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|One of the team here at Forkliftaction.com pointed out that the now ubiquitous banner ad recently celebrated its 15th birthday. The cornerstone of online advertising had its origins in the US, through the online version of Wired magazine, believed to be the first online publication. Interestingly, the initial proposals were for small text block ads, but advertising executives opted instead for “graphical ad display banners”. The ability to link the banners back to advertisers’ websites was only discovered by accident. We’ve obviously come a long way in 15 years and the designers and programmers at Forkliftaction.com are constantly scouring the online publishing world for new ideas and innovations to improve the reader experience and the effectiveness of advertising. So, as they say, watch this space – or at least the banner ads nearby.|
|Watts distributes Trelleborg in France |
Lydney, United Kingdom
|Watts Tyre Group has signed an agreement with Trelleborg Industrial Tires Europe for the distribution of Trelleborg industrial tyre products in France. |
The partnership, which will see Watts and Trelleborg products distributed under the Interfit banner, is expected to enlarge the marketshare of both brands.
Watts Tyre marketing manager James Pick tells Forkliftaction.com News that the aftermarket for industrial tyres is important but that there is a “relatively high cost” of entering it, with huge overhead costs from establishing static presses and mobile press operations.
Trelleborg will benefit from Watts Tyre’s established service presence in France while Watts will gain from the additional product strength of the Trelleborg range.
“We don’t expect to sell fewer Watts tyres, as those products continue to be popular ... by the same measure, we don’t expect to sell fewer Trelleborg products,” Pick explains.
“What we do expect is that the new business will win more customers in the aftermarket or replacement tyre market based on a strong service proposition and choice of quality products.”
Watts Tyre will divide their French operations into a wholesale distribution business and a specialist service operation.
Trading under the name Interfit, it will be the exclusive distributor of Trelleborg industrial tyre products in France. It claims that the service business is now the largest in France.
Watts Tyre Group CEO Jean-Paul Mindermann says the partnership is a significant development for both businesses, and for the French market.
“Interfit will offer a choice of OEM-specified market-leading products and best-in-class services to the French forklift market.”
Separately, Watts has also announced an average 6% price increase from 1 January 2010 following increases in raw material prices, mainly natural rubber. The group also expects transportation costs to increase in coming months.
The price of the RSS3 natural rubber product broke through the USD2.80/kg barrier in early December, 12 months after hitting a low of USD1.07/kg, a rise of 165%.
Watts Tyre Group started manufacturing solid tyres in 1960 and produces brands like Premia, Kargo and FMCX. It also produces a range of industrial pneumatic and skid steer loader tyres and polyurethane tyres for high load and specialist applications. It has operations in the UK, France, Germany, US, Uruguay and Mexico, and distribution in 60 countries worldwide. It is wholly owned by Premia Group Ltd (Forkliftaction.com News #437).
|MHI launches production at Dalian |
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) has started producing internal combustion forklifts at its new forklift plant in Dalian, China.|
MHI says Dalian will initially manufacture the company’s newest internal combustion forklifts with one to three ton capacities for the Chinese market and will in future be a forklift supply base to emerging forklift markets.
About 150 people work in the 27,000sqm (290,625sqft) plant located in the Dalian Economic and Technological Development Zone in Dalian, Liaoning Province. The plant is expected to produce 7,000 units per year in three years’ time.
Forklift core components will be sourced from Japan while the plant produces major welded components. Japanese affiliate companies operating near Dalian will be contacted for other sheet metal parts, which will also be supplied to MHI’s plants outside China.
Once business is on track, MHI plans to increase its production models and expand its sales area, focusing on emerging markets.
MHI’s three other forklift plants are in Sagamihara, Japan; Houston, USA; and Almere, the Netherlands.
|Clark names G&W for two more markets|
Greenville, NC, United States
|The Sabbagh family’s G&W Equipment Inc acquired Piedmont Forklift Inc on 30 November. Terms were not disclosed.|
Charlotte, North Carolina-based G&W adds Piedmont’s representation of Clark forklifts in the Greenville, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia markets to G&W’s existing sites for Clark in the Carolinas. G&W also distributes Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks.
