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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #387 - 20 November 2008 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Oshkosh breaks ground for new Chinese facility

INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM

NEWS
Kion looking for Asian partners
More jobs to go at JCB
Report advocates cost reductions
Asian port purchases Kalmar tractors
Konecranes expands MTS activities
Oshkosh breaks ground for new Chinese facility
GPS at Toyota Lift saves fuel
Kalmar RT adds space, gets new contract
New Samuk dealer wins award
New on-board terminal can stand the heat
Report highlights fuel cells benefits
Order-picker reaches new heights
New stacker offers clear view
Warranties vary on material handling equipment
Forklift fun can be fatal
Movers and Shakers

LOCAL NEWS
Sweet deal for Toll
Economy depends on infrastructure investment
2008 ASCL Award winners
Fonterra plans new facilities
QR on track for strong growth phase

MEDIA RELEASES
Exide is one of the largest producers of lead acid batteries.

PRODUCT WATCH
EP- New T-Series Truck comes with Two Year Warranty
KEYTROLLER, LLC. introduces new VANGUARD (World’s most accurate hydraulic forklift scale)
Tougher times ..……It’s time to drive-up your efficiency

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Inside Forkliftaction.com
There are plenty of mixed messages about the state of the economy. This week’s newsletter has coverage of both growth and contraction. But there’s also a strong warning that forklift companies need to act now if they want to prosper in the future. A British report covered this week urges companies to look at their sales performance and change their cost base to meet those sales expectations. It’s not rocket science, but sometimes it takes dramatic developments to get us to recognise the obvious.




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NEWS STORIES
Kion looking for Asian partners
Wiesbaden, Germany
Global manufacturer Kion is looking to expand its presence in the low-price segments in Asia.

Michael Hauger, head of communications and investor relations for Kion Group, tells Forkliftaction.com News the group is looking at potential partners in Asia and China. “We are evaluating a number of opportunities,” he says.

However, he would not elaborate on “future potential strategies”.

Forkliftaction.com News contacted Kion yesterday in the wake of informal reports that the group had purchased a 50% share of Chinese forklift manufacturer Baoli. The German company would not confirm the information, which Hauger rejects as “not correct”.

Forkliftaction.com News also contacted Gao Zhou-Fei, vice president of Baoli, to confirm reports of the deal on the German www.flurfoerderzeuge.de website. The website reports that Germany's competition authority has been notified of Kion's intentions to take a majority stake in Baoli.

"This information is not confirmed," Gao says.

The Kion Group is a worldwide provider of forklifts, warehouse equipment and other industrial trucks, employing more than 21,000 people. Its three brands, Linde, Still and Om, experienced strong growth last year.

In September, the company noted that Asia and Eastern Europe were its “principal growth drivers”.

Kion has had its own production plant in China since 1993, which also manufactures for the entire Asia Pacific region and supplies modules for the assembly lines in Europe.
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More jobs to go at JCB
Staffordshire, United Kingdom
JCB has announced further redundancies and production cuts despite a staff call to reduce the working week in an attempt to save jobs.

JCB says in a statement that it will reduce production at its UK factories by 34% for the last two months of the year and the first quarter of 2009. This is due to the current economic climate that has led to a significant reduction in in-coming orders.

The production cuts will lead to a further 398 redundancies, including 297 shopfloor jobs.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive officer of JCB, says the vote last month by workers to save 332 jobs was commendable “and JCB is now supporting their decision as much as possible by retaining 336 people who ordinarily would have been made redundant”.

“All job losses are regrettable, but we have jointly saved 668 jobs from more than 1,240 that would otherwise have been at risk.”

Gordon Richardson, JCB’s GMB union spokesperson, says the news comes as a major blow as members will lose their jobs. “This comes after what was a tremendous show of collective unity to reduce our working week to 34 hours, which was by no means an easy decision.”

Richardson says he is extremely proud of the GMB members who took a “historic stance for the common good”.

“Unfortunately, more of our members will lose their jobs than was originally expected but we can all rest assured that the selfless commitment shown in voting for the shorter working week has, without doubt, saved the jobs of more than 500 GMB members,” he says.
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Report advocates cost reductions
London, United Kingdom
UK forklift companies offering low-cost alternatives will be the ones to benefit and prosper in 2009, according to a report from Plimsoll Publishing.

