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|400 newsletters is quite an achievement for any publication, especially one founded in the “tech wreck” era. As you’ll read (below), this week is a special one for Forkliftaction.com. And the achievement would not have been possible without the efforts of our journalists, the tech team who provide the platform for the newsletter, the sales team who help fund it and the admin staff who keep everything ticking over. Nor can we overlook the advertisers who support us, the industry participants to keep us informed and – last but not least – our growing numbers of readers around the world, from Albania to Zimbabwe. Thank you to everyone who has assisted in the past.|
And please remember, this is your newsletter and we welcome your comments, feedback and suggestions.
|Milestone for forklift newsletter |
|This week marks the 400th newsletter from Forkliftaction.com, the global industry portal for the forklift sector.|
The first newsletter was emailed on July 7, 2000 to 50 subscribers, carrying just three stories – one of them about the launch of the newsletter.
The big news back then was Crown winning two design awards in the USA and Clark Equipment Australia Pty Ltd clinching a deal to distribute Fantuzzi heavy forklifts in the Asia Pacific region.
The newsletter has grown significantly since that humble offering, and most editions include 20 or more stories and reach a global audience of more than 150,000 industry professionals.
Besides industry news, coverage of dealer developments and end-user stories, the newsletter has featured personal profiles of many industry leaders. Regular columns include “Safety First”, written by leading trainers and safety consultants in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.
“One of the most popular additions to the newsletter has been our monthly feature,” says general manager Ann Hofmans. “These features look in depth at different geographic markets, industry sectors or product categories and we have assembled some leading-edge information which is now available in our extensive archive.”
Forkliftaction.com News is part of a comprehensive internet offering for the forklift sector, conceived in 1999 by Australian industry veteran Michael Leu. Frustrated by the lack of information resources for the forklift sector, Leu set about building an industry portal (www.forkliftaction.com) which, besides news, contained listings of equipment for sale, a global business directory, forklift specifications guide, recruitment advertising, an active discussion forum and general industry resources for a fast-growing market.
Among the newsletter highlights, Hofmans identifies the launch of an Australian edition in 2006 and the appointment of US bureau chief Roger Renstrom.
“Roger is a respected business writer with extensive experience in and contact with the materials handling sector in the US, and he forms a key part of our next step, the launch of a dedicated US edition,” she explains.
Forkliftaction.com News editor Allan Leibowitz says the weekly newsletter regularly breaks significant industry news and the editorial independence ensures high levels of trust in the industry.
“Often, industry newsletters are simply collections of media releases and ‘puff pieces’ on advertisers,” he explains, “but our journalists report independently on industry developments – good and bad.”
Leibowitz cites the current spate of retrenchments in the global forklift manufacturing sector, saying the newsletter hears about sacking directly from those affected through its active Discussion Forums. “This has alerted us to a number of big stories in the past few weeks,” he says, adding that editorial staff always attempt to provide balanced reports, including the official company response as well.
Forkliftaction.com is based in Brisbane, Australia, but because of its web foundation, the business has been truly global from birth.
Leu’s decision to form an internet-based business and email newsletter after the burst of the “tech bubble” has been vindicated by its rapid growth.
With more than 42,000 members around the world, the forklift website enjoys more than 4 million page views per month, making it attractive for industry suppliers, according to Hofmans.
With 400 editions under their belt, the Forkliftaction.com team is not resting on its laurels.
“We have just completed a systems revamp and are working on continuous enhancements to the website and the newsletter,” she says.
The next development will be the launch of a second "regional" edition. A North American edition will be added to augment the Australasian version, to be followed later by a European edition.
Hofmans says the team is also working on new customisation options which will deliver tailor-made content to subscribers reflecting their geographic location, market segment and interests.
To read a message from Forkliftaction.com's founder, click here.
|Buyers warned against cheap forklift software |
|Online buyers are urged to exercise caution after reports about a website selling alleged pirated forklift hardware and software. Purchasers have told Forkliftaction.com News the vendor takes their money and delivers nothing. |
Forkliftaction.com’s Discussion Forum has revealed a number of buyers who have purchased items including software and key generators from www.forkliftsoftware.com and never received them (Discussion Forum).
Rod Chapman, general manager, sales and marketing of Linde Australia, while not aware of this particular vendor, says the software being sold is clearly pirated and is a breach of a company’s intellectual property. “(Linde) frowns upon this sort of piracy,” he says. “Service agents would be better served purchasing their genuine software through the supplier.
