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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #288 - 30 November 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Vegetable oil forklift reduces soot by half.”
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German university conducts forklift usage study
The Institute of Transportation Systems & Logistics at the University of Duisburg-Essen, in Germany, has conducted a project to find out how forklift manufacturers measure truck use.
The university’s “Project Hour Meter” wanted to determine the best way to measure forklift use to achieve maximum cost efficiencies for end users.
Research team member and PhD candidate Serpil Koc said the institute initiated the research because there was no industry standard determining what a forklift’s hour meter should count.
“Measuring the number of hours a truck has worked is an important activity used in different aspects of the truck’s lifetime,” Koc said.
The information was used to determine when maintenance was conducted, when forklifts were replaced, and rental and service charges. According to the research, an hour meter can count forklift use according to:
Key time – time measured from when a forklift’s starter key is switched to the on position.
Working hours – time measured from when any of a forklift’s motors are active.
Drive-motor hours – time measured from when a forklift has been driven.
Lift-motor hours – time measured from when a forklift has been lifting.
Run-on hours – the meter is configured to continue to run for a period of time whenever the motors stop.
After surveying 14 Europe-based forklift manufacturers and dealers, the study concluded that working hours was the best way to measure forklift activity.
Only 29 per cent of companies surveyed answered yes when asked if they had investigated the measuring method of their forklifts’ hour meters and the cost consequences.
Edlund Conny, from BT Europe AB’s service market department, said he was happy to receive the university’s questionnaire.
“I have been a product manager for Sweden’s service market. We often discussed with customers the price we quoted instead of what the customer actually pays, based on how we and competitors measure hours.”
BT said in a statement its hour meters “normally measure working hours”.
Still sales promotion officer Jürgen Wrusch said the German manufacturer’s electric forklifts started measuring hours “when the hydraulic or drive motor” was activated.
“It will be the best possibility for our customers to save costs because maintenance intervals will be longer, compared to the other possibilities.”
Manfred Hoehn, Linde Material Handling’s marketing service manager, said the leading forklift manufacturer had developed the Linde Forklift Data Management (LFM) device to measure forklift use.
Through the device, the end user received a report that showed a forklift’s working hours, key time, and the difference between the two. A second report enabled end users to analyse drive-motor and lift-motor hours combined and separately.
LFM is not standard on all Linde forklifts.
Jungheinrich AG was asked how it measured hour meters but refused to comment.
Companies surveyed were BT, Clark, Crown, OM Pimespo, Atlet, Buescher, Willecke, Jungheinrich, Zeppelin, Yale, Nissan-Forklift, Linde, Toyota Forklift and Still.
Report: China, India best sales opportunities
CLEVELAND, OH, United States
Developing countries, notably China and India, present the best sales opportunities for materials handling product suppliers, a new report by Freedonia Group says.
The Cleveland-based international business research company forecasts in World Material Handling Products that global materials handling product demand will expand 4.5 per cent a year to read USD117 billion in 2010.
Equipment demand will rise in developing countries because of industrialisation-related investment, increasing per capita incomes and growing manufacturing outputs.
Sales in Turkey, Mexico and Russia also are expected to be strong.
Western Europe, Japan and the USA will pick up in equipment demand because of favourable economic conditions and higher income levels, leading to increased goods consumption and manufacturing production.
The best gains will be seen in advanced materials handling products, like robots and automated, guided vehicles, software and high-end services.
The report said Germany and Japan were, overall, the major net exporters of materials handling products but Chinese and South Korean suppliers were expected to become increasingly important.
The US, Germany and Japan are the world’s largest materials handling product suppliers.
World Material Handling Products is available through Freedonia Group Inc for USD5,300.
Eco-truck reduces soot emissions
Toyota Industrial Equipment Netherlands (TIEN) has developed a forklift prototype that produces less exhaust fumes.
It was prompted by a customer’s forklifts receiving a negative review from health and safety inspectors.
TIEN service manager Cees Wondergem told Forkliftaction.com News the eco-truck, still undergoing pre-commercialisation adjustments, ran on pure plantaardige oile (PPO), Dutch for pure vegetable oil.
“One of our customers had a visit from the health and safety inspection. They concluded their forklifts produced too many exhaust fumes. The fuel pumps were changed but there was still a high emission of soot,” Wondergem said.
“PPO reduces the soot emission by 50 per cent so it was very interesting to research this solution further,” he said.
The Toyota 02-7FD45 Eco has two fuel tanks. One contains diesel and the other PPO. PPO’s ignition temperature is four times higher than diesel’s and PPO is thicker.
The forklift runs on diesel when it starts or is stationary. Once it is moving, the PPO fuel pump starts working and the diesel engine runs on PPO.
TIEN product marketer Jos de Wildt said the thicker vegetable oil left residue in the engine.
