TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #167 - 22 July 2004 of the
weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
|Today Forkliftaction.com News publishes the second and final special report on forklift safety. Thank you to those industry experts who helped us with this series.|
In August, our special reports will focus on forklift safety products. To discuss advertising opportunities, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption competition - the judging begins!
Our latest caption competition, which has been running in the Discussion Forums, has entered the judging phase.
This time, you are the judges! So have fun: read through the entries and use the links online to submit your favourites.
The winner will be crowned in two weeks.
2. MHI plans major diesel engine production boost
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) has announced it will increase production of diesel forklift engines by more than 20%, from the current 120,000 units per year to 145,000 by 2007.
The company said in a statement the production increase was in response to "sharply increasing demand" from China and the western world, and to tighter exhaust-fume emission controls planned in the US.
The engines targeted for investment deliver outputs from 4-102kW. MHI sold about 70,000 of these engines in 2002.
The company said it expected sales this year to increase to 125,000 units, reflecting a construction boom in China and economic recovery in the US, increasing the annual output each year until 2007.
The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Tier 3 emission standards for non-road diesel engines (75-130 kW) take effect in 2007.
The standards require engine manufacturers to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM) to new, low levels.
"MHI views compliance with the new EPA standards as an opportunity for sales share expansion, and it aims to strengthen its related sales activities," the company said.
"The company ... looks to double its global share from the current 4% to near 8% in 2007."
To achieve the expansion, MHI would invest more than JPY3.5 billion (USD31.8 million) at its Sagamihara plant in Kanagawa this year, the company said.
MHI is one of the world's leading heavy machinery manufacturers, with consolidated sales of JPY2,373 billion (USD21.5 billion) in fiscal 2003, ended March 31, 2004.
- MHI website -
3. US rental giant joins fight against equipment theft
SCOTTSDALE, AZ, United States
Rental Service Corporation (RSC), a division of Atlas Copco and one of the biggest US equipment hire companies, has registered its entire mobile fleet with the National Equipment Register (NER) in an attempt to reduce theft and increase recoveries of stolen machinery.
Each of RSC's mobile units, including its forklifts, will carry special NER markings to warn would-be thieves that the equipment is registered on the NER's national database.
NER president David Shillingford said RSC's equipment would still be protected, even if the markings were removed.
"If the (NER marking) is removed, the unit is still registered on the database and can be identified in a number of ways," he said.
Established in 2001, the NER has worked with more than 370 US insurers, as well as 2000 law enforcement agencies and a wide range of equipment owners to build a database of more than 40,000 detailed equipment theft reports and 10 million ownership records.
Since 2001, stolen equipment estimated to be worth USD3 million has been identified and recovered by accessing the NER database.
Through a 24-hour hotline, the NER provides theft and ownership information to law enforcement agencies that believe they have located suspicious construction and farm equipment.
RSC risk, safety and environmental director Priscilla Oehlert said theft was a significant concern for all rental companies.
"The more fleets that register equipment, the more (police) officers will use the NER and the harder it will be for thieves to steal,'' she said.
- NER website -
4. Clark bounces back with 4th profitable quarter
LEXINGTON, KY, United States
Clark Material Handling Company has reported its fourth consecutive profitable quarter since going into bankruptcy protection in 2000.
Clark, which claims to have invented the original forklift in 1917, has marked one full year of profitable business after reporting a net income in the second quarter this month.
No financial figures were released.
The announcement comes as the company plans a major expansion of its US operations that could result in a 50% increase in its workforce.
Clark president and CEO Brian Butler said "the first half showed a solid increase in new equipment sales of Clark products".
"We expect to meet or exceed our expectations for the year and also meet our commitment to produce two new product models this year," he said.
Clark filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in April, 2000 with USD349 million in assets and USD374 million in debts.
The company completed its reorganisation in January, 2003 with a buy-out by the Young An Hat Company of South Korea (Forkliftaction.com News #92).
- Clark website -
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6. Smits claims 'first' with new adjustable spreader
Smits Spreader Systems has claimed an innovation break-though with the development of a new spreader featuring both longitudinal and traversal adjustment capability.