“It appears the people buying the software are more than likely forklift service agents trying to circumvent the system and do things illegally,” he comments. “With that style of operation, situations arise where the product could be inferior and/or may not turn up at all.”
Chapman says there is always a risk with pirated software that the information is tainted or the diagnostics will be incorrect. “This potentially puts people’s lives at risk. It could be fatal if people think a truck is repaired and it is not – that is the worst case scenario,” he comments. “Or a $500 fix could turn into a complete new brain needed for the truck.”
The purchasers of these items may or may not be aware the website is not legitimate, but they have all paid for products that have never been delivered.
Iain Wilson, owner of Forktruck Wholesale and Hire in the UK , says he purchased a Linde CanBus and software from the forkliftsoftware website. “I paid EUR800 (USD998) for it and never received it.
“I have tried to contact this person over 20 times by email and since going live on the forum to tell people about this, I have heard back from this chap,” Wilson explains.
“He refuses to give his name, but says he has cancelled my cargo and is keeping the money because I have damaged his good name.”
Wilson says he tracked the site to a residential address in Istanbul. “I offered to send a business colleague to pick up the items and the website owner sent me a really nasty email back,” he says. “The email had a download link for the software that was part of my order.”
However, the zip file turned out to be a virus that would have crashed Wilson’s computer.
Another Forkliftaction.com Discussion Forum user has reported a similar experience. User gerhard_s says he ordered a judit box and an interface through www.forkliftsoftware.com. “I ‘met’ this person through the forum. I paid EUR890 (USD1,111) per item so, in total, I have transferred EUR2,960 (USD3,695) by PayPal and I have waited for it to turn up.”
The forum member says he has never received the items - even after sending multiple emails asking the seller when they would be delivered. “Since I paid by PayPal, I lodged a conflict resolution claim,” he explains. “The seller asked me to withdraw this complaint, saying he could not deliver if there was an active complaint.”
“I cancelled the complaint and still do not have my items or my money back,” gerhard_s says.
Another user reports he dealt with an online company and ordered three forklift software discs. “(They) took GBP150 (USD220) from my PayPal account and sent three blank discs,” says ftdoctoruk. “When I complained, they said it was my computer.”
Complaints about this online vendor go back to July 2008. However, there are a number of other threads that mention at least two other websites selling software online (Discussion Forum) (Discussion Forum) going back to early 2008.
Forkliftaction.com News attempted to contact the online vendor for comment, but there has been no reply.
Mike Nash, director of Tall Emu, an Australian software development company, says it sounds like the software being sold from the forkliftsoftware website is “clearly dodgy”.
“It is an out-and-out case of software piracy,” he explains. “If one site is selling software for $20,000 and the other $50 and it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
Nash says there is nothing inherently illegal about a key generator – it is a piece of software that generates a software key. “The issue is using a key generator to generate keys for software you have not purchased legitimately.
“Purchasing pirated software is like going to a locksmith and getting a duplicate set of keys to my car,” he explains. “And taking this as an entitlement to drive my car.”
Buyers of online products have a few choices to get their money back.
A PayPal spokesperson says the best recourse to recover money from disreputable dealers is to open a dispute against the vendor (PayPal Buyer Protection Policy) – if they have used this online payment method. “They may just get their money back,” he says. “Or they can report the vendor to their local fair trade or consumer complaint commission.”
In September last year, Forkliftaction.com News published advice from Joseph Vukasovic, director, payment systems integrity, Australasia, for MasterCard Worldwide (Forkliftaction.com News #378). Vukasovic said if people suspect they have been a victim of a fraudulent online scam and paid by credit card, they should immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.
|No shows for some |
|Materials handling companies are reassessing their attendance at international tradeshows this year as the economic downturn forces them to tighten their marketing budgets.|
Last week, Italian-based CVS Ferrari Group announced it would not be attending any tradeshows this year. It anticipates lower attendance levels at industry events this year, with reduced opportunities for exhibitors. "CVS has decided to take a more direct approach in 2009 and we will be spending our time visiting all our existing and prospective clients," a company spokesperson says.
"We will be reviewing this policy for 2010 and if attendances come back to previous levels, we will be attending all the exhibitions as normal," the spokesperson explains.
Visitors to this year's Intermat exhibition in Paris will notice the absence of some of the world's big name manufacturers including Manitou, Terex Corp and JLG.
