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  Dear reader,
This is issue #196 - 17 February 2005 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

“Toyota goes explosion-proof.”

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Recently, an Australian reader sent us this comment:

“Forklift stolen from Classic forklifts Gold Coast depot. Two weeks later service van stolen and equipment looted and van then burnt out. The van contained the mechanics tools! We need help with these crimes because it is affecting the whole industry (you could be next).”

Equipment theft is a pressing problem all over the world. That is why is planning to start an international stolen equipment registry. Please email us at if you have any suggestions for this registry.


Nippon Yosuki manufactures Nichiyu forklifts in China

Nippon Yosuki Co Ltd has started producing electric reach forklifts at its subsidiary Shanghai Nichiyu Forklift Manufacturing Co Ltd in Shanghai, eastern China.

A Nichiyu spokesman said the forklifts would only be sold in the Chinese market.

“For other markets, electric reach forklifts will be manufactured in our Kyoto factory in Japan,” he said.

Nichiyu Australia’s operations manager John Roach said the forklifts would not be sold outside China because they did not suit other markets.

“In Europe and Australia we have variable lift heights, lots of ours go up to 10 metres but the Chinese use ones which mostly go up to three or four metres,” he said.

“The Chinese also do not use the sit-down type but the stand-on type. This just comes down to what operators prefer.

“In Australia we follow the European style because of our health & safety configurations. People who are on the machines all day want to sit. They get better productivity – less fatigue and backaches,” Roach said.

The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun newspaper reported Nippon invested JPY80 million (USD757,432) to construct a new production facility at the Shanghai plant.

According to the newspaper, the company expects to manufacture and sell 1,500 electric forklifts in China this year, which would be a 63 per cent year-on-year increase.

Nippon’s Chinese-made electric forklifts are marketed under the Nichiyu brand name.
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Growing demand for Rocla trucks

Rocla Oyj’s industrial truck business grew more than 20 per cent in 2004, according to the company’s financial statements.

“The positive development was a result of active sales promotion throughout the sales network, growing demand and the fact that industrial truck deliveries to North America, that started a year ago, continued as forecast,” the statements said.

Net sales for industrial trucks in 2004 were EUR79.8 million (USD103.7 million) while operating profit was EUR 4.9 million (USD6.4 million).

The “remarkable improvement” in operating profit for industrial trucks resulted in a proposal, to be put to the annual general meeting in March, to present the unit’s personnel in Finland with cash bonuses. Personnel would receive around EUR1700 (USD2209) if the proposal is approved.

Consolidated net sales for the Rocla Group were EUR91.7 million (USD119.2 million), a 13 per cent increase on 2003. Exports and international operations accounted for 77 per cent of consolidated net sales.

The share of net sales for industrial trucks was 87 per cent and 13 per cent for automated guided vehicles.
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Toyota to build explosion-proof forklifts

Toyota Industrial Equipment is now offering explosion-proof forklifts as a factory option.

Forklifts will be modified to operate safely in potentially explosive environments such as environments classified as zones one and two.

Zone one is classified as an environment in which an explosive atmosphere is associated with the normal operation of equipment and zone two is for environments in which an explosive atmosphere will not occur under normal operating conditions and, if it occurs, will be for a short period of time.

The explosion-proof option is available on Toyota’s 7FDF and 7FBMF models and is suitable for customers in chemical and distillery industries.

Toyota product manager Benoit Meunier said the company was now offering the forklifts as a factory option to make the ordering, service and maintenance process simple and quick for customers.

“Service levels will be enhanced because customers can now go directly to Toyota to deal with servicing issues covering all areas of a forklift, including the explosion-proof system,” he said.
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Our client is looking for a late model used container handling forklift with 20-40 top lift spreader.
Must be maximum 6000 hours operation and lift-full containers 3 or 4 high.
Any brand will be considered, any part of the world. Please include relevant photos where possible.

Email your offer to:


fax: 61 7 3369 9096 (Attention: Lyn)
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Port Reunion recruits Kalmar expertise

Port de l’Ile de la Reunion is using the port planning and container handling expertise of Kalmar Industries for an extension project at the Port Est terminal.

Port Est will begin operating 12 four-high CSC450 straddle carriers with twin-lift spreaders and two TRX182 terminal tractors, each with a three-unit multi-trailer system.

It has also used Kalmar’s terminal development services, such as estimation of the required fleet size, identification of optimal layouts and assistance in the conversion of straddle carrier operations, to aid its planning process.

Kalmar’s input into the Port Est project is expected to result in “dramatic productivity increases” in Port Reunion’s container handling operations, according to a Kalmar statement.

By switching from reachstackers to a straddle carrier system, the port expects to realise a 50 per cent increase in its container storage capacity, which currently stands at 10,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs).

The Port Est extension is scheduled for completion at the end of 2006 and will include construction of a new 650 metre-long berth, widening the approach channel from 140 metres to 160 metres and dredging to increase the draft from 12 metres to 16 metres, allowing it to handle the latest generation container vessels.
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Airtrax finalises Canadian distributor
HAMMONTON, NJ, United States

Airtrax expects its distributorship agreement with Airtrax Canada to add USD9.2 million to annual revenues for 2005.

The US company has finalised a contract granting exclusive Canadian distribution rights of the Sidewinder omni-directional forklift to The Vision Company and 1148732 Alberta Ltd.