The CH 6600 TA FT can lift two 25-tonne containers and was designed to combat the difficulties of loading and unloading container ships when they list from side to side in tidal or choppy waters.
"It will allow the crane driver to position the spreader and the containers at exactly the same angle as the ship deck or ship cells," the company said.
The new technology was first installed at the Port of Rauma in Finland in April, with great success.
Smits said several other stevedores had expressed their interest in the new spreader and a heavier version, capable of lifting two 35-tonne containers, was in development.
- Smits website -
7. Safety in focus: news
Warwick Safety Conference
The UK Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) has announced details of its second annual safety conference to take place on Wednesday, September 22, at Warwick University.
Building on the success of the inaugural event that attracted more than 200 delegates last year, ''Safety Conference 2004'' will offer practical solutions to practical problems.
Aimed directly at meeting the needs of the end-users, the FLTA says the event's contents will be up-to-date, concise, relevant and immediately applicable to everyday work situations.
The main aims of the conference will be to:
• Help end users operate fork lift trucks more safely and efficiently;
• Highlight current safety issues and recommend best practice;
• Help users meet and understand legal obligations;
• Provide a basis for improved training; and
• Highlight key issues of concern within the industry.
Presented by authoritative speakers, the content of the 2004 Conference will once again reflect the interests and concerns of the FLTA Safe User Group whose members are a representative cross-section of British industry.
Among the topics already confirmed are:
New Rules for the Use of Working Platforms
As new ''Working at Height'' regulations come into force, the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will explain how the rules for the use of working platforms have been changed. The correct use of working platforms can be a great aid to workplace safety but only if compatible equipment is correctly used by trained personnel.
Working Safely with Electric Trucks
CMP Batteries will discuss the safety issues relating to the safe use of electric trucks, including the use of battery charging facilities. They will also review new technological developments in the use of electric power.
Working Safely with LPG Trucks
Calor Gas will discuss safety issues relating to the use of LPG-powered trucks, including the safe storage and handling of gas, as well as outlining new developments in the use of LPG.
In their recent survey on ''Common Accidents on Lift Trucks'', the HSE identified that 47% of accidents involved people being struck by moving trucks. Some 523 serious accidents have been investigated in this category, including 15 fatalities. Eighty per cent of these accidents involved counterbalance trucks, with reversing being a significant contributing factor to accident and injury. Brigade Electronics will review the issues relating to reversing accidents and provide an insight into the ways in which the risks can be minimised.
The availability of tickets for ''Safety Conference 2004'' will be limited and organisers have advised potential delegates to book as quickly as possible.
Thorough Examination initiative in the UK
In its biggest safety policy advance in many years, the UK materials handling industry has unveiled a definitive new national scheme, entitled Thorough Examination.
Similar in many ways to a car's MOT (Ministry of Transport) test, Thorough Examination is far stricter.
Like an MOT, it is distinct from any maintenance procedure and is a legal requirement that applies to every forklift truck in service - including hired trucks.
Unlike an MOT, it even applies to forklift trucks as young as one year old.
The initiative is the result of collaboration between the two major industry associations in materials handling in the UK, the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) and the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA).
Working together as Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS) in co-operation with the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the two groups have spent 18 months producing a practical and effective package that tackles serious deficiencies in forklift workplace health and safety policy and practice.
"The new CFTS scheme answers a pressing and long-recognised need for greater confidence when it comes to the safety of materials handling equipment," BITA secretary-general James Clark said.
"Quite simply, the scheme's aim is to ensure uniformly high standards and hopefully to improve safety across the whole of British industry."
FLTA chairman Richard Baxter said Thorough Examination would clarify safety standards for forklifts after years of uncertainty.
"Imagine if there were no cohesive national system for assessing the safe condition of cars," he said.
"Imagine if garages were allowed to decide for themselves how to carry out MOT tests.
"Imagine if an MOT certificate issued by one garage was based on criteria and practices that differed widely from those used by another.
"Imagine if there was no one to oversee the process nationally and ensure consistent high standards.
"This is very much like the situation that has applied to forklift truck examinations until now."
