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  Dear reader,
This is issue #179 - 14 October 2004 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

"Linde-Xiamen has entered the record books after successfully driving a forklift from one side of China to the other."

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SPECIAL FEATURE: Weighing systems for forklifts

WEIGHING systems for forklifts are becoming more up-front in today’s materials handling industry, and importantly, they are playing a leading role in the overall efficiency of the modern warehouse. A good system can save hours in a busy setting, and maximise productivity and efficiency for logistics companies, reports DAMIEN TOMLINSON in this first of our two-part series.  Read more
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Enersys acquires First National Battery
MELBOURNE, Australia

Enersys Australia has acquired First National Battery Pty Ltd, the Brisbane, Queensland-based Australian branch of First National Battery in South Africa.

Enersys general manager and resident director, Lindsay Cordner, said the acquisition would give his company about a 10 per cent share of the Australian industrial battery market. He would not reveal the purchase price.

“Asia-Pacific is an important world region for Enersys globally,” he said. “We have been in Australia since last year, and we’ve achieved 30 per cent annual growth, which is very pleasing.”

First National’s Australian operation had been run by Peter Nemo, who had left the industry, Cordner said. Nemo could not be contacted.

The acquisition adds two offices, a warehouse and an assembly plant to the Enersys sales offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. A new warehouse is to be constructed in Sydney in 2005, Cordner said.

“Enersys worldwide dominates more than 40 per cent of the market in the US, and even more in Europe,” he said. “We have two factories in China and other offices in Japan and Singapore reporting to China.

“This region is virtually uncharted, so Enersys is very interested in the development of the markets here.”

Confirming this corporate direction, Enersys chairman, chief executive and president, John Craig, said, “we plan to make strategic investments in the motive power market to strengthen our global presence.”
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Hewden wins GBP1.5 million pound supply contract
BRISTOL, United Kingdom

Hewden Plc, a division of Finning International Inc, has won a sole-supplier contract with Churngold Construction Ltd, worth about GBP1.5 million (USD2.7 million) a year.

The equipment incorporated in the contract covers everything from site offices and pneumatic drills to excavators and telehandlers.

Hewden regional director John Whitby told News it was one of the largest single sourcing contracts the company had received.

“We believe there will be an increasing partnership approach across the supply chain in the construction industry,” he said. “This contract will enable us to work more effectively together to reduce overall costs and improve logistics and quality of service.”

Meanwhile, Finning International will become the sole distributor of Perkins engines and parts throughout the UK on December 1, 2004. A new specialist business, Diperk (UK) Ltd, will be created, and up to 100 jobs will be created, Finning said in a statement.
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Toyota defends title in manufacturers list
IRVINE, CA, United States

Toyota has been ranked the largest forklift supplier in the world for the second consecutive year by industry magazine, Modern Materials Handling.

With USD4.23 billion in forklift sales in 2003 sales, Toyota topped the “World’s Top 20 Lift Truck Suppliers” list. The 2003 result eclipsed Toyota’s sales record by USD1.13 billion.

Separate research by Crist Information & Research claims Toyota Material Handling USA (TMHU) has the largest percentage share of the forklift market in the USA.

TMHU president Dr Shankar Basu said the company would like to increase its sales again this year.

“The past year was incredible for Toyota and we expect to increase our sales again,” he said. “We attribute our ongoing success to our strong dealer network, the well-timed introduction of new products and the emphasis Toyota puts on safety, customer satisfaction, overall value and technological innovations.”
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Amskan changes hands in management buyout
MULGRAVE, Australia

Amskan Ltd, manufacturer of the Fork-ALERT proximity sensor, has changed hands in a management buyout.

Managing director Andrew Hackett-Smith told News that he and former company secretary Denis Clancy completed the purchase from HRL Ltd on October 4. He would not discuss the purchase price.

HRL, an Australian energy, technology and project management company, bought Amskan in 1995, but after refocusing its core businesses, put the company up for sale last year.

Under the new structure, Hackett-Smith continues as managing director, but Clancy expands his role to become commercial director.

The takeover by management follows a 12-month search for a new buyer for the company. Hackett-Smith said he and Clancy were able to strike a mutually-beneficial deal, and he was excited about the new challenge.

“We have a clear plan for what we’d like to achieve with this business, and it should translate into significant growth,” he said.

“We intend to capitalise on the interest we have generated in the USA for our Fork-ALERT systems, and generally expand the business in Australia and abroad.”

The company’s Sweepscan proximity sensor is used with automatic doors, and is already being distributed in the US by a door manufacturer.

