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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #409 - 07 May 2009 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Maurer replaces Riske as Linde chief

INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM

SPECIAL REPORT: Tow trucks pull their weight

NEWS
Central Europe forklift market affected by downturn
Maurer replaces Riske as Linde chief
Crown settles fatality litigation, pays USD1.85 million
Animal gains space with articulated forklifts
Global demand evident for used equipment
Ohio funds another Crown fuel cell project
Dairy processor orders OorjaPac systems
Sample of used equipment for sale
CFTS clears up Thorough Examination confusion
Chaintec reports double-digit growth
THMU reports on customer surveys
MHEDA presses ahead at convention
Inaugural scholarships honour late PSA chairman

LOCAL NEWS
Linde opens new facility in Qld
New port facility opens
Toyota provides specialist advice and forklifts
Internet boost for small business
Product improves forklift safety

MEDIA RELEASES
RAEDER-VOGEL®: High-quality wheels and castors for tow tractors
Meet the World on 22-25 October 2009. Cairo Fair Ground, Egypt!

PRODUCT WATCH
Maximal Recently Launched Two New Products
Fork-Truck Lift Adapter-FL-3-4
Ruyi Introduces New Electric Pallet Truck Model CBD14

ADVERTISEMENTS
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FORK TALK: PICA awards PR and marketing excellence



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Inside Forkliftaction.com
The last thing anyone needed now was a pandemic. If international trade was not threatened enough by the financial crisis, the latest Swine Flu disaster could be a major challenge. However, on the positive side, it appears health authorities have been quick to act in most countries, and officials seem to be handling the situation well. And that’s a good sign, as business communities continue to look for glimmers of hope. If anything, the latest disaster appears to have got businesses thinking about risk and mitigation – and luckily, the challenge has come when many organisations actually have time to plan and react appropriately – something not always possible when the focus is on sales and production. Again, those that get through this will emerge stronger and ready for any future challenges




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SPECIAL FEATURE
Tow trucks pull their weight
Despite the economic downturn, tow trucks continue to serve their specialist market, with more innovations on the way. Melissa Barnett looks at some of the current trends.  Read more
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NEWS STORIES
Central Europe forklift market affected by downturn
Brussels, Belgium
Toyota Material Handling Europe (TMHE) is taking steps to protect its business in Central Europe as the industrial truck market there declines by more than 50%.

Jeffrey Schenck, TMHE’s spokesperson, tells Forkliftaction.com News the global economic downturn hit Central Europe’s industrial truck market “a little later” than in other parts of Europe but is nevertheless affected.

“When we compare the figures for Q1 2009 to those of Q1 2008, we see a market drop of more than 50% for the entire industrial truck market in Central Europe. The downturn is affecting all businesses, including our own,” he says.

Schenck says that, in 2008, the Czech Republic, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian and Slovakian markets accounted for about 10% of the European industrial truck market. “While it is not our policy to release sales figures and market shares for specific regions, we can say that Central Europe is an important market for us,” he says.

TMHE is taking measures to protect its business, including optimising market coverage in Central Europe and offering a range of services and solutions, like short-term rental and used equipment, to allow businesses to cope with the changing market conditions.

Schenck says Poland and the Czech Republic are TMHE’s largest markets in Central Europe in terms of volume.

“The Polish economy appears to be relatively well placed to survive the downturn. We believe that, even in the face of this tough economy, demand will continue to be sustained but at a lower level.”

TMHE president Håkan Dahllöf says the organisation is committed to its customers in Central Europe.

“The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic are vital to our overall European business strategy.

“Businesses in these five countries and across Europe can count on Toyota Material Handling as a reliable business partner. In today’s turbulent environment, our customers can rely on the global resources and expertise of the world leader in materials handling.”

TMHE’s network of companies in Central Europe provides a complete range of Toyota counterbalanced forklifts and BT warehouse equipment. The range  includes service contracts, short-term rentals, used trucks and Toyota I_Site, a tailored fleet management system.

Toyota Material Handling Polska, headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, started operations in 2008 and has branch offices in Poznań, Będzin, Wrocław and Gdynia. The company built on the strengths of the BT organisation.

Toyota Material Handling CZ also launched in 2008 and built on BT’s knowledge and coverage of the Czech market. It is based in Rudná, west of Prague.

