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Premium Brands what are they really
Now i know people are going to say how can you say this and what your comment in KION 20202 about there being no real product development since the original Clark product developed in 1917, Ok there might have been some developments but the fact is that all IC counter balance forklifts are clones of the original Clark trucks with the basic design the same now as it was then.

Now if you were to go back to 2006 just 8 years ago and look at the mobile phone market. Blackberry and Nokia were leading the way. then in 2007 apple brought out a phone that was like no other phone before it , it had a full touch screen you could browse the internet you could listen to music you could down load apps. The customer until this point did not even relies he needed this phone , new industries developed like BB forks pointed out that changed industries other companies like Google and Samsung developed more new ideas and customers expectations changed and so did a industry over night. No longer were the premium brands of Blackberry and Nokia premium brands.

Then Apple brought out the ipad and again changed another industry and will change more like publishing. Customers are willing to change and change very quickly wants they can see an advantage of a new idea or product and companies that were seen to be premium brand like Blackberry and nokia will no longer be seen as a premium brand. remember in less than 8 years apple not only changed a industry they were not even part of before they also change what a premium brand was
  • Posted 19 Jun 2014 12:48 AM
  • • Modified 19 Jun 2014 12:51 AM by poster
Total replies: 15. Showing items 1 - 15 of 15 results.
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
Dave, in my not all that humble opinion, your statement above shows a rather myopic view of history in things you must not have been as 'intimately' knowledgeable about as you are in the forklift industry. unless you believe Apple's patent claim that they invented the rectangle, then you are only seeing or claiming a limited view of how 'interpersonal communication devices" (not 'just telephones') have evolved in the last 30 years, and how Apple managed to use advertising to leverage a loyal customer base to sell their product as if it was some new thing, rather than an Apple wrapper for the same thing others had already created. {I am soooo tempted to ask if you think Microsoft invented software or computer operating systems, too}
I am all for 'thinking outside the box', but I sometimes think we don't give enough credit to those whose shoulders we all stand upon as far as having tried and retried other methods of doing things that have been rejected over a long term as 'not the best way currently'.
I would greatly disagree that Apple has either changed an industry they were not part of, nor have they changed what "premium" means. IMNSHO, the Apple business model is closer to what SAAB was aiming for in the early 70s than what Google has been in the last 30 years.

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 19 Jun 2014 09:48 PM
  • • Modified 22 Jun 2014 10:59 PM by poster
Hi Daveilift.
You called, here I am.

First - I am a total idiot, concerning the mobile phone industry, although the analogy looks for me a bit wrong.
What Apple has done is, for me, simply the change of the telephone into the computer. These two branches are getting closer all the time and now, with all the tablets etc the two devices are getting integrated into one.

Forklifts cannot be integrated with cars, boats or planes.
Better analogy for me is the wheel.
Generally it didn't change from 6000 years.
Does it mean it didn't develop?
There were some groundbreaking inventions concerning the wheel within the ages.
The spokes, later the rims, tyres, pneumatics etc.

The forklifts are specialised machines.
I don't know if it was Clark or Yale (they claim so) who equipped the tractor with mast and forks.
But in the meantime things changed.
And there were some groundbreaking inventions too.
Clarks hydrokinetic transmission, Linde hydrostatic transmission, Lansing reach trucks, order pickers with the driver compartment lifted etc.
All these issues were invented to extend the simple forklift usability, save the costs, human efforts etc.

Now the premium issue.
Premium is obviously the marketing expression, but it describes the real or alleged advantages of the particular product in comparision to standards dominating the market. I appreciate the marketing persuasion role in it, but at the end of the day the market verifies the real advantages.
When, after the advertising heat is down, the customer is ready to pay more for something, it means, he feels he gets more for his money. It can be the feeling of safety (quality, service), costs reduction, higher efficiency. And he really gets it. This is what I name "the premium product".

I think, that the first guy who sold the wheels with spokes charged for them more than for the standard, solid ones.

