FORKLIFTACTION.COM
MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE #30 August 30, 2001
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The fortnightly newsletter for industry professionals.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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1. TAILIFT, NARROW AISLE REACH FLEXI AGREEMENT
2. LINDE FEELS PINCH OF SLUGGISH WORLD MARKET
3. FIREMAN KILLED BY FLYING FORKLIFT RIM
4. HALDEX WINS USD25 MILLION SUPPLY CONTRACT
5. INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM
6. JLG SHEDS 635 JOBS, OPENS PLANT IN BELGIUM
7. MODIFIED FORKLIFT DRAWS USD60,000 FINE
8. RAYMOND CUTS JOBS IN USD5.7 MILLION EXPANSION
9. CVS BREAKS NEW GROUND IN BANGLADESH
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1. TAILIFT, NARROW AISLE REACH FLEXI AGREEMENT
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DALLAS, USA -- Tailift USA Inc, Narrow Aisle Ltd, of the United Kingdom, and Tailift Co Ltd of Taiwan have reached an agreement that will see Tailift manufacturing and distributing Narrow Aisle's articulating narrow truck, the Flexi.

Under the terms of the deal, Tailift USA, the exclusive Tailift Ltd distributor in north America, will fill a need for a Class 2 product in the US market, and Narrow Aisle will escape the high manufacturing costs in England.

In an exclusive joint statement to Forkliftaction.com, Narrow Aisle managing director Peter Wooldridge and Tailift USA president Warren Cornil said the Flexi would be manufactured by Tailift Ltd in Taiwan and distributed throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Manufacturing costs in England had hindered Narrow Aisle from broadly marketing the Flexi outside the United Kingdom. But with much lower costs in Taiwan, Narrow Aisle has effectively outsourced its manufacturing, and can offer a much lower-cost product. The cost saving means Narrow Aisle can establish a dealer network throughout Europe.

With the addition of the Flexi product, Tailift USA expands its range to fill a gap in the Class 2 product range. Tailift Ltd benefits from increased sales to Narrow Aisle and Tailift USA, and through the addition of a new product to offer through its Asian dealer network.

In the USA, the Flexi will be renamed and sold as the DV8r by both Tailift USA and Narrow Aisle's US subsidiary Narrow Aisle North America Inc. Narrow Aisle will continue to distribute the truck throughout Europe as the Flexi.

Spare parts will be stocked and distributed by all three companies in their respective markets, and will be stocked and distributed via each company's dealer network. Technical support will be offered by each company.

Tailift USA currently has 70 dealers with 105 locations in the US, Canada and Mexico. Narrow Aisle North America is aggressively seeking new dealers for the
DV8r. Narrow Aisle is also actively seeking new dealers for the Flexi throughout Europe.
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2. LINDE FEELS PINCH OF SLUGGISH WORLD MARKET
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WEISBADEN, Germany -- Linde AG, the world's biggest forklift seller, says the global economic slowdown has been more severe than expected.

While sales and revenue from the six months to July 31 were favourable for the group, Linde's results, released late last week, said "unfavourable" market trends in the USA and Japan affected growth in Western Europe, Asia and Latin America.

"The German economy, being strongly export oriented, also felt the strains imposed by (the) global economy. Another negative impulse came from sluggish domestic demand," the results report said.

The company's materials handling division report said Europe had performed well in terms of orders received. Asia had stabilised, but the "disparate" development in demand for industrial machines meant "demand in America strongly declined".

Linde's three industrial materials handling groups, Linde, Still and Fiat OM, expanded their world market shares. Materials handling sales increased 11.5 per cent to EUR1.526 billion (USD1.385 billion) in the six months to July 31, 2001, compared to EUR1.369 billion (USD1.242 billion) in the same period last year, while order intake rose 6.1 per cent to EUR1.628 billion (USD1.477 billion) from EUR1.534 billion (USD1.392 billion in 2000).

Linde's new heavy lift truck and reach stacker plant, in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, was now operational, and would enable concentrated development of the heavy products, the company said. Linde acquired the factory late last year.
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3. FIREMAN KILLED BY FLYING FORKLIFT RIM
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BRISBANE, Australia -- A firefighter died after being struck by part of an exploding forklift wheel rim while fighting a fire at a Brisbane, Queensland, container park last Thursday.

Jeff Penfold, 42, was found unconscious and taken to hospital after he was hit, but he died the next day.