Toyota Material Handling Hungary combined the strengths and resources of the previous Toyota and BT organisations when it began operations in 2008. It is located just outside Budapest, in Vecsés, close to the airport.

Toyota Material Handling Romania, in Bucharest, opened in 2007.
Toyota Material Handling Slovensko, based in Bratislava, started operations in 2008.
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Maurer replaces Riske as Linde chief
Hamburg, Germany
Gordon Riske has stepped down as CEO of Linde Material Handling GmbH to focus on running the KION Group.

Linde sales director Theodor Maurer, 49, is now CEO of Linde Material Handling.

The moves are part of KION Group GmbH’s reorganisation of senior management teams at its holding company and brand companies.

“When KION was established, the first organisation [of senior management] had to make sure the brands became true members of the KION Group. Therefore the CEOs of the two large brands – Linde and Still – were also KION board members,” KION spokesperson Michael Hauger says.

“Now, as the procedures and cultures of Kion have been successfully established, we focus again on the brands’ management.”

Riske, CEO of the KION Group, says: “By creating totally separate, focused management teams for our holding company and its brand companies, we are fully aligning the group’s management bodies with our corporate strategy. This significantly reinforces our customer orientation.

“At the same time it ensures we can focus fully on reaping synergies throughout our organisation and exploiting the strategic opportunities available during the current crisis.”

Before May 1, Riske, 51, was CEO of both KION and Linde. He now focuses on running KION and will become KION chief operating officer (COO). Dr Rolf Karg, 59, was COO at KION and CEO of Still GmbH. Karg has stepped down from KION’s executive board to focus on running Still and managing the cross-brand synergies of the group’s forklift plants.

“We are very grateful to Dr Karg for his successful role as COO of the KION Group,” Riske says. “Dr Karg has made a major contribution to the cross-brand synergies that have been comprehensively exploited in production and has promoted partnership between the brands in the KION Group.”

Hauger told Forkliftaction.com News that although Karg has stepped down as COO, he continues to be responsible for cross-brand control and the optimisation of truck production because of his extensive experience as a production manager.

“The introduction of a common production system in all truck factories, which was initiated and realised by Dr Karg, is one of the most important steps to create cross-brand synergies,” Hauger says.

Harold Pinger, 49, remains chief financial officer of the group. That means KION’s executive board has been reduced to two members.

Maurer, who became CEO of Linde Material Handling on May 1, will also be Linde’s labour relations director.

Christophe Lautray, 47, and Heinz Baumgarten, 60, have been appointed to Linde’s management board. Lautray, who is managing director of Linde’s French subsidiary, Fenwick, will be responsible for sales and aftersales. Baumgarten, Linde Material Handling’s head of production, will be in charge of production for the Linde brand. Dr Matthias Schmitz, 45, finance and IT director, and Klaus Hofmann, 55, who is responsible for hydraulics, continue to serve on Linde’s management board.

Jérôme Wencker, 39, who is responsible for sales and service at Fenwick, succeeds Lautray as Fenwick’s managing director.

The KION Group, with its Linde, Still, OM and Baoli brands, is Europe’s market leader in industrial trucks. It employed more than 21,000 people and generated about GBP4.6 billion (USD6.8 billion) in revenue in its 2008 financial year.
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Crown settles fatality litigation, pays USD1.85 million
Berwick, ME, United States
Rather than further litigating, Crown Equipment Corp has settled a lawsuit resulting from a forklift-related death and paid the operator’s widow USD1.85 million, including pre-judgement and post-judgement interest and legal costs.

“A satisfaction of judgement was filed (with the court), and the client (Claire Brown) can go on with her life,” her attorney, Terrance Garmey, of Portland, Maine, says in a statement. The payment was received  on April 2.

The Crown law department says: “Instead of pursuing a further appeal, which would have been basically to the same court and most likely futile, the case was settled.”

Thomas Brown was asphyxiated on August 1, 2003, at Prime Tanning Co Inc, in Berwick, as he moved chemicals in a storage area. His chest was compressed between a shelving unit and the dashboard of a 1989 Crown stand-up forklift. Prime Tanning was the forklift’s third owner (Forkliftaction.com News #396).