The change is “a good challenge for us”, says Michael Sabbagh, G&W president. Piedmont Forklift has been “a major player in Greenville-Spartanburg area”.
Sabbagh plans to base G&W’s South Carolina operations in the 37,000 sq ft (3,375 sqm) Piedmont Forklift facility in Greenville and operate there as G&W Piedmont Forklift with Jeff Bradley as branch manager. Previously, Bradley managed the G&W branch in Raleigh, North Carolina.
G&W retained 29 of the 30 Piedmont Forklift employees and, in Greenville, vacated a G&W location with 5,000 sq ft (450 sqm).
Piedmont Forklift has serviced the Augusta market remotely with sales and service capabilities. Geographically, Augusta is “new territory for us”, Sabbagh notes.
“When the opportunity came for G&W to purchase Piedmont Forklift in Greenville and Augusta, we were thrilled,” says Scott Johnson, director of dealer services for Clark Material Handling Co in Lexington, Kentucky. “Jerry Prince and Calvin Bostic have built a solid Clark business in Greenville. . . . We wish to formally thank Jerry and Calvin for their efforts over the decades.”
Piedmont Forklift began representing the Clark line in 1952. Prince was Piedmont president and chief executive officer, and Bostic vice president and chief financial officer. Both will help transition the business to G&W. It was “their choice solely” to sell the business, Sabbagh says.
G&W, a family-owned and -operated full-service materials handling equipment dealer, began operations in the Carolinas in 1963, initially dealing mainly with aerial lift equipment.
G&W began distributing Mitsubishi forklifts in 1997 and has a site for Mitsubishi in Greensboro, North Carolina. Tri-Lift NC Inc represents Clark in the Greensboro market.
In September 2006, Clark appointed G&W as the brand’s authorised distributor in Charlotte, Raleigh and Hickory, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina (Forkliftaction.com News #277).
Prior to the Piedmont acquisition, G&W employed 65 people.
|Contracts awarded to rental firms |
Houston, TX, United States
|United Rentals Inc and RSC Equipment Rental Inc have won three-year contracts from a Texas-based nationwide co-operative for members’ rental of equipment including forklifts.|
“This is the first time we have awarded contracts for rental equipment,” says Ron Schmalle, co-ordinator of specifications and bids for the buying program of the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC). Previously, the independent entity focused primarily on purchase contracts for heavy capital equipment and the acquisition of new automobiles, trucks and fire apparatus.
H-GAC, a voluntary association of local governments, employs about 200 staff, including 18 in the buying program.
H-GAC in Houston has operated the buying program within Texas for three decades and obtained permission several years ago from the state of Texas to extend the offering across the US. “We are now in 43 states and have about 5,000 members including local government agencies and certain non-profits,” Schmalle notes. “We provide a service to the members, go through the competitive process and get as good a price as they could on their own.”
Separately, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts operational services division awarded a statewide contract for infrastructure and support equipment to United Rentals’ North American subsidiary. The bid was submitted in the name of Alyza Bar-Din, manager of government and institutional sales for the United Rentals location in Braintree, Massachusetts. The Massachusetts contract provides for rental of products daily, weekly or monthly with a six-month maximum rental.
“We are extremely pleased to have been selected to perform under these two contracts, which give us an opportunity to strengthen our existing relationships with state and local governments and expand the range of agencies we support,” says Robert Caudle, director of government solutions for United Rentals. “We place a high value on these partnerships and are prepared to serve them with an expert understanding of government needs.”
United Rentals employs about 8,400 staff and has about 580 rental locations in North America.
RSC had a positive comment. “This new contract . . . allows us to better serve existing and prospective government customers,” says Nick Kahler, RSC manager for sales to local governments and the US General Services Administration. “State and local government customers place special value on RSC’s 24/7 customer service and our industry-leading safety and preventive maintenance programs.”
