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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #263 - 08 June 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“SMV Konecranes wins big with Russia.”
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Europe mandates forklift vibe law
A European directive that sets limits for workers’ exposure to equipment and work tool vibrations became law in European Union (EU) nations this year.
The seriousness of health risks from vibration exposure saw the EU draw up the 2002/44/EC vibrations guideline in June 2002 in Luxembourg. Jungheinrich trade press manager Jan-Abu Kaulfuhs told Forkliftaction.com News the directive became national law in all EU countries this year.
The directive, which requires employers to assess vibration levels in workplaces to ensure limit values set by the EU are not exceeded, will be implemented in stages. Member states are allowed a five-year transitional period to comply before the regulations become fully binding.
Jungheinrich spokesperson Sebastian Riedmaier said employers were asking “how long can employees operate forklifts before they reach the exposure action value?” He said there was no standard answer to the question and individual workplaces had to be assessed by risk analysts.
“The vibration effect depends largely on factors like ground conditions and the type of application. The risk analysis must be carried out individually by employers at respective workplaces,” Riedmaier said.
The directive establishes limits for two types of exposure – hand and arm vibration and whole body vibration. (Forkliftaction.com News published a column in Safety First by Dirk Zeinstra on hand and arm vibration last month.)
According to article 3 of the directive, the daily exposure action value for whole body vibration, using an eight-hour reference period, is 0.5m/s². When the value is reached, an employer must provide alternative work methods, ergonomic work tools and worker information and training to the employee.
If the daily exposure limit value of 1.15m/s² (eight-hour reference period) is exceeded, the worker must immediately stop working.
Whole body vibration is defined as the “mechanical vibration that, when transmitted to whole body, entails health and safety risks, in particular, lower-back morbidity and spine trauma”.
Kaulfuhs said Jungheinrich had reacted to the vibrations guidelines before it became national law.
Since October 2005, all Jungheinrich’s counterbalanced trucks have had new generation MSG 65 Grammer seats. The seat has a compact design and a “high level of cushioning”.
Most Jungheinrich counterbalanced forklifts have a “floating cab”, where the cab module is not rigidly screwed into place but positioned on damping elements that absorb impact that would otherwise be directed towards the cab.
Doosan Infracore Europe product support manager Patrick Goossens said field tests show Doosan forklifts complied with the new guidelines.
“[However], we are continuously working to reduce [vibration values] further through engineering and material choice of drivetrain mountings, seat design and engine choice.
“Forklift manufacturers are obliged to produce the best possible product but major contributors to vibration include operator techniques, surface conditions and equipment maintenance levels,” Goossens said.
Forkliftaction.com News is interested to know about vibration guidelines in other world regions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your health and safety practices and guidelines or personal experiences.
JLG slates shipment of Cat-brand telehandlers
McCONNELLSBURG, PA, United States
JLG Industries Inc expects to start shipping Caterpillar-branded telehandlers to European dealers in August and North American dealers in November.
”The Maasmechelen (Belgium) assembly line is complete and preproduction is underway,” chief executive Bill Lasky said. He was discussing the evolving strategic alliance during a quarterly conference call. Meanwhile, in McConnellsburg, “the North American Cat-branded machine testing is underway”.
In late 2005, JLG and Caterpillar Inc concluded a 20-year, private-label agreement calling for JLG to design, manufacture and sell Caterpillar-branded telehandlers for distribution exclusively through Caterpillar dealers (Forkliftaction.com News #237).
JLG agreed to pay USD52.1 million for the Caterpillar telehandler assets. Property, plant and equipment accounted for USD7.7 million of the payment. Transaction fees totalled USD600,000.
JLG said it anticipated Caterpillar-alliance-related capital expenditure of USD16.9 million during the current fiscal year ending on July 31.
“We made this asset acquisition because of its strategic fit and adherence to our growth strategy and acquisition criteria,” JLG said. “The acquisition was an addition to our machinery segment and has been accounted for as a purchase.”
JLG is developing its North American Caterpillar telehandler product line and improving capacities in Belgium and Pennsylvania to accommodate the additional volume.
McConnellsburg-based JLG and Caterpillar, of Peoria, Illinois, USA, agreed not to compete during the life of the agreement.
Hytsu grows with each show
Hytsu Material Handling, of Shanghai, China, has been an active participant in every major materials handling show worldwide for the past two years, promoting its fast-growing brand.
For a company that started forklift sales only two years ago, Hytsu’s sales for fiscal 2005 of USD35 million are phenomenal.
Company founder and president Jerry Hu was at Matex, in Sydney, Australia, last week. He spoke to Forkliftaction.com News about his company’s success.
“Every year we introduce new products to meet our customers’ requirements,” Hu said. Hytsu offers one ton to 10 ton warehouse forklifts to overseas markets only. Its biggest market is Europe, followed by Australia and North America.
Forklift sales jumped 53 per cent from 2004 to 2005 and Hu predicts 10 per cent growth in 2006.
He says he has a different idea to other companies on how to grow his business.
“It’s a secret [but] pay more attention to Hytsu’s development [in the future].”
