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Liftking gets Navy order for rough-terrain forklifts

Thursday, 6 Jun 2013 ( #619 ) - Bridgeview, IL, United States
News Story
While not confirmable through official channels, Manitex International Inc says its Liftking subsidiary in Canada received a five-year US Navy design-and-build contract for rough-terrain straight-mast forklifts.

Manufacturing will occur in Liftking’s leased 85,000 sqft. (7,897 sqm) facility in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, says Andrew Rooke, Manitex president and chief operating officer.

According to Manitex, the Navy wants equipment that is "highly specialised and configured" and, over time, intends to acquire "multiple units valued at approximately USD22 million with the option for an additional USD15 million worth of follow-on orders".

Initial orders valued at about USD5 million are slated for completion in the second half of 2014.

"(The requirement for ) design content is not that significant in relation to the total contract," Rooke says.

Mark Aldrovandi, Liftking director of sales, says, "This contract was secured in a competitive bid situation and underscores our 30 years of experience in designing and manufacturing specialised materials handling equipment to meet the unique requirements of militaries around the world."

The contract calls for Liftking to design, test and supply two equipment variants with 10,000 lb. (4,500 kg) and 20,000 lb. (9,000 kg) capacities. The forklifts need to be air transportable, able to ford various depths of water and capable of absorbing simulated shockwaves measuring up to 50 gravitational forces.

Jeff Cockerton, Liftking general manager, says, "We are proud of our ability to support the US Navy and other major military organisations globally. Our reputation and expertise in design, manufacture and support of this specialist equipment is a critical factor in our customers’ decisionmaking process and is also a key element of our strategic direction. These new products will provide additional depth to our military portfolio and extend the scope of our product offering to global military operations."

An inquiry to the military for routine verification of the contract and scope of the competition failed to elicit a confirmation. A contact at the Navy public affairs media division was unable to find any contract award to Manitex.

Rooke explains, "We operate through other contractors on some of these contracts." Rooke declines to disclose the contract number, order quantities or other details that he deems commercially sensitive.

Liftking’s brands include Noble straight-mast rough-terrain forklifts, Lowry high-capacity cushion-tyred forklifts and Schaeff electric indoor forklifts. Liftking also makes specialised carriers, heavy material handling transporters and steel mill equipment.

Publicly traded Manitex is based in Bridgeview. Rough-terrain forklifts accounted for about 6% of Manitex’s 2012 sales of USD205.2 million.

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