“Diesel is consumed until the engine is warmed up enough to process the thicker vegetable oil. At the end of the operation, the forklift needs to run on diesel for a few minutes before it is turned off. This avoids leaving oil residue that can damage the engine over time.”
According to a TIEN statement, the eco-truck emits 50 per cent less carbon monoxide, 40 per cent less hydrocarbons and 50 per cent less soot particles than a diesel-only forklift.
TIEN names PPO’s other advantages as being “not toxic, free from sulphur and biologically degradable”. The engine is also quieter.
TIEN claimed PPO, being “pure cold-pressed vegetable oil without chemical additions or molecular structural changes” was different to biodiesel.
“You could use the oil for cooking or as salad dressing. Biodiesel, however, is based on PPO but other agents are added to achieve the right viscosity and combustion properties,” the Dutch forklift importer said.
The eco-truck was exhibited at the Logistica trade fair at Jaarbeurs exhibition centre, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from November 14 to November 18 (Forkliftaction.com News #287).
Southeastern Michigan dealerships combine
PLYMOUTH, MI, United States
Forklift dealers the Blackwood brothers have nearly tripled the size of their business with the November 16 acquisition of Fraza/Forklifts of Detroit from owners Rick Frizzell and Terry Fraza.
Terms were not disclosed.
The deal combines two Michigan organisations under the names Fraza Forklifts for four locations and Clarklift for one location.
Annual sales are now USD44 million. There are 200 employees, including 100 technicians, and a parts inventory and infrastructure valued at about USD2 million.
“This acquisition strengthens our competitive position in this mature market and allows us to increase our product offering to businesses throughout southeastern Michigan,” Gregory Blackwood, president of Plymouth-based Fraza Forklifts, said in a statement. “Our management and service capabilities remain the same.”
The Blackwoods’ businesses, GB Sales & Service Inc, of Plymouth, and Blackwood Equipment Co, of Warren, had 60 employees and annual sales of USD15 million. Roseville-based Fraza/Forklifts of Detroit had 140 employees and annual sales of USD29 million, said Roger Runyan, vice president and chief financial officer of both Blackwood Holdings Co, a newly created ownership entity for the brothers’ businesses, and Fraza Forklifts.
Fraza Forklifts is the new trading name for GB’s Plymouth facility and Fraza/Forklifts of Detroit’s sites in Roseville, Romulus and Bridgeport. The new business entity, Fraza Forklifts, represents Mitsubishi, Caterpillar, Linde, Sellick and Royal forklift lines and JLG aerial lifts.
The Clarklift site, in Warren, formerly known as Blackwood Equipment, is an exclusive regional dealer for Clark forklifts. Clarklift also distributes Linde, Sellick and Royal forklifts.
The Blackwoods’ business began in a garage in 1976 as a forklift maintenance company. The founders, brothers Gregory and Timothy Blackwood, continue operating full-service dealerships.
“It was tough for Greg and Tim to change the name” from GB Sales & Service, but the higher Fraza market visibility was the determining factor, Runyan said. “Fraza has been stronger in sales” than the GB and Blackwood dealerships. Runyan said discussions about the deal occurred over two years.
Fraza Equipment Inc was established in 1936 and merged with Rick Frizzell’s Forklifts of Detroit in May 2001 to become Fraza/Forklifts of Detroit.
Big Joe adds electronic power steering
DES PLAINES, IL, United States
Walkie specialist Big Joe Manufacturing Co, of Des Plaines, Illinois, has introduced electronic power steering on a new Power-Drive counterbalanced (PDC-E) series of forklifts.
It’s a move the company says is possibly an industry first.
Big Joe Manufacturing decided two years ago to add electronic power steering and developed the technology in-house, in collaboration with key transmission and drive motor vendors.
“We determined the technology was viable” and that it could help walkie operators more efficiently manage heavy loads in small spaces, Andrew Cameron, Big Joe Manufacturing president, said. Beta testing began in August at several customer locations.
The technology was “relatively front running in this sector and type of truck” and a contrast from manual steering, Cameron said. He was unaware of any other standard production walkie counterbalanced forklifts with electronic power steering.
Big Joe fabricates, welds and assembles forklifts in Wisconsin Dells, with additional assembly at a Madison national parts distribution centre that opened in 2004. Big Joe’s line of more than 250 models addresses walkie materials handling tasks with the PDC-E and other counterbalanced forklifts, in-between handling units, pallet trucks, reach trucks, stock selectors and straddle trucks.
The line includes units that are manually propelled and others that use Big Joe’s proprietary Power-Drive propelling technology.
Other Big Joe counterbalanced forklift models, all with Power-Drive technology, are the PDC, with lifting capabilities of 1,500-4,000 pounds (675-1,800kg) and the PDCM, which has lifting capabilities of 2,000-2,500 pounds (900-1,125kg).
