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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #368 - 10 July 2008 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Balkancar company eyes rival.”
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UKWA: British government adds to sector’s woes
LONDON, United Kingdom
The British government has added to the third-party logistics (3PL) sector’s problems, Derrick Potter told the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) members at its AGM.
Potter, the national chairman of UKWA, said the government’s moves to scrap rate relief on empty industrial property and phase out the industrial buildings allowance (IBA) will damage the 3PL sector.
This is compounded by the rising price of fuel and the current world economic situation, Potter added.
“The Empty Property Rate Rules which came into effect on 1 April 2008 changed the tax position of empty warehouses substantially,” he explained.
Empty warehouses are now liable after six months for empty property rates at the same rate as occupied warehouses.
“Ministers justified this new tax on the grounds that these reforms will provide an incentive for owners to re-use, relet or redevelop their empty properties and will increase the supply of commercial property available, thereby helping to reduce rent levels,” Potter said.
He explained that the potential rate bills could reach a quarter of a million pounds a year for a typical empty 10,000m² warehouse.
“Now if a third-party warehousing company loses a client, it not only has to contend with lost revenue but also … an additional tax burden - a double whammy.”
Potter also criticised the government’s decision to remove the IBA.
“Up until (April 2008), anyone building an industrial building like a warehouse could get an allowance of 4% on the cost of construction.
“The allowance is being ratcheted down by 1% a year over the next four years.
“With the global economic situation and the high price of fuel, these are difficult times for our industry. The government has only added to our problems …,” he said.
Derek Potter is in his second year as UKWA national chairman. He is the founder and executive chairman of The Potter Group, a logistics services and solutions provider. Potter is also a director of the Rail Freight Association, a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, an honorary fellow of the Institute of Transport Administration and a member of the advisory forum of the University of Hull Logistics Institute.
Moffett denies downsize report
Truck-mounted forklift specialist Moffett Engineering has rejected as inaccurate a report that it had downsized.
The article published by the Irish Independent last month said that while Moffett had a “robust” performance in 2006, it was forced to restructure and downsize its business because of decreasing demand for its products in North America last year.
Keith Quigley, Moffett’s managing director, says the newspaper had not approached him for comment.
“The article was accurate in that we have seen a slump in sales in the North American market. However, we have brought business from Holland to the company for the first time and we are as stable as ever.”
Moffett, founded in 1945, employs around 300 people. Its former engineering manager, Martin McVicar, left the company in 1998 to establish the successful Monaghan-based Combilift group. Robert Moffett, who helped drive growth at Moffett Engineering, partnered with McVicar on the Combilift start-up. In 2006, both companies agreed to jointly market a truck-mounted forklift manufactured by Combilift.
Balkancar company eyeing rival in Europe
Bulgarian steel wheel manufacturer Balkankar Zarya plans to take over a European rival, See News reported.
The manufacturer is quoted saying it will assess the economic expedience of acquiring all the capital of a holding company, which has identical operations, through its subsidiary companies.
The companies that are the object of the due diligence are a group based in Europe with a global presence and production facilities in Asia, Balkancar Zarya's investor relations officer Pavlin Penchev told SeeNews.
He declined to name the target group, citing a confidentiality agreement between the parties.
The due diligence started this week and is expected to be completed by the end of August. Penchev said the management will decide by the end of September on the take-over.
Last year, Balkancar Zarya bought a 51% stake in forklift parts manufacturer Balkancar Ruen (Forkliftaction.com News #327).
Are you compliant for California Fleet Regulations on January 1, 2009?
Initial reductions for fleet average emissions for large forklift fleets, medium forklift fleets and non-forklift fleets must be met either by retrofitting or replacing the exhaust system to be compliant or to retire the vehicle.
By January 1, 2009, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has passed a fleet requirement regulation that requires that all existing fleets with >4 pieces of LSI equipment take steps to reduce emissions. This includes forklifts, sweepers, scrubbers, tow tractors and airport ground support equipment.