Crown says: “Our long-standing commitment to designing and building the safest lift trucks won’t be affected by this result. It is important to remember this jury did not find the Crown truck defective.” The trial jury, in Portland, Maine, found the Crown design safe but made an award because of Crown’s post-sale failure to warn a subsequent owner of the equipment. An appeals court in Boston upheld the verdict against Crown.

“Crown certainly sympathises with the Brown family’s loss as a result of Mr Brown’s accident,” the forklift manufacturer says. “As to their lawsuit, all Crown asked for was a fair opportunity to defend the post-sale failure-to-warn claim under the correct law. That did not happen.”

John Maxa, vice president and general counsel for New Bremen, Ohio-based Crown, says: “We feel in this particular case the courts let the system down.”
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Are you open for business?
The Forkliftaction.com Business Directory is the world’s most comprehensive directory for the Materials Handling industry. It’s one of the best ways to attract attention to your business, your products and your services. The Business Directory sends potential customers right to you. Get them to visit, ring, call in and buy!

A ShopFront puts you in front of the 7,000 industry people who visit our site every day and spend at least 10 minutes exploring.
The ShopFront draws in new business to you through the internet.

Shouldn’t you be there?

Take a look at some of the ShopFronts open for business right now:
  • USA – Manufacturer of AGV’s and Explosion Proof Units
  • Australia - Forklift supply, hire and maintenance
  • Canada - Manufacturer of 25-55ton heavy lift trucks
  • Thailand - Forklift dealer
  • Italy - Producer of forklift attachments
  • United Kingdom - Scotland's used equipment specialists
  • USA – Manufacturer of 3,000 to 84,000lb forklifts
  • Taiwan - Spare Parts
  • Australia - Distributor of Italian side loaders
  • USA – Convenor of the USA Open Forklift Safety Rodeo
  • Europe - Sweden -Manufacturer of 10-52 ton heavy Lift trucks
  • Australia - Vehicle proximity and collision warning solutions
  • Belgium - Batteries, chargers and accessories
  • New Zealand - Importer of Linde forklifts
  • Thailand - Battery manufacturer
  • China – Tire manufacturer



    Find more businesses in the Business Directory

    Is your company listed? Find it here.
    To open your business on Forkliftaction.com, email info@forkliftaction.com, phone +61 (0)7 3369 9090 or fax +61 (0)7 3369 9096.
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    Animal gains space with articulated forklifts
    Redditch, United Kingdom
    UK sports brand Animal boasts it has gained up to 1,500 pallet positions in its global distribution warehouse by using three-wheel articulated forklifts from Translift Bendi.

    James Runciman, operations manager at Animal’s global distribution centre in Poole, says the manufacturer’s growth created challenges for efficient storage and distribution of its goods.

    Animal significantly expanded its operation three years ago by consolidating all stock from six locations into a 100,000sq ft (9,290sqm) building. However, the warehouse’s roof supports meant the racking aisle widths had to be 1.8-metre (5.9-foot) wide, otherwise Animal would lose up to 1,500 pallet positions or 33% of its capacity.

    “[The aisle width] is a problem for conventional forklifts and VNA doesn’t offer the flexibility we needed,” Runciman says. “However, the Bendis are able to operate in aisles of 1.6-metre (5.3-foot) wide.”

    Animal now operates with 4,636 total bulk pallet positions up to seven metres (23 feet) high with 12,755 pick faces and 1,203 full pallet pick faces. The operation usually runs in two shifts from 7:30am to midnight with most stock arriving every morning in containers from all over the world.

    A fleet of Bendi B313 articulated trucks is used to remove pallets from goods-in marshalling areas and place stock in predetermined pallet positions. According to Runciman, the three-wheel forklifts maintain excellent stability in the narrow aisles with up to 1.35 tonne lift capacity at heights of 7.2 metres (23.6 feet) with no special floor requirements. The Bendis, supplied by AFL Trucks, in Poole, are also used for bulk and sequential picking, and for transporting pallets to the dispatch marshalling area.

    Runciman says:“Even in widths of just 1.8 metres (5.9 feet), the Bendis help the drivers work faster, safer and more accurately. We have seen racking damage fall to a minimum compared to our old warehouses, where the aisles were much wider, with regular damage caused by reach trucks.

    “We are now more efficient and picking an average of 249 pieces per person per hour. Five years ago we were lucky to achieve 69. This has had an impressive impact on cost reduction and overall company productivity.”

