Discussion:
Forklift Truck Association

To my friends across the pond, has anyone had any interaction with the FLTA? Seems like a good concept, but I have no first hand knowledge. It seems independents like me could join ( if I were in the UK)- is this correct? How's their training & apprenticeship progrms? Any info would be appreciated- Thanks.
  • Posted 28 Mar 2012 23:28
  • Discussion started by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Showing items 1 - 14 of 14 results.
Thanks johnr j- I stand corrected.
  • Posted 1 Jun 2012 03:57
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Let me add a little confusion & clarification to this thread. Most manufacturers in the US will sell direct to the end user - this has been done since since the late 60's/earlier 70's with Clark & Hyster leading the way (they were both "Kings of The Lift Truck Mountain" during that time period). Of course, they rely on their respective authorized dealers for after sell support, service, parts, warranty, etc. and typically the receiving dealer gets a bit of commission to do pre-delivery inspection & final deliver to the using location.
And even today with "demanding" large users (National Accounts) the manufacturers does provide central service billings, rental equipment, etc.
  • Posted 29 May 2012 10:06
  • Modified 29 May 2012 10:15 by poster
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
"Have An Exceptional Day!"
Ok. A manufacturer builds the forklift. The big European manufactures will probably deal direct (sell and rent) and have a large sales force and service team. This is jungeheinrich, linde and more recently Toyota although they gained their direct team from BT.

Dealers and independents are third party intermediataries. They buy from the manufacturer and sell or rent to the customer. There is not much difference between a dealer and an independent in
function but there is in size. Barlow and Briggs buy from hyster and Yale and market them. A smaller dealer may sell Mitsubishi, still, or another Korean or Chinese make.

It doesn't matter if you are a dealer, manufacturer or an independent. Everyone is selling, renting, servicing or whatever else to get in front of the other! The methods maybe different but the goals are the same.
  • Posted 29 May 2012 07:47
  • Reply by Misterlift
  • England, United Kingdom
Misterlift- I'm a bit comfused. In the UK- what is the difference between a dealer, independent & manufcturer?

Here in the US an independent is a service company with no affiliation with a manufacturer- therfore they can't sell/rent new equipment. That is what I am. Dealers can be-A) franchised privately owned entities or-B) factory owned entities that buy/sell/rent equipment to customers. Manufacturers strictly build the machines & sell those machines to dealers. Manufacturers don't deal directly with customers, they do so thru the dealer network.
  • Posted 29 May 2012 01:41
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
bbforks - no, on the contrary, they thrived on it. In fact the FLTA became the independent's voice.

Whereas before, they simply picked up work that the manufacturers felt was too small, instead, they picked up a franchise of a lesser known make, or became a sub-dealer of a larger Company and rented against the big boys. Rental gave them an opportunity of competing against the manufacturers on more of an even base. manufacturers sold (rented) on the strength of the name, independents on the strength of the local contact.

Independents were largely formed out of ex-engineers moving from the manufacturers offering a local service. Rental gave them fresh opportunities.
  • Posted 28 May 2012 05:13
  • Reply by Misterlift
  • England, United Kingdom
In another post about the difference in sales between Europe and America it came to light about the difference in how we trade so differently. American companies buy equipment and European companies rent (hire) equipment. Misterlift stated that independents started this montra years ago and the FLTA helped further it along. My question now is, if most companies hire equipment, did this practice put independent forklit service companies out of business? Are there any left, and if so are they prevelent or just a few?
  • Posted 26 May 2012 12:59
  • Modified 1 Jun 2012 03:58 by poster
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
I appreciate both your inputs. I am formulating an idea which I will put out in another forum for suggestions & I'm planning on contating the FLTA. I'm just gathering information at this point.
  • Posted 1 Apr 2012 05:30
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
We have been members for a number of years and believe the association has been very successful and is useful.

It is an excellent source of information and they were the first people to put meaning and practice into regular" Thorough Examinations"

As already stated their Training courses provide an opportunity to smaller companies to achieve standards that were previously only available to the Multi Nationals

As a small independent operator we have found them extremely helpful and suggest that even though you are in the US it would still be worth your while making contact with them
  • Posted 30 Mar 2012 22:57
  • Reply by Normandy
  • Co. Cork, Ireland
When I said hirer, I refer to offering rental. 30 years ago, everyone purchased the equipment, today most people rent them. The independents largely were the forerunners of this with the FLTHA beitan their bond. The manufacturers eventually caught up.

Why don't you pool opinion in one of the more popular forums on this site as there are a lot of US based people who voice opinions online? You never know where it ay lead?
  • Posted 30 Mar 2012 13:25
  • Reply by Misterlift
  • England, United Kingdom
When I said hirer, I refer to offering rental. 30 years ago, everyone purchased the equipment, today most people rent them. The independents largely were the forerunners of this with the FLTHA beitan their bond. The manufacturers eventually caught up.

Why don't you pool opinion in one of the more popular forums on this site as there are a lot of US based people who voice opinions online? You never know where it ay lead?
  • Posted 30 Mar 2012 13:25
  • Reply by Misterlift
  • England, United Kingdom
I do agree that such an organization should be run by forklift guys, not suppliers. It should be about the transfer of information, strength in numbers, etc, not selling someone something. I appreciate your feedback. My only question to your response is that " the independents were essentially hirers of equipment". I don't understand what that means. Sorry I'm dense.
  • Posted 30 Mar 2012 01:08
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Yes it did. The independents were essentially hirers of equipment and BITA were only interested in manufacturing and selling equipment. It issued guidelines on hiring and maintenance contracts - something BITA would never touch as their membership were not interested. The FLTA used to be called the Fork Lift Truck HIRE Association (FLTHA)

Yes the apprenticeship programme has been a success. They have linked in with a college in order that the academic side is covered as well.

As regards the US I guess the biggest problem would be the size of the country. The UK is small although very densely populated. You would need to keep it regional being relevant to the markets in your area.

As mentioned previously, there is little emitting from the organisation these days as the initiatives are a continuation from decades ago. I do get frustrated that it is not run by lift truck people - more by suppliers who want to be seen as central to the industry for their own gain.
  • Posted 30 Mar 2012 00:51
  • Reply by Misterlift
  • England, United Kingdom
In the beginning, did it give a voice to the independents? Did it fulfill it's mission? Has anyone gone through it's apprentiship program? Here in the states there's no association for independents. This is the only forum I've found for support.
  • Posted 29 Mar 2012 23:50
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
The FLTA was a body set up many years ago to act as a voice for the independents who could not be heard through the British Industrial Truck Assocation who represented the strong manufacturing base that existed in the UK all those years ago. The reality since is that there is hardly any manufacturing in the UK anymore so the BITA membership really consists of importers who share very similar needs to the dealers who are represented by FLTA.

Whilst both organisations claim to be at the heartbeat of the industry, BITA tends to look at policy, legislation, statistics and compliance. FLTA looks at best practice, health and safety, apprenticeships and, as it appeals to a wider audience, is better supported. Their annual awards night is recognised as being the industry social event.

Both organisations do excellent jobs representing their memberships. Perhaps the only problem is that supplier industries tend to dominate the membership in an attempt to gain visibility to the industry. These maybe battery or leasing companies so meetings and social events become dominated with suppliers to the lift truck industry rather than the lift truck industry itself? Consequently, the suppliers occupy positions of influence which is not always a good thing.
  • Posted 29 Mar 2012 04:52
  • Reply by Misterlift
  • England, United Kingdom

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