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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #273 - 17 August 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Linde reports financial results as Linde AG's forklift segment for the last time.”
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Heli expands in North America, ignites dispute
DALLAS, TX, United States
by US correspondent Roger Renstrom
An expansion of Heli’s forklift distribution in North America has ignited a dispute between operating units of Sammons Enterprises Inc and Nacco Materials Handling Group Inc.
Sammons formed MH Imports Inc to distribute China-made Heli equipment in United States’ geographic regions yet to be fully identified. Dallas-based Sammons is a privately owned conglomerate with diversified interests.
Sammons hired Bruce Pelynio as president of the new Dallas-based business unit. He was previously with Nacco’s Yale Materials Handling Corp unit, in Greenville, North Carolina, for six years, most recently as director of North American aftermarket sales.
Nacco has objected to the new MH-Heli relationship, claiming in a lawsuit it intrudes on existing business agreements between Yale and another Sammons business unit, Briggs Industrial Equipment Inc, an authorised dealer of Yale forklifts, replacement parts and service.
On June 21, Nacco and Yale filed a breach of contract suit against Heli unit Anhui Heli Industrial Vehicle Import and Export Co Ltd, of Hefei, China, and a separate Sammons entity, Briggs Equipment SA de CV, of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, which distributes Yale equipment in Mexico. The case was filed in the US Federal District Court in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is pending before Judge Terrence Boyle. No hearings have been scheduled.
The suit said Briggs had been a Yale dealer for more than 50 years and was committed to representing Yale exclusively and not marketing products of any full-line competitor to Yale. In the suit, Nacco alleged Heli induced Briggs to breach its commitments to Yale.
Nacco, of Portland, Oregon, USA, is seeking an injunction to halt the MH-Heli business deal, compensatory and punitive damages, court costs and legal fees.
Anhui Heli Co manufactures a wide range of Heli materials handling equipment, including internal combustion balanced and counter balanced forklifts and diesel pneumatic tyre units. The firm’s 2006 production volume may approach 29,000 units, Southwest Equipment Sales (SWES) president John Faulkner said.
Anhui Heli Industrial Vehicle Import and Export Co Ltd deals with markets outside China and has representation through SWES in the western United States.
SWES, of Denver, Colorado, has a master distributor agreement with Heli covering most of 15 states in the west but those states do not overlap the probable MH Imports territories. Details on MH’s specific geographic territory for Heli remain under discussion as part of a pending master distributor agreement between MH and Heli, Pelynio said.
Heli established a small toehold in the North American market in 1998 through a factory-run site in Florida. SWES became involved with Heli in February 2005. “I saw an opportunity,” Faulkner said.
Pelynio said Heli was China’s largest materials handling equipment manufacturer. He said a unit of Anhui Heli Co Ltd, of Hefei, China, exhibited Heli forklift equipment at the ProMat 2005 trade show in Chicago.
Briggs Equipment has a long history. A predecessor firm was established in 1896. Self-made billionaire Charles A Sammons acquired Briggs-Weaver Machinery Co in 1952 and consolidated his holdings as Sammons Enterprises. Briggs Equipment became a separate Sammons business in 1996 and is a major dealer of industrial and construction equipment in the southern United States and Mexico. Briggs supplies all lines of forklifts manufactured by Yale and Taylor Machine Works Inc, of Louisville, Mississippi, USA.
The Nacco suit said Sammons subsidiary Briggs Equipment Trust owned 99 percent of the Mexican corporation Briggs Equipment SA de CV.
Komatsu forklift for fuel cell demo
NASHVILLE, TN, United States
Komatsu distributor Material Handling Resources LLC (MHR) is collaborating with General Hydrogen Corporation to provide fuel cell battery replacement technology for a forklift customer.
MHR supplied a Komatsu FB25SHG-6 with General Hydrogen’s Hydricity packs to an unidentified major customer of MHR and General Hydrogen. “It is on demo and [at low fuel pressure] getting nine to 10 hours [of] run time and [a] five-minute refuel,” Joe Tracey, MHR sales manager, said. Use of a permanent fuel station and filling tanks to higher pressures should allow run times up to 18 hours, said Tony Troutt, General Hydrogen vice president of business development.
