TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #171 - 19 August 2004 of the
weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
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1. Crown plans Florida branch as FLS arbitration nears
DAYTON, OH, United States
Crown Equipment Corporation has announced plans to open a central Florida factory branch by November, as part of its efforts to dislodge incumbent dealer Florida Lift Systems (FLS).
When Crown sought to terminate FLS as a Crown dealer (Forkliftaction.com News #144), FLS counter-sued (Forkliftaction.com News #149) and Judge Walter Herbert Rice ordered arbitration (Forkliftaction.com News #160).
"The arbitration process, based on the dealer agreement and ordered by Judge Rice, has begun," said John Maxa, vice president and general counsel with New Bremen, Ohio-based Crown.
"The arbitration is scheduled for October."
Crown could be forced to pay at least USD10 million if the arbitrator decides in favour of FLS, said Hugh Bode, a Cleveland, Ohio, attorney representing FLS.
Maxa said Crown and FLS were in discussions "about the terms of the transition or wind-down process, and hopefully we will come to an agreement on those shortly.
"Our current plan is to open a Crown branch operation on November 1, 2004."
FLS does not want a transition and characterises itself as a "David" in competition with a "Goliath".
Bode described the situation as: "Crown, a billion-dollar manufacturer, versus a small local dealer.
"We believe FLS has a right to grow their business and be successful, as long as their performance for Crown ... does not suffer," he said.
"Florida Lift has demonstrated their loyalty and commitment to Crown by achieving over 40% market share five of the last six years and surpassing virtually all of Crown's parts and performance goals."
FLS has been a Crown dealer for 18 years and added representation of Toyota Material Handling USA (TMHU) in Orlando in September, 2002 and Tampa in January, 2004.
Crown claims FLS breached the dealership agreement and that THMU caused the breach. The suits are on hold awaiting the outcome of the arbitration.
In early July, the judge held a three-day hearing in the US District Court in Dayton on an FLS motion for an injunction to prevent termination of its Crown dealer agreement.
Crown objected to an injunction, saying FLS could not establish that the termination violated either the Ohio Motor Vehicle Dealer Act or Crown's dealer agreement.
Further, "FLS knew that it was required to obtain Crown's approval before taking on the Toyota line in Tampa, yet went ahead and did it anyway", Crown's Maxa argued.
The two sides cannot agree on the outcome of the hearing, and an FLS appeal was pending before the US Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio.
"After hearing testimony from several witnesses, including Jeff Fischer (of FLS) and Ron Roensch (of TMHU), Judge Rice denied the motion," Maxa said.
TMHU has another perspective: "Crown's self-proclaimed 'victory' was in reality a victory for FLS," said Roensch, an attorney with Irvine, California-based TMHU.
"FLS had requested a preliminary injunction for 120 days pending the outcome of arbitration, in response to Crown's stated threat to terminate FLS immediately.
"Following the presentation of FLS's evidence in court, Crown changed their position, indicating that they would not terminate FLS pending the outcome of arbitration."
Mr Roensch said Crown agreed to the 120-day injunction voluntarily.
"As a result of this concession, the court found no injunction could be granted, as FLS would not suffer irreparable harm during that 120-day period," he said.
"If Crown had taken that position prior to the injunction hearing, (it) would have never taken place."
If the arbitration occurs in late October, a decision is likely toward the end of the year.
2. Kalmar plans Asia-Pacific conquest from Shangai base
Kalmar Industries has announced plans to invest about USD10 million in a new assembly plant in China's Shanghai province as part of a major assault on the rapidly-developing Asia-Pacific market.
The company said the plant's primary role would be to meet container handling equipment orders - the fastest growth area for Kalmar products.
"Shanghai is an optimal location because it has become the most important port area in China, with major expansions planned, including a new port coming into operation in 2005," the company said.
Kalmar's new plant would comprise about 7000 square metres (75,000 square feet) of factory and office buildings on a 50,000-square-metre (540,000-square-foot) property and would "ensure sufficient capacity to meet rapidly increasing demand in the Asia-Pacific region".
The new facility, which will become Kalmar's Chinese service and support hub, would assemble its first machines - terminal tractors - by the end of 2005.
Kalmar's terminal tractors are presently produced in small numbers at a factory at Wai Gao Qiao in Shanghai.
