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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #352 - 20 March 2008 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Hyundai Europe grows significantly.”
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Linde strengthens heavy forklift business
MERTHYR TYDFIL, United Kingdom
Linde Material Handling is investing EUR21 million (USD33.1 million) to boost the competitiveness of its heavy forklift business in the global marketplace.
Theodor Maurer, Linde Material Handling’s chief sales officer, and Roland Hartwig, Linde Heavy Truck Division’s managing director, said at a press event at the Merthyr Tydfil plant that the money would be spent over the next three years.
About EUR17 million (USD26.8 million) will be diverted to research and development while EUR4 million (USD6.3 million) will be used to optimise production at the plant.
Maurer said the heavy forklift division wants to exploit the growth opportunities resulting from strong demand for port handling technology.
“In the past 14 years, the number of containers being transported has quadrupled. We believe that over the coming years, container transport will undergo further significant growth.”
Maurer attributed the predicted growth to international supply relationships, relocation of production to low-wage countries, an increase in global sourcing, and global sales strategies. He added that Asia would continue to be the most dynamic region for global container handling.
Besides creating a separate business unit for the heavy forklift business, Linde has appointed a new management team for the division. Michael Göbner is responsible for production, Michael Wuttke heads development management, John Haden is responsible for sales, Mark Timothy is in charge of marketing and Davide Bertozzi heads business development. The Linde Heavy Truck Division reports to Kerry McDonagh, CEO of Linde Material Handling (UK).
To shorten development times and simplify production, Linde heavy and container handling forklifts will be built using a modular design. Components and modules are developed and produced independently of each other before being assembled to create the equipment.
This will free up production capacity to be used to meet growth targets. Over the next few years, Linde plans to add new heavy forklift models with lifting capacities of 18-37 tonnes - plus one with a 52-tonne lifting capacity - higher lifting capacity reach stackers and empty container handlers to its product range.
Linde launched the Linde C90 empty container handler with 9-tonne lifting capacity this month as part of its ambitious plan to grow its product range. The machine can stack 8’6” containers to seven high. It has a 4.0-metre (13-foot) wheelbase but by the last quarter of 2008, models with a 4.5-metre (14.8-foot) wheelbase, which can single- and double-stack 8’6” containers to eight high, will also be available.
Linde, according to Timothy, intends offering “the full range of heavy forklifts in the market segments that matter to us”.
McDonagh adds that the sales and service departments will be expanded.
“We will need to appoint more regional sales managers and additional sales experts for the planned increase in market coverage. More service experts and spare-part availability should ensure immediate assistance when a truck requires maintenance.”
Linde Heavy Truck Division posted sales of EUR173 million (USD272.7 million) in 2007 and over 90% of trucks produced in Merthyr Tydfil are exported. The site produces reach stackers, container handlers, heavy diesel forklifts and side loaders.
In 1989, Linde AG bought the British container handler manufacturer Lansing. Linde moved to the production site in Merthyr Tydfil in 2000, taking it over from the Korean industrial truck manufacturer Halla Ltd.
The Merthyr Tydfil site covers 240,000m² (2,583,339sqft) and includes a production hall with an office wing that extends over 21,000m² (226,042sqft). The heavy forklifts and container handlers were previously built 24km (14.9 miles) away in the Lansing Linde Ltd plant in Blackwood but Linde says the site offered no expansion opportunities.
VP leaves Gehl Company
WEST BEND, WI, United States
Vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) of Gehl Company, Thomas M Rettler, has resigned from his position effective 11 April.
Rettler, 47, has accepted the position of senior vice president and CFO of Menasha Corp of Neenah, Wisconsin.
He joined Gehl in 2004 as vice president and CFO. Gehl president and chief operating officer, Malcolm F Moore, will assume his duties until a successor is named.
Chairman William D Gehl says the company is grateful for Rettler’s leadership.
“Tom Rettler has been an excellent CFO and has played an instrumental role in Gehl Company’s growth since joining the company in 2004,” he says. “We are grateful for his leadership in building a strong finance team and we wish him well in his new position.”
