Portfolio Archive - Darmax
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Garage Equipment Supplier Fixes Up Unloading Operation with Darmax Solution

Garage and vehicle maintenance equipment distributor Gemco has seen significant improvements to its loading and unloading operation following the installation of a modular loading dock and yardramp from Darmax.

Gemco imports and supplies a wide range of commercial garage equipment, from MOT testing equipment to vehicle lifts and cranes, from its main distribution centre in Winsford, Cheshire – where products arrive in shipping containers which then need to be unloaded and stored.

Naturally, many of the products Gemco handles are large and often unwieldly in nature which presented the company with some logistical challenges.
Having recently relocated to Winsford from its previous premises in Mansfield, Gemco quickly realised that its existing loading and unloading solution was inadequate for the new premises.

“We had been using a third-party logistics provider which unloaded the equipment from the containers for us but this simply wasn’t efficient and also had issues surrounding accountability for products damaged in transit,” said Sean Heath, General Manager – Warehouse Operations at Gemco.

Needing a solution that could accommodate these requirements, Gemco approached Darmax, which designed and delivered a loading platform that incorporated Gemco’s existing yardramp.
The new solution now allows for the easy unloading of containers by providing additional space for forklifts to reverse horizontally which avoids the risk of loads hitting the top of the container.

In addition to the extra space, the loading platform also has two side access gates which allows for the use of side-loader forklift trucks to better handle the larger loads that Gemco receive.

“The dock and ramp have increased the safety and speed of our unloading process immensely and we now have accountability for what happens to our products throughout our entire supply chain,” continued Sean.

“Darmax knew exactly what was needed for our situation, it’s great for a company to be able to come on board to give us advice and point out solutions that we wouldn’t have considered, it put us in a really good place to move forward.”

A range of safety features were also incorporated into the loading platform’s design including gates, fixed handrails, removeable curbs for the sideloading forklift section and Bimagrip Antislip coating.

Managing Director of Darmax, James Corfield commented on the installation saying: “After initially supplying a standard container ramp, it was great to assist Gemco again when they reached out to explain their new logistical challenges. The quality of the original ramp gave Gemco the confidence in our ability to design and supply a solution that fit the bill.”

St John's Hall Storage Lightweight Mobile Platform

Dedicated Loading Solution Provides Peace of Mind for Self-Storage Business

A bespoke lightweight mobile platform from Darmax has enabled self-storage and warehousing provider St. John’s Hall Storage to significantly improve the efficiency of its manual unloading operations, whilst satisfying a range of health and safety requirements.

Bespoke lightweight mobile platform

A significant part of the business’ operations involved the manual unloading of vans and containers which was previously performed without specialised equipment. Following an external review, this was deemed insufficient from a health and safety perspective, so a need for a dedicated manual loading solution was identified.

“We were in a position of having to turn down work due to not having the right equipment,” said Jenny Green, HR & Operations Manager at St. John’s Hall Storage. “This obviously wasn’t an ideal situation and our health and safety advisor suggested that we invest in a mobile loading platform to address this.”

Following this guidance, the company contacted Darmax, who designed, manufactured and delivered a bespoke Lightweight Mobile Platform.

Designed to be easily transported around a facility and secured to vehicles as needed, the platform comes with a range of features to ensure high levels of safety for St. John’s Hall Storage staff during.

These features include gas spring assisted barriers, self-closing gates and chains hooks and tensioning brackets to secure the platform when loading from either the side or rear of a vehicle.

Due to its lightweight nature, the platform can be moved manually without the need for a forklift or other heavy-duty equipment. The legs are also height-adjustable, allowing for safe and secure docking with a variety of different vehicle sizes.

“Devanning had been a tricky process for us beforehand, so having a dedicated raised platform has been a huge help both from a safety and efficiency perspective,” said Jenny. “The level of support from Darmax was really good and made finding the right solution quite straightforward.”

James Corfield, Director at Darmax commented, “Slips, trips and falls remain one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, particularly when moving in and out of vehicles. By implementing dedicated manual unloading systems, businesses can equip themselves with confidence that they are providing the safest possible working environment for their staff and customers.”

