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  Dear reader,
This is issue #195 - 10 February 2005 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

“Forklift drivers can now kiss neckaches goodbye.”

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INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COMBack To Top wishes Gong Xi Fa Cai to all our readers celebrating the Year of the Rooster. We wish you happiness at home and success in your work. Daewoo recently released the F series diesel forklifts for the Chinese market. We are sure the Chinese will appreciate Daewoo's choice of name for these forklifts.

This week we present you with our feature story on telehandlers. We will be publishing part 2 of our feature focusing on telehandlers, on February 24, so if you have any story ideas you would like to share with us, email us at


Focus: Telescopic handlers

There is a special materials handling customer whose work thrives in secrecy, depends on superb organisation and benefits from reliable equipment. So what type of equipment does that customer need? Are they that different? Christine Liew reports.  Read more
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Linde silent on reports of possible sale

Linde AG corporate communications head Uwe Wolfinger has refused to comment on whether international financial investors showed interest in buying his company’s forklift division last year.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported two separate private equity companies made offers for Linde’s forklift business but chief executive Wolfgang Reitzle rejected them.

“This is not a big topic and we are not commenting on that,” Wolfinger said.

“But I can say there are no plans for Linde to sell either of the two business segments (gas and engineering, and materials handling),” he said.

The materials handling segment increased revenues by 13 per cent to EUR2.4 billion (USD3.06 billion), from January to September 2004.

Wolfinger dismissed the German newspaper’s source as “rumours on the stock market”.
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Daewoo releases “prosperity” forklifts

Daewoo has released low-cost diesel engine forklifts specifically aimed at the Chinese market ( News #192).

The forklifts, said to produce less noise and vibration than competing models, have even been named to attract Chinese end-users.

According to a company spokesman, the name of the series is F, the initial for the Chinese pronouncement fa chai, which means prosper, get rich or earn money.

“In this series, there are two families with capacities of two, 2.5 and three tons – a hydraulic system type consisting of the models D20F, D25F and D30F, and a mechanical system type with models D20FM, D25FM and D30FM,” the spokesman said.

A team of Chinese and Korean engineers developed the forklifts over eight months at Daewoo’s Chinese factory in Yantai, Shangdong province.

The low-cost Chinese parts account for the forklift’s relatively cheap selling price.

“We are mainly aiming to compete in pricing against major Chinese manufacturers but to offer a better quality truck. They (the customers) are interested in price with reasonable standards of performance and reliability.”

Heli, Hangzhou and Dalian are the top three forklift manufacturers in China.
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Forklift drivers kiss neck aches goodbye
OIRSCHOT, Netherlands

Forklift drivers can kiss neck aches goodbye, thanks to Jungheinrich AG’s new rotating cabin forklift.

Jungheinrich has launched the world’s first battery-powered forklift with a driver’s cabin that rotates to different angles on either side.

The EFG D30, which weighs 5.1 tonnes, has a maximum speed of 20kph and lifting speeds from 0.50 metres a second to 0.67 metres a second, is based on Jungheinrich’s 4 series electric forklift with a lifting capacity of three tonnes.

It is distinguished from its predecessor, the EFG 430, by its rotating cabin, which turns 30 degrees to the left and 180 degrees to the right with a multipilot control.

There is a rising trend in industry and commerce towards transporting multiple pallets. This restricts forklift drivers’ visibility and forces them to travel long distances backwards.

With the ability to rotate the cabin, the driver faces the direction of travel and his view is unobstructed.

The forklifts are currently undergoing field trials and production is planned to start in April.
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Driving may affect male sex performance

A researcher wants to find out if there is a link between professional driving and reproductive problems.

Darren Joubert, lecturer in occupational health and safety at Central Queensland University, thinks the effect of whole body vibration (WBV) exposure in men may be linked to erectile dysfunction.

He said that, during his study of forklift drivers and lower back pain in South Africa, many participants complained of erection difficulties.

