Category: Letters to the editor

Memories of a Young STORAX Buck

Memories of a Young STORAX Buck

When James suggested I write a few words about my experiences working with Barpro Storage SA I felt very honoured to be asked so many years after having left the UK HQ to work in the automotive industry.

 

So maybe I should start at the beginning. Gert Wolfson and Peter Spears were having great success in bringing the concept and benefits of mobile racking to the cold storage industry in South Africa, the number of installations was increasing fast & Peter needed to spread the load of the admin, costing estimation, quotations and project co-ordination side of things.

Luckily for me I was in the right place at the right time!

 

I was also very fortunate to be given the opportunity to come and visit your beautiful country on a number of occasions.

 

I worked with Peter, Gert, and later on with James on South African projects from 1994 until the time I left in Autumn 2000 and, as you can imagine, working with such great characters, there were many happy and fun times. Many of these stick in my mind and I often look back on them and smile.

 

A couple of examples spring to mind:-

  • Hosting many visits to the UK from South African customers with myself acting as chauffeur and tour guide around the UK was really great, I got to meet so many lovely people, the several I&J minibus tours were particularly memorable!
  • Arriving in Jo’burg for a 10 day visit to RSA, feeling not quite 100%, and then awaking the next morning with chicken pox – I was quarantined to my room for 10 days, being released just in time to get my flight back to the UK!
  • A particular favourite of mine this one. Arriving in Joburg to the car rental office to collect the usual Toyota Corolla only to be told that I was being upgraded to a brand new Mercedes E Class Estate. Great you might think? Unfortunately I was due at a customer for a final delicate price discussion where either we could agree and the customer would place the order, or we would not agree and the customer would unfortunately go elsewhere…the customer saw me arrive and with a wry smile on his face asked whether this was the usual choice of STORAX hire car! Oh dear. We didn’t win that business, but hopefully 20 years later James tells me we may be lucky enough to supply that customer, eventually we may have been forgiven!

In summary, I have so many great memories of supporting the STORAX South Africa story, but I think above all, it is the warmth & kindness of all the people I met (colleagues, customers, suppliers, and friends) throughout my time that will stay with me, THANK YOU to all of you, I truly mean it.

Chris Harris - Memories of a Young STORAX Buck

 – Chris Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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A readers’ perspective

Last month we received a response to our article, “What to do with sub-standard wooden pallets”, from a retired Managing Director of one of the UK’s biggest cold storage facilities,

 

“Good article on pallet quality problems. My company used pallet support beams on every installation after there was an instance of the tack welded load beams twisting with a subsequent opening up of the interweaved box section.  There were also similar problems with disposable or what we called “one way trip” pallets.

 

These were flimsy and totally unsafe for reach truck drivers to retrieve and put away.  Our cabbed reach trucks were equipped with a special strength Perspex overhead window. On one occasion a “one way trip” pallet collapsed while being moved on the fourth level at about 9 meters up. The boxes were small at 12.5 kgs and one smashed its way through the Perspex window, landing behind the driver’s seat. You can imagine what he felt like. After this we fitted an additional heavy mesh grid above the Perspex with an inbuilt safety hatch.

 

For additional protection, my company also switched to solid pallet supports on the bottom cantilever level made from thin steel sheeting rather than mesh. This solid plate arrangement was also used on the bottom pallet level to prevent detritus from falling into the bases and causing damage to the drive train.

 

damaged wooden pallet

 

 

Irrespective of Health and Safety considerations, caring employers shouldn’t allow product to be stored at high levels on unsafe pallets. It’s actually quite unfair to ask drivers to lift such death traps into and out of racking.

 

 

 

If a freezer is in the third party business, accepting broken pallets will become your responsibility not to mention any damage that may be done to the product stored on them. So it makes sense to have a simple system in place to identify, replace and charge for broken pallets when they arrive on site.”


For more information on pallet support beams and support grids contact us today!

A letter to the editor

Fezile Nganlama is a skilled fitter and turner who works for our company in Milnerton.  He lives in Khayelitsha.  On the night of Wednesday 27th of February two armed men entered his house   demanding cash and cell phones.  When these were handed over, one burglar instructed the other to “shoot the woman in the head.”  Through either inexperience or excitement the bullet entered her upper chest at an angle and exited through her shoulder blade.  The burglars fled. Fezile’s wife is pregnant.

Fezile Nganlama
Fezile Nganlama, a fitter & turner at Barpro Storage, experienced an horrific attack at his home. What are the Khayelitsha police doing about it ?

After getting her to Tygerberg Hospital, Fezile went to the Harare police station to make a  statement.  This took until the following Monday to finalise as he had to attend to his wife who was in agony and couldn’t be given strong painkillers.

Since that time the police have not visited his home or conducted a crime scene investigation. For them it appears to be just another paperwork exercise.

 

If Fezile’s experience is anything to go by, is it any wonder that the people of Khayelitsha have taken the law into their own hands?  The mob killing of Mido Macia is just another horrific   illustration of how far effective policing has broken down.

 

Minister Nathi Mthethwa must stop trying to neuter the inquiry into police inefficiency by squandering millions on an appeal to the Constitutional Court. Instead he must give it his full support.

 

James Cunningham, Cape Times, March 2013