The report, Plimsoll Portfolio Analysis – Fork Lift Trucks, says these companies will capitalise as businesses and consumers seek to reduce costs.
Despite the challenges facing the UK economy, the outlook for 2009 will be ‘exciting’ for most in the industry.

Profit margins in 2009 will be under pressure from increasing price competition, but if companies take action now to reduce costs and accept their current level of business activity, they can profit in the new year.
Plimsoll predicts sales will fall by as much as 30% in 2009.

Plimsoll has published a guide to help managers understand the impact falling sales will have on their businesses.  The Recession Edition Report shows how a number of companies would still be able to make profits on 30% fewer sales by implementing major cost reductions, including cuts of up to 40% in staff numbers.

David Pattison, senior analyst with Plimsoll, says companies need to prepare for the coming year, and  “to act now, if they are going to weather this storm”.

With sales declining, it is possible as many as 1,500 jobs will be at risk as companies try to reduce costs in line with sales.

“As unpopular as job losses and cost reducing is, businesses will have little choice,” he says. “What we have been able to show in our work is that failure is avoidable, as long as necessary changes are implemented without delay.”

Next year will see businesses acting more responsibly when it comes to debt and borrowing.  The Plimsoll report predicts banks and institutions will tighten their lending policies. “If 2008 has taught us anything, it was using other people’s money to run your company is a risky business,” Pattison says. “Finance directors and executives need to think carefully about their finance needs for the new year and plan early.”

The coming year will see almost a quarter of company directors pass retirement age. Pattison says there will be a wave of significant retirements. “This will drive a number of noteworthy companies to consider their independence.”

Despite the threat of job losses and cost reductions, Pattison says 2009 will be an exciting year. “It will be a time to choose your enemy wisely and going on the defensive may well be the best defence.

“The key is the successful targeting of weakened, low-margin and heavily indebted competitors; their failure will be vital to other companies’ success.”
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Asian port purchases Kalmar tractors
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Container and heavy-duty materials handling equipment supplier Kalmar Industries has been awarded a contract to supply 42 Ottawa 4x2 terminal tractors to the Port of Salalah.

The port, located in the southern region of Oman, is undertaking a major expansion project. The expansion, to be completed by the end of 2011, will raise the port's capacity to 9 million TEUs per year. It is one of the fastest-growing terminals in west central Asia.

Kalmar recently opened a regional office in Dubai and Graham Boxall, sales director for the Middle East Region, says this enables the company to provide better customer support for this region.

“We are physically much closer now to our customers and they certainly appreciate that."

The Ottawa terminal tractors will service the quayside operation with Post-Panamax gantry cranes and will be delivered later this year.

Kalmar reports that terminal tractor sales for 2008 have increased by more than 100%. Mark Williamson, president for Kalmar’s EMEA region, says the company has witnessed a significant change in the market as products designed for specific applications have been introduced.

Sales to Europe, the Middle East and Africa have more than doubled, he adds.
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Konecranes expands MTS activities
Helsinki, Finland
Konecranes has recently acquired its third machine tool service (MTS) company as a part of its strategy to expand operations throughout the UK. Konecranes has existing machine tool service activities in Finland, Sweden and Norway.

The Finnish company purchased Machine Tool Services (GB) Ltd in November. Over the past four months, Konecranes has acquired K&B Europe Ltd and its subsidiary, K&B Machine Tool Services Ltd, in July and Electron Service in October

Pekka Kujala, director of MTS for Konecranes, says the recent acquisitions means Konecranes will be able to offer a wide range of machine tool maintenance solutions to customers in the engineering industry throughout the UK.

“The UK machine tool service market is one of the key markets in Europe. After our successful establishment in the Nordic market, this is a natural next step in also providing machine tool services locally for Konecranes customers outside the Nordic countries,” he says.

The three companies specialise in maintenance services for machine tools in the engineering industry and have broad customer bases in the UK and Ireland.
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Oshkosh breaks ground for new Chinese facility
Tianjin
Oshkosh Corporation has broken ground at its new Chinese manufacturing facility, which will produce JLG access equipment specifically for the Asian market.

