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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #322 - 09 August 2007 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Bendi's pie size enlarges in the UK.”
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CARB rules vary in dealing with rental/lease fleets
SACRAMENTO, CA, United States
A new California diesel engine emission regulation applying to fleet owners deals differently with rental-lease obligations than a similar earlier rule involving off-road large spark ignition (LSI) engines.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted off-road emission-control regulations for “in-use” diesel engines on July 26 and LSI engines in May 2006. Each rule aims to reduce emissions in types of engines used to power forklifts and other equipment. Rather than setting new standards for new engines, the regulations aim to clean up existing fleets through retrofitting and faster replacement.
The confusing difference between the diesel and LSI approaches has significance for owners and operators on both sides of forklift rental-lease arrangements and may complicate accounting practices for their business operations. While rented or leased LSI equipment is always considered to be in the end user’s fleet, a diesel forklift might become part of the fleet of a lessor/owner or that of a lessee/renter/end user, depending on the length of the contract, its other provisions or the type of financing used.
In voting to approve the diesel rule, CARB members “did not make changes to the rental and lease provisions” as industry requested for consistency with the LSI rule, says Gary Cross, an attorney representing the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) of Washington, DC. ITA represents makers of lift trucks and their suppliers doing business in the United States, Canada or Mexico.
The difference raises questions about how to do business consistently. “It is a basic problem, and we will need help from the (CARB) staff on how to interpret and apply the requirements,” Cross says.
The new diesel rule applies to about 180,000 vehicles operating in the state, including 5,142 regular diesel forklifts, constituting the second-highest grouping in the industry category, and 6,771 rough terrain diesel forklifts, ninth highest in the construction and mining category.
Requirements and deadlines vary. Implementation begins in 2015 for small fleets that are owned by small businesses or municipalities and have a combined horsepower of 2,500 or less. Medium-sized fleets, with 2,501 to 5,000 horsepower, have until 2013, while large fleets, with more than 5,000 horsepower, must comply by 2010. Sacramento-based CARB analysed the economic impact on business and concluded the regulation would cost industry up to USD3.5 billion over its lifetime.
Veri-Tek attracted by Noble assets
BRIDGEVIEW, IL, United States
US manufacturer of engineered lifting equipment Veri-Tek International Corp has bought Noble Rough-Terrain Forklift from GT Distribution for USD4.2 million.
Veri-Tek CEO David J Langevin says the company is pleased to add Noble to its specialised lifting equipment line.
“The Noble product line was originally designed and marketed by Caterpillar in 1983 and was subsequently marketed through Eagle Pitcher's dealer network.”
He adds that the products have a strong distribution network.
Noble will benefit from Veri-Tek's manufacturing base and add to its Liftking rough-terrain forklift product line.
No new employees or facility expansions are in the pipeline.
Langevin says Veri-Tek's sales and marketing team is excited to gain access to Noble's established dealer network.
Andrew Rooke, the company's president & COO, says the Noble business will add to Veri-Tek's annual operating earnings, starting with the current year.
“The Noble business has historically generated operating margins similar to those of our Liftking subsidiary on sales volumes of about USD20 million.
“But in recent times, as a result of changing facilities and ownership, the company has not kept up with demand for its products.
“However, it has retained its most valuable assets - its distribution and reputation for quality products. We believe that we are uniquely positioned to restore this business to its historic performance in reasonable time.”
Veri-Tek will release GT Distribution from its USD4.2 millon debt to Veri-Tek as consideration for the assets of the Noble business, a Veri-Tek statement says.
Veri-Tek manufactures boom trucks and crane products through its Manitex subsidiary. Its Manitex Liftking subsidiary produces rough-terrain forklifts and special mission-orientated vehicles, specialised carriers, heavy materials handling transporters and steel mill equipment. Manitex Liftking rough-terrain forklifts are used in commercial and military applications.
UK's Bendi closing in on reach truck sales
REDDITCH, United Kingdom
Translift Bendi, the manufacturer of the Bendi articulated forklift, claims it will nearly outsell UK's most popular reach truck brands this year, despite costing significantly more.
Articulated forklifts are compact trucks used for loading and unloading outdoors and pallet moving in very narrow aisle warehouses. Because they do the work of a reach truck and counterbalanced forklift, manufacturers claim they save forklift and warehouse space costs.
Translift Bendi says it will expand its Redditch plant by 75% this northern hemisphere autumn to cope with increased demand.
In 2006/07, sales of the Bendi doubled. A spokesperson says the overall market size for reach trucks and articulated forklifts in the UK is about 3,000 units a year. He claims about 700 Bendis are sold annually - compared to 800 to 900 reach trucks by Bendi’s competitors.
