After many years as the face of LuiGong North America, Ken Biediger has joined HC Forklift America Corporation as aftermarket and engineering support director.
asked Biediger about his career.
: Prior to this appointment, what has been your biggest achievement?
: Prior to joining Hangcha, my biggest achievement was introducing to the American markets a relatively unknown forklift brand and building the entire business structure into a profitable division. I decided to move on to HC Forklifts as they have an intense focus on growing in the American market. They are a full-line forklift manufacturer and industry leader in lithium-ion technology and AGVs.
: What excites you most about the materials handling industry?
: I enjoy watching the continuing evolution of the materials handling industry, which is ever-changing. The industry is never static and there are always new challenges to overcome. As part of the supply line structure, we must always be diligent in overcoming these challenges in order to keep the economy moving.
: What is the most significant change you have seen in the industry in your time?
: I believe the most significant change during my time in the industry is the evolution of electric forklifts. When I started in the industry, over 25 years ago, most electric trucks were DC systems powered by lead-acid batteries. Battery technology saw the biggest change as manufacturers strove to overcome the long charge time associated with lead acid batteries. Many efforts have been made to make hydrogen fuel cells commercially viable, but high costs and difficulties in fuel supply have hampered its growth. Rapid or opportunity charging has the benefit of fewer battery changes but are application customised solutions, reduced battery life and still require weekly equalization charges. The emergence of lithium-ion power allows rapid charging times and extended battery life with minimal maintenance and no fumes. This technology is rapidly taking over the electric truck market.
: What are the biggest challenge and opportunity that you see in your new role?
: Our biggest challenge at HC Forklift is keeping up with the rapid growth. Industry-leading dealers are actively seeking out HC Forklifts due to our full product line and lithium-ion products. We are rapidly investing in improving our parts and aftersales service capabilities to keep up with the rapid growth and to meet the high expectations of our end-customers.