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|It’s interesting that while marketers may be cutting their print advertising budgets, most are expecting to spend more on online promotion. This is recognition not only of the cost-effectiveness of online advertising, but also of significant changes in the way buyers seek information. Our own experience shows a significant rise in the number of forklift end-users among our readers. With 40% of our members either operating or managing forklifts, it’s clear that Forkliftaction.com is an important source of information on products, services and suppliers. Interestingly, just last week, we got some member feedback urging us to carry on doing exactly what we’re doing. With growing support from all sectors of the market, we will do just that.|
|Uncertain future for Russian forklift industry |
|The Russian economy has not escaped the current economic crisis unscathed and increasing fuel costs and the falling share market have affected the country.|
The Russian forklift industry is in a state of uncertainty with many local companies experiencing downturns in orders. However, international companies see this market as an opportunity to build their businesses in the region. Annette Densham reports on the state of the Russian forklift industry Read more
|Konecranes keen to buy Chinese hoist company |
|Konecranes is looking to expand its Asian operations with the purchase of a Chinese hoist and crane company.|
The Finnish company has signed a letter of intent and announced its plans to acquire the majority of Jiangsu Three Horses Crane Manufacture Co Ltd (SANMA).
The companies expect to reach a definitive agreement in early 2009 and SANMA will become a joint-venture company. The final agreement is subject to inspection and approval by Chinese authorities.
Harry Ollila, president of Konecranes Region Northeast Asia, says the joint venture will strengthen its position and competitiveness in the Chinese market. “At the same time, Konecranes would be able to expand sales and increase supplier and procurement activities in the country.”
SANMA is based in Jingjiang, about two hours north-west of Shanghai, and employs over 500 people.
|Work starts on new Vietnamese plant |
|Work has started on a new plant in Vietnam that will produce forklift transmissions and axle components for export. |
Sumitomo Nacco Materials Handling Vietnam Co Ltd, a joint-venture project between Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Nacco Materials Handling Group, anticipates the plant will generate USD2 million in revenue per year.
The 2.7-hectare plant in Thang Long Industrial Park, Dong Anh District will be operational in seven months. The project will be divided into three phases with a total capital investment of USD60 million.
The second phase will involve making forklift parts and the third phase will concentrate on making the machines.
Takashi Yoneda, director of Sumitomo, says the company decided to invest in Vietnam because of its labour quality, political stability, tax incentives and geographical advantages.
|CVS supplies port with reach stackers |
|Port Services Corporation (PSC) has signed two agreements for the supply of CVS Ferrari handling equipment to the Port Sultan Qaboos. The port’s new equipment will be used to help speed up operations and improve services. |
CVS’s dealer, General Electronic and Trading Co (GETCO), will supply PSC with nine reach stackers.
The first agreement covers two 45T F477.6 diesel reach stackers with telescopic spreaders for handling and stacking full containers and two F-258.6 reach stackers for empty container handling. One each of these reach stackers was delivered in September.
The second agreement is for three 45T F477 diesel reach stackers for full container handling and two F-258.6 reach stackers for empty container handling. The rest of the units will be delivered at the end of 2008.
Mr Paolo Groppi, CVS sales director, says the port will use the reach stackers to improve performance and traffic flow. “Qaboos currently suffers traffic congestion problems and it will use our machines to help solve those problems,” he says. “The inclusion of nine units will help the port speed up the loading and unloading of vessels and will accelerate supply to its customers.”
Groppi says the units’ excellent manoeuvrability in tight spaces is perfect for the port’s requirements. “The higher lifting capacity and the excellent relationship between overall weight scale and turning radius make CVS the ideal choice for these kinds of operations.”
