Winter Is Coming

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll know that winter isn’t welcome, and while Westeros might have reason to dread winter, we’ll give you a few hints and tips, so you don’t have to. 

Shorter days and longer nights

Winter means shorter days and longer nights, not everyone’s classic combination by any stretch. What’s more, you’re very likely to encounter some pretty foul weather too, which won’t help visibility an awful lot. 

Naturally, visibility is vital when operating your truck. So very helpfully, we’ve prepared some recommendations for you this winter, to help keep you safe:

  1. It’s darker later and earlier and if there’s some bad weather about, let’s face it, daylight doesn’t often get beyond ‘gloom’. So, make sure you check the warehouse has adequate lighting and replace lighting that hasn’t been working since Noah was a boy. Sounds obvious. It is, and it’s essential. 
  2. Never drive your forklift without removing ice, mud, snow, frost to begin with. Again, we think this is relatively obvious, but you’d be surprised. 
  3. Make sure you check that the wipers and lights on the forklift are functioning correctly. If you’re driving it, it’s your responsibility. 
  4. If it’s snowing outside, don’t be a plonker and drive in your t-shirt. Wrap up warm. When you’re comfortable you make better judgments. 
  5. Pedestrians working in areas where forklifts are in operation MUST wear high visibility clothing. It’s obvious, but surprising how often this one isn’t enforced. 

Be prepared

We all know about icy roads in winter, but what about heavy rain. With the recent floods across parts of the country, we know that extreme weather of any kind can change the operating surface that you’re driving on. When forklift manoeuvrability is compromised, there can be issues. 

Here’s some handy advice:

  1. First things first, make sure you use grit as a preventative, particularly on vulnerable surfaces. Have a can of de-icer available to get rid of any stubborn ice on the windscreen of your truck
  2. Sounds simple but be mindful of areas near outside doorways or sloping parts of the floor. Pooled water in icy conditions usually equals ice. Be careful. 
  3. Any speed awareness tutorials will inform you about stopping distances and how wet weather can adversely affect them. It’s no different if you’re operating a forklift. Where necessary, increase your following distance. 

Less haste, more speed

It’s not often we get a good snowfall in Warrington and the surrounding parts of the North West. However, if we did, and let’s not forget there’s plenty of other area’s that do, you should be mindful of resting snow and ice on the forks of your truck. 

We recommend that on a cold day, snow or not, you allow the forklifts hydraulics to warm up a little first. Doing so will improve their functionality.

Here’s some HGW basics:

  1. Make sure that snow and ice is cleaned off the forklift before picking up a load.
  2. Reduce your speed when transporting loads and cornering – less haste, more speed. It’s an old proverb, but a sage one!
  3. Don’t tilt your forklift until the load you’re stacking is almost in position.

And that’s it. If you follow our helpful hints and tips, you won’t fall foul of winters curse, and though it’s coming you needn’t fear it like House Stark (sorry, another Game of Thrones namedrop).

The best thing about winter is that spring follows on behind it. 

Forklift Services, Ready When You Are

If your forklift stock is a bit tired and you need an upgrade before winter does come, call us today for a chat about our numerous options. We’re always ready to impart our advice, after all, we’ve been in operation for 40 years – if we can, we’ll help. 

Contact us today! 

Combilift – A match made in the Warehouse

At 40 years old and counting, you’d expect absolute confidence and in-depth knowledge when it comes to forklift hire, and over that time we’d like to think we’ve learnt a thing or two about forklift trucks.

Ask any of our clients, and they’ll tell you that HGW understand the challenges their customers face when it comes to warehouse logistics. We’re not bragging here; it’s just that we know our stuff!

That’s why when it comes to forklift hire or leasing, we recommend with absolute confidence a specific type of forklift truck…

The good old Combilift.

The answer to life’s problems

If only life were that simple. However, when it comes to warehouse logistics, Combilift generally answers most questions we ask our customer’s such as:

  1. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to loading?
  2. What’s stalling your productivity?
  3. What’s preventing your warehouse efficiency?

Without sounding like a sales rep for Combilift, it’s fair to say that these machines offer the ultimate in innovation, efficiency and accuracy. 

