EFER EKFB Commander 03

Enterprise Flex-E-Rent has become the first UK rental business to offer the highly specialist Multilift Commander container-handling HGV and is providing 14 vehicles to the joint venture between Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall (EKFB) for use on the central section of the HS2 project.

The Hiab-built 32-tonne truck has previously only been used in the UK by the military. It is specially designed to augment the traditional hook-lift system commonplace in the waste industry.

The design adds the ability to pick up, move and deliver ISO shipping containers or a similar-sized cargo in any location that a truck can access without the use of a crane or other lifting operations. This is particularly useful in very remote sites where it is difficult to get mechanical handling equipment in place.

Paul Bedford, senior logistics manager at EKFB, said: “Working across a delivery area of over 80km and supporting multiple worksites in rural and remote locations required a different approach. Having seen this type of equipment operating in austere military overseas environments, it was a logical fit.

“The ability to use a 20ft ISO container footprint to move plant, material and waste provides huge flexibility. Previously, several pieces of equipment and employees had to combine to load and unload vehicles, plus they needed a crane or alternative material handling equipment. This slowed the process down and could become expensive.

“With a single Multilift Commander, one driver can do all that work in potentially a quarter of the time: 10 to 15 minutes instead of 30 to 40. That’s a huge time and cost saving. The teams on the ground can then unload at their convenience, leaving the HGV to move on to its next task. There are also several safety benefits, such as the removal of working at height and the ability to strap loads when they are at ground level.

“Enterprise helped us devise an innovative solution, which led us to merging the vehicle with industry-leading safety equipment. Enterprise’s technical expertise and relationships with vehicle build specialists helped us to acquire the exact design we needed.”