The new facility at Tianjin is part of Oshkosh’s strategic business initiatives to meet the demands of a global economy and take advantage of the growth potential in the Chinese and Asian markets.

Robert G. Bohn, chairman and chief executive officer for Oshkosh Corporation, says the groundbreaking at Tianjin is confirmation of its investment in the future. “This facility will be the first-ever Chinese-based manufacturing facility for Oshkosh Corporation," he says. "The facility we are building in Tianjin is a strategic initiative to directly service regional customers with a faster delivery turnaround for our JLG brand of aerial work platforms."

"This locally produced product will give Oshkosh a distinct strategic advantage in a very aggressive, competitive Asian landscape. JLG product made at the Tianjin facility will be targeted for the China and Asian markets and be a complement to other JLG manufacturing facilities which build product for the rest of the world," Bohn adds.

Oshkosh has been supplying and servicing China since 1982. It opened a JLG sales office in 2002 and in 2006 opened a Beijing corporate office. In March this year, Oshkosh’s Shanghai corporate office opened to source parts and components for Oshkosh and JLG products.

Oshkosh currently manufactures in 11 countries and has additional service operations in 16 countries.
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GPS at Toyota Lift saves fuel
San Antonio, TX, United States
Use of global positioning system (GPS) technology on technician service trucks at three Toyota Lift of South Texas locations has produced fuel savings of 15% during June and July.

The dealership operates 62 service trucks from its six US locations and has another facility in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Toyota Lift wanted a viable technology.

“We used tracking systems years ago,” but that Internet-based equipment was inadequate and unreliable, says Jack Parker, vice president of operations.

As fuel prices skyrocketed in 2007, Toyota Lift installed cellular telephone technology for its service trucks, but jettisoned the system after six months. “That (technology) was a huge mistake,” Parker tells Forkliftaction.com News.

A unit of Navman Wireless Holdings LP leases the basic fleet-tracking GPS system to Toyota Lift under a five-year commitment. “For tracking, navigation and messaging, the all-inclusive (per vehicle) cost is about USD2 per day for a five-year lease,” says Gregg Steliga, director of sales and marketing for the subsidiary, Navman Wireless North America, in Glenview, Illinois. A three-year lease is also available.

Navman dealer TJ Cooper, owner of Mobile Workforce Solutions in McKinney, Texas, sold the technology to Toyota Lift and installed systems in service trucks and Texas facilities in Pharr and Laredo in July, Corpus Christi and Austin in August and San Antonio in November.
Service trucks in El Paso, Texas are scheduled to get systems in early 2009, Parker said. The service trucks in the Ciudad Juárez branch, which operates as Servicios de Montacargas de México CV, will not get the equipment.

“For Navman, Cooper installed Qube 2 fleet tracking hardware in each vehicle with the Navman M-Nav 650 integrated GPS navigation and messaging device,” Steliga notes.

The system allows a dispatcher to know the exact location of each service truck, its road speed and engine operating status. A dispatcher can direct a technician better and avoid assigning trucks to go unnecessary distances. An engine idling too long may prompt a call asking the technician to shut it off.

Parker projects sales volumeS for Toyota Lift of South Texas may grow up to 5% this year from the 2007 level. That compares to earlier annual growth averaging 20%. He won’t, however, reveal dollar amounts.

Affiliates of parent firm Leslie Doggett Equipment Services Group oversee operations of San Antonio-based Toyota Lift of South Texas and a separately managed sister dealership, Toyota Lift of Houston, which has GPS technology from On-Board Communications Inc of Dallas, Texas and is reviewing its own use of the equipment.

In Houston, “we have a Navman demonstrator on one of our (more than 40) vans, and we will probably go to Navman” after the upcoming expiration of a 24-month on-board contract, says Tim Kolajajck, vice president for operations. Toyota Lift of Houston employs 70 technicians at its single location.

Another unit of the Houston, Texas-based Doggett operates four heavy equipment dealerships in south Texas selling construction and forestry equipment from Deere & Co.

Navman is experiencing growth. In addition to Toyota Lift of South Texas, “we are working with a variety of other companies at this time”, Steliga reports.