With start-up capital of USD1 million in August 2001, Hu ran the business on his own for the first year. Today, Hytsu, headquartered in Shanghai's Waigaoqiao free trade zone, has more than 500 employees and about 4,000 Hytsu forklifts operating worldwide. More than 200 dealers supply Hytsu in 70 countries. Australia has six dealers.
Hytsu has an annual USD500,000 promotions budget to spend on advertising, company merchandise and trade show exhibitions. Five per cent of sales revenue is injected into research & development.
Hu says he travels extensively as Hytsu exhibits at five to six exhibitions a year. The company will be in Russia in July, CeMaT Asia, in Shanghai in October, at IMHX, in Birmingham, UK, in March 2007, and Promat in Chicago, USA, in January 2007.
Hytsu introduced three-wheel electric one ton to 1.8 ton counterbalanced trucks this year. An AC-version will be introduced at year end and a reach truck is planned for next year.
“We need a full product range to meet dealer requirements. Our aim is to have dealers who represent only the Hytsu range in the future but it’s impossible now because the brand is not big enough,” Hu said.
Exhibitors give Matex feedback
Australia’s annual materials handling show Matex 2006 attracted more than 4,000 mostly Australian visitors last week.
Show organiser Nicholas Tossman told Forkliftaction.com News about 4,400 people attended the show from May 30 to June 2 at the Darling Harbour Convention & Exhibition Centre, in Sydney.
“This is an increase of 11 per cent on the number of visitors to the last Matex in 2004. We are pleased about the genuine inquiries and [some] resulted in orders for equipment,” Tossman said (Forkliftaction.com News #161).
Tossman said 86.8 per cent of visitors were from the state of New South Wales (NSW) and the rest from other Australian states and overseas.
Ian Budenberg, from forklift attachment maker Sattach Pty Ltd, showcased European-patented RollerForks. He was happy with interest in the RollerForks but said the late night opening on Thursday, until 9pm, was not useful because visitor numbers were low.
Craig Kenchington, marketing manager for Crown Equipment Pty Ltd, said the TSP6000 man-up turret truck displayed in the interactive warehouse attracted considerable interest.
“The quantity of attendees wasn’t as high as we would’ve liked, [but] the number of leads received was very promising,” he said.
Crown exhibited the ESR4500 reach truck already available in the UK and European markets.
Pacific Heli general manager Col Craig used Matex to announce its distributorship of Chinese Heli forklifts. “I was fairly happy with the response from visitors. I thought, for a relatively new product, we had our share of interest.”
Powerlift Nissan Pty Ltd showcased Nissan Euro, a European range of warehouse equipment and the “world’s safest forklift”, a 2.5 ton Nissan LX forklift with enhanced safety features.
Toyota Industrial Equipment exhibited a new-to-the-Australian market, Canadian-made Raymond 8400 electric pallet truck with AC motor, while Yale showed off its Veracitor VX line.
Greg Wilder, Red Australia’s area sales manager, said visitors to the stand were interested in new features on the Komatsu and Jungheinrich forklifts on display.
“The thing I liked about the show is most of our competitors were there … When your opposition tells you the new Komatsu model sent their manufacturers back to the drawing board, you know you’ve got something [good] there,” Wilder said.
About 43 per cent of Matex visitors were in senior management positions, 25 per cent were warehousing and distribution managers, 19 per cent in purchasing, seven per cent in logistics and six per cent in occupational health & safety.
Visitors to the “interactive warehouse” heard presentations from industry experts on topics ranging from the future of RFID technology to the differences between North American and European engineered forklifts.
Tossman said many exhibitors already had signed up for Matex 2007, to be held from May 22 to May 25 in Melbourne.
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SMV Konecranes wins big Russian order
SMV Konecranes has secured an order for 19 forklifts and reach stackers due for delivery to Novorssiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP) during the third quarter.
“The contract was won in the face of the toughest possible competition,” says Patrik Lundbäck, SMV sales director. The value of the order was not disclosed.
“NCSP is a highly professional, demanding customer and the leading port in Russia and the Black Sea area,” he said.
The 17 forklifts and 2 reach stackers will be powered by Volvo engines and equipped with SMV’s hydraulic load sensing system with variable piston pumps and box type chassis.
Lundbäck said SMV’s Russian dealer BT St Petersburg’s “well-developed Russian nationwide service network” was a key factor in securing the order.
“We expect to sell more than 100 units of SMV Konecranes equipment in Russia in the near future,” Lundbäck said.
Sattach brings pallet-less forks to Oz
Australian attachment maker Sattach Pty Ltd introduced Dutch pallet-less handling to Australia with the launch of RollerForks at Matex 2006, in Sydney, last week.
The European-patented, double roller mechanism pulls a load onto the forks as a forklift drives forward. To unload, the RollerForks are lowered to the ground and the forklift reversed so the double rollers push the load off the forks.
The Rollerforks hook onto any Class II carriage in place of conventional forks, do not need hydraulics and can handle standard pallets and slip sheets. According to Sattach, 15 per cent of container space can be saved using slip sheets instead of pallets.