Terex Corp will not be exhibiting at the show, saying its decision is a continuation of the policy announced in early 2008 to reduce participation in regional shows. Terex plans to support shows that are managed by global trade associations where the revenue generated is used to promote the overall interests of the industry.
"In 2009 and beyond, Terex will continue to evaluate our marketing investments and judge them by how effective they are in driving customer relationships and satisfaction," says Katia Facchetti, Terex senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
Terex is always seeking to control costs and maximise efficiency and expects to continue to consolidate its trade show presence, sharing space and investments over multiple business segments. "We will maximise efficiency by bringing as few machines and team members as necessary to meet show objectives and we will develop alternative events where we can hold a more meaningful dialogue with our customers," Facchetti says.
Terex says there are other more effective ways to engage with customers than attending a broad array of shows with overlapping attendees and exhibitors.
US telehandler supplier JLG Industries is another company missing from Intermat.
Wayne Lawson, JLG's managing director for the EMEA region, says the decision to step away from Intermat was difficult. "However, during this period of market stagnation, we believe the right decision is to focus our limited resources on activities that directly support our customers such as technical support, field service, training and online services."
Caterpillar Inc acknowledges how important tradeshows are, but says it will be assess the viability of each show before participating in the current economy. "There are some (shows) that we may be downsizing our presence at and others we are choosing not to participate in for this year," a company spokesperson says.
Jim Malvaso, president of the Raymond Corporation, says it will have a presence at targeted tradeshows this year. "But expenditures of this type are always evaluated on the costs versus the benefits. This year has interjected new variables in that evaluation."
Event organisers such as Deutsche Messe are feeling the pinch and have noticed numbers are down from previous years. Brigitte Mahnken-Brandhorst, CeMAT spokesperson for Deutsche Messe AG, says the event organiser is feeling the effects of the crisis. "As a trade fair organiser, we reflect what is happening right across the industry.
"We are noticing that quite a few companies have become more cautious and are deferring a decision about whether or not to exhibit at tradeshows."
However, Tom Carbott, vice president of sales and events for Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), encourages "companies not to dig a foxhole and withdraw from the market".
He says companies should look at the cost of a quality face-to-face interaction with a prospect at a trade show. "They may find that getting a prospect into a booth to see a company's staff, equipment and what is on offer in today's environment might be one of the best new business development opportunities available today.
"My question to a company that is considering pulling back from marketing in a downturn is where will your new business come from?" he adds.
CONEXPO Russia was the first industry event to be hit by the economic slowdown after being postponed by a year. Event organisers announced late 2008 the event would run in 2010 instead of 2009 as originally planned (Forkliftaction.com News #390).
|Are professionals behind increase in forklift thefts? |
Jersey City, NJ, United States
|An unsavoury professional organisation appears to be stealing forklifts at will and shipping the purloined equipment to distant destinations without fear of getting caught.|
“We have noticed an increasing trend of forklifts being stolen from facilities,” says Trooper Kevin Bletz with the auto theft unit of the Pennsylvania state police bureau of criminal investigation. “We need to get corporate security to step up measures” to prevent the thefts.
In combating heavy equipment theft, National Equipment Register Inc (NER) of Jersey City, New Jersey aims to share information and collaborate with law enforcement agencies, insurers, owners and original equipment manufacturers. “We have seen a significant increase in forklift thefts since late 2007,” says David Grant Mossman, NER senior analyst. “We see recovery of about (0.5%) of stolen forklifts, and we only know what is happening to a small number of machines.”
Among recent losses, thieves removed forklifts worth about USD43,000 from a Turbot Township warehouse of Milton Transportation Inc overnight on 26-27 February. The perpetrators pried open a garage door to get inside the warehouse.
The Milton, Pennsylvania-based common carrier of general commodities lost three propane-powered Hyster forklifts with 5,000-pound (2,250kg) lifting capacities, says Rick Bowersox, vice president of finance with the firm. Milton Transportation intends to boost security and is listening to suggestions about protection with global positioning systems (GPS).
“There is an organisation out there that seems to be doing these kinds of things” in Pennsylvania, surrounding states and elsewhere, Bletz says.
The typical mode of operation for the professionals involves targeting facilities with no surveillance, no security force and no overnight deterrence. “Bad guys are doing their homework,” Bletz notes.
State police suggest that Milton Transportation and others consider installing hidden wireless GPS units in forklifts. “With hidden GPS in cars, the recovery rate is almost 100%,” says Bletz, who is stationed in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.
LoJack Corp of Westwood, Massachusetts is among the providers of wireless tracking and recovery systems for mobile assets.
