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  Dear reader,
This is issue #201 - 23 March 2005 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

“Online forums generate cross-border business!”

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Our feature on financing forklifts will be published next week due to this issue's earlier publication date. Hope you all have a wonderful Easter break! In place of our feature, we did a mini survey based on a recent Borrell Associates study about car buyers and the internet. The potential of the internet is huge and we can only ask what that potential is for the materials handling industry.

We have also included a letter from our reader, Al Sloan. Al made a business trip to Thailand recently after stumbling on a Discussion Forum post. Thank you Al for sharing your story with us. I am sure our readers will enjoy your story and photos (available online only).


Car buyers start on Internet - will forklift buyers follow the trend?

A recent study shows more car buyers are starting their enquiry on the Internet. sent a summary of the study to the directors of MHEDA and asked if they thought there would be a similar trend for forklifts in the coming years.
  Read more
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Arbitration confirmed; Crown v Toyota continues
Dayton, OH, United States

By US correspondent Roger Renstrom

Judge Walter Rice has confirmed Crown Equipment Corporation’s right last year to terminate Florida Lift Systems Inc (FLS) as a Crown dealer ( News #187).

On March 9, the judge made an arbitration award final and unsealed his 15-page opinion denying a FLS request for an injunction to prevent Crown’s termination of its longstanding Crown dealership.

The judge had sealed the July decision in deference to the arbitration procedure, which concluded on November 22. Arbitrator Robert Stachler, an experienced litigator in Cincinnati, Ohio, determined FLS violated its Crown dealership agreement in representing Toyota’s competing line of forklifts.

In early 2004, in separate federal courts, Crown sued FLS on January 13 in Dayton and Toyota Material Handling USA (TMHU) on February 4 in Toledo, Ohio.

Meanwhile, Crown’s related federal lawsuit against TMHU is proceeding before Judge David Dowd in Toledo. The judge scheduled a status conference on the litigation for May 12 and directed Crown and TMHU attorneys to complete the discovery process by May 31. No trial date has been set.

Crown sued Irvine, California-based TMHU for wrongful interference with Crown’s former agreement with FLS.

Crown cut the FLS sales and service authorisation on November 1 and opened Crown-owned central Florida branches in Orlando and Tampa. FLS continues to represent TMHU in those markets.
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BT Industries: global market up
MJOLBY, Sweden

BT Industries says the industrial truck market in 2004 had the highest level ever of truck orders, with the highest increase in demand in the North American market.

In BT’s financial report, the world market in 2004 was estimated at 736,000 units compared with last year's 634,000.

Both the warehouse truck and counterbalanced truck segments reported substantial gains, with the global market for warehouse trucks, BT’s core segment, up 13 per cent to 282,000 units. Counterbalanced trucks were estimated to have a global market volume of 454,000 units, up 18 per cent.

The group’s total 2004 orders amounted to SEK 13,294 million, a 10 per cent increase from 2003. Net sales were SEK12,636 million, a 6 per cent increase.

Of the group’s net sales, 60 per cent were in Europe, 34 per cent in North America and 6 per cent in the rest of the world. Income after net financial items increased 10 per cent to SEK808 million.
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Twenty-nine RTGs for Gateway, India

Kalmar Industries will supply 29 E-One rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes to Gateway Terminals India Pvt Ltd (GTI), Mumbai, for operation at a new terminal currently being constructed at the Port of Nhava Sheva.

The first 12 RTGs will be delivered to the terminal early next year, with the remaining 17 due to arrive in mid 2006.

A GTI spokesperson said:
“With its competitive maintenance features, significant fuel savings and the promise of less downtime, we trust the E-One will be an invaluable and integral part of our operations.”

GTI has specified that all the new RTGs be fitted with the Smartrail ® automatic steering and container position verification system.

When the terminal is completed, it will have two 350m berths, each served by four ship-to-shore cranes.

GTI is a joint venture between Maersk A/S, a company owned by the AP Moller Group, and the Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR).
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To date 38 dealers have sent in their stock lists for import into the Marketplace; these lists have been added already and we are adding more each day. We thank our participating dealers for their constructive feedback which has further enhanced our system.

We have scheduled another automatic import of stock lists into our database at the end of next week. All stock lists received will be included.

If you are a dealer or a business owner with surplus equipment of used forklifts, electric or ICE, telehandlers, rough-terrain, container handlers, reach stackers, dock trucks, port cranes, sideloading container trailers or attachments, email your contact details and stock list to

Contact us to receive our simple template document in MS Excel.

