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Dear reader,
This is issue #162 - 17 June 2004 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

A survey has revealed German business confidence has not improved since February.

1. The spare parts industry - part two
2. US manufacturers must embrace globalisation: report
3. German business sentiment not improving
4. Philippine market nears USD11 million
5. Discussion Forums popular after launch
6. Kalmar launches 7th-gen straddles
7. Forklift upgrade flagged for HK tunnel
8. TVH Australasia Sydney moves
9. Life in the fast lane more Clay's speed

FORK TALK: ProMat's RFID knowledge centre secures first 12 sponsors

1. TVH-Group Thermote & Vanhalst: Headquarters have started with large scale parts move


The Discussion Forums are fast becoming the most popular part of our internet portal. More than 10,000 people have read the discussions on various topics. The Administrators have this week added a new forum, "Industry News & Whispers", where members can discuss rumours and submit leads for our journalists to follow up. Visit and join in! We have received many kind emails from readers who are fans of our new-look newsletter. Please let us know what you think too.


1. The spare parts industry - part two
BRISBANE, Australia

The impact of the internet on local, national and global business in the past decade has been enormous.
The fact that you are reading this article is evidence of that. Not only has the internet positively affected communications and multimedia, but the advent of secure, online payments means companies with an internet presence can trade 24 hours a day at no cost.
Of course the impact the information superhighway has had on materials handling, already a global business, has been phenomenal, but not more so than in the spare parts industry.  Read more

- EMC Gateway -
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2. US manufacturers must embrace globalisation: report
PALO ALTO, CA, United States

Globalisation has created remarkable options for forklift end users and, as customers' brand loyalty decreases as they opt for manufacturers with better prices, regional manufacturers could be forced out of the market unless they upgrade their business processes.
Those are the findings of a new report, "North American Forklift Markets", by researcher Frost & Sullivan. The report said the US market generated USD6.4 billion in revenue last year, and projected the figure would grow to USD8.6 billion in 2010.
Frost & Sullivan analyst Rajender Thusu said US manufacturers could not afford to limit production to select regions and overlook the challenges and opportunities presented by globalisation.
"Companies have to be active and responsive to the globalisation of business through an international network of distribution channels, the internet or other sources to stay viable," he said.
Without substantial value additions, major clients were likely to redirect their business to truly international suppliers that could provide a more complete package, the report said. Mediocre customer service, technical advice and spare parts service would drive customers away.
Forklift companies that took part in the research included Atlet, BT, Clark, Crown, Daewoo, Elwell-Parker, Gehl, Gradall, Hoist Liftruck, Hyster, Hyundai, JCB, Komatsu, Landoll, Linde, Manitou, Mitsubishi-Caterpillar, Nissan, OmniQuip, Tailift, TCM, Toyota and Yale.

- Frost & Sullivan website -
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3. German business sentiment not improving
BERLIN, Germany

A survey has revealed German business confidence has not improved since February.
The survey, released by Berlin-based research company DIHK, said executives who rated the situation as "good" held at 19% in April and May, unchanged from the last survey in February, and 28% of companies expected conditions to improve, down from 32% in February.
"The economy is still robust, but clouds are starting to cover the economic horizon," DIHK said. "Companies fear the overheated world economy may lose steam more quickly than domestic demand can recover."
The report follows data showing unemployment rates in Germany, at more than 10%, rose for the fifth consecutive month in May.
In March, German forklift maker Linde posted a full-year net profit of USD131 million for 2003, down USD160 million from its 2002 result.
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4. Philippine market nears USD11 million
MANILA, Philippines

