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  Dear reader,
This is issue #187 - 09 December 2004 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

“Toyota claims contract hire accounts for 70% of the UK's forklift acquisitions.”

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The Judging Begins!
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The entry with the most nominations will be announced on December 22!
Happy judging!


Crown wins arbitration, opens two Florida branches
DAYTON, OH, United States

An arbitrator has found that Florida Lift Systems Inc (FLS) violated its dealership agreement with Crown Equipment Corporation in representing Toyota’s competing line of forklifts.

Effective from November 1, Crown ended its authorisation for FLS to sell or service Crown products and opened two Crown-owned central Florida branches in Orlando and Tampa.

Crown’s Andre Lauber manages the two new branch locations. Each is about four miles from existing Orlando and Tampa sites where FLS continues to represent Toyota Material Handling USA (TMHU). Crown transferred Lauber back to central Florida from an assignment in Dallas, Texas.

Both Crown and Toyota have major forklift dealership networks in the USA; Crown with 180 facilities, and Toyota with 186.

FLS, a long-time Crown dealer, agreed to also represent TMHU in Tampa in January 2004. Previously, FLS started representing Irvine, California-based THMU in Orlando in September 2002.

The full text of the story is continued online.  Read more
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Cascade receives history-making deal
ALMERE, Netherlands

Cascade Europe has just received the largest order in its 44-year history from Barloworld Handling.

Cascade (UK) Ltd will supply paper roll clamps to equip Barloworld’s Hyster lift trucks headed for a new terminal at the Port of Tilbury.

Cascade Europe’s UK general manager John Hunter would not disclose the value of the order, but emphasised it was a significant amount for the company.

Port of Tilbury’s new Enterprise Terminal, built specifically for Stora Enso, a top international paper producer, is expected to open in July 2005.

Barloworld Handling South East general manager Steve Barlow said Cascade’s SMARTCLAMP technology would ensure damage-free paper handling. The Cascade Adaptive Force Control (AFC) system is computer-controlled and needs no driver action.

The AFC sets the optimal clamp force, based on roll weight and paper type, each time a paper roll is clamped, and is aimed at reducing damage in paper handling.

Stora Enso would use the Port of Tilbury’s new terminal as its main UK entry port for handling paper and newsprint from Sweden and Finland.

Barloworld Handling was awarded a 10-year contract from June 1, 2002, to supply and maintain Hyster forklift trucks to the Port of Tilbury.

Under the contract, Barloworld is providing a fleet of 145 Hyster trucks with capacities ranging from 2,500 kg counterbalance trucks to 48,000 kg container handlers, reach stackers, terminal trucks and Ro-Ro trucks.

This year, Barloworld was awarded a contract to supply and maintain Hyster forklifts for the Port of Tilbury’s Project Enterprise, the new GBP35 million (USD67.5 million) dedicated forest products terminal for Stora Enso.

A Barloworld spokesman said more than 130 forklifts, with capacities ranging from 5.5 tonnes to 7 tonnes, and some reach stackers were part of the deal.

Cascade, a manufacturer of lift truck attachments, forks and accessories, is based in Portland, Oregon, US, with European headquarters in Almere, The Netherlands.
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Airtrax to close FiLCO acquisition, begin European production
HAMMONTON, NJ, United States

Airtrax Inc will close its acquisition of FiLCO GmbH early next year and expects the business to manufacture USD50 million worth of forklifts by year-end 2005.

Airtrax approached FiLCO majority stakeholder Fil Filipov early this year, and announced the acquisition in March ( News #148). FiLCO was formed after Filipov acquired the bankrupt former Clark Material Handling Gmbh in April 2003 ( News #104).

Airtrax president Peter Amico said the acquisition remained subject to final due diligence and other conditions to be met by both parties, but said the move would allow the company to “turn a significant corner” in creating potential sales avenues for its Sidewinder omni-directional forklift.

“Leveraging FiLCO’s key assets and existing dealership network, we look forward to manufacturing and marketing our omni-directional vehicles from their facility in the near future,” he said.

“Based on FiLCO’s current manufacturing facilities, Airtrax believes it will have the ability to produce up to USD50 million of conventional FiLCO forklift product by year-end 2005.

“Once we commence production of our omni-directional vehicles at FiLCO, we expect to significantly raise our initial year-end revenue projections.”
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Toyota UK claims 70% rentals
YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom

Toyota’s UK operation claims contract hire accounts for 70 per cent of the country’s materials handling equipment acquisitions.

