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Pipe handling with electric precision

“I really like the new hydraulic system. If I want to move the forks one millimeter, they move one millimeter, exact precision.” Ola Lowe, Driver, Heléns Rör


Forklift trucks
The solution Material handling


Heléns Rör, EMEA


Total capacity

Heléns Rör loads and unloads 88,100 tons of steel per year


Halmstad, Sweden


Kalmar Fleet

Five Kalmar electric forklifts






When handling 39 foot steel pipes, your precision must be perfect.

The challenge

Heléns manufactures all kinds of steel pipes: long, short, heavy, and light. The pipe length varies from 3 feet to 39 feet . The pipes are packed into bundles that can weigh up to 13,200 lbs. each. They are transported from the manufacturing to the warehouse, and are loaded onto trucks for further transport around the world. Heléns loads and unloads more than 8,600 trucks per year. A large part of their manufacturing and warehousing needs to maintain a certain level of moisture in order to keep the steel in perfect condition. In these compartments, Heléns wants to avoid the use of diesel trucks, due to the working environment for their personnel. In order to minimize the emissions, Heléns has been using Kalmar electric trucks since 1985.

The solution

Heléns is currently using five Kalmar electric forklifts. During the spring of 2014, Heléns tested Kalmar’s latest electric truck, the ECG50-90. Heléns has been using the ECG55-6 for internal transport and unloading/loading of trucks. The new electric forklift is equipped with the ergonomic EGO cabin.

“My first impression of the forklift was the excellent visibility and the spacious cabin. When handling long pipes, it’s important to have good visibility in all directions,” says Ola Lowe, forklift driver.

The new electric forklift enables energy savings of up to 75%, compared to an equivalent diesel truck. If you also consider the lower maintenance cost, you are looking at a really cost-effective solution.

The results

The ECG50-90’s battery power is easily enough for a whole eight-hour shift. The sensitive hydraulics enable the drivers to navigate the long pipes with high precision. The EGO cabin offers a variety of adjustments to tailor the operator environment.

“The adjustable operating console works very well, and I like the new design of the levers. I can easily reach all four of them without moving my hand,” says Ola Lowe. "The use of electric trucks has definitely improved the working environment for our personnel. Now they don’t have to worry about the exhaust fumes, and the sound level in the factory has also gone down."

“I’m very pleased with the new machine. There has really been a big improvement in terms of visibility and maneuvering precision, compared to the previous generation,” says Ola Lowe.