LoadHog® Puts The Punch In Productivity For Bacardi Facility
Bacardi, one of the country’s favorite brands of rum, receives and then ships its product out to its US market over the new LoadHog® modular dock bridge at their facility in Jacksonville, FL. This dock product makes the operation more productive and the trip safer for its forklift drivers at this busy location.
“We have been in this building going on five years and got tired of living with the edge-of-dock levelers,” points out the warehouse manager Will Nolan. Even though the facility runs a single shift, the high level of traffic was causing the EOD’s to literally detach from the dock wall. Losing those dock positions could mean lost productivity as trucks had to wait for an available door, especially during the busier holiday season.
Bacardi, leasing from Outsource Logistics, warehouses products in three locations in Jacksonville that total 375,000 square feet. To handle the constant traffic of trucks on the dock, together with the heavy load of liquid product, the conventional solution would be pit style dock levelers.
However, just before they were ready to dig the pits for the levelers, the facility’s dock equipment distributor, Don Compton with Curlin, Inc., approached Bacardi and Outsource Logistics about the recently introduced Load- Hog dock bridge.
According to Compton, “they were looking at an investment of $200,000 at the 26 dock positions to dig the pits and put in levelers. I knew they could be spending a lot less with the LoadHogs, yet they would have the durability and trailer access they needed.” Bacardi and Outsource developed a means of adding the cost of the LoadHogs into their existing lease and Curlin, Inc. provided the product and timely installation.
Outsource was aware that in the future Bacardi might be leaving this location for a new building as business’ growth demands. “From the standpoint of our tenants,” says Ross Urso, President of Outsource, “we have greatly increased the value of our building to them.”
The LoadHogs saved Outsource 50% of the cost of installing standard pit style dock levelers. In addition, installation was minimally disruptive to the operation since no concrete pits had to be dug, formed and poured. Just four bolts anchor the LoadHog to the warehouse floor and another eight secure the bumper assembly to the dock wall.
“The LoadHogs are so simple in design”, recounts Nolan, “and after a couple of trips into the trucks our drivers really liked the product.”
Easy to operate, the LoadHog platform stores vertically when not in use. A step on the side mounted foot pedal and a slight push starts the platform downward to gently drift to the truck floor. The lip positions easily for end loading using the operating handle.
When the truck is ready to pull away the dockworker draws the operating handle toward the body to raise the platform using approximately 38 lbs of force. Another benefit of the LoadHog is it provides easier truck access than edge-of-dock levelers due to the reduced percent of grade.
Bacardi bottles its rum in Puerto Rico and ships it in sea containers to the Jacksonville DC. Accessing the loads over the EOD’s was often difficult. The platform could have a ridge which would cause the product to get hung up on the top of the truck doorway.
The LoadHog provides a more level surface resulting in less interference. Furthermore they have been able to use the seven-foot wide dock platform on the eight-foot wide dock doorway due to the truck doors being opened prior to the trailer backing to the door to accommodate swing out door trailers.
LoadHog’s ramp design allows full access to all loads on the truck. The reinforcing guides on both sides of the ramp prevent the forklift from driving off the bridge.
An advantage for the facility is that LoadHog stores upright, providing a barrier for the dock doors against forklift collisions and damage that can lead to repairs and compromising the door seal. This design also enhances security at this building since the overhead doors can close tight against the warehouse floor. For an operation such as this where glass gets broken from time to time, no pit means no constant cleanup of debris.
Even though the LoadHogs will remain at the current facility when Bacardi moves out to their new location in a few years, Nolan indicates they will install this dock equipment when they relocate.