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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #318 - 12 July 2007 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
CFE Equipment wins its third President’s Award.
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Toyota Upgrades Fleet Solution Program
IRVINE, CA, United States
Toyota Material Handling USA Inc (TMHU) has launched a broad-based program for forklift fleet management including procurement, use and service. Some other forklift makers and aftermarket providers in the United States also offer such programs.
The reinvigorated program, called the Toyota Fleet Solution, focuses on fleet analysis, consolidated billing, fleet metrics system, a 24/7 toll-free call center and a customisable Toyota TotalFleet component. The elements are available individually or in combination with the proprietary TotalFleet flagship product.
“We want to provide our customers with the best possible fleet management program so that they can better run their businesses,” says Shankar Basu, president and CEO of Irvine-based TMHU.
The data-driven, comprehensive approach to fleet management is designed to create long-term partnerships and deliver better bottom-line business performance for users.
The program incorporates a SAP-driven fleet metrics system and underscores the value of measuring fleet management through performance over time.
TMHU supplanted a less comprehensive fleet solution originating about 15 years ago and rolled out the new program to its dealerships in June. “We have not put anything on that system yet,” says Jonathan Greven, sales contact with dealership W.D. Matthews Machinery Co in Auburn, Maine. “None of the other manufacturers we represent have a program.” The Matthews dealership, which also has sites in Concord, New Hampshire, and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, sells Clark, Doosan, Manitou, Combilift, JCB, Genie and JLG lifting equipment in addition to its TMHU line.
Crown Equipment Corp, Nissan Forklift Corp North America, Raymond Corp and Yale Materials Handling Corp are among other USA forklift manufacturers offering specialised fleet management services.
Crown of New Bremen, Ohio, offers a wireless InfoLink System for monitoring fleet truck usage and performance and has a FleetStats program for service tracking, accounting and tactical support.
Nissan of Marengo, Illinois, has its web-based Fleetraxx fleet management system with components for tracking equipment, usage, operating costs and maintenance scheduling.
Raymond of Greene, New York, offers a fleet management program that includes regular fleet surveys, analyses and reporting steps. Toyota owns Raymond, but the separate businesses operate independently.
Yale of Greenville, North Carolina, has fleet management analysis guaranteeing cost savings, fleet right-sizing techniques and collaboration with Yale’s in-house leasing and financing services.
Among aftermarket providers, BEB Fleet Source Group LLC, formerly BEB Software Systems Inc, has offered fleet management software for almost 20 years. BEB’s primary software products are QuoteMaster, PMFleet Plus and PMFleet.com. The Kansas City, Missouri, firm provides back office support for online fleet tracking, bill paying and planning, scheduling and performance tracking.
“The forklift industry is demanding our kind of service,” says Jason Bratton, BEB Fleet Source vice president. “We are a third-party, unbiased service provider.”
BEB Fleet Source collaborates on forklift leasing matters with Industrial Fleet Management Inc of Forest Hill, Maryland, and, for accessing aftermarket forklift parts, Diversified Industrial Solutions of Lenexa, Kansas.
Broad approaches to narrow aisles
BUCKINGHAM & CLOUCESTER, United Kingdom
Two UK warehouses have opted for different very narrow aisle (VNA) solutions – both from local manufacturers.
Natco Foods Ltd, a wholesaler of Asian foods and part of the Choithram Group of Companies, evaluated its needs when it relocated to a new purpose-built production facility and distribution centre at Buckingham, near Milton Keynes.
Meanwhile, Gloucester-based Online Packaging, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of industrial packaging materials, made its switch to improve warehouse efficiency. Rising contract sizes convinced Online to change from block stacking to aisle-based, adjustable pallet racking (APR) for its 2,500-pallet store.
When Natco selected the 150,000 sq ft (13,900 sq m) Buckingham site for its relocation, it was able to “completely overhaul our logistics function and consider the options that would enable us to bring genuine efficiencies throughout our operation,” says Sajid Khoker, Natco operations manager.
Key to the operation is its dispatch warehouse, where product is stored within 16 aisles of adjustable pallet racking (APR) which, when fully developed, will provide over 70,00 pallet positions at seven levels with a top beam height of over 10 metres.
The warehouse was designed to allow low-level order picking from ground level (and, in the future, first level locations) and at the present time, orders are picked from over 2,000 SKUs in some 1,000 ground-level picking locations.
Natco’s priorities were keeping aisle widths to a minimum but allowing access to accommodate a high degree of ground-level order picking locations.