RSC employs about 4,300 staff and has about 464 branch locations in the US and Canada.
Publicly traded United and RSC each reported business declines in financial reports for the third quarter ended 30 September.
Greenwich, Connecticut-based United Rentals reported breaking even on sales of USD592 million versus a profit of USD74 million on sales of USD873 million in the previous year’s comparable quarter.
Scottsdale, Arizona-based parent firm RSC Holdings Inc reported a loss of USD5.8 million on sales of USD315.6 million versus a profit of USD42.3 million on sales of USD466.9 million in the previous year’s comparable quarter.
In addition to the United and RSC pacts, H-GAC awarded other rental-equipment contracts to Royal Restrooms of Garden City, Georgia; Pro-Kleen Industrial Services Inc of Lancaster, Ohio; Godwin Pumps of America of Bridgeport, New Jersey; and Aggreko LLC of Pearland, Texas.
|Doosan managers view R&D efforts |
Incheon, Korea, South
|About 50 managers from Doosan’s forklift businesses worldwide gathered at the company’s Incheon plant last month to view the latest in the manufacturer’s R&D developments.|
Dubbed “Challenge 2010”, Doosan distributors came from the UK, US and Europe to view the manufacturer’s prototype models for a new reach truck and a hybrid electric counterbalance forklift.
While Doosan declined to reveal details of the two prototypes for Forkliftaction.com News, it says the international gathering to showcase the company’s upcoming products proved to be encouraging for all attendees.
“It has been tough for our overseas distributors,” says JY Moon, head of Doosan’s overseas sales and marketing division. “[But] there are some signs of recovery and we are increasingly optimistic.”
Moon claims Doosan’s strategies have successfully lessened the impact of the global economic downturn, enabling it to maintain marketshare and even increase it in some areas.
Challenge 2010 is expected to strengthen the ties between the overseas sales teams, the Seoul-based sales support personnel and the Incheon R&D teams.
Doosan Infracore UK’s general sales manager, Paul Watson, says the event gave the forklift manufacturer a “head start” on promoting the company in the coming months.
“We are very proud of our ability to listen closely to customer requirements and to adapt our product offering to suit them,” he says.
Kun H Lee, managing director of overseas sales for Forklift BG, agrees. “To continue our growth, it is important that we maintain strong links with the marketplace.”
Lee adds that the event allowed discussions about current technical improvements and future product development.
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|Grammer award goes to Haschtmann |
|Manufacturer Grammer has again supported the world’s top spine research prize, which was this year awarded to Dr Daniel Haschtmann and his team at the University of Berne.|
The Grammer European Spine Journal Award recognised the work of Haschtmann and his team, whose findings have advanced the treatment of vertebral fractures. They analysed fundamental changes in spinal tissue after the fracture of a vertebral body.
Industrial equipment seat manufacturer Grammer AG has collaborated with the European Spine Journal for a decade to recognise outstanding achievements in spine research. The prize money is worth EUR20,000 (USD29.419).
“The close co-operation between science and business has generated many new insights and ideas that Grammer has channeled into developing new seats,” says Grammer spokeswoman Andrea Zangl.
For example, in 2002, two German scientists who received the award had investigated the position of the vertebrae in a flexed posture. Prior to their research, it was assumed that the flexed posture would force the nucleus of the spinal disc to migrate to the right of the spinal cord. Hence, sitting upright at all times was encouraged to avoid a flexed posture.
The scientists disproved the assumption and Grammer used the finding to build seats where users could sit in different postures, giving them freedom to move.
Grammer has about 7,200 employees working in 24 fully-consolidated subsidiaries in 17 countries. Its shares are listed in the SDAX segment of the German Stock Exchange.
|Product News |
|Hyster launches new order picker|
Fleet, United Kingdom
Hyster has introduced the K1.0L order picker that can pick items at heights of up to 6.5m (21.3 feet).