Documentation associated with the CFTS scheme will bear a distinctive quality mark, featuring a symbolic "fork lift tick" which will also appear on a special sticker applied to every truck passing the examination.
Only companies accredited to the scheme will be allowed to use the certification and quality mark.
To become accredited, companies will have to demonstrate that they have the capability and commitment to adhere to the strict CFTS Quality Assurance Procedural Code.
"The CFTS quality mark will give a certified and recognised stamp of approval to any business that uses forklifts," the FLTA's Richard Baxter said.
Forkliftaction.com has compiled a list of safety-related and forklift associations for members. To read it, click here.
8. Rocla turns around loss to post USD1.3m profit
Rocla Oyj has posted a 14% sales increase for the first half of the year, extracting a profit of EUR1.1 million (USD1.34 million) from EUR44.3 million (USD54.3 million) in turnover.
The result is a significant turnaround for the forklift and automated guide vehicles (AGV) manufacturer, which last year lost EUR1.6 million (USD1.96 million) on EUR38.7 million (USD47.43 million) in sales.
Rocla said in its financial report it was confident net sales and profits would continue to rise for the rest of the year.
Exports and international orders accounted for 76% of consolidated net sales.
Forklifts accounted for 86% of total sales while Rocla's other core business, AGVs, made up the remaining 14%.
"Net sales and results are expected to develop positively during the second half of the year," the report said.
- Rocla website -
9. Linde's 'long march' across China halfway complete
Linde-Xiamen Forklift Truck Corp, the Chinese arm of German forklift giant Linde, is just over halfway through a 6000km, four-month, trans-China forklift rally.
Designed to showcase Linde's reliability and the strength of the company's Chinese service network, a locally-built, 3-tonne diesel forklift set off from Harbin, China's northernmost province, on its way to Shenzhen in the south, on May 26.
According to the daily diary maintained at www.linde-xiamen.com.cn, the team of drivers have endured inclement weather, strong winds and rough roads.
Dubbed "Linde Explorer", the forklift is reported to have been performing well, with few stoppages other than for the several dozen toll gates the truck has had to passed through.
If all proceeds smoothly, Linde Explorer should arrive in Shenzhen in September.
- Linde-Xiamen website -
10. Island wedding dreams end up in the doghouse
LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom
Marriage on an exotic tropical island has eluded a UK forklift driver who was sent to jail for theft just days before his planned wedding.
Kenneth Buckley's fiancée burst into tears as a court in Liverpool sentenced him to four months' jail for stealing electrical goods.
Buckley, 28, was due to fly to the Caribbean island of Barbados on July 18 for his wedding.
But the court ruled his crime was too serious for him to avoid imprisonment, a People report said.
|In the Discussion Forums|
|A hot safety topic!|
"There certainly are times when the park brake must be used before lifting but the only one I can think of is with a Reach Truck. IC trucks are designed to be driven using both arms and legs, what is the operator going to use to apply the park brake? Surely such a regulation cannot exist!"
Park brakes - what do you think?
"If drivers do not drive in this way, then they automatically fail their test. Once they have passed the test, the handbrake rule is forgotten as it is impracticable. My concern is that, if they are not trained to use the service brakes, then there could be an issue."
vic_k, United Kingdom
An interesting input - can you add to this one?
"Really puzzeled who are the "representing ... 60%" and 60% of what. French MIC, considered Europe's biggest supplier, was closed due to competition with Chinese export. Jungheinrich now prepares to take a stake in Xilin. Would like to hear from Europeans."
The competition's closed - now pick the winner!
"Forkliftaction.com's caption competition closes today, but now the interesting part begins... the judging! This time, you, the members, have the deciding vote. Simply click the links in each caption to send in your vote. The winning caption will be announced in two weeks."
|1. Forklift battery charger manufacturer Aker Wade has been granted patent protection for its fast battery charging technology.|
2. The US Association of Equipment Distributors says its latest profitability report reveals too many firms are leaving profit dollars on the table.
3. Equipment manufacturers shipped more than USD1.94 billion worth of machinery to global markets in the first quarter of 2004, up 10% on the fourth quarter of 2003.
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