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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #290 - 14 December 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Telehandler manufacturer now owned by Oshkosh”
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Jungheinrich: no plan to leave customers “productless”
RICHMOND, VA, United States
Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp, of Richmond, Virginia, has retired its Multiton brand, and Mobile Industries Inc, of Toronto, Canada, has recruited some former Multiton dealers.
Jungheinrich is pursuing a single-brand strategy and, by the end of October, had phased out the Multiton brand. “Starting in July, we had a series of mailers to dealers and some catalogue houses,” said John Sneddon, president of the US subsidiary of Jungheinrich Group (Forkliftaction.com News #270). “We had up to 800 active Multiton non-exclusive dealers in the US.”
Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp and Multiton MIC Corp had merged on January 1, 2005, and the Multiton retirement project began a year later. “We had to lose some business to be more active with the Jungheinrich brand through our main Jungheinrich dealer channel,” Sneddon said.
He said the US decision on Multiton followed the corporate approach. “This is nothing new” for Jungheinrich. “In 2002, in Europe, Jungheinrich had four brands and made a decision to go to one brand in the marketplace. The single brand [decision] in the US is an extension of what we have been doing globally.”
In the US, Multiton had a long history and significantly higher name recognition than Jungheinrich.
Multiton was formed in 1951, became part of Jungheinrich Group, of Hamburg, Germany, in 1976 and came under the US subsidiary as part of the North American introduction of the Jungheinrich line a few years ago.
The Multiton retirement has left a market opening that Mobile is seeking to pursue, although Mobile and Jungheinrich have not collaborated.
Mobile said in a statement that it had linked with some former Multiton dealers seeking alternative suppliers of class 3 stacker and pallet truck product lines. In making its case, Mobile said post-closing fulfillment of aftermarket requirements for Multiton parts and service was now questionable.
Sneddon said mainline Jungheinrich dealers could handle Multiton parts and service needs. Product warranties continued. Jungheinrich has 65 North American mainline dealers, including three in Canada and two in Mexico.
In some cases, management opened the way for Jungheinrich factory stores in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois, to deal with certain Multiton issues, Sneddon said.
Jungheinrich manufacturing occurs in Germany with limited assembly in Richmond. Mobile employs more than 300 in engineering and manufacturing positions and another 100 in warehousing, promotional and sales roles. Mobile designs and develops materials handling product lines inhouse. Mobile has warehouses in two Canadian provinces, four US states and various other countries.
“Mobile was one of the first North American materials handling manufacturers to strike joint-venture (JV) agreements with offshore manufacturing companies,” Robert Uhrig, general manager of Mobile marketing & operations, said. “Mobile’s primary North American manufacturing facility is in Toronto” with other production around the world.
Mobile manufactured its B60CSA and other Mobile-branded materials handling equipment at its North American facility and worked with JVs to produce its Eco-branded lines, Uhrig said.
Mobile began in the late 1950s and, from North American and JV operations, manufactures more than 60,000 pallet trucks annually.
Among Mobile’s newer lines are self-propelled pallet trucks and stackers, generic allied products, such as hand trucks, jacks, dock plates and lift tables, and store fixture products, such as platform trucks, rolling ladders and lumber carts.
Sneddon said about the Multiton retirement: “We came up with a plan. We felt we had everything covered. We could not know about any conflicts. It was never our intention to leave people without a product.”
JLG transitions to Oshkosh ownership
OSHKOSH, WI, United States
Oshkosh Truck Corp has completed its acquisition of JLG Industries Inc, making the telehandler manufacturer its largest business segment (Forkliftaction.com News #282).
The USD3.2 billion all-cash transaction was completed on December 6, ending JLG’s status as an independent company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Oshkosh has named its executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) Charles L Szews interim JLG president.
Szews said: “The similar cultures and shared values of our organisations are integral to [the merger] process.”
Eight teams with members from Oshkosh and JLG would lead the integration effort, focusing on short and long-term objectives, he said.
JLG is the 15th acquisition under current Oshkosh Truck management over 10 years. Oshkosh has added segments of the specialty vehicle and body markets to complement its defence truck business. The company reported profit of USD205.5 million on sales of USD3.48 billion for the fiscal year ended September 30 and employed 9,387 people on that date.
Two top executives have left JLG to “pursue other opportunities”, Oshkosh said in a statement. William M Lasky was JLG board chairman, president and CEO, and James H Woodward Jr was JLG executive vice president and CFO.
JLG senior vice presidents Craig Paylor, Peter Bonafede and Wayne MacDonald were expected to continue with the JLG segment, the statement said. At JLG, Paylor oversaw sales and marketing, Bonafede manufacturing and supply chain management and MacDonald engineering.
Pennsylvania-based JLG, established in 1969, reported profit of USD149.3 million on sales of USD2.29 billion for the fiscal year ended July 31 and employed 4,088 people on that date.