I know your deepest secret fear...
  • Posted 19 Jun 2014 09:59 PM
just a number of points

1, until apple brought out the iPhone the phone market did not change in a really big way. this was the first of the big changes

2, Both Blackberry and Nokia were worth tens of Billion before the new phones came out. Now they are worth single Billions

3, when you are looking at IC counterbalance forklift there has been no development by forklift manufactures. Linde new transmission that was developed in the mid nineties was developed with Eaton who had been supplying these to forklift manufactures like Shaw and Boss from the mid early 70's or possibly mid 60's

4 again the only people that decide a product is premium is the marketing guy's who try to encourage a customer to pay more for a simple product.

Now if any one can say were any basic development of the IC counterbalance forklift has come in in the last 90 years please say.
Electronic controls are not really a development can they be repaired quicker no are they lower cost no. By development i mean something that has changed the industry Take sideloaders this has seen major developments over the years , in the Mid seventies Shaw developed the first Jacklass sideloaders , In the Mid eighties SSP developed the underdeck engine and then you have combilift who have developed this even further. This is development

If one company can say their product is premium against another it might be one of the Japanese companies who have everything under their manufacture. or say in electric like crown who produce around 90% them selfs. Buying in product like engine or a transmission that is the same as others don't make a premium product. In fact like i say there is no premium product in industry only cleaver marketing
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 12:31 AM
  • • Modified 20 Jun 2014 12:40 AM by poster
  • bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
I would agree that the main design of the sit down, counterbalanced, internal combustion engined forklift hasn't changed much since it's initial debut, but just because the design hasn't changed I wouldn't say there hasn't been any development.

A few things have been tried & proved to be worth the investment
(the Hyster/Yale monotrol pedal,steer axles w/power steering cyl's mounted, etc come to mind), & a few things have proven themselves to just be a good thought, but not commercially viable (the ole' Hyster Mono-mast upright-3 wheeled pnuematic trucks). Change is inevitable & the market always steers the way.

I think the lesson to be learned over the last 100 years or so is that end users of forklifts will always favor the least expensive, most durable forklift available. Back when Toyota & Nissan broke into the US market, they were ALOT cheaper & just as durable as the American brands of the time. Now that the playing field is again full of highly functional durable lifts, with each one being "premium" in one way or another, there's again room for a less expensive "standard" lift- the question is- will the players in this field be as "durable" as the premium models they're competing against- again- time will tell.

As far as the comparison w/phones- thru clever marketing the phone has become a necessity which you now can't live without. The players will always change based on the new widget. Combining a phone w/ a computer was a success & whatever company thought of it clearly outdid it's competitors- for now.

I'm not quite sure how this scenario would play out in our industry- don't know what you could combine a forklift with that would be a benefit for the end user- especially one they would pay for.

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 09:03 AM
  • swoop223
  • North Carolina, United States
without going into trying to reinvent the wheel here i'd say.....


yeah i'd like to know what is considered premium brands versus non-premium brands too ;o)

this could be interpreted in so many ways it would be hard to decide which is premium and which is not.

What specifically are you aiming this point at? the whole picture in the lift market? or just parts? design interpretations? build infrastructure and design? the whole truck versus parts? all of the above?

my first intial thought when i first saw this was that a 'premium' brand was the brand that has been around the longest with the best reputation, all the copycat brands are just 2nd hand aftermarket types that could be considered 2nd quality compared to the original recipe so to speak ;o)

but everyone has their own interpretation of what this consists of i guess.

You've been swooped!
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 03:23 PM
Well swoop

what i was meaning in what made a perineum brand would be best described as value for money. If you go back to who has been in the market the longest then you have Clark and Yale.

Some marketing guy's will say their product is a premium product so they can charge more for this. An example of this might be European manufactures but these only do well in Europe.Some might say they have uniqueness in design a example of this might be Rushlift and the 45 ton truck they supplied to PD ports not having the generator on the rear ballast weight giving better rear visibility. It could also be a service company who could be at a brake down in under 2 hours.

If a company uses all the same parts as a lot of OEM'S do then if one is a premium product and the other who uses the same products is not then how can this be the case. if there is no real difference. if you were to look at a 16,000kg forklift the majority of OEM's use either a Cummings or Volvo engine most use a ZF transmission so what would make say Kalmar a premium product and Sany not a premium product. They both have the same engine and transmission.

now you could say that Kalmar dealer offers a better service so there fore its a Premium product, but in this case is not the dealer that is offering better value for money in his service and not the manufacture so it's the dealer who is what they like to call premium.
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 04:52 PM
  • • Modified 20 Jun 2014 04:58 PM by poster
In my opinion the matter is rather simple.
Premium product is the one, where you get some added values and you are ready to pay for it.

