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Dear reader,
WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #379 - 25 September 2008 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Genie breaks ground in China

INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM

SPECIAL REPORT: Lead acid batteries here to stay

NEWS
Forklift industry feels impact of hurricanes
TMHU names Wood as president
Genie breaks ground in China
Doosan takes over ATL
Paper mill buys Rocla automated solution
Firm fined for forklift accident
Workshop to benefit from donated forklift
AEM event focuses on trade, economic issues
First Russian construction tradeshow a success
New Toyota forklifts designed for tough jobs
Speed control devices prevent forklift accidents
Xplore adds to mobile computer line
Forklift leak sends dairy workers to hospital

LOCAL NEWS
Fine wine and forklifts
Australia still a business haven
Forklift training resource released
Flinders and DP World JV uncontested
Brief
The key to retaining staff

MEDIA RELEASES
Contact American Industrial Transmission for your transmission rebuild
Forklift Battery Whole of Life Costs
Dealership opportunities available with Battery Rescue Services
Seeking forklift trucks dealers India

PRODUCT WATCH
Eagletronic battery chargers…...from JAMCO
Charging At Every Opportunity - EnerSys Hawker XFC FLEX batteries revolutionise pallet truck use
ICEM release GP100 truck
Battery Equaliser
Warehouse Safety Solutions release their Fleet Check system
Moneysaving Forklift Battery Recovery Technology
I like to move it, move it. Euro Power Australia.
Big site battery management at a small site price!!

ADVERTISEMENTS
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The US Open Forklift Rodeo & Safety Expo …..November 7th & 8th



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Inside Forkliftaction.com
It’s mostly business as usual in Texas and Louisiana after the hurricanes earlier this month, but the storms certainly had their impact on forklift dealers. In a world exclusive, US bureau chief Roger Renstrom reports on the effects of the disaster – and how innovative dealers kept the doors open even when the lights went out. And, as we increasingly see in these times of adversity, the forklift industry has opened its heart and its wallet to victims, with some significant contributions to hurricane-related charities. It’s reassuring that when times get tough, successful business operators don’t hesitate in giving something back to the communities in which they operate and from which they earn their livelihood.



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SPECIAL FEATURE
Lead acid batteries here to stay

Despite these times of technological advancements and alternative fuel sources, tried and true products like lead acid batteries stand the test of time. As Annette Densham reports, people know they work and trust them to do the job required.  Read more

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NEWS STORIES
Forklift industry feels impact of hurricanes
United States

Hurricane Ike devastated buildings—levelling at least one Galveston, Texas forklift wholesaler—and destroyed utility infrastructure along the coast and through the central US.

The storm with high winds and torrential downpours moved through the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico and made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane at Galveston at 2:10 am local time on 13 September.

The Houston manufacturing plant of Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc (MCFA) lost electrical service and discontinued most equipment production and operations in the week following Hurricane Ike’s arrival, but the facility did not have physical damage. Houston is about 50 miles (80km) inland from Galveston.

MCFA employs about 900, occupies nearly 690,000 square feet (62,100sm) of office and production space on a 42-acre site and manufactures forklifts under the brands of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) and Caterpillar Industrial Inc (CII).

The factory-owned dealership, Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks of Houston, lost access to electricity but was back in full operation this week, according to representative Kyle Yates.

Forklift Service Co in Houston also went for more than a week without power. “We just got the lights on last night (22 September),” says Mark Coy. “We had the doors open, but the lights were out.” Forklift Service provides maintenance and other services for forklifts, has a parts inventory and also buys, sells, rents and leases equipment.

Coy told Forkliftaction.com News about a call that got through to him: “The lady out of Galveston said she had a wholesale place buying and selling used forklifts, and the building was demolished,” he recalls. She moved to an office in Dallas on 19 September, and “she was supposed to email (business-related) papers” to Forklift Service on 23 September. The transmission never occurred, and further details were unavailable.

After the hurricane, Texas Forklift Service in Houston experienced heavy demand for forklift rental units and needed to provide service without electrical power. The solution: utilise old-fashioned paper-and-pen recordkeeping.

“We had to shut down on September 12,” says Benny Lee, Texas Forklift service manager. “We just got the lights on this week.”
Damage was minimal. “Just gutters,” Lee notes. “Nothing major.”

Texas Forklift started in 1978, employs 17 and, in addition to rentals and service, has served as a Yang forklift dealer for 30 years and an Artisan forklift dealer for 10 years.

Several dealerships of Toyota Material Handling Inc (TMHU) in Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Indiana and Ohio were affected by hurricanes including Ike and, earlier, Gustav, which made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane near Cocodrie, Louisiana, at 10 am local time on 1 September. The storm did not affect distribution from the Columbus, Indiana forklift production site of Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing.