The Philippine market for forklifts and related materials handling equipment and parts posted modest growth in 2003, and figures for the first quarter of 2004 signal a continuation of that trend.
Figures from the country's Bureau of Import Services' monitoring division show purchases last year reached USD10.8 million (total customs/invoice value). The figure excludes purchases in Japanese currency amounting to JPY46,784,847 (USD425,000). Both USD and JPY figures exclude freight, duties and related charges.
Among the leading importers last year were:
United Auctioneers Inc (USD746,962); Yaletrak Philippines (USD722,488 and JPY27 million [USD245,200]); Philippine Forklift Center Inc (USD814,258); Titan-Milde Motors Inc (USD150,863); Microvan Inc (USD119,105); Monark Equipment Corp (USD702,553 and JPY5.6 million [USD50,800]); Paragon Trading and Services Corp (USD533,859); Subic Acropolis Inc (USD35,400); H&T Trading (USD28,383); Cebu Titan Surplus Inc (USD47,716); Boeing Material Handling Corp (USD115,993); Asia International Auctioneers Inc (USD699,066); PhilHeisei Trading Corp (USD23,398); Handling Innovation Inc (USD110,164); Asialift Inc (USD63,434); and SR-5 Trading (USD15,147).
Most suppliers were Japanese, but a small number of contracts were with companies based in South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, the USA, Canada, China, Australia and some European countries. Among the leading exporters/suppliers last year were:
TCM Corp (42 contracts); Toyota Industries Corp (34); Nankai & Co Ltd (26); FFC Co Ltd (15); Jungheinrich (14); Kyoei Auto (13); Yale Asia Pacific (12); Mitsubishi Caterpillar (11); and Kotobuki Trading Inc (10).
Purchases covered new and used equipment and parts. Of the roughly 460 purchases, 248 were used forklifts and related parts, and the rest were new equipment. Forklifts accounted for about 150 transactions, with electric and diesel models and accessories in 27 and 11 deals, respectively.
Importers favoured TCM, which was the supplier in almost 80 trades, while Toyota was selected in about 40. Caterpillar and Yale forklifts and related equipment were also selected by many importers.
No comparable historical data was available before publication.
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5. Discussion Forums popular after launch's Discussion Forums have taken off with some very interesting discussions. Almost 10,000 people have visited the forums since launch. Have a look and join in! Meet other members, share ideas and find answers to your questions with our forums - The forums are the place for discussion; we all know we can do better business with help from colleagues. To participate, all you need is your registered email address and password. Not registered? Become a member. For assistance or a password reminder contact Lyn on

- Discussion Forums -
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6. Kalmar launches 7th-gen straddles

Kalmar has launched the seventh generation of its high-performance straddle carriers.
The new carrier comes in two basic types: the CSC Smoothlift hoist series and the Kalmar Edrive® ESC Smoothlift hoist or winch rope hoist (W) series. The ESC carriers are equipped with AC drives.
The basic variation available in both series is the choice between three-high or four-high stacking and the ability to lift 40 tons (36 tonnes) or twinlift 50 tons (45 tonnes).
The carriers are modular in design and offer flexibility when choosing features, said Kalmar straddle carriers vice-president Ilkka Annala.
"We have built straddle carriers for years but now customers are looking for solutions that help them perform better in the future," he said.
"Automation, heavier load handling and minimised operational costs are just a few of the many ways we can help customers work smarter."
Kalmar said the new machines had a simpler, stronger but lighter structure; a new W-type cabin design with an optional 180-degree rotating seat; a new sideframe structure designed to withstand continuous handling of 50 ton (45 tonne) loads; new cooled heavy-duty wet disc brakes; high power 336kW diesel engines and AC electrical systems with regenerative power distribution between hoist and drive function.
The new carriers have been designed to be compatible with Kalmar's new remote maintenance interface system, making it possible to monitor the condition of carriers remotely.
A range of driver-assisting features includes Smartpath® container position verification, automatic spreader sideshift, automatic spreader slowdown when approaching a container, and a load-weighing system.

- Kalmar Industries website -
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7. Forklift upgrade flagged for HK tunnel
HONG KONG, Hong Kong

Senior management of Hong Kong's Western Harbour Tunnel (WHT) has signalled a possible forklift upgrade for vehicle recovery in the facility some time in the next few years.
The WHT has been using a 30-tonne capacity forklift for vehicle recovery since it opened in April, 1997, rather than more conventional recovery trucks.
But while the WHT indicated it was considering buying a faster forklift to improve its efficiency in the future, it stressed there was no urgency in making the purchase.
"We expect a forklift to have a 12 to 20-year working life,'' WHT commercial manager Vivian Lee said, referring to the WHT's present equipment.
''Also, we would like to see retractable folded forks, four-wheel steering and higher-gear transmission for high-speed driving in the next generation of forklifts."
The WHT is a franchised facility completely financed by the private sector at a cost of HKD7 billion (USD900 million). It is Hong Kong's largest private sector transportation project.
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8. TVH Australasia Sydney moves
SYDNEY, Australia

TVH Australasia's Sydney office is moving to a new facility.
After nine years serving the Sydney market, TVH opens for business in Wetherill Park, one kilometre from its current location, on July 5.
TVH Australasia sales & marketing general manager Rob Whitmore said the new facility was centrally located, and well-positioned to benefit from the near-future addition of a new link road in the area.
The new building has corporate offices, a showroom, undercover parking and a flat loading area.
Mr Whitmore said the company looked forward to serving its Sydney customers from the new location.