General Motors approves Swedish supplier
Swedish forklift-mounted computer maker Åkerströms Trux has won its biggest order of 1,500 computers, from General Motors (GM).
Erik Lindquist, vice president of product management, said there would be more orders from GM in 2007.
“We have climbed all the hurdles to get our equipment certified by GM and now GM has placed a large order with us.
“But they have more need and will continue using our equipment in 2007.”
He attributed the deal to Åkerströms’ extensive marketing and sales initiatives in the US market.
Åkerströms Inc general manager in the US, Jeff Davis, called the GM order significant for the company.
Åkerströms started delivering the computers in the northern hemisphere spring. They will be mounted on forklifts and other vehicles in General Motors’ production facilities in the Americas.
Lindquist said: “With Wherenet, our reseller, we bent over backwards to be straightforward throughout the process. We provided timely responses and showed we really cared.”
He said the deal would facilitate growth, improve finances and enable many large international deals for the company.
“We’re delighted that the future looks so bright.”
The average market price for a forklift-mounted computer ranged from USD3,000 to USD4,000, Lindquist said.
Åkerströms, established in 1918, has more than 45 years’ experience developing industrial products for wireless communication. Owned by investment capital firm Brainheart Capital, the company employs about 70 people. Its 2005 turnover was SEK136 million (USD19.86 million). It has subsidiaries in Denmark and the US.
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BT sends landmark truck to Eastern Europe
A BT customer in Eastern Europe has received the Swedish forklift maker’s 500,000th powered pallet truck, an Orion LPE200.
The unnamed customer was from Wincaton, Hungary.
BT made its first powered model at its Mjölby factory in 1958. According to a BT statement, it took the manufacturer 28 years to reach total production volume of 100,000 powered trucks and another nine years to reach 200,000.
The latest 100,000 trucks were produced in less than three years. Since 1993, the factory’s output has jumped 12 per cent a year and productivity has increased from 19 trucks per employee to 33.
BT has invested a “substantial” amount to increase its factory’s capacity to 60,000 powered trucks a year. BT spokesperson Elisabeth Herrnell said the company would not disclose the investment figure.
The investment includes increasing production space by 6,000 square metres, extending the special products division facility by 2,500 square metres, building a goods-in area to cope with increased supplier flow and new production equipment.
Herrnell said BT had two factories in Mjölby, 250km south of Stockholm. In October, Forkliftaction.com News reported BT had invested EUR4 million (USD5.29 million) in a plant that produces hand pallet trucks (Forkliftaction.com News #283). The latest investment is for another plant.
Digital technology keeps VLS techs on road
BREA, CA, United States
A southern Californian forklift dealer has bucked the industry trend to avoid mobile service technicians.
VLS Inc, of Brea, California, which trades as Vertical Lift Truck Services of California, has 12 field technicians.
Mike Snyder, president and CEO, said implementing the concept impacted on the whole company and required patience during the critical process of educating the technicians and other employees.
He said mobile services were not new, but most dealers shied away from them because of performance uncertainties.
He posed three questions to anyone contemplating introducing a mobile service: “Can my technicians be educated on the software of my choosing? Does the person or group I have chosen to implement the system do homework and understand the philosophy? Do I have the resources and funding to complete the change?”
In October 2005, VLS began operating 12 mobile units in its four-county service area. Each vehicle has a mobile computer and VLS-proprietary software. Preparations started in 2004.
Using customised features, “our technicians have the ability to invoice and quote customers on site and the options of on-board printing, fax and email capabilities”, Snyder said. “For our technicians, it means having knowledge at their finger tips.”
The billing improvement impressed customer William Tanaka, warehouse traffic senior supervisor with Nippon Express USA Inc, in El Segundo, California. “I get an invoice and can process that information, and it usually cuts down five days on getting bills paid,” he said.
VLS’s customer account tracking on-line system allows customers to preview equipment history and work in process, track hourly costs and payables and check invoice history by unit. A digital dispatch board enables VLS to view the status of technicians’ repairs, preventive maintenance and other jobs.
VLS has reduced receivable collections by 10 days, virtually eliminated the cost of postage, envelopes and paper, and cut fuel expenses, Snyder said.
In addition to the 12 technicians, VLS employs six people with sales, parts and administrative responsibilities.
VLS distributes DV8r, Tailift, Navigator, Blue Giant and Rol-Lift forklifts and other equipment. Its building occupies 12,000 square feet (1,080 square metres). VLS gets 60 percent of revenue from service work, 22 percent from equipment sales and the remainder from rentals and parts.
Intermodal 2006 showcases new products
More than 20 freight containers were displayed at the 31st Intermodal conference and exhibition for the container and intermodal industries in Hamburg this month.