Hyundai Europe grows significantly over past five years
Hyundai Heavy Industries Europe (HHIE) recorded an 18.5% rise in turnover in 2007, from EUR230 million (USD359.8 million) in 2006 to EUR280 million (USD438 million).
In 2007, HHIE sold 3,200 construction machines compared to 2,700 in 2006, while 1,600 materials handling machines were sold, compared to 1,500 in 2006.
HHIE’s turnover has grown significantly over the past five years. In 2003, the company’s turnover was EUR89 million (USD139.2 million). Turnover for 2007 is 215% higher than in 2003.
Dirk Luyten, HHIE’s European sales manager for materials handling, tells Forkliftaction.com News that the key to its success is “respect for the ground rules”.
“Offer the right product at the right price at the right place and then promote it well. That’s the recipe for a good start,” he says.
Part of that has been a focus on proximity to markets. “Enlarging the geographical coverage of our dealer network probably created the largest portion of the growth we experienced over the past few years,” Luyten says.
He adds that HHIE is now focusing on improving its after-sales support and parts delivery service.
Last September, HHIE established its first subsidiary, HHIE-France, to establish its presence in what Luyten calls its “priority target” market.
“HHIE-France is our foothold in France for our construction equipment and materials handling dealer network,” Luyten says. “We are still working on the ground rules there, looking for more quality dealers to ensure complete geographical coverage.”
At Manutention 2008 in Paris, HHIE was looking to sign up French materials handling equipment dealers. HHIE says it is happy with its construction equipment dealer network in France and HHIE-France is expected to improve communication and boost loyalty among the dealers. The new subsidiary will also co-ordinate the materials handling equipment dealer network.
To further support its 115 European dealers’ technicians and sales representatives, HHIE opened a new training centre in Geel, Belgium last December.
Jan Coemans, HHIE’s marketing engineer, says the training centre, located about 5km from the company’s headquarters, has traditional classrooms, parts assembly rooms and rooms with cross-sections of parts and stripped-down machines. HHIE has joined forces with De Coninck Management & Opleidingen to offer machine operator training courses at the new training centre.
HHIE expanded the “Dash 7” range of forklifts in September 2007 with four “D-7” 2- to 3.3-tonne diesel forklifts and six “L-7” 1.5- to 3-tonne LPG forklifts (Forkliftaction.com News #328).
It introduced six new “Dash 7” forklift models, the first Hyundai forklifts with AC controllers, at Manutention, Paris, from 11-14 March(Forkliftaction.com News #347). At CeMAT 2008 in May, Hyundai will showcase more of its AC range of forklifts including its first 5 tonne electric forklift.
The world’s leading trade fair for intralogistics: CeMAT, 27 – 31 May 2008, Hanover Germany
With its high-tech systems and installations, intralogistics has become the driving force behind the expansion of the logistics industry.
As the world’s leading trade fair for intralogistics, CeMAT is the key barometer of the industry’s performance worldwide. From 27 to 31 May the entire industry will be present once again at the Hannover Exhibition Grounds.
Or contact Brigitte Mahnken: phone +49 (0)511 89-31024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Materials handling research funding up for grabs
CHARLOTTE, NC, United States
The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) and the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) are soliciting proposals for materials handling and facility logistics research projects.
In June 2007, CICMHE and MHIA held the Materials Handling & Logistics Summit in Whitefish, Montana to discuss the trends and challenges facing the industry. In response, the organisations developed a number of initiatives, including the development of a funding source for materials handling and logistics research.
Mike Ogle, MHIA’s vice president for educational and technical services, says the USD100,000 allocated from MHIA’s general funds to research projects this year is the association’s first step toward meeting the initiative.
“We plan to greatly increase the amount in future years, but are still developing the mechanism to raise, manage and distribute the funds,” he says.
Proposals must be for materials handling and facility logistics research conducted by academic institutions. One or more graduate students must work with the principal investigator/s. The lead institution and principal investigator must be in the US or Canada.
Proposals must also address one or more of the initiatives identified in the 2007 Materials Handling & Logistics Summit. Applicants for funding must submit a proposal to MHIA/CICMHE following the guidelines found in: www.mhia.org/CICMHE/researchfunding.