Tracey said MHR’s discussions with the customer began in January and the demonstration started in March. The sit-down forklift has a 5,000lb (2,250kg) lifting capacity.
Greg Asadourian, general manager of Nashville-based MHR, said: “We found General Hydrogen was to demo one of its fuel cells and made arrangements to provide one of our new units as the vehicle. Testing is still underway. The results are favourable and the customer is still evaluating.”
ISO containers contribute to jump in intermodal loads
CALVERTON, MD, United States
Growth in international containers accounted for the bulk of North America’s increase in intermodal volume for the second quarter (Q2) of 2006.
According to Intermodal Market Trends & Statistics, the Intermodal Association of North America’s (IANA) quarterly publication, international container volume for Q2 2006 surpassed 2005’s peak season volumes (during Q4 2005) by about 130,000 containers.
Q4 is traditionally the strongest for international volume, the publication said.
International containers accounted for more than 90 per cent of Q2’s intermodal volume growth, IANA said in a statement. Growth was attributed to the “continued strength in container imports from Asia, particularly at Pacific southwest ports”.
IANA’s vice president of member services & business development, Tom Malloy, said Pacific southwest ports, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports in southern California, handled “the lion’s share” of import volumes from Asia.
He said Q2 of 2006 was the first time, since the IANA started reporting loadings in 1996, that the prior year’s quarterly and monthly peak volumes were exceeded in the first half of the following year.
For Q2 2006, trailer volume handled hiked 1.9 per cent to 610,237, domestic container volume jumped 3.3 per cent to 814,659 and ISO containers increased 9.4 per cent to 2,158,404 compared to Q2 2005. Intermodal loads for Q2 2006 totalled 3,583,300, a 5.9 per cent increase from the previous year’s Q2.
The Q2 2006 intermodal volume tops Q4 2005’s peak of 3.56 million. On a monthly basis, the June volume of 1.24 million loads topped 2004’s October peak of 1.23 million, the statement said.
Data for Intermodal Market Trend & Statistics are as reported by six class 1 railroads in North America, four in the US and two in Canada.
Growth program a factor in Linde profit boost
Linde’s cost savings program was a major factor in increased profitability for the first half year in its materials handling segment, the company said in a statement.
Linde AG reported sales in the first six months of 2006 for its former materials handling segment increased 15.9 per cent to EUR1.933 billion (USD2.471 billion) from 2005’s EUR1.668 billion (USD2.133 billion).
Operating profit rose 48.7 per cent to EUR116 million (USD148 million) from 2005’s EUR78 million (USD99.8 million). The GO (Growth & Operational Excellence) program, which replaced TRIM.100 this year, was a major contributory factor to the rise in profitability, the statement said (Forkliftaction.com News #250).
Orders received increased 9.1 per cent from 2005’s EUR1.829 billion (USD2.339 billion) to EUR1.995 billion (USD2.551 billion).
The industrial truck market environment was described as “favourable” for the first half of 2006, with global demand growing 13 per cent to the end of June 2006. Linde’s main market, Western Europe, grew eight per cent.
The bulk of growth for the first six months of 2006 was in the Eastern European and Chinese markets, the statement said. Compared to the same period in 2005, demand rose 44 per cent in Eastern Europe and 34 per cent in China.
Linde group sales increased 10.7 per cent to EUR4.991 billion (USD6.382 billion) and group operating profit jumped 29 per cent to EUR481 million (USD615 million) in the six months to June 30.
“We have continued to improve our business operations while successfully meeting the additional challenges in the run-up to the proposed acquisition of BOC,” Linde CEO Wolfgang Reitzle said.
Linde AG’s materials handling segment became a separate legal entity, named Linde Material Handling GmbH & Co KG, on August 1. Linde AG intends to focus on its gas and engineering business once its acquisition of BOC is finalised (Forkliftaction.com News #263).
