Borg Manufacturing is now a firm believer in using genuine and approved Linde parts for its 140 forklift fleet, but that has not always been the case. Borg is the leading manufacturer of cabinet doors in Australia, and also produces a range of melamine panels, decorative melamine board products and shelving, chiefly under the Parbury and Polytec brands.
The company, which was founded by Michael Borg in 1990, operates manufacturing sites in New South Wales at Charmhaven, Somersby and at Oberon, supported by a 15,000 square metre warehouse and distribution facility at Somersby.
The pricing structure for Linde forklift parts is really good. We stick to OEM forklift parts now because over the last five years the pricing has improved dramatically. The difference between Linde OEM forklift parts pricing and aftermarket parts pricing has really been bridged.
The association with Linde dates almost from Borg’s beginnings and now extends to distribution centres in all capital cities. Forklifts are used very intensively in the business for three shifts a day, seven days a week at some sites and around the clock for five days per week at others. They move raw materials and finished products in manufacturing facilities and also meet the company’s material handling needs in its warehousing and distribution operations.
Borg buys its material handling equipment outright and employs its own mechanics for forklift service. Each forklift is checked weekly under a maintenance regime which extends to washing and painting as well as routine forklift service and repairs. That ownership arrangement makes the company keenly aware of replacement forklift parts prices. Borg’s national fleet manager, Cade Robinson, has just chalked up 10 years with the company and is in a unique position to comment on movements in forklift parts pricing over that time and why Linde forklift parts are always used in Borg workshops.
“We break the mould I suppose,” he said. “Our attitude is that if any business can make money from forklift service then we can do it ourselves and save that money. We now have reach trucks and turret trucks as well as counterbalance forklifts in our fleet. Australia-wide we spend or invest a couple of hundred thousand dollars on maintenance every month. “We do a lot of preventative maintenance instead of just being reactive, so our forklift parts requirements are significant.
“The pricing structure for Linde forklift parts is really good too. We stick to OEM forklift parts now because over the last five years the pricing has improved dramatically. The difference between Linde OEM forklift parts pricing and aftermarket parts pricing has really been bridged.
“That is particularly important to us because we operate on a cents per hour or a cents per kilometre calculation. You work out the upfront cost and then look at the longevity of the part you have chosen. That calculation has worked well for us. You are in front over the life of the genuine Linde forklift part."
Cade said the Borg philosophy is that money spent on genuine Linde forklift parts will provide long term benefits. “We did have a situation several years ago where we were using aftermarket non Linde engine oil filters for a time,” he recalled.
The relationship with Linde is really good. If we can’t get a forklift part at short notice they will lend us a forklift or even harvest a part from a showroom forklift to make certain we can get our truck back into service. They will do whatever it takes to help us out.
“Perhaps someone could have argued back then that the price difference could have justified taking a risk with aftermarket forklift parts, but I certainly don’t think that is the case now.”
Borg Manufacturing now maintains extensive stocks of genuine Linde forklift parts at its four mechanical workshops, to maximise its self-sufficiency. “That is extremely important when you operate your workshops around the clock,” Cade Robinson said.
“The relationship with Linde is really good. If we can’t get a forklift part at short notice they will lend us a forklift or even harvest a part from a showroom forklift to make certain we can get our truck back into service. They will do whatever it takes to help us out.
Company founder Michael Borg has a clear, business-like approach to the company’s equipment assets. “Because we are a manufacturing company we buy production machinery and so we frequently review the best that is available around the world, particularly from Italy and Germany,” he said. “Whatever we buy we try to get the best, because we know it will be working extremely hard in our hands.
“We believe Linde represents the best of what is available in the forklift market globally. In our demanding environment the others just won’t stand up. They might last three or four years, but after that they won’t be much use and before that their maintenance and running costs will be a lot more than Linde’s.”
Cade Robinson gives another example of Borg’s Linde experience. “We have some big Linde diesel forklifts which have 28,000 hours on them and they have never needed major engine repairs,” he said. “It has always been just oil changes and chains and tynes and tyres – and any forklift parts that go into them will be Linde parts.”