Toyota Industrial Equipment national sales manager Andrew Morley said that, based on the company’s own annual figures for rentals, the figure was a fair indication of the national trend.

Keith Stewart, sales director for Locators, Toyota’s distributor for central and southern England, said the south of the country, according to Locators’ figures, acquired forklifts and materials handling equipment through contract hire.

“The decision as to how a company acquires its trucks is and should be entirely personal to the business,” he said. “It is the role of the forklift supplier to offer rounded, sensible advice that helps it make this decision.”

Stewart said companies’ attitudes to rentals differed, depending on their application.

“Customers operating in the frozen and chilled industry prefer to be on a long-term contract hire [because they] understand the trucks are working in a pretty arduous environment and it may be unreasonable to consider them assets after five years,” he said.

Toyota sales and marketing director Terry Stephens said seasonal demand and “unplanned” contracts made it difficult to predict the contract hire market.

“Naturally we are aware of seasonal demands and the Christmas rush is the busiest time. In general, 80 per cent of short term requests in the run up to Christmas are made by regional distribution centres for retail companies, such as large supermarket chains,” he said.
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Injured forklift driver loses court appeal
DALLAS, TX, United States

An appeals court has rejected a forklift driver’s contention that a Crown product defect resulted in him losing a leg.

In July 1999, Juan Costilla was operating a Crown 35RR stand-up reach truck at a Dallas car engine facility when it fell off a loading dock.

Costilla sued Crown Equipment Corp for an alleged product defect, and a jury trial in the Dallas County District Court began in March 2003.

Costilla maintained that a door on the machine would have prevented the injury, but was unable to prove that a safer alternative design existed for the narrow-aisle reach truck.

In court, Crown submitted two government recommendations that an operator of that type of stand-up vehicle should step backwards if a tip over occurred. A door at the back would prevent a driver from stepping backwards and be inconsist with driver training for the equipment.

An Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulation and a National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) alert documented the correct operating practice, and supported Crown’s position.

In its April 18, 2003, verdict, the jury found the forklift design was not defective and that Costilla had been negligent. The Dallas Court of Appeals last month affirmed the trial decision and found Crown’s use of the OSHA and NIOSH evidence and a Crown expert’s testimony were relevant in the case.

“We are not aware of any further filings in the case since publication of the decision of the Court of Appeals,” said Crown vice president and general counsel John Maxa.
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Barloworld buys Northern Ireland Hyster distributor
NEWTOWNABBEY, United Kingdom

Barloworld has reached an agreement to buy CMS Lift trucks, Northern Ireland’s exclusive Hyster dealer, for GBP5 million (USD9.73 million).

CMS, a private company, has operated in Northern Ireland for more than 20 years, and also sells Combilift and Baumann materials handling machines.

Barloworld chief executive Tony Phillips said the acquisition expanded the company’s partnership with Hyster, which it represents in eight states in the USA, the UK, Belgium, Holland and southern Africa.

CMS, which has annual revenue of GBP5 million (USD9.73 million) and net assets of GBP4.2 million (USD8.17 million), would become part of Barloworld’s international materials handling business.

“This deal, which complements our other handling operations in Europe, is another example of our “pacman” strategy of incrementally adding more territory in the things we do well,” Phillips said.

Barloworld European managing director Keith Hay said the acquisition would make an important contribution to growing the company’s European presence.

“Both Barloworld and Hyster see this as an enormously positive step and view it as an exciting opportunity to continue the success and growth of our partnership,” he said.
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SMV’s reach stackers for Port of Helsingborg

SMV Lifttrucks AB has received an order for two SC 4545 CAX reach stackers from the Port of Helsingborg in Sweden.

The reach stackers, which have a capacity of 45 tons (45 tonnes), will work in the port’s new intermodal terminal.

The new terminal has a track length of 500 metres and is long enough so there is no need to “break” trains. The rail tracks connect with intermodal operator Intercontainer’s existing services between Gothenburg and Eskiltuna, Norrkoping, Sodertalie and Gayle, the company said.

Meanwhile, the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) has chosen SMV reach stackers and empty container handlers for its heavy lifting requirements at its new terminal. The total number of machines ordered was not disclosed.
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Industry group supports forklift mobile phone ban
MELBOURNE, Australia

The Australian Industry Group says operators using cellular phones while driving forklifts are “far more likely” to have accidents.

