|Send this newsletter to an associate Print version|
WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #364 - 11 June 2008 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“JCB announces record profits.”
Send this newsletter to an associate
Air force test hydrogen-powered forklift
GEORGIA, United States
Airmen at Robins Air Force Base (AFB) in Georgia, US, are seeing hydrogen power used at their workplace with the recent addition of a hydrogen-powered forklift and a hydrogen dispensing system.
Robins is testing a Quantum HyHauler Plus through a partnership with the US Army National Automotive Centre and the Air Force’s Advanced Power Technology Office (APTO) in Georgia.
The HyHauler is a trailer-mounted hydrogen dispensing system that uses 0.2 gallons (0.75 litres) of tap water an hour and converts it into hydrogen via electrolysis. It is then stored in 20 2kg (4.4lb), carbon-wrapped storage tanks.
Through a joint venture with ePower Synergies and Plug Power Inc, a battery-powered forklift has been converted to a hydrogen-powered forklift. The HyHauler produces about 2kgs (4.4lbs) of hydrogen a day, which is more than the 1.8kg needed to fuel the forklift for an eight-hour shift.
The Air Force is currently testing the hydrogen-powered forklift by comparing its productivity to that of a battery-powered forklift.
"We are going to put this hydrogen forklift in a warehouse, where we plan to operate it for eight to 16 hours a day and then refuel it after each shift," says Scott Slyfield, program manager for the project.
Mike Mead, APTO’s chief, says one of the keys to implanting the alternative energy source for practical use is not requiring the users to learn new ways of doing things, but making the energy transition transparent.
"That's the beauty of everything," Mead says. “It looks and operates the same as everything we have. It's just part of the Air Force's initiative to advance alternative fuels and energy into the Air Force's daily structure."
The HyHauler has extensive leak-prevention equipment, including a flashing light on the trailer’s exterior to alert people to any hydrogen leak, a fan that sucks out hydrogen leaks in the trailer and sensors that enable the system to shut off automatically if a leak occurs.
JCB announces record 2007 profits
ROCESTER, United Kingdom
Emerging markets, especially India, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and South America, provided the main source of business growth for JCB in 2007.
JCB announced its 2007 pre-tax profits of GBP187 million (USD369 million),the highest in its 62-year history. Machine sales last year rose from 55,000 units in 2006 to 72,000 units, while turnover rose by about 30% from GBP1.75 billion (USD3.46 billion) to GBP2.25 billion (USD4.45 billion). New products accounted for 50% of the growth.
Company chairman Anthony Bamford says while 2007 was JCB’s best-ever year, the “outlook for the rest of 2008 does look challenging”.
JCB CEO Mathew Taylor says trading conditions will be difficult because of the looming credit crunch.
“There are signs that the downturn in the North American market is now spreading into some western European markets. The recent high growth rates in some of the emerging markets are also now showing signs of slowing,” he says.
JCB claims to be the world’s third-largest construction equipment manufacturer by volume. In 2007, its share of the world construction equipment market rose to 12% from 10.4% in 2006.
GTM enlarges stake in Balkancar Sredets
GTM Angel Balevski has raised its stake in forklift manufacturer Balkancar Sredets AD from 69.99% to 96.1%.
The Bulgarian anti-trust regulator said GTM bought the additional shares from insolvent company Balkancar Holding without specifying the acquisition value, SeeNews reported.
GTM bought 69.99% of Balkancar Sredets for LEV91.1 million (USD72.3 million) in a tender in 2006 (Forkliftaction.com News #278). Local businessmen hold the remaining 3.9% in the forklift company, which sells its products to the Eastern and Western European markets.
Higher costs force forklift price increase
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd says it will increase forklift prices by 6% to absorb higher steel costs.
According to Bloomberg, the price increase for 3.5-16 ton forklifts will apply from July 1. The company says the cost of materials like steel had exceeded the level that could be absorbed.
The Mitsubishi Heavy unit that builds forklifts, car turbochargers and small and mid-sized engines had sales of JPY472.5 billion (USD4.486 billion) for the year ended 31 March 2008.
Chinese company to quit JV with Caterpillar
Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co Ltd (XCMG) plans to withdraw from its joint venture with Caterpillar Inc.
China Securities Journal reported the Jiangsu province-based company wants to sell its 15.87% stake in Caterpillar Xuzhou Ltd, which produces hydraulic excavators.
Established in 1989, XCMG produces construction machinery and forklifts.
