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  Dear reader,
WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #199 - 10 March 2005 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.


IN THE SPOTLIGHT
“Balkancar founder dies.”

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IN THIS ISSUE WELCOME

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INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COMBack To Top

 
This week we present to you our feature article on leasing options for your forklift in the US. We will publish the second part of our ‘financing your forklift’ feature on March 24.  If you would like to provide input for this article, please contact our editorial team at news@forkliftaction.com.

Forkliftaction.com would like to apologise for an error in last week’s newsletter. The dateline for our news story “Mitsubishi adds new warehouse truck” should have been Almere, Netherlands. Please see the Media Releases section for details.
 


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SPECIAL REPORTBack To Top


Focus: Financing your forklift

Research shows 80 per cent of US companies choose to lease some or all of their equipment. This year alone, more than USD208 billion in equipment will be leased in the US. (source: Aspen Corporate Funding)

Forkliftaction.com News' reporter Christine Liew spoke to De Lage Landen’s David Knight, who has 31 years’ experience in the leasing and finance business, about leasing equipment in the US.

  Read more
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NEWS STORIESBack To Top


Kalmar sells steel division to Svets & Mekanogruppen
STOCKHOLM, Sweden


Kalmar Industries has signed an agreement with Svets & Mekanogruppen AB for the sale of its steel component subsidiary Finmec.

Finmec, based in Maardu, Sweden, specialises in welding and providing steel components for heavy equipment.

Kalmar said the Finmec sale was part of the continuing implementation of its strategy to concentrate on marketing, development, assembly and servicing container and heavy materials handling equipment.

The 133 Finmec employees will retain their jobs and Finmec will become part of the Svets & Mekanogruppen group of companies.

Svets & Mekano-Gruppen i Vislanda AB consists of Svets & Mekano AB, Malmstens Verkstad AB, Ljungby Mekaniska AB and Vislanda Platslageri AB. It is a primary supplier of sheet metal and welding work in light, medium and heavy gauge sheeting as well as machining, combined with finishing and assembly.
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Gehl expands South Dakota telehandler plant
WEST BEND, WI, United States


Gehl Company has launched a USD8.7 million expansion of its Yankton, South Dakota, manufacturing and research & development (R&D) facilities.

The Yankton plant, which manufactures telescopic handlers and pavers for the Gehl and Mustang brands, will hold more equipment in its added manufacturing space.

The plant will also expand manufacturing capacity for the telescopic handlers it manufactures under a licence agreement with Manitou BF SA, of France.

Director of manufacturing operations Daniel Miller said the company planned to add in-house laser metal-cutting capabilities to reduce costs and shorten lead times.

He said Gehl planned to buy two high-tech laser metal-cutting systems this year and a third in the future.

“With these metal-cutting systems, we will ultimately gain additional savings on some secondary processes.”

The systems are estimated to capture about USD1.7 million in annual savings while the expansion is expected to add new jobs in the Yankton market.

Miller said: “We expect we’ll need to add manufacturing and tech positions. These opportunities will also increase as we add work from other Gehl facilities.”

Construction is underway for a 49,200 square foot (4,570.8 square metre) addition to the manufacturing floor.

A 4,000 square foot (371.6 square metre) addition to the plant’s R&D building to increase workspace to develop and prototype new products is also in progress.
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**ANNOUNCEMENT** IMPORTANT MARKETPLACE UPDATE - Free trial offer!

We are delighted that the used equipment Marketplace is completed and almost ready to go live. We are now testing the Marketplace with a select group of participating dealers. Stock lists are being entered and the systems are being tested.

Dealers of used forklifts, telehandlers, rough-terrain, container handlers, reach stackers or attachments, can participate in our free trial offer. Interested to explore the Marketplace’s potential? Simply send your contact details and your current stock list by email to marketplace@forkliftaction.com or by fax to + 61 7 3369 9096.
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Jungheinrich hikes 2004 profit
FRANKFURT, Germany


Jungheinrich has announced its annual operating income for 2004 has topped last financial year’s EUR77.7 million (USD103.6 million) although it has yet to disclose concrete figures.

Group sales rose 4 per cent to EUR1.53 billion (USD2.04 billion), due in part to a fourth-quarter sales increase of 9 per cent.

The European market volume grew by about 10 per cent for 2004, characterised by a rising demand for warehousing equipment and counterbalanced trucks.

“Already included in this is the special burden derived from the discontinuation of production at the Madrid assembly plant in Spain,” Dr Cletus von Pilcher, chairman of the board of management, said.

The assembly plant of Jungheinrich Producción in Madrid, Spain, which mainly manufactured electric hand pallet trucks, was closed at the end of last year.
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Balkancar founder dies
SOFIA, Bulgaria


The founder of what was once the largest per capita forklift manufacturer in the world has died.

Moncho Behar, 79, one of Balkancar’s founders, had a heart attack last Saturday.

He spent almost two decades in Balkancar’s management before serving two terms as a commercial counsellor in the Bulgarian Embassy in Prague.