“International standards on biological and environmental controls are making pallets more expensive and unpopular to ship inside containers,” a Sattach statement said. Meijer Special Equipment in the Netherlands manufactures the forks.
Euro Commission says yes to Linde buy
Linde AG’s acquisition of the BOC Group plc has met the European Commission’s approval.
The commission requires Linde to divest its UK gas business, contacts with Linde’s ethylene oxide customers in the UK and Ireland, and BOC’s gas activities in Poland. The divestitures have an annual sales volume of about EUR160 million (USD205 million).
Linde has to commit to transfer certain contracts with helium suppliers and to sever, to some extent, joint ventures between BOC and Air Liquide in the Asia-Pacific region.
Linde president Wolfgang Reitzle said Linde would comply promptly with the commission’s requirements. The merger with BOC is expected to be finalised in the third quarter of 2006.
No comment has been issued on the sale of Linde’s materials handling segment (Forkliftaction.com News #259).
Malaysian company chooses German over Japanese
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
A Malaysian subsidiary of a leading European packaging producer has chosen Linde over Japanese-made forklifts, after consulting its forklift drivers.
SCA Packaging, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has awarded a seven-year rental contract to Linde distributor JetCan MHE for 14 four-wheel Linde counterbalanced forklifts.
SCA logistics & human resources manager Shariff Baba said driver evaluation of three materials handling companies was involved in the tender process.
“An uncomfortable, noisy truck causes driver fatigue and reduces productivity. Our experience with other Japanese-made [trucks] over the years found Linde trucks were the quickest and easiest to operate over a full work cycle.”
SCA, established in Sweden in 1929, produces corrugated board, packaging and containerboard and supplies customised transport and packaging solutions to mainly European food companies and industrial products and consumer goods producers.
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Hannover fair organiser markets India
Deutsche Messe AG, organiser of the triennial CeMat exhibition (Forkliftaction.com News #231), in Hannover, Germany, has signed an agreement to market a new exhibition centre in Bangalore, India.
Last month, Deutsche Messe signed a co-operation agreement with the Indian Machine Tools Manufacturers’ Association (IMTA). IMTA organises India’s largest machine tool fair, IMTEX, and the new TOOLTEX fair, in New Delhi.
IMTA is building the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), which will cover 40,000 square metres, include a 5,000 square metre congress building and 3,000 square metres of training rooms.
Deutsche Messe is solely responsible for international marketing for the BIEC, due for completion in 2007.
Movers & Shakers
Juhani Kaitila is now managing director of Toyota Material Handling Finland. Kaitila was previously managing director of Toyota Industrial Equipment Finland, having joined Toyota in 1990. He has a Master of Science degree from the Helsinki University of Technology’s faculty of mechanical engineering.
McCONNELLSBURG, PA, United States
JLG Industries Inc has promoted Israel Celli to senior vice president of international market development & sales. JLG CEO Bill Lasky credits Celli and his team with doubling JLG’s international revenue when he was vice president of the same department. Celli joined JLG in 2000 as general manager, Latin America.
LINCOLNSHIRE, United Kingdom
Greg Moore has been appointed major account manager for Nissan forklift dealer Apollo Plant Ltd. Moore had been national account manager for H Leverton Ltd, a Caterpillar dealer, since 1991. He said his biggest achievement so far was a record-making sale of 168 forklifts in the Peterborough and Norwich area in 2002.
Forklift driver a World Cup fanatic
LANCASHIRE, United Kingdom
A UK forklift driver has left his job and remortgaged his house after catching World Cup fever.
Micky Burton and his friend Kev Flitcroft, a bedroom fitter, have driven across Europe to watch England’s first soccer match in Frankfurt, Germany, on Saturday, Blackpool Gazette reported.
Forklift driver Burton, 26, said he had been looking for a different job.
“Not many people would go to these lengths but I might as well do it now while I can … I was after another job anyway.”
Flitcroft, 24, said he had an understanding employer.
“With my dad being my boss, I’m on a winner.”
The pair had not bought tickets but were counting on UK fans creating the atmosphere if they missed out.
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Mobicon celebrates 50 by heading to the US, South Africa and Europe
The unique and innovative Mobicon container handler recently set sail for the United States, South Africa and Europe after celebrating their 50th machine manufactured. Inventor and Managing Director of Mobicon, Mr Tom Schults announced today that the container handler will be distributed in three new countries as a confirmation of the success the solution had attained in Australia and New Zealand.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Continental Industrial Tyres in Australia & New Zealand New Distribution Channel
The world's most innovative manufacturer of high quality industrial tyres, Continental, has revamped its supply chain into Australia and New Zealand. Already a leading supplier in Europe for Replacement and Original Equipment markets, Continental has now optimised their class-leading products for service conditions commonly found outside Europe.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Skills shortage critical in Australia
According to Inside ICHCA, ICHCA Australia Ltd’s monthly e-newsletter, a critical shortage of skilled workers in the AUD60 billion (USD44.5billion)-a-year transport and logistics industry could threaten the country’s future economic growth. A major contributing factor to the skills shortage was the industry’s low profile among job seekers.
Click here for the full Fork Talk feature, including pictures.
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