According to the contract, The Vision Company and 1148732 Alberta Ltd, operating as Airtrax Canada, will immediately purchase 10 units of the Sidewinder for demonstration, marketing and promotion to Airtrax Canada’s dealer network.

Airtrax chief executive Peter Amico said the agreement cemented the original letter of intent announced in December 2004 ( News #189).

“Through this partnership, Airtrax benefits from Airtrax Canada’s expertise in servicing the Canadian materials handling industry,” he said.

“Airtrax Canada will market our vehicles to its existing database of more than 250,000 warehouse and distribution facilities in Canada – all potential purchasers of the Airtrax product line.

“We anticipate (this) would add approximately USD9.2 million to our annual revenues in 2005.”
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Beer choice costs forklift operator’s job
RACINE, Wisconsin, United States

A forklift operator may have become the victim of fierce competition between two of the world’s biggest beer manufacturers.

The Associated Press reported Isac Aguero, 24, was sacked from his job with a Miller Brewing Co distributor the same day The Journal Times of Racine published a picture of him enjoying a Bud Light, brewed by St Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Co.

Aguero, who had been a forklift operator with CJW Inc for four years, said his co-workers told him the picture had landed him in trouble when he arrived for work on Monday.

He said he was called into the general manager’s office and told he was fired.

“Bud Light’s my beer of choice, I always drink that. Just because I work there, do I have to change what I drink?” Aguero told The Journal Times.

Thomas Bey, a CJW sales manager, said in a statement:

“The image and reputation of any company is determined in large part by the way its employees are seen to behave. Our employees can and should be our best ambassadors.”
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KCI Konecranes issues financial results

Group sales for KCI Konecranes increased 9.5 per cent for financial year 2004 while operating income increased 74.1 per cent.

According to a company statement, all business areas contributed to sales growth with the strongest growth in Asia and Africa, but there was growth also in US and Europe as a whole.

Standard lifting equipment sales were EUR231.2 million (USD300.4 million), an 8.9 per cent growth. Operating income was EUR21.0 million (USD27.3 million), 19.3 per cent higher than in 2003. The operating income margin was 9.1 per cent.

Increased profitability for standard lifting equipment was based on sales growth and lower unit costs.

“The negative impact of the stronger euro was approximately EUR6 million (USD7.8 million). Purchase price increases and difficulties getting certain materials and components also affected the operating income negatively, to some extent. The group has aimed to transfer material price increases to sales prices in full,” Konecranes said.
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Trelleborg finances houses for Sri Lankans
HARTVILLE, OH, United States

Trelleborg Group has undertaken immediate disaster relief and is implementing long-term projects to help employees affected by the tsunami in Sri Lanka.

Trelleborg Lanka Pvt, part of the Trelleborg Group, had around 800 workers at its two Sri Lankan plants when the country was hit by the tsunami last year.

According to a company statement, no employees died in the disaster but some lost their homes.

Displaced employees were given resources to buy land, build houses and furnish them.

Immediate disaster relief by Trelleborg included supply of medicines, food, clothing, drinking water, bed sheets and transport to deliver the supplies.

Nine inflatable shelters were also handed to the Sri Lankan Government Social Service Department to help displaced families.

Long-term projects include building houses, a vocational training unit, a playground, a library and a pharmacy.

The long-term projects are being coordinated with authorities like the UNHCR, the Urban Development Authority and the Presidential Task Force of Rebuilding the Nation.

Trelleborg is a global industrial group. Its Italy-based subsidiary Trelleborg Wheel Systems is a major global forklift tyre manufacturer
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A reader sent this comment: “A problem in Australia is the inconsistency of certification and training. There are some agencies where you can obtain a certificate in three hours.”

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


1. Made to last a lifetime

BT Lifters have a reputation for durability and reliability. This is no accident, as they are designed—quite literally—to last a lifetime. Properly serviced and maintained, a BT Lifter will perform for decades.

Many businesses seem to think of a hand pallet truck as a disposable item—something that will quickly be worn out, and then replaced. BT has a different view. A new BT Lifter may come at a slightly greater initial cost than its competitors, but such an investment will repay itself many times over in the years to come.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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In the Discussion Forums
What about your country?
"Brewers in the UK stack "barrels" of beer 8 high on wooden board (the stacks are around 6 metres high). The risks to drivers and pedestrians from falling barrels seems too high, both from direct impact on the cab & barrels spinning across floor."
rod_s, United Kingdom

The competition is fierce ...
"In Argentina what is the no.1 forklift brand? besides the 'goods' what do you think makes it number 1. Here in the Philippines, TCM is number 1 but all over Asia, Toyota is number 1. Toyota is a strong no.2 here. But not for long!!!"
leobert_b, Philippines

Your advice, please?
"Anyone have any idea on the panthograph attachment or the long reach attachment and also high mast? This attachment is planned to be installed to a Toyota forklift. High mast is about 7 to 10 meters."
leobert_b, Philippines

I need your input.
"Thinking of adding a Raymond 301 reach truck to my rental fleet for a customer with 15 hrs of usage a week. Any input would be appreciated."
MESLlc, United States

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5th to 6th April 2005

2. High Performance Sales College
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4. WERC's 28th Annual Conference
Dallas, Texas, United States
1st to 4th May 2005

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1. Pantograph attachment and high mast attachment
makati city, Philippines
Closing: 16 March 2005
Contract: Leo 1

2. Rubber Tyred Gantry Crane ( 16 Wheel ) - Qty 3
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Closing: 16 March 2005
Contract: Shourav 14/2/05

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