Business for sale – Australia Pacific region
A successful small business representing a select range of quality forklift attachments and accessories is available for sale now. The owner of this Melbourne based business is going to retire and is looking for expressions of interest to purchase the company. The business could be relocated to any Australian East Coast location if desired.
The products are well known and respected throughout the region, and an active owner could take advantage of the company’s reputation and grow it enormously. It would suit a buyer who wants to establish a national dealer structure or an existing national business wanting to add quality lines to its product range. Don’t miss this opportunity to take over an established, respected business.
For more information:
Forklift rental, AGV and parent to merge
Two Rocla subsidiaries will merge with parent company Rocla Oyj in a bid to improve business efficiency and cut costs.
Rocla Rent Oy, a Finnish forklift rental business, and Rocla Robotruck Oy, an automated guided vehicle manufacturer, are part of the merger plan adopted by Rocla Oyj’s board of directors on July 19.
In a statement this week, Rocla Oyj’s board said the planned registration date of the merger was December 31.
Rocla shareholders were entitled to request a general meeting to decide on the merger but requests must be filed in writing no later than September 8.
“Should no requests be made, the board will implement the merger process in accordance with the merger plan,” the board’s August 14 statement said.
Rocla Oyj spokesperson Mia Sipilä-Heikura said the company was aiming for synergies in the “total value chain”.
“Transport, purchasing and supplying, R&D, inbound and outbound logistics and all these functions … advantages can easily be found by pulling the operations together,” she said.
Sipilä-Heikura said the merger would result in a “more complete” solutions and services provider and add value for customers.
Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific receive Cat machines
McCONNELLSBURG, PA, United States
JLG Industries Inc started shipping Cat-branded telehandlers to Caterpillar dealers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region on July 26.
“Production of these models was successfully transferred from a Caterpillar facility in the UK to JLG’s Belgium manufacturing plant,” a JLG statement said.
JLG CEO Bill Lasky said production for shipments to North American and Latin American Caterpillar dealers was on track for November (Forkliftaction.com News #263).
In October 2005, JLG and Caterpillar announced a 20-year strategic alliance, in which JLG provides Caterpillar dealers with an exclusive, full range of Cat-branded telehandlers, manufactured at JLG’s Belgium and US plants.
Komatsu revises projection for 2007
Komatsu Ltd has revised projections for its consolidated results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, due to stronger demand for its construction and mining equipment than previously projected.
Consolidated net sales are projected to be 4.7 per cent higher or JPY87 billion (USD751 million) more than earlier projected (JPY1,932 billion/USD16.7 billion instead of JPY 1,845 billion/USD15.9 billion). Operating profit is now expected to be 13.2 per cent higher at JPY240 billion (USD2.07 billion), instead of JPY212 billion (USD1.83 billion). Net income is projected to be 12.5 per cent higher at JPY135 billion (USD1.16 billion), not JPY120 billion (USD1.03 billion).
The group anticipated demand in Japan, China, Africa and “some other countries” to be stronger than previously projected for construction and mining equipment.
Komatsu Forklift Co Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd.
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Movers & Shakers
McCONNELLSBURG, PA, United States
JLG Industries Inc has promoted Craig E Paylor to senior vice president of marketing. Paylor joined JLG in 1978 as assistant district manager and is a graduate of Harvard’s executive business program. He was previously responsible for JLG’s domestic sales and marketing activities.
Timothy M Morris has been appointed JLG vice president of North American market development & sales. He joined JLG in 1992 as a sales trainee and has held sales and marketing positions in the company.
Michelle L Hards has joined JLG as director of corporate communications and investor relations. Hards was director of investor relations for global automotive supplier Dana Corp, in Toledo, Ohio, for the past three years. She has held auditing, accounting and operations management roles at Dana.
Rod Pierce has been appointed Hyster South-East general manager. Pierce has worked for Hyster Australia’s Melbourne office in national parts & projects. He spent 10 years as a manager for an industrial equipment business before joining Hyster.
Nissan forklift distributor Powerlift Australia Group has appointed Alistair Witt as sales manager. Witt has worked for Komatsu, Red Australia and Crown in Sydney.