According to the Sofia News Agency, Behar was committed to foreign trade and diplomacy affairs all his life and, until his last day, was running a commercial venture trading with wine and other goods.

His son, Maxim Behar, is the publisher of Sofia News Agency.

Balkancar was declared insolvent in September 2002 with debts totalling 400,000 levs (USD99.7 million) after several failed privatisation attempts
(Forkliftaction.com News #125).
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**ANNOUNCEMENT** RECEIVE USED EQUIPMENT OFFERS IN YOUR EMAIL

You can now access your online account pages and opt to receive the latest used equipment offers in weekly emails. As soon as the Marketplace is online you will start receiving these weekly Marketplace used equipment updates.

To turn on this option, visit www.forkliftaction.com/members/useredit.asp. Click on 'Marketplace notifications', then select the 'New Listings' option. Lost your password? Have a reminder emailed to you.

For more information contact us by email on marketplace@forkliftaction.com or by phone on + 61 7 3369 9090.
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Nichiyu meets domestic demand
SYDNEY, Australia


Nichiyu Australia is “filling the gap” between electric and internal combustion (IC) forklifts with the release of the FBC series of electric counterbalanced forklifts for the domestic market.

Operations manager Michael Hartnett said an electric forklift that was equivalent to IC forklifts for loading and unloading containers was long overdue.

The gap between electric and IC forklifts in the Australian market has been around for many years, Hartnett said. Electric forklifts normally worked for five hours before the battery was replaced.

“Electric forklifts also struggle to work in tough applications like loading and unloading shipping containers and driving up container ramps, which shorten the battery life,” he said.

The newly designed 70 volt system increases work cycles and is suited to a double shift application. The longer battery life and easier access to the battery compartment ensures the battery is economical and easier to maintain.

“The body of the new FBC is built along the lines of a gas truck, which makes the centre of gravity lower and the truck more stable while driving and lifting loads. This also gives you a higher capacity at the full height of the mast,” Hartnett said.

The new forklift meets the IXP3 standard (Australian industry national standard) that states rain can hit the forklift from above at a 60 degree angle and not access its electrical components, thus ensuring safe operation.

Hartnett said the unit, manufactured by Nichiyu Japan, was available globally but only now available in Australia.

“We were to get this unit late last year but sales in the Asian market were so high that we have only just received it,” he said.
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In brief …

Cat Lift Trucks donates pallet jack
HOUSTON, TX, United States
Cat Lift Trucks will donate a 5,000lb (2,268kg) hand pallet truck to a US company or non-profit organisation that is committed to serving its local community.

Interested parties should submit a 400-word essay on why they deserve the forklift and how they would use it.

Essays need to be faxed to Tammy Tiedt at +1 713 365 1626 or emailed to tammy.tiedt@mcfa.com by April 15.


Florida forklift sold to New Zealand buyer
PLEASANTON, CA, United States
A 2001 Manitou MVT628T telescopic forklift from Florida sold to a buyer in New Zealand for USD35,500 at an online auction.

Iron Planet, the third-largest heavy equipment auctioneer in North America, conducted the auction, which saw 18 bidders from 16 US states and two countries fight over the forklift.

The February 24 auction drew more than 8,400 registered auction attendees with bidders from the US and 11 other countries.
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ADVERTISEMENT

WANTED: ALL TERRAIN HEAVY LIFT FORKLIFT

Our client wants a good heavy lift all terrain forklift or reach stacker

·        It will be used in sand , loose soil and rock

·        Must be all wheel drive

·        A unit similar to the  Kalmar RT-250 would be ideal, but others considered.

·        Capacity 25 to 30 tons

·        Any brand will be considered, any part of the world. Please include relevant photos where possible.

Email your offer to:

equip@forkliftaction.com

or

fax: 61 7 3369 9096 (Attention: Lyn)
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“Bong” discovery leads to forklift drivers’ alternate duties
MELBOURNE, Australia


The discovery of a “bong” (a water pipe used for smoking drugs) at an Australian workplace has led to two forklift drivers suspected of smoking marijuana being put on alternate duties.

The Geelong Advertiser newspaper reported building supplier Timbertruss placed the two drivers on alternate duties because of its zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

Its drug testing procedures are being challenged by the Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union (CFMEU) in the Industrial Relations Commission.

Existing tests detect traces of marijuana that may have remained in a person’s body for weeks and do not show if a person is drug impaired.

Timbertruss argued it needed a blanket approach because its staff worked with dangerous equipment like forklifts and saws.

However, the CFMEU said there was a risk of people exposed to marijuana through passive smoking being unfairly disciplined.

Commissioner Blair ordered the forklift drivers remain in their new roles until the matter was determined.
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FLTA AWARDS RAISE INDUSTRY STANDARDS
ALTON, United Kingdom


Fork Lift Truck Association chairman Richard Baxter said the forklift industry showed a healthy obsession with raising standards at the conclusion of the awards ceremony at Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole.