Among new products showcased was Canadian manufacturer Conforce International’s Eko-Flor container flooring system. Designed to replace traditional wooden floors in shipping containers, the Eko-Flor was certified by the American Bureau of Shipping three weeks ago.
US-based CakeBoxx LLC introduced a new doorless cargo container concept. CakeBoxx invented the doorless container after speaking to US authorities and companies about theft and cargo inspection difficulties.
The doorless product was said to reduce terrorism risks and facilitate tracking. The container’s first trials will be in 2007.
Dutch company Unit45 BV displayed the 2,500th 45-foot container to join its lease fleet and new bulk and reefer products.
A stand-out attraction was the Art-on-a-Box project, initiated by the Port of Amsterdam at Intermodal 2005 in Bilbao, Spain, to raise Amsterdam’s profile as a container port and international logistics hub. Twelve Amsterdam artists will each paint a 40-foot container with imagery of their city port over four years.
The Intermodal conference drew more than 100 delegates and focused on the need for effective transport capacity management across Europe. New to Intermodal was a tank transport and logistics module that covered new developments, especially in the regulatory sector.
Intermodal 2006, organised by Informa Maritime & Transport, was held at the Hamburg Messe from December 5 to December 7.
Yale adds two order pickers
FLEET, United Kingdom
Yale Europe Materials Handling has added the MO20 and MO20S to its AC powered low-level order picker range.
The new models have 4kW AC traction motors, CANbus communication systems and dual technology (AC and DC) Combi controllers.
Made in Masate, Italy, the truck can slow automatically when cornering, a Yale statement said. It “instinctively adjusts its speed after analysing travel speed and the steering wheel’s position”.
Forklifts for taller operators
Hyster Europe has introduced Ergo+ forklifts, in response to customer demand for more leg room for taller operators.
The Ergo+ is an adapted version of Hyster Europe’s J1.60-2.00XMT and J2.00-3.20XM series of electric counterbalanced forklifts.
Launched at Logistica 2006, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, the Ergo+ range has three-and four-wheel models with “advanced ergonomics” designed by Hyster’s special engineering department for above-average-height drivers.
TVH unhappy with job vacancies
The management of Thermote & Vanhalst group (TVH) is dissatisfied with the number of job vacancies at its Waregem headquarters, one year after publicising its staff shortage.
Last month, the Waregem office got its 1,000th employee but the company was not happy. “In theory, this is of course a joyful event, yet management cannot be 100 per cent satisfied,” a TVH statement said.
The Belgian forklift parts maker currently has 150 positions vacant, ranging from logistics and technical to information and communications technology. The TVH group employs more than 2,000 workers worldwide.
To advertise a job vacancy, go to Forkliftaction.com’s Jobs & Resumes section.
Forklift lowers potential spotlight thief
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
A man was coerced down from a 20-metre high advertising billboard in Kuala Lumpur by fire and rescue personnel using a forklift.
The middle-aged man was believed to have climbed the billboard at 6am last Sunday to steal a spotlight, but police arrived at the scene after a phone call tip-off, the Malaysian National News Agency, Bernama, reported.
Fire and rescue department personnel also arrived and tried to offer the man food and cigarettes to cajole him down.
After shooting water on him for 10 minutes failed, two personnel went up to the thief using a forklift and coerced him down. He was pulled into the forklift and lowered to the ground before being handed to police.
Witnesses said the man had been collecting boxes and scrap iron in the area for the past four months.
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Hyster big trucks join new rail terminal
PARKES, NSW, Australia
Hyster South-East Victoria has an agreement to supply one 32-tonne forklift and a 40-tonne container handler to SCT Logistics’ rail facility in Parkes, New South Wales.
SCT’s AUD15 million first-stage Parkes facility has a container handler fleet for its contract warehousing services, a statement said.
It said Hyster’s forklift and container handler would perform first-row stacking operations - loading and unloading freight trains.
In July 2006, Forkliftaction.com News reported SCT was looking for forklift suppliers for its Parkes rail freight facility (Forkliftaction.com News#270).
On October 20, NSW premier Morris Iemma opened SCT Logistics’ Parkes freight terminal. Hyster said its H40.00-52.00XM-16CH range of laden container handlers was used at the opening.
“The inclusion [at Parkes] of Hyster’s new 40-tonne container handler series bolsters the company’s position as market leader in trucks with lifting capacities of more than 10 tonnes,” the statement said.
“Container handlers with masts are receiving renewed interest from terminal operators, given these first-row container stackers perform container shunting operations faster than most reach stackers.”
Hyster Big Truck Wholesale Operations manager Mark Fritzen said three Hyster container handlers were in use at SCT rail terminals in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
SCT said it had increased assets nationally.
“In addition to the development of four state-of-the-art terminals across the nation, SCT Logistics has invested heavily in the purchase of new trains and rolling stock to the tune of around AUD150 million,” an SCT statement said.
