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Dear reader,
WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #106 - 08 May 2003 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
 
INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION

NEWS
1. AIRTRAX TO BUY INTO NEW CLARK GERMANY OWNER?
2. TVH TAKES OVER CLARK GERMANY'S PARTS BUSINESS
3. **FORK TALK** FLTA TO HOST SAFETY CONFERENCE
4. TOYOTA UNVEILS THREE-WHEEL MARKET PLAN
5. SOLIDEAL WINS NISSAN'S SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR
6. MAN JAILED FOR FORKLIFT RAMPAGE

UPCOMING EVENTS
7. CRANE SAFETY 2003
8. GOVERNOR'S CALIFORNIA SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC SUMMIT
9. SC&RA CRANE & RIGGING WORKSHOP
10. THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL LOGISTICS EXHIBITION
11. NZ POWER CRANE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE
12. CRANE INDUSTRY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA (CICA) CONFERENCE

OPEN TENDERS
13. FORKLIFT, 11,000 LB CAPACITY
14. BATTERY, STORAGE (4K# AND 6K# FORKLIFT TRUCKS)
15. LIFTING AND HANDLING EQUIPMENT
16. PALLET JACKS - ELECTRIC, 4,000 LBS CAPACITY, QUANTITY: 9 EACH
17. ROTARY SWEEPER MACHINE
18. VARIOUS MHE
19. LIFTING TRUCKS

POSITIONS VACANT
20. SERVICE MANAGER - FULL TIME


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CORRECTION: In last week's story about Finning International Inc's buyout of Lex Harvey Ltd, Forkliftaction.com News wrongly reported Finning's purchase price was USD220 million. The price should have read CAD220 million (USD155.6 million). Click here to read the corrected version of the story. Forkliftaction.com News apologises for the error.



1. AIRTRAX TO BUY INTO NEW CLARK GERMANY OWNER? 
HAMMONTON, United States
Airtrax Inc has signed a 30-day letter of intent to acquire a significant interest in newly-formed FiLCO GmbH in Mulheim, Germany.

High-profile, Chicago-based forklift industry executive Fil Filipov heads FiLCO, which acquired the bankrupt Clark Material Handling GmbH from receivers last month.

Over a decade, Mr Filipov has held executive positions with Terex, which sold the Clark business in November 1996. Mr Filipov was managing director of Clark Material Handling in Europe in 1994 and 1995. He is currently president of Terex Cranes.

Mr Filipov told Forkliftaction.com News that, during his tenure, Clark was made profitable, and the FiLCO purchase would see the business again become profitable.

Everyone wanted to close the factory due to high costs, which I disagreed with, he said. Germany produces quality product, labour costs are not high, but administration and managers very often mismanage ... businesses.

Airtrax president Peter Amico said that, if the parties entered a definitive contract, Airtrax intended to produce its innovative ATX-Sidewinder omni-directional forklift at the German plant.

This arrangement could help transform Airtrax into a global player virtually overnight, he said.

Airtrax intended to begin production of the new forklifts in the USA in mid-2003.

The letter of intent, dated April 28, conveys several rights between Airtrax and Mr Filipov. In essence, it calls for Airtrax, in 30 months, to provide USD5 million to Mr Filipov via a stock valuation, cash or additional Airtrax shares.

One provision calls for Airtrax to sell agreed-upon securities and, after commissions, distribute the proceeds as working capital, with 80 percent going to FiLCO and 20 percent to Airtrax.

Airtrax intends to appoint Mr Filipov to its board of directors and, at that time, convey 100,000 unrestricted Airtrax shares to him.

FiLCO, owned by the Filipov family, has leased the 200,000-square-foot Mulheim Clark plant for 18 months, from August 1, and taken an option to purchase the plant and real estate for EUR4.7 million (USD5.1 million).

Clark was a major forklift maker in Europe before its insolvency late last year, and had 2000 sales of more than USD100 million, according to Airtrax.

FiLCO was completely separate and had nothing to do with Terex [Corporation] or my job as head of the Terex Cranes business, Mr Filipov said.

Airtrax has a research and development agreement with the US Navy to commercialise omni-directional forklift technology, originally purchased from a Swedish inventory.

Airtrax last year recorded a USD641,000 loss on sales of USD551,000.

- Airtrax website -
2. TVH TAKES OVER CLARK GERMANY'S PARTS BUSINESS 
MULHEIM, Germany
Clark Material Handling GmbH has sold its spare parts business, Clark Central Parts, to Belgian parts giant TVH Forklift Parts.

A TVH statement said the agreement included the sale of the spare parts business, intellectual property and existing stock of parts for old and new forklifts. The sale price was not released.

A Clark dealer memorandum, obtained by Forkliftaction.com News, said the sale would "offer ... dealers the opportunity to once again be supplied with parts".

Clark's existing DCI-System dealer parts ordering facility was closed by TVH on April 17. All orders and backorders were cancelled, and dealers were instructed by Clark to re-order parts through TVH's own Quick Price/Quick Source ordering program.

TVH said that, despite industry rumours to the contrary, it was the only company involved in the Clark Central Parts sale.

- TVH website -
3. **FORK TALK** FLTA TO HOST SAFETY CONFERENCE 
ALTON, United Kingdom
The Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) will stage its first-ever safety conference at the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, near Warwick, on September 24.

FLTA chairman Brian Warbrick said strong demand from members of the associations Safe User Group weighed heavily on the decision to host the event. The conference would promote safety as an essential element of materials handling.