Kalmar - Five and Four High Top Picks for sale
For immediate sale, 9 x Kalmar DCD420-12CSG and DCD450-12CSG machines currently located at Port Everglades, Florida (Ft. Lauderdale).
3 are 420, 4 high stack - $225,000 (each) includes disassembly.
Contact: Dennis Connors, International Equipment Exchange, North Carolina USA, (ph) +1 (910) 798 8001, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Any questions, please call.
Click here to visit the International Equipment Exchange ShopFront
Forklift guide pulls down language barrier
MAIDENHEAD, United Kingdom
Barloworld Handling has made its forklift safety guide available in the Polish language because an increasing number of UK companies are employing Eastern European forklift drivers.
Richard McKenzie of Barloworld Handling told the UK’s Safety and Health Practitioner magazine that the company is publishing a Polish language version of its safety guide to help employers maintain a safe operation where language may be a barrier.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) state that equipment can only be used by those who have received adequate information, instruction and training.
Company executives that do not provide staff with adequate training may be found negligent and face heavy fines and legal fees in the event of an accident.
For an English or Polish version of Barloworld’s Forklift Safety Guide call +44 800 137449.
Nissan honours top performers
MARENGO, IL, United States
Nissan Forklift Corp North America (NFCNA) has recognised its top performing dealers through its Dealer of Excellence Award Program.
Every year, NFCNA selects nine dealers that are outstanding in unit sales, market penetration, parts sales, professionalism, service and overall performance.
The recipients of the “Nissan Nine, Dealer of Excellence” for 2007 are:
Lastly, the 2007 President’s Award that is given to the highest performing dealership was presented to M & L Industries LLC of Houma, Louisiana. The dealership received the same honour in 2001 and again in 2005. It celebrates its 35th anniversary as a Nissan dealer this year.
Griffith published in compensation handbook
BRISTOL, PA, United States
The president and CEO of forklift dealer Modern Group has shared his company’s goals and strategies in a new reference book on pay practices out on 13 June.
David E Griffith has described how compensation programmes are developed for medium-sized companies, using his company as an example, in the fifth edition of The Compensation Handbook, edited by Lance and Dorothy Berger.
Griffith tells Forkliftaction.com News that finding the time to write the chapter was a “non-issue” as he is supported by a great team at Modern.
He explains that the company’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and openness came in handy when writing for the handbook.
“The fundamental process in place is to run the company as an open door/open book company and to support that effort with a set of compensation and measurement tools that support the mission statement and our goals,” Griffith writes in the book.
The open door policy encourages employees to speak with any manager in the company on any issue without fear of retribution, while the open book concept means all Modern employees receive a monthly email that reviews the company’s results, similar to what the board receives.
These policies set the stage for good communications between management and staff.
To motivate and reward employees, Modern evaluates each employee against seven basic competencies that were established by modelling outstanding employees, benchmarking other well-run companies and working with its compensation consultant, Lance Berger.
Griffith has served as president of the Material Handling Equipment Dealers Association and is currently a director of the National Association of Wholesalers Institute of Distribution Excellence. He is also an independent director of the JJ Haines Company of Baltimore and chair of its compensation committee.
Before joining Modern, Griffith was a senior executive with IBM, MCI and ROLM in sales, marketing, customer service and general management. He is active as a national speaker on business ethics, technology, leadership, customer loyalty and work-life balance.
Modern Group Ltd, based in Bristol, Pennsylvania, represents forklift brands like Hyster and JLG. It employs over 600 people and was voted one of the best places to work in Pennsylvania by the state chamber in 2002. In 2003, it became a 100% employee owned company through an ESOP. Griffith has led the group since 1992.
Combilift branches out in new direction
Combilift has launched its latest product, the Combilift Container Lifter.
Developed for the container haulage industry, the Container Lifter eliminates the need for ramps, cranes and reduces waiting time, and allows safer ground-level loading and unloading.
The machine’s crane arms hydraulically move along the chassis, enabling it to lift 20-, 30- and 40-foot containers up to 34 tonnes. It can lift two smaller 20-foot containers simultaneously, and containers can also be transferred from one trailer to another.
Aisle-Master’s AC-powered truck
After rigorous testing, Aisle-Master has launched its AC-powered articulated forklifts on the global market.
Gerry McHugh, managing director, says: “We are way past the prototype stage and are now fitting AC as standard on all our electric models.”
Aisle-Master claims the new model’s benefits over its DC-powered predecessor include enhanced performance levels, improved acceleration and gradability, increased pallet movements and reduced energy consumption.