Now we’re not glaring down the banks at other models, and each have their merits, but since this is a blog about Combilift we’ll continue bigging them up! 

Built to last

Combilifts are built to stand rigours of time and long load lifting. Offering outstanding manoeuvrability, they’ll happily glide down the narrowest of aisles, sideways, forwards, and backwards – it doesn’t matter what direction, they’ll gladly oblige. Its versatility personified.

They can also go through the gears when you need them too, particularly if you’re on a prominent site and if it sounds like we’re describing an elite athlete here, and we’re not – but – they do have fantastic stamina.

Last but not least, with their integrated load-bearing platforms, you’ll have perfect stability during transport too.

Industry uses

Combilifts are ideal for several industries, and we’ll break down a few for you here – we’re helpful like that:


Combilifts are the perfect machine for this industry. With double handling and secure transfer of product from trailer to racking, they’re a natural choice. Long loads don’t have to be awkward loads anymore.


Meet your customers’ needs more efficiently by managing your loads with more haste, less speed. With sideloader forklifts, you’ll have the flexibility to manage more loads in less time.


If you want to reduce overall handling, work inside and out without interruption, increase storage density and increase cost-efficiency, then there’s only one solution. Do we need to say it?

Trust us; we’re HGW

Ever since Harry Wood started this business over 40 years ago, our motto has always been the same:

‘Invest in our people, and they’ll invest in our clients.’

With a track record to be proud of and an ever-growing customer base, you can trust us!

When capacity is definitely king in the warehouse and broader logistics industry, we can honestly say that Combilift will give your business the efficiency you need to invest in your clients.

So, if you were in forklift pickle before you read this, we hope you’re now a little more enlightened. We’re a friendly bunch at HGW and we love to talk – contact us, and we’ll happily advise you through your current warehouse conundrum. 

Leasing your next warehouse solution

What do you know about leasing?

Well, if you can spare us 5 minutes, we’ll try and summarise its history. We’ll also endeavour to convince you that leasing could be the ideal solution for your business by introducing the king of forklifts. 

Historic note

Before we divulge who the ‘King of forklifts’ is, we’ll begin at the beginning – ‘leasing’ as a concept has been around for years, particularly when it comes to cars. Indeed, in the United States, leasing has been around since 1914, introduced by a gentleman called Zollie Frank. Though Frank wasn’t the architect of 20s American consumerism, he certainly enabled it to thrive! Indeed by the late 1940s/early 50s, most households plugged into the latest gadgets and climbed into a brand new car. 

How was this possible when the rest of the world was struggling to overcome a war-ravaged economy? Well, historians will argue that there were many factors. However, most will agree that the availability of brand, spanking new technology made ‘affordable’ by leasing and credit contributed to a surging post-war economy.

Skip to the end

Over on these shores, leasing is a relatively new concept. Always the last person to turn up at a party, Britain didn’t buy into the idea until the 1990s. Even then it had to take a financial crisis for leasing to gain any traction over here. By 2014, after years of steady growth in the broker contract hire market, car lease figures were up by a whopping 40%.


So all of this talk of leasing – what does that have to do with HGW? 


King of the warehouse

Well, quite a lot! Now that you know a bit about the history of leasing, did you know that WE also offer leasing type deals? 

We understand the market as well as any leading car company and know that good King Combilift forklift truck doesn’t come cheaply. So make an educated guess at what’s an affordable way of getting your hands on a Combilift steering wheel.

Now, allow us a moment to indulge in the ‘King of forklifts’…

A Combilift forklift truck is a magnificent specimen; it was the world’s first IC engine-powered all-wheel-drive, multi-directional forklift trucks. If you didn’t know these gorgeous trucks were a counterbalanced forklift/side loader, then where have you been over the last 12 years?  

Now, you might be questioning our gushing tone when describing a Combilift – why croon over what is essentially a piece of warehouse equipment? Well if you’ve used one of these multi-directional, space-saving, designed with long loads in mind, hybrid wonders, you’d understand why! The best thing – we’re breeding them here at HGW!

Introducing George – lease hero

If you’re eager to get your hands on a lease option, we’ll forgive you if you’d prefer to stop reading here and cut to the chase – click on this link and bon voyage.