Prairie Capital Partners of Chicago, Illinois and others acquired Navman Wireless Holdings from Brunswick Corp of Lake Forest, Illinois in July 2007 for USD28.8 million. Navman has New Zealand roots extending back to 1987 and operates facilities there and in Australia, Singapore, England and the US.
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Kalmar RT adds space, gets new contract
Cibolo, TX, United States
Kalmar RT Center LLC (KRTC) has received another US defence contract for rough-terrain container handlers (RTCHs) and is moving production to Texas from Lidhult, Sweden.

Initial delivery orders have a value of more than USD125 million. Kalmar expects the remaining orders in the following four US budget years. The five-year value is estimated to be worth USD385 million.

The Defence Department’s Tank-Automotive Armament Command in Warren, Michigan made the RTCH award for the program, which Kalmar RT has always managed from Texas.

The new contract follows from Kalmar RT deliveries of more than 700 RTCHs to US and coalition military forces since an initial pact was signed in April 2000. Deliveries from Lidhult started in 2001. The last Swedish-built RTCH will be assembled in Lidhult in mid-2009.

“We are excited to be bringing a new manufacturing facility and over 200 new jobs to Texas and proud to continue to be an important partner with the Department of Defence,” says Stan Simpson, president and chief executive officer of Kalmar RT Center. Simpson is also president of the Washington, DC-based Industrial Truck Association trade group.

“The new additions are adding more than 150,000 square feet (13,500sqm) to the plant in Cibolo,” Simpson observes. “We have invested close to USD20 million in facilities and property” since starting the expansion. The current and ongoing Cibolo site occupies 35,000 square feet (3,150sqm), where more than 100 people work.

Parent firm Cargotec Corp of Helsinki, Finland regards the RTCH as a key part of its special products portfolio.

“The increased manufacturing capacity in Texas is part of Cargotec’s worldwide efforts to move closer to its customers, solidify the supply chain and increase efficiencies,” says Mikael Mäkinen, Cargotec president and CEO, in a statement. “KRTC will continue to concentrate on product support, logistics and training for these container handlers and other Cargotec products supplied to the United States military and coalition forces.”

The RTCH can load and unload ISO 20- and 40-foot (6m and 12m) containers in adverse field operating conditions.
The Kalmar RTCH design is based on a 1998 US patent. In addition to the original order in 2000, Kalmar RT received an interim RTCH contract in 2006.

Kalmar RT has delivered more than 100 of the current model to the US Marines. Each unit has a value of more than USD500.

The new facility in Cibolo supports US initiatives such as the Buy American Act and Small Business Plans.

Cargotec acquired control of Kalmar Industries AB in 1997. Kalmar built its first forklift in 1948.
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New Samuk dealer wins award
Sandbach, United Kingdom
Samuk’s newest dealer has picked up a performance award after achieving excellent sales results.

IP Forktrucks was awarded the dealer of the month award by Samuk after selling 13 forklifts in its first four months as a dealer for the brand. IP joined the dealer network in April this year.

Leon Corker, general manager of IP, says it was great to receive the award, “particularly in light of the fact that we’ve only been a Samuk dealer for less than six months”.

“Our customers appreciate the importance we place on service and customer care.

“Many of the big forklift companies have forgotten this side of the business – dealers are just numbers to them. Thankfully, Samuk is different and that’s why IP Forktrucks fits so well into the Samuk network.”
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New on-board terminal can stand the heat
Runcorn, United Kingdom
Rugged computing company JLT has released its new Atom-ic powered warehouse terminal developed specifically for forklifts. It features the latest in connectivity applications, multiple ports and will operate in high temperatures.

The vehicle-mounted JLT 1214 has built-in WLAN, dual-diversity Wi-Fi antennae, Bluetooth connectivity and an uninterruptible power supply. The device does not require added peripherals, so it can be plugged straight into the forklift power supply.

The device uses the new 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor to run all standard MS Windows programs and connects with all Windows-supported hardware through four USB ports and a RJ45 10/100-TP Ethernet connection.

Mark Muslek, managing director of JLT in the UK, says the JLT 1214 ”exemplifies the JLT approach to rugged, user-friendly design in a device that is built to the highest quality”.