Online Packaging, on the other hand, needed to extend its pallet stacking an additional 9 metres from the previous four-pallet high block stacking. By economising on aisle widths and making better use of height, Online’s warehouse manager, Maurice Jotham, believes the company can store twice as many pallets as before.
Natco considered guided VNA Turret trucks for its Buckingham site, but rejected these because they would have impeded the low-level order picking tasks. Man-up Combi trucks were also rejected as too dangerous – again because of the risks to workers below.
Instead, Natco chose a fleet of five Flexi G4 HiMAX articulated VNA trucks from Narrow Aisle Ltd. The Flexi’s design enables it to load like a counterbalanced machine – outside the aisles – but it can also work in very narrow aisles.
This dual-purpose functionality guarantees the user a wide range of benefits – not the least of which is the ability to load and unload lorries, then deliver pallets directly from goods-in to the pallet racking in a single operation, according to Flexi.
Online, meanwhile, opted for the Hi-Lift articulated forklift range produced by Redditch-based Translift Bendi. It installed a B318 three-wheeler model which can comfortably work in 1.6 metre wide aisles and will lift 800 kg to 9 metres. Online’s maximum pallet load is 600 kg but pallet sizes vary widely, including double width pallets.
Apart from the inherent safety advantages of the truck’s design, including better load vision, lack of rear-end swing, hill start and safe load rotation, the Bendi comes with safety features such as reversing bleeper and flashing light, according to the company.
"We can get twice as many pallets in our warehouse now," says Jotham. "We would have lost hundreds of bays if we had chosen a counterbalanced or reach truck instead of a Bendi."
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Michelin tests fuel cell vehicles
COLUMBIA, SC, United States
Tyre giant Michelin has taken delivery of two new hydrogen-powered fuel cell forklifts, the first to roll off the line at LiftOne and Engineered Solutions in Columbia, SC.
The forklifts have been equipped with HyPX Fuel Cell Power Packs manufactured by Hydrogenics of Toronto, Canada (Forkliftaction.com News #316) and installed by LiftOne in electric forklifts manufactured by Linde Materials Handling of Summerville, SC.
Both units are being used at Michelin's Columbia plant, the first of six two- week evaluations at facilities in the greater Columbia area.
"The promise of hydrogen-powered equipment has long been a dream of many of our customers looking to find more environmentally friendly ways of doing business," says LiftOne general manager, Bill Ryan, adding that the promise has become more of a reality.
Hydrogenics has been developing and commercialising hydrogen and fuel cell technologies since 1995 and is a world leader in this emerging clean energy industry.
The roll-out reflects South Carolina’s commitment to alternative fuels, with the project sponsored as part of the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge. The Challenge is a collaborative effort between the City of Columbia, the University of South Carolina, EngenuitySC and the South Carolina Research Authority, whose collective mission is to accelerate the deployment and adoption of a wide array of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies within the Midlands region of South Carolina.
Launched in the summer of 2006, the challenge has awarded 10 projects to date. The Hydrogenics-LiftOne project is the most ambitious initiative among those already funded.
"The amount of interest we have had in this project from so many of our South Carolina customers has been huge," says Ryan. After the first deployment at Michelin, the other clients who have asked to be involved in this evaluation include PBR, ISOLA Laminates and Leigh Fibers.
Cascade director sells stock
NEW YORK, United States
A director of Cascade Corp., a forklift attachment maker, exercised options for 3,800 shares of common stock and then sold them.
According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Duane C. McDougall reported he sold the shares on Tuesday for $83 each.
McDougall has been a director of Cascade since 2002. He served as president and chief executive officer of Willamette Industries, Inc., an international forest products company, from 1998 to 2002.
Cascade Corp., is based in Wilsonville, Ore. and has operations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa.
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Nissan honours US achievers
MARENGO, Ill, United States
CFE Equipment of Norfolk, Virginia has been awarded Nissan Forklift’s President’s Award for the third time.
Introduced in 1990, the President’s Award recognises a single Nissan dealership “which embodies the essential characteristics found in the most successful organisations today”.
CFE’s award comes as the dealership celebrates its 32nd anniversary as a Nissan dealer. It has grown from a one-branch operation to multiple locations across three states.
Much of the business’ success can be attributed to the collaboration formed between its owners, Nick Covatta and Anthony Sessa.
It was a double win for CFE, with Dave Teeson selected for Nissan Forklift’s 2006 Pinnacle Sales Award. The award honours sales representatives who have exhibited a consistently high level of sales performance and professionalism.
Teeson has been described as an extremely self-motivated individual whose drive to succeed has consistently resulted in outstanding sales.
His consummate professionalism and attention to his customers has made him the leading salesman at CFE Equipment for the past six years, and will undoubtedly continue to earn him this recognition for many more to come.