The order picker has a 1,000kg (2,204lb) capacity and is also available with fixed forks, supplementary lift or a walk-on pallet cage. The models use similar technologies to those developed for Hyster VNA products.
“The basic principles of medium-level order-picking parallel those found in man-up VNA operations for which we have developed market-leading technology,” says Robert O’ Donoghue, Hyster’s warehouse product manager.
Jungheinrich updates Series 4 and 5
Jungheinrich has improved operator comfort and safety on its Series 4 and 5 electric counterbalance forklifts. The forklifts are now supplied as standard with either Jungheinrich’s solo-pilot or multi-pilot control systems integrated into a vertically and horizontally adjustable armrest.
Safety features that have been introduced to the 4 and 5 Series as standard include Jungheinrich’s Curve Control which reduces the truck’s drive speed as it enters a corner and automatic parking brake that intelligently monitors the truck’s workplace.
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|TVH appointed ambassador|
The provincial government of West-Flanders has appointed TVH as an ambassador of the province.
A total of 20 companies, including Roularta Media Group and Citymesh, were selected as ambassadors of the West-Flanders province, after meeting specific criteria.
According to TVH, the company’s service-mindedness and quality care contributed to its appointment.
Fair Friend to issue TDR
Machine tool and forklift maker Fair Friend Enterprise Co is applying to issue Taiwan depository receipts (TDR) to be listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Established 30 years ago, Fair Friend started as an agent for Japan-based Kobe Steel Corp. Today, Fair Friend has 52 affiliates worldwide with products ranging from machine tools to forklifts and elevators.
|Movers & Shakers |
|Cannock, United Kingdom|
Briggs Equipment has appointed Ben Wilson as head of its national accounts business. Wilson was formerly sales manager at Cummins UK. He will be based in Cannock, Staffordshire, and be responsible for driving growth in the national accounts team and strengthening business relationships.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Palfinger North America has appointed Tom Zwickle as the national sales and product manager for the Epsilon timber and recycling cranes and American Hawk bulk waste cranes. Zwickle started his career with Palfinger North America in November 2007 as a Northeastern sales manager for the Crayler truck-mounted forklift product line. In his new role, he will oversee product development and sales strategies, pursue opportunities in new markets and grow and manage the existing customer base.
Olathe, KS, United States
Systems Material Handling has appointed Ed Cobb as Midwest regional manager of business development. Cobb has worked in sales, marketing, negotiation and management for over 25 years. He will work with customers in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.
|Forklifts transport loaded sandbags |
Kent, WA, United States
|The Kent public works department has leased three JCB and three JLG reach forklifts from Sunbelt Rentals during a major pre-flood season protection operation.|
Ron Green, Kent fleet superintendent, reports, “The forklifts were being used to move giant sandbags from a conveyor/filler machine to the stockpile area.”
Two shifts with six forklift operators each “were going 22 hours a day”, says Michael Bishop, sales representative in the Kent centre for Sunbelt Rentals.
The sand-filling machine was pouring in material, resulting in bags weighing 3,200 pounds (1,440 kg) fully loaded, Green notes.
Kent employees filled 17,000 sand sacks that a contractor subsequently positioned on shores along 12 miles of the Green River to increase levee heights by up to three feet.
The project from 3 October through 30 October kept workers busy and outdoors during some inclement rainy and cold weather as well as more favorable times. The effort aims to protect populated areas in the Green River valley and the cities of Kent, Auburn, Renton and Tukwila from seasonally higher river flows and potential leakage from a damaged abutment at the Howard Hanson Dam upstream.
In October, members of Kent County council and managers of the county flood control district authorized a USD2.5 million reimbursement to the city for the levee-raising project.
The city council at a 17 November meeting recognised 22 public works department employees for their diligence in the project.