“I had drivers complaining to me regularly when they were completing the questionnaire and one even said it was nearly resulting in his divorce, which indicated that it had a big impact on some people’s lives.”

Joubert surveyed 209 forklift drivers using diesel engine forklifts with capacities ranging from three to five tons, at the Port of Durban. In one case, a gas-powered forklift was used.

He reviewed scientific journals and literature on the internet to look for studies linking WBV exposure to adverse reproductive outcomes.

“(There were) no specific studies on erectile dysfunction as an adverse reproductive outcome, which started me thinking about doing a study. This is in addition to the anecdotal evidence I had gathered in South Africa from forklift drivers,” Joubert said.

His address on professional driving and adverse reproductive outcomes, presented at a recent Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists' conference, won an award for best paper.
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Our new Mechanical Troubleshooting forum is now active and open to all the mechanics and fleet managers out there who want to meet and discuss mechanical issues for different equipment brands and models. started this new discussion forum after receiving requests from several forum members for a platform where they can conveniently discuss technical problems and receive solutions from other knowledgeable members - so here it is!

This forum is reserved for mechanical troubleshooting topics only and is searchable by brand and model (series) for machines, attachments and major components.

Go to the Discussion Forums to check it out now: Once you are there, click on Discuss: Mechanical Troubleshooting to join the new forum.

To participate, you will need your registered email address and password. Lost your password? Visit to have it sent to you by email, or contact Lyn on Remember to click on 'Remember Me' when you log in. Not registered? Click here to become a member.
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Komatsu’s operating profit up 70.3 per cent
TOKYO, Japan

Komatsu has announced financial results for the first nine months of the fiscal year ending March 21, 2005, with operating profit up by 70.3 per cent and more than double net income.

Consolidated net sales increased 21.5 per cent to JPY1034.7 billion (USD9.7 billion), operating profit was up 70.3 per cent to JPY70.8 billion (USD669 million) while net income increased 154.5 per cent to JPY 41.7 billion (USD394 million).

All Komatsu’s business segments – construction and mining equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles and electronics business – registered increases in sales and profits.

“Concerning consolidated business results for the fiscal year ending March 21, 2005, we are pleased to report that our projections announced on November 4, 2004, remain sound and in effect today,” Komatsu said in a statement.
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Hydrogenics and GM Canada join forces

Hydrogenics Corporation and General Motors (GM) Canada are partnering up to develop the commercial viability of hydrogen-powered industrial vehicles.

A fuel-cell-powered forklift supported by the Hydrogenics HyLYZER onsite refuelling station is being demonstrated at GM’s Oshawa assembly complex for the first time, Hydrogenics said in a statement.

Company president and chief executive Pierre Rivard said one of the first commercial uses for hydrogen power would be for industrial fleet vehicles like forklifts, where on-site refuelling stations could meet immediate refuelling needs.

“Fuel-cell-powered forklifts are ideal for indoor facilities such as factories and warehouses because they produce no exhaust emissions and have significant operational advantages over traditional battery-powered forklifts,” Rivard said.

Hydrogenics and a consortium of technology and end-use partners have been working to develop fuel-cell-powered forklifts for commercialisation.

Consortium members include Deere & Company, FedEx Canada, General Motors Canada, NACCO Materials Handling Group and the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance.

The project is partially funded by a CND1.45 million (USD1.15 million) grant from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
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Meclift buys back small forklifts

Oy Meclift Ltd, a Finnish manufacturer of variable reach trucks and side reach stackers, has acquired all rights to Normet Oy’s five to 11 tonne variable reach trucks.

Meclift managing director Vejio Miihkinen said the company sold the forklifts to Normet in the 1990’s but had now bought them back to expand its product range.

“Normet stopped producing the variable reach trucks a few years ago to concentrate on its underground machinery. The trucks are so good that we decided to take them back to our production line,” he said.

“By doing that we expand our product range to smaller (capacity) trucks as well. In recent years, we have only manufactured trucks with a capacity above 12 tonnes.