- TVH Australasia website -
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9. Life in the fast lane more Clay's speed

A former forklift driver has joined the ranks of the hottest dragster drivers in International Hot Rod Association history.
Clay Millican, 37, has few fond memories of his time driving a forklift before joining the dragster series.
“Even when I'm having a bad day with the car, I only have to remind myself that five years ago I was doing something I wasn't happy with,” he told the Toronto Star.
But how could hurtling down a drag strip at 300 miles an hour possibly beat the joys of driving a forklift?
"Now I'm doing something I've always wanted to do with my life and that makes me happy," he said.
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CHARLOTTE, NC, United States

The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) has secured 12 sponsors for its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Knowledge Centre at ProMat 2005.
The sponsors are: Accu-Sort Systems; DataMax; Escort Memory Systems; FKI Logistex; HK Systems; HighJump Software; The Kennedy Group; Material Handling Institute; Orbis; Provia Software; RedPrairie; and Siemens Dematic.
"With the partnership of (the) RFID industry, ProMat 2005 will be at the forefront of providing responsible education and well-planned and broad application of RFID," said to Richard Ward, MHIA's executive vice-president of professional development. "D-day for RFID appears to be January of 2005, but the real impact will come later as the value proposition for all supply chain partners becomes better understood."
ProMat's RFID Knowledge Center will include multimedia presentations and information from companies in the forefront of RFID adoption.
ProMat 2005, from January 10 to January 13, will host more than 650 exhibitors at McCormick Place South in Chicago, Illinois.

- ProMat RFID page -


1. TVH-Group Thermote & Vanhalst: Headquarters have started with large scale parts move

TVH-group Thermote & Vanhalst ( - market leader in the distribution of forklift parts - has begun moving forklift parts to a new site in Waregem.
Olathe-based Systems Material Handling Co ( is moving from its current 130,000 square foot facility by September, 2005, to a new facility 2 miles away.
TVH Australasia's ( Sydney operation will be moving to new larger premises, double our current size. The move will take place 1st of July.
For more information, visit or email

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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In the Discussion Forums
An interesting and valid question.
Dust or powders handled in many industries are potentially explosive. Other than the food and flavours, chemical and pharmaceutical industries what other industries may be hazardous? How about the general (3rd party) warehousing industries...
nik_w, United Kingdom

Can you offer sopme assistance to this member?
We have been trying to find a Raymond dealer that will help us out with technical parts look ups and also sell parts to us. Our local dealer will not give us part numbers and takes 3 to 4 days to get back to us. If there is any one out there that would like to help us out let me know.
scot_s, United States

What do you think of this discussion?
As a former field service tech/foreman for first a Crown dealer, then a Toyota dealer, Crown has the absolute best parts system I have ever dealt with, and I have dealt with them all. You can get everything right from the parts book.
andy_h, United States

Can you add more weight to this discussion?
You can use hydraulic based system with an average accuracy of 1 .. 2% The reading of the weight takes some time.... More accurate 0,1% !!! you get with weighing forks - that is a scale with an integrated weighing system ( 4 load cells ) which give you instant weight info!
jacob, Netherlands

Discussion Forums >>

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Upcoming Events
1. ICHCA Luncheon - South Australia
West lakes SA, Australia
23rd June 2004

2. Seattle International Society for Performance Improvement - Presentation
Mercer Island, WA, United States
22nd june 2004

Events >>

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1. Used Equipment - Self-loading forklifts (Truck Mountable)
Belize, Belize
Closing: 05 July 2004
Contract: RFQ

Tenders >>

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1. Technician - Full time
Jacksonville, Florida, United States

2. Forklift Technician - Full time
Eugene, Oregon, United States

3. Mechanic/Fitter - Full time
Sydney, Australia

4. Service Technician - Full time
Plant City, United States

Jobs >>

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1. Management - Full time
Europe/Africa, United Kingdom

2. Lead Technician - Full time
To Be Determined, United States

3. Management/Customer support - Full time
undecided, United States

Resumes >>

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Fast Facts
1. TVH-Group Thermote & Vanhalst: Headquarters have started with large scale parts move

2. Wandalex has been contracted by the Polish unit of Bridgestone Corp to supply it with USD200,000 worth of Yale forklifts.

3. Rocla Oyj has launched a new generation of hand pallet truck - Blue by Rocla BF25.

4. Exide Technologies has launched the DEC200 charger, the newest addition to the company's 200 Series motive power charger line introduced last year.

5. Dirk and Leo Theyskens, twins and co-owners of Belgian tower crane company Arcomet, have gone their separate ways after failing to resolve differences about the future of the business.

News >>

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