Kalmar said it believed the new plant would play an important role in boosting penetration of its rubber-tyred gantry cranes into Asia.
3. Linde 'on track' to post even higher returns
Forklift manufacturer Linde has achieved group-wide sales growth of 6.5% for the January-June half, recording total sales of EUR4.438 billion (USD5.46 billion).
Linde president Wolfgang Reitzle said the company was "on track", and forecast slightly better results for the remainder of the year.
"We anticipate that we will be able to achieve slight increases in sales and operating profit before special items this year, even if the economic recovery is not yet totally established in all regions," he said.
Operating profit improved 9.5% to EUR277 million (USD279 million) and earnings before taxes increased 32.2% to EUR152 million (USD187 million).
Linde's materials handling business benefited from a recovery in the world forklift market, achieving a 26.9% increase in operating profit to EUR66 million (USD81 million) on 13.2% higher sales of EUR1.591 billion (USD1.957 billion).
The forklift division's second quarter sales totaled EUR847 million (USD1.042 billion), up 14.2% on the comparable period in 2003.
"Of course, our performance in this business segment may be adversely affected by the highly-competitive trading conditions in Europe, and by rising prices for raw materials," Reitzle said.
4. Forkliftaction.com upgrades Spec-Checker!
Forkliftaction.com has redesigned its popular Spec-Checker, making it simpler, more efficient and easier to use than ever before.
Featuring detailed specifications of more than 2000 machines from almost 80 manufacturers of forklifts and attachments, the Spec-Checker is a great, hassle-free way to browse the equipment catalogues of the world's materials handling manufacturers.
Being online and totally free to Forkliftaction.com users, Spec-Checker is a valuable resource for companies researching their next purchase.
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If you would like Forkliftaction.com to add your specifications to Spec-Checker, or to update the information in the database, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Forklift safety products checklist
MOBILE, AL, United States
How many of these products does your company use to improve forklift safety?
(This list was compiled for Forkliftaction.com News by Universal Fleet Services (UFS). UFS specialises in forklift and rolling stock procurement and management for Fortune 1000 companies with multiple locations.)
Operator restraint systems
Driving lights - forward and reverse
Turn signals, reversing lights and brake lights
Motion alarm systems - reverse, forward or both
Operator access improvements - steps and entry handles
Semi-suspended and fully-suspended seats - with lumbar support
Seats with side swivel
LPG tank filling options - swing out/down brackets
Throttle control devices
LPS/GS/EE safety package including electrical emergency disconnect device
Impact monitoring systems
Operator identification systems
Remote monitoring equipment
Catalytic exhaust systems and other environmental exhaust improvements
Special exhaust and cooling system options
Electric forklifts with AC control systems
Operator tether and belt for order-picking equipment
Mast guards for reach trucks and order-picking equipment
Emergency lowering system for order-picking equipment
Non-skid platform for order-picking equipment
Engine shutdown devices
UFS also recommends the following steps to improve forklift safety:
Ensure capacity ratings plates are updated should an attachment be added or modified
Use electronic scales if there are doubts about whether a forklift is within the capacity ratings
Ensure refuelling stations are designed and maintained to meet OSHA standards, at a minimum
Note the shelf-life of LP tanks and ensure they are routinely cycled
Use reversing alarms in areas of high pedestrian traffic
Choose the best possible lighting option because lighting helps identify obstacles before they become problems. Read more
6. Russian orders keep SMV on its toes
ST PETERSBURG, Russia
Swedish heavy forklift manufacturer, SMV Lifttrucks, is rallying to fill an influx of orders from Russian customers.
NLE Novoroslexport, based at the Port of Novorossiysk in the Black Sea, has ordered eight container-handling forklifts.
The order, whose value SMV refuses to reveal, comprises five 12-tonne capacity forklifts, two 45-tonne reachstackers and a 6-7-high empty container handler built on a 25-tonne chassis.
All units feature Scania engines, Dana transmissions and SMV hydraulics.
The Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port has also placed an order for two 42-tonne forklifts, which SMV says will be delivered later this year.
Meanwhile, in an even bleaker part of Russia, another 6-7-high empty container handler, modified for sub-zero weather conditions, will go into service later this year on the western Siberian rail network.