High winds of Hurricane Ike damaged the roof of the ToyotaLift of Houston facility and caused loss of electrical power, telephone phone lines and water service.

ToyotaLift’s facility was shut down temporarily, and workers experienced difficulties in reopening the location because of the lack of power and water and scattered debris across the region. In Houston, local service stations lost power limiting fuel for the dealership’s service vans and employees trying to return to work. Numerous dealership personnel, while spared injury, had to contend with their own personal property issues.

Hurricane Gustav caused wind and water damage at the facility of Scott ToyotaLift in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the dealership lost access to its computers for an entire week.

On 18 September, four Toyota companies, affiliates of TMHU, contributed USD500,000 to the American Red Cross, and the family-owned multi-state Houston-based Gulf States Toyota Inc dealership added USD500,000 to the Friedkin Disaster Relief Fund. The Friedkin family established the fund after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

Crown Lift Trucks Houston anticipated customer post-storm needs and strategically positioned some internal combustion rental forklifts for use in the region, says Chris Fogt, branch manager. No damage occurred at the direct-factory branch.

Two days after Hurricane Ike, “nearly 80% of the Houston area was without power, but our office was up and running,” he notes. The Crown team fielded dozens of maintenance calls, particularly from food and water bottling operations with urgent requirements.

As the clean-up continued, Crown Houston worked weekend shifts to make maintenance calls. At one site, Crown technicians charged and rotated the forklift truck batteries for a customer lacking power but needing to keep two shifts in operation at the facility.

“While Galveston was closed to public traffic, Crown Houston obtained a letter of approval from the governor’s office to service a well-known retailer located there,” Fogt reports.

The damage from Hurricane Ike extended through the central US.

In Blue Ash, Ohio, a forklift at the disaster relief organisation Matthew 25: Ministries transported pallets loaded with seven-pound bags of ice and bottled water for individuals waiting in the parking lot. The aftermath of Hurricane Ike tore through this region late 14 September.

The Matthew 25 organisation, a local radio station and a Member of Congress collaborated to provide tons of ice and thousands of half-litre bottles to Blue Ash area residents primarily lacking electrical power for refrigeration and water for essential needs.

Meanwhile, in East Sparta, Ohio, strong winds and rain remnants of Hurricane Ike cut the electrical power and telephone lines to Williams Toyota Lift. The dealership was limited to communicating via cell phone for three days.

While the store remained open, the impact affected the ability of Williams Toyota Lift to perform maintenance and service calls.
Recovery from Hurricane Ike will take weeks and months. Many businesses and residents continue to lack electrical power and efficient telephone service.

Telephone lines misconnect. A call to the Houston, Texas number for a Hyster and Taylor used forklift business, for instance, led to the disaster hotline for the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which had a full mailbox of incoming voice messages.

By 23 September, power in key Texas regions remained unavailable for 27% of CenterPoint Energy Inc’s 2.26 million customers, 17% of Texas-New Mexico Power Co’s 115,000 customers, 9% of Sam Houston Electric Cooperative Inc’s 65,700 customers and 3% of Entergy Corp’s 393,000 Texas customers.

Even as power is restored, health issues exist. Operators of forklift-related and other businesses and residents in Galveston, Baytown, Beaumont and nearby Texas coastal areas remain vulnerable to contaminated water, insect-borne diseases and airborne toxins such as carbon monoxide.

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TMHU names Wood as president
Irvine, CA, United States

Toyota Material Handling USA Inc (TMHU) appointed Brett Wood as president and named six other executives and managers to key positions.

The changes aim to strengthen the management depth and business reach for the largest US forklift supplier, according to the company.
As president, Wood, 45, succeeds Dr Shankar Basu, 61, who continues as chief executive officer and adds a new position, chairman of the THMU board. Tatsuo Matsuura, Susumu "Sonny" Toyoda and Hitoshi Matsuoka are board members in addition to Basu and Wood.

“Wood brings a unique mix of hands-on experience across many facets of our business,” Basu says in a statement. “I look forward to working hand-in-hand with him to lead TMHU into the future.” Wood reports to Basu.

Prior to his 22 September promotion, Wood was TMHU vice president of marketing, product and strategic planning and training operations, and previously handled dealer development.

Wood worked in engineering positions with IBM Corp and Northrop Corp’s aerospace business prior to joining Toyota in 1989. At Northrop, he was honoured as engineer of the year. His positions at TMHU have included market application engineer, senior product planning engineer, technical services manager, electric product planning manager, sales training manager and product planning manager.

With the Washington, DC-based Industrial Truck Association (ITA), Wood is a member of the advisory committee and served recently as chairman of the group’s general engineering committee.

Basu joined the Toyota organisation in Torrance, California as national marketing manager for industrial trucks in 1981. His other Toyota positions included assistant general manager, general manager and group vice president prior to his appointment in 2001 as president and CEO of TMHU.