If you would like to avoid fines and become 100% CARB compliant, you need to visit www.enginecontrolsystems.com/terminox today!
JLG builds 1,000th military telehandler
McCONNELLSBURG, PA, United States
JLG Industries Inc has shipped its 1,000th Millenia Military Vehicle (MMV) telehandler to the US Navy as part of a contract to provide 197 MMVs to the Naval Construction Battalion.
The 1,000th MMV was built over a two-shift operation, across two military manufacturing and support facilities.
The first machine was produced in July 2001, initially developed for the US Marine Corps to meet the needs of Combat Service Support Detachment groups. Since then, MMVs have fielded with the US Marine Corps and US Navy in the US, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The telehandler features a variable load capacity via the use of two different fork attachments. It can move all palletised classes of material up to its rated capacity, with an optimum lifting range of 4,000lbs-11,000lbs (1,814kg -4,990kg).
It has a maximum lift height of just over 42 feet (12.8 metres) and a maximum horizontal reach of 29 feet (8.8 metres). The machine can operate in rough terrain and is self-deployable with a maximum off-road speed of 35 miles (56km) per hour and a cruising range of 425 miles (684km). It is air-transportable in CH-53 and KC/C-130 aircraft.
JLG team members, many of whom are military veterans, gathered at the assembly line on 1 July to have their picture taken with the historic machine.
Forklift operators can win cash at rodeo
SPRINGFIELD, OH, United States
Around 150 forklift operators will gather in Clark County, Ohio from November 7-8 for the annual US Open Forklift Safety Rodeo that had its beginnings in an event for a larger transport vehicle.
It all began with school bus rodeos.
Dick Higgins from event sponsor Higgins Group Inc tells Forkliftaction.com News he was part of a group of workplace safety officers who formed the independent organisation, Springfield/Clark County Safety Council (SCCSC), in 1994.
“In the pursuit of some form of a safety event that would showcase the council, we came upon the idea of featuring one of the world’s foremost, chronic workplace hazards - forklift operations,” Higgins says.
SCCSC organised the first forklift safety rodeo in the northern hemisphere autumn of 1995 after observing the success enjoyed by school bus rodeos. It promoted the rodeo as “a competitive, fun event to motivate the safe and efficient operation of powered industrial trucks”.
“What started out as a local county-wide event soon spread to include surrounding counties, then an all-Ohio event and what you see now, an international event,” Higgins says.
He adds that the SCCSC has been consistently ranked as one of Ohio’s top five safety councils because of the rodeo and its other programs.
At this year’s rodeo, participants will choose four out of nine events and be timed and graded for errors or omissions. For errors or omissions including the breaking of rodeo rules or the striking of traffic safety cones, penalty points are given. Time is added to the overall score for each penalty point.
Operators will also take a 25-question quiz on forklift operations and bonus points are awarded for correct answers. The bonus points are then converted into time that is deducted, thereby improving the score.
Forklift operators participate in teams of two representing their sponsoring company and all operators also participate individually.
Higgins says that the rodeo has evolved into two separate divisions.
“We found that a handful of exceptionally skilled operators were dominating the competition. So now all previous individual champions have been brought together to compete in a “Masters division”.
Everyone else competes in the “Championship division” and the top three each year are inducted into the Master’s league.
Participants compete for trophies, custom-designed jackets and a cash prize of up to USD750.
Sponsors include the SCCSC, KMH Systems Inc, Sentry Protection Products and Forkliftaction.com.
Forklift designers gather with world’s best
Rocla Oyj designers were among the top designers that travelled to Essen, Germany last month for the Red Dot design award ceremony.
Petteri Masalin and Kero Uusitalo, who designed the h2 tiller arm for Rocla’s warehouse trucks that was awarded with honourable mention, attended the ceremony for the first time (Forkliftaction.com News #353).
“It is terrific that a Finnish company like Rocla is awarded together with big well-known brands like Adidas and Sony. It was thrilling to see Rocla’s product next to awarded products by BMW and Mini,” says Masalin.