Hyundai launches new AC range
Hyundai introduced a new range of battery-powered forklifts at CeMAT 2008.
Manufactured in Ulsan, South Korea, the AC battery forklift range comprises 10 models with capacities ranging from 1.5-5 tons. The 1.5-3 ton forklifts replace the old “5” series, while the 3.5-5 ton forklifts are new to the range.
The main differences between the old and new forklifts are improved ergonomics and the application of AC technology.
Wisconsin Lift Truck is Steel King’s most valuable distributor
STEVENS POINT, WI, United States
Materials handling solutions provider Steel King Industries Inc has recognised Wisconsin Lift Truck of Brookfield, Wisconsin, as its most valuable distributor for 2007.
Wisconsin Lift Truck increased its sales volume of Steel King products by an average of 15% across all product lines in 2007 to win the award. The forklift dealer also met the criteria for “relative sales volume, number of different products sold, invoice payment history, sales lead response and marketing surveys response”.
Kurt Larson of Steel King Industries says Corporate Allied Lines, Wisconsin Lift Truck’s customer service division, played a key role in its distribution success.
“Corporate Allied Lines gives the sales people in the field many opportunities to maintain close contact with customers, learn what they need, and develop solutions that best meet those needs using a wide range of Steel King products,” Larson says.
Since its establishment in 1962 as a forklift parts supplier, Wisconsin Lift Truck has grown to become one of Wisconsin’s top 100 privately held companies. It has been a Steel King dealer for over 15 years and has been named its most valuable distributor twice since 2003.
Corporate Allied Lines manager Dave Brueckner praises Steel King’s pallet rack line as the “highest quality available”.
“Using all-American steel, Steel King’s attention to quality of the raw materials exceeds that of other racking manufacturers,” he says.
Steel King manufactures pallet racks, cantilever racks, portable racks, industrial containers and protective guarding systems. It employs over 340 people in Wisconsin and Georgia and claims to be the US’s fourth largest pallet rack systems producer.
Movers & Shakers
FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, United States
Jervis B Webb Company has appointed Bruce Larkin as customer service manager. Larkin was a field services leader with GE Fanuc Automation in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was also operations manager and manager of engineering support at GE Fanuc.
SCHILLER PARK, IL, United States
Atlas Companies has appointed Kerry Wolfe as general counsel and vice president of strategic planning. Wolfe has been a general partner in Wolfe, Wolfe & Ryd LLP, the company that has represented Atlas for over 30 years.
CHARLOTTE, NC, United States
Tim Hubbert has joined Continental Tire as Canadian sales manager for industrial tyres. He will be responsible for all original equipment and replacement industrial tyre sales in Canada and select key account development in the US. David Whitmore has joined Continental Tire as account executive for the US western region.
Teens hotwire forklift, cause damage
EDINBURGH, United Kingdom
Teenage joyriders successfully hotwired a forklift at an industrial estate, smashing it through the site’s heavy metal gates.
Edinburgh Evening News reports the forklift was abandoned after becoming stuck on uneven ground outside Houston Industrial Estate in Livingston on Tuesday evening.
The three teenagers had tried unsuccessfully to hotwire two other forklifts before driving the third through the estate’s gates, causing GBP1,600 (USD3,132) of damage.
“Playboy prince” wanted for arrest
LONDON, United Kingdom
A warrant was issued yesterday for the arrest of the Sultan of Brunei’s forklift fleet-owning brother over a GBP3 billion family feud.
Mr Justice Peter Smith issued the warrant at the High Court when Prince Jefri did not appear to give evidence at a five-day hearing, the Evening Standard reported.
The Sultan has accused Prince Jefri, 53, of embezzling GBP8 billion (USD15.7 billion) during his 13-year tenure as finance minister of Brunei. In May 2000, the dispute was resolved in an out-of-court settlement where Jefri agreed to hand over GBP3 billion (USD5.9 billion) from auctioning off his assets that included among many luxury items a forklift fleet (Forkliftaction.com News #247).
Prince Jefri has been accused of breaking the terms of the settlement.
Selling used equipment in Asia? List all your forklifts for US$40 a month!
Forkliftaction.com is announcing a massive sale on used equipment classifieds in our busy Marketplace.
Dealer packages are now available for US$40 per month* for unlimited listings. This price includes:
* New customers only, conditions apply. Offer expires 30 June 2008.
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.
Forkliftaction.com’s Marketplace is used by dealers and buyers in markets worldwide, and demand is there now.
Let us put the tools in place to get you into the export market this week.
Click here if you want to reach export markets.