“It’s an exciting phase for us, but nothing’s changed for our customers – same products, same phone number, same website, same people, same quality of service,” Hackett-Smith said. “We’re really looking forward to this new challenge.”
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Massive liquor lift
CRESTMEAD, Australia

Moving house last weekend for Australian Liquor Marketing (ALM) meant shifting 15 million bottles of liquor worth AUD60 million (USD43.8 million) over three days, and using a hired fleet of 32 forklifts.

ALM is Australia’s biggest independent liquor wholesaler and distributor and is part of the Metcash Trading empire. The company had outgrown its Loganlea Queensland distribution centre and was moving ‘lock, stock and barrel’ to its new warehouse at Crestmead, 15km away.

ALM national distribution manager, Grant Piunti told News that the mammoth transfer of alcohol amounted to 500 semi-trailer loads of alcohol, comprising 600 product lines.

“We also used 15 reach trucks, 32 gas forklifts and 60 electric pallet jacks”, said Grant, “and less than 100 cartons were damaged over the three-day move”.

The new ALM warehouse at Crestmead will have a regular fleet of 10 reach trucks and 12 gas forklifts to keep the alcohol flowing to more than 3000 independent liquor outlets in northern New South Wales and Queensland.
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Linde-Xiamen completes cross-country forklift rally

Linde-Xiamen Forklift Truck Corp, German giant Linde’s Chinese branch, has entered the record books after successfully driving a forklift from one side of China to the other.

Designed to showcase Linde’s reliability and the strength of the company's Chinese service network, a locally-built, 3-tonne diesel forklift set off from Harbin, China's northernmost province, on its way to Shenzhen in the south, on May 26.

The forklift completed its journey last month after 108 days on the road, passing through major cities with much fanfare along the way. The company’s website,, maintained a daily diary of the event as it unfolded, and our pictures are from the final celebrations in Shenzhen.

The company’s efforts have apparently earned them an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, though for exactly what was not apparent at the time of publication of our newsletter. On investigation, the only other forklift-related record in the Guinness Book is about Kalmar Industries, which in 1991 “built three counterbalanced forklift trucks capable of lifting loads up to 90 tonnes (88 tons) at a load centre of 2.4 metres (7 ft 6 inches)”.

The Linde-Xiamen feat follows the completion of a similar feat by Ove Alstad, who drove a Toyota 7-series 2.5 ton IC forklift across Norway ( News #175).
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Happy birthday Rolf Slobotzky!

Materials handling industry legend and News columnist Rolf Slobotzky is celebrating his 80th birthday this month. Congratulations Rolf!

The industry veteran is well-known in the forklift world after more than 50 years in the business. He is the general manager of Intrupa Mexico and a well-liked pillar of the north American industry.

Such is the enormity of Rolf’s career that what he hasn’t sold, probably isn’t worth selling. Slobotzky began his career in 1950 as a salesman for truck dealer Automatic, which was bought out by Yale in 1958. From 1958 to 1970, he worked as a sales manager of a dealer stocking Blue Giant, Big Joe, Rapistan, Lancer Boss and Diagraph Bradley.

His career highlights include managing the Mitsubishi distribution network in Mexico, between 1985 and 1994, before he joined Intrupa in 1995.

Rolf’s time is now split between his duties with Intrupa, promoting and playing an active role in the South American forklift industry, and maintaining a profile by writing guest columns in various trade publications, including his regular “South of the Border” contributions to News.

If you would like to send birthday wishes to Rolf Slobotzky, email us or post your message in the Discussion Forums.
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Forklift settles bus shelter land dispute
SUFFOLK, United Kingdom

A UK millionaire has used a forklift to remove a bus shelter which encroached onto his land by six inches.

Clive Jewers was arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage after removing the shelter just hours after its installation in Suffolk village on October 5, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.

Jewers said he had warned the parish council that he would remove the shelter if it proceeded with plans to erect it on his land. He informed the council he was removing it, just minutes before doing so, and then alerted the council he was responsible for its removal after it had been uprooted.

“Effectively it’s a civil matter relating to the legality of the placement of a bus shelter on land which is shown on my deeds as my property,” he said.

He was released from custody with an apology from the police, and all charges were dropped. Suffolk County Council later released a statement, saying, “We have got to hold our hands up here and say we didn’t get it right. If we had communicated more then perhaps this situation could have been handled better and the whole thing might have been avoided.”
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Nexen Lift Trucks is in talks to acquire a manufacturing plant, a move which will see the UK company assembling the Nexen range of forklifts in the UK. A spokesman for Nexen Lift Trucks said this acquisition “will enable us to have greater control over design and production, and is in line with our current expansion program, which will actively increase Nexen’s global presence, ensuring continuity in supply for our expanding network of dealers worldwide”.
Plans for launching Nexen’s new model range will also be progressed much faster, and the company will embark on a recruiting drive for staff from other areas of the lift truck industry. Click here for details.