Colleague Uusitalo says the event was prestigious because the jury consisted of the world leaders in design.
“[Also] the modern music and ballet performance during the evening and the high number of attendees created a very special atmosphere,” he says. Over 1,000 people attended the event at the Red Dot Design Museum.
Over 3,200 products from 51 countries participated in the competition this year. For information about the winners, visit www.red-dot.de.
Plug Power and Ballard extend supply agreement
LATHAM, NY, United States and VANCOUVER, Canada
Plug Power Inc and Ballard Power Systems have extended their existing supply agreement through to 31 December 2010. The previous agreement was to expire on 1 May 2009.
Under the new agreement, Ballard will remain the exclusive fuel cell stack supplier for Plug Power's GenDrive product line.
"We're excited to extend our original agreement, which leverages Plug Power's application expertise, system integration, market knowledge and customer relationships," says Ballard CEO John Sheridan.
Ballard's Mark9 SSL fuel cell products supply power to GenDrive hydrogen fuel cell units, which replace lead-acid batteries in forklifts used in large warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facilities. The technology is expected to offer customer benefits including continuous power for increased productivity, reduced operational costs, an increase of floor space due to the elimination of a battery charging room and the removal of the storage and handling of toxic materials.
Ballard says it reduced the cost of its Mark9 SSL product by 23% in 2007 and is on track for a further 40% reduction through to 2010. This will be achieved mainly through continuous manufacturing processes, reduced platinum loadings and volume component pricing from suppliers.
Plug Power president Andy Marsh says Ballard's Mark9 SSL fuel cell product is at the heart of the company's GenDrive system.
"We are two companies that understand the big picture and are jointly driving market adoption of hydrogen fuel cells," Marsh adds.
Check out these featured businesses!
The Business Directory is the biggest global directory of businesses active in the Materials Handling industry. Manufacturers of forklift parts, distributors of attachments, dealers of used forklifts, emission filters or electronics, safety consultants and trainers ... in your country or your market abroad: the Business Directory will help you find your new business contact.
Have a look at these featured businesses:
Taiwan – Tire manufacture
Australia - Collision avoidance system for forklifts
North America - Largest materials handling and aerial eqpt co in the pacific northwest
UK - Explosion proofing specialist
China - Materials handling manufacturer
Australia – Specialists in narrow aisle forklifts
North America - Manufacturer of pallet trucks, stackers, scissor lifts, lift tables
UK - Yale materials handling
Malaysia - Used forklift import and export
Australia - High quality materials handling equipment
North America - Supplier of replacement parts and accessories
UK - Netherlands heavy lift dealer
China - Material handling manufacturer
Australia - Attachments for harsh working conditions
North America - Manufacturer of safety monitoring and weighing devices
UK - Industrial tyre manufacturer
Find more businesses in the Business Directory: www.forkliftaction.com/directory
Is your company listed? Find it here.
For more information about our Business Directory, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone +61 (0)7 3369 9090 or fax +61 (0)7 3369 9096.
Crown recognises top performing dealers
NEW BREMEN, OH, United States
Crown Equipment has honoured its top performers and an industry veteran through its annual dealer recognition programme.
The former president of AJ Jersey Inc, Pat Rizzo, was presented with the James F Dicke Pioneer Award. Rizzo's son Dave accepted the award on his behalf.
"We appreciate Pat's contributions and the long association we enjoyed with him over the years. Pat was a materials handling professional in every aspect, building his company from the ground up into the successful business it is today," says Jim Moran, Crown senior vice president.
Rizzo started his materials handling career in the 1950s as a salesman for a small New York City materials handling distributor, where he sold Crown E-Z lifts. In 1970, Rizzo founded AJ Jersey Inc to serve the New Jersey market. The dealership has won four consecutive Ascent Awards from 2003-2006.
Besides receiving the James F Dicke Pioneer Award, AJ Jersey also received the Summit Award. Dave Rizzo, sales manager John Robertson and service manager Steve Coleman accepted the awards at the recognition program held in Naples, Florida.