As an example I take the Linde hydrostatic drive (it was implemented into the truck in late fifties of XX century) which is such added value.

It gives you smooth control of the traction, costs reduction on brakes, engine gearboxes and general operation of the truck (like forward and reverse drive without need to stop or slow down the truck)
Additionally, only Linde has developed the proven and reliable hydrostatic drive, so even other brands use it. (like Combilift).
Other manufacturers tried to implement their own or some OEM drive (like Jungheinrich tried Rexroth) but failed.

The competitors try to obtain the similar traction abilities of their trucks (like Yale Productivity or Still with its combined IC/electric trucks) but it's still an... emulation.
Many years ago the customers decided to pay for it. And Linde conquered the market. We must remember, that in fifties and sixties the marketing techniques were not so sophisticated as now, so the marketing guys were not so influential.

I know your deepest secret fear...
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 07:25 PM
Hydrostatic transmission is such a big thing now even Toyota are starting to offer it on IC counterbalances.

Torque convertor OR hydrostatic, tick the box of your choice as both are available to order.

A Toyota hydrostatic counterbalance will gain new customers, I know a few customers who really love the Toyota SAS system BUT hate the torque convertor transmission so they wont buy them & go for a hydrostatic Linde instead.
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 08:19 PM
  • swoop223
  • North Carolina, United States
ok then....

based on that what you are saying is it is not the product that is the determining factor, it is the dealership representing the product and the services they provide that makes the difference between a premium product versus a regular or non-premium product. So in effect the product is still just an average brand product and the dealership makes it seem like a premium one through their services they provide.

now if you want to compare components each machine has and try to base wether its a premium component or not then i see your point there also. Lets take electric trucks for instance, the control panels now seem to go across the board as either sauer danfoss or zapi or curtis depending on the model truck and manufacturer and if you pay close attention you would notice while working on different brand trucks that they all seem to use the same ones with some small differences between the brand design but overall they have the same main core components. Even the motors seem to be made by the same companies like GE or prestolite or Leeson. Contactors are either GE or cableform or Curtis albright. Horn button and horn design's are all the same patterns... things such as this a tech tends to notice when working on different brand trucks.
So yeah... how does a customer really know if his truck is a premium truck by design or is it just by what they are being told by the dealership or manufacturer.
Take IC truck engines...
i think edward described that to a T on the fact all brands use the same base engines and from year to year they tend to switch those among each other when they make changes in their model lines, almost like they put the engines on a roulette wheel and whoever lands on what engine gets that engine to put in their truck hehehe. But in the end you might see a Nissan k21-25 engine in a Mitsubishi, a cat or a GM 2 Liter in a hyster or a Yale etc etc.
Now i personally have seen the assembly lines in greenville north carolina at the nacco plant (hyster/yale) and both trucks are built and assembled there, the assembly lines are like a checkerboard with both brand trucks running down the same lines and i'm sure cat and mitsu are the same way at thier plants.
So how can one brand say they have a superior product over another when they are both made at the same plant? Actually they cant.... like you say... its the service end that may determine that factor whether their product is 'premium or not' imo.

You've been swooped!
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 08:24 PM
Similar thing in the automotive world in Europe.

Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 & Peugeot 107 are all built in the same factory set up as a joint venture between Toyota & PSA Peugeot / Citroen.

They are all using Toyota running gear, the only bit's PSA Peugeot / Citroen supply are the wing side repeaters & the seats.

The only difference's between the 3 different cars are the trim, badging & some external body panels / lights.

The Toyota Aygo comes with a 5 year warranty & holds its second hand value well as it's seen as a small premium city car from a manufacturer with a reputation for looking after it's customers.

The C1 & 107 only come with a 3 year warranty & don't hold there second hand value well as there both seen as French from companies that cant build a reliable car & with a dealer network that doesn't know its backside from its elbow.