    Almost all Animal products are boxed and palletised for dispatch to Animal stores, export partners or wholesalers. The company designs and markets action sports products ranging from clothing and footwear to sunglasses, watches and luggage, and is strongly associated with windsurfing, kite-surfing, snowboarding and mountain biking.

    Conceived by two surfers making watch straps in a bedroom in 1987, Animal is now a global sports brand, with a turnover of more than GBP50 million (USD75.7 million).

    AFL Trucks supplied all the Bendi trucks at the site and provides service support. It also supplements the core fleet with Bendi equipment on short-term rental during peak periods in February and March.
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    Global demand evident for used equipment
    Edmonton, Canada
    Ritchie Bros’ three-day unreserved auction at its Edmonton, Alberta, permanent auction site, attracted the most bidders ever registered at any auction the company has held in the past 51 years.

    More than 8,500 unique on-site and online bidders from 24 countries participated in the CAD93 million (USD79.6 million) unreserved auction of trucks, equipment and real estate on April 28-30. It was Canada’s largest equipment auction.

    Corporate communications manager Kim Schulz told Forkliftaction.com News that nearly 60 forklifts, worth “hundreds of thousands of dollars”, were sold at Edmonton.

    “We had buyers of forklifts from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Canada and the US [but] the majority of forklifts did stay in Canada,” Schulz says.

    Examples of forklifts sold included a 2003 Hyster H210HD for CAD37,000 (USD31,649), a Caterpillar R80 for CAD29,000 (USD24,806) and a JCB 506C for CAD42,500 (USD36,354).

    The auction set several Ritchie Bros records, including the most equipment buyers at a Canadian auction (more than 2,000), the most equipment sold online at a Canadian auction (more than CAD20 million/USD17 million), the most registered online bidders at a Canadian auction (more than 2,250 unique bidders) and the most online buyers at a Canadian auction (more than 450 unique buyers).    

    Ritchie Bros says the auction is the largest the company has ever held outside Florida, US, where it typically holds large five- to-six day auctions each February.

    Jake Lawson, Ritchie Bros regional manager, says: "There is a lot of optimism in the industry as there is still global demand for construction and transportation equipment. Thousands of owners and fleet managers continued to pursue quality used equipment at our auction.. People are still working and equipment is needed here and all over the world.”

    The bidders’ 24 countries included Australia, Spain, all Canadian provinces and territories, and 45 US states.
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    Ohio funds another Crown fuel cell project
    New Bremen, OH, United States
    Another forklift-oriented fuel cell project is getting started.

    Crown Equipment Corp will receive USD1 million in State of Ohio funds over two years to develop an integrated fuel cell forklift.

    Eric Jensen, manager of new technology research and development with New Bremen, Ohio-based Crown, says: “Crown and its collaborators on the grant are expected to contribute at least USD1.15 million to the project, in addition to the grant.”

    The project will draw on support from the TJ Smull College of Engineering at Ohio Northern University, in Ada, Ohio. The project will identify and partner with fuel cell and balance-of-plant suppliers; construct a bench-top model; and define specifications for creating a prototype forklift. The non-profit Edison Materials Technology Centre, in Dayton, Ohio, will assist with supply chain development, and state-of-matter gas sensor developer NexTech Materials Ltd, of Lewis Centre, Ohio, will work to incorporate its hydrogen sensor technology into the integrated forklift design.

    A state spokesman says Ohio requested proposals for fuel cell projects on July 28, 2008, and received Crown’s initial application on September 11 and final input on March 25. The two-year performance period starts in January 2010.

    State officials disclosed the grant on April 28, saying the award is contingent on approval of a controlling board, probably in a few weeks.

    Funding will come through the state’s fuel cell program, an initiative of the technology-oriented Ohio Third Frontier Commission and the technology and innovation division of the Ohio Department of Development. The state created the fuel cell program in 2002.

    Crown has earlier experience with fuel cell technology.

    In July 2008, non-profit technology developer Concurrent Technologies Corp, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, began a two-year demonstration program to retrofit 20 Crown FC 4500 forklifts with hydrogen-powered HyPX fuel cell power packs from Hydrogenics Corp, of Mississauga, Canada. The US Defence Logistics Agency oversees the fuel cell forklift pilot project at Warner Robins defence depot on Robins Air Force Base, in Georgia (Forkliftaction.com News #371).