Sunbelt Rentals operates 397 profit centres and is the US construction and industrial equipment rental division of publicly traded London-based Ashtead Group plc.
|6 Nissan forklifts stolen from warehouse |
Upper Deerfield, NJ, United States
|A New Jersey criminal investigative unit is probing the theft of six Nissan forklift trucks from an Upper Deerfield distribution warehouse of Clement Pappas & Co Inc.|
Detective Robert Gates with the state police says the warehouse was closed at the time of the theft for dock maintenance.
According to Gates, four of the units are internal-combustion cushion-tyre Platinum II Series forklifts with a capacity of 6,000 or 7,000 pounds (2,700 or 3,150 kg). The others are in the same series, one with a capacity of 5,000 pounds (2,250 kg) and the sixth with a short wheelbase and an unspecified capacity.
The theft was reported on 29 November when post-Thanksgiving holiday operations resumed. “People knew (the warehouse) was shut down,” Gates notes.
Sheers may have been used to cut a hole of approximately 9 sqft (0.8 sqm) near a handle, making it easy to unlatch the inside lock and open the door, according to Gates.
The unexplained presence of a trailer near the dock raised questions but was not challenged in a timely manner. Police believe the trailer was stolen from a Mount Laurel, New Jersey rental agency on 18 November. It was noticed on the Clement Pappas property and may have been used to cart away the forklifts, worth about USD200,000.
Carneys Point, New Jersey-based Clement Pappas employs more than 750 staff at four US facilities, distributes customer-branded products and processes and bottles fruit juices and drinks and cranberry sauces.
Anyone with information about the theft of the forklifts may contact Gates at 1-856-451-0106, the detectives’ line at the Bridgeton station of the state police.
|Industry profile: Jos Lisman |
|The leader of one of the most successful forklift dealerships in the Netherlands has finally retired. Jos Lisman recently left Lisman Vorkheftrucks BV after 37 years.|
|NMHG sells some Yale in Australia |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|After a flurry of no comments, it seems the rumour in the industry that Nacco Material Handling Group (NMHG) intends to sell off all or some of its wholly owned Yale retail dealerships in Australia is not without substance (Forkliftaction.com News #439).|
Independent Hyster dealer Hystandard Handling Equipment has just announced that it has signed a deal with NMHG to acquire its Yale operation in Sydney. The deal takes effect on 18 December.
However, the acquisition of Yale means that Hystandard, which has been involved with the Hyster product since 1983, will relinquish its Hyster dealership.
MD John Flinn tells Forkliftaction.com News that taking over Yale is the best outcome for the business in the long term, and he is confident that the company can continue to support its existing Hyster customers regardless.
“No-one in Sydney can support Hyster like we can and our customers know that,” says Flinn, adding that component parts for the two brands are fully interchangeable.
He says the acquisition will allow Hystandard to increase its sales, rental, service and parts capability and grow its forklift fleet to over 2,000 units under management.
Meanwhile, Hunter Lift Trucks, which had operated as an independent Hyster dealership for some 24 years, is no longer a Hyster dealer, with an announcement on its website that the company has been appointed the Yale dealer for Newcastle, the Hunter Valley, Central Coast, New England and Northern NSW areas.
The changeover from Hyster to Yale is linked to the sale of NMHG’s wholly owned Hyster dealerships to Adapt-A-Lift in mid-2009 (Forkliftaction.com News #417).
Rumours had been rampant for months that a sale was imminent but again, no comment from all parties concerned was the order of the day.
It is not known whether NMHG is planning or has concluded a sale of its Victorian and Queensland Yale dealerships. When contacted for information by Forkliftaction.com News this week, NMHG Asia Pacific managing director Ian Neilson had no comment.
|Linfox, Kiwis prosecuted for incidents |
Welshpool, Western Australia, Australia
|Australia’s federal safety regulator Comcare has initiated proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Linfox Australia in relation to a forklift incident at Welshpool, Western Australia.|
The incident, which occurred in December 2007, resulted in serious crush injuries to a Linfox employee who was using an Omega forklift to move a loaded rail container which weighed around 32,000kg.