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|In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to get the most use out of your forklifts. Luckily, your day-to-day operations can make all the difference in how your equipment performs and how long it lasts — if you’re monitoring those operations. ShockWatch® Equipment Monitors mount directly onto your forklifts and capture data regarding impact and collision, usage, operator access and OSHA compliance. This information enables managers to make better decisions regarding fleet rotation, maintenance and operator training. Reduce your operating costs while improving safety with ShockWatch Equipment Monitors. Visit www.shockwatch.com to learn more!|
|Kalmar scores port maintenance contract |
|Cargotec’s Kalmar division has been awarded its largest ship-to-shore (STS) maintenance contract for equipment at the Port of Vuosaari.|
The company will service Finnish port operators Finnsteve and Steveco, both long-term partners. The full-service contract for Finnsteve includes full maintenance, repairs and spare parts for four Kalmar STS cranes. Steveco has commissioned Kalmar to provide maintenance for straddle carriers, terminal tractors and reach stackers.
The contract also includes the provision of a team of four on-site Kalmar experts.
Kalmar recently delivered four new STS cranes and nine other new container-handling machines to the port. Two existing smaller Helsinki ports and Port of Kotka are moving a number of Kalmar machines to Vuosaari, and the operating activities of the smaller ports will also be transferred there by the end of 2008.
The new equipment joins the other Kalmar machines at the port ( Forkliftaction.com News #372), bringing the total fleet of Kalmar machines to 240.
Kalmar also supplied three shuttle carriers, two electric straddle carriers, three EC DRT100 empty container stackers and one terminal tractor.
The port at Vuosaari will be completed in 2009 and will serve as Finland's main gateway for unitised cargo.
|Three telehandler brands get common attachments |
McConnellsburg, PA, United States
|JLG Industries Inc is offering a new family of common attachments for its telehandler product lines under the JLG, SkyTrak and Lull brands in the Americas.|
“We hope to have all models converted to the new style by January,” says Brian Boeckman, who is overseeing the changes. Attachments include a grapple bucket, an eight-foot tower, a fork-mounted work platform, material buckets, truss booms, carriages and fork options.
The commonality of the quick-attach coupler and associated attachments for the telehandler brands increases flexibility and simplifies an end-user’s needs. “Previous to this change, JLG had distinct coupler and attachment offerings for each of its telehandler brands,” he notes in a statement. “Moving forward, customers will be able, for example, to use an attachment from a SkyTrak on a JLG-branded telehandler.”
While impacting only JLG-made telehandlers, “we hope that the rest of the industry will follow our lead in establishing this standard,” Boeckman observes. “We’re the first to make this investment to increase commonality and fleet cross-utilization so customers can maximize their fleet flexibility.”
The change eases attachment ordering and stocking for customers and provides a full-range of productivity-enhancing attachments for applicable models.
The program does not involve the JLG-made telehandler products in Europe, Asia or Australia or any JLG-made compact telehandler models. McConnellsburg-based JLG continues to offer a line of application-specific attachments for its compact telehandlers.
“A large portion of our attachments are built in our Orrville, Ohio facility,” which occupies 333,000 square feet (30,000 sqm), Boeckman says. “Others are sourced from suppliers in a variety of locations.”
|Purifier firm joins forklift fuel-cell project |
Irving, TX, United States
|In a project to develop fuel-cell power for forklifts, ExxonMobil Corp of Irving, Texas linked in late November with Hy9 Corp of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, a developer of hydrogen purification technologies.|
ExxonMobil wants to commercialise an on-vehicle hydrogen production system for use initially in a fuel cell-powered forklift application and later in passenger vehicles.
Hy9 plans to provide hydrogen purifiers to ExxonMobil for the oil industry giant’s on-board fuel cell reformer project.
ExxonMobil wants to implement onboard fuel cell reformers that can eliminate the need for filling stations across the country. The firm disclosed the initiative in November 2007.
The ExxonMobil project also involves fuel cell maker Plug Power Inc of Latham, New York; purification technology maker QuestAir Technologies Inc. of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada; and the Blechner center for industrial catalysis and process development at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
“Plug Power and ExxonMobil have been collaborating on the development of reformer technology for lift trucks since 2007,” a statement from Plug Power says. “At this time, there is no (forklift) OEM who is a party to this collaboration.”