We have organised this conference to bring real, practical safety issues to people who can influence the work environment, such as operations, safety and training managers, Mr Warbrick said.

In view of the huge potential for legal problems, economic losses and human tragedies if safety is not prioritised and understood, our message is: can you afford not to be there?

Subjects to be covered include:
~ Health and safety issues;
~ Forklift operations best practice;
~ Use of working platforms;
~ Working with attachments;
~ Thorough examination;
~ Manual handling;
~ Racking safety; and
~ Training.

This is a very significant development which will do much to broaden knowledge of safety issues, Mr Warbrick said.

We anticipate that, like the FLTA awards for excellence, the safety conference will become a key annual event in the materials handling calendar.

- FLTA website -
4. TOYOTA UNVEILS THREE-WHEEL MARKET PLAN 
PARIS, France
Toyota Material Handling Company (TMHC) has big plans for its 7FBEF electric three-wheeler, launched at Manutention in March.

Three-wheelers are typically a European product, said TMHC chief engineer and general manager Yasuhisa Yamauchi.

While three-wheelers commanded 55 percent of the European electric counterbalance forklift market, penetration in Japan was far less significant. But Toyota was confident it would now introduce the three-wheeler to Japan.

The 7FEBF is being manufactured on three continents. Production started in Japan in January, the USA last month, and European production starts this month in Ancenis, France.

Toyota Industrial Equipment Europe (TIEE) president Shinya Furukawa said up to 12 units a day were planned to leave the Ancenis factory, and the company planned to make between 1,200 and 1,400 machines this year.

About 60 percent of the French 7FBEFs components are sourced from France. Other parts, including the motor, are built in Japan.

The 7FBEF, which features Toyotas SAS stability and AC2 power systems, is available in four versions, with lift capacities from 1.5 tonnes to two tonnes.

TIEE counterbalance trucks product manager Benoit Meunier said Toyota increased its European counterbalance and warehousing market share by one percent in 2002. The company sold almost 16,000 forklifts, 1,500 of which were three-wheelers.

The European market is stable, (but) we think we can still do better, he said.
- Toyota Europe website -
5. SOLIDEAL WINS NISSAN'S SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR 
MARENGO, United States
Solideal Tire has beaten almost 150 companies to be named Nissan Forklift Corporation USA's 2003 supplier of the year for the second consecutive time.

Suppliers were rated on their quality, rejected parts rate, cost reduction planning and implementation, deliveries, reaction time and corrective actions.

Nissan Forklift USA president Mark Akabori presented the award to Solideal sales & marketing senior vice-president Thom Hronis, OEM sales manager Ted Vanke and Machesney Park branch manager Randy Baietto in a ceremony this month.
- Solideal website -
6. MAN JAILED FOR FORKLIFT RAMPAGE 
YORK, United Kingdom
A 22-year-old homeless man has been jailed for six years for stealing a GBP40,000 (USD64,500) forklift and going on a rampage through York, causing more than GBP100,000 (USD161,400) damage.

Ray Wilson took the eight-tonne forklift, believed to be a Caterpillar machine, and planned to drive it 177 kilometres (110 miles) to Liverpool to visit his mother, according to a report in The Sun.

Travelling at up to 20 miles (32 kilometres) an hour, the troubled young man hit several vehicles, including police cars, and injured six people before he was stopped by a police Landcruiser.

Mr Wilson admitted to charges of theft, damage and endangering 14 people.

Picture courtesy of The Sun (click here to view).

 

7. CRANE SAFETY 2003
London, United Kingdom
16th and 17th June 2003
8. GOVERNOR'S CALIFORNIA SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIC SUMMIT
Sacramento., United States
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
9. SC&RA CRANE & RIGGING WORKSHOP
Washington DC, United States
18th to 20th Sep 2003
10. THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL LOGISTICS EXHIBITION
Guangzhou, China
25th to 28th July 2003
11. NZ POWER CRANE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Queenstown, New Zealand
17th and 18th July 2003
12. CRANE INDUSTRY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA (CICA) CONFERENCE
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
18th to 20th Sept 2003
 

13. FORKLIFT, 11,000 LB CAPACITY
Rock Island, IL, United States
Closing: 15 May 2003 TBA - Contract: DACW25-03-T-0039
14. BATTERY, STORAGE (4K# AND 6K# FORKLIFT TRUCKS)
Warren, MI, United States
Closing: 30 May 2003 TBA - Contract: DAAE07-03-Q-T221
15. LIFTING AND HANDLING EQUIPMENT
Paris, France
Closing: 09 May 2003 12:00am - Contract: CPV: 29221000
16. PALLET JACKS - ELECTRIC, 4,000 LBS CAPACITY, QUANTITY: 9 EACH
Wiesbaden Contracting Center, Germany
Closing: 23 May 2003 TBA - Contract: DABN01-03-T-0206
17. ROTARY SWEEPER MACHINE
Not advised, United States
Closing: 22 May 2003 2:00pm - Contract: 32-12-4473 Sweeper
18. VARIOUS MHE
Helsingborg, Sweden
Closing: 18 June 2003 TBA - Contract: ND:74708-2003
19. LIFTING TRUCKS
Orleans Armees, France
Closing: 25 June 2003 5:00pm - Contract: ND:73698-2003
 
20. SERVICE MANAGER - FULL TIME
EDINBURG, United States
 

  

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