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Foundry Utilizes Lead Edge Forklift Technology

Businesses around the world entrust and rely on AAM (American Axle & Manufacturing) Casting, located in Reedsburg, WI to design, engineer, validate and manufacture driveline, metal forming, and casting technologies. 

The company is comprised of 68 plants in total, 15 of which are casting foundries throughout the United States. 
Wolter had the opportunity to meet with Jason Genord, Maintenance and Engineering Manager for AAM.

Wolter and AAM formed a partnership with the focus on rotating their forklift fleet to the Linde product line. 
The plant currently runs 57 forklifts, 9 of which have been converted to Linde. As their alternative branded trucks age, additional Linde’s are scheduled to be rotated in.

When asking Jason what drew him to Linde forklifts he explained, “It really came down to total cost of ownership, sealed protection of major components, and the hydrostatic drive.”

Linde’s Hydrostatic Drive is known for its unmatched durability and efficiency in foundry applications. These forklifts serve as the superior alternative to standard torque converter forklifts due to their longer lifespan, economical fuel costs, and low maintenance due to the elimination of traditional moving parts.

Each feature of the Linde Hydrostatic Drive significantly reduces the maintenance and parts expense throughout the lifetime of the equipment, justifying a slightly higher initial cost.

When visiting the facility, Wolter had the chance to speak with one of AAM’s Maintenance Leads, Vince Denofrio, on what he likes most about Linde forklifts verse others. Denofrio described the Lindes as “quality built and engineered, with smooth craftsmanship.”

Before incorporating Linde forklifts into the operation, the facility encountered damage to exposed hoses, brake issues, steering linkage, motors, and tire wear. The forklifts would frequently go into failure around 8,000 hours. 

With Linde engineered forklifts, 12,000-20,000 hours of operation is expected thanks to the hydrostatic drive.
Wolter and AAM’s Linde representative, worked diligently with Jason Genord to implement the right forklift that offered considerable resilience in the harsh application. 

“When it came down to choosing the trucks and switching over, we were looking for the best truck we could buy,” Jason explained. “It came down to the total cost of ownership, and factoring in lifetime maintenance and parts expenses." 

Wolter’s Janesville, WI facility plays a key role in ensuring that AAM’s forklifts are taken care of at all times.  

While discussing how AAM and Wolter have formed a partnership beyond lift truck transactions, it was mentioned that Wolter’s Janesville team delivers exceptional service and response time. 

When they require a part or rental equipment, the staff is highly accessible and ready to assist, no matter what time it is. 

In addition to partnering with AAM for equipment needs, Wolter also works with the company on technical training for their forklift mechanics. 

Denofrio mentioned that Eric Sauer, Senior Technical Trainer for Wolter, is a wealth of knowledge in his technical training classes. Also mentions that the technical training is “above what anybody else offers.”

Over the years, the partnership between AAM Casting and Wolter has not only created a more productive and efficient operation but a great communication circle and trusting business relationship.  

With the help of Wolter, AAM Casting can now focus less on their material handling equipment and more on their business. 

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