Click here if you want to reach US domestic markets.
Or write to email@example.com, phone +61 7 3369 9090 or fax +61 7 3369 9096
Selling used equipment in Europe? List all your forklifts for 50 Euro per month!
Forkliftaction.com has an amazing offer to attract new used equipment dealers to the busy Marketplace.
Advertise all of your used machines with us for 3 months for only 50 Euro per month. This price includes:
For more information please contact Stephen or Rodger on +61 7 3369 9090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fine times for forklifts
Amid widespread reports of a slowing economy, falling business and consumer confidence and the global credit crunch, Australasia’s forklift industry appears amazingly upbeat about business prospects this year.
According to Allen Powell, director (marketing/sales) of Adapt-A-Lift Forklift Rentals and Sales, the company has not experienced any slow-down in business. “If anything, our rental (activity), both contract and casual, has increased significantly, with May one of our biggest contract rental months for the past year.”
He adds that casual hire has also continued to grow consistently every month for the past 11 month period.
“On a national and state level, our quote and participation rate is still strong with no signs of abatement.”
Chris Burns, national accounts manager for Powerlift Nissan, tells Forkliftaction.com News that the company has not seen a slowing in either order intake or enquiry levels even though interest rates have gone up significantly over the past 12 months.
“Indeed, if anything, order intake of new trucks has increased whilst sales of used trucks has remained fairly constant,” says Burns.
He adds that enquiries from major fleet clients have increased dramatically of late, commenting that perhaps the wise buyers are getting in now and locking in interest rates before further increases.
Chief executive of New Zealand-based AB Equipment, Steve Antunovich, tells Forkliftaction.com News that the company is certainly not seeing a slow-down in business at this stage.
However, he reports seeing a change in what major customers expect from the company. “For example, more fleet management and KPI reporting; much more communication on their fleet costs; a real proactive input from us as materials handling experts on optimising fleet size and composition, and in minimising risk.”
“Fortunately, because of our position and standing in the market, and the offering we are able to provide the customer, we have won a number of major contracts lately, taking the business from other suppliers.
“However, after a golden period of five or six years where a strong NZ dollar has been very beneficial for capital purchases, we expect the market to tighten and our people are prepared to do business in a different way,” says Antunovich.
He says the company has enjoyed customers coming to it over this period and must now focus on getting out and about, cold calling, selling its offering and really “hustling” for business.
He adds that if the expected tightening in the market develops into a recession, past history indicates that some customers will keep their forklifts longer, “meaning more parts and service and short term rental back-up from us”.
Shaun O’Brien, national sales and marketing manager of Red Australia, says the company has not experienced a decline in sales during this fiscal year and its current forecast will remain constant over the short- to mid-term.
New premises for Brisbane forklift business
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Well-known Queensland forklift business Starline Forklifts has just moved to new premises in Coopers Plains after renting premises in Archerfield for the past three years.
Owned and managed by industry stalwart Brian Talbot, who has been in the forklift industry for the past 30 years along with his wife Di and son Jason, the business specialises in the supply of a wide range of second-hand forklifts, including diesel, petrol, LPG and a small range of electrics.
The company has gained a reputation for its personalised service and ability to find a solution to any forklift problem. “I reckon I have more contacts in the Queensland forklift industry than anyone else in the business,” says Talbot, adding that his broad network enables him to source unusual forklift requirements to the great satisfaction of clients.
“Last week, I supplied a fruit growing company in Katherine, NT with a 5-tonne Hyster forklift fitted with long fork slippers to enable him to pick up specially made containers. The customer was thrilled that I was able to find the right attachments for his product,” he tells Forkliftaction.com News.
Talbot is not a fan of auctions, either physical or online. “In my opinion, auctions pull down fair market prices and are fraught with the possibility of machinery being sold that are not mechanically safe.”
Starline has an exclusive network of dealers throughout Queensland and the eastern states who buy and sell at wholesale prices. Country dealers can rely on his experience to supply quality equipment, priced according to age and condition. “Some dealers want them serviced and painted, others in ‘as is’ condition,” says Talbot.
Darwin joins GAC Australia’s network
DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia
Darwin has become the 14th port office in Australia for Gulf Agency Company (GAC), a global shipping, logistics and marine services provider.
GAC has a number of strategic ports around the Australian coast, and the opening of the Darwin office coincides with the company’s recent agency deal for Australian and New Zealand ports with Netherlands-based Vroon, whose fleet of vessels makes about 200 calls to Australasia’s ports every year.