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BT forklift wins safety award
BT’s compact three-wheel counterbalanced forklift, the C3E 100R-150R, has been recognised with a safety award at the Préventica exhibition in Toulouse, France.
The innovation prize was awarded for the forklift’s “automatic speed reduction on cornering, comprehensive lights, reversing alert, drive-wheel direction indicator and all-round visibility”, a BT statement said.
Préventica is a workplace safety show held twice a year at different locations in France.
Largest order to date for AccelRate
VANCOUVER, BC, Canada
AccelRate Power Systems has received its largest order to date from its new South African distributor.
AccelRate president and CEO Reimar Koch said: “We are extremely happy with the advancement of our relationship with Toyota Forklift since we announced them as a new distributor on October 4, 2006, … we have received a substantial order for our high-speed battery chargers.”
The Vancouver-based company claims its main product is the world’s most advanced high-speed battery charger.
Saficon Industrial Equipment Pty Ltd trades as Toyota Forklift.
Improved safety and ergonomics for BT trucks
BT has introduced an LRE200 pallet truck and SRE and SSE model stackers for intensive applications.
According to BT market communications manager Charlotta Björklund, the trucks’ predecessors were the LR2.0 and the SPS and SR models, introduced in the early to mid-1990s.
The Mjölby, Sweden-manufactured trucks, available in all BT global markets, have enhanced safety and ergonomics compared to their predecessors, Björklund said.
Forklift parts company opens in Benelux
German forklift parts and accessories supplier Latec GmbH has opened a sales office in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, Latec Benelux.
The new office was opened because of increasing customer demand, Latec said in a statement.
Established in 1972, the company employs 30 workers and has a multilingual customer service team to serve European countries.
Small Korean forklift company growing fast
INCHEON, Korea, South
Soosung Lift Manufacturing Co Ltd has moved to a new 30,000 square metre factory because the small South Korean forklift manufacturer is growing rapidly.
Incheon-based Soosung started making hand pallet trucks in 1973 and today produces 40 types of battery-driven materials handling equipment.
“Our turnover has almost tripled during the last decade,” the company said in a statement.
The manufacturer invests “comparatively large amounts” in research & development.
“One major achievement was a DC motor controller jointly developed with the Korean Institute of Science & Technology, a leading technology think tank in Korea,” the statement said.
Soosung claims to be the first South Korean company to develop a speed controller.
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Materials handling events feature at Australian safety shows
MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia
Three materials handling exhibitions will run concurrently with safety shows in three Australian states next year.
Melbourne Materials Handling, Queensland Materials Handling and Sydney Materials Handling will feature alongside the annual safety shows.
The shows are Melbourne’s Safety in Action Trade Show & Conference on March 20-22, the Queensland Safety Show on June 19-21, and the Sydney Safety Show on October 24-26.
A Safety in Action spokesperson said Melbourne Materials Handling would be co-located as “many visitors will find both shows have valuable safety solutions”.
The Safety in Action Trade Show & Conference is at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. It would dedicate “25 per cent more floor space” than Materials Handling 2006 to materials handling exhibitors.
The spokesperson said “at this stage” there were about 45 forklift, crane, conveyor, and scissor-lift exhibitors. They included Linde, Toyota, Safetech, Amskan Holdings, Multi-Shifter, Red Australia, Task Australia, Maverick Equipment, Wrightway Products, Shockwatch and JLG Prolift.
She said Sydney Materials Handling would run concurrently with the Sydney Safety Show, at Olympic Park, while Queensland Materials Handling would run concurrently with the Queensland Safety Show at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Safety in Action organiser Marie Kinsella, from Australian Exhibitions & Conferences, said the Melbourne materials handling show had grown in popularity.
”Safety in Action has changed dramatically in size since the first 1998 event when it attracted just 1,500 visitors. In 2006, the show drew 12,129, bringing the total from its nine years to 50,880 visits,” she said.
Dunham sells materials handling inventory
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia
Melbourne-based Dunham Instruments Pty Ltd has sold its materials handling inventory to Collective Intelligence Industrial Fleet Management Pty Ltd (CI), based in Moorebank, Sydney.
The deal settled on November 24.
Dunham’s owner, Bob Britton, who is retiring, said CI had taken on distributing the materials handling side of the business. That included distribution of the US-made Keytroller forklift and construction vehicle management system, the Ravas mobile weighing system, the Transmon fleet monitoring system and Jayline products.
Keytroller is a forklift keyless data logging and ignition system, manufactured in Florida, USA.
Transmon UK manufactures systems that “restrict forklift and equipment operator abuse, monitor activities, increase site safety and reduce running costs”.
Britton said Dunham, which had operated for eight years, had two business units, materials handling and instrumentation. . The test and calibration side of the business would slowly be wound up.
