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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #282 - 19 October 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“JCB aims to be world’s top telehandler maker.”
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Oshkosh Truck acquiring JLG for USD3 billion
OSHKOSH, WI, United States
By Roger Renstrom
In a major deal, Oshkosh Truck Corp plans to buy JLG Industries Inc for about USD3 billion and assume about USD200 million in JLG debt.
The offer, at USD28 a share of JLG common stock, is about 35 per cent higher than the stock’s closing price of USD20.75 before the October 16 announcement. The transaction should be completed within 90 days, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
The firms serve different markets. Oshkosh manufactures fire, military, concrete and garbage trucks and truck bodies, and JLG concentrates on telehandlers and aerial work platforms, typically for use in non-residential construction.
Oshkosh CEO Robert Bohn contacted JLG in early August and expressed an interest in combining the businesses.
Oshkosh had followed JLG’s progress for several years, hired consultants to study JLG’s markets, products and competitors, and lined up the necessary financing before contacting JLG. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase Bank will supply a USD3.5 billion senior credit facility.
Although JLG was not offered for sale, company officials conveyed the deal to JLG’s board of directors. “The independent directors were the primary decision makers,” JLG CEO Bill Lasky said. “After a lot of work and due consideration, ultimately the decision was made to proceed with the transaction.”
Lasky is optimistic. “I view this merger as a partnership that will benefit both companies. JLG’s product line is complementary to Oshkosh’s and provides entry into new markets. Oshkosh’s purchasing and logistics systems will bring momentum to current JLG initiatives. Both companies will be able to share product technology and best practices.”
Growth-minded Oshkosh, based in Oshkosh, employs more than 9,400, has more than 5 million square feet of manufacturing space in North America and Europe and is on target for annual sales of about USD3.4 billion. Oshkosh Truck has completed 14 acquisitions in the past decade.
JLG, based in McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania, employs 4,088, has more than 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing space, also in North America and Europe, and reported annual sales of USD2.29 billion. JLG would become the largest of four Oshkosh business segments and account for an estimated 40 per cent of the combined business.
Shares of both firms trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
“Both companies have leading market positions with significant brand equity, and both offer the opportunity for exceptional and solid financial returns,” Lasky said. Oshkosh managers “believe in being in the #1 or #2 market position, like we do; and the majority of their brands hold that #1 or #2 position.”
Bohn said: “The acquisition of JLG is the latest broad-based initiative in the continuing transformation of Oshkosh Truck Corp. It is aligned with our historic acquisition strategy as we expand into complementary markets, and will be instrumental in building our global focus and scale that are increasingly needed to continue to be successful.”
Mitsubishi competitors reject factory-direct sales
In Forkliftaction.com News #277, we reported that Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc (MCFA) dealers were unhappy about a website offering factory-direct forklift sales, initiated by an MCFA-owned dealership.
Forkliftaction.com News contacted several materials handling professionals to get their views on factory-direct forklift sales. The professionals, none of whom wanted to be named, are involved in the Japanese, European and South American forklift markets.
The marketing & international business director of a North American OEM’s former Brazilian subsidiary said using the internet for factory-direct forklift sales as a “support tool” could be understood in the current forklift market.
“Competition has been growing more in today’s global markets and OEMs must be increasingly more creative and innovative in getting their products across to end-users.
“Forklift dealers do not always share the same interest as the OEMs they represent. They often have other product lines in their business, such as construction equipment, that carry more added value per unit and hence attract their priority, to the detriment of forklifts.”
He had proposed to his boss in the US, in 1999, a “distribution channel basket” consisting of factory-direct forklift sales, a dealer network and a dealer-run authorised service network.
The percentage assigned to each channel could change over time and was a corporate decision, he said.
“It is rather difficult for an OEM to sell 100 per cent factory direct because of cost factors, the peculiarities of diversified markets, cultural differences and geographic implications in global markets.
“However, the 100 per cent classical dealer distribution network does not properly respond to the needs of today’s markets for OEMs and end-users,” he said.
A sales & marketing manager for a Mitsubishi competitor in the European market did not think selling factory-direct forklifts on the internet was a good idea.
“… unless you have no other choice. One thing is for sure, we will never do this,” he said. “This is absolutely ridiculous towards your dealer network.
“This will definitely be an opportunity for newcomers to have good dealers, like the Chinese brands for instance, which are all trying to set up dealer networks in Europe.
“At Prologistics, in Brussels, there were rumours a Belgian forklift dealer had bought 240 units of Toyota 8 series models in Japan while the launch in Europe is scheduled for 2007.” He said he had heard it was possible to buy some Japanese forklifts direct from the factories.
