The 400,000th forklift truck rolled off the production line at the former Hyster (now Hyster-Yale Group) factory on Tuesday, with employees marking the milestone by handing it over to Oxfam.
The truck, worth around £30,000, will be used at the charity’s distribution centre in Bicester, England.
The presentation of the Yale Veracitor VX, which has been signed by all the staff at the Carn factory, was made to Oxfam finance director Alison Hopkinson by Craigavon plant manager Jim Downey.
The event was attended by employees, suppliers and dignitaries, including the Minister of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Jonathan Bell MLA and the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge, and Craigavon, Darryn Causby.
Guests enjoyed tours of the plant, presentations 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.
“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 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. 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.”
Yale’s UK dealer, Briggs Equipment, has also offered to maintain and service the truck.
The Craigavon plant opened almost 35 years ago and employs 570 people.
It has raised £103,00 for charity since 1999.