MHIA is an international trade association representing the materials handling and logistics industry. Members include materials handling and logistics equipment and systems manufacturers, integrators, consultants, publishers, and third-party logistics providers.
CICMHE is an independent organisation that provides information, teaching materials and various events in support of materials handling education and research. Founded in 1952, the main body of CICMHE is composed of thirteen college and university educators.
For questions regarding the program, contact Mike Ogle at +1-800-345-1815/+1-704-676-1190.
Firestone unveils higher-capacity tyres at CONEXPO
LAS VEGAS, NV, United States
Firestone Agricultural Tire Company launched two higher-capacity tyres for the construction industry at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas last week.
Tom Rodgers, Firestone’s marketing manager, says the tyres meet the industry’s specific needs. “With higher load capacities than the tyres they replace, these new tyres are a response to the construction industry’s diverse tyre requirements.”
The new Firestone 12-16.5 DuraForce tyre is designed for compact telehandlers, skid steers, aerial lifts and backhoe equipment. It is fitted on the JLG G5-18A super compact telehandlers. The 12-ply tyre with a deep tread design can carry 6,320lbs (2,867kg) at 80psi inflation.
Rodgers says the tyre offers 13% more load-carrying capacity than Firestone’s standard 10-ply tyre.
Also launched at CONEXPO was the Firestone 500/70R24 Radial DuraForce RT 157 Load Index tyre for telehandlers, rough-terrain forklifts, industrial tractors and backhoe loaders.
The tyre can carry 9,100lbs (4,128kg) at 46psi inflation.
“This new tyre also has an aggressive tread design for increased traction and greater push/pull,” Rodgers says. “Compared with our standard tyre, the Firestone Radial All Traction Utility, the Radial DuraForce RT is designed to improve forward and reverse traction.”
He adds that the tyre has a noise-treated tread design to minimise noise disturbance and vibration in cab-equipped vehicles.
Firestone Agricultural Tyre Company is a division of Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC, the leading manufacturer of agricultural tyres in North America. Firestone boasts that it supplies about 40% of the replacement market with agricultural tyres and has about 50% of the harvesting and planting machinery market. It also sells forestry and construction tyres.
Easter egg hunt! Who will win a remote controlled toy Forklift?
The Easter Bunny has hidden some eggs on a special page of the Forkliftaction.com website.
Find the page… How many eggs are there? (Hint: We have a seach on our website)
Send the answer by Tuesday night next week (your time zone) to email@example.com (Subject: Easter Egg Comp). The Easter Bunny will draw the winning answer from a hat.
To everyone who celebrates Easter,
Have a Happy Easter. Wishing you and your family a safe and special time.
From the Forkliftaction.com Team
Sky-Box enables aftermarket forklift additions to “plug and play”
NEWCASTLE, DE, United States
Sky-Trax Inc has introduced Sky-Box, an on-board mobile network for forklifts, automated guided vehicles and other industrial vehicles.
Designed as a computing and connectivity module, the Sky-Box provides power to all aftermarket additions to industrial vehicles. It can also receive transactional and/or location data from on-board sensors or transaction tools.
The device improves a forklift operator’s performance by “allowing all sensors and aftermarket additions to plug and play together”, says marketing manager Sarah Sagin.
“It increases the ability to integrate, interchange or quickly replace a sensor on a forklift with great ease,” she says, adding that the tool is an alternative to vehicle-mounted computers.
“Many times these monitors obstruct the field of view of the driver, creating blind spots and increasing the danger of already prominent safety hazards.
“Sky-Trax has separated the monitor and the computer allowing drivers to use smaller touch screens that are positioned safely in a convenient location to not obstruct the driver’s field of view.”
Sagin explains that Sky-Box is a component of the Total-Trax System, an automatic vehicle location and data collection system manufactured by the company. The market for Sky-Box as an individual product is anticipated to be in the “tens of thousands considering over 200,000 new forklifts are sold in the US annually”.
“A large percentage of newly-purchased forklifts will have additional after market sensors or systems added to them prior to or after purchasing,” Sagin says.