“It replaces our fixed-mount 12042, but only in the forklift marketplace. The differences between the devices are the dual-diversity Wi-Fi antennae and the LED on top of the unit to attract drivers’ attention in noisy environments.”

Muslek says the device is freezer-ready, water jet-, humidity- and dust-proof. “It will operate at -30 degrees Celsius and up to 60 degrees Celsius.

“Because it is based on an existing model, which has years of design and usage behind it, we are sure that it will prove very reliable.”

JLT Mobile Computers is a supplier of rugged full-screen mobile computers for use in the harshest environments and which are subjected to extreme physical use.
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Report highlights fuel cells benefits
Argonne, IL, United States
Fuel-cell power for forklift propulsion systems requires a higher capital cost than battery power but less labour for refuelling, according to an Argonne National Laboratory report.

“Use of batteries to power large forklifts for outdoor use would require enclosure and waterproofing of the battery compartment, and this would make it harder to change the batteries,” the report concludes. “In terms of convenience and low labour requirements for fuelling, such difficulty would increase the advantage of fuel-cell forklifts.”

Scientists with the laboratory’s centre for transportation research examined forklift propulsion systems and the potential energy and environmental implications of substituting fuel-cell propulsion for existing technologies based on batteries and fossil fuels.

“The (US) Department of Energy (DoE) brought this topic to our attention in September of 2007,” says Linda Gaines, a researcher. Gaines, Amgad Elgowainy and Michael Wang prepared the recently released 40-page report, which compares full fuel-cycle impacts of the propulsion systems.

“The full fuel-cycle includes energy use and emissions for all process steps back to primary fuels in the ground, including fuels used to produce electricity or hydrogen,” Gaines notes. “Impacts shown include total energy, fossil fuels, petroleum and greenhouse gases.”

Generally, fuel cells or batteries for powering forklifts have lower environmental impact than internal combustion engines (ICEs), “and technical improvements could further decrease the impacts”, the report says. Replacement of ICE forklifts “with either fuel-cell- or battery-powered units offers the potential for a considerable reduction in the use of fossil fuels and petroleum imports in the United States”.

Researchers received input and assistance from individuals connected with Plug Power Inc of Latham, New York; Raymond Corp of Greene, New York; Hydrogenics Corp of Mississauga, Canada; Nuvera Fuel Cells Inc of Cambridge, Massachusetts; Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc of Houston, Texas; and Toyota Material Handling USA Inc of Irvine, California. Also contributing were Hans Bosma, an instructor and researcher at HAN University of Applied Sciences in Arnhem, the Netherlands and members of the H2 Energy Technologies Community of Interest group.

Support for the project came from the fuel cell and hydrogen infrastructure program of DoE’s office of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The report is available at this website.

UChicago Argonne LLC manages the federal laboratory in the Chicago, Illinois suburb of Argonne under a DoE contract.

The new report followed a 2007 DoE-funded analysis about near-term hydrogen proton-exchange-membrane fuel-cell markets. Kathya Mahadevan’s team at Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio conducted that study.
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Order-picker reaches new heights
Berkshire, United Kingdom
Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks has released two versions of its redesigned high-level order-picker, with one version capable of pick heights of over 11 metres (36 ft).

The 48-volt OPBH10NH can pick at heights up to 11.5 metres (38 ft) and the powerful AC hydraulic motor delivers fast lifting speeds. Mitsubishi says the lift speed and the maximum pick height are the fastest and highest on the market.

The 24-volt OPBH10N model with DC lift does not deliver the same speeds, but focuses more on ergonomic features.

Mark Jones, general manager of Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks UK, says the company has added 26 new models to its line-up this year, “and this impressive machine fits in well with the comprehensive, up-to-date range of Mitsubishi warehouse trucks”.

Both models feature the ergolift design, which means the cabin wall is thinner because the lifting mechanism is located under the cabin floor, making loads easier to reach.

The joystick-controlled machine has an inductive hand detector, which prevents use of the truck unless both hands are safely within the cabin. It cannot be tricked by placing an object where the hands should be because it responds only to flesh.

Both models also feature Mitsubishi’s Visionmast system which provides a clear view forward when the truck is travelling with the forks trailing.