Meanwhile, Nissan Forklift Corporation national accounts manager Gaynell Phillips has been awarded the Nissan Pinnacle Emeritus Award. This accolade recognises sales professionals who’ve made a significant contribution to their dealerships and to NFC prior to the creation of the Pinnacle award.
Prior to her current position, Phillips represented the Nissan Forklift brand while employed at Material Handling Supply. During the eight years at the California dealership, she sold with a high degree of success, earning the top sales award for her region for three years straight.
Regulator okays BlueCAT 300
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has verified Nett Technologies Inc’s BlueCAT 300 closed-loop emission control system for use on forklift and other off-road large-spark-ignition engines.
Nett of Mississauga, Canada, makes the integrated converter muffler as an emission control system for installation as a direct-fit replacement for an original vehicle muffler. The system maintains optimal air-fuel ratios under all engine-operating conditions and maximises the three-way catalyst for reduction of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions.
The BlueCAT 300 is allowed for unregulated model year 1990-2001 engines and non-complying phase-in model year 2001-2003 engines of 25 horsepower or more using LPG fuel. Typically, the engines are used in floor care machinery, aerial lifts and ground support equipment in addition to forklifts.
Robert Cross, chief of Sacramento-based CARB’s mobile source control division, signed the executive order of verification June 1.
In addition, on June 25, CARB issued orders superseding previous interim verification letters for Nett’s BlueCAT 200 system and the TermiNOx-brand closed-loop emission control system from Engine Control Systems Ltd of Newmarket, Canada.
Forklift specialist gives boys golf a lift
GLASGOW, United Kingdom. Forklift specialist Douglas Gillespie has continued its support of the Scottish Golf Union by sponsoring the Scottish Boys Under 16s Championship this week.
Douglas Gillespie, chairman and managing director of the family forklift specialist is proud of his long-standing association with the event.
“This is our 13th year of partnership with the Scottish Golf Union and we are delighted to have been able to encourage the development of Scottish golf over the years. It is very pleasing to see many youngsters who have played in our under 16s tournament go on to national and international level and many on to the professional circuit,” he says.
Safety guide gets an update
CHESTERFIELD, United Kingdom. Mentor Training has updated its “Fork Lift Truck Safety” guide, publishing a second edition of the pocket guide.
The latest edition of this practical guide includes ‘new’ sections on operating pivot steer trucks and procedures for stacking and de-stacking alongside existing information on truck maintenance, safe driving, loading and unloading, plus understanding capacity, stability and other limits for different types of sit-on and pedestrian operated trucks.
Additionally, the new guide also includes an easy to understand summary of the current law covering forklift operations, says a spokeswoman.
Fund manager ups Bolzoni stake
MILAN, Italy. Fund manager Fidelity International Ltd has purchased 2% of Italian forklift attachment maker Bolzoni SpA. According to angecy reports, the stock was purchased from Intesa Sanpaolo and raises the fund manager’s stake in the company to just over above 4%.
There’s been no reaction to the move from Bolzoni.
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Strong orders for RAM Spreaders
LANCASHIRE, United Kingdom
Container handler APL has installed three RAM 2640 TwinLift spreaders at its Oakland Terminal in California, USA.
The existing MHI cranes and spreaders at the Oakland facility were only capable of single-lift operations, and RAM not only supplied new spreaders but also upgraded the controls and communications systems between crane and spreader to allow the twin-lifting operations to be performed.
RAM supplied the new spreaders ahead of schedule and each was equipped with ASi technology featuring RAM’s in-built fault diagnostics display panel.
The container handling equipment specialist is also manufacturing four RAM Model 2940 “CenterSpread” Separating TwinLift Spreaders for Georgia Port Auhtority’s (GPA) Garden City Terminal in Savannah, Georgia.
This will be the first time that RAM has supplied spreaders to the GPA.
RAM and GPA engineers have worked closely together throughout the design and engineering phase of this contract which has resulted in a number of innovative features designed to enhance GPA’s already impressive reliability and performance figures. Delivery is scheduled for later this year.
The company’s order book also includes five RAM Model 2440 50 tonne SWL telescopic Singlelift spreaders which will be used by the Greek port of Piraeus for its ship-to-shore cranes. The order follows the delivery of four RAM Model 2220 automatic overheight spreaders to the port in 2004.
Movers & Shakers
Scott Price has been appointed CEO of DHL Express Europe, assuming responsibility for the European business of the express specialist. Price was CEO of DHL Express Asia-Pacific, and before that, served as president of DHL Express Japan.
