Crown shows secret, withholds details

News Story
- 7 Aug 2009 ( #422 ) - New Bremen, OH, United States
2 min read
Crown's ESPN cover debut
Crown's ESPN cover debut
A soon-to-be-introduced forklift line from Crown Equipment Corp receives stylish but operationally incorrect exposure on the 27 July cover of ESPN The Magazine.

Crown is withholding details about the new line but suggests the forklift design will bring new levels of performance and productivity to a market niche in which Crown has not competed previously.

The fantasy football league photographic image shows a Crown-branded propane-powered forklift and has generated comments on the Forkliftaction.com Discussion Forum. As a result, Forkliftaction.com News contacted several figures in the forklift safety training community for opinions. Their comments are excerpted below and posted now in their entirety on the Discussion Forum.

A crew from ESPN posed Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on a pallet supported by the forklift, with Vikings fan Rocky Novak at the controls. The shoot with photographer Olugbenro Ogunsemore was held at the Vikings' facility in Eden Prairie, Minnesota under the guidance of Siung Tjia, the magazine's creative director.

As those in the materials handling industry know, standing on a forklift truck is a violation of US Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, but the promotional photo focuses on the fantasy football league using the Crown-supplied forklift as a prop.

David Hoover, president of Forklift Training Systems in Newark, Ohio, comments: "Spending time on something minor like this distracts away from the real issues that kill forklift operators and pedestrians every day around the world. How about a cover on the fact that in the US more people are killed by forklifts than by tornados or by poisonous snakes each year? Now that is a story worth printing and a problem worth fixing."

Rob Vetter, director of training with IVES Training & Compliance Group Inc of Blaine, Washington, observes: "The 'stunt' pulled by ESPN on this cover was presumably executed by professionals under controlled circumstances with all due considerations for safety taken. If it was not, then shame on ESPN."

Danny Maron, owner and trainer with Ideal Forklift Training in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, remarks that the image is "a harmless photo shoot under controlled conditions" to get a point across, and the magazine's mass audience does not care about the safety aspect. At the same time, the "message to professional trainers, experienced competent operators, current trainees and the up-and-coming operators is wrong".

Circulation of ESPN The Magazine exceeds two million copies, according to a Magazine Publishers of America report. The biweekly magazine's publisher, multimedia sports entertainment firm ESPN Inc of Bristol, Connecticut is 80% owned by a Walt Disney Co subsidiary and 20% by the Hearst Corp.

Crown says it will introduce "a new line of lift trucks that will be the first-ever Crown-designed and -built" later this year.
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Are you recruiting? Find your ideal candidate among a diverse range of materials handling professionals:

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Each week Forkliftaction News delivers a wide view of the trends, challenges and opportunities that are shaping your industry.
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