“In Japan you can go to the factory, show your money and order whatever you want … this is apparently the Japanese way of doing business.”
A consultant for a Japanese forklift OEM, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, disagreed.
“I personally do not believe this is the Japanese way.
“No Japanese OEMs, except MCFA, consider direct sales in areas where a dealer has been appointed. There are very few exceptions, that is, sales to a national account or key account, which the local dealer can’t approach or manage.”
He said the OEM he worked for sold forklifts direct to key accounts but reserved after-sales business for dealers.
“Some [of our] dealers might sell to a certain buyer knowing he will export the forklifts. Of course, this is a breach of ‘sales within his territory’. Our overseas dealers contact us when they find such sales in their territory. We trace [the dealer] from the product’s serial number and give the dealer a warning.”
What do you think of factory-direct sales as a forklift distribution channel? Discuss this at our forums.
JCB “on target” to be world no. 1
ROCESTER, United Kingdom
JCB wants its Loadall brand to be the world’s biggest selling telehandler by the end of 2006.
The UK manufacturer has just spent GBP9 million (USD16.8 million) expanding global production of telehandlers. A second production line has been installed at the Rocester, UK plant, which produces 29 Loadall models, to double production capacity to 20,000 units a year.
Machine tools to speed manufacturing processes and enhance product quality have been installed. They include a new 650 tonne press brake, new robot welding centres and a new machining centre for precision boring.
JCB makes five other compact models at Staffordshire.
JCB also has invested in producing telehandlers in the US, which JCB says is the world’s biggest single market for telehandlers. The 506 and 508 Loadall telehandlers are being made at JCB’s North American headquarters, in Savannah, Georgia. The plant also produces backhoe loaders and robot skid steer loaders.
JCB’s investment announcement came as the company celebrated production of its 100,000th Loadall telehandler.
The first telehandler, the JCB 520, sold to an engineering company in Scotland, was produced on October 3, 1977. In 1977, fewer than 300 machines were made by a “handful of employees”. Today 700 people work in the Loadall business unit.
JCB PR manager Nigel Chell said telehandlers made for the UK and European markets generally had side-mounted engines and low booms. Telehandlers for the US had mid-mounted engines and high booms.
Chell said JCB aimed to be the world’s biggest telescopic handler manufacturer by brand, by the end of 2006. A JCB statement said the company was “on target” to reach its goal.
Privately-owned JCB’s net telehandler sales and number of telehandler units produced for 2005 were not available, Chell said.
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Soot filters for Dutch diesel forklifts
From January 1 next year, all diesel engine forklifts used indoors in the Netherlands must be fitted with approved soot filters, a Dutch industry association says.
According to BMWT, the ruling is in addition to an existing prohibition on use of diesel forklifts up to 4 tonnes indoors.
The Dutch Government established the new ruling after emissions from diesel engines were recognised as cancer causing. Filters are expected to reduce emissions by 70 per cent.
BT upgrades Vector range
BT has introduced VCE100 and VCE135 forklifts to its warehouse forklift markets.
The VCE135 replaces the C12.5, which was introduced in 2001. The new model has an increased load capacity and higher lift heights, a BT statement said.
VCE100 replaces C10, introduced at the same time as the C12.5. The new model has a “more modern truck computer” and a “larger program area”.
Linde chief is manager of the year
Linde Group CEO Wolfgang Reitzle has been named manager of the year by two German magazines.
Managermagazin, a monthly German publication, and the weekly Wirtschaftswoche, recognised Reitzle for “transforming Linde into an international market leader and for keeping the group’s independence after the BOC Group plc acquisition”, Linde head of communications Uwe Wolfinger said.
Wolfinger said there were no new developments on Linde’s forklift business.
“We are still evaluating both options; a trade sale or an initial public offering.”
Antwerp follows Dutch law with forklift order
LBC Tank Terminals, a Paris-based operator of storage facilities for liquid bulk chemical products, has ordered 18 Hyster forklifts from Barloworld Internal Transport, of the Netherlands.
The delivery of 17 new Hyster LPG Fortens forklifts, an explosion-proof Hyster electric forklift, and a Terberg tow truck, was made to LBC’s Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Antwerp, Belgium, terminals.
The Antwerp terminal’s old fleet consisted of diesel forklifts, LBC purchasing head Franks Klink said.
Because the order was made by LBC’s Rotterdam terminal, LPG forklifts were ordered for both terminals, in accordance with Dutch law.
Barloworld Internal Transport’s Ferdinand van Luttikhuizen said Dutch law required diesel forklifts with capacities over 4 tonnes to be equipped with soot filters if used indoors. Forklifts below 4 tonne capacities could not be used indoors.