Phone: +44 (0)1502 532211
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DPK: Built For Performance

Unit Load Handling introduces the DPK single-double multi pallet handler. The DPK is more durable than any other, and easy to service. One DPK model can handle most any pallet configuration, and is available with dual ITA II and ITA III mounting conversion.
• No gas springs
• Concealed hydraulics
• Dual-class mounting
• Steel heel rollers
• Four identical, bolt-on forks
• Added heel thickness
Parts commonality means fewer parts to stock, and the optional automatic lubrication system reduces downtime.

Visit our website to download a brochure – Contact ULH for additional information and application assistance.
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Container handlers, late model, low hour for sale now!

• Hyster full container handlers
• Model H1050E (H48.00)
• 5 high 9'6" container stacking
• 2 available
• 4200 and 5600 hours
• Year of manufacture: 2000
• Well maintained
• Full specs available

Please contact Dan for full particulars at:
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Manufacturers wear many masks; they can be progressive and regressive. On one hand, they build some marvellous machines and products; on the other, they incorporate inferior, dangerous features. Almost every manufacturer deals in sleight of hand and illusion to help sell their product, ignoring or hiding weaknesses to the detriment of the end user.

Click here for the full text of this Safety First feature.


1. Cascade Names Roncari Strategic Account Manager for White Goods Industry
ALMERE, Netherlands

Cascade Corporation today announced it has named Davide Roncari Strategic Account Manager-White Goods Industry. In this new role, Roncari will be responsible for merging Cascade's and Roncari's complementary products and technologies to build the foundation for the next generation of damage reduction systems for the white goods industry.

Roncari, 31, joined Cascade from Roncari s.r.l. in Verona, Italy, where he served as engineering manager. The company was acquired by Cascade in October 2003. During his tenure at Roncari s.r.l., he developed strategic relationships with several white goods industry leaders where he conducted in-depth studies on damage reduction. Roncari developed many...

Bob Dunthorne, European Marketing Manager
Cascade Europe
31-(0) 36 5492830

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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In the Discussion Forums
Forklift safety - can you help?
"I want to develop a program to reinforce the importance of safety. Ideas so far: Lift Truck Competitions, Awards, Supervisor Training. My question... Can anyone share information regarding sucessful programs being utilized in other large companies in their area?"
RCD450, Canada

Crown Factory Store...
"Is it just me or is Crown destroying the thing that made them sucessful? Shutting down dealers and not selling parts to other dealers. Is any one else having a parts problem buying from a new Crown factory store? Looking for a way to buy Crown O.E.M. parts with games."
scottp, United States

What is your experience?
"Did you ever purchase Linde forklift truck? Did you ever troubled by your Linde forklift truck?"

Happy Birthday Rolf!
"Hi Rolf - Let me be the first to congratulate you on your 80th birthday! I wish you all the best for the future! Cheers - Damien"
damien_t, Australia

Discussion Forums >>

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Upcoming Events
1. Logistics Europe 2004
Gdynia, Poland
25th and 26th November 2004

2. Great Lakes Industrial Show
Cleveland, OH, United States
9th to 11th November 2004

3. Intermodal Transport & Logistics 2004
Copenhagen, Denmark
2nd to 4th November 2004

4. Forklift Safety Seminars - Free - Regional Victoria
Victoria Regional centres, Australia
Various dates

Events >>

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1. Territory Manager - Full time
Santa Fe Springs/ Ontario, Ca., United States

2. Branch Manager - Full time
Indianapolis, United States

3. Branch Manager - Full time
Decatur, United States

4. C.A.D. Designer - Full time
Lowestoft, United Kingdom

5. Technical Sales Professional - Sydney & Melbourne - Full time
Victoria, Australia

6. Service Technicians, Motive Power - Sydney & Melbourne - Full time
Victoria, Australia

7. Sales & Product Training Manager - Full time
Columbus, Ind., United States

Jobs >>

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1. General Manager of Parts, service and the aftermarket - Full time
Colorado Springs or Denver Colorado areas., United States

Resumes >>

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Fast Facts
1. Cascade has released the 28F Paper Roll Clamp, designed for small printers, newspaper publishers and newsprint warehouses.

2. Cascade Names Roncari Strategic Account Manager for White Goods Industry

3. Rocla has introduced a new stacker family – Swac, available in 1000kg, 1200kg and 1600 kg capacities. The higher capacity trucks are also available with initial lift and straddle forks.

News >>

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