Based in Suffolk and family-owned for over 30 years, St. John’s Hall Storage provides warehousing and self-storage services to both commercial and consumer markets and prides itself on delivering a personal, tailor-made service to its customers.

For more information on St. John’s Hall Storage, you can visit its website here: https://www.stjohnshallstorage.co.uk/

Modular Loading Dock in a yard.

Major Retailer Saves Costs and Unlocks Reliability with Darmax Modular Loading Dock

Darmax has installed another modular loading dock for one the UK’s leading supermarket chains, providing a safe and semi-permanent loading solution without the need for extensive remedial work to the building.


Bespoke modular dock for supermarket


The retailer sought to improve the site’s existing loading operation, which relied on a scissor lift that was prone to breakdowns and thus causing delays in loading. Darmax was asked to design and install an efficient and reliable modular loading dock, following the previous successful installation of Darmax’s largest singular modular dock unit at another of the retailer’s locations.


Utilising the company’s extensive modular dock expertise, Darmax supplied a modular dock solution complete with a manual Edge of Dock Leveller and ramp. This solution had to meet the store’s requirement to facilitate powered pallet truck loading and unloading, so special attention was paid to both the gradient of the ramp and the total ground clearance of the dock.


With these requirements in mind, the standard flooring of the dock and ramp was replaced for an anti-slip surface with a third-party contractor designing and installing a canopy to protect both staff and goods from the weather.


James Corfield, Director of Darmax commented, “Customers often come to us with challenging briefs such as this, and so to be able to provide a simple, effective and long-term solution is a testament to Thorworld and Darmax’ experience and expertise.


“Having previously supplied our largest ever singular modular loading dock to the customer, we’re delighted that they approached us once again for this project,” James continued.


Modular loading docks as a semi-permanent alternative to traditional loading bays, provide an excellent competitive advantage to businesses looking to improve or expand their loading operations.

Loading dock at Pandrol

Pandrol upgrades loading dock to keep deliveries on track

Railway fastenings manufacturer Pandrol has installed a Darmax modular loading dock and ramp to replace its previous Darmax solution, which had successfully delivered 15 years of service at the company’s Worksop facility. The new solution, tailored to Pandrol’s needs, offers enhanced throughput and safety benefits.

Pandrol loading ramp


“Our team thought highly of the previous ramp, but it was getting old and needed replacing,” said Jason Moody, Long Days Team Leader at Pandrol. “We wanted to bring our loading system into the 21st century and Darmax remained our first choice, even after checking alternative options.”


Pandrol approached Darmax to oversee the installation of a bespoke solution which paired a modular loading dock with a mobile ramp. This combination allows Pandrol to detach the ramp when needed, whilst also allowing for use during power outages.


“Safety is clearly a huge priority for the Pandrol team who specified lights, staired access to the loading ramp and barriers – all of which were delivered as part of the solution”, said James Corfield, Director of Darmax. “We are always delighted when customers return to us after many years of using a Darmax system.”


The removal of the existing ramp was arranged by Darmax and used as credit against the new loading dock.

In operation for over 100 years, Pandrol supplies railway fastening systems to over 100 countries across the world, manufacturing in excess of 18million clips per year.


Given the extensive range of railway gauges, regulations, and specific requirements across the world, Pandrol has a hugely diverse product portfolio in order to meet this diverse and growing demand.


This has a significant impact on Pandrol’s logistics operations and so a rapid and reliable loading solution is essential to maintaining a satisfactory delivery schedule.

Since installation, the new modular dock has led to significant time savings ranging from 10 to 20% depending on the nature of the load.


“We need to make our processes as flexible as possible to serve the many different clip types we produce,” said Ivan Russell, Project Manager at Pandrol. “We take strive to improve our lead-times and ‘on-time delivery’, so quick changeovers in production are vital to achieving this.”



As part of the installation, training was provided by Darmax to the Pandrol team in addition to an extensive aftercare service.


“It’s clear that the Darmax installation team take great pride in what they do,” continued Ivan. “We were pleased with the attentive service and aftercare provided to us; any snagging issues were handled well with excellent project management throughout.”