Hosted by Mr Baxter and FLTA vice chairman Paul Nichol, Fork Lift Truck Association’s Annual Awards for Excellence 2005 saw 11 awards presented, including a lifetime achievement award for recently retired Terry Foreman.

The four awards for which everyone in the UK materials handling world was entitled to vote by postal ballot went to:

• Safety: Palletcap for its contribution to the safe stacking of fragile pallet loads.
• Environment: Watts Industrial Tyres for finding new ways of recycling solid tyres.
• Ergonomics: Euro-Daewoo for its swing-down bottle carrier, allowing easy exchange of gas bottles.
• Innovation: Translift Bendi for the Bendi 3 compact, low-cost, three-wheel articulated truck.

“We are delighted for all the people and organisations who have received accolades tonight,” Baxter said. “We have been amazed by the high quality and sheer variety of the entries. The fact that so many different approaches are being taken to make improvements, from all quarters, bodes well for the industry’s future.”

This year’s awards had a record-breaking 27 nominations that made it past the selection panel to become finalists (Forkliftaction.com News #186).


 



MEDIA RELEASESBack To Top


1. Lift Shield - Warranties For Used Forklifts

Car dealers have offered extended warranties on automobiles for more than 25 years. Heavy equipment and construction companies have offered extended warranties on their equipment for the last 20 years. Now, a new company in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, is offering an extended warranty program for forklifts.

Lift Shield, the brainchild of President Jim Facente, is now offering forklift warranties through forklift dealers across the US. “Lift Shield offers extended warranties on both new and used equipment and allows Dealers to increase used Forklift sales by offering a 1 or 2 year extended warranty” said Facente.

See www.liftshield.com.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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2. Correction to “Mitsubishi adds new warehouse truck”

Forkliftaction.com newsletter #198 announced late last week that Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks has added a medium-level order picker to its range of warehouse solutions in its article “Mitsubishi adds new warehouse truck.”  The Houston, TX, United States byline should have read Almere, The Netherlands.  Please be aware that the OPBM10K is in fact not built in North America, but rather available only to consumers in Europe and parts of Asia. For more information on the OPBM10K, powered by a 24V battery, with a load capacity of 1000 kg and a maximum picking height of 6.5 meters, or for availability in Europe and Asia, please visit www.mitforklift.com.

For additional information on the newest products available in North America from Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks, please call 1-888-MIT-LIFT or visit
www.mit-lift.com.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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YOUR EXTRAS
IN THE DISCUSSION FORUMS

UPCOMING EVENTS

JOB VACANCIES

RESUMES

FAST FACTS



In the Discussion Forums
Calling all forklift gurus!!
"I recently bought a Komatsu FG14D forklift at an auction. Unfortunately it came with no service documents. I have some problems with the transmission - it worked fine for a couple of minutes, then it would quit working. It's an automatic transmission with a torque converter."
denis, France

Hi ... Are you experienced in tyres?
"What you think about the "Watts industrial tyres"? I would like to know your opinion regarding the trade mark "Freightmaster CX". How long time they "live"? What kind of positive or negative field experience have you had?"
alexander_i, Russia

Can you help this guy?
"Presently looking for a few used parts dealers. Anyone have any recomendations? We are located in New Jersey, preferably central and eastern US locations. Thanks."
MESLlc, United States

"TCM is one of the best!"
"I have to refute, leobert with all due respect, TCM has one of the best "yard" trucks made, the Isuzi diesel engines are one of the best in rough and tough applications. The new TCM gas and LP, are 50 states emission-approved."
twetnysevnyrtec, United States

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Discussion Forums >>

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Upcoming Events
1. Expo Nigeria 2005
Lagos, Nigeria
22nd - 24th September , 2005

2. Customer Support Seminar
Orlando, Florida, United States
16th to 19th October 2005

3. MHL 2005
Greenelane, Auckland, New Zealand
19th and 20th October 2005

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Jobs
1. Sales Professionals - Full time
Chicago, IL, United States

2. National Trainer/Troubleshooter - Full time
Chicago, IL, United States

3. Lift Truck Field Service Technician - Full time
Columbus, Ohio, United States

4. Forklift and Material Handling Equipment Sales - Full time
Jacksonville, FL, United States

5. Forklift and Material Handling Equipment Sales - Full time
Macon, GA, United States

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Resumes
1. Sales - Full time
Toronto, Canada

2. Chief of Staff - Full time
America and Australia, Australia

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Fast Facts
1. Lift Shield - Warranties For Used Forklifts

2. Correction to “Mitsubishi adds new warehouse truck”

3. Hitachi Construction Machinery, whose subsidiary Hitachi Kenki Loaders owns 31.25 % of TCM’s shares, has announced a take over bid of 15 million shares (15.66 %) of TCM at 285 yen/share.

4. Rental Service Corporation has simplified its brand name to RSC Equipment Rental to clarify the company’s focus to its customers.

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