Managing director Simon Brown says the articulated truck market has grown steadily year on year.
“Our message is getting across that the Bendi is the cheapest way to store pallets in standard pallet racking when the entire warehouse is concerned.
“The Bendi has often shown payback within 24 months,” Brown boasts.
Translift Bendi says it is the articulated forklift pioneer in Britain, having introduced the truck about 25 years ago.
The company says competitors initially scorned the truck, saying it was a "Heath Robinson" contraption that wouldn't take off. (William Heath Robinson is a British cartoonist who died in London in 1944. The Tatler regularly published his cartoons of crazy inventions.)
Bendi’s Redditch plant has surpassed 7,000 trucks and Europe’s leading home improvement retailer, B&Q, has over 600 Bendis in their UK stores.
New Bendi markets are opening up in Australia, France, Germany, the Czech Republic and South Africa, according to a Translift Bendi statement.
Brown is confident of the company's expansion plans:
“The new, extended facility at Redditch, the only articulated forklift assembly line plant in the UK, will be able to produce 120 Bendi trucks a month by the end of 2008 and if growth continues, we may be looking to implement an additional expansion plan already mapped out.”
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Former Toyota dealer evolves
There don’t appear to be any hard feelings after Toyota terminated its relationship with former UK dealer, Impact.
While Impact Handling’s managing director, Terry Kendrew, declined to comment for this article, his firm does have commercial links with other forklift brands.
Kendrew was contacted after Forkliftaction.com News recently reported Toyota Industrial Equipment UK (TIEUK) had terminated its relationship with its dealer for the North, Midlands and East of England regions (Forkliftaction.com News #320).
TIEUK’s former dealer Impact Toyota, has since changed its name to Impact Handling.
A 10 January article on Transport News Network online news site described Impact as UK’s fastest growing Toyota forklift distributor.
Impact was established in Hull, UK, in 1985 as a Toyota distributor. South African Toyota distributor and transport group Imperial Holdings acquired it for GBP16 million (USD32.6 million) in 2000. In 2005, Impact achieved a milestone of selling 6,000 new Toyota forklifts and in 2006, it reached 111% of its target for Toyota sales. A recent Plimsoll report said Impact was ranked 23rd fastest growing UK forklift company in terms of annual sales growth.
Impact Handling’s website says it now supplies Toyota forklifts, Kalmar forklifts and tow tractors, and Lancer side loaders.
Headquartered in Nottingham with locations in Hull, Immingham, Doncaster, Ipswich and Corby, the company says in a press release titled “the road ahead” it was moving from a distributor of solely Toyota equipment to one that “can supply any requirement, without being tied to one manufacturer”.
In other press releases, the company says it now offers more choice, flexibility and covered the whole of the UK. Impact also boasts of the financial backing of its parent company.
Imperial Holdings’ group revenue was ZAR54.1 billion (USD7.7 billion), up 27% from the previous year’s ZAR42.6 billion (USD6.07 billion) for the financial year ended June 30, 2006. Its operating profit for fiscal 2006 was ZAR4.5 billion (USD640.8 million).
While Kendrew declined to comment on the Toyota situation, he was keen to stress that this is “an important time for the company as it evolves”.
Impact Handling announced on its website it has recently won a five-year full contract hire deal worth over GBP3.7 million (USD7.5 million) to supply plastic pipe system maker Polypipe’s materials handling needs at its 13 UK sites.
Another dealer Forkliftaction.com News contacted says the company had received instructions from the manufacturer not to comment to the media.
There are 10 Toyota dealers in the UK, three are wholly-owned by Toyota. Emails to four of the dealers - Anker Fork Lift Trucks Ltd, FTM Ltd, Truckmasters Ltd and Groundwater Lift Trucks Ltd - were unanswered before Forkliftaction.com News went to press.
Governor recognises Clark's safe days
LOUISVILLE, KY, United States
Clark Material Handling Company's aftermarket parts distribution centre in Louisville has received the Governor's Health & Safety Award for the second consecutive year.
The Kentucky Department of Labour and OSHA representatives presented the award on July 31 to recognise the distribution centre's 1,727 accident-free days.
Thirty machines for Gioia Taurao
Medcenter Container Terminal SpA (MCT) has ordered 30 Kalmar seventh generation CSC straddle carriers for its Gioia Taurao facility in Italy.
The order, consisting of 20 four-high CSC440 units and 10 three-high CSC340 units, will be delivered in late 2007 and early 2008.