Crown Long Beach also received its first Summit and James F Dicke Pioneer Awards as the top Crown branch.
Fourteen winners from Crown's nationwide network of over 100 branches and independent dealers won other awards.
Summit Award winners are:
EnerSys forms Tunisian joint venture
READING, PA, United States
EnerSys and Accumulateur Tunisie Assad SA have formed a joint venture company to produce and sell industrial batteries.
The new company, EnerSys-Assad SARL, will be 51% owned by EnerSys and 49% by Assad.
EnerSys chairman John Craig says the investment in Tunisia is a part of the company's strategy to boost production in lower-cost world regions and to expand its global market presence.
"Through this joint venture, EnerSys will gain additional access to the fast growing African markets," Craig adds.
Assad claims to be a market leader in automotive batteries in Tunisia and North Africa.
Abdelwaheb Kallel, chairman of Assad, says the joint venture brings together the experience, technology and capability of both companies to serve high growth markets.
The joint venture will start production later this year in Tunisia, focusing on high-performance 12 volt products to increase EnerSys's production capacity for motive and reserve power products.
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Solideal hikes prices
Solideal Group has increased prices on all of its tyres.
In Europe, prices will rise between 8-12%, while in other countries, prices will rise 10-15%. The increases come into effect between July and September 2008.
Earlier this year, Solideal increased prices due to increasing costs of raw materials. It says in a statement it is forced to recover some of the recent cost increases by price hikes.
Jungheinrich board member leaves
Dr Michael Luer, a member of the Jungheinrich management board responsible for finance and personnel, is leaving the company.
The supervisory board has asked board chairman Hans-Georg Frey to assume Luer's responsibilities temporarily until the vacancy is filled.
Crown program targets safety
NEW BREMEN, OH, United States
The International Society for Performance Improvement has recognised a Crown program with an Outstanding Human Performance Intervention Award.
DP LeadSafe is a training program that teaches supervisors to recognise proper and improper forklift operation and to use that information to give operators feedback.
"Supervisors spend a significant time with their operators. It made sense for Crown to develop a program that teaches supervisors what to look for in safe operator performance," says Ron Brewer, manager of operator training.
Kombi stacker now has RFID warehouse navigation
Jungheinrich’s EKX 513-515 electric order picker and three-way stacker, known as the Kombi stacker, can now communicate independently with the warehouse administration system using RFID technology.
Launched on the market in 2007 with RFID technology that adapts speed profiles to floor conditions in narrow-aisle warehouses, Jungheinrich has expanded the Kombi Stacker‘s RFID floor control module with RFID warehouse navigation (Forkliftaction.com News #302).
Information from the warehouse administration system now goes directly into the truck’s controls, explains Sebastian Riedmaier, head of product management in Jungheinrich’s warehousing and systems sectors.
The stacker receives order picking commands from the warehouse administration system and the operator acknowledges them. The operator then approaches the aisle where the goods are stored and the stacker starts approaching the storage location of the goods.
“After release by the operator, the required racking position is approached automatically by the shortest route with optimum speed and lowest energy consumption,” Riedmaier says.
He adds that the system will increase throughout efficiency by about 15%.
Barloworld Handling helps Shoreham Port with timber operation
MAIDENHEAD, United Kingdom
It was the size and capacity of Hyster’s diesel forklifts that made the mainly timber-handling Sussex Port Forwarding continue its long working relationship with Hyster distributor Barloworld Handling.
“Space can be an issue at the port which is why we needed high capacity forklifts with a small footprint,” says Ian Buchan, assistant port engineer.
Barloworld Handling has supplied the South Coast port based in Shoreham, United Kingdom with eight new Hyster Fortens H5.5FT diesel forklifts that have a high lift capacity and a small chassis with a 600mm (1.97 foot) load centre. The forklifts replaced some older units.
The new units are in addition to a fleet of 20 machines Barloworld supplied Sussex Port Forwarding to handle about 60 to 70 lorry movements a day.