Other management changes involve HitosHi Matsuoka, Alan Cseresznyak, Terry Rains, Adam Hughes, John Schmitt and Payman Shabbak. All operate from the Irvine location.

Matsuoka was promoted to executive vice president of treasury, co-ordination and strategic planning with responsibility to oversee all financial aspects of the company.  He formerly served as vice president and treasurer overseeing the financial operations and integrating TMHU’s sales, marketing and overall business strategy with Toyota’s global operations. He has been with Toyota for more than 18 years.

Cseresznyak was promoted to senior vice president of administration in charge of finance, information technology, human resources, distribution and affiliated companies. Previously, he was vice president of finance, information technology and distribution. Cseresznyak is a certified public accountant and has been with Toyota since 1990.

Rains was promoted to vice president of aftermarket sales in charge of parts, service and customer satisfaction. Previously, he was national manager for parts, service and customer satisfaction and, earlier, held several managerial positions. He joined Toyota more than 10 years ago.

Hughes was promoted to national account sales manager. He was national dealer sales manager and has held positions in sales, product and marketing during his career in the material handling industry.

Schmitt was promoted to national dealer sales manager. Formerly, he was national accounts sales manager. He has been a Toyota associate for 16 years and has held many positions in sales and national accounts.

Shabbak was named national strategic planning manager. He joined the business five years ago, oversees long-term and short-term planning, economic forecasting, and strategic initiatives and communication with the ITA. He is a member of the ITA statistics subcommittee.

TMHU employs nearly 200 persons at its Irvine headquarters, national customer centre in Columbus, Indiana and various US field-service locations. TMHU distributes lift trucks under the Toyota brand and aerial work platforms under the Aichi brand. The production entity, Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM) employs about 900 in Columbus and makes most of the Toyota lift trucks that are sold in the US.

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SPREAD YOUR ADVERTISING DOLLAR FURTHER

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Forkliftaction.com has the biggest audience in the worldwide forklift industry, and at internet prices, its now easy to reach these professionals.

Over 39,000 industry professionals have registered with Forkliftaction.com while each week more than 125,000 industry players read the newsletter. The industry web portal gets over 250,000 visits every month.

Forkliftaction.com offers an exciting range of opportunities. Catering for both international and local advertising campaigns, there are options to advertise your products or to strengthen your brand. From media releases and product profiles to display ads (banners), your company can benefit from exposure on our web pages as well as in the newsletter.

We can tailor a campaign that meets your objectives and budget, backed with comprehensive web statistics, audience profiles and flexible advertising schedules – and without huge production costs.

For more information or a no-obligation quote, email marketing@forkliftaction.com, phone +61 7 3369 9090 or fax +61 7 3369 9096.

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Genie breaks ground in China
Changzhou, China

Genie Industries, part of the Terex Corporation, has broken ground at its new manufacturing plant in Changzhou, China that will employ up to 400 people when it is fully operationally.

Tim Ford, president of Terex AWP, says the company is excited about breaking ground at the new site with partners ATC Projects and the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District Business Park.

“This endeavour underscores our goal of becoming the most global aerial work platform manufacturer, with local production to meet local needs,” he says. “China represents one of the biggest potential markets for us, and China will become one of the largest aerial work platform markets in the world. We know it will happen, and we are positioning ourselves for it.”

Genie Industries announced plans to open a factory in China in April (Forkliftaction News #356). The company plans to commence production by mid-2009. This site was chosen for its potential to be enlarged as part of a future Terex manufacturing campus.

"The Asia market in general, and the China market specifically, is learning about the importance of the lift product category," says Ford. "Aerial work platforms are increasingly becoming more widely accepted as a safe option for people who work in high places."

Paul Caldarazzo, vice president of Terex AWP, sees the facility as “a large step in executing our long-term manufacturing strategy”.

“It will provide products in strong demand within the region, using many of the best practices that we have developed in our lean manufacturing implementation over the past decade."

Initial production will focus on preparing a line of personnel lifts, but over time a full range of aerial work platform products is expected to be produced from this facility.

Genie Industries established a branch office in China 10 years ago, and has since become known for providing quality products and outstanding customer support.

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Doosan takes over ATL
Seoul, Korea, South

Doosan Infracore has acquired German warehouse equipment manufacturer Advanced Technology Lubben (ATL) for EUR2.5 million (USD3.67 million). The move is part of Doosan’s bid to move into the European large-size warehouse market.

Yoon Ki-sup, managing director of Doosan Infracore, told Forkliftaction News that even though ATL’s sales are not large, it has a credible product, a good reputation and a reliable brand.

“By combining ATL’s warehouse equipment with our existing forklift business, we will lay the foundations to achieve a top-five position in the global forklift industry.