Sky-Trax aims to produce about 1,000 Sky-Boxes for individual sale in its first year of production. Manufactured in the US, the product is available globally.
Sellafield wins Safe Site Award
ALTON, United Kingdom
Nuclear clean-up and waste management operator Sellafield Limited has won the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA)’s inaugural safe site award for sharing best practice and for its “strenuous efforts” to improve workplace safety.
The FLTA has released a statement praising the former British Nuclear Group subsidiary for making its 3.5km² (864.9 acre) site on the West Cumbrian coast safer for its 300-plus forklift operators. Jungheinrich, Linde and other brand forklifts are used at the site each day, moving nuclear and conventional loads up to 32 tonnes.
FLT chief executive David Ellison says Sellafield responded to several “near misses” in 2006 by implementing an improvement plan to ensure high standards in supervisor training, operator assessment and overall traffic management.
Ellison adds that by sharing a case study of its day-to-day site operations at the association’s safety conference on 27 September 2007, the company has contributed to the spread of best practice.
“That is the spirit of our [inaugural] Safe Site Award and Sellafield is a very deserving first winner.”
Over the past two years, the number of incidents at the Sellafield site with the potential for injury dropped from an average four per month to just one in six months.
The company credits maintenance authority and principal lifting engineer Mike Palmer, safety adviser Kevin Stilling and the forklift operators for the safety improvement.
Palmer, in his engineering operations support role, advised on forklift operations.
“As well as the injury from incidents, there was also the potential for equipment to be damaged,” he explains. “One of the main things we did to bring the change was to try and raise awareness.
“The forklift operators needed to take greater ownership and not be afraid to change if conditions or equipment were not right to do certain jobs. We wanted the improvements to come from the [forklift] teams and they have delivered brilliantly.”
Palmer says the forklift operators lacked confidence in the particular Sellafield work environment.
“It wasn’t that standards were very low, but more that they had gradually become relaxed over a number of years.”
Changes were made slowly and gradually, Palmer says.
The company improved site safety by sending team leaders and supervisors for training, examining internal procedures and “tightening things up”.
“There has been a massive improvement and the team are all justifiably proud of their achievements,” Palmer notes.
Oklahoma teens win inaugural “Construction Challenge”
MILWAUKEE, WI, United States
An Oklahoma team won the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)-initiated Construction Challenge final held at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2008 in Las Vegas last week.
Perry High School of Perry, Oklahoma, represented by Amy Bieberdorf, Kelsey Cave, Evan Williams, Cassandra Bratcher, Daniel Cross, Dakota Johnson and Trevor Kukuk, beat over 50 teams to win a USD2,000 scholarship and a computer each. The team was sponsored by Ditch Witch.
Team member Cave says: “We learned time management and problem-solving skills, and we logged lots of hours after school to get ready.”
The team’s manager, technical education teacher Jeff Zagar, says each team member spent on average 112 hours preparing for the “Road Warrior” challenge.
The event was held from 11-13 March at the Las Vegas Convention Centre.
The teenagers built pieces of “construction equipment”, debated on infrastructure issues and created interactive educational products to promote the construction industry.
Seven teams won titles and prizes. The team that won third place overall was the only all-girl team in the competition and also took out first place in two of the three challenges, “dialogue” and “product development”. The girls from West Geauga High School, Chesterland, Ohio, sponsored by Caterpillar Inc, produced a colouring book for young girls, which will now be used by the construction industry as an educational tool to introduce youth to careers in the industry.
The competition comprised three challenges. For “infrastructure dialogue”, teams were randomly assigned to answer a policy-related question on infrastructure issues. Under the “product development” challenge, teams researched, designed and developed an interactive educational resource to promote the construction industry. In “road warrior”, teams competed to move the most gravel across an infrastructure they built together, using their team-built equipment.
AEM senior vice president Al Cervero says the response from the students was “better than [AEM] dreamed of” when the project took off 17 months ago.
“Not only were CONEXPO-CON/AGG attendees checking out the challenges, they were talking about the need to increase awareness of the industry and the great jobs that are available. They were stunned by the creativity and knowledge on display this week by all the teams.”
According to AEM, the construction industry will create over 1 million new jobs by 2012.
