Victoria’s Rochford Wines isn’t just a winner of the state’s top award for being the Best Tourism Winery, it’s an organisation with a continuing focus on innovation and improvement. Adding to an already impressive and ongoing list of improvements it now has the latest Linde 393 Series diesel EVO forklift ideally suited to its needs. The Rochford Wines estate at Coldstream, the gateway to the Yarra Valley wine growing region, is just 40 kilometres north east of Melbourne’s CBD. It was purchased 12 years ago by a family company headed by German-born CEO, Helmut Konecsny and has since undergone a dramatic transformation.

Relying on the latest technology

The changes turned the winery from a traditional, small cellar door operation into a nationally recognised destination and recently prompted Helmut Konecsny to look for a new forklift. And while he was proud of the “pretty good pinot, chardonnay and cabernet” the winery produces, the new forklift needed to be able to handle more than bins, barrels and bottles. That is because Rochford Wines’ stylish winery, art gallery and restaurant buildings and 25 hectares of grapevines are also the venue for the very popular A Day on the Green concert series. Headline acts over the last eight years have included Joe Cocker, Elvis Costello, Lionel Richie, Leonard Cohen, Tom Jones, Norah Jones and Diana Krall. And that has required the handling of large amounts of staging, as well as marquees and frames.

Rochford Winery can now rely on the assistance of the latest technology embodied in the Linde 3.5 tonne capacity H35D 393 Series EVO model forklift to help with many winery tasks. Helmut Konecsny made his own enquiries when it came to selecting a replacement forklift, but he kept in mind the market leading position and strong reputation which Linde equipment enjoys in his native Germany.

From what I know about Linde I’m confident the new forklift is going to last longer and be more reliable than what we’ve had previously,” he said. “And when we take it on unsealed surfaces it will have better stability and not get bogged.

Switching to Linde was the turning point

The switch from a conventional forklift to Linde’s hydrostatic drive took even less consideration for Helmut than it might for others, because the winery already has equipment with hydrostatic drive, including a large ride-on mower used to maintain Rochford’s grounds.“We specified wider than standard tyres so that we can take the forklift on the Green before and after events there and we also have unsealed internal roads the forklift needs to use. One of the good things about the Linde hydrostatic drive is that it operates well on all types of surfaces, not just the sealed surfaces. The winery has a dedicated winemaker and a dedicated vineyard manager, but we don’t have a dedicated forklift operator, so we needed a forklift that will suit several users.”

“A Linde EVO model feature which will be appreciated by Rochford Winery H35D users is the re-designed armrest with Linde Load Control, which lets each driver easily adjust the armrest to their body size using the single-point adjustment.” Helmut selected the diesel model for its long working life and to rationalise fuel supplies at a site where tractors and company cars also run on diesel. “We use tractors for up to 5,000 hours and that shouldn’t be a problem for the Linde forklift,” he said.

Emissions reduced to less than half

The newly introduced Linde H35D 393 Series EVO model is the lowest emitting diesel forklift truck Linde has ever produced. Its three litre, four-cylinder common-rail diesel engine has a particulate filter fitted as standard. This reduces emissions to less than half the legal limit and the filter is regenerated automatically without any additional downtime and regardless of the forklift truck’s location, meaning the truck can be used in enclosed areas. Hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides are 26 per cent below the limit and the figure for carbon monoxide is as much as 99 per cent below the limit. The new EVO models from Linde are the world’s first diesel trucks to feature cornering speed adaptation as standard. “Curve Assist” automatically reduces the speed of the truck on corners in accordance with the steering angle, thereby providing additional protection for the driver.

The Linde H35D EVO diesel is fitted with a variable displacement axial pump in the lifting hydraulics that pumps oil as required and is oversized to ensure it achieves maximum lifting speeds even at low drive motor speeds. That suits the winery environment because the new forklift is noticeably quieter than conventional diesels and with less hydraulic oil wasted and lower circulation losses, the Linde is very cost-efficient and also better for the environment. And with Linde’s hydrostatic drive delivering power to its wheels, the H35D EVO will provide its operators with the same standard of smoothness that Rochford’s wines provide for customers. For more information on how Linde can help your business, contact Linde Material Handling today.