“We now have the capacity to aggressively enter the diversified materials handling market with more products to meet customers’ demands,” he says.
Doosan Infracore hopes to use the ATL acquisition to establish its brand and reputation in Germany.  

The company expects that working with the network of existing and newly acquired dealers and its expanded product line, it will develop as a single supplier and full-service contractor in the region.

The company aims to increase ATL’s annual sales over the next 12 months by tapping into the growth of the European market  and expanding its networks.  ATL turned over EUR4.6 million (USD6.75 million) last year and Doosan plans to increase that to EUR13 million (USD19.07 million).

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Paper mill buys Rocla automated solution
Setúbal, Portugal

Portucel Soporcel Group has purchased an automated warehouse truck system from Rocla to streamline operations at its new paper and pulp mill in Portugal.

Rocla supplied 20 automated warehouse trucks in the deal valued at over EUR2 million (USD2.93 million).  The vehicles will be used to transport reels from production to sheet cutting and for transporting pallets from sheet cutting to wrapping.

The purchase is part of Portucel’s EURO500 million (USD734 million) investment in a new paper mill in Setúbal, which will commence operations in August 2009.

Carlos Lopes, project area manager for Portucel, says the company evaluated many AGV suppliers before choosing Rocla. “We chose Rocla because of their advanced technological solution and they had the best total package.”

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Firm fined for forklift accident
Derby, United Kingdom

Administration worker Lisa Ramos lost her leg in a forklift accident two years ago when she was walking through the factory carrying paperwork at NYK Logistics’ Derby premises.

This week, the company was fined GBP20,000 (USD37,000) by the Derby Crown Court. It was also ordered to pay GBP5,941 (USD11016) costs after it admitted contravening health and safety at work regulations.

Ramos was struck by a reversing forklift truck and the accident was so severe her left leg had to be amputated below the knee. She says she is on 23 tablets a day to get by and expects to undergo two more operations.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) warned employers they must have systems in place to ensure pedestrians and vehicles can move safely in the workplace.

Andrew Turner, the Health and Safety Executive's principal inspector for Derbyshire, claims the company's risk assessment had identified the hazard but it had not enforced its health and safety policies.

"Although the company had identified that pedestrians were at risk from moving vehicles and (had) taken some steps to try to minimise this risk, it had become commonplace for pedestrians to walk through areas where forklift trucks maneouvered and reversed,” he says.

"Ms Ramos could have been killed as a result of this incident and has suffered a very serious injury, but it could have been avoided if NYK had taken a few simple measures."

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The US Open Forklift Rodeo & Safety Expo …..November 7th & 8th

Last year…….“The motivation of my staff was just incredible. When we won, it lifted their morale and spirits like nothing else” – Larry Jenkins, Plant Manager, KTH Parts industries, St Paris Ohio.

Here are a many opportunities for fleet managers; challenges for forklift operators and opportunities to sponsor a good event that is destined to get really big.

Click here for contact details

Click photos to enlarge.

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Workshop to benefit from donated forklift
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

A UK charity that provides work opportunities for people with disabilities will be able to take on more work in the future after Jungheinrich donated a forklift.

Jungheinrich’s Stephen Baines, divisional sales manager, and Tracie Ward, local sales manager, recently delivered the three-wheel counterbalance forklift to MK SNAP.

MK SNAP provides real work opportunities to people with disabilities. Its program incorporates life and communication skills, and helps clients develop social relationships and problem-solving abilities. Companies outsource product assembly and bulk mail projects to the workshop and MK SNAP’s clients do the work. The organisation also has its own woodwork section and makes custom-made furniture.

MK SNAP’s work has been restricted because it did not have the facilities or equipment to take large deliveries. Sally Fennemore, the organisation’s fundraising co-ordinator, says the forklift will make a big difference.

“Previously, we could only accept large deliveries by vehicles with a tail lift. Having a forklift will open up more opportunities and gives us more independence and flexibility.”

Baines says Jungheinrich is delighted to support a worthwhile organisation. “We hope, in some small way, we have contributed to the excellent work MK SNAP does in the community.”

Jungheinrich’s donation also includes servicing of the equipment and driver training.

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AEM event focuses on trade, economic issues
Milwaukee, WI, United States

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers will focus on the theme “World Trade: Traits of the Masters” at its annual conference from 9-11 November in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Among members of AEM are 18 companies manufacturing forklifts and 14 firms making rough-terrain forklifts.

The conference brings together presidents, chief executive officers and other senior-level executives of companies in the off-road equipment manufacturing industry.

Speakers will provide insights about the US and global economies, the political environment, sustainability issues and operational efficiencies.  A political “point-counterpoint” program will analyse the results of the previous week’s US presidential and congressional elections.

