Joyce’s Hardware & Home is typical of many companies in the DIY and timber sectors in that it needs to be able to efficiently move and store products of diverse sizes, shape and weight. In an environment where customers are often in the vicinity of equipment, safety is also a major priority.

Joyce’s is a prime example of how choosing the right equipment for specific tasks has enabled the company to thrive by optimising its storage facilities for better capacity, allowing quicker loading and offloading for faster turnaround whilst ensuring safe operation across its extensive nine-acre site.

“We got our first C-Series multi-directional truck around 18 years ago,” said Jim Joyce, director. “Finding out about this model coincided with plans to build a new timber warehouse and fit it out with racking, and we realised that by switching from a standard counterbalance to a multi-directional truck we’d be able to optimise storage density. We found it to be ideal for handling long packs of timber in the aisles as well as for yard loading/unloading.”

Following the launch of Combilift’s compact counterbalance design Combi-CB truck, a diesel model was added to Joyce’s fleet, mainly due to its ability to handle not just long loads but also palletised goods. Thanks to the two multi-directional trucks on site, Mr Joyce reckons that it has been possible to fit in over 40% more storage space compared with the previous forklifts.

“The CB’s versatility and ability to access narrow aisles means we can put pallets and packs of timber and boards where we couldn’t before, and an added bonus is that the drivers love it and it’s on the go all day long.”

In 2021 a new 3,000m2 warehouse was built and Mr Joyce and his team chose a Combilift Aisle Master articulated forklift to work in this area, mainly for handling palletised stock. The 2,000m2 of racking was configured according to the Aisle Master’s narrow aisle capabilities, which resulted in the creation of 2,400 pallet spaces – up from 1,800 with conventional forklifts.

The most recent addition is a Combi- WR pedestrian stacker. “We chose this as it enables fast movement of pallets for loading and also because the driver can work from the side rather than the rear – so it’s a very safe machine, particularly in areas where other employees may be nearby,” said Mr Joyce.

“Our two latest Combilifts are electric, in keeping with our plans for greener operations, which include three 10,000 gallon tanks for water harvesting for recycling for the garden centre and for washrooms, super fast charging electric points for cars and panels for generating electricity.”

A common feature of all Joyce’s Combilifts is versatility and safety, both of which are crucial issues, as Mr Joyce explained.

“Safety is priority number one for us, followed closely by versatility. We stock fencing, roofing materials, timber, insulation, fertiliser, doors, carpets – to name just a few, and this is why we went for four Combilifts, which keep our vast range of different products on the move.”