AIG spokesman Stephen Smith’s comments came after South Pacific Tyres banned its employees from using or even carrying cellular phones in its warehouse.

A Hobart Mercury newspaper report said South Pacific Tyres employees faced being stood down without pay for using or carrying mobile phones outside “designated breaks” at the company’s warehouse in Melbourne.

Smith said it was reasonable to link the use of mobile phones to workplace accidents.

“Research shows people are a lot more likely to have an accident while using a phone and driving, and it’s reasonable to assume [they’re] far more likely to have an accident while using a phone and driving a forklift,” he said.
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Runaway forklift almost kills toddler
COBRIDGE, United Kingdom

A three-year-old boy’s rocking horse saved his life after a faulty forklift smashed through his home’s garden wall, burying him in rubble.

According to The Sentinel newspaper, Mitchell Shaw was playing in his garden in Cobridge in the UK when the accident happened in July last year.

A court heard that an apprentice bricklayer from a construction site lost control of a JCB 926 forklift and crashed into the wall.

The court heard the driver had no training, the forklift had faulty brakes and steering, and the building contractor, Friog Management Services, had no adequate health and safety plan in place.

Mitchell spent 48 hours receiving treatment for cuts and bruises at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire after the accident.

The boy’s mother, Julie Shaw, said Mitchell’s life was saved by a rocking horse, which shielded him from the rubble and protected his skull from being crushed.

“Mitchell has made a full recovery ... but after the accident he had a lot of trouble going to sleep and became really paranoid about hospitals and doctors,” she said.

Friog director Robert Dixon admitted to three breaches of the UK’s Health & Safety at Work Act.

He pleaded guilty to failing to keep the forklift in good repair, failing to ensure staff were trained to use it, and failing to ensure the safety of people not in his employ. He was committed to be sentenced by the Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on January 17.
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Forklift carries charity’s million dollars
EDINBURGH, United Kingdom

Christmas came early for 10 UK charities when a motor racing legend used a forklift to deliver a GBP1 million (USD1.9 million) donation last week.

Sir Jackie Stewart used a forklift to drop off the Royal Bank of Scotland’s donation, comprising stacks of GBP10 notes, wrapped in a red ribbon, at its Edinburgh offices.

A bank spokeswoman told the BBC the former Formula 1 world champion was the bank’s ambassador and an active supporter of charities.

“So he was the ideal man for the job. His driving skills [came] in handy too,” she said.

Stewart, 65, delivered the massive stack of cash amid strict security.

Recipients of the donation were Cancer Research UK, NSPCC, Oxfam, RSPCA, Childlife, Save the Children, Help the Hospices, ChildLine, Action Medical Research and Macmillan Cancer Relief.
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1. Meclift delivers Variable Reach Truck to the Port Of Carrara

Oy Meclift Ltd, the Finnish manufacturer of variable reach trucks and side reach stackers, has delivered the variable reach truck ML 3012R to Porto di Carrara spa in Italy. The machine will be used for handling heavy stone blocks both in the ships and the quay side.

The variable reach truck ML 3012R has a lifting capacity of 30 ton at a load center of 1.2 metre. It is characterized by a reach feature which enables it to handle heavy loads from locations impossible for the vertically masted trucks. The  telescopic twin boom configuration and elevated cabin design offer excellent...

Oy Meclift Ltd
Lentolantie 2
36220 Kangasala Finland

Contact persons: Veijo Miihkinen, Keijo Kröger
tel. +358 20 743 1120
fax +358 20 743 1121

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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In the Discussion Forums
Can you assist?
"Has anyone experienced problems with the control handles breaking on the new Raymond 7400 Series Reach?"
Scout, Canada

Do you agree with this claim?
"Clark are credited with producing the forerunner of the seated counterbalanced truck in 1917 but it was Yale that, in 1925, produced the first electric truck that had raising forks and an elevating mast."
wayne_c, Canada

Music? Anything goes on the forums!
"Vic, I really think you should stick to playing the guitar and being the ageing rocker you've always been (-: "
dave_p, United Kingdom

Sage advice!
"Forget driving forklifts, learn to fix them. I'm a 34yr old female electric forklift technician. I've been in this business for 8 yrs, in a service van for 6 and LOVE my job. There is always demand for good electric tech's. Unfortunately, not too many women have figured this out yet."
sherry_b, Canada

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