Lifting innovation specialist Combilift, the multi-directional forklift business established in 1998 by Robert Moffett and Martin McVicar, invited their wider family including dealers, long-service employees and some of the company’s oldest customers to a party and press conference to celebrate its 25-year milestone.

Sometimes companies will have a strap line appended to their logo that can be taken with a pinch of salt, you know the thing, ‘the best’ this, ‘the greatest’ that … but Combilift’s moniker of ‘Lifting Innovation’ is absolutely accurate and adroitly serves to define the business which started from a single outstanding idea, one which remains the driving force of the business today.

The business began in 1998 and its first machine, the venerable C-Series, became the world’s first engine-powered multi-directional forklift. With thousands sold across the world, it forms part of what today is a much wider range of lifting innovation and materials handling solutions. 

Naturally, as the range of products grew, Combilift’s appeal broadened to a wider variety of customers, including those working with wood, steel, plastics and advanced materials, alongside options for poultry farmers and manufacturers of wind turbine blades for land and sea applications. More recently, the company’s move into automated guided vehicles is helping to redefine the handling landscape.

At the press conference, Martin McVicar summarised the five introductions to the company’s offer this year, the company’s most prolific number of product introductions in its history. 

First up is the robust Combi-CB 70E, a new 7t electric truck which offers powerful performance with great battery life and unrivalled ergonomics. The impressive Combi-CB 70E comes with patented independent front and rear traction, negating the need for differential lock on slippery surfaces. It also significantly reduces long load momentum twisting when travelling sideways.

The new Combi-Cube is another new electric model, compact and assured which features Dynamic 360 Steering. The Combi-Cube delivers seamless directional change, making it the most manoeuvrable counterbalance truck on the market. Add in the patent-pending Intelligent Seat Rotation which turns the operator 15 degrees to face the direction of travel, and you have a highly practical, compact and user-friendly vehicle.

A really exciting capability across the industrial manufacturing spectrum is automation. Naturally, Combilift has been at the forefront of this revolution using its proven range of multi-directional forklift trucks to create autonomous guided vehicles for its customers. The company recently unveiled the Combi-AGT (autonomous guided truck) designed to safely and reliably deliver long loads in narrow aisles around the clock.

Another area Combilift has invested time and effort to perfect is its Telematics fleet management software program, designed to help with fleet management systems for some of Combilift’s larger clients. This enables fleet monitoring in real-time using GPS technology, sensors and vehicle engine data and this delivers small and effective changes that can bring big results, big savings and a more effective fleet.

Last but certainly not least, the new Combi-LC Blade is a hugely impressive introduction designed to carry and move offshore wind turbine blades safely and efficiently using remote control steering.

Following Combilift’s principle of combining its warehouse planning consultancy and its wide range of truck solutions to save costs in warehouses, the same is true for moving and positioning the enormous off-shore wind turbine blades safely and more efficiently in outside storage facilities, representing a significant advantage in this fast-growing market sector.

As always, Combilift continues to demonstrate its innovation and leadership in the materials handling sector, with many applications featuring its pioneering multi-directional capability. From the safety and efficiency of its recently introduced Combi-CS counterbalance pedestrian stacker, through the company’s most strong, agile and almost balletic Combi-MR multi-directional truck, through to the goliath Combi-MG, BM and LC Blade options, there is now a broad choice of Combilift solutions for a wide range of customers in differing markets. 

This dedication to product innovation – which has seen Combilift produce over 80,000 trucks to 85 countries since 1998 – is all based on the fundamentals of helping customers handle different loads safely in different situations whilst maximising storage and increasing their efficiency, which serves to reinforce and completely justify the company’s ‘Lifting Innovation’ strapline. With its experienced and ambitious team, still led by proud founders Robert Moffett and Martin McVicar, Combilift is set fair for greater success on the global materials handling stage.