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Holz-Denzel focuses on sustainability with economical electric forklift trucks from STILL


Sector: Timber trade
Family-owned company. One of the largest timber merchants in southern Germany in terms of area.
Challenge: To minimise soot and noise emissions from the diesel forklift trucks used, and to make more efficient use of self-generated electricity.
Solution: Replacing the diesel fleet, e.g. with STILL RX 60 electric forklift trucks up to 5.0 tonnes. Includes additional safety equipment to prevent collisions and personal injury.

At its premises in the Bavarian town of Wertingen, timber merchant Alois Denzel KG is gradually replacing its existing internal combustion (IC) trucks with electric forklift trucks from STILL. The electricity for the replaceable batteries is generated using cost-effective and environmentally friendly methods thanks to the company’s own hydroelectric power plant and a photovoltaic system. This has significantly reduced harmful exhaust emissions in the warehouse, as well as making a noticeable difference to the level of noise in the driver’s cabs. And soot on the delicate wood- based materials is a thing of the past too.

Tradition and progress in the timber trade

The Holz-Denzel family business has been successfully balancing tradition and progress for 85 years. The company uses its own trucks to supply around 400 tonnes of wood per day to craftsmen, retailers and industry across southern Germany for use as a construction material and a working material. Peter Denzel, CEO and the third generation of his family to head the company, emphasises: “Right from the start, sustainability and environmental protection have always been at the forefront with our hydroelectric power plant. In 2009, the large photovoltaic system was added. With an electrical peak power of 550 kWp, the system is comparable to a PV system for 50 individual households.” Having recently been awarded both PEFC and FSC certifications, the innovative timber merchant is able to demonstrate that the timber it trades comes from sustainable forestry. This underlines the company’s commitment to its sustainability strategy.

Cost-effective, sustainable and carbon-neutral

The company’s IC trucks are to be gradually replaced by electric forklift trucks. Due to the high handling capacity when loading and unloading trucks, two RX 60s with a load capacity of up to seven and eight tonnes respectively were purchased for the heavy-duty area. Sustainable, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly, the replaceable batteries are charged throughout the day in a carbon-neutral process that uses the company’s own PV system. The savings in energy costs are enormous.

Reduction of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOX), soot and noise

Two electric forklift trucks from STILL with a load capacity of up to 1.6 tonnes are used for material handling in the warehouses. Warehouse Manager, Bernd Förg: “Thanks to the electric forklift trucks, the harmful mixtures of nitrogen oxides are drastically reduced when handling wood, significantly improving the working conditions in the process. Of course, another priority is avoiding contaminating our sensitive wood materials with soot. In addition, the noise level in the driver’s cab is noticeably reduced. This makes operating the forklift all day much more comfortable.”

The latest generation of STILL RX 60 electric forklift trucks with a load of 2.5 and 5.0 tonnes are currently being put through their paces in practical application. With their powerful drives, they are to replace other diesel forklift trucks in the fleet. To increase overall safety, the wood specialist is also testing a 3D camera-based safety system. Intelligent person and object detection aims to minimise collisions and personal injury.

Looking to the future

The innovative family business is currently planning an automatic panel storage system across two levels. This will optimise logistics processes and further improve working conditions. There are already plans to increase the energy supply with an additional PV system with 950 kWp. This will also secure the power supply for the replaceable batteries of a larger electric forklift fleet in the near future.