He said the Keytroller device “needed input and feet on the ground” and he wanted “whoever was buying it to take it to the next level”.
Garry Squire, CI general manager, sales, said the Keytroller product was a “good fit”.
“We thought it would fit well with our high-end, internet-based fleet management system, FleetMS, which is an application specific system, individualised to customer specifications. The Keytroller unit fits nicely with that.”
Squire was “most impressed with the US-based Keytroller team” and saw the acquisition as “an opportunity for both companies to benefit”.
CI will distribute Keytroller, Transmon, Ravas and Jayline products in Australia and New Zealand.
Mobicon wins US navy contract
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
An Australian-designed Mobicon container handler has been sold to the US Navy and will be delivered in April next year.
Mobicon Australia Pty Ltd managing director and the container handler’s inventor Tom Schults, said Bath Iron Works, in the coastal state of Maine, USA, awarded Mobicon the contract as it was “the only container handler in the world that was light and versatile enough for the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship”.
The Littoral Combat Ship is a new family of surface ships for the US Navy. It is a fast, highly manoeuverable, shallow-draft vessel that operates in coastal waters.
Schults said the container handler would transport equipment from the wharf to the ship’s mission bay.
Mobicon, based in Brisbane, Queensland, has operated since 1997.
Schults said the container handler had low wheel loads and was useful for working with container payloads on the deck of a ship.
“The Mobicon has very low axle loadings. In fact, the lowest in the world and this is crucial for handling on the decks of ships.
“We are proud that an Australian-designed container handler has been selected over other equipment available in the world market,” Schults said.
The Mobicon weighed 12 tonnes empty and, as the weight was evenly spread across eight wheels, wheel loadings were less than six tonnes when carrying a 30-tonne container.
Schults said more than 50 Mobicon container handlers were operating in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US. Customers included Australian Customs (five machines), Toll Holdings (four machines), Sadleirs Transport (three machines), and Simon National Carriers.
A company statement said the Mobicon container handler was available exclusively through Powerfleet, in the US, Mobicon Systems, in Europe, and Big Lift Trucks, in Durban, South Africa.(
Shift in sales culture begs fresh tactics
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Forkliftaction.com News spoke to Australian and international sales and marketing experts on the impact of the internet, website development, sales and marketing teams, and advertising dos and don’ts. There were some helpful and surprising findings.
Click here for the full story.
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Collective Intelligence acquires Dunham Instruments
Collective Intelligence Industrial Fleet Management [ci:IFM] are pleased to announce the acquisition of Dunham Instruments Pty Ltd materials handling division. This acquisition brings a number of additional products to the already extensive list offered by ci:IFM including Keytroller, Transmon, Ravas and Jayline’ said Garry Squire General Manager of ci:IFM today.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Trelleborg invests in increased capacity in Sri Lanka, transfers production from North America
Trelleborg is consolidating its industrial tire production to Sri Lanka and will invest in increased production capacity at one of Trelleborg Wheel Systems’ plants in Sri Lanka. As a consequence of this, it is announced that the production of industrial tires will be terminated and relocated from Trelleborg Wheel Systems’ plant in Hartville, Ohio, in the US.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Mobile partnerships ease transportation headaches
As a leading materials handling equipment manufacturer for almost fifty years, Mobile realizes that there are only two things that matter to dealers and customers alike – product quality and price. Mobile’s stringent quality control standards maintain the quality issue but the pricing is subject to a number of different factors. Although actual product pricing is primarily reliant on varying labor and material costs, the distribution arm of the business can greatly influence the buyer’s decision making process.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Systems Material Handling Co introduces Safe-T-alert forward
Olathe, KS, United States
New Safe-T-Alert Series 2200 Forward Horns that produce a 107dB continuous tone when activated were recently added to the complete line of alarm systems available from Systems Material Handling Company. The Safe-T-Alert Series 2200 are rugged, compact horns ideally suited for emergency and maintenance vehicles, construction equipment, fire and lift trucks, industrial and utility vehicles and buses, among others.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
ProMat 2007 preparations in progress
CHICAGO, IL, United States
More than 750 exhibitors will participate in the Material Handling Industry of America’s (MHIA) materials handling show in January. They will share 300,000 square feet (27,870 square metres) of exhibition space at ProMat 2007, from January 8 to January 11, in Chicago, Illinois
Click here for the full Fork Talk feature, including pictures.
Dave Hoover: Forklift training sales, what is the real motivation?
NEWARK, OH, United States
Several months ago, I was introduced to a potential training customer. During an initial visit, I covered the usual topics, such as asking the potential customer what they were looking for, finding out what they had done in the past, how many people they wanted to train, and what types of forklifts they used. After the conversation, I was given a plant tour by the plant manager. During the survey it was obvious there was a serious problem.
Click here for the full Safety First feature, including pictures.
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