NER notes that a lack of due diligence in the used-equipment market contrasts with that for cars. The buyer and seller of a car exchange title documents, and a commercial web-based service such as Carfax Inc of Centreville, Virginia can report vehicle histories. Until 2002, nothing like this existed in the used-equipment market, NER says.
“Heavy equipment often has little physical machine or site security, is valuable and is easy to sell,” according to NER. “The low recovery rate is a clear indication of the low risk for a thief.”
NER’s Mossman cites some destinations for forklifts stolen in the US: recycling facilities across the US dealing with paper and lightweight materials; the West Coast commercial fruit industry including cherry orchards and fruit processing plants; and sites in China and South Korea.
“Auctions are recording a lot of buyers from those (Asian) areas,” Mossman says. In most cases, “the end-user may not know” the equipment was stolen.
Law enforcement observers suggest that exporting forklifts from the US may fill a need in Asia for machines of higher quality and more durability than those forklifts made in Asia.
“United, Hertz and Sunbelt have experienced losses,” Mossman reports. He was referring to operations of United Rentals Inc of Greenwich, Connecticut, the equipment rental subsidiary of Park Ridge, New Jersey-based Hertz Corp and Sunbelt Rentals of Fort Mill, South Carolina, a subsidiary of Ashtead Group plc.
“In the past, we saw the theft of a lot of rough-terrain forklifts,” Mossman says. That began to change in late 2007 with a targeting of Class 5 warehouse forklifts.
He identified some “hot (US) cities” for forklift thefts: “all around Pittsburgh, the Baltimore-DC corridor, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon”.
NER lacks in-depth data on forklift thefts and recognises its forklift records are “not as comprehensive as our data on equipment like backhoes, loaders (and) excavators”, Mossman says. “Much of the lift equipment losses get lumped into a miscellaneous category and are not reflected accurately in these statistics.”
In any case, NER estimates that forklifts account for about 2.1% of total thefts of equipment. The top states for losses include Pennsylvania, 19% of total reported forklift losses during 2008; California, 16%; Florida, 10%; Maryland and Virginia, 10%; New York and New Jersey, 7%; and Illinois, 7%.
Mossman suggests forklift owners post report thefts online with NER for quality control and search against auction and sale records; communicate within the industry to prevent theft, raise awareness and watchfulness for stolen machines being sold, exported or serviced; and keep accurate machine records with serial numbers.
“Be sure recorded numbers reflect what is actually on the machine,” he says. “Most police systems require an exact match. NER can assist with this.”
|Texas cuts emissions in replacing forklifts |
Austin, TX, United States
|Incentive grants under the Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP) have resulted in replacement of more than 1,732 older forklifts previously operating in the Lone Star State.|
The ongoing program requires each new replacement forklift to operate with propane power, minimal emission of mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx) and emissions certification from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Under the propane equipment initiative, Texas requires an owner to destroy each old machine, drilling a hole in the engine block and producing a scrap receipt for TERP auditors.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) supplies the legislature-authorised funding through subcontractors including the Railroad Commission of Texas, the North Central Council of Governments for the Dallas-Fort Worth region and the Houston-Galveston Area Council.
So far, TCEQ has handled some applications directly and allocated a total of USD24 million in TERP funds to the Railroad Commission.
A grant seeker must submit a request for an estimate prior to submitting an application to the Railroad Commission. A separate application is filed for each forklift and projects the lower emissions from that equipment over five, six or seven years.
Recent grants tend to be larger than older grants because, in May 2008, the grant amount was increased from USD5,000to USD10,000 per ton of NOx reduced.
The first grant under the TERP initiative of USD8,510 was awarded to Hot Property Inc of El Paso, Texas, which does business as Sarabia’s Portable Jons.
“We purchased one Yale forklift on 7 October 2004 (under the program, which) was started as an incentive to get rid of equipment of a certain age to control the toxic emissions,” says Lorraine Wardy, president of Hot Property. “The original cost of the forklift was USD17,881.” The replacement reduced emission of NOx by 1.91 short tons.
Wardy had a good experience with the program. “It was required that we dispose of our old forklift,” she says. “I would go through it again, except now” because of economic conditions.
Subsequently, regulators limited eligibility for TERP grants to six urban and developed regions covering 34 of the 254 Texas counties.
The biggest replacement occurred at a motor carrier of commodities that applied in October 2007.