For a list of the winners, go to:
To see more photos from the event, visit:
White paper explains Crown philosophy
NEW BREMEN, OH, United States
Crown Equipment Corp has released a white paper giving forklift users insight into how its multi-disciplinary project teams combine technology and innovation to meet customers’ needs.
The white paper discusses Crown’s approach to forklift design, engineering and manufacturing. Crown says it listens to forklift operators and owners to enable its design team to “match technology and innovation with real-world needs”.
A free download of “Delivering Customer Value in Material Handling via Innovation and Technology” is available here.
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Forklift is ring bearer on Kiwi couple’s big day
FEILDING, New Zealand
A truck driver’s wedding to a driving instructor just had to include a remote-controlled forklift bearing the couple’s rings.
Maggie Shea married army truck driving instructor Adrian Tomsett in the back of a bright yellow, eight-wheeler CF DAF truck this month, Manawatu Standard reported.
“I just love trucks. I drive them, I work in this one all day and I wanted it to be a part of my wedding,” Shea says.
The couple’s wedding ceremony was anything but ordinary.
Shea wore a bright yellow, high-visibility garter with a reflective safety strip and there were grease marks on her beaded ivory satin gown. The groom wore black.
Shea and Tomsett’s wedding vows included promises to respect each other’s preferences for Ford and Holdens. A drink-bottle sized remote-controlled forklift was the ringbearer at the service.
“It came chugging round the corner with the rings on a little pallet. It was really cute," Shea says.
Kalmar wins comprehensive contract from Norsteve Oslo
Kalmar Industries has won an all-inclusive service contract from Norsteve Oslo AS operating at the new Sjursøya Container Terminal in the Port of Oslo.
Under the five-year contract, Kalmar will provide preventative maintenance, troubleshooting and repairs, and supply parts and labour service for five Kalmar ESC 350 W straddle carriers that have 50-tonne lifting capacities and can stack containers up to three high.
The seventh-generation Kalmar straddle carrier is a new type of machine for the Port of Oslo. Norsteve Oslo’s parent company, Finnsteve Ab Oy, operates similar machines at the Mussalo Container Terminal in the Port of Kotka.
Eero Posti, Kalmar contract maintenance manager, says the straddle carriers were an “obvious” choice for Norsteve Oslo’s operations, “not only so the two companies can benefit from the technological and operational synergies created, but each will be able to implement similar operator training programs and share service and parts management information”.
The new Sjursøya Container Terminal opened for traffic in January 2008. The terminal currently has two ship-to-shore cranes with 40-tonne lifting capacities serving a 305-metre long quay with a 12-metre depth alongside.
The Port of Oslo, Norway’s largest container port, is undertaking its largest redevelopment program. When the development is completed, Sjursøya Container Terminal’s capacity will increase from 143,000 TEU to 450,000 TEU.
Used equipment in demand overseas: export while the dollar’s down.
Would you like to sell more used forklifts, warehouse forklifts, telehandlers and container handlers?
Due to strong performance by overseas economies, and a weak US dollar, we are seeing a huge increase in demand for used equipment from the USA.
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Forkliftaction.com is announcing a massive sale on used equipment classifieds in our busy Marketplace.
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Brambles acquires US supply chain provider
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia
Australian-based Brambles has acquired LeanLogistics, a provider of technology-based transport and supply chain solutions in the USA, for USD45 million cash.
Chief executive officer Mike Ihlein says the acquisition, announced in early March, will enable pallet supplier CHEP to provide a new and value-enhancing service to both existing and new customers.
CHEP views and tracks millions of pallet movements through more than 21,000 locations across the USA every day while LeanLogistics provides on-demand network optimisation solutions to more than 40 major corporations, including many in the fast-moving consumer goods sector, with a network in excess of 4,000 transporters.
“Combining CHEP’s extensive customer and information base with LeanLogistics’ customer network and innovative technology will enable us to offer a service that reduces transportation costs and optimises supply chain efficiency,” says Ihlein.
New shipping service for Auckland
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
Ports of Auckland will benefit from the rationalisation of key international and New Zealand shipping services announced this week by two of the world’s leading shipping lines, Maersk Line and Hamburg Sud.