A PIN code starter pad linked to a new generation electronic-control system allows engineers to program a wide range of performance parameters using the truck’s own display screen, avoiding the need for connection to a laptop computer.
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New stacker offers clear view
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Logitrans has released a manoeuvrable fully powered stacker to complement its existing range.

Anthony Dollimore, managing director for Logitrans, says the stacker was designed “to meet the demand from companies to increase the performance and efficiency of materials handling equipment”.

“The key words to describe the Logiflex Mini AC are safety and user-friendliness. It is the perfect match to the existing Logitrans range of stackers.”

Dollimore says the key features of the stacker are its 1,000kg (2,204lbs) capacity, its long operation time per charge, the option of adjustable forks and straddles, and the low overall height of 1,320mm (4.3 feet).

“Logiflex Mini AC ensures the user has the best possible sight conditions so operators have a clear view above the truck,” he says. “It manages all lifting jobs to the heights of 920mm (3 feet) and 1,650mm (5.4 feet).”

Dollimore says most businesses would benefit from using the Logiflex Mini AC. “It is the ideal partner for dealing with handling goods in production areas where the machines are close together to save on floor space.”
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Warranties vary on material handling equipment
McConnellsburg, PA, United States
A US-based maker of booms, scissors and telehandlers has expanded its extended warranty program and prompted a Forkliftaction.com News review of existing coverage for some material handling equipment.

JLG Industries Inc has expanded an ES scissors warranty program that it introduced in early 2008.

In recent months, “the feedback has been outstanding,” says Tim Morris, JLG vice president of sales and market development for North America, in a statement. “As a result, we’ve expanded this program to help customers enhance resale value and limit exposure to costly repairs.”

As part of JLG’s aftermarket Ground Support initiative, the program constitutes a continuation of the JLG standard warranty, offers optional coverage lengths and provides for the transfer of an unused portion of an extended warranty upon sale of the equipment. The program expansion was announced earlier this month.

Genie, Toyota and Clark have other warranty approaches.

Currently, the Genie operation of Terex Corporation’s aerial work platform segment does not offer an extended warranty program.

“Genie is a leader in the industry with its 1-3-5 warranty” representing one-year electrical, three-year hydraulic and five-year structural coverage, says a statement from Genie in Redmond, Washington. While no extended warranty program is offered now, Genie “will continue to evaluate our customer’s needs with regards to extendable warranties”.

Terex of Westport, Connecticut acquired Genie Holdings Inc in September 2002.

Toyota Material Handling USA of Irvine, California has been offering extended warranty programs for forklifts since 1995.

“As Toyota grows in the aerial work platform market, Toyota will determine if extended warranties are necessary with the extensive standard aerial lift coverage currently offered by Toyota,” the company says in a statement. “Toyota offers various extended warranty coverage for lift trucks. Fees vary on the basis of length and type of coverage and if the lift truck is on a planned maintenance program.”

Clark Material Handling Co offers extended warranties as an option for all products, continuing a policy in place for decades at the forklift manufacturer.

Clark in Lexington, Kentucky offers three-, four- and five-year plans through its Flexguard program. Alternative pricing levels reflect whether or not a dealer maintenance contract is used.

A Clark dealer may order the warranty at the time a factory order is submitted for a forklift. In the case of a stock forklift, the dealer notifies the Clark order entry department of the sale of an extended warranty on that unit. A Clark extended warranty may be purchased up to six months after the installation date.

JLG says structured prices for its extended warranty program could vary depending on if the warranty is being offered in combination with a purchase, as an add-on to existing orders or priced separately.

JLG, the access equipment segment of Oshkosh Corp since December 2006, does not have a single price list for extended warranties because of the possible variables.

Under JLG’s recently expanded program, an extended warranty is available for buyers of JLG-brand ES, RT and LE scissor models, telescopic booms, articulated booms, electric and mast booms and all-wheel steer-and-rear-pivot telehandlers; Lull-brand telehandlers; and SkyTrak-brand telehandlers.

McConnellsburg-based JLG offers a three-year/3,000-hour and a five-year/5,000-hour extended warranty for booms and scissors. Both of those options are available for telehandlers plus another option offers a five-year/5,000-hour telehandler powertrain-only warranty. A buyer must buy the extended warranty at the time of the original equipment purchase.
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Forklift fun can be fatal
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Fooling around on a forklift has cost a young worker his job, his forklift licence and earned him 50 hours of community work and an order to do a five-day health and safety course.