All participating dealers will be offered a free trial period after launch.
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JCB expands in greater Asia
ROCESTER, United Kingdom

JCB is expanding in China and India, with plans to build its first Chinese factory. A second Indian factory is almost completed.

The company has bought land in Pudong, south of Shanghai, for the first Chinese factory but is yet to decide on the products to be manufactured there.

A second factory is being built in Pune, India, which is 1,000 miles from JCB India’s Delhi factory and is positioned strategically close to the port of Mumbai. The GBP16 million plant will produce fabricated and machined components.

The expansion means JCB will have 15 plants worldwide, 10 of which are in the UK.

Company managing director John Patterson unveiled news of the expansion at a press conference at the Conexpo construction equipment trade show in Las Vegas.

“Our business continues to grow from strength to strength and the expansion plans we have announced for China and India will ensure JCB is well positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities as these markets expand,” Patterson said.

JCB enjoyed its most successful sales year ever in 2004. Last year, international sales reached 37,260 machines, an increase of 23 per cent from 2003. Its worldwide market share rose from 8.2 per cent to 8.6 per cent.
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Cat Lift Trucks wins gold
HOUSTON, TX, United States

Cat Lift Trucks is the gold ADDY winner in the sales promotion category for packaging (CD, DVD, VHS or cassette), for its ‘Let it out’ advertising campaign to launch its new P3000-P7000 series pneumatic tyre forklift.

Cat Lift Trucks will now compete against other winners in the region in one of 14 district competitions. The Houston awards were the first in a three-tiered national competition.

The company’s marketing team designed a three-dimensional mailer that included a miniature cardboard box on a wooden pallet, branded with the company logo.

A Cat Lift Trucks metal tin containing a pamphlet and virtual CD were cleverly stowed inside the box.

The innovative, three-dimensional virtual tour CD was designed to educate distributors and end users of the benefits of the new forklift.

The ADDY awards are the world’s largest advertising contest, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation.
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Crown's new Australian office
SYDNEY, Australia

Crown Equipment has established a dedicated service and support office in Townsville to meet the demands of its customer base in North Queensland.

The office, at the Webb Industrial Estate, is overseen by Crown Queensland manager Chris Ansell from the Crown Queensland office in Brisbane.

“Crown has always had a strong customer base in North Queensland but it was always serviced through agency agreements,” Ansell said.

“By establishing a direct presence we are answering the growing demand for our products in this part of Australia and can more closely meet clients’ needs.”

The facility, headed by branch manager Peter Webb, has two road service technicians and will soon add a service supervisor for North Queensland clients.

Ansell said a satellite office was also being established in Cairns, North Queensland, to “maximise coverage” in the area.
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Joyride costs security guard’s life
EAST LONDON, United Kingdom

A security guard in an East London factory died while joyriding in a forklift.

News, South Africa’s online news service, reported police said the 31-year-old man was crushed to death after the forklift fell on top of him.

According to police, he had been driving the vehicle around Mondi packaging factory in East London, where he worked as a security guard.

Inspector Stephen Marais said: “Apparently he was driving down a steep ramp when he lost control of the forklift.”

He said the man fell out of the vehicle, which rolled down the ramp and fell on top of the guard, killing him instantly.
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**Letter from a reader**

“Because of you, a wonderful experience has happened to a fellow forklift professional from Canada. Thank you for being the catalyst for this. I’ll start from the beginning.

Last fall I read a new post in the Discussion Forums that read:

'We are a lift truck manufacturer in Thailand mainly in electric stackers, pallet trucks and tow tractors (very similar to BlueGiant product range). Currently seriously looking for a well-experienced engineer or expert to help improve our existing product quality as well as develop new products. Our focus is on tow tractor improvement and development. Would appreciate any advice on where to search for the above-mentioned persons. Thank you very much.'   -  Pin

I responded to, which forwarded my email address to Mr Pin, who contacted me the next day. We corresponded via email over the next few months and this resulted in me travelling to Thailand for the first time. Was I in for a pleasant surprise.