BRIGHTON, MI, United States
Lowry Computer Products Inc has appointed Jeffery Tazelaar as RFID product manager. Tazelaar has a master of science degree in packaging from Michigan State University. Before joining Lowry, he assisted in the Wal-Mart RFID labelling roll-out and helped develop forklift-mounted RFID readers.
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Australian battery-electric forklift sales lift
by Daphne Haneman
An Australian forklift association has reported a significant growth in electric forklift sales in the past decade.
Australian Industrial Truck Association (AITA) executive officer Howard Grant said statistics collected by AITA showed battery electric forklift sales trends were emulating petrol and diesel sales.
“Over the last 10 years we have observed a perceptible growth in sales of electric forklifts,” he said.
“Statistics show the proportion of combustion powered forklifts to battery electric used to be 60-40 but, in recent years, the ratio is more like 50-50.”
Grant cited manufacturers offering improved technology as a potential reason for the increased sales.
“A greater range of battery types and fewer maintenance problems have added to the competitive aspect of the trucks. He said a greater focus on the environment was another factor.
Sydney-based Hyster Pacific regional sales manager Maurice Hayes said 2005-06 had seen a dramatic increase in deliveries of battery electric forklifts.
“In 2005, Hyster delivered 2,850 battery electrics to the marketplace and 3,971 in 2006. In terms of the overall market, this represents a 22 per cent positive swing,” he said.
Hayes said the reason for the swing was probably to do with technology improvements, making battery electric forklifts economical and competitive with internal combustion units.
“Changing a battery now costs AUD6 to AUD8, whereas a tank of gas can cost AUD 25 to AUD 28. In terms of capital acquisition costs compared with fuel, that means a customer hits break-even point at 2-½ years,” Hayes said.
“Additionally, new technology has lifted travel speeds on the electrics; they have the same programmability to operate at compatible IC speeds. We can now control the hydraulics without fleet assistance or speed shields.”
However, Hayes said the used equipment market was still sluggish and buyers did not get resale value with electrics.
New Zealand Industrial Sales Ltd manager Dennis Rose said IC and Jungheinrich battery electric forklift sales had increased in the last calendar year, but he did not believe that reflected a significant increase in battery electric sales.
“To date we have not noticed any major swing to battery electric, however we anticipate a swing in the next 12-18 months,” he said.
Powerlift Sydney sales manager Alistair Witt said there had been an increase in order intake for Powerlift’s range of Nissan Euro battery electrics.
“Because of the Euro range and after winning an account with a transport and logistics business, we have noted an increase in sales.”
Witt said the increase was due to improvements in AC technology and occupational health and safety issues.
“It’s more electronics than electrics. We weren’t getting battery usage on a full shift but now battery capability has improved.”
Witt believed the rising trend in battery electric sales would continue.
Racist remarks take toll on forklift driver
A Toll Holdings Ltd forklift driver who was called a “f***ing bomb chucker” while at work has been awarded AUD25,000 in compensation and legal costs.
Mohamed Abdulrahman, born in Australia to Lebanese migrants, testified to the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal that his Toll manager repeatedly asked him: “What happened to your cousins?”
Abdulrahman said that, during a work meeting, a union delegate said: “What do you think, you want to go home with AUD1 million and chuck bombs around Australia?”
Toll state manager Jamie Primmer told Green Left Weekly Abdulrahman’s complaint had been without foundation, but Toll union delegate Les Pointing said name-calling and racial slurs were common at the Sydney Toll plant.
The tribunal awarded compensation and legal costs but did not order Toll to apologise, saying there was “little value in an apology that was not genuine”.
Toll will appeal against the decision.
Toll is a transport company that generated revenue of AUD8 billion in 2005/06.
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Rob Vetter: Site and equipment training must be specific
BLAINE, WA, United States
Training delivered on any equipment other than that which the operator is assigned to use is not acceptable. Any performance evaluation performed outside the operator’s workplace is not acceptable. Those kinds of operator training are non-compliant and therefore unacceptable.
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