It said the privately owned company had an annual turnover of AUD300 million and employed more than 700 staff nationally.
Using rail instead of trucks was important environmentally and economically.
“The terminal will initially represent a reduction of 55 million gross tonne kilometres of truck movements from Australian roads, with a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gases,” the statement said.
It said the Parkes facility had 5km of rail track, a 3,000 square metre container park and a 9,600 square metre warehouse facility. An AUD30 million second-stage development was planned.
New port player rocks the boat
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia
A third Australian stevedore is competing with Australia’s two major container terminal companies for port development rights.
Australian International Container Terminals Ltd (AICTL) said it had “positioned itself” to compete with Toll Holdings Ltd and Dubai Ports World, which operates Australia’s P&O Maritime Services.
AICTL, based in Sydney, has two shareholders, Sydney-based Anglo Ports Pty Ltd and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services Inc.
AICTL managing director Richard Setchell, a former P&O Ports managing director, said the company was “set up specifically to bid for any container terminal opportunities in Australia”.
Setchell said AICTL this week completed a submission to the Port of Brisbane Corporation (PBC) to manage container trade at berth 11 alone and/or berths 11 and 12 at the Fisherman Islands container terminal. Submissions closed this week.
A spokesperson for PBC would not say how many submissions were received.
Two months ago, AICTL formed an alliance with Australian rail freight and warehousing company SCT Logistics.
Setchell said “many links are required in the chain of forming a viable stevedoring operation, and the SCT Logistics alliance is one of the most significant for AICTL”.
He said competition was fierce.
“There has been a lot of negativity from the two major stevedores. Many other businesses are interested in being a third or even a fourth player. But we are probably the most vocal,” he said.
“The important point is to change the mindset where people think a third competitor can’t survive. A third, fourth and even a fifth competitor is sustainable and should be encouraged. The market is big enough.”
Toll managing director Paul Little said Toll, which invested AUD90 million to expand the Patrick Brisbane Autostrad Terminal at Fisherman Islands, regarded competition with caution.
“Given the rapidly increasing valuation of Brisbane’s port land, effective land use is more important than ever. However, ongoing investment may be jeopardised if competition ideology replaces operating economics as the principal driver of port development, although this does not appear to be the case in Brisbane,” he said.
Setchell told The Age that stevedoring prices in Australia “could fall by at least 15 per cent if there was competition to Toll’s Patrick division and P&O Ports”.
Scotties’ forklifts set up Robbie Williams concert
BRISBANE, Qld, Australia
Scotties Forklift Hire, based in Coopers Plains, Brisbane, provided seven two-tonne to seven-tonne forklifts for the Robbie Williams concert at Brisbane’s Lang Park Stadium this week.
Scotties hire fleet manager Ralph Seminara said “word of mouth” had secured a contract with promoter Chugg Entertainment. “The promoters know us,” he said. Scotties also will dismantle the Robbie Williams Brisbane concert stage.
Seminara said Scotties was contracted to provide forklifts for the November 7 U2 concert at Brisbane’s QE2 Stadium.
Scotties provided long-term and casual forklift hire, sales and rental and had been in business for more than 30 years, Seminara said.
Scotties sales manager Graham Scott jnr said Scotties had 340 one-tonne to 10-tonne forklifts in its fleet and distributed forklift attachments and Manitou MH25 4x4 semi rough terrain vehicles. It operates from one office and delivers to Brisbane, south-east Queensland and northern NSW. It stocks most forklift brands.
Seminara said the company had been involved in set up and pull down of several Brisbane concerts at the Botanical Gardens and the Convention & Exhibition Centre, concerts in Byron Bay, and car and truck shows.
Scotties is a family business, owned by Graham Scott snr.
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Keytroller LC's new Keyless Ignition Simple Starter
TAMPA, FL, United States
Keytroller LLC introduces a new KISS (Keyless Ignition Simple Starter). KISS eliminates ignition key with one lighted START/STOP button. The button is enabled with operator’s company RFID card. Operation is simple, just flash card over dash, button is illuminated green if card is accepted --press lit button to start engine and press again to stop. Alternatively the device can be wired to just enable the ignition key further improving security.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Two weeks left to nominate
NEW YORK, NY, United States
The third annual ARA Insurance Services/National Equipment Register Award will be presented at a ceremony at the Rental Show in Atlanta from February 7 to February 10, 2007.
Click here for the full Fork Talk feature, including pictures.
Rob Vetter: ‘Tis the Season
BLAINE, WA, United States
Back in 1981 when I was an impressionable young man of 19, I lost a very near and dear friend to an industrial accident. He was electrocuted when he contacted live power lines while painting a building.
Click here for the full Safety First feature, including pictures.
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