SAVANNAH, GA, United States
Stephen S. Green has been elected as chairman of the board of directors of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA). Green was first appointed to the board in July 2004 and is president and CEO of Stephen Green Properties, a commercial real estate investment and development corporation.
In the eye of the beholder
For their designers and perhaps even their operators, forklifts are often objects of art. Now, however, they are being taken to an even higher level of art appreciation at Sculpture Projects festival in the German town of Meunster.
One of the highlights of the fourth festival is an exhibit by German-born British artist, Gustav Metzger.
Taking art out of the gallery and onto the streets, Metzger’s “sculpture” consists of a real-life forklift that carries a handful of stones or bricks around the town for three months.
Confused? Well, according to festival organisers, the meaning is pretty obvious: “By presenting the spectator with a machine and adding the factor of randomness, Gustav Metzger is promoting a radical extension of accepted unproductive notions of art,” a spokesman explains.
Readers lucky enough to visit Münster over the next 107 days will have the chance to see a man driving a forklift to a local hotspot, step off the vehicle, go inside the building and use a password to activate a computer program that will inform him, by means of a random generator, how many stones he has to take to a certain location in the city. And those who miss the result can catch it online after the driver posts an image each day.
This is not Metzger’s first brush with forklift art. His last acclaimed London exhibition involved collecting bales of newspapers in the basement of an old building near Hawksmoor's Spitalfield church in East London. The papers then cascaded off the machine. And what was the message there? It all aimed to mirror “the wasteful, repetitive, unproductive nature of most of the ‘work’ in capitalist societies”, according to the gallery which staged the event.
Centra Forklifts changes hands
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
Auckland-based Centra Forklifts, the exclusive Mitsubishi forklift distributor in New Zealand, was bought out last week by a private equity investor who plans to expand the company’s profile throughout the country.
According to general manager Tony Emtage: “The company has had a very successful year and I believe the new ownership will enable us to take our service and products to even greater levels.”
As an exhibitor at this week’s MHL 2007 show, the company launched the latest N Series reach trucks as well as the three-wheel counterbalance machines and the new M series powered pallet trucks, for the first time in New Zealand. “These new-generation trucks bring the Mitsubishi brand to the forefront of materials handling equipment,” says Emtage.
The company recently secured another contract to supply and maintain new Mitsubishi forklifts as well as manage the onsite servicing of all moveable equipment for the paper and pulp facility of Carter Holt Harvey in Whakatane. Carter Holt Harvey is the largest producer of tissue products and wood composite panel products, and the leader in the production of timber, plywood and engineered wood products in Australasia.
“We are gaining an enviable reputation in quality servicing and general maintenance and have several large maintenance contracts with large corporations utilising our operating workshops at the international airport, Ports of Auckland and central Auckland, all the while supporting the Mitsubishi brand in New Zealand,” he tells Forkliftaction.com News.
Safety solutions for most precious asset of all
BAYSWATER, Victoria, Australia
Warehouse Safety Solutions (WSS) of Bayswater, Victoria has doubled its turnover to A$1 million this year as a result of its expansion into the supply of a full range of safety solutions for warehouses.
“Initially, we specialised in speed limiter products for forklifts,” says general manager Michael Johnson, adding that the company now provides systems to prevent unauthorised equipment use, faulty forklifts being operated, hefty maintenance bills, speeding forklifts, forklift and pedestrian interaction, pallet racking damage and overloading of forklifts.
“Our product range enables companies to ensure that their most precious asset of all, their staff, can work in a safe and secure environment customised to their specific needs,” he tells Forkliftaction.com News.
The company exhibited at this week’s MHL 2007 show in Auckland in order to promote its products and services into the New Zealand market.
“Australia is our main customer base, but we are expanding into Asia and have had significant orders for our speed limiters and weigh scales from Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore,” says Johnson.
The company supplies a range of products and safety systems to ensure compliance with Duty of Care legislation.
Besides products, the company also carries out detailed audits on traffic management, pallet racking and warehouse product flows. “Our team of auditors are able to sit down with our clients and go through a step-by-step process that not only identifies potential problems but also provides the solutions.”
The latest product is a range of computer-generated site induction programs. This allows companies to free up staff by handing over some training duties to a computer. “New employees, visitors and contractors can sit down at a computer and go through a step-by-step question-and-answer process specifically designed for your site and your requirements,” says Johnson.
Soon to be released, following the testing phase, is the company’s newest innovation, a “Fly by Wire” speed limiter, which Johnson believes will be one of the most advanced speed limiters available.