From the end of May 2008, the duo will jointly operate a 12-vessel weekly Australasia/East Coast North America/Europe service using vessels from the existing Maersk Oceania and US East Coast services, and Hamburg Sud’s Trident service.
Maersk Line will only participate in the East Coast North America part of the service.
This service rationalisation will result in key New Zealand ports, Ports of Auckland in particular, gaining extra business. Auckland will be the only direct call in New Zealand for import cargo.
“The announcement confirms the confidence that shipping lines have in Ports of Auckland’s service delivery and its ability to efficiently handle the larger container exchanges brought about by hubbing,” says Ports of Auckland general manager, sales, marketing and logistics, Craig Sain.
“Ports of Auckland’s investment in new plant, equipment and capacity, coupled with its continued focus on productivity - how quickly it can service a vessel - means it is well placed now and in the future to be New Zealand’s premier container hub port,” he adds.
Hubbing – the concept where larger ships with more cargo call at fewer ports, with regional ports becoming feeder ports serviced by smaller vessels – is the reality of world trade today, says Sain.
Online auctions of forklifts continue to grow
Over a hundred forklifts from Powerlift (Nissan), Australia’s importer and distributor of the Nissan forklift range, will be sold via Gray’s online auction from 3 – 10 April.
Steven Stewart, Powerlift (Nissan) general manager, branch and dealer operations, tells Forkliftaction.com News that this is the first time the company has sold excess rental stock in this manner.
“However, several companies are using (online auctions) as a sales channel and we’re testing it out,” he says.
Also choosing the online auction route is United Equipment, which earlier this month relinquished its exclusive dealer agreement with Nissan (Forkliftaction.com News #350).
The company will be auctioning around 130 forklifts, listed as ‘surplus to requirement’, through GraysOnline from 26 March to 3 April, several of which are Nissan brands.
According to GraysOnline, the online auction environment means the company can appeal to hundreds of thousands of legitimate buyers from across the country and, in fact, the world (Forkliftaction.com News #316).
Buyers are happy with the convenience as they don't have to waste time attending auctions where they may not end up being the successful bidder. Vendors are happy as sale prices reflect the fact that thousands of people are able to bid on the assets, instead of the limited number of people who are able to actually attend a traditional auction.
Another benefit of online auctions is that vendors can utilise the company's services whether they have one forklift or 150 forklifts to sell, according to Grays.
While the listing of more than 200 forklifts on the online auction may indicate a temporary glut, previous spikes have been dismissed by market analysts as insignificant and the current offerings are not expected to impact on sales of new or used forklifts.
Company fined for forklift fatality
A Victorian company was convicted and fined AUD200,000 last week for workplace safety failings which resulted in the death of a forklift driver.
SDS Beverages Food and Wine Pty Ltd of Irymple pleaded guilty to one charge laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In the incident, which occurred on 8 November 2005, a 44-year–old forklift driver died when his machine tipped onto its side after striking a roof support pole. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was crushed by the machine.
WorkSafe’s investigation found the roof support poles had been struck a number of times by forklifts and that workers had backed into poles because of inadequate space.
Although incident reports were created for these incidents, SDS was unable to produce any documentation recording these previous incidents or any remedial action taken.
A traffic management plan was put in place and staff were given training after the death.
WorkSafe executive director John Merritt says the death of Marcus Martin was one of 56 involving forklifts in Victoria since 1985.
“The causes of these deaths are well known and information about workplace health and safety requirements have been in place for decades, yet WorkSafe inspectors still frequently find major issues with the operation of forklifts.
“Improvements are being made, but they often only follow a tragedy like this. Obvious dangers are often ignored and shortcuts become established as the norm. Both these factors can lead to human and commercial disaster,” Merritt says.
“WorkSafe expects forklifts to be used correctly, properly maintained and for operators to have appropriate licences and training. Where they are fitted, seatbelts should be used.”
WorkSafe has a wide range of publications on forklift safety including ‘Forklift safety reducing the risk’ which provides information about reducing a range of risks associated with forklift operations, including stability, speed and load handling.