The deals are being handled by BT St Petersburg, SMV's Russian distributor.
SMV is a Swedish forklift and container handler manufacturer specialising in machines with capacities of more than 10 tonnes.
7. Ritchie Bros sets new auction sale records
Ritchie Bros Auctioneers has generated the largest first-half earnings in its history, recording USD21.8 million - up slightly from the USD21.5 million in the corresponding period last year.
Gross auction sales for the six months ended June 30 increased 16% to USD932.4 million, based largely on record auction sales, the company said.
Ritchie Bros sold about 89,000 lots for more than 12,300 consignors at 72 industrial auctions, attracting more than 105,000 registered bidders.
Ritchie Bros is the world's largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, operating through more than 90 locations in more than 20 countries around the world.
The company also held 73 smaller agricultural auctions in the half, generating gross auction sales of about USD30 million.
"Our consignors are seeing the benefits of our network of auction sites and marketing programs, which help attract large, multinational bidding audiences," CEO David Ritchie said.
Chief operating officer Randall Wall said a USD25 million auction in Stockton, California, was its largest to date in that state and a USD22 million sale in Atlanta was the largest ever in Georgia.
"The CAN44 million (USD33.7 million) sale in Edmonton, Alberta, was our largest-ever Canadian auction, and our CAN20 million (USD15.3million) sale in Fort Nelson, British Columbia, was our largest to date at a Canadian off-site location," he said.
Bidders using Ritchie Bros' online service, rbauctionBid-Live, purchased more than USD105 million worth of trucks and equipment, a 36% increase over 2003.
Internet buyers now represented about 20% of registered bidders at Ritchie Bros auctions, the company said.
9. Forklift takes the weight off bus crash victim
COOS BAY, OR, United States
A forklift was used to free the driver of a passenger bus that crashed last week.
An unnamed forklift operator came to the rescue after a Greyhound bus struck a median strip and careered into a ditch, the Mercury News reported.
The forklift was able to lift the mangled bus off its driver, James Scanlon, who was ejected from the cabin in the crash and pinned under the wreckage.
Scanlon emerged in critical condition and a passenger was seriously hurt, but 10 of the 23 passengers escaped with only superficial injuries.
10. Konecranes lands EUR4.5 million port crane order
Konecranes has secured a EUR4.5 million (USD5.5 million) order for a ship-to-shore (STS) container crane from the Luka Koper Container Terminal at the Port of Koper in Slovenia.
Located in the Bay of Koper in the Adriatic Sea, the Port of Koper has experienced an average rise of 13% in annual container traffic in recent years.
The traffic growth has prompted the port expand, and a new container terminal is planned close to the Luka Koper terminal.
The terminal currently operates three STS cranes and several mobile machines, including a Konecranes eight-wheel rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) crane delivered early this year.
Due for delivery in July, 2005, the new Kronecranes STS crane has a capacity of 45 tons (41 tonnes), an outreach of 37 metres, allowing 13-wide container handling.
Konecranes' container cranes director Mika Mahlberg said the Mediterranean was an important market for expanding the company's container handling business.
"Recently, Konecranes has been increasing its container handling activities in the Mediterranean, with an order for RTG cranes from Valencia, Spain, in June, and now this order from the Port of Koper," he said.
Konecranes machines are also in use at the ports of Barcelona and Algeciras in Spain, the Port of Marseille in France and the ports of Ashdod and Haifa in Israel.
11. Royal P&O Nedlloyd surges back into the black
Royal P&O Nedlloyd has returned from a USD51-million operating loss last year to post an operating profit of USD121 million for the first half of this year.
The company said increasing volumes and freight rates helped lift net profit to USD81 million in the 2004 first half, from a loss of USD78 million in the corresponding period last year.
"The continuing improvement in our financial performance at this half-year stage has allowed us to revise our internal expectations for the full year,'' CEO Philip Green said.
"Subject to any unforeseen change in the economic environment, we expect container shipping to achieve at least USD325 million profit before interest and tax this year.
"Foreseeable supply and demand trends in container shipping remain favourable."
12. Argentine logistics fair showcases economic recovery
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina
Organisers of Argentina's four-day Logisti-K biennial trade fair have reported more than 15,000 attendees and 230 exhibitors.