Waco, Texas-based Central Freight Lines Inc received USD1,394,120 in TERP funds for replacing 140 forklifts and reducing NOx emissions by 296 short tons. Central Freight operates those forklifts at terminals in Dallas, Tyler, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Beaumont, Texas.
“We acquired Toyota forklifts with 4,000-pound (1,800-kg) lifting capacities from the Tyler branch of Lift Truck Supply Inc,” says Mike Clark, Central Freight director of maintenance.
Central Freight operates a total of 860 propane-powered forklifts at terminals in 10 states.
Briggs Industrial Equipment Inc replaced 135 forklifts and reduced NOx emissions by 216 tons. Briggs applied for the grants totaling USD1,329,575 at various times from 2004 through 2008.
Dallas, Texas-based Sammons Enterprises Inc owns Briggs, a major dealer of industrial and construction equipment in the southern United States and Mexico and a supplier of forklifts manufactured by Yale and Taylor Machine Works Inc.
Freight hauler Yellow Transportation Inc, now YRC Inc, received a total of USD309,090 for replacing 30 forklifts in certain Texas sites and reducing NOx emissions by 62 short tons. The subsidiary of Overland Park, Kansas-based YRC Worldwide Inc applied for the grants from 2005 to 2006.
A Texas bottling group with connections to PepsiCo Inc received USD162,390 for replacing 17 forklifts and reducing NOx emissions by 33 tons. The applications were made in June 2007.
In May 2008, the TERP incentives became available to school buses and medium-duty trucks in the six eligible regions. So far, clean operating propane-powered equipment has replaced 11 older school buses.
“Currently, we have USD3,721,149 in grant funds remaining” and 96 pending applications, says Heather Ball, assistant director for marketing and public education with the Austin-based Railroad Commission.
As a procedural matter, Ball reports the Railroad Commission is not accepting additional requests for estimates until TCEQ administrators approve additional funding for the program.
On the Railroad Commission staff, Patrick Wilson is propane equipment initiative administrator, and Adam LaHood is service representative.
|WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING!|
|Research by global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that survivors of the last downturn kept advertising and marketing through the bad times.|
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To receive more information on the KEEP GOING packages, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax +61 7 3369 9096 or phone +61 7 3369 9090.
|Manitowoc to cut workforce |
Shady Grove, PA, United States
|Manitowoc will cut up to 450 jobs at Shady Grove plant because of a lack of demand for cranes.|
Reacting to a large decline in the market, Eric Etchart, president of Manitowoc Cranes, says the company is “taking actions to adjust our cost structures in all regions”.
“This includes workforce reduction in France, Portugal, China, India and our Shady Grove facility. In total, we are reducing our workforce by approximately 22%,” he says.
"We are currently estimating a 20% revenue decline in 2009, but will emerge from the downturn in a stronger competitive position," Etchart adds.
Etchart said last month that the company’s total crane backlog in Europe had declined by almost 80% compared to the same period last year (Forkliftaction.com News #397). “This reduction in backlog has left us with the need to ‘right size’ our employment levels.”
|New order picker has more room for operators |
Cannock, United Kingdom
|UK Cat Lift Truck distributor Briggs Equipment has launched the new Cat low-level order picker that features a spacious driver compartment.|
The new NO20NE’s design was based on research on how operators use forklifts. The forklift’s body was restyled with rounded corner edges, the drive unit was made more compact, and the battery was placed in a new position. These new design features mean the driver has more room and can get on and off the order picker with ease.
Tony Rooney, sales and marketing director at Briggs, says operators have a large influence on the decision-making process when it comes to buying warehouse equipment. “They spend a significant amount of time using the equipment and if they are not comfortable, safe and don’t enjoy driving the trucks, this can have a big impact on productivity.”
The operator can control the sports-style steering wheel and speed with one hand to give better response time and precision throughout the driving range.
The order picker also features a high-performance AC drive system and keyless PIN Code access to give operators individualised custom settings.
|Nissan makes climate change index |
|Nissan Motor Co Ltd has been recognised for its leadership in responding to climate change with its inclusion on the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) for the second consecutive year. |
More than 3,000 companies were surveyed in 2008, including the world's top 500 companies in terms of aggregate value (FT500 stocks). Only 67 companies out of the top 500 were selected for CDLI inclusion.
Nissan and Renault were the only two carmakers on the list this year.
The CDLI, an initiative of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), recognises companies that demonstrate progressive strategies and information disclosure regarding climate change.