“The Hyster Fortens design means operators can transport heavy loads of wood and still manoeuvre easily in the narrow aisles of the storage areas,” Buchan says.
The Fortens range’s features include the electronically controlled DuraMatch transmission featuring the Auto Deceleration System which slows the engine down when the acceleration pedal is released. Controlled Power Reversal allows smooth direction changes and reduces tyre wear.
The port operation handles mainly timber and receives between two to five ships a week, equating to about 250,000 tonnes of timber a year. Sussex Port Forwarding also receives bulk loads like ash, pumice and road aggregates. It primarily services the south east of England and is the only stevedoring operation on Shoreham Port.
New distributor for OM Carrelli forklifts
A new Australian distributor has been signed up in principle to handle the supply of OM Carrelli Elevatori forklifts into the country. Although known to Forkliftaction.com News, the party concerned has requested details to be withheld until all aspects of the contract have been finalised.
The Italian brand, owned by the Kion Group which also owns Linde and Still materials handling brands, was due to be distributed to the market by David Clayton of Forklifts Australia, but it appears that this agreement has since been terminated.
The original announcement appeared as a media release on the Forkliftaction.com website in February and stated that “SA Forklift Sales Pty Ltd has been appointed the National distributor for OM Carrelli materials handling products for Australia. Managing Director Mr David Clayton has confirmed they are now seeking metropolitan and regional distributors to commence trading in early 2008 Australia-wide.”
Forkliftaction.com News has been unable to elicit comment from OM itself on reasons for the change in distributorship.
The brand is considered to be a high quality forklift in the mid-value tier, and if final agreement with the new distributor is concluded, will be officially launched to the Australian market around September/October this year.
World-first from Aus forklift manufacturer
DUDLEY PARK, South Australia, Australia
The Task Group has launched a heavy duty legless stacker to the Australian market and believes it’s a world first.
The company claims it is a unique product and is unaware of any other counterbalanced pedestrian electric forklift which has power steering and variable total control (VTC) hydraulic actuation.
Introduced this month, the Sumi-Cobra is suitable for any large load application up to two tonnes with a lift height of 5.2 metres.
“Being ‘clean and green’, it is suitable for applications such as pharmaceutical, food processing and distribution and is ideal for confined spaces or high pedestrian traffic areas,” says Task chairman Dean Rainsford.
He adds that the forklift’s easy manoeuvrability, even with a full payload, and simple charging makes it ideal for female operators. “With the increase in fuel prices, we are seeing a greater demand from our customers for energy efficient materials handling equipment, with a greater number of clients choosing the pedestrian electric option.”
Rainsford tells Forkliftaction.com News that demo models are currently being manufactured at the company’s factory in Adelaide for demonstrations in Melbourne, with a number of orders pending thereafter.
“We have also had strong interest from Singapore and New Zealand,” says Rainsford, adding that it has not yet been released anywhere else.
Other features include its main function controls integrated into the new-style control handle. Ergonomic butterfly controls are used to operate the variable speed control which provides smooth, stepless acceleration in forward or reverse with high starting torque and energy-saving dynamic braking. Tilt functions are controlled by a joystick mounted on the dash panel.
The advanced 24v DC drive motor with sealed bearings provides a powerful traction control system.
The interlock chassis is so strong it comes with a lifetime warranty.
The forklift comes in 1,300kg, 1,500kg and 2,000kg with lift heights from 2.5 to 5.2 metres.
Personal service and integrity clinch deal
GLOUCESTER, NSW, Australia
A rural New South Wales garden centre has recently commissioned a Toyota forklift for all its material handling needs.
According to the Gloucester Garden Centre owner John Porter, “the Toyota forklift is one of the best things I've ever bought - a fantastic bit of gear. It has saved us time, money and effort.”
But what clinched the deal was the personal service and integrity of the salesperson, James Papas of TMH New South Wales.
"I phoned six companies when I was looking to buy a forklift, but only two visited us. James won me (over) because in a competitive situation he didn't drop the price from what he had said was his best price," explains Porter.