The container struck a stack of stationary rail containers. At the time of the impact, the forklift was carrying the container at a height of at least 8m above the ground. The forklift overturned, crushing the forklift cabin with the employee inside. He sustained severe injuries to his legs and left arm.
The proceedings allege that Linfox contravened federal workplace safety laws by failing to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety at work of its employees.
The maximum penalty for this type of legislative breach by a body corporate is AUD242,000.
Meanwhile, New Zealand seafood processing company, The Nelson Ranger Fishing Company, was fined NZ$20,000 recently, following an incident in March this year involving a forklift that had been left idling for 20 minutes in a closed coolstore.
The fumes from the forklift poisoned six workers, who were taken to hospital suffering nausea, headaches and dizziness.
The company was also ordered to pay each worker NZ$250 reparation.
|Flexilift launches new model in Australia |
|Forklift distributor Flexilift Australia has released its latest model, the Flexi G4 electric counterbalance forklift, which can operate in extremely narrow aisles or outside in depot yards.|
According to the company, the model creates up to 30% more storage space within an existing warehouse or logistics centre compared to conventional forklifts in the Australian market.
With a load capacity of 2,000kg, the forklift can operate at 100% duty cycle in just 1,642mm (Euro) or 1,762mm (ISO) aisle widths while lifting to heights exceeding 12 metres.
National business development manager John Fisher says it is able to do this without the need for special floor requirements, so business operators need not alter the dimensions of their existing warehouse footprints.
“Due to the rising costs of floor space around Australia, we find that many businesses are realising the cost efficiencies of better utilisation of an existing warehouse footprint.
“An ideal way of securing better profits is to make aisles thinner, therefore allowing more racking on existing floor space,” he says.
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|Aisle-Master doubling up at Walkers Transport |
|A combination of two AC electrically powered Aisle-Masters fitted with KOOI telescopic forks and a double-deep storage system is enabling Walkers Transport to make maximum use of its warehousing facilities in Leeds.|
Walkers specializes in express distribution of palletized goods, stocking '…everything from motorbikes to mineral water,' according to Warehouse Manager Chris Burley. The company has been operating a VNA system since it moved to its present site in Morley five years ago, and recently needed to replace the articulated trucks it previously used. 'We tested all the articulated brands on the market and the Aisle Master won hands down in terms of quality, robustness and operator comfort.' Four thousand pallets need to be stored in the racks. Double-deep storage is key to achieving these levels. Chris estimates that at least a third of the overall pallet capacity would be lost without it.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|The New Range DSI by Mast Explorer ||Mecano Continental S.A., manufacturer of Mast Explorer hydrostatic rough-terrain forklifts, a leader in innovation and development in its category, has launched the latest and ultimate product - the new DSI 25 / 30 range.
The DSI range, as the initials indicate, is the new Diesel Semi-Industrial model by Mast Explorer. This model meets a very real need in the rough-terrain sector, which requires versatile forklifts suitable to handle materials on industrial sites with limited space. These forklifts must be adaptable to outdoor areas with uneven ground but at the same time ensure conditions of comfort, stability and safety.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
|New Generation, New Expectation ||Two months after the relocation to new plant facility, HANGCHA now is proud to formally launch the new generation, XF Series, to global market.
XF series is more than just good looking, although the XF is the best looking generation ever in HANGCHA 35 years of production. With the design concept of “Simple, Solid, Smart”, the XF series, which is produced from extensive research and improved through thousands of tests, represent a true solution to different needs.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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Editorial Calendar 2010
The Forklift Market in The USA
Attachments: Pallet Handling
Used Forklift Dealers
The Forklift Market in China
Materials Handling Equipment in Ports
The Forklift Market in Latin America
Industrial Tryes and Wheels
Batteries and Chargers
Materials Handling in Europe
Warehouse Counter Balance Forklifts