The state workplace authority, WorkSafe, last week prosecuted 20-year-old Seymour man Matthew Garry Ward after he posted a video of himself doing stunts on a forklift on YouTube.

The video, which has now been removed, showed him deliberately crashing into concrete pipes, doing burnouts and overloading the machine so he could do wheelies. The clip was on YouTube for nearly two months when it was seen by his boss in July last year. Ward was later sacked for misconduct.

WorkSafe told the court the man was not wearing a seatbelt and put himself at risk of serious injury or death.

According to WorkSafe’s executive director John Merritt, forklifts are among the most dangerous pieces of equipment in Victorian workplaces, accounting for 56 lives since 1985. Of these, 19 were forklift drivers.

“You might think you’re in control of the situation, but when something goes wrong, it will happen quickly, with little warning, often with permanent consequences.

“Posting stunts like this on YouTube encourages other people to do the same thing, putting them at risk as well.”

The court was told Ward’s suspended forklift licence would be cancelled after today’s guilty plea.
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Movers and Shakers
International
Aberdeen, UK

Norco Group Limited has appointed Chris Hawley as sales director. Hawley has been with Norco since April 2007. He was responsible for managing and developing business relationships with Norco’s customer base.

Roveleto di Cadeo, Italy

CVS’s shareholders have voted to re-elect its current board of directors. A mandate was given to Massimo Ferrari, Fabio Ferrari, Fausto Ferrari, Natalino Monti and Artemio Affaticati to continue in their roles on the CVS board. The extraordinary shareholders’ meeting appointed Artemio Affaticati as president and Natalino Monti as CEO.

The Officine Cargotec Ferrari (OCF), a new company founded by CVS and Kalmar Industries (Forkliftaction.com News #386), has appointed Teodoro Ceglia, CVS S.p.A. operative director, to its board of directors.

Elk Grove Village, IL, United States

Stu Jacover, former vice president of sales for the Hyster Company, has announced the opening of R&J Midwest Equipment Inc. He will serve as the company’s president. Brian Ritchey, the former CFO at United Lift Truck, is Jacover’s partner. R&J will be the exclusive Hyundai forklift distributor for the greater Chicago area and north-west Indiana. R&J will also distribute Hoist Liftrucks, EP, Schaeff, LiftKing, Flexi, Hybrid Diesel/CNG 2-Fuel conversion kits and Vantage Vehicles.
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LOCAL STORIES
 
Sweet deal for Toll
Otago, New Zealand
Logistics giant Toll New Zealand has won a contract to handle distribution for Cadbury’s manufacturing plant in Dunedin as well as the company’s third-party logistics sites in Dunedin and Auckland.

The contract includes all line-haul, metro delivery and container work.

According to Toll Tranzlink Group general manager Greg Miller, it’s a huge feather in the cap for Toll to be selected as service provider for a brand he describes as ‘iconic’.

“(Cadbury’s is) a market-leading iconic brand since 1824, with some 50,000 employees in 60 countries, and the standards they expect of their service providers is exacting. They already have some long-term relationships with Toll business units in Australia, and these relationships assisted in getting us over the line with our bid.”
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Economy depends on infrastructure investment
Australia
Peak infrastructure body, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, says government investment in infrastructure is vital to underpin the country’s future prosperity.

IPA executive director Brendan Lyon says even with a significantly lower surplus than expected, it is crucial that the federal government maintains a strong focus on investing in critical infrastructure assets.

"Infrastructure investment will deliver both badly needed short-term outcomes through sustaining employment and introducing liquidity into the national economy, and it will also deliver significant long-run returns by boosting national productivity and economic growth.

"Now more than ever, we need to make a considered and strategic national investment in the infrastructure that will underpin tomorrow’s growth. A nationally co-ordinated, integrated and rigorous plan to invest in key assets will help Australia through the current turmoil and sustain our growth into the future,” he notes.
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2008 ASCL Award winners
Brisbane, Australia
The top achievers in the industry were announced at the 2008 Australian Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence Awards held in Brisbane last week.