If you’ve fallen under our literary spell, then carry on reading as we begin to discuss the finer points of JRR Tolkien and his impact on modern-day society. 

Just kidding!

Yes, we do have Combilifts available for leasing. Moreover, if you’re anything like George, you’ll not regret opting for a lease.

George, who’s real name we can’t divulge, is a customer who realised that a conventional counterbalance truck wasn’t ideal for his warehouse. He did some research and found out about the existence of a Combilift forklift truck. 

Happily for George, he knew who to ask when in the throes of a forklift truck crisis. We quickly made arrangements for a lease of a Gas powered Combilift – 4 ton 6-meter lift and George had a Combilift truck operating in his warehouse within a week. 

George has since had his picture added to his companies ‘wall of fame’. Top man.

Ask us; we’re here to help!

If you think leasing could be the ideal way for you to get your hands on a beautiful Combilift then contact us, we’re always happy to help out where we can. Moreover, with our team of experts, we’ll have you set up with a machine that fits your specifications – even if it’s not a Combilift. We’re flexible, and we’re here to help! 

Before you move onto BBC Sport, did you know that we have a LinkedIn profile? Connect with us and keep up to date with our latest news, models and general chit chat.

HGW and the environment – part 2

Carrying on our ‘green’ theme this month we’d like to take a very brief look at sustainability. 

You be forgiven for asking for a definition of sustainability at this point so I’ll happily provide you with one – put simply; sustainability is a business approach that looks to create longevity by operating in the ecological, social and economic environment. Living at a time when consumer expectations are being stacked against corporate responsibility, then we have a duty to act accordingly to these rising expectations.

Corporate responsibilities

So what does the corporate response to these rising expectations look like?

Well, here’s a few examples of companies who’ve stepped up to the plate by delivering a sustainable business approach:

  1. Adidas, that mighty sportswear colossus, have created a greener supply chain, targeting in particular the use of plastic bags. 
  2. Another sportswear giant, Nike have focussed on minimizing its footprint by reducing waste. 
  3. The chocolate supergiant, Nestlé, has focussed its attention on product life cycle, climate, water efficiency and waste.

These are just a few examples of major companies who’ve adopted a committed sustainable business model, tapping into the social consciousness and the very real issues brought to the fore by leading environmentalists. 

Momentous task?

Protecting our world can sound like an unfathomable, gargantuan and frankly impossible task! However, imagine throwing a big stone into the middle of a very calm lake. Now stay with me on this one – imagine the ripples of water spreading out to all four corners of this imaginative lake and as they do, they get wider and wider and more encompassing as they expand. Well, similarly if every company adopted a sustainable business approach then our societies would see in a very real sense, these ripples of change and environmentally friendly progression for the better.

Our commitment

What of HGW? We’re a family company who believe in community. Believing in community means believing in sustaining it for future generations. That’s why we now offer green alternatives when it comes to hiring or buying a forklift or pallet truck. 

Here’s some of our environmentally friendly options:

  1. Electric Forklift Trucks

Like electric cars you won’t hear this fume-free, environmentally friendly wonder as they’re battery operated which means that noise is reduced drastically. 

It’s a cheaper option than using our gas operated fleet and we think they’re easier to drive. They’re also good for your budget too, as the general maintenance and servicing cost of these trucks is significantly less than other options. 

  • Gas Forklift Trucks

Our LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) are extremely popular forklift trucks, largely due to their competitive pricing and multi-usage options. Unsurprisingly they’re much more environmentally friendly than their diesel cousins. They’re also quieter and with parts readily available, they’re easier on your purse strings! 

  • Pallet Trucks

Although our pallet trucks are small in comparison to their forklift relatives, they’re extremely durable, easily operated and manoeuvrable. Our range of electric trucks gives you a wide choice and an easy conscience when considering the environment and not to do ourselves out of a few bob, they cost a lot less than a forklift truck too! 


‘Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’

This quote form George Bernard Shaw might seem a little forthright but nevertheless it’s also very true. When talking about sustainability, change is required. If we don’t look at the issues affecting the world around us and respond accordingly, then we won’t be able to progress. Simple. 