The head office was a very modern building in the city while the factory was on the outskirts in an enclosed complex with security. The factory was made up of several large buildings that were clean and well organized. Many different products were manufactured there. I have to say that in Thailand, I found the oddest mix of old and new I had ever encountered. For example, everyone could speak English, was computer literate, drove late model vehicles, and had the latest electronic cameras. But, the factory did not own a voltmeter, an ampmeter, a dial gauge, a tachometer, a sound level meter or electronic calipers. These were not available easily and we had to borrow them from the engineering department of the University of Bangkok before I could teach the engineers how to use each tool.

I taught the engineers from 9am to 9pm daily. We covered an extensive range of technical topics and the transfer of knowledge was very effective. They video recorded everything I said and did for eight days. The factory was surprisingly efficient and the production workers very skilled. They were a fine group of guys. I did not see them competing against each other or criticising one another. That allowed for some very productive discussions and everyone was always in top learning mood. I had a truly wonderful time with my new friends.

In short, my Thai trip was the most unbelievable experience I had ever encountered.    I was treated like a king. They laid out the red carpet and hospitality was incredible. Bangkok city is modern with a population of 12.2 million, and triple the traffic of Vancouver, all flowing with almost no congestion or traffic jams. We have a lot to learn about civil engineering, as the traffic flow was five levels high at times. Time went fast and before I knew it I was heading home.

We are currently working on a longer-term agreement for future co-operation.
Sawadikha, everyone.”

Al Sloan spent 27 years as a 'journeyman forklift mechanic', dabbled in forklift sales for a period, and is currently senior instructor for the Alberta Forklift Safety Council. He is an active member of's Discussion Forums
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VERNON HILLS, IL, United States

The Material Handling Equipment Distributors’ Association (MHEDA) will hold its 50th annual convention from April 30 to May 4 in Arizona.

Held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona, the convention’s focus is on “how you can transform your company”. Speakers will  cover topics ranging from sales to succession planning.

Learn about the latest products at the exhibitors’ showcase and share your views at a manufacturer-distributor relationship forum and roundtable discussion.

According to the MHEDA website, the convention is a chance to step away from the daily grind and immerse yourself in new ideas, new partnerships and new perspectives.

On Monday, May 2, MHEDA president David Griffith will talk on the state of the association and celebrate the association’s 50 years of serving the industry.

Speaker and bestselling author Dr Kevin Freiberg will present the keynote presentation, titled ‘Blow the doors off business as usual’.

There is a spouses program that includes a ‘heavenly homes tour’ and lunch at the Wrigley Mansion. On ‘Carefree Day’, spouses spend the day shopping in Carefree, a town north of Phoenix.

MHEDA website




In the Discussion Forums
Please don't compare forklifts like that!!
"Apples to Apples is fine for a bean counter (but not for comparing forklifts), you must also consider all the intangibles of aftermarket. Who will be providing service? What is their response time and product knowledge? How much are spare parts? Etc Etc."
randal_s, Canada

The fuel injection problems may depend on WHERE you are.
"I doubt many folks are having problems with the Nissan engine anywhere close to sea level, some units running LPG at higher altitudes may have problems not meeting the Cali air specs but running as smoothly as customers/ techs would like while cold."
etharp, United States

Psst ... any horror stories?
"Hi guys was wanting to know what type of fleet management systems people are using across the globe. In Britain, I have found Log-IT Systems the best for many of my customers. What are others thoughts on systems? Any horror stories?"
thomas_m, United Kingdom

No one seems to know - maybe you do?
"Hi, what you think about "Watts industrial tyres"? I would like your opinion on the "Freightmaster CX". Does anybody know about these "Freightmaster" tyres on forklifts? What kind of positive or negative field experience do you know?"
alexander_i, Russia

Discussion Forums >>

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Upcoming Events
1. 3rd Philippine Ports & Shipping 2005
Manila, Philippines
28th & 29th April 2005

2. National Manufacturing Week (NMW) 2005
Melbourne, Australia
10th to 13th May 2005

3. MHEDA - 2005 Annual Convention & Exhibitors' Showcase
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
30th April to 4th May 2005

Events >>

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1. Forklift Field Service Manager - Full time
Santa Fe Springs, CA, United States

2. Parts Counter Sales - Full time
Birmingham, AL, United States

3. Service Technicians - Full time
Birmingham, AL, United States

4. Parts Manager - Full time
Portland, Oregon, United States

Jobs >>

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1. Technical/Sales/Service/Operations Manager - Full time
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia

2. Field Troubleshooter\Trainer - Full time
Mid-Atlantic, United States

3. Parts/Service Manager - Full time
Southeast, United States

Resumes >>

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