The latest deal continues the company’s long-term working relationship with Baumann USA, and was concluded under Lockheed Martin’s stringent quality requirements for suppliers, with representatives overseeing the manufacturing process and applying rigorous testing procedures.

Carrying a long load with a traditional counterbalance forklift presents a number of difficulties, particularly where safety is a key concern. It is difficult to see the width of a load when moving forward with the forks lowered. Travelling with the forks raised, however, is incredibly dangerous, and the main cause of tipping accidents. Sideloaders travel forwards with the load secure at the side. Travelling long distances or through narrow doorways and aisles is therefore simple.

The GX series features the next generation diesel engines, re-designed chassis, refined ergonomic cabins, and joystick controllers, offering the highest levels of durability and control in the market. Baumann’s patented Variable Reach System (VRS) also delivers high precision and productivity via the award-winning, low-maintenance Archimedes outreach method.

Included in the seven newly adapted GX models for Lockheed Martin are redundancy features that allow masts to be safely lowered and loads moved in the event of a complete engine cut-out. Other features, such as engine monitoring, rubber deck blocks, high grip deck surfaces, additional operator mirrors and additional reverse lights are all added to make the movement of critical components safe and ultra-reliable.

“We have a great working relationship with the company,” said Baumann USA CEO Rob Alling, “and welcome the attention to detail and involvement in the design and build stages. Like Baumann, Lockheed Martin establishes and maintains close and long-lasting relationships with suppliers as a way of maintaining a high level of quality. It’s therefore satisfying to know we continue to provide the very best levels of quality, productivity and support.”

Lockheed Martin builds sustainable supplier capacity by partnering with supply chain partners to reduce adverse environmental impacts, to promote human rights, health, safety and ethical behaviour, and to enable responsible supplier growth and raise standards. The company recognises that goods and services provided by suppliers have a key impact on the quality of the products, solutions and services it offers to customers.

As part of the order, Lockheed’s quality managers visited the Baumann factory to conduct a series of performance tests and examine every part of the design and build in detail.

Baumann managing director, Klaus Pirpamer, believes that Lockheed’s efforts to set the bar for conformity so high, and emphasise the quality of the production process, encourages improved standards throughout the business and has a knock-on effect for all customers. Said Klaus: “It’s a very thorough process. Three years ago Lockheed Martin visited us to look at our production methods and certify our production methods, and once again last year. Then they had to certify the first prototype and this year they certified the new models. We work hard to provide the best quality of design and manufacture in the market, and we have a number of quality assurance measures to prove it. That said, it is immensely satisfying to work with the best and the true measure of our quality is the fact that many of our customers have used our products for many years, perhaps even decades.”

Lockeed Martin’s business depends on a reliable, global network of skilled suppliers that provide the materials, parts and services to make the products that are delivered to their customers mission-ready and on time. Based in Cavaion on the shores of Lake Garda, Baumann has led the sector for over 50 years, and now sells its products worldwide through 106 dealers in 76 countries. The double Fork Lift Truck Association Innovation award winner produces equipment up to 60 tonnes capacity, and has a reputation for consistent invention and the highest level of design and productivity. In recent years, a number of important markets for Baumann have seen equipment capacities increase and industries such as timber, steel and concrete producers rediscovering the art of working sideways.