Onboard reforming in a passenger vehicle could be 80% more fuel efficient than current engine technologies and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 45%, notes Emil Jacobs in a statement. Jacobs is vice president of research and development for ExxonMobil research and engineering.
|Energy saving at push of a button |
|Germany’s largest winery is taking its environmental commitment seriously with its use of a new energy-saving feature from Still.|
Peter Mertes is the first European company to use the Still RX 20-16 electric forklift with the energy-saving feature, Blue-Q. Blue-Q is activated by pressing the blue button on the control panel and reduces energy consumption by up to 20%.
Johannes Drexler, logistics manager for Peter Mertes, says the company sees its responsibility for the environment as important. “Wine is a purely natural product that depends on a clean environment. This is why our company is open to new concepts to save energy. Blue-Q is an exact fit to our company philosophy.”
The Blue-Q is an ‘intelligent’ system that can determine when certain features are required by the forklift and will optimise these features to save energy. If the driver is reversing the forklift and only needs the rear lights on, the Blue-Q will turn off the front spotlights, the driving lights or the heater to conserve power.
Drexler compares the Blue-Q to an autopilot: “No-one can expect the (forklift) drivers to think of how to save energy all the time. With the Blue-Q, we are saving energy and have high performance at the same time.”
Peter Mertes has a fleet of 50 counterbalance forklifts and other pieces of warehouse equipment working up to three shifts a day. Drexler says each truck operates for 3,000 hours each year. “On an average day, 1,000 tonnes of finished goods will be loaded and 17 million units of stock are turned over every month. This means the drivers have to work fast.”
The winery has been following a sustainable energy plan in respect to its filling, storage and internal transport processes and the use of the Blue-Q in conjunction with its goods management and ERP system saves energy and cuts down CO2 emissions.
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|Jurors find forklift driver negligent|
Baltimore, MD, United States
|A jury in Baltimore City Circuit Court has awarded USD305,000 to a truck driver who was struck and injured in a forklift incident at a spice warehouse in January 2007.|
The jurors decided that forklift operator Leon Archer demonstrated negligence in running into the truck driver, Donald Lee Dunn, at a facility of Fuchs North America Inc.
After deliberating for about 30 minutes, the jurors awarded USD245,000 to Dunn for pain and suffering, USD40,000 for his medical expenses and USD20,000 for his lost wages.
During the trial, Archer testified that he was operating the forklift with the load directly in front and his vision blocked, a violation of a guideline under the occupational safety and health program of the Maryland Division of Labour and Industry. Archer was moving two bags of black pepper weighing a total of 2,000 pounds (900 kg).
The impact broke two bones in Dunn’s left ankle, injured his right hand and tore a shoulder rotator cuff, jurors heard.
Dunn, a driver for Chesapeake Moving & Storage Co of Aberdeen, Maryland, was awaiting a load for his truck. He walked into a warehouse office to ask about the schedule and was directed out. At that moment, Archer drove around a blind corner and struck Dunn. At the time, Dunn acknowledged in writing that the accident was his fault.
Fuchs of Owings Mills, Maryland, is a supplier of cardamom, coriander, cumin, pepper and salt and other spices, seasonings and ingredients to the food industry and food service outlets. The North American operation, previously known as Baltimore Spice Inc, is a unit of Fuchs Gewürze GmbH of Dissen, Germany.
Judge Althea M Handy presided at the three-day trial.
|AAL to supply Landmark with new forklifts |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Forklift supplier Adapt-A-Lift (AAL) has clinched a deal to supply over 200 new Hyster forklifts under a hire agreement to leading agribusiness Landmark.|
As part of the contract, AAL will have to sell 185 company-owned units; terminate 50 rental units at Landmark stores; implement a national fuel management solution; and centralise billing, reporting, compliance and training.
The deal follows a decision by Landmark earlier this year to evaluate its existing forklift fleet with regards to safety, environment, reliability, running costs, fuel consumption and compliance.
The assessment revealed an opportunity to improve forklift safety through innovation and technological improvements, reduce the overall cost of running the forklift fleet, and improve customer service standards by having a reliable forklift fleet.
