Reliable lift truck fleets help one leading cold storage company keep moving.

Brrrr. It's no secret that a cold refrigerated and frozen food warehouse environment presents certain equipment challenges to facility managers and employees.

One company that knows the subject well is United States Cold Storage, Inc. (USCS), a 110-year-old refrigerated warehouse operator. This Voorhees, N.J.-based company owns a national network of cold storage warehouses with more than 150 million cubic feet of combined space.

And because USCS is so good at its business ... it keeps growing. To better serve an estimated 1,200 customers nationwide, company officials constantly review sites for new locations. They consider major routes, interstate highways, rail service and proximity to customers. That recently led USCS to open two new sites in Wilmington, Ill., and Lebanon, Ind.

USCS also reviews its options inside each facility, including best practices and equipment for cold storage material handling. In both the Wilmington and Lebanon facilities, USCS  relies on Raymond® lift trucks, which not only stand up to the cold environments but also move up to 100 million pounds of product per month at these two locations.

Jim Duffy, USCS’ regional chief engineer, says lift trucks are the lifeblood of the distribution process. He worked with Arbor Material Handling, Inc., a Raymond sales and service center, to select the lift trucks for U.S. Cold Storage’s new facilities. The combined lift truck fleets total 71 trucks - including Raymond Reach-Fork® trucks, sit-down and stand-up counterbalanced lift trucks, order pickers, and pallet trucks - all utilized for various applications within the warehouses.

Lift trucks used in cold storage environments must be equipped to operate in severe temperatures, so all USCS narrow aisle lift trucks feature a cold storage conditioning package, which protects the lift trucks’ control systems.

In addition, USCS’ Reach-Fork lift trucks are equipped with the Raymond ThermaKit™ system to keep operators more comfortable when maneuvering in frigid temperatures – and even in blast-freezing operations, where the mercury can dip to -40