Of the 230 stands, 13 offered a total of 25 forklift brands. Toyota was the only notable absentee among the major players.
Ten other companies offered forklift spares, services and used machines.
According to Forkliftaction.com News sources on the ground, Jungheinrich, Caterpillar and Linde had the biggest stands.
However, Clark's Genesis2 forklift, featuring a new Yanmar 16-valve diesel and the CIC (Clark Information Centre) instrument panel, had attracted the most attention.
Henry Whitney of Marketesk said Argentina was emerging from a four-year recession, posting economic expansion of 11% in the first half - among the highest in the world.
"After various years of poor sales, the forklift market is set to reach its traditional volume of 1200-1500 trucks," Whitney said.
13. Forklift driver dubbed 'hero' for saving drowning girl
TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines
A forklift driver is the toast of Tagbilaran City after risking his life to save a drowning 12-year-old girl at the city's sea port.
The city and the girl's family have commended 32-year-old Benjamin Anunsio for his selfless action.
Anunsio was hauling cargo from a trailer van when he heard Niña Aprovechado's distressed shouts for help.
Aprovechado was swimming with friends off the Tagbilaran port when she suffered leg pain and could not reach a platform.
Anunsio told a press conference he immediately decided to jump into the water to save the girl.
"I am not an expert swimmer but my instinct overcame my fear," said Anunsio, who also has a 12-year-old daughter, after a short award ceremony at the city hall.
Anunsio was presented with a plaque of appreciation and commendation from the city, and made lifelong friends of Aprovechado's parents.
"We are so thankful for (his) help - he saved our only child and for that we will be forever thankful," said Pat and Eric Aprovechado.
WAYNE CHORNOHUS: SOUND THE ALARM!
Reversing alarms can be very effective in some situations - and very ineffective in others.
Back-up alarms are necessary on many types of vehicle where the operator must reverse with his vision impaired.
Many trainers and managers believe that back-up alarms are required on all forklifts.
Canadian regulations state: "Mobile equipment in which the operator cannot directly, or by mirror or other effective device, see immediately behind the machine, must have an automatic audible warning device."
This means that if an operator can see directly behind him, he doesn't have to have an alarm.
What a great regulation - it makes sense in the real world.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
1. ENFORCE FORKLIFT SPEED LIMITS WITH S.L.O.W.
How many times have you seen a sign that states a forklift speed limit?
How do facilities enforce these speed limits?
The answer is "THEY DON'T AND CAN'T."
Forklift Training Systems distributes the full range of S.L.O.W. speed limiting devices. Both forklift dealers and end users must deal with the issue of speed. S.L.O.W. puts you in control of each forklift's speed and allows you to set a reasonable limit. Unlike other methods of speed limitation, the S.L.O.W. system does not affect engine rpm, torque or hydraulic lift speeds, which might cause functional issues. The system has several options and works well on...
Join thousands of other dealers and end users currently using the S.L.O.W. system! Contact Forklift Training Systems today at email@example.com or 740-763-4978 for more information or a price quote.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
3. Safety Matters!
"SAVE"TY YELLOW PRODUCTS introduces "Stand Guard", a ribbed Safety Guard Rail product line which has a complete LIFT-OUT rail system to eliminate expensive installation costs by bolting brackets to a post.
"Stand Guard" features a welded sleeve on a 5" post that includes a steel painted cap, not plastic. Posts are available in 3 heights; 18", 26", & 42" with rail lengths from 2' through 11'. No charge for special lengths.
For complete details call toll free 877-SAVETY-1 or go to WWW.SAVE-TY.COM.
"Save"ty® Yellow Products
Toll Free: 877-"SAVE"TY-1
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
4. SMH: Number 1 For Strobes And Flashing Lights
Systems Material Handling Company offers a full line of Meteorlite® strobe and flashing lights. Meteorlites® are available in a wide variety of models and colors for all material handling and industrial equipment vehicle applications. Meteorlites are manufactured in the USA and feature:
Joule (brightness) ratings from 1-23 Joules
Single and multi volt modes from 12-80VDC
Permanent, magnetic and pipe mount models
A full line of replacement parts and accessories
For more information on SMH's complete line of Meteorlite® strobe and flashing lights, please contact us 800-255-4109, or online at www.smhco.com.
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