The CDP is a global project that co-operates with institutional investors to promote corporate response to climate change through annual surveys of major companies worldwide. Organisations with excellent strategies and information disclosure are selected for the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).
Nissan says it is fully committed to helping improve the environment. It has outlined its goals and methods in its mid-term environmental and business plans.
The Nissan Green Program 2010 environmental plan contains three core objectives – reducing CO2 emissions, minimising emissions to preserve the atmosphere, water and soil, and recycling resources.
Nissan has announced plans to introduce an all-electric vehicle (EV) in 2010 in Japan and the United States. EVs will be available globally by 2012.
|Watts launches new pneumatic tyre |
Lydney, United Kingdom
|Watts Tyre Group has launched its latest industrial pneumatic tyre designed for difficult conditions. |
Jean-Paul Mindermann, Watts CEO, says the Sherpa is a true contender in the premium sector with a price/quality ratio that will be hard to beat.
"The challenge for us as a tyre producer is to develop products that offer true value and quality to our dealers and users alike."
Mindermann says Watts wanted to find the most demanding environments possible to field test the tyre. "The Sherpa was field tested at one of Europe's busiest airports and at an industrial freight-handling terminus in conditions ranging from broken ground to spill hazards and extreme temperatures.
"All the feedback we received showed Sherpa performing excellently to the point that users wanted us to keep supplying product from the test moulds."
|Sample of used equipment for sale:||Search 6764 listings in the Marketplace|
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|JLG thinks ahead, gets kudos |
McConnellsburg, PA, United States
|JLG Industries Inc is thinking ahead in an effort to increase productivity for equipment distributors and end-users.|
The access equipment design, manufacturing and marketing firm remains committed to creating new and improved products, says Craig Paylor, president of JLG and executive vice president of publicly traded parent firm Oshkosh Corp. Paylor notes that trade publications selected JLG for numerous design awards during 2008.
“We are on the edge and have done a lot with online services,” says Jeff Ford, senior manager of JLG marketing communications, in a telephone interview.
Ford refers to the ClearSky connected asset technology as “another way to lower cost of fleet ownership and do things remotely”.
JLG makes replacement parts available online and focuses on “keeping the equipment up and running and reducing cost of ownership for our rental companies and the folks who have our equipment,” Ford says.
JLG pursues new technologies—some under development and some nearing market-ready status—in seeking to make “a quantum leap and improve the reliability or serviceability of a machine,” he notes. In-the-market examples include the JLG G5-18A super-compact telehandler and the AccuPlace system with ride control technology.
Ford cites the LiftPod personal and portable aerial work platform as a significant improvement. The result: “a USD2,000 entry-level aerial work platform.”
Products include JLG-brand aerial work platforms and JLG-, SkyTrak- and Lull-brand telehandlers. McConnellsburg is a principal manufacturing site.
“Awards recognise achievement,” Paylor notes in a statement, “but we at JLG will not stop in developing new technologies and product innovations to help our customers maintain and grow their businesses.”
JLG says it received two top-100 products awards from Construction Equipment, a product-of-the-year award from Plant Engineering, two category awards and the grand winner award from Rental Equipment Register, two gold awards and a silver award from Lift & Access, two gold awards, a silver award and a bronze award from Roads & Bridgesand recognition from Compact Equipment.
|New Raymond forklift can save energy |
|US materials handling solutions provider The Raymond Corporation has launched its new 9000 series that features a range of energy-saving devices.|
Swing-Reach forklifts can save energy with regenerative lowering that automatically recharges the battery and LED compartment lights while the AC technology - ACR System - ensures longer battery run times.
Susan Comfort, Class II product manager for Raymond, says regenerative lowering recharges the battery when the forks are lowered, which allows for longer battery life. “When lowering the forks with a load, the motor generates energy that is fed back into the battery, maximising battery efficiency and providing a more consistent lifting and lowering speed.”
Raymond's ACR System - AC-powered - delivers more run-time per battery charge and experiences less reduction in forklift performance as the battery discharges for greater reliability.
The 9000 Series forklifts are ideal for pallet handling and case picking. They can be adapted to changing warehouse environments and narrow aisles.
They can elevate up to 45 feet (12.8 m), can handle loads up to 60 inches (152.4 cm) deep or 108 inches (274.32 cm) wide and operate in aisles as narrow as 66 inches (167.64 cm).
|Sheikh named patron for tradeshow |
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
|Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum has been named the patron of Materials Handling Middle East. |
Sheikh Ahmed is the president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline.