Milwaukee-based AEM serves manufacturers of agricultural, construction, forestry, mining and utility equipment and industry service providers.

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First Russian construction tradeshow a success
Moscow, Russia

The CONEXPO Russia tradeshow in 2009 is already 50% booked, after the success of the first one of its kind held this month in Russia.

Construction equipment companies from around the world converged on Russia this month to attend the inaugural show.

Show organisers report the attendance this year “exceeded expectations”.  Over 230 exhibitors demonstrated their products and services over 34,330 square metres, with more than 6,000 visiting the show.

The 2008 CONEXPO Russia was based on the CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show model used by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).  

Attendees to the show were able to participate in more than 20 education sessions and next year’s event will feature sessions designed to assist construction professionals improve their businesses through the latest equipment, technology and industry training.

More details about CONEXPO Russia 2009 will be announced in the coming weeks.

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New Toyota forklifts designed for tough jobs
Irvine, CA, United States

Toyota Material Handling (TMHU) has released a new line of forklifts for harsh environments.

The large IC pneumatic forklift is ideal for use on construction sites, timber yards, in agriculture and concrete yards. The new line offers six models ranging in weight capacity from 22,000-pound to 35,000-pound.

Shankar Basu, chairman and CEO of TMHU, says the introduction of the new line gives Toyota’s customers access to an enhanced product portfolio. “Our customers can select the right product for the right job from Toyota’s comprehensive product line.”

Basu says Toyota now has a range of forklifts from 3,000 to 35,000-pound capacities “with the ruggedness and standard of quality customers expect.”
The IC pneumatic features a Hino diesel engine that does not have to be warmed up and is quieter than other models. This model produces fewer emissions than others in Toyota’s stable.

With a two-speed transmission, the forklift has a longer life because fewer shift changes are required compared with a three-speed transmission and there are fewer parts to service. The fully oiled lift cylinders means this machine is durable in harsh conditions and less prone to rust.

For improved operator comfort, the IC pneumatic’s synchronized steering automatically corrects any problems between the angle of the steering wheel and steer tyres, while electronic parking brakes can be activated by the push of a button.

There is also the option of the deluxe steel cab.  This feature has a mounting system that absorbs and reduces noise and vibrations.

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Speed control devices prevent forklift accidents
Leicester, United Kingdom

A UK-based fleet management and electronic control company is highlighting the need to control speed to combat forklift-related speed accidents.

Transmon Engineering Ltd’s Speed Savure is a small electronic device that can be fitted to any forklift to monitor the machine’s speed.

Speed is often a major contributor in forklift accidents and, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), forklifts are the most common cause of workplace transport-related accidents.

Steve Coley, managing director of Transmon, says by limiting or controlling travelling speeds onsite, a workplace can be made safer.

“Slowing down not only heightens safety levels, it also helps to reduce fuel consumption, minimises stock damage, damage to the machine, and enhances cost efficiency.”

The Speed Savure allows the forklift supervisor to set the desired maximum speed in accordance with the workplace’s specific regulations. The system starts working as soon as it detects the vehicle’s movement.
This system heightens safety, as secure access allows the supervisor, rather than the operator, to have full control of maximum travel speed, at all times.

While Speed Savure is not a new product, FLTA’s National Forklift Safety Week is a timely reminder to forklift operators that speed kills. Throughout the UK, according to HSE, there is at least one forklift-related accident per day.

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Xplore adds to mobile computer line
Austin, TX, United States

Xplore Technologies Corporation of America has added model iX104C4 to its family of rugged mobile computing systems.

“We have customers using our products on a number of hi-los, forklifts and ox carts from different manufacturers including but not limited to Linde, Caterpillar, Crown, Raymond, Barrett and Hyster,” says Patrick Gray, Xplore marketing director. “The development of the iX104C4 started in 2007, and the product was launched in the summer of 2008.”

Built to withstand drops to concrete of 4 feet (1.2m), the unit can operate in demanding environments including exposure to vibration, moisture and extreme temperatures.

Starting price for the model is USD3,899.

Xplore sells its computers to customers in the public safety, warehousing, utility, military, field service, marine and transportation industries. Austin-based Xplore was formed in 1996.

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Forklift leak sends dairy workers to hospital
Winter Haven, FL, United States

A carbon monoxide leak from a rented LPG-powered forklift sent four Velda Farms dairy employees to the local hospital with complaints of headaches. The workers received treatment, but none was admitted.

The rental company is having the equipment tested.

The US Occupational Safety & Health Administration is reviewing the matter, according to Michael Wald, a US Department of Labor deputy regional director in Atlanta, Georgia. “The OSHA Area Office in Tampa (Florida) is fact-gathering to determine if there is a need to begin a formal investigation,” he says.