“The issue of whether existing Normet distributors will continue selling for us has not been addressed. But of course we want to use all the distributors who are already familiar with the product and hence can sell them.”

Miihkinen said Meclift designed the original version and Normet had added technical improvements to it.
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Rocla’s Abbot system wins award

A Rocla-developed truck management system has won the PETE New Business Award presented biennially by the E-business Forum of Basic Industry in Finland.

Abbot is a warehouse truck management solution that delivers real cost savings and business benefits to warehouse operations, Rocla said in a press statement.

The system, used to collect and register data about the state of a single truck or a whole fleet, uses a user-friendly internet-based truck management platform.

Truck management decisions can be made from “qualified information displayed as factual reports and visual graphs”.

The aim of the award is to encourage solutions, concepts and ideas based on new business opportunities available in electronic business.

Candidates for the award were rated according to the cost benefits they provided as a “business solution”.

E-business Forum of Basic Industry is an association of Finnish companies operating in basic industry, which aims to advance the electronic business opportunities of its member companies.
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1. EXIDE increases battery power with tubular technology

GNB Industrial Power, a division of Exide Technologies (NASDAQ: XIDE), expanded its high-performance line of industrial lift truck batteries with the new Tubular-HP™ product range. The Tubular-HP™ line consists of 100 Ah (ampere hour) and 140 Ah plate sizes.

The 100 Ah Tubular-HPÔ product is the same height as a typical 85 Ah flooded flat-plate product; the 140 Ah Tubular-HPÔ product is the same height as a typical 125 Ah flooded flat-plate product. This means you can now achieve more power, using tubular technology, in the same size compartment that was previously occupied by a flooded flat-plate battery.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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In the Discussion Forums
Help him be number 1!
"What do you think are the important factors that would make you the no.1 forklift brand in the Philippiness?"
leobert_b, Philippines

Not very safe, is it?
"I can't understand why manufacturers don't have a battery box locking system to prevent the battery box & its contents from shifting in the event of a rollover on counterballance units. The power leads will arc out and be severed leaving the box & its contents to fly out."
DANGEROUS, Australia

Desperately seeking ...
"We are looking for a reliable method for detecting the height of the mast on a forklift. This would be used as input to a system to keep track of what level or shelf is being used by a truck for pick-up or put-away. Anyone know of any commercial sensor for this or see this done before?"
LarryM, United States

Five of my trucks are problematic!!!
"I am having trouble with low oil pressure, excessive oil consumption with a Mitsubishi S6S desiel engine fitted to a Hyster H5.00DX truck. We have 5 of these trucks with 2,000 to 6,000 hours use."
johnS, Australia

Discussion Forums >>

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Upcoming Events
1. Australia - Infrastructure '05
Melbourne, Australia
28th - 30th July 2005

2. Australia - Infrastructure '05 / Aus Expo 2005
Melbourne, Australia
28th - 30th July 2005

3. Expo Egypt
Cairo, Egypt
25th to 28th April 2005

4. Fair: SMOPYC
Zaragoza, Spain
1st to 5th march 2005

Events >>

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1. Pallet Wrap System
Fort Lee, VA, United States
Closing: 16 February 2005
Contract: HDEC04-05-T-0025

Tenders >>

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1. Sales Agents - Contract / temp
Turkey-Eastern Europe & Middle-East Countries, Italy

2. Regional Parts Sales Manager - Full time
TX, CO, Northern CA, MO, KS, IN, United States

3. Workshop, Field Service & Apprentice Technicians - Full time
Wingfield & Mt Gambier, Australia

Jobs >>

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Fast Facts
1. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has opened a Canadian office in Ottawa, Ontario to be close to the Canadian Parliament and the seat of Canada’s federal government.

2. CARER recently bought the domain, which is now active and comes as a support domain for, making access to its website simpler.

3. Toyota Industrial Equipment has announced that its Chattanooga-based dealer Kenco Group Inc has increased its area of primary responsibility for Kenco Toyota-Lift.

4. EXIDE increases battery power with tubular technology

News >>

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