Elisabeth Brehl, managing director of Epoc Messe Frankfurt, organiser of the event, says they are delighted to have Sheikh Ahmed as the event’s patron. “His vision is the perfect metaphor for the convergence of transportation and logistics services and infrastructure into an integrated whole.
“He understands the forces of globalisation and the role of supply chains as a major drive to meet challenges and opportunities.”
Sheikh Ahmed says Materials Handling Middle East is an example of providing innovative solutions to the evolving advancement in the transportation and logistics industries. “The transportation and logistics market of the UAE is one of the most dynamic in the global business scene today.”
Materials Handling Middle East is the international exhibition for logistics, supply chain, freight, and cargo products and services. The event will be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 31 May to 2 June 2009.
Recent developments have increased the investment in the Middle East’s logistics industry to AED 221 billion ($60 billion) in 2008, according to Epoc Messe Frankfurt.
|JCB apprentice wins competition |
Staffordshire, United Kingdom
|JCB Transmissions employee Paul Howard has been crowned overall champion in a UK engineering competition. |
Howard was named the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) 1st Year Modern Apprentice Overall Winner for Wales for Engineering and Engineering Manufacture at a special ceremony in Llandrindod Wells, Powys.
He progressed through to the finals after winning the regional competition in February (Forkliftaction.com News #398).
Howard says the competition was nerve-wracking. “I couldn’t believe it when I was announced as the winner. It’s a great honour and I’m delighted to have been successful in such a prestigious national competition.”
|Forklift company goes under |
Riverstone, New South Wales, Australia
|Forklift supplier Rapid Equip Service, Sales and Hire of Riverstone, New South Wales is in liquidation, with around 60 of its forklifts going on auction this week through GraysOnline.|
The company went into voluntary administration (VA) in late 2008, but, without a proposal to creditors on how it could continue to trade, was placed in liquidation.
Liquidator Bruce Gleeson of Jones Partners tells Forkliftaction.com News that many of the creditors are finance companies who have shortfalls on their respective finance contracts.
“The full extent of the company’s deficiency of assets over liabilities will not be fully determined until relevant equipment is sold and the actual shortfall is known,” says Gleeson, adding that Rapid had contracts with approximately 10 finance companies at the time of the VA appointment.
Rapid Equip, which operated from leased premises in Riverstone, employed around six people.
All forklifts owned by the company as well as under finance contracts have been collected by Grays, on instruction from the liquidator. Prior to the appointment of Jones Partners, it is believed that another finance company had collected certain forklifts under finance.
Gleeson says that at this stage, there are certain aspects that require further investigation.
He adds that it is not expected, based on the anticipated realisations, that there will be any return to ordinary unsecured creditors.
|Jobs and manufacturing decline |
|Manufacturing activity in Australia has fallen for the ninth successive month, according to the Australian Industry Group-PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI).|
The index, released this week, registered 31.7 in February, a fall of 4.9 points on the previous month and remaining well below the 50-points level separating expansion from contraction. The fall in activity is very broad–based, with falls in 10 of the 12 manufacturing sub-sectors.
“For manufacturing in particular, the impacts of the global crisis are now compounding the difficulties associated with the structural changes that have been under way in the sector in recent years," says AiGroup chief executive Heather Ridout.
The manufacturing employment sub-index recorded a disturbingly low level of 32.8. This was a particularly sharp fall of almost 10 points in February. The manufacturing sub-index has recorded an uninterrupted run of falling employment in each month over the past year. Like manufacturing activity, the fall in employment is also very broad-based. No sub-sector recorded a rise in employment in February.
According to Graeme Billings of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the market weakness which saw selling prices stagnate in February is unlikely to improve significantly in the near term.
“This will put further pressure on margins and mean that a focus on costs is the key strategy for managing the impact of the downturn on profitability. While slower growth in wages costs will help, a rethink of business plans and improved productivity will help to minimise unit costs.
“It is also important that firms maintain readiness for the upturn and, where feasible, continue efforts to sustain product innovation, maximise the benefits from global supply chains and retain valuable skilled workers," says Billings.
|Toll delivers through tough times |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Logistics giant Toll delivered strong results for the half year to 31 December 2008, despite the slowing economy.|
The group announced an EBIT before acquisition amortisation charges and investment write-downs relating to Brambles and Virgin Blue of AUD266.4 million compared to AUD226.4 million in the previous corresponding period, an increase of 18%.
Revenue for the six months was AUD3.5 billion, an increase of 30% over the previous period.
