News story


Thursday, 15 May 2003 ( #107 ) - DEWSBURY, United Kingdom
SMH Ltd, formerly known as Swire Materials Handling, has become the exclusive United Kingdom importer of the Tailift range of forklifts. SMH marketing manager Anthony Wortley said SMH did extensive research into the Tailift range before agreeing to the distributorship. "We focused on the US market, where Tailift has experienced considerable success. In six years, the distribution network has grown from zero to 78 dealers with 128 locations across the US, Canada and Mexico," he said. "This is particularly significant, given that several other trucks from the far east currently on sale in the United Kingdom have failed dismally in the US due to poor quality." Tailift forklifts are built in Taiwan by Tailift Co Ltd, which began manufacturing forklifts in 1987. Tailift forklifts are currently sold in the USA, Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and now the United Kingdom. While the Tailift range was "not bristling with the latest electronic gadgetry", the forklifts' toughness and superior quality were its drawcard, Mr Wortley said. Tailift achieved ISO9001 qualification last July. Tailift forklifts had German steel masts and were designed for heavy use, with six-carriage roller bearings standard, compared to four-carriage bearings used on most other trucks. Tailift's combustion engines are made by Isuzu, Nissan and Perkins, and electric motors by General Electric. Tailift's one-piece welded chassis have hydrostatic steer axles, and the range, from 3.5 tonnes capacity, is equipped with Graziano Voith two-speed automatic transmissions. Mr Wortley said the quality of Tailift's transmissions and axles was proven from not having a single problem reported in the last four years in the USA. "We are very confident there is a place in the United Kingdom market for a good quality truck that is easy to maintain and well backed up," Mr Wortley said. "We have invested in considerable stores and storage area, staff and IT systems to provide backup, which is an area where many of our competitors fall down, including some of the major brands."