The history of Kalmar’s straddle carriers dates back to the late 1940s, when many Finnish factories were required to produce items that had never been manufactured before in Finland to aid in war reparations to the former Soviet Union. At the time, the odd looking machine, which Finnish engineers dubbed the “spider”, was recreated from a small, grainy photograph.
The company’s first 1,500 straddle carriers were used for transporting boards and other heavy cargo at sawmills, with the first proto-types of today’s machine evolving during 1975-76 as the modern shipping container became a worldwide standard.
“We are extremely proud to receive the 5,000th straddle carrier in Sydney”, said Alistair Field, director, Patrick Terminals and Logistics. Automated units have been used in commercial operations at the company’s Brisbane terminal since 2005, becoming the first fully automated container handling system of its kind in the world. Patrick is now building a similar system at its Sydney terminal.
Over the past year Kalmar has introduced a new range of engines for its straddle carriers, which are designed to meet the increasingly stringent exhaust emission regulations. In addition, energy efficiency, automation, safety and ergonomics are critical areas of development in the next generations of machines, according to Tero Kokko, vice president, Horizontal Transportation.