Profit after tax for the six months to 31 December, 2008 from continuing businesses before investment write-downs was AUD176.9 million, an 11.5% increase over the previous corresponding period of AUD158.8 million.
According to MD Paul Little, “although freight volumes will be impacted by slowing economic growth and conditions will be challenging, the company is very well positioned to cope with any economic slowdown”.
|Business risk rising|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|The number of companies rated a high risk of financial distress or failure in 2009 is up 12% on the previous year and 26% on 2007 figures, according to new research released this month by Dun & Bradstreet.|
Additional D&B data reveals a 40% increase in debt referrals in the past two months and a sharp increase in payment terms which takes debtor days to the highest level since 2001.
Almost 6,000 Australian firms failed during 2008, with smaller (5-19 employees) and younger (0-4 years) firms, those based in Western Australia and those in the mining industry experiencing the most significant increase in failures.
According to Christine Christian, D&B's CEO, the rise in business failures during 2008 and the significant increase in business risk and collections referrals provide a pertinent reminder to Australian executives that further challenges lie ahead.
"Proper cash flow management is undoubtedly the most important factor for businesses to avoid insolvency.
"Many companies have been relying on cheap funding from banks and they have taken their eye off the basic fundamentals of business - managing cash flow is the single biggest part of that.
"However, for businesses whose fundamentals are strong - effective risk assessment and cash flow management - the door is open to new opportunities. These businesses should be able to weather the slow down due to the strength of their cash position and pursue opportunities through acquisitions as prices come down and industries look to consolidate."
|CEVA clinches warehouse contract|
Erskine Park, New South Wales, Australia
|Global supply chain manager CEVA Logistics has signed a contract for the management of warehouse operations in Australia for Eaton Corporation, supplier of electrical systems for power quality, distribution and control.|
The new contract will see Eaton Electric relocate its existing warehouse facilities in Mascot, New South Wales and Dandenong, Victoria to CEVA’s distribution centre at Erskine Park, New South Wales.
Services provided by CEVA will include the receipt, storage, dispatch and inventory management of Eaton Corporation.
“The CEVA team’s logistics and warehousing expertise indicates that the new operation is in safe and reliable hands,” says Eaton Electric general manager Lou Rosen.
|Merger talks stall between rival ports |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Rival New Zealand ports, Port of Tauranga and Ports of Auckland, are no longer discussing merging the two ports’ container businesses.|
Ports of Auckland initiated the proposal but was rebuffed by Port of Tauranga on the basis that it was not in the best interests of its shareholders, customers or New Zealand.
“The proposal starts with two organisations, creates a third and is not seen by our board as efficiency-enhancing,” says Port of Tauranga chief executive Mike Cairns.
He adds that Tauranga Container Terminal has outstanding growth potential with low associated capital requirements to achieve this growth. “The container terminal is an integrated part of our total business and cannot be split off easily as a discreet operation.”
“Port of Tauranga has not changed its position on the need for port rationalisation and we remain willing to re-open full merger discussions with Ports of Auckland on terms that would be beneficial to our shareholders.”
Ports of Auckland chairman Gary Judd says Tauranga’s decision to withdraw, despite solid evidence of the benefits to shareholders and ratepayers in both regions, is disappointing.
Last week, Port of Tauranga announced an unaudited net profit of NZD22.540 million for the six months ended 31 December 2008 - a 10% increase on the previous year's result.
Total trade for the period was up 6% to 6.940 million tonnes, with container volumes also up 6% to 289,600 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs).
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1. SIL 2009
2-5 June 20092. LPG & CNG Gas Forum 2009
18-19 March 20093. Asia Pacific Port Infrastructure Planning and Development 2009
4-5 March 20094. TOC Asia 2009
3-5 March 20095. Intermodal South America 2009
Sao Paulo, Brazil
14-16 April 20096. TRANSRUSSIA 2009
21-24 April 20097. 7th Mediterranean Logistics and Transport Forum
2-3 June 20098. TOC Europe 2009
16-18 June 20099. Cool Logistics 09
29-30 September 200910. ICHCA Luncheon Meeting at the Lakes Hotel Resort Adelaide
24 March 200911. ICHCA Luncheon Meeting at the Stamford Plaza Melbourne
25 March 200912. LogiMAT 2009
3-5 March 200913. SITL 2009
24-26 March 200914. Multimodal 2008
Birmingham, United Kingdom
28-30 April 2008
Editorial Calendar 2009
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