Forklift Truck Brush – Lancaster & Morecambe College

Lancaster and Morecambe College offers further education courses to students in Lancashire. Originally starting in the 1820s, the main college expanded and built its current site in the 1950s. The college, which turns 200 this year, provides full- and part-time courses, along with apprenticeships and T Levels to over 1,600 students. 

The college approached Cottam with an enquiry for a forklift truck brush in Autumn 2023. As we were still in the development stage of this product range, we asked if the college would like to collaborate in the trialling stages. 

Understanding their needs and challenges 

Lancaster & Morecambe College provides a range of courses designed to provide young people and adults with the skills and knowledge required to enable them to progress into employment or on to further study. Courses include subjects ranging from accountancy and business to hospitality and construction, and covering everything in between. To help the students gain hands-on experience in areas such as construction, the college has excellent facilities where they can gain practical experience before entering the workplace. 

The college was looking for a forklift brush that could be used on a regular basis to manage the daily tidying up required at the construction facilities. This task involved sweeping general aggregate and sand that had previously been cleaned up manually. At the end of each term, the area requires stripping back to prepare for the upcoming term including walls that were erected during bricklaying practical sessions. Naturally, with manual brooms this was an especially labour-intensive task.  

Additionally, open public areas including car parks and other outdoor spaces require frequent cleaning from a team of cleaners. 

Key Focuses 

After understanding the customer’s pain points, we provided them with two different forklift brushes to trial, the Warehouse Wizz and Yard Master. Each broom is specially designed for its intended purpose; the Warehouse Wizz is ideal for use internally to collect small aggregates and debris while the Yard Master, which is filled with stiffer bristles, is made for outdoor use and collecting larger debris over hard ground. 

The brushes were tested in a live environment and the college provided feedback on the brushes that we used to further develop our range. 

Our Process  

Following on from the initial discovery call, Dan sent the current brush to Cottam so our in-house engineers could analyse the current design and materials used. Upon inspection an alternative brush was recommended which we believed would achieve the desired outcome of removing the debris and stones from the system before the water is recycled . A sample of the brush was sent to Dan so it could be tested in the factory’s machine. Dan confirmed that our recommended brush worked well, and an order was placed to manufacture a brush to the specific requirements to fit the machinery and replace the existing brush. 

The forklift brush is quick and easy to change and has saved us over half the time needed when using a manual hand broom. It’s also reduced the manpower required for cleanups, as one operator using a forklift is doing the work it used to take several people to do with brooms. It has also reduced the risk of injury or muscle strain as there’s less manual handling to do. I only have positive things to say about the forklift brush and the team at Cottam who supported us on this project. 

JOSHUA BATE, HEALTH & SAFETY / ENERGY, ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION
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