Same basic car, same factory, same people putting all 3 versions together, the Toyota Aygo is always seen as the better choice on the second hand market out of the 3 different versions as it's the one with a Toyota badge on it.
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 08:50 PM
What karait has claimed is total rubbish Linde Hydrostatic drive up till the mid 90's was a semi hydrostatic truck working through a range of cogs and gears. In the Mid 90'S Linde worked with Eaton to develop a swash plate system like other companies like rexroth use and Junghienrich and Toyota now uses. These systems are identical in how they operate. Toyota through Cassab have always had a hydrostatic truck so to put this into a Toyota is quite normal.

The point about the car is very true and may be if Citroen and Peugeot improved there warranty to five years as there should be no difference and improve their service network they could get a better price.

Also many companies do use the same trucks Mits cat, Hyster Yale Hamech Clark it will come down to the service company on the premium matter
  • Posted 20 Jun 2014 11:26 PM
  • bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
  • Posted 22 Jun 2014 12:46 AM
  • • Modified 22 Jun 2014 01:00 AM by poster

Concerning Linde hydrostatic transmission I'll stay with my opinion.
On the market there are still the trucks from 70's and 80's like 330 (manufactured between 01/1978 - 09/90) 331 (05/80 - 12/86), still very popular 351 (10/85 - 08/2003 - still in Xiamen) and 350 (10/90 - 03/07).
All these forklifts have pure hydrostatic transmission, and the only gears there are in the wheel reduction box.
I can serve you with the detailed diagrams of these trucks transmissions, and if you find there a single gear or cog, I will owe you a sixpack.
Additionally - I personally disassembled lots of 350's and 351's drives, and found no gear there. But the swash plates were there, I give you my word.
Well, perhaps I was lousy technician ;-)

Linde patented the hydrostatic drive sixty years ago and developed it since then. The solution was so revolutionary, that other companies tried to implement it. Hard to say, they succeeded.
It's like with the English lawn. Everybody wants to have such, but you need to care for it a 300 years to get comparable result.

Concerning the topic.
We can say, that IC forklifts did't change much (although they strongly developed), but forklifts as [url removed]'mon.
You ignored my remark concerning the reach trucks or narrow aisle trucks. But this was exactly the revolution comparable with Apple inventions on mobiles.

I know your deepest secret fear...
  • Posted 22 Jun 2014 01:52 AM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
I think we have indeed beat the analogy of cell phones [[url removed] interpersonal communications devices] to a "dead horse" status, but I also think we have narrowed the original question of; "what makes a premium brand" down to something I agree with, that being; it is actually the perception of 'quality after sales support' that creates the "premium".
I think the next real question that observation leaves begging is how does one, in the forklift industry, create "the perception of 'quality after sales support' that creates the premium", and that is the spot that {imho} almost -only- dealer principals have the power to control, and they have to be willing to share some of their earlier {premium} profits, and understanding what {premium} the customer expects [which is almost never; maximizing short term profit of the sales department].

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 22 Jun 2014 10:56 PM
  • • Modified 22 Jun 2014 11:58 PM by poster
To me Edward t is spot on its not the truck were the premium is its in the service after sales.. To me if a customer has ten say 3 ton trucks and the service guys say we will have a engineer on site for three days a week and have a spare truck in case of break downs. as against we will call in when we are in the area and if you brake down we will get to you as quickly as possible under five hours to be on site. then looking at these two the first one is a premium service. To me premium is giving something extra that no other company offers , if a customer can see he is getting something extra that in the long run will benefit him he might be willing to pay extra or a premium for it Like above. A premium to me is not saying over the life of the truck we will save you 15 dollars then charge 20 dollars extra for the cost savings.

As for Hydrostatics this could go on for ever Linde do say in their own marketing material that they worked with Eaton to develop the new swash plate system , this system has been used by many other companies like saur, Vickers, Rexroth ect for many years before Linde adopted it , so if the Linde system was so good before why change and why ask Eaton to help develop this. In my opinion the Linde truck over 6,000kg is the best on the market with the 396 and 1401. The problem is whether the customer feels the same way and looking at the sales of the 1401 they don't because it is to expensive. Is it a better truck and more efficient then the answer to that question will be yes then you go back to the question will you spend a extra 20 dollars to save fifteenth dollars
  • Posted 22 Jun 2014 11:42 PM
  • • Modified 22 Jun 2014 11:52 PM by poster
Total replies: 15. Showing items 1 - 15 of 15 results.

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