The forklift incident occurred in a storage and packaging area that is separate from where Velda Farms processes milk, says Fred Stern, spokesman for the dairy’s parent firm, National Dairy Holdings LP of Dallas, Texas. “Usually, we use electric (forklifts) but there were a couple of propanes rented. Fortunately, there was no serious injury.”

The Winter Haven fire department and Polk County hazardous materials team responded to calls for assistance following the 15 September leak. Members of the fire department ventilated the building for four hours, according to Lt. Shannon Duncan.

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LOCAL STORIES

Fine wine and forklifts
Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia

Both Toyota Material Handling and NTP Forklifts Australia are actively involved in supplying forklifts to Australia’s wine industry.

NTP Forklifts has supplied Barossa Valley winery Langmeil with a top quality TCM 7-tonne diesel forklift with a Bolzoni rotator, 2,440mm tynes and a 4.5m dual mast.

The primary function of the TCM forklift is to pick up the three-metre long bins of hand-picked grapes, and then tip the grapes into hoppers. From there, the grapes are worked through a crusher and tipped into open fermenters, which can be moved within the facility by the forklift. The forklift is also used to manoeuvre the basket presses, the largest holding the skins of a 6-tonne fermenter.

According to Tyson Bitter, a winemaker of Langmeil, “the ‘fork’ is really good, we’ve had no dramas with it”.

“We have had it fitted with extra long tynes and a rotator to flip the grape bins, which means we have higher efficiency and we are able to use the fork around the yard for other applications - the whole process has been made easier. I can’t believe we haven’t had one before!”

Langmeil winery has also purchased a new TCM iNOMA 2.5 tonne forklift for its new warehouse, and will continue to use NTP Forklifts Australia for its materials handling needs.

Meanwhile, forklifts from Toyota Materials Handling have been first choice for one of the country’s most successful wine exporters, Casella Wines in NSW.

The family-owned winery has grown substantially since 2000, with its expansion including the addition of a bottling line which can process 36,000 bottles per hour – the fastest wine-bottling line in the world.

“We have 69 Toyota forklifts at work in the winery at present,” says purchasing officer David Bastianon.

“Most are dual fuel LPG/Petrol, but we also have some diesel models and recently we’ve added a couple of battery-electric forklifts.”

The Toyota forklifts range from 2.5 tonne to 8 tonne capacity and help to meet a materials handling challenge which at peak times can see 50 shipping containers a day leaving the Riverina winery.

“Our oldest Toyota forklift, a 5FD70, has clocked up 15,000 hours over almost 12 years,” says Bastianon. “It’s a 7 tonne capacity machine that we use as an all-rounder throughout the winery.

“When it’s not moving empty shipping containers, it has a 360 degree Cascade rotator attached for tipping grapes.”

Casella Wines has a flexible policy on how it acquires its forklifts. The majority of the equipment is finance leased to conserve capital for the company’s ongoing expansion.

At the end of the lease period and depending on their age and accumulated hours, the forklifts are often purchased for the residual and continue in the fleet.

“Over the last five years at various times we have evaluated forklifts from other companies and even purchased a small number of them.

“They have been used in areas where the utilisation rate is lower and they have completed that job adequately, but ease of operation and feedback we have received from our employees always leads us back to Toyota.”

He lists safety and reliability among the most important forklift characteristics he looks for, along with low running costs and a long, effective working life.

“There are other factors which come into consideration such as employee acceptance in terms of being comfortable with operating the equipment,” he said.

“We’ve found the Toyotas have better hydraulic speed and they’re a better driving forklift - better to operate, and so the operators like them,” he says.

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Australia still a business haven
MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia

Australia continues to be a safe haven for business, maintaining the third-highest rating on the Dun & Bradstreet Global Risk Indicator.

"Despite the impacts of the liquidity crisis and local economic challenges such as inflation, Australia has managed to retain its DB1c ranking,” says D&B chief executive officer, Christine Christian.

"This is a positive sign; however, with economic conditions expected to remain challenging, businesses cannot afford to ignore any warning signs that fiscal circumstances could impact customers or suppliers and ultimately cause financial distress.

"A thorough understanding of all credit partners coupled with timely global economic data could prevent business executives from a significant amount of pain."

Meanwhile, the outlook for the United Kingdom remains downbeat. The economy continues to slow and two rating downgrades this year have pushed the UK down to DB2a.  The US and UK, which remain the most exposed to the housing market woes, are also at risk of a prolonged economic downturn.

Austria, formerly the number one ranked country, has also been downgraded due to increased macroeconomic and political uncertainty, placing it on par with Australia with a rating of DB1c.
  
While ratings for some of the world's most important economies - China, Japan and India - remain unchanged, these countries are not immune to economic challenges and there are signs that difficulties could lie ahead.

China is facing downward pressure on its risk rating due to soaring producer price inflation (near 10%), rising fuel prices and the closure of tens of thousands of factories in recent months.
  