MCT, part of Contship Italia Group, handles around 3 million TEUs a year along its 3,300m quay.
Jump in exhibitors for Conexpo
MILWAUKEE, WI, United States
CONEXPO Asia 2007, to be held from Dec 4-7 in Guangzhou, China, has already signed up nearly 300 exhibitors, 50% more than in 2006.
Buyer delegations from South East Asia, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea are expected to attend the show held at the Chinese Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex, according to an organiser statement.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products are co-organisers.
Drivers test agility and speed
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States
More than 85 forklift operators joined the seventh annual Forklift Safety Rodeo hosted by Sandia from August 6-9.
The operators from Sandia, Kirtland Air Force Base, Honeywell and Los Alamos National Laboratory were given 30 minutes to run through a forklift obstacle course at the former Coronado Club parking lot on Kirtland Air Force Base.
Assessed according to agility and driving time, the final 15 will compete in a final round on August 9.
Brother swaps Toyota, Nichiyu, Still and Nissan for Baoli
JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia
Baoli Forklift (M) Sdn Bhd, Malaysia's Baoli forklift distributor, has received a RM2 million (USD579,626) order from Japanese technology manufacturer Brother.
Technical director Handy Lee says the delivery to Brother's four Malaysian plants in Terbrau Industrial Park 1 and Kempas Industrial Area in Johor, will be completed in six months from late 2006 to early 2007.
Brother ordered 11 CPD15 electric counterbalanced forklifts, one CPD20 electric counterbalanced forklift, three CPCD20 diesel forklifts and five CQD16H electric sit-down reach trucks.
Brother will be hiring the forklifts and trading in its old fleet consisting of Toyota, Nichiyu, Still and Nissan forklifts.
Lee says Brother had complained about the parts and service downtime for its old fleet.
“Service [was] not prompt by existing suppliers. [Also] maintenance and running costs [were] too high.”
He adds that Baoli forklifts have been available for two years in Malaysia, a forklift market dominated by Japanese brands Toyota, Nissan and Komatsu.
“[However] more customers are accepting Chinese-made trucks due to its low running and ownership costs.
Lee expects Brother’s Malaysian operations to save over 30% in maintenance and running costs with its new forklifts.
Baoli Forklift (M) Sdn Bhd, headquartered at Johor Bahru, employs 50 people and was established in 2005. Jiangsu Baoli Forklift, a joint venture with a US company, has its factory in Jiangsu province and employs 3,000.
Lee, who has 12 years’ experience in Malaysia’s forklift industry, estimates the annual market size to be about 5,000 new units. Over 60% of the new forklifts consumed are internal combustion forklifts. He names Baoli, Heli and Hangcha as leading Chinese forklift brands in Malaysia.
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Integrated forklift computer software
AMHERST, NH, United States
Glacier Computer has introduced Glacier Commander, a software solution to use with its Everest series of rugged computers.
The integrated software allows IT administrators to access vital forklift-mounted computer information from their office computer, using remote management programs.
Information that can be accessed and recorded includes processor temperature, reboots, run time and system crashes.
Toyota launches AC pallet truck line
IRVINE, CA, United States
Toyota Material Handling USA (TMHU) has launched its 8-Series AC pallet truck product line.
The line of walkie and rider pallet trucks and tow tractors, features an AC drive system that TMHU claims delivers more runtime per battery charge, maintains higher levels of performance throughout the work cycle and is virtually maintenance-free.
Controller Area Network (CAN-bus) communication technology is also used to provide accurate and quick control of the forklifts’ functions.
Silent truck pleases Norwegians
LETCHWORTH GARDEN CITY, United Kingdom
Logitrans UK Ltd has introduced a new pallet truck, the Panther Silent.
It claims the pallet truck has “silent movements, a high manoeuvrability” and specially-designed wheels.
Customers who tried the truck in Norway were pleased with the truck’s silent movement, says Logitrans UK managing director Anthony Dollimore.
Fence-crashing forklift driver convicted
CAPE CORAL, FL, United States
The man who used a Bobcat forklift to demolish his neighbour's fence last year has been convicted by a jury of criminal mischief. (Forkliftaction.com News #265).
The News-Press reported a Lee County Jury spent 15 minutes deliberating before Tim Trimble, 54, was convicted.
The neighbours had had a two-year dispute over the fence, which Trimble said hindered him from storing his boat and trailer in his backyard.
Trimble was sentenced to 36 months probation and unspecified restitution.
