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Grundon invests in safety-focused electric forklifts

By Sam Pither
30 June 2022

Thames Valley-based Grundon Waste Management has invested around £200,000 in two JCB electric Teletruk forklifts for its Hazardous Waste Transfer Station at Ewelme in Oxfordshire.

In what is thought to be an industry first, both vehicles have been modified to include the latest explosion protection solutions from Pyroban.

Tim Buxton, Grundon’s Transfer Station Operations and Development Manager, said: “Safety is always our number one priority and when we were presented with the opportunity to combine Pyroban’s explosion protection systems with the latest electric forklift technology from JCB, it made absolute sense,”

“Both companies did an excellent job and we are thrilled to be taking the lead by investing in zero emissions vehicles which enable us to work smarter and safer, and further improve our sustainability credentials.”

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The new JCB 30-19E electric Teletruks each feature an extendable boom, speeding up the process of unloading vehicles as they arrive at Ewelme, which is the hub of Grundon’s hazardous waste operation. The boom enables operators to access each vehicle from one side only, both saving space and increasing on-site safety and parking.

One of the new electric Teletruk forklifts in action at Grundon’s Hazardous Waste Transfer Station at Ewelme.

Once the waste is unloaded, it is inspected and assessed by a team of chemists and technical experts before being sent on for specialist reprocessing, treatment, recycling, recovery or disposal.

The investment in the electric forklifts is part of an ongoing upgrade programme as Grundon, which is headquartered at Benson in Oxfordshire and has operations across the region, including at Colnbrook, Knowl Hill and Beenham, near Newbury, seeks to increase its overall number of electric vehicles and further cut carbon emissions.

Brian Kumm, from Watling JCB, said: “JCB’s Electric E-Tech Range is leading the way in clean technology and reducing harmful emissions. Our electric machines have considerably lower operating costs, minimal daily checks with less servicing and maintenance.

“The electric Teletruk’s performance is equal to or exceeds its diesel counterpart and it lent itself to be easier to be flame-proofed, which is essential when working with hazardous materials.

“Working closely with Grundon, Pyroban, Cascade & EV Energy Solutions we were able to specify the first TLT30E Electric Teletruk fitted with Pyroban’s system6000, a 65G Fork Rotator and a Hoppeke Atex-Approved Battery.”

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Installing Pyroban’s explosion protection systems helps to manage the risk and remove the sources of ignition found on mobile equipment, such as forklifts. They fully comply with ATEX 2014/34/EU for operation in Zone 2 hazardous areas.

Matt Booth, UK Sales Manager for Pyroban, said: “The electric Teletruks have been converted with Pyroban’s system6000 which features a range of explosion protection technologies including gas detection, so that the operators are alerted to the risk in the unlikely event of a spillage or accidental release of solvent vapours.

“The trucks will also be brought to a controlled stop automatically if necessary.”

There are also plans in place for the Ewelme operation to follow in the footsteps of Grundon’s clinical waste facility at Knowl Hill in Berkshire, which has already become self-sufficient in electricity by generating enough power to meet its own requirements.

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Featured image: (L-R) Matt Booth, Tim Buxton and Brian Kumm in front of the new electric Teletruk forklifts. Credit: Rob Lacey.