AAL will provide a full-service fleet management package, using its Forktrack fleet management system on every unit. The system includes features such as:
- Weight gauge to assist with chain of responsibility requirements;
- Impact sensors to identify goods and racking damage;
- Driver identification to identify high risk drivers;
- Electronic pre-start check list to streamline compliance;
- Speed control to improve safety;
- Remote communication to pre-empt repairs and maintenance calls.
|Logistics giant captured on film |
Clayton, Victoria, Australia
|A film on the success story of logistics giant Linfox will be screened around the world as part of a marketing campaign for HSBC’s global commercial banking business.|
The Linfox story is part of four short films created by the bank, which examine the commercial journeys of a range of HSBC customers from around the world who have built successful international businesses.
With some 6,000 vehicles and 15,000 employees around the world, Linfox banks with HSBC in 10 of the countries where it operates.
Noel McNamara, head of commercial banking for HSBC Bank Australia, says the film demonstrates the bank’s ability to support Australian businesses as they expand and do business offshore, particularly in the emerging markets of Asia.
The Linfox case study is featured in three different film lengths: a 20-second teaser, a one-minute endorsement film that focuses on the customer’s partnership with HSBC and a three-minute engagement film.
The films will be translated and subtitled in Brazilian Portuguese, Latin American Spanish, French and Chinese (simplified), and distributed globally through CNBC, appearing on CNBC Europe, CNBC Asia, CNBC World and Band News (for LATAM) and online.
|Growth limited by cash flow crisis |
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|Business investment into 2009 will be seriously affected by current cash flow pressures within the Australian industry.|
According to a new national business survey conducted by the Australian Industry Group and American Express, only 12% of Australian businesses are prepared to take on above-average or significant financial risk to grow their company over the next six months.
Small, medium and large-scale enterprises cited cash flow difficulties, profit margin downgrades, and uncertainty over tax breaks as their key concerns.
“Regardless of business size, managers have major concerns about the impact of the worsening economic conditions on cash inflows from sales. In turn, they are apprehensive about the effect of a slowing economy on their overall cash flow outlook and their ability to pay their bills on time,” says Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout.
As a result, companies are focusing on a more aggressive approach to pursuing accounts receivable; cutting back on expenses; exerting greater control over spending and delaying expenditures where possible.
“While these strategies are sensible, and indeed may be essential for each individual business, they point very clearly to one of the ways the slowdown is likely to spread across the economy. With businesses tightening and delaying their own expenditures – both in response to and in anticipation of reduced receipts – an ongoing reduction in confidence and the expectation of a slowdown can quickly become self-fulfilling,” says Ridout.
|Pallet supplier upbeat despite downturn |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Pallet supplier Brambles expects to see growth in all regions of its CHEP and Recall divisions in the 2009 financial year, provided there is no further deterioration in market conditions.|
At the company’s AGM held recently, chairman Graham Kraehe said the operating environment had been challenging due to the rapid deterioration of the world’s leading economies, and may remain so through 2009 and possibly beyond, particularly in the USA and Europe.
Comparable operating profit for the Brambles Group is expected to be broadly in line with last year. Although operating profit for CHEP Americas is expected to be around 10% below last year, due to the slowdown in the USA and the previously announced investment in quality and Walmart transition costs, this is expected to be offset in constant currency terms by the performances of the rest of the business.
Brambles achieved good sales revenue during the first four months of the 2009 financial year with 4% growth for the Group on a like-for-like basis. CHEP Americas was up 4%, CHEP Europe, Middle East and Africa up 4%, CHEP Asia-Pacific up 3% and Recall up 6%.
“We remain focused on positioning the business to exploit profitable growth opportunities, while maintaining a prudent financial position in times of very tough credit market conditions,” Kraehe added.
|WorkSafe campaign highlights forklift safety|
Hamilton, Victoria, Australia
|WorkSafe inspectors conducted a safety campaign in Hamilton last month, focusing on issues such as inadequate machine guarding and forklift safety.|
Over the past five years, more than 450 work-related injuries in Southern Grampians Shire have cost more than $9.56 million in treatment and rehabilitation costs alone.