So make a change today and contact our sales team for more information on our green range of forklift trucks for hire/sale. Don’t forget that green is the new yellow and it’s never too late to begin your sustainable journey….

HGW and the environment – more than an affair!

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’. 

Who’s heard of that saying before? Perhaps you’ve seen an internet advertisement with the phrase emblazoned across a half-eaten tomato or perhaps you’ve heard a celebrity chef harp mention it on the telly? It’s a strap line that’s been consistently used across all media since its conception in the 90’s. 

Ahhh the 90’s, now that was a decade of simplicity – with baggy trousers, indie music, dodgy haircuts, florescent t-shirts, and Kappa sports gear (anyone remember Kappa?). Dodgy fashion and awesome music aside (Stone Roses must get a mention) – it was a decade where all talk of climate change and environmental catastrophes seemed very remote. Perhaps it was something that might affect our children’s children but us? Nah! Fast forward to the present and in 2019 the reality is a lot closer wouldn’t you say? Crazy weather patterns, the mingling of seasons to the point of wearing t-shirts at Christmas instead of woolly jumpers and coats (this is actually true – it was 15º on Christmas Day 2017). 


So what this doomsaying have to do with HG Wood? Well quite a lot actually! Before we go on to discuss HG Wood, here’s what other companies are doing to address some of the major issues our society is facing.

Take Aldi, everyone’s favourite discount supermarket (the aye’s have it!) – according to the Retail Gazette, in July 2019 Aldi announced that it will be extending a trial to remove singular plastic use on items such as fresh vegetables. This one initiative, once rolled out over its 830 UK stores will save up to 100 tonnes of plastic a year! Yes you read that right! 100 tonnes!

It’s not just Aldi who are looking to change the way they operate but plenty of leading companies are beginning to wake up and realise that climate change is a real issue. Companies such as Lush are becoming increasingly dedicated to eco-friendly practices and in turn offer incentives to their likeminded customers. For example they’ll offer free products to customers who bring in empty packaging for recycling. 

Plastic bricks?

Back in 2014 The Guardian wrote an article on how communities in Guatemala and South Africa used plastic bricks as building material. Plastic bricks? Yes, this ingenious, inspirational and regenerative campaign looked to solve the surplus plastic by packing plastic bottles full of non-biodegradable waste as tightly as possible, thus producing the ‘EcoBrick’. Some 38 schools have been built in Guatemala using these techniques! 

Our commitment 

Now then what of HG Wood?  

Well in case you didn’t know green is the new yellow and in the parlance of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ we:

  • Refurbish used forklift trucks – reducing waste to landfill and reselling at a cheaper price
  • Reuse – reconditioning and getting more usage out of selected vehicles
  • Recycle – reworking and recycling parts, ensuring they meet manufacturer specification

Take a look at our 8 point programme – our very own green crusade:

  1. Selection

We carefully select used forklift trucks that have been maintained to the highest standards from new.

  • Inspection

The lucky vehicle then receives a rigorous 100 point mechanical, bodywork and consumable test and inspection.

  • Stripping

The selected vehicle is then stripped and cleaned.

  • Repair

All defects are replaced or repaired with OEM parts (naturally).

  • Paint /shop

Now it’s time for a recoat – the body work is stripped, repaired and repainted to manufacturer specification.

  • Replacement

Now it’s time for tyres, brakes and fluids to be replaced to manufacturer specification.

  • Warranty

Our bright, shiny and fully refurbished trucks are all supplied with our IMPACT standard three month parts and labour warranty.

  • Result

If you’re after hiring one of our fork lift trucks you may consider our clean, lean, green, fume-free electric vehicles which are completely free of harmful emissions. Being battery operated, you’ll also be saving on noise pollution too!

Trees of Green

So if you like trees of green, red roses too, skies of blue and clouds of white, forklift trucks that are efficient and bright, then join us in saving this wonderful world….(now there’s a song in there somewhere!)

Remember, remember – ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.’ 

Make Louis Armstrong proud and contact our sales team today for more information on refurbished forklifts for hire/sale and don’t forget our electric options! Green is the new yellow and your green journey begins now….

