15 July 2019
With the 2019 Formula One Grand Prix (GP) season well underway, Rocla Rus, Russia’s importer of Cat® lift trucks will be thinking ahead to September and the Russian GP. Each year one of the Rocla Rus dealers, KIT LLC, partners with Rosgonki, the Russian GP organiser, in a high-profile, high-speed logistics challenge.
When the Russian GP comes around, Rocla Rus and Rosgonki must get everything in place, on time and then demounted ready for the show’s next stop, however far away and no matter how soon. The colourful grid and pit lane could never appear without an army of support workers and a fleet of forklifts and other materials handling vehicles behind the scenes.
The demand for timely, reliable and efficient logistics management
A forklift truck fleet of 50, 80, or even more is required on site, depending on the needs of the teams and the season scheduling. The 2018 Russian GP took place two weeks after the Singapore event but only seven days before the race in Japan. Getting everything erected and then demounted is time-critical; eagle-eyed viewers watching on TV may have even seen the giant Rolex timing gantry being taken down while the presentation ceremony was still under way.
It’s a complicated, time-critical job, where errors and omissions are not an option. Rocla Rus will work together with other forklift truck suppliers to provide support and services to Rosgonki, the Russian GP organiser, and to DHL, FOM’s global logistics partner, to ensure everything runs to schedule.
Bringing F1 and logistics teams together
Formula One Grand Prix (GP) is a globe-spanning logistics web that brings together teams from the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Austria and Germany, with engine suppliers from Japan, Italy, Germany and France, to racetracks on every continent on earth – with the predictable exception of Antarctica!
While they may carry flags from across the world, the teams are largely based in Europe: seven in the UK, including the ‘forward base’ of USA team Haas F1; two in Italy; and one (Alfa Romeo Sauber) in Switzerland.
DHL, the logistics partner for Formula One Management (FOM), has established two coordinating centres for its high-speed clients: in London and Munich. For the longer-haul events, including the GPs in Russia, the Far East, Australia, South East Asia and the Americas, teams transport their freight and equipment to these centres, where DHL takes over onward carriage.
It is quite an undertaking. Even a smaller team will carry around 25 tonnes of equipment to each race. Larger organisations, like McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, will take twice as much. Up to nine cargo aircraft will be employed to transport all the equipment needed by the teams, to make them ready to race.
Once at the track, the materials handling fleet available to the organisers, such as Russia’s Rosgonki, will be made up of a huge variety of vehicles including golf carts, low-frame trailers, compact lorries and scooters, along with 3- and 5-. In particular, Cat® 3-tonne forklifts will be seen in the paddock, in the pits and even on the track, before and after the event itself. Tow trucks and telescopic loaders will be placed strategically around the circuit, ready to assist ‘carelessly parked’ cars that are unable to make their way back to the pits under their own power.
For Cat® Lift Trucks, there will be a sense of pride in seeing its products in action on such a glamorous stage.
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