“LBC Rotterdam is where the order was decided for Belgium and the Netherlands. So in Belgium they have replaced the diesel trucks with new LPG trucks,” he said.
As part of the contract, Barloworld Internal Transport and Hyster would conduct “in house” forklift driver training for 46 drivers in Rotterdam and Antwerp.
LBC also has branches in France, Spain and Portugal, and is active in the USA. It stores up to 2.5 million cubic metres of liquid chemical products in its facilities in Europe and the USA.
TVH expands through Dutch take-over
Thermote & Vanhalst Group division TVH Forklift Parts NV has taken over the parts activities of LTE, the Dutch sales office of Belgian company SMS-Saveco.
TVH marketing adviser Sofie Duquesne said it would be business as usual at LTE but two SMS employees, Antoon Van Ruiten and Pieter Jaegers, had joined TVH. She gave no further details.
Duquesne said SMS-Saveco’s core business was service and repairs. LTE was established in 1991 to distribute electrical machine parts.
TVH said in a statement that it wanted to expand its product range and be a “one-stop shop” in the Netherlands. The Waregem-headquartered company would not disclose the price it paid for LTE’s parts activities.
In August, TVH acquired the global materials handling activities of US-based IMC Holdings Inc (Forkliftaction.com News #275). Earlier, the company had acquired Belgian forklift sales and rental company Euro Forklifts (Forkliftaction.com News #269).
CeMAT Asia has increased space and exhibitors
A total of 38,408 visitors from 74 countries and regions visited the Shanghai New International Expo Centre for CeMAT Asia 2006 and PTC Asia last week.
The centre’s pavilions housed CeMAT exhibitors from 21 countries, including Germany, the USA, Britain, Italy, Spain, France, Korea and Japan. The 352 exhibitors occupied 20,100 square metres of exhibition space, a 28 per cent in exhibitors and an eight per cent increase in space, compared with 2005.
Leading forklift manufacturers, like Linde, Toyota, Jungheinrich, Komatsu, BT, Still, OM, Hyundai, and crane manufacturers Demag, Kone, Kito and Abus exhibited. Forklift attachment makers Cascade, Kaup and Bolzoni Auramo were present.
The world’s leading forklift manufacturer, Toyota, showcased its new 8 Series forklifts, powered by internal combustion engines. China’s leading manufacturers, Anhui Heli and Hangzhou Forklift, exhibited alongside their international counterparts.
Jungheinrich Lift Truck (Shanghai) Co Ltd managing director Jian Chen said the trade show reminded him of his experience in Hannover.
“The atmosphere was very cheerful and people were packed everywhere. Visitors asked us very professional questions. All these remind me of the experience in Hannover. Next year, we will surely come back, with a better image and a bigger booth.”
The show was jointly organised by Deutsche Messe AG, Hannover Fairs China Ltd, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, and the Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society.
Chinese media, like China Central Television, Shanghai Television, the China Daily, the Economic Daily, and the China Business Times, covered the exhibition.
Read Forkliftaction.com sales manager Rodger Lamb's observations of Shanghai and CeMAT Asia.
CeMAT India joins 2007 trade show calendar
CeMAT organiser Deutsche Messe is continuing a globalisation strategy with the launch of CeMAT India in November 2007.
Shortly after CeMAT Asia, held at Shanghai last week, the trade show organiser announced a new cooperation agreement with Italian exhibition organiser Fiera Milano SpA to promote and stage trade fairs in “selected growth markets” like India and China.
The first result from the alliance is four trade fairs at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) from November 27 to November 30, 2007.
Deutsche Messe signed an agreement with the Indian Machine Tools Manufacturers’ Association in May to market the BIEC worldwide (Forkliftaction.com News #263).
CeMAT India will be held at the BIEC with Industrial Automation India, Energy India and Motion, Drive & Automation India.
Deutsche Messe said in a statement that the concept of jointly staging events with interrelated technologies had a proven track record in Hannover and Shanghai.
The German engineering federation, VDMA, had signalled its support for CeMAT India, the statement said.
Deutsche Messe would continue to pursue an international approach to meet its growth targets, Deutsche Messe AG board member Ernst Raue said.
Hannover-based Deutsche Messe has operations in Australia, Brazil, the USA, China, Singapore and Turkey through six subsidiaries. It plans to open offices in Tunisia, Algeria, Pakistan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Sydney Safety Show “worthwhile”
HOMEBUSH, Sydney, Australia
At the fourth Sydney Safety Show, at Olympic Park, Homebush, forklift drivers setting up the show operated without seatbelts, and some visitors stumbled on uneven floor tiles, but exhibitors said the show was “worthwhile”.