5 Tips For Renting Material Handling Equipment

Guaranteeing safety when using any material handling equipment is paramount. Having worked with hundreds of forklift operators across the country, we always stress care and these 5 tips:

1. Pre-Delivery Inspection – it’s integral that any machinery you rent, lease or purchase has a valid Thorough Examination Certificate, signalling that it meets LOLER regulations.

2. Delivery & Inspection – it may seem obvious, but whether you’re buying or renting used machines, always check the condition they’re in. Little things like dents, bumps and missing paint aren’t great signs of maintenance.

3. Read The Manual – every vehicle we supply comes with its own Safety Manual. And it’s integral that you familiarise yourself with how to use the machine, how to spot potential problems and how to do number 4.

4. Daily Maintenance Checks – put this on your task list as soon as the machinery turns up. Checking oil, testing lights, maintaining water levels and inspecting your tyre treads should all be completed daily.

5. Training – a simple question. Do you possess the right operational training? Does the rest of your team have the correct licences if they’re going to be using it? If you’re not sure what you need, you can always ask the team at HGW. We also have a training team on hand should you need them.

There you have it. Our Top 5 Tips to help guarantee you’re in the best place maintenance wise.

HGW Launch New Website

To mark our 40th year in business, we’ve gone for a little digital makeover. We’re delighted to finally launch our new website and a slight change to our name (goodbye “ood”).

When we launched in 1979, the world of material handling was a little different. Where we once had letters, now we have notifications. Our approach to delivering outstanding service hasn’t changed too much, but we’re always keen to adapt and change.

Our new website helps to bring us right up to date with today’s technologies and will prove to be another landmark in our history.

Here’s what we’ve done:

It’s All In The Name – H.G. Wood Lift Trucks is now HGW

Forty years ago, Harry Wood set out to offer an outstanding and unbeatable service. Since handing over the reins to our current MD and his son, Dave xx years ago, that philosophy has stayed true.

As the business continues to grow, acknowledging our heritage whilst embracing new and exciting ideas is what we feel will set us apart.

New Name, New Website

A key part of the HGW service is speed. Getting solutions to our clients in the fastest possible time. And in this digital world, it’s great to have an online presence that matches our offline approach.

Our new site allows you to browse our range of stock at a click of a button (or a swipe of your phone). We’ll be updating our stock regularly, adding the latest lines and running special offers, only available online.

Lastly, Thanks Again

It’s all well and good launching a new website, but without the support of both you, our customers, and our expert team of engineers, there wouldn’t be an HGW. We can’t stress enough how important you both are in our success.

With that, we’re looking forward to the next 40 years in business.

Which Forklift Truck Should I Rent?

When it comes to forklifts, it can seem like the choices are limitless. With different manufacturers, engine sizes and not forgetting your own team making suggestions, where do you start?

Our top tips below should be able to help. Read on!

The Reason Why

Sometimes, people can just miss out why they need something. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can hinder giving you best advice. Before you make a call or press “send email”, put some detail into:

  • The Demand Type – is it seasonal, unexpected, planned, emergency? Knowing the details on your demand will help to give you the best options (and save you time and money). Short term hire, contract hire, leasing and by the hour all have their pros and cons, which is why we ask why
  • Specialist Needs – occasionally, it might be that you need a certain piece of equipment to a very specific job done. Certain manufacturers tailor their forklifts for this, so bear this in mind and state key pieces of info where you can

Check Your Dimensions

When you’ve got a few people telling you what “they” think you need, things can quickly turn into a free for all. Metric becomes imperial, 6 foot becomes 1.83 metres and before you know it, you’re requesting things that aren’t needed.

To avoid any confusion, there’s an easy fix. Common sense and measurements. We’ve had requests for 8-metre lifting height forks when they only need to clear 2.

Give Us Your Breakdown

You don’t need to be an expert in everything. In fact, we offer a Free Site Survey to help find the perfect solution. But these details are always handy to tell:

  • What are the size and weight of the products you’re moving?
  • Are you using the forklift indoors or outdoors?
  • What kind of surface are you operating on?
  • Are there any height restrictions?
  • Do you have charging stations for electric forklifts/pallets?
  • And, very simply, how long do you need the forklift for?

P.S. There’s 3 foot 3 inches in 1 metre… just in case.