Queensland Fire & Rescue Authority Commissioner Wayne Hartley said the fire started in the engine of a forklift about 8pm at Smith Brothers Terminal Pty. Ltd at Brisbane's Fishermans Island port. A tyre exploded, and the split-rim wheel housing flew 35 metres across the container park, ricocheting off a container and through the open door of a fire truck, hitting Mr Penfold's head and legs.

The fire began while the forklift, a 40 tonne-capacity Omega laden container handler, was stacking containers filled with Christmas decorations and general merchandise. Forkliftaction.com understands a hydraulic hose ruptured, spraying oil onto the forklift's engine, which burst into flames.

The machine operator jumped from the cabin, breaking an arm and a leg. He was taken to hospital and is now in a stable condition.

Four containers caught fire, and their contents were still smouldering late the next day.

Commissioner Hartley said government inquiries would examine the fire and the safety issues involved. Smith Brothers would not comment, saying the incident was still under investigation.
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4. HALDEX WINS USD25 MILLION SUPPLY CONTRACT
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STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Haldex Barnes Hydraulics has secured a USD25 million five-year contract from a major forklift manufacturer to supply a newly developed hydraulic cooling fan system for forklift engines.

Haldex would not name the manufacturer, but said deliveries would begin next year.

Haldex's hydraulic system replaces louder belt or direct drives, and includes technology enabling continuous fan speed control, allowing optimal engine temperature and reduced emissions.

The potential world market for hydraulic systems is substantial, not only for forklifts, but for air-cooled trucks, buses and construction vehicles.

Haldex, listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, is an innovator in vehicle technology and supplies products for trucks, cars and industrial vehicles worldwide. The company employs 4250 workers and has annual sales of more than USD600 million.
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BRIEFLY...
5. INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM
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6. JLG SHEDS 635 JOBS, OPENS PLANT IN BELGIUM
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McCONNELSBURG, USA -- High reach equipment manufacturer JLG Industries will permanently close its Bedford, Pennsylvania, plant and open a new plant in Maasmechelen, Belgium, in early 2002.

The closure of the Bedford plant will see 635 jobs cut "in response to the economic slowdown", a statement said.

JLG president Bill Lasky said the move supported the company's strategy of expanding into new markets and increasing its competitive advantage. The long-term plan is to establish a manufacturing and procurement base in Belgium.

JLG manufacturing senior vice president Peter Bonafede said Belgium was selected due to its "excellent workforce, geographically central location and first-class transportation network".
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7. MODIFIED FORKLIFT DRAWS USD60,000 FINE
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DOWNEY, USA -- Sony Pictures has been fined almost USD60,000 after the death of a crew member working on the set of the movie "Spiderman" was linked to unauthorised modifications made to a forklift.

The Los Angeles Times said state officials fined Sony USD58,805 for five workplace violations, including two USD25,000 fines for modifying a forklift without the manufacturer's approval and without consideration for load capacity.

Tim Holcombe died in March when a forklift, modified to be used as a crane, fell on him as he and other workers lifted a metal frame to the top of a building facade.

A Sony spokesman said Sony regretted the accident and "the company does all it can on an ongoing basis to ensure that all crews on all our productions follow strict safety procedures".
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8. RAYMOND CUTS JOBS IN USD5.7 MILLION EXPANSION
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GREENE, USA - The Raymond Corporation will cut 50 jobs, despite announcing plans last week for a USD5.7 million expansion.

Reuters said Raymond president James Malvaso blamed the cuts on a national economic slowdown. "There are modest signs of economic recovery, but significant growth doesn't appear to be returning soon," he said. "It's time for us to take the modest, prudent approach."

Raymond announced on August 20 that it would build a new showroom and development and technical centre in Greene. The company plans to move workers from other facilities to man the new site.

The 14,000 square metre plant is an addition to Raymond's existing engineering and product reliability testing departments.

"Our business has tripled over the past 10 years using the existing space, and our outlook for future growth is promising," Mr Malvaso said.
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9. CVS BREAKS NEW GROUND IN BANGLADESH
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CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh -- CVS Ferrari has delivered the first ever reach stackers to operate in Bangladesh, delivering nine units to Chittagong Port as part of a deal with the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA).

The Ferrari 258.6 models are now operational in the port, and a CVS statement said the CPA planned to purchase another nine machines. CPA announced last October that it would spend USD10 million acquiring straddle carriers, terminal tractors and reach stackers.

CVS said Chittagong Port would handle 395,000 TEUs in 2001.
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