What is a Mini Straddle Carrier – Mobicon Systems explains

What is a Mini Straddle Carrier – Mobicon Systems explains

We say Mini, because there really should be a separate name for the Straddle Carriers that we market. Often we find that as soon as we mention the words Straddle Carrier, people react with the knowledge of the large Straddle Carriers like the Kalmars that are mainly used in harbour environments (see image below), and we then have to explain the difference. Mini Straddle Carriers are not for the ports and harbours, they are smaller, they are for the end user, the company for instance, that has product coming in and out of their location and it happens to be packed into containers, and those containers need to be unloaded off trucks to be unpacked, then reloaded and sent back.

Harbour of Port Straddle Carrier

Harbour or Port Straddle Carrier – Size against a Truck

We usually say that a Mobicon can handle containers, but it is not a container handler. If your business is container handling, you will buy a reach stacker, large Straddle Carrier Gantry or a Forklift. But if your business is handling goods into or out of a container, then a Mini Straddle carrier is what you need, and the Mobicon Mini Straddle Carrier is the very best of the bunch.

Our original model Mini Straddle Carrier has two towers; the rear tower lifts the rear of the container, while the front tower lifts the front of the container. Therefore we call this the 2T (2Tower) Mobicon. This 2T Mobicon excels in the ability to bring containers inside buildings; no other container handler can go under a 4m doorway but our 2T. It can also handle bolsters or flat racks, as the arms lock into the bottom corner castings, so we do not need the top corner casting for lifting. As we use arms instead of chains, the load will not swing like it will when moved by a straddle carrier that uses chains.

Mobicon 2T Mini Straddle Carrier

Mobicon 2T Mini Straddle Carrier

In conclusion, our 2T Mobicon Mini Straddle Carrier is unique, and as it does not use chains, very safe. This uniqueness however comes with a price-tag that not everyone can afford. Also; not everyone needs their Mini Straddle Carrier to move containers inside buildings, and many of our clients do not use flat-racks or bolsters. The Mobicon 2T Mini Straddle Carrier is very different from any other lifting equipment and therefore may be seen by some as an unknown or a risk. Many buyers do not want to take any risks, and therefore often are reluctant to buy. But although it takes a long time for a client to buy a 2T Mobicon, once they had one, they quickly discovered its usefulness, and we have many clients who now have more than one 2T Mobicon in their operation.

However, with the above in mind we designed a new Mini Straddle Carrier that is more like a conventional Straddle Carrier in terms of the way that it looks and what it can do. It cannot go under low awnings or doors, and is not really suitable to carry bolsters or flat-racks. We call the new models the ECO range, where ECO stands for Economic and Ecological when compared with the larger Straddle Carriers, Forklifts and Reach Stackers on the market.

The outstanding feature of the ECO Mobicon range is the 8-wheel configuration, which is similar to the 2T Mobicon. Most industrial yards are designed for trucks and 5 Tonne forklifts. Because the wheel weights of a Mobicon are by far the lowest in the world, users can now handle containers on yard surfaces that other container handles will damage with their large wheel weights.

The first model we have released is the ECO-B, which stands for ECO-Bottom lift. It uses chains, and hooks are connected to the bottom corner castings of the container to move it. The top of the chains are positioned at 30 feet, and when a 20 foot container is carried, the chains point inwards towards the operator. When a 40′ container is used, the chains angle the other way. This configuration is simple, easy for potential clients to understand, and happily the ECO is cheaper than the 2T Mobicon.

ECO-B Mini Straddle Carrier

ECO-B Mini Straddle Carrier

As a comparison, the 2T Mobicon uses 21 hydraulic cylinders, while the ECO-B only uses 8. Each corner of the ECO has a load-sharing bogey and there are no grease points on the machine – hence its economical and ecological status.

The second Model in the ECO Range is an ECO Mobicon supplied with a Top-Spreader, either a fixed 20′ or 40′ or telescopic 20-40. This model is called the ECO-TF where TF stands for Top Frame. This model means that the operator does not have to leave the cabin to connect and disconnect the container. This Top lifter will be faster and safer than the ECO-B as no chains need to be connected, avoiding the need for the operator to bend over and manhandle chain-hooks. We use the Swedish made ELME spreaders, as they are world renowned for their quality and low maintenance products.

The third model in the ECO range is an ECO with a top spreader that can stack containers one over one or two high. This is the ECO-TF2 where TF2 stands for Top Frame Two High. We have, in the past received quite a few requests for a stacking Mini Straddle Carrier from Mobicon, and we think that this model will be well received.

We see the ECO-B being used in operations that have a relatively low turnover of containers and where simplicity is required. The ECO-TF models will be perfect for those companies where speed is more important, and where yard conditions do not allow the operator to get out of the cabin. The Stacking ECO-TF2 can be used for those operations where space is at a premium.

We are excited to bring these new models to the international market. After manufacturing and selling Mini Straddle Carriers for more than 20 years, we have learnt from our clients exactly what they require and the ECO range is tailor made for their needs. The 2T Mobicon will remain a strong seller for those companies that have specific requirements of low height and who need to handle flat racks or bolsters.

Our market will still remain the same; Importers, Exporters, Manufactures and Third Party Logistic providers.  We call them the “end-users” of containers. These companies pack and unpack containers and want the container unloaded from the delivering vehicle, to save on waiting times and they want to control their own container movements in their yard. This is the beauty of a Mobicon Mini Straddle Carrier, it puts you in control.

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