Bland Farms, near Savannah, GA has grown from a five acre farm in the 1980s to the world’s largest producer of Vidalia onions. Today the family-owned business operates on 2,300 acres of land across the United States while also importing onions from Peru and Mexico and ships about four million boxes annually. With this volume of perishable agricultural products, getting the crop out of the field, processed and placed into refrigerated storage must be completed in near record time.
During the Georgia operation’s eight-week harvest season a combined fleet of more than 50 lift trucks load more than 2,500 semi-trailers. Each forklift operates up to 20 hours per day with operators moving as many as one thousand 1,000-pound bins daily. Getting this job done on time requires a forklift that can handle the pressure of many heavy loads all day, every day in some harsh conditions, where there’s often dust and fine debris. And there’s the added challenge of the extreme heat and humidity. Exceptional reliability is key to success under this deadline pressure.