Presented by the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia (CILTA), the competition received a record number of entries in every category this year.

Among the winners were:  
• Storage and Handling of Materials Award - Australian Air Express.
• Information Management Award - Direct Couriers
• The Training, Education and Development Award - Victoria University
• Manufacturing Logistics Award - Murray Goulbourn Co-Operative Storage and Distribution Centre
• Supply Chain Management Award - Contrak Container Company
• Environmental Excellence Award – Oxford Cold Storage
• T&L Achievement of the Year Award – Post Logistics
• T&L Achiever of the Year Award – Peter Martinovich of the Western Australian Public Transport Authority
• Young T&L Professional Award – Melvin Nand, DGL Logistics
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Fonterra plans new facilities
Mosgiel, New Zealand
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has announced plans to establish a dry store and cool store at Mosgiel, following a decision to purchase a 16.45ha site in Dunedin.

According to Fonterra director, Group Manufacturing and Supply Chain, Gary Romano, the new Mosgiel site will provide greater opportunity to use rail, including into Port Chalmers, which means fewer trucks on roads between the site for local residents.

“For Fonterra, the development will mean a much simpler supply chain network in the South Island.  It will consolidate the company’s cool store operations in Dunedin – currently spread across a number of sites in the region.  It will also meet the additional storage requirements stemming from the construction of a fourth powder plant at the company’s Edendale site.

“The positive impacts should also extend to our customers, with improved service a result of this more efficient network.”

The announcement follows Fonterra’s decision earlier this year to construct a cool store at its existing dry store hub on Hamilton’s Crawford St.  

“The Mosgiel development will be operationally modelled on our successful Crawford St warehousing and distribution operation, which has significantly improved efficiencies in the areas of storage, transportation and handling since it began operation in June 2005,” says Romano.

The Crawford St dry store has taken around 45,000 truck movements off roads in the greater Waikato region annually.

Construction of the new store will commence in July 2009.
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QR on track for strong growth phase
Brisbane, Australia
National transport and logistics company QR is poised for growth after improving its financial and operating performance in the 2007/08 financial year.

Net profit after tax increased 6% to AUD194.5 million on revenue which grew by 11% to AUD3.5 billion in the year ended 30 June 2008.

QR chairman John Prescott says the result is sound but returns were still inadequate and require substantial improvement to reach commercially sustainable levels.

"Revenue was adversely affected by reduced production at mines in central Queensland after major flooding in the final six months of the financial year.

"Strong operating cashflows allowed QR to continue to increase its capital investment program to a record AUD1.7 billion in the last financial year and another AUD8 billion is expected to be invested over the next five years.

"At a time of unprecedented levels of capital spending, QR is committed to improving its performance to achieve satisfactory returns for the people of Queensland."

Chief executive officer Lance Hockridge says his priorities for QR in the current financial year are to dramatically improve safety, further develop commercial capability, sharpen customer focus and capitalise on growth opportunities.

"Strong improvements in these areas will genuinely position QR for long-term commercial success in a buoyant transport and logistics market which is undergoing major transformation.

"We are well positioned and very focused to meet the challenges posed by the dramatic population growth in south-east Queensland, and to seize the opportunities arising from the resources boom in Queensland and Western Australia, as well as the strong growth of the general freight market.

"A restructuring of QR into Freight, Network, Passenger and Services earlier this year is improving our customer focus, and new management appointments have provided the right mix of commercial capability and rail industry experience.

"We are reshaping and rebuilding the ‘new QR’ to fulfil our vision of becoming the leading transport and logistics company in the country."
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Slow-down dynamics
"New sales will likely slow down. Rebuilds, repairs, used sales and rental will all go up. If you look at our industry during recessions, slowdowns whatever you want to call it, service increases as sales dip, making this a very steady industry regardless."
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Windnig back the clock
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Editorial Calendar 2008

Editorial Calendar 2009

January
Rough Terrain forklifts
February
Safety products in MH
March
Forklift Market in Canada
April
Tow trucks
May
Forklift Market in the United Kingdom
June
Fleet & Asset management
July
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August
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September
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October
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November
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December
Forklift Market in India

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