Barrett materials handling equipment
The venerable forklift brand Barrett has observed its 100th anniversary.
Arthur M Barrett launched a manual pallet truck business in 1914. His son, technology innovator Arthur M (Mac) Barrett Jr, continued the original line, broke new ground in creating a generation of electric-powered materials handling equipment and, as a visionary, initiated the early development of automatic guided vehicle technology.
The UniCarriers Americas Corp factory in Marengo manufactures Barrett by UniCarriers Class 1 stand-up rider and Class 3 electric motor hand trucks and hand/rider trucks along with Class, 1, 4 and 5 equipment under the Nissan by UniCarriers and TCM by UniCarriers brands.
Barrett Industrial Trucks Inc of Marengo was sold in July 1988 to Nissan Industrial Equipment Corp, subsequently known globally as Nissan Forklift and now UniCarriers Corp. At that time, the Barrett business operated under the direction of Larry A Borre, who began his career with Mac Barrett in 1959 and himself became an industry luminary and leader.
Among current UniCarriers Americas employees, 7% started working at Barrett in 1988 or earlier.
Buying Barrett Industrial put Nissan on the North American map for forklift production. Nissan became the first Japanese manufacturer of all five classes of materials handling equipment. In Japan, Nissan had produced its first forklift in 1957, began higher volume assembly-line manufacturing in 1961 and started making forklifts for export to the US market in 1965. The 1988 acquisition of Barrett marked the start of Nissan forklift manufacturing within the US.
More recently, the UniCarriers division for the Americas integrated the operations of Nissan Forklift Corp North America of Marengo including Barrett and TCM America Inc of West Columbia, South Carolina, effective from April 2013. The endorsement "by UniCarriers" began to appear as a subtext on existing Nissan, TCM and Barrett lines of forklifts in June 2013.
UniCarriers Americas held a 19 September picnic in Marengo for about 500 employees to give them a heads-up about an upcoming marketing campaign, recognise Barrett's milestone anniversary and thank them for their efforts during another "successful" year. UniCarriers displayed a FedEx Racing-sponsored NASCAR vehicle, awarded gift baskets and distributed company items.