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31st July 1970, Page 25
31st July 1970
Page 25
Page 25, 31st July 1970 — container
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transportow Lowe

and freight handling

Mafi expands in UK

• One of Europe's leading manufacturers of container handling and transport equipment, Mafi Fahrzeugwerk International of Stuttgart, have developed a new container handling machine which is to be made in Britain by Mafi (UK) Ltd.

The new equipment, called the Container-Lift, is a semi-trailer mounted, completely self-contained, unit with its own power supply, hydraulics and control panel; it can be used with any tractive unit fitted with a fifth-wheel coupling. The unit is designed for loading, unloading and transporting containers, flats and unitized cargo. It is capable of handling up to 30-ton loads and it will double-stack 8ft 6in. high containers. One unit in the new range, the SCL 20/40. has a telescopic frame which is adjustable to enable 20ft, 30ft and 40ft containers to be handled.

Operation of the equipment is from a control panel on the chassis by one man. The advantages claimed for the new machine Are that rail-borne containers are mare easily picked up, ground stacking of containers can be closer, the road speed of the vehicle is considerably increased, compared with typical 'straddle /gantry type carriers, and an operating cycle takes less than 5mins.

Orders for two of the new machines were received within a very short time of their announcement from MAT Transport Ltd, international hauliers.

Mafi will be remembered as being at the centre of a storm of controversy in February over their partnership deal with British Railways Engineering for the manufacture of containers to Mafi designs. The general assumption was that BR Engineering would make the containers at a loss for Mafi to sell at cut-throat prices in Britain and overseas. This was denied as being against BR's policy, which is to make a profit.

The original contract stipulated a minimum production of 16,260 units over five years. Already the minimum figure seems certain to be exceeded and there are plans to double output from BR in two years' time.


Dennis Bews, director of Mafi (UK) Ltd, forecasts a trend towards steel-framed plywood containers which have advantages such as less corrosion, excellent rigidity, a smooth outer surface for sign writing and, of principal importance, ease and speed of repair. He sees the company's future largely in volume production of plywood containers to customers' designs. According to Mr Bews, shipping companies are already showing preference for their own designs rather than standard units and he believes this trend will increase.

In addition to their activities with containers and handling equipment, Mafi in Germany produce a wide range of industrial trailers with load capacities from one ton to 200 tons and, for special very heavy-duty applications, a range of hydraulically elevating platform trailers' with load capacities up to about 2000 tons. One really special unit has been designed to carry 30,000 tons (yes, thirty thousand tons) and it is intended primarily for moving ship sections, assembled in a workshop or yard, to the dock for final assembly.

In view of Mafi's increased activities in this country—the turnover of the UK business from scratch in April 1968 reached e3.2m in the year ending last March and is expected to reach £5m in this financial year—it would not be surprising to see them introducing a range of industrial trailers over here. They are currently manufacturing their roll trailer in the UK; in fact, some 30 units monthly are leaving the Mansfield factory of W. H. Davies who manufacture for Mafi and who will be producing the new Container-Lift. The roll trailer is designed as a low-height trailer suitable for transferring containers onto roll-on /roll-off ships or as a means of keeping a trailer mobile but within easy reach for ground loading.


Locations: Stuttgart

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