Safety Show organiser, Australian Exhibitions & Conferences manager Jo Stavers, said she anticipated about 12,000 visitors at the three-day show, on October 17-19.
There were 350 exhibitors, including Toyota Industries Corporation Australia, Linde Materials Handling Australia, Task Australia, Forkpro Australia, Amskan and EV-Alert. An estimated 4,000 visitors attended the show’s first day.
Amskan general manager Lindsay Cordner said the show was “definitely worthwhile” with “quality inquiries and genuine interest”.
Toyota product safety standards & engineering manager Stan Palmer said “show traffic was consistent and steady”.
Task Australia Max product manager Richard Crocker said the show was lucrative.
“There was lots of genuine interest, particularly in the newly released Sumi Boa and the Max J18 3-wheel counterbalanced electric forklift. We think the show is a huge success,” he said.
Forkpro forklift safety and productivity manager Todd Brennan said the show was an opportunity to demonstrate Forkpro’s affiliation with Ausfork Victoria and provide information on forklift licensing, safety and training.
Two show highlights were a Sattach forklift operator restraint, called a “pilot protector”, exhibited on a Toyota 7FG25 counterbalanced gas forklift, and Spill Station’s “plugitup” putty for forklift drivers who “ignore spills and damage”.
WorkCover New South Wales was the principal show sponsor. It conducted free seminars on improvements to workers’ compensation.
Conference delegates participated in a WorkCover hypothetical and heard presentations on working across state boundaries, hidden safety costs of casual employment, managing interstate construction contractors, and how to stop workplace bullying. The conference was presented by the Safety Institute of Australia.
National Safe Work Week starts on Sunday
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Queensland workers have been urged to join activities that are part of a national safety week, Safe Work Australia Week, next week.
From October 22, industry workshops, information sessions and in-house activities will be conducted in Queensland through Queensland’s Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) division.
A WHS statement urged workplaces to “do a safety talk, a suggestion box, recognise staff that follow safe work practices, and distribute safety information”.
It said workplaces could register safety events, book places in free workshops or order information packs online at www.dir.qld.gov.au.
Forklift “gate” new from Sattach
ADELAIDE, South Australia, Australia
Australian attachment maker Sattach Pty Ltd has released a “pilot protector”, manufactured in Australia and Germany.
The protector is a shoulder-high gate, clamped to the cab on either side of the operator, designed to protect the operator in a rollover.
A Sattach statement said the protector was referred to in international safety standards as an “operator restraint”, a term soon to be introduced in Australian standards.
The restraint “contains the driver within the forklift structure, preventing the driver being crushed by an overturning forklift”, the statement said.
It said a restraint was different to a seat belt.
“Seat belts are used in cars to prevent a driver being thrown forward in a high-speed collision, but few, if any, forklift fatalities are caused that way. More commonly, a driver is crushed when falling or jumping from the forklift during a rollover,” the statement said.
If the gate was not latched shut, a gas strut pushed it wide open, making it unlikely an operator would drive the forklift.
Sattach director Ian Budenberg said several Australian forklift distributors had trialled the protector. He said it had been “well received” and sales had been made before the first shipment arrived.
Forkpro manager Todd Brennan said the protector “greatly assisted operator safety”.
It was displayed on Toyota and Nissan forklifts at the Sydney Safety Show this week.
In Europe, body restraints were compulsory on forklifts up to 10 tonnes, the Sattach statement said.
New Queensland Baoli forklift distributor appointed
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Materials handling supplier Skye Concepts Pty Ltd has been appointed Alpha Warehouse Solutions’ Baoli forklift and pallet racking distributor in Queensland.
Skye will distribute new and used Baoli 1.5-tonne to 7-tonne forklifts, drive-in racking and selective pallet racking.
Skye marketing & product manager Janitta Weis said Skye was keen to enter the forklift and pallet handling business after meeting Alpha at the Matex exhibition in Sydney in May.
Weis said Skye, which has its head office in Hemmant, Brisbane, also had begun an association with Crown Australia for pallet racking.
Alpha sales & development manager Jennifer Carey said business was booming.
“We have received hundreds of inquiries for forklifts and have been requested to tender for a delivery of 100 forklifts to the Solomon Islands,” she said.
Skye was an exhibitor at this week’s 2006 Queensland Manufacturing Technology Exhibition, in Brisbane.
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AEM offers free tool to promote safety
MILWAUKEE, WI, United States
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has developed a database of industry-recognised illustrations for use in safety materials. The images, available free at http://www.aem.org/technical/pictorialdatabase/, can be used in safety signage, manuals and training materials.
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