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Yale celebrates production of 400,000th truck at Craigavon plant with charity donation

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To celebrate production of the 400,000th truck at its plant in Northern Ireland, Yale Europe Materials Handling has made the largest single charitable donation in its history.

Yale400KAs the specially manufactured truck rolled off the production line, employees at the Craigavon factory marked the milestone by handing it over to international charity Oxfam, for use at its distribution centre in Bicester. 

The ceremonial presentation of the Yale Veracitor VX, which has been signed by all of the staff at the Craigavon factory, was made to Oxfam GB’s Finance Director Alison Hopkinson by Craigavon Plant Manager Jim Downey during an exclusive event on January 19th before a specially invited audience of employees, suppliers, and dignitaries, including the Lord Mayor of Craigavon. 

Prior to the grand reveal, guests enjoyed factory tours of the plant, a series of presentations from senior members of the Yale team and a video showcasing the journey of the charity truck as it progressed along the production line. 

Oxfam responds to emergencies around the world, for example saving lives by delivering the ability to source and store clean water for drinking and sanitation. Its Bicester depot currently operates with a 20-year-old counterbalance 2.5 ton, LPG, 4-wheel truck which is in desperate need of replacing.

The Veracitor VX was selected as the truck of choice because it offers the highest levels of productivity, ergonomics and dependability. 

Iain Friar, Yale brand manager, said: “We are all incredibly proud that the 400,000th truck has been produced here in Craigavon, and we wanted to celebrate the contribution made by so many people in achieving that milestone. 

“Yale is committed to ‘people, products and productivity’ and we firmly believe that it is our people who have put us where we are today. The 400,000th truck is the embodiment of the innovative approach and loyalty we receive from our Yale people. 

“We wanted to choose a charity with the same ethos as Yale, an organisation like ourselves that has people at its core. Not only is Oxfam internationally recognised for helping people in need, we felt that one of our forklift trucks would actually be of real benefit to its operation.”

Alison Hopkinson, of Oxfam GB, said: “This forklift truck will be used in our Bicester warehouse where we hold equipment to deploy at speed wherever in the world there is an emergency.

“The new truck will replace the 20-year-old model our logistics team currently use. So not only does this truck represent a real cost saving to Oxfam, it will help us come to the aid of people in desperate need more efficiently.

“Oxfam relies on the generosity of its supporters and we are so grateful and touched by the Yale team’s kind and thoughtful gift.”

Behind the scenes planning for the charitable donation began many months ago, with the technical team from Yale asking Oxfam exactly what sort of truck would suit its needs in terms of capacity, capability and fuel type. By liaising with the logistics manager from Oxfam, UK territory manager for Yale, Andrew Hine, specified that the 400,000th truck should be a GDP/GLP20-30VX model, selected for its manoeuvrability, reach and ease of use. 

Oxfam’s Bicester warehouse handles a variety of load sizes and weights, which have been manually weighed on scales prior to dispatch via air freight around the world.  Yale’s partners, RAVAS have generously donated i-Forks for the 400,000th truck to save Oxfam precious time by automatically weighing the load when it is lifted. 

As Oxfam’s truck needs to be always ready to respond to emergencies, Yale’s UK dealer, Briggs Equipment, has offered to maintain and service the truck.  This is another example of Yale working with its partners to tailor the solution to the client. 

The Veracitor VX offers innovative technology to reduce brake and tyre wear, longer service intervals, and outstanding engineering quality. Fuel efficiency is built in; the Yanmar 2.6L diesel engine consumes as little as 3.0 litres hour while the LPG engine range delivers new levels of performance. 

Following the handover of the truck to Oxfam, the landmark day was rounded off with an evening reception at the Titanic Experience in Belfast.

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