Safety features of the Toyota 8-Series forklift range include Toyota's system of active stability (SAS) and operator presence sensing (OPS) as standard equipment.
Business expectations for third quarter
MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia
The latest Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) business expectations survey reveals that fuel prices are hitting Australian businesses hard, with nine in 10 (89%) indicating recent movements have had a detrimental impact on operations - a 28% increase in just three months. Meanwhile, 32% of firms have noticed a slowdown in consumer spending in the past month and recent movements in the value of the Australian dollar have had a negative impact on 21% of businesses.
The September quarter is expected to bring a steep decline in sales, profits, employment growth and capital investment, with all of these indices now in negative territory.
Inflationary pressure is expected to continue at least in the short term, and 58% of executives now expect to raise selling prices in the September quarter. However, despite the increase, the index remains lower than in four of the last five quarters.
The employment index has dropped to its lowest level in 17 years, with 21% of executives expecting to have fewer staff in the quarter ahead than they did a year ago. Just 10% of businesses expect to increase employee numbers.
A significant weakening in capital investment expectations has resulted in the overall index dropping to minus seven. Around 15% of executives expect a decrease in capital investment, while just 8% anticipate an uplift.
According to Christine Christian, Dun & Bradstreet's CEO, continually escalating costs are eating away the profit margins of Australian businesses.
"Fuel prices are continuing to soar, interest rates remain steady but high, and consumer spending is dropping away - all of these factors are squeezing the profit margins of Australian businesses," says Christian.
"Executives face challenging decisions about how to manage these costs. Moves to increase prices will likely be met by customer backlash however as costs continue to rise and margins get thinner, failure to pass on these costs will have detrimental impacts on profitability."
Bumping interest rates out of the top spot for the first time in six months, 43% of executives now rate the cost of fuel as the most important influence on the business in the September quarter - this is the highest level of concern in more than a year.
With the Reserve Bank keeping interest rates on hold for four consecutive months, concerns about rates have declined. One-third (34%) of executives now indicate that interest rates are their primary concern in the September quarter, down from 47% in the previous survey. Retail executives continue to show the highest level of concern, with 45% ranking interest rates as the issue most likely to impact operations in the September quarter.
Credit market conditions continue to represent a significant concern. Two-thirds (67%) of firms surveyed indicated that a tightening credit market will have a negative impact on operations - 11% anticipate a very negative impact.
New appointments boost Haulotte Group
Access equipment and telehandler specialist Haulotte has increased its sales force to service a growing market share in Australia.
Mark Lockwood has been appointed area sales manager responsible for the Sydney metropolitan area, NSW regional centres and the ACT.
In Queensland, Richard Gannon joins as sales representative based at the group’s Brisbane branch at Coopers Plains.
Haulottte’s extensive range includes electric and diesel scissor lifts, knuckle booms, telescopic booms, self-propelled vertical masts, telehandlers and aluminium push-around vertical masts.
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RAVAS high quality mobile scales now available on the US market
RAVAS, innovative producer of mobile scales, has established a US sales and assembly facility in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. From these offices located north of Chicago, RAVAS will start its US distribution of scales for counterbalanced trucks, walkie and rider pallet trucks, stackers, stock selectors and hand pallet trucks.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Tailift Unveils All New Style
Completely new design by the Tailift R&D team. Streamlined chassis, inspired by automotive styling to enhance looks and ergonomics. Read more .............
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Ningbo Ruyi Introduces New Stacker Models
Leading light logistics equipment manufacturer Ningbo Ruyi Joint Stock Co. Ltd has applied its advanced technology and manufacturing expertise to two new stacker models. Both reflect Ruyi's commitment to design and innovation.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
Hermann Richter GmbH & Co
STUHR BEI BREMEN, Germany
Hermann Richter GmbH & Co celebrates 40 years in the used forklift business this year. The European forklift dealer prides itself on its wealth of industry experience and strong sales and service team.
Click here for the full Industry Profile feature, including pictures.
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