Selling used equipment in Australia? List all your forklifts for $40 a month!
Forkliftaction.com is announcing a massive sale on used equipment classifieds in our busy Marketplace.
Dealer packages are now available for $40 per month inc. GST* for unlimited listings. This price includes:
* New customers only, conditions apply. Offer expires 30 June 2008.
Australia must prepare for future oil shortages
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia
Sydney and other cities should be preparing now for future oil shortages, says Bruce Robinson, convenor of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas Australia (ASPO-Australia).
Peak Oil is the time when global oil production will start its unavoidable decline. This may be happening now, but a more likely date is in about 2012, according to Robinson.
He says cities which prepare well in advance for oil shortages will have big advantages over those which ignore the risks until it’s too late.
The Queensland government is preparing an Oil Vulnerability Mitigation Strategy, one of the recommendations of its task force which reported in April 2007.
“We must start serious steps to reduce our automobile dependence before the oil shocks hit,” he says.
“The federal government should remove fringe benefit tax (FBT) subsidies for car use, and the tariff concessions for big 4WDs, and start to fund public transport and bicycle facilities. We should follow Margaret Thatcher’s example, and put Australia on a fuel tax escalator to help people plan for future oil shortages, and to provide funding for hospitals and for sustainable transport. The 2020 summit must recognise that shortages from Peak Oil will have almost certainly arrived by 2020.
“NSW should call a moratorium on new Freeway construction until future fuel availability is clarified and use the funds to upgrade public transport instead.
“Superannuation funds should conduct full oil vulnerability assessments before risking members’ money in tunnels, toll-roads and airports which will be crippled when oil shortages arrive.
“Supermarkets should offer 4c/$ discounts on groceries as an option instead of the petrol dockets, which just subsidise profligate fuel use at the expense of sustainable transport users,” he advises.
Australian GDP growth downgraded
JP Morgan has further downgraded its forecast for Australia's GDP growth for 2008 to 3.1% (from 3.4%) as a result of softer export volume growth, owing mainly to the predictions of slowing growth in the economies in Asia, which receive nearly 60% of Australia's exports.
According to the company’s report: “The additional and simultaneous pain being inflicted on households by rising interest rates, plunging equity markets, declining confidence and high energy prices, however, means we now look for Australian GDP growth of just 2.7% in 2009 (down from 3.2%).
“With weaker growth now expected in Australia's major trading partners, we have trimmed these export growth forecasts to 3.8% and 6.3% respectively. That is, we still expect decent export volume growth as the capacity constraints are ironed out by the extension of the mining investment boom, but the upswing is less impressive than before. Partly offsetting this weaker export growth profile, though, is our expectation of firmer growth in private investment - the mining investment pipeline has become even more swollen by the entanglement of bureaucratic red tape and the lack of available skills and equipment.
“More (capital expenditure), therefore, relative to our earlier forecasts, will take place in 2008. The most recent survey of firms' investment intentions showed a 24% rise in planned spending for the year ended June 2009.”
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Modern Carton and Bolzoni Auramo in co-operation
The largest paper company in Turkey, Modern Carton, producing 330.000 tons of paper products per year and heavily investing in advanced paper handling technology, has established a co-operation with Bolzoni Auramo Group, the leading European lift truck attachments manufacturer.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
RackDeflektor Fits All Major Pallet Racking Uprights
Chicago-based RackDeflektor will be launching its cost effective, easy-to-install patented deflector to protect pallet racking uprights against expensive and potentially life-threatening structural damage on stand number 3334 at the NA08 Exhibition which will be hled in Cleveland from 21 to 24 April.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Meclift Variable Reach Truck ML 5012R
Oy Meclift Ltd, a Finnish manufacturer of Variable Reach Trucks and Side Reach Stackers, launches its Variable Reach Truck ML 5012R for heavy lift applications. The first truck is delivered to an Italian customer for in-ship stone handling.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
OSHA posts dust safety and health topics webpage
WASHINGTON, DC, United States
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has posted a new Combustible Dust Safety and Health Topics webpage on its website to help employers address hazardous combustible dust.
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