Japan and India are also facing some economic uncertainty with the increasing cost of goods and real income compression impacting Japanese businesses and consumers while inflationary pressures and tighter monetary conditions in India have slowed economic growth to the lowest rate in three and a half years.

Christian says the latest rankings provide some very important reminders for the business community and Australian policy makers.

"Organisations which are involved in cross-border business or are looking to initiate new trading relationships must have a comprehensive and timely monitoring system in place to ensure they stay in business and ahead of the risk game.

"For policy makers the message is also clear - in a competitive global environment we cannot afford to stand still.

"To build strong trading relationships and attract foreign investment to our shores, we must maintain a low risk rating and stable business environment. This requires ongoing reform and continued strong economic management."

According to the latest information from Dun & Bradstreet's Economic & Risk Outlook Report, Australia is facing some challenges, but the outlook continues to be stable.

The current economic slowdown and continued inflationary pressures have caused D&B to revise its forecasts - real GDP growth is expected to reach 3.0% in 2008 and 2.7% in 2009 while inflation is expected to remain outside of the RBA's target inflation band in 2008 at 3.5% before dropping back to 3.0% in 2009. Unemployment is expected to remain below 5% for both 2008 and 2009.

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Forklift training resource released
Australia

A new training resource focuses on safety and risk management issues by exploring the potential hazards and risks for forklift drivers in the workplace.

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Forklift Risks and Hazards is made up of a 22-minute DVD and an accompanying CD which includes trainers’ notes on how to use this resource and learners’ worksheets which can be customised for different organisations.

The DVD covers:
• the workplan
• checking out the site and the route you will be taking
• pre-operational safety checks
• load and load handling
• driving
• tipping over
• shutdown

The resource can be used
• as training support material for the unit of competency TLID1007 “Operate a forklift”,
• for refresher training,
• for induction and orientation,
• as a workplace training tool, or
• as support material for people working towards the National Licence for High Risk Work - Forklifts.

For more information contact Maree McEvoy, Ideas That Work, on 03 95251407 or visit www.ideasthatwork.com.au

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Flinders and DP World JV uncontested
ADELAIDE, South Australia, Australia

A proposed joint venture will see Flinders Port and DP World (SA) becoming shareholders in an entity called Adelaide Container Terminals which would be granted a right to conduct container stevedoring at the Container Terminal until 30 April 2039.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not intervene in the proposed joint venture after accepting a court-enforceable undertaking from Flinders Ports. The ACCC was concerned that Flinders Ports, through its dual role as port manager and co-owner of the incumbent container stevedore, would have the incentive and ability to prevent prospective container stevedores from developing another terminal at Port Adelaide to serve growth in container traffic in the future.

Flinders Ports offered the section 87B undertaking to address the ACCC's concerns.  A key requirement of the undertaking is that Flinders Ports will not allocate certain land and licences at Port Adelaide until the ACCC has reviewed the impact on competition.

"The ACCC is satisfied that the proposed joint venture, subject to the court-enforceable undertaking, would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the relevant markets," says ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.

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Brief
SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia

Managing Sydney Airport’s projected growth

Sydney Airport has released its Preliminary Draft Master Plan 2009 for public consultation.  The plan outlines the vision for the operation and development of Australia's leading airport to the year 2029.

Passenger numbers are forecast to gradually increase by an average of 4.2% each year.  This will see the airport serving 78.9 million passengers in 2029, up from the 68.3 million in 2023-24 which was forecast in the existing approved 2003-04 Master Plan.

Airport facilities including terminals, hangars, aprons, freight facilities, car parking and airport roads will all be progressively upgraded over the next 20 years.

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The key to retaining staff
SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia

New research shows that work-life balance is the key factor in attracting and retaining staff and is even more important than salary.

According to Converge International CEO Dr Lindsay McMillan, Australians have the dubious honour of working the longest hours of any OECD country, with 20-25% working more than 50 hours each week. Yet research shows that 47% of workers rate work-life balance as very important and another 32% see it as important.

An imbalance between work and life can result in declining quality of life, loss of community, erosion of relationships and resentment.

“If workplaces are to avoid harvesting this kind of negative atmosphere, then they really need to take serious consideration of these trends and begin concerning themselves with negotiating and transforming the current pattern of ‘work-life collision’ into one of ‘work-life balance’,” says McMillan.

The Converge International research has highlighted four key mechanisms for incorporating flexibility into an organisation:
• Hours - flexible working hours can include part-time, job sharing, flexible start/finish times or compressed work weeks.
• Leave - everyone receives annual leave, but more creative options include study leave, bereavement leave, parental leave, unpaid leave and holiday purchase.
• Location - flexible options include working from home or giving an employee the opportunity to transfer to a different work location.
• Carer Assistance - at some stage in their life, almost everyone will need to assume a carer’s role.