Additional staff have been hired in Adelaide, Dampier, Fremantle and Port Hedland to handle the increase in business since GAC Australia opened for business in December last year.
In addition to its head office in Sydney, the GAC Australia's network of branch offices now includes: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Dampier, Darwin, Fremantle, Gladstone, Mackay, Melbourne, Newcastle, Port Hedland, Port Kembla, Sydney and Townsville.
Selling used equipment in Australia? List all your forklifts for $240!
Forkliftaction.com is announcing a massive sale on used equipment classifieds in our busy Marketplace.
Dealer packages are now available for $240 inc. GST* for unlimited listings. This price includes:
* New customers only, conditions apply. Offer expires 30 June 2008.
Gloomy forecast for third quarter
MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia
The latest business expectations survey by Dun & Bradstreet shows that businesses are expecting a steep decline in sales, profits, employment growth and capital investment, with all of these indexes now in negative territory.
According to D&B, Australia's business executives are anticipating a bleak September quarter as high fuel prices, continued inflationary pressures and slowing consumer spending hurt sales and profit margins.
Christine Christian, D&B chief executive officer, says the business community is now anticipating a rapid slow-down in activity in the coming months.
"Adding to the list of challenges, better than expected GDP results for the March quarter have fuelled speculation regarding the need for a further rate rise. Any further increase in the cost of credit will likely add pressure to a number of businesses, with SMEs likely to feel the greatest burden."
According to Dr Duncan Ironmonger, the company’s economic consultant, the Australian economy has started to slow.
"Last week's March quarter GDP numbers confirm the start of an economic slow-down. Although income tax cuts in the Federal Budget will provide some stimulus, interest rates and credit will remain tight for the remainder of 2008," says Dr Ironmonger.
Thieves use forklifts to steal rail lines
Thieves used forklifts to steal 18 tonnes of steel rail lines worth around AUD28,000 from passenger transport operator V/Line’s worksites, according to a report in the Herald Sun.
Bendigo police have arrested and charged three men over two separate thefts at the V/Line works near Elmore in the past two weeks, with authorities reporting that the haul of more than 500m of steel rails would have needed a semi-trailer and forklifts to move.
Australians increase stake in Scottish port
Babcock & Brown, the Australian investment bank, has increased its shareholding in Edinburgh-based Forth Ports to 22.2%, further stoking rumours of a take-over, first fuelled in January when it bought a 20% stake in the port.
Freight provider expands presence in Oz
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
New Zealand-based supply chain provider Mainfreight Limited has signalled its intention to acquire Halford International, an Australian-based international freight forwarder and logistics provider for around AUD21 million.
The company this week signed a call option deed to acquire all of Halford’s shares, which may be exercised at Mainfreight’s sole discretion.
The deal, expected to be completed during July 2008 pending certain closing conditions, will boost Mainfreight’s presence in the Australian freight forwarding sector.
Halford International has six branches within Australia and New Zealand, and a network of international agents throughout the world, including Japan, Germany, Asia and the United States of America.
Mainfreight believes that this transaction will provide it with a strong foundation for
further growth in the Australian international freight market, which is consistent with its strategies expressed to the market over the past 12 months.
Recently, the company reported its financial results, recording a total net surplus for the year of NZD101.62 million, which included abnormal gains of NZ60.54 million (Forkliftaction.com News #363).
Send this newsletter to an associate
Ruyi Launches Its New Reach Lift Truck
2008 is year of science and technology innovation for Ningbo Ruyi Joint Stock Co. Ltd. To meet changing market needs, Ningbo Ruyi consistently pursues innovation and finds something new in what is old, in its quest to perfect its range of electric trucks and forklifts.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Latest AC technology: Electric Pallet Truck (ride-on), Electric Pallet Truck (walkie), Electric Stacker
The latest Zapi AC drive system has been applied to this new generation of versatile, high-performance products. All benefit from the superior efficiency of the AC controller and drive motor.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Material Handling Inc
NASHVILLE, TN, United States
Material Handling Inc (MHI) has won numerous awards from the forklift, battery, charger and battery systems manufacturers it represents, but it had very humble beginnings. Vice president Michael Sain says his father, company founder, Amar Sain, is a “classic American success story”.
Click here for the full Industry Profile feature, including pictures.
| To tailor
your newsletter preferences, click
here to access your member account online.
Should you no longer wish to receive news from Forkliftaction.com, please click here to cancel your subscription.
Forkliftaction.com News is published by Forkliftaction.com
PO Box 1439, Milton QLD 4064, Australia – email@example.com.