Danish group establishes operations in New Zealand
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
DSV Air & Sea Holding, a division of Danish transport and logistics services group DSV, has established a new company in New Zealand under the name of DSV Air & Sea Limited.
Last week, the new company took over Auckland-based JHB International Logistics, previously DSV’s exclusive agent in New Zealand, stating that the acquisition ensured its coverage of Oceania had become even broader and complemented its global network.
DSV Air & Sea Limited has a budgeted annual turnover of DKK 40 million (NZ$ 9.7 million) and employs 14 people at its offices in Auckland.
The managing director of the New Zealand company, Paul Thomson, tells Forkliftaction.com News that although it is business as usual, the takeover will benefit its current 1,500 customers as the company is now part of a global network.
The DSV Group’s air and sea division has an annual turnover of 1.2 billion euro and employs around 2,700 people.
Just a month ago, DSV extended its markets to Dubai through its acquisition of its former agent, Active Freight Management, signalling its first investment in the Middle East.
According to the group’s CEO Kurt Larsen, the move by the company to change from agents to its own subsidiaries is a long-term investment, placing it in a stronger position by ensuring that it will not lose business when partnerships are discontinued due to events outside its control.
Major win for Cascade
ROCKLEA, Queensland, Australia
Cascade Australia of Rocklea, Queensland, has just won a contract to supply paper roll clamps to a major Australian forklift company by December this year, for use by a large paper manufacturer's logistics and distribution provider.
The company, a leader in the design and manufacture of materials handling equipment for forklifts, is part of the US-based Cascade Corporation which has 16 operations worldwide including North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. Each operation produces products regionally to supply to global markets.
Explains national sales and marketing manager Scott Geelan: “Our attachments and forks help a truck lift, side shift, rotate, tilt and clamp appliances, paper rolls, textiles, lumber and other products.”
He tells Forkliftaction.com News that the company has the largest and best-equipped attachment manufacturing facility in Australia, with managers in each state, qualified design engineers and access to the global Cascade network. “This enables us to provide solutions for materials handling applications utilising forklift trucks and associated equipment.”
Among the latest technological developments at Cascade is its new multiple pallet handler range just released in Europe, with the first shipment due in Australia in October this year.
“Major improvements to the design of the new unit include significantly improved visibility, increased strength, improved bearing design and an improved mechanical spring cartridge to improve reliability. These improvements, coupled with a competitive price and ex-stock availability, will be well received in the Australian market,” says Geelan.
Cascade Australia has also recently released its new "G" series rotators which eclipse the previous D series rotators due to better visibility and reduced price, he adds.
The company is expanding its range of Australian-designed tyre handling attachments for use in the mining industry, and is promoting its range of layer picking attachments for use in distribution centres.
The company is called upon by its customers to provide solutions to a variety of materials handling challenges. Among the most unusual in Australia was the supply of several marble handlers, designed to grasp a single large slab of marble end-on from within a container, and drag it out into the open so it can be slung from a crane for further processing. This attachment significantly reduced the risk of operator injury in removing slabs from shipping containers.
One of the company’s main challenges, says Geelan, is to continue to keep pace with the rapid rate of expansion of the logistics and supply chain industry in Australia. The company is working in association with RFID equipment and solution providers to integrate RFID into the forklift materials handling industry.
“Cascade Australia recently participated in the RFID World exhibition in Sydney, in conjunction with Intermec, Alpha and Peacock Bros, to display Australia's first fully RFID-enabled lift truck, which was coupled to a real-time live warehousing system.”
On a global level, the company is moving forward with a major expansion of its operations in China aimed at keeping pace with the rapidly expanding Chinese forklift market, expanding its business in the Asia Pacific region and providing production capacity to begin exporting Chinese-made products to other parts of the world.
One in three exhibitors new to safety show
Around 30% of The Safety Show Sydney's exhibitors will be new and there will be other fresh attractions when NSW's largest workplace safety event returns from October 24 to 26 this year.
Also new in 2007 is the creation of Sydney Materials Handling, a show dedicated to load, move and shift solutions, co-located with The Safety Show Sydney.
While the spread of products ranges from asbestos removal through to workplace wellness programs, the official feature areas include corporate health, height safety, building, electrical engineering, technology and training, and – new this year – automated safety.
The technology on show will be complemented by advice from principal sponsor, WorkCover NSW, which will offer 18 workshops over the event’s three days.
Mining companies lead economic growth
Mining companies are leading the charge and underpinning Western Australia's booming economy but skill shortages are continuing to hamper growth, says accounting firm Deloitte.