National freight conference
Organisers report that the 2020 Vision Australian Freight Conference is already attracting strong support from industry sponsors as well as a top quality range of speakers. The Changing Face of Freight - 2020 Vision for the 21st Century conference will be held on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 October 2007 in Adelaide, South Australia.
The conference will focus on how freight is changing and what is driving it in key regions.
Increase in shipping capacity
Members of the Oceania Vessel Sharing Agreement are adding larger ships and refining port calls in their two services connecting US West Coast (USWC) ports with Australia/New Zealand. In the Pacific South West (PSW) service, six ships averaging 1,800 TEU are being replaced with units of 2,500 TEU, a near 40% rise in capacity. The revised PSW schedule will offer direct calls at Oakland, Long Beach, Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Tauranga, Suva, and Honolulu (monthly), before returning to Oakland. The main change in the Pacific North West (PNW) itinerary is the inclusion of Adelaide.
The full itinerary of the PNW loop will comprise calls at Oakland, Seattle, Vancouver (BC), Long Beach, Tauranga, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Auckland, Papeete, Ensenada and return to Oakland. The members of Oceania are the German-based carriers, Hamburg Süd and Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk Line. The new set-up will commence operations in mid-July.
Fun event to encourage safe forklift driving
HEMMANT, Queensland, Australia
The grand final of the annual Swire Cold Storage National Forklift Driver competition took place on 11 July in Hemmant, Queensland with Ben Manfield winning the event on home turf.
Major sponsors Crown Equipment and CHEP Australia are keen supporters of the competition which focuses on safe forklift driving practices.
Contestants had to test their safe forklift driving skills on a new Crown Equipment 5200 series reach forklift truck while completing a course specifically designed by pallet maker CHEP Australia. The 5200 series is particularly suited to narrow aisles such as those found in a cold store environment.
“Crown Equipment has and continues to be very concerned with safety and producing the safest materials handling equipment possible. We are proud to support companies such as Swire Cold Storage in highlighting the importance of driving a forklift safely,” says Craig Kenchington, general manager marketing, Crown Equipment Australia.
“The competition is a great initiative and one that is looked forward to by many Swire Cold Storage employees. We are once more delighted to have the support and expertise of Crown Equipment and CHEP Australia in delivering this very important event,” say Lou Gheller, HR general manager, Swire Cold Storage.
The national winner received two flights and two nights accommodation in the capital city of his choice within Australia.
New from Yale
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
One of the latest products from Yale is the Narrow Aisle Reach Truck which drew attention from visitors when on show at the recent Safety Show in Brisbane.
The NDR035 is designed for use in warehousing, distribution, storage and third-party logistics.
According to Yale sales manager for Queensland, Greig Warner, the NDR035 incorporates a new platform and has a capacity advantage on the double reach version.
He adds that the company is experiencing significant growth in battery electric and in high specification narrow-aisle equipment, despite Yale’s reputation as a premium conventional lift truck brand.
Camera winner at MHL 2007
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
Lloyd Parris of Century Yuasa Batteries was thrilled to discover that his business card was the lucky one drawn at Forklifaction.com’s stand at this year’s MHL 2007 show held in Auckland New Zealand.
He wins a Canon digital camera.
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RICO awarded lift truck contract for the next generation aircraft carrier (CVN-21)
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has selected BPR/RICO Equipment, Inc. to design and build shipboard certified material handling equipment for the new-generation aircraft carrier, CVN 21.
“We are very excited about this contract award and to be part of the CVN-21 program. It builds on our existing, long-stand, relationship with the U.S. Navy and demonstrates our ability to create strong industry partners. Our engineering team is looking forward to getting started on both the 6,000 lbs and 12,000 lbs vehicles,” said Dave Mueller, President.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Energic Plus Chargers - The New Standard For Advanced Technology Chargers
Energic Plus, a new line of battery chargers specifically designed for the North American market, is now available from Systems Material Handling (SMH), Olathe, Kan.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Keytroller Systems: Risk Minimisation in Forklift Operations
Minimising the risk in forklift operations, Keytroller Australia provides a total monitoring system to assist in meeting stringent OH&S regulations. As well as the ability to ‘lock out’ employees who do not meet pre-operational criteria, the Keytroller 105 and LCD 501 systems generate detailed reports about the usage of forklifts, such as speed and correct use of safety procedures, to deliver a safer working environment. The system also provides detailed reports on incidents, providing important data for ensuring driver accountability and assisting in maintaining productivity.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Greig Maver, Maverick Equipment
Greig Maver, owner and founder of Maverick Equipment, reflects on 38 years in the Australian forklift industry.
Click here for the full Industry Profile feature, including pictures.
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