Around 64 improvement notices were issued for a range of infringements including dangerous storage racks, inadequate fire protection and electrical issues.
WorkSafe’s Ross Pilkington says inspectors will return to Hamilton to check on compliance of safety improvement notices and carry out further visits in coming weeks.
“Coming into a busy time of the year, it’s more important than ever to get on top of safety issues and stay there.”
Pilkington says people were often tempted to take shortcuts when they were most busy, but that was when mistakes were made and the chance of being hurt or killed rose sharply.
“Safety is not just WorkSafe’s issue or responsibility; it is an issue for the entire community; every day, not just when WorkSafe’s team is in the area.”
Work-related injuries reported to WorkSafe cost the Victorian community more than $1 billion a year in medical treatment, rehabilitation and compensation costs.
|Forklift fun causes permanent injury|
Benalla, Victoria, Australia
|An employer has been fined after a young worker suffered a serious injury from a forklift when he and another worker were “horsing around” at work.|
The incident occurred in April last year when the two young workers were returning from a break. One jumped onto the outside of a forklift while the other man shot water at him from a fire hose.
As the forklift driver tried to keep away from the water, the 17-year-old rider either jumped or fell from the machine and was run over by the forklift.
His leg was broken and required two permanent pins to be inserted.
Benalla hardwood sawmilling company Ryan and McNulty pleaded guilty to two health and safety charges relating to its failure to provide and maintain a safe workplace and failing to report the incident to WorkSafe.
Benalla Magistrate Paul Smith ordered a comprehensive package of requirements on the company under new ‘alternate penalty’ provisions allowed under Victoria’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.
As part of its Court undertaking, Ryan and McNulty Pty Ltd issued a media release urging other businesses to improve safety standards and the company will take part in a briefing to other businesses.
The company’s director, Greg McNulty, will do a five-day Occupational Health and Safety course within 12 months, and the company will provide $40,000 to the Goulburn-Ovens Institute of TAFE (Benalla) for safety equipment in timber industry and OHS training programs.
The company will also develop and implement a comprehensive induction program for its own use. The plan will cover plant and forklift safety; employee safety requirements; the role of supervisors; management of contractors and labour hire employees.
All forklift operators will do refresher training.
The worker with the fire hose, 18 at the time, was prosecuted in August.
He pleaded guilty, was convicted and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond. He was ordered to do a Certificate 1 TAFE course in Transport and Storage or another course agreed to by WorkSafe within 12 months.
Forklifts are among the most dangerous machines in Victorian workplaces, having been involved in 56 deaths in the state since 1985.
Director of WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logistics and Agriculture Division Ross Pilkington says the penalties should send a clear message to employers and workers to ensure safety standards were maintained.
“Health and safety failings can result in prosecution and convictions which can have serious short and long-term effects, as well as the potential for injury and death.
“Young and inexperienced workers are particularly vulnerable. The young often have a sense that ‘it can’t happen to me’, but the reality is that it can, and does.”
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|Atlet pleases Waitrose Partners |
|Innovative and creative solution and expert project management by Atlet has helped Waitrose boost productivity and eliminate manual battery handling at its Aylesford distribution centre. Atlet undertook the design and oversaw the entire materials handling equipment and battery change project as well as supplying a new fleet of reach trucks, order pickers, pallet transporters, counterbalance and hand pallet trucks.|
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|Icem’s INOX range for tough environments ||Harsh work environments or environments with special hygiene or medical requirements call for special machines made entirely of high-quality stainless steel and designed to avoid contamination. The stainless steel trucks are very similar to standard trucks in terms of line, size and ease of use, even if Icem pallet trucks actually feature several specific solutions that ensure the maximum compatibility with this type of work environment.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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Editorial Calendar 2009
Rough Terrain forklifts
Safety products in MH
Forklift Market in Canada
Forklift Market in the United Kingdom
Fleet & Asset management
Narrow Aisle forklifts
Forklift batteries and power solutions
Forklift Market in India