Mining companies in the Deloitte WA Index - which measures the financial performance of all WA-listed companies - had an increase in total value of 133% or $44 billion over the 12 months to June 30. This compared with 91% or $15.8 billion increase in 2005/06.
Deloitte Perth managing partner Keith Jones says the WA mining boom is unprecedented, with growth over the past 12 months eclipsing the year before.
Jones says demand for commodities is likely to remain strong, with China and, to a lesser extent India, fuelling the appetite for resources.
"Economic growth continues to be very strong; the demand that we are seeing in the resource market is really driven by offshore demand," Jones explains.
"That's still what's fuelling the marketplace."
Jones says while demand is strong, the industry is still facing the constraints caused by skills and people shortages.
"I think that growth will continue but it certainly has an impact on the capacity of the market to bring more projects online," he adds.
"The difference between companies that are thriving or surviving or growing is linked to the access of skills in the market."
Regional surge for Forkliftaction.com
Australasia has experienced a huge subscription surge as Forliftaction.com’s global audience grew by 50% over the past 12 months.
According to general manager Ann Hofmans, the Australasian audience has grown 2.5 times in size.
“This growth tells us that there was a real need for authoritative information about the forklift industry in Australasia. Clearly, with a dedicated regional edition, Forkliftaction.com is meeting that need.”
Hofmans adds the surge represents a huge marketing opportunity and should provide reassurance to current advertisers that their message is reaching an increasing number of people.
EMC secures filter distributorship
EMC Group is now the sole distributor for Wesfil Filters Australia for the forklift market.
Managing director Stefan Marschner says the partnership will enable EMC Forklift Parts to offer the best service to the materials handling industry.
Wesfil’s product range includes oil, air and fuel filters under the Cooper, Wesfil and Waxx brands.
Powerful access in tight spaces
Kennards Lift and Shift, a specialist division of Kennards Hire, has acquired new telehandlers from Dieci to add to its rapidly expanding hire fleet.
The telehandlers are only 1,800mm wide and 1,910mm high, allowing access in very tight spaces. They extend to 3.25m and have a lifting height of 5.78m.
Features include a 2,500kg lifting capacity, three modes of steering and full air conditioning.
The telehandlers have a specially designed load management system for increased safety, and a bucket or crane jib can be fitted for difficult material handling projects.
No special certificate is required to operate the machine.
“We were getting a lot of calls from customers in need of rough-terrain forklifts, and as this is a similar but far more versatile machine, we decided to speak to Dieci,” says Allen Besseling of Kennards Lift and Shift.
The company has already begun hiring out the machine to customers for various projects.
The company specialises in providing lifting solutions for its customers and hiring out top quality, innovative equipment, with a wide product range suitable for all types of materials handling and rigging equipment from conveyors to jacks.
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2007 Innovative Australian Product of the Year (Industrial) – Highly Commended awarded to Speedshield
Automotion Control Systems, more commonly known for its Speedshield technology was last week recognised by the 2007 Endeavour Awards, receiving a Highly Commended Award for Innovative Australian Product of the Year (Industrial).
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Rejuvenation Kits for electric forklift batteries.
From the day a battery is made performance decline begins. Sulphate crystals gradually accumulate and cover battery plates resulting in lost capacity, cell distortion, short circuits and eventually cell failure from sulphate "suffocation" or related sulphate induced plate damage. The unique ENERGYTECH DUO-REGEN® process combines highly specialized additives and state of the art microelectronic PWM pulse technology as an electro-chemical sulfate reversion system. This technology dissolves sulfate crystals, cleans and re-energizes battery plates, restores electrolyte strength & recovers lost battery capacity.
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Eblo Seating has complemented their RECARO ERGO line with 2 brand new seats.
Due to the immense popularity of the ERGO INDUSTRY seat, EBLO SEATING has developed two new models for the construction market and larger forklifts. These high ergonomic seats with active air suspension can now be supplied with high or low backrests giving the driver the support and comfort level that is required.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Todd Brennan: Uniform National Standards?
HELENSBURGH, NSW, Australia
From a young age, we are told that being unique is good. That makes it tough to get state governments to agree on adopting uniform national standards.
Click here for the full Safety First feature, including pictures.
Donaldson Construction Company LLC
LAKELAND, FL, United States
You’re never too young to start a business - as three teenagers who started Donaldson Construction Company demonstrated. Sam, Andrew and June took over their grandfather Edgar Donaldson’s company Shrike Industries when they were 17, 15 and 11 respectively. Today, Donaldson’s decal business sells 10,000 decals annually to around 20 US forklift dealers.
Click here for the full Industry Profile feature, including pictures.
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