Light-Weight Straddle Carriers in North America

Light-Weight Straddle Carriers in North America

Light on operating costs, even lighter on yard surfaces. Mobicon Systems is now supplying North America with the new category – light-weight container handlers – from Houston, Texas. Designed specifically for companies that do not deal with high-volume throughput – and the associated costs of heavy handling vehicles, light-weight straddle carriers are gaining in popularity.


General Manager, Jesse Schultz explains why the US is the ideal market for the mini-straddle carrier, “With rising fuel costs, a shortage of land, and increasing pressures in the freight sector, the market needs a solution. Our straddle carriers offer high-density container storage and alleviate the widespread problem of chassis-shortage. The Mobicon also offers superior selectivity of containers, and much lower operating costs when compared to traditional container handlers”.


Mobicon Systems is the only specialist in this category and can go where others can’t with light-weight straddle carriers that are half the weight of large port straddle carriers. The Mobicon is known for its low axle weights which are far lower than any other container handler in the world, meaning Mobicon’s can be used by operators who do not have high-strength yard surfaces.”


Stacking two-high, a Mobicon can store a similar number of containers as reach stackers and forklift trucks. While reach stackers and forklift trucks carry containers width wise and require a huge laneway of up to 50’ (15m) to manoeuvre containers, Mobicon’s need only 6’ (1.8m) between containers. They also have a smaller power pack and smaller tyres, drastically reducing fuel and tyre costs.  Jesse Schultz explains that “operations away from the port often do not need high-speed and high stacking, so why pay for this? A Mobicon goes 9km/h (5.6 miles/hr) and stacks containers two high. To do this, a Mobicon only needs a 100 KW engine instead of the huge 250 KW engine used by large straddle carriers, reach stackers and container forklift trucks.


The Mobicon is safe and easy to operate with the operator’s cabin positioned low, and multiple cameras giving the operator a 360-degree view. Getting in and out of the cabin is quick – important for operations where container movement is irregular. Mobicon Operators are typically forklift truck drivers who are trained in using the Mobicon. Once a container is taken off or placed on a chassis, the Mobicon Operator jumps back on his forklift to pack or unpack containers, meaning labour costs are only incurred when the Mobicon is in operation.


“The first thought when designing a Mobicon is how can we make it as safe as possible” Jesse Schultz said. “That is why we chose not to use wire ropes, as they can induce swinging of the container and can break over time. All Mobicon’s also feature remote twist lock systems, the operator stays in the cabin using remote cameras to engage the twist-locks into the container, while the use of hydraulic lifting combines safety with low maintenance.”


There are two lead Mobicon models:


The 2T is extremely light (12 tonnes or 27,000 lbs) and can lift 35 tonnes (78,000 lbs). The 2T lifts from the bottom corner castings and therefore can also handle bolsters and out of gauge open top containers. It takes containers on and off chassis and carries them under very low awnings and even into warehouses, out of the weather and close to where they need to be packed/unpacked, reducing forklift time.


Alternatively, the 2HL weighs 30 tonnes (66,000 lbs) and has a 20’-40’ top spreader. It can stack containers two-high. It is highly manoeuvrable and has a two-minute load cycle. This Mobicon has a 2-stage lifting system meaning that it can lower itself to go under 20’ (6 metre) awnings.


For years, Mobicons have been supplied to the US Navy. The ultra-low axle weights made them the only suitable container handler for use on the light aluminium decks of Littoral Combat Ships.  Now, every Mobicon user can benefit from this low axle weight design, preventing yard damage and avoiding high yard-repair-costs.


For further information on how a Mobicon’s light weight straddle carrier can streamline your operations, email or call sales on 346 268 0952 (US) or 0493 478 709 (AUS)

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