Fleet increases productivity and reduces downtime at Diamond Foods

Company replaces mismatched fleet and battery room with one brand and fast-chargers.
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
October 02, 2012 - MMH Editorial

A leading processor and marketer of Emerald Snack Nuts, Stockton, Calif.-based Diamond Foods distributes snack products to more than 80% of the supermarkets in the United States. Following acquisitions and skyrocketing demand, the company helped relieve the pressures on its distribution centers by installing a fleet of 40 lift trucks and fast-charging stations. Combined with a new outsourced maintenance arrangement, the company has added more than 30 minutes of productivity per employee per day.

To meet growing demand, Diamond Foods needed a lift truck fleet that could handle the huge volume of products and the 24-hour work cycle at its facilities. The company began searching for a fleet of lift trucks to replace a mismatched fleet of various brands while handling the company’s hugely increasing workload. The first 40 lift trucks were brought into both the distribution and the operations area of the facility.

“This facility runs 24 hours a day, and we cannot have equipment go down for any extended period of time,” said Gabe Sandoval, director of logistics at Diamond Foods. “We soon found the new lift trucks were workhorses and could withstand the long hours and hard driving conditions that take place in our plant.”

The lift truck dealer recommended a mix of liquid propane gas (LPG) lift trucks for outdoor use, electric lift trucks for warehouse applications, and attachments for use in specific areas. The dealer also helped Diamond Foods prepare to meet the more stringent 2010 California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission standards.

To further increase productivity, the company also outsourced its in-house fleet maintenance to its local dealer. Integrated battery fast-charging systems for its electric lift truck fleet eliminated the battery room. The company was able to free up a large usable space inside the facility, previously allocated to maintenance parts and battery storage.

In all, the new fleet has saved between 30 to 60 minutes of productivity per employee, per day, according to Diamond Foods.

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About the Author

Josh Bond
Senior Editor

Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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