It’s not enough to just spend the time and effort required to research an appropriate work-life balance strategy, there needs to be a cultural shift within the organisation. Many workplaces fear such practices interrupt the day-to-day running of a business and that employees who take advantage of work-life balance strategies are lacking in commitment.

For this reason, senior leaders in a business need to lead by example and champion the cause. This shows all employees that they can switch over to work-life balance initiatives without risking their career progression.

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MEDIA RELEASES
Contact American Industrial Transmission for your transmission rebuild

American Industrial Transmission's (AIT) business plan is based upon giving dealers the best possible customer service.  Quotes, delivery times, and products are reliable. AIT offers most styles of remanufactured lift truck transmissions. We use OEM parts to assure you that our remanufacturing is of the highest quality.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.

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Forklift Battery Whole of Life Costs

To maximise the return on investment in forklift batteries it is very important to focus on whole of life cost over simple acquisition cost.  There are a number of considerations when calculating battery Whole Of Life Cost.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.

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Dealership opportunities available with Battery Rescue Services

BATTERY RESCUE SERVICES, INC, located in the greater Atlanta Georgia area, is the nation’s premier battery regeneration service provider.  Dealership opportunities are currently available in most major cities.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.

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Seeking forklift trucks dealers India

Top global forklift manufacturer with strong brand and global dealer network is expanding into India market.  Comprehensive product range includes internal combustion engine, electric counterbalance and warehouse product.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.

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PRODUCT WATCH
Eagletronic battery chargers…...from JAMCO

Jamco is the World Wide exclusive distributor of Eagletronic battery chargers and related products. Our complete product range is user and technician friendly and automatically adjusts to any common World power cycle. They are all at a great price enabling dealers to increase margins and market share. We have a full range to meet every battery charging requirement for the forklift industry.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.

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Charging At Every Opportunity - EnerSys Hawker XFC FLEX batteries revolutionise pallet truck use

EnerSys has introduced a new range of Hawker XFC FLEX batteries which can be ‘opportunity’ charged, used while partially charged or fast re-charged. This makes them especially suited for use with Class 3 pallet trucks where the flexibility of operation they bring can revolutionise material handling management.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.

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ICEM release GP100 truck

Backed by its well-established experience within the high-load sector, ICEM has recently introduced another ‘heavy weight’ product: the GP100 truck.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.

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Battery Equaliser

Battery Equaliser Australia Pty Ltd has been providing quality products since our founding in 1997. Our mission is to provide support to businesses that are serious about implementing cost effective measures in battery maintenance, protection and reliability.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.

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Warehouse Safety Solutions release their Fleet Check system

Whilst most companies in Australia are suffering from the economic slow down, Warehouse Safety Solutions (WSS) is experiencing a huge growth spurt. WSS currently trade in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and the UK, with plans to exhibit at Promat 2009 in the USA in January.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.

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Moneysaving Forklift Battery Recovery Technology

Don’t replace older tired batteries…. Use our BatterySAVER to recover “lost” operating capacity and get your batteries working again !

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.

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I like to move it, move it. Euro Power Australia.

Euro Power Australia is proud to be the exclusive distributor of high quality Hoppecke motive power products for Australia. It is the industry leading focus on world leading motive power solutions and a product that is second to none that keeps Hoppecke at the pinnacle of the industry and the first choice of experienced motive power users.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.

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Big site battery management at a small site price!!

The World’s favourite battery management system, Philadelphia Scientific’s iBOS, now has a compact version. The iBOS Basic is priced so that all battery owners can afford to reap the same benefits as the big fleet operators.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.

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Upcoming Events

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24-25 September 2008

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Jobs

1. Sales Manager - Full time
United States, Jacksonville

2. Jumbo Truck Sales - Full time
United States, Southeast USA

3. Warehouse Products Sales Engineer - Full time
United States, Jacksonville

4. Warehouse Products Sales Engineer - Full time
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5. Jumbo Truck Sales - Full time
United States, Southeast

6. Warehouse Manager / Forklift Mechanic - Full time
Canada, Niagara, Ontario

7. Industrial Equipment Sales Representative - Full time
United States, Greenville, NC

8. Industrial Equipment Sales Representative - Full time
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9. Senior Calibration Technician (20080048) - Full time
United States, Latham, NY

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Fast Facts
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Editorial Calendar 2008

January
Review of 2007
February
Forklift safety in warehouses
March
Forklifts in the construction industry
April
Materials Handling in the Benelux
May
Straddle Carriers
June
Attachments: clamps
July
ICE forklifts - trends
August
The forklift market in Australia
September
Batteries and chargers
October
Pallet stackers
November
The forklift market in Russia

FORKLIFTACTION.COM
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