    In March 2008, the Ohio Department of Development approved a USD997,000 grant to Crown for a three-year project to qualify its battery-powered forklifts for fuel cells. The intention is for Crown to target and qualify as many of its forklift models eligible for fuel cell implementation as possible. The project started in June 2008 and will take about 24 months, Jensen says.

    “This (2008) grant allowed Crown to respond to our customers’ desire to trial fuel cells in [several] different locations and truck models,” he says.

    In 2006, Crown supplied pallet trucks for fuel cell testing at the Grove City, Ohio distribution centre of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. In that case, the state fuel cell initiative provided a USD1 million grant to a consortium led by Cellex Power Products Corp. Plug Power Inc acquired Cellex in March 2007. “Crown has had working relationships with the major fuel cell providers before the 2006 Grove City trial,” Jensen says.

    “The 2009 grant will allow Crown to expand on the valuable work we began last year and, ultimately, facilitate the creation and growth of materials handling equipment used in warehouses and distribution centres to be powered by fuel cells.”

    State officials say integrating fuel cells into forklifts, rather than using traditional power packs, can improve operating efficiency and allow design flexibility.
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    Dairy processor orders OorjaPac systems
    Fremont, CA, United States
    Oorja Protonics Inc has received an initial order from Super Store Industries Inc (SSI) to install 35-50 OorjaPac model H systems on battery-powered walkie materials handling equipment in the freezer unit at the dairy product processor’s Lathrop, California facility.

    Yale and Barrett are among the brands of Class 3 equipment in use.

    Sanjiv Malhotra, founder, chief executive officer and president of Fremont-based Oorja Protonics, says: “We started in the freezer section, but we have an agreement to convert all their manufacturing and distribution facilities in the next 12-18 months. We are making great strides in commercialisation” of OorjaPac units.

    Oorja is shipping the first units to the Lathrop site in early May.

    An OorjaPac continuously keeps a battery 30% to 80% charged without surge loading or any need to switch batteries. The system operates on direct liquid methanol fuel and emits clean water and a minimal amount of carbon dioxide.

    Pete Blasquez, vice president of warehousing and transportation with Stockton, California-based SSI, says in a statement: “Our evaluation of the OorjaPac as an on-board battery charger for our materials handling fleet has impressed us” for its productivity, safety and environmental benefits and cost savings.

    SSI operates about 1,500 materials handling units in four California manufacturing and retail-food distribution locations, Stockton, Lathrop, Fairfield and Turlock.

    SSI, which ordered its first OorjaPacs on April 21, markets under several brand names and operates as a subsidiary of Raley’s Family of Fine Stores and Save Mart Supermarkets. Products include milk, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, packaged drinking water, juices, ice creams, fruit concentrates and sherbets.

    Oorja Protonics was founded in 2004, employs 60 people and occupies more than 40,000 square feet (3,600 sqm). “In our transition to commercialising the OorjaPac in the food and dairy industry, we see this relationship with SSI as a very strong one,” Malhotra says.
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    Sample of used equipment for sale:Search 5544 listings in the Marketplace
    Hyster H16.00XL 1999 United Kingdom GBP 36000 Details
    Hyster H90XMS 2003 United States USD 15900 Details
    Toyota 7FGCU32 2005 United States USD 7200 Details
    Toyota 7FGCU25 2000 United States USD 2900 Details
    Daewoo-Doosan D70S2 2000 Germany EUR 15950 Details
    Cascade 35E-QPB-Q002 1989 Ireland EUR 1000 Details
    Linde H20T03 1999 Germany EUR 3750 Details
    Hyster H80XM 2005 United States USD 12900 Details
    Hyster E50Z 2005 United States USD 5500 Details
    Hyster H2.50DX 1998 Australia AUD 12000 Details
    Jungheinrich DFG20AK 2002 Germany EUR 5250 Details
    Caterpillar GC30K-LP 2003 United States USD 8750 Details
    Linde R20-115 2005 United Kingdom GBP 4500 Details
    Mitsubishi FGC15K 2005 United States USD 8500 Details
    and thousands more...
    Click here to include your used forklifts, stackers, telehandlers, container handlers, attachments etc.
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    CFTS clears up Thorough Examination confusion
    Sunninghill, United Kingdom
    Materials handling experts are warning UK businesses using hired forklifts to reduce overheads during the economic downturn to keep abreast of Thorough Examination requirements for the vehicles.

    Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS), the body responsible for administering the UK industry’s national accreditation scheme for Thorough Examination, has received a steady stream of queries from confused forklift users.

    CFTS technical manager Chas Day says forklift users and fleet owners need to be fully aware of their responsibilities, regardless of how long forklifts are hired for.

    “Knowing any user is unclear about this subject indicates they are being inappropriately advised, if at all,” he says.

    All UK forklifts require a Thorough Examination at least annually, as specified in LOLER 98. Current legislation says the certificate is the user’s responsibility. A forklift user has to ensure a current, valid certificate is in place and available for inspection.

    Day says businesses operating hire fleets face difficult decisions about Thorough Examination.

    “Guidance on hire equipment is not easy to find in this complex legislation. Issues such as who will carry [Thorough Examination] out, and when, can be compounded if short-term and long-term hire equipment is used.”

    Day says forklifts provided on short-term hire, that is, up to 12 months, should be given a report of Thorough Examination by the hiring company.

    “It is good practice for a copy of the report to be part of the hire documentation.

    “For longer periods of hire, the responsibility rests firmly with the user, not the hire company. This, of course, usually applies to forklifts on contract hire and the user will choose who carries out the Thorough Examination,” he says.

    There is a short explanatory video on Thorough Examination at www.thoroughexamination.org. To check if  a company is accredited to CFTS or learn about the CFTS Thorough Examination scheme, email mail@thoroughexamination.org or phone +44 01344 623800.

    CFTS is jointly owned and managed by the Fork Lift Truck Association and the British Industrial Truck Association.
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    Chaintec reports double-digit growth
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    Chaintec, the UK’s leading supplier of chain products to the forklift replacement market, has reported a 12% hike in sales for 2008.

    Chaintec managing director David Hassan says the strong growth is contrary to the current economic climate.

    “Twelve per cent growth in sales in any climate is a strong performance but, given the downturn in global trading conditions, we are particularly proud of our results,” he says. The company experienced growth in its UK sales and export divisions.

    Hassan attributes the growth to a roll-out of the company’s three-year strategy to extend its product range and service offerings in the UK and to expanding its worldwide export network.

    Another factor in Chaintec’s growth is the development of its on-site fitting services. The service, first offered more than five years, ago minimises administration overheads and reduces maintenance costs.

    Hassan says Chaintec identifies and supplies the right chain to its engineer, who then fits it to the forklift onsite. The service has now extended to include a wider range of forklifts, including high-level order pickers, which are serviced using Chaintec’s in-house scissor lift.

    The opening of a Chaintec office in Southampton in 2008 extended the on-site fitting services to a wider market in the south of England.

    In 2008, Chaintec showcased its products at trade shows in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. This year, it will exhibit at the Materials Handling Middle East exhibition on May 31 to June 2, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre

    Chaintec was established in 1991 in the West Midlands but, after expansion in the late 1990s, its headquarters moved to Trafford Park, Manchester. It supplies chain products to the forklift replacement market. Its Trafford Park depot is about 10km from Manchester International Airport. Chaintec exported about 25% of its products in 2006.
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    THMU reports on customer surveys
    Irvine, CA, United States
    The latest Toyota Material Handling USA Inc (TMHU) third-party surveys of customers rank the organisation in the 90th percentile for satisfaction with sales and delivery, service and parts and overall product experience through the dealer network, the company says.

    TMHU began the annual surveys in 2003.

    The program asks customers a combination of scoring and open-ended questions in three different surveys to measure experience. A satisfaction rate of 92% was logged for sales and delivery, 93% for both service and parts and product experience and 92% on whether a respondent would repurchase a Toyota forklift.

    The TMHU survey vendor uses in-depth research methods to obtain customer feedback over 12 months. Survey responses are uploaded daily so Irvine-based TMHU and dealers can evaluate and respond to customer needs.
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    MHEDA presses ahead at convention
    Palm Desert, CA, United States
    Maintaining determination, building relationships and focusing on customers were among the topics at the annual convention of the Material Handling Equipment Distributors’ Association (MHEDA).

    “Even in light of April unit sales numbers that continued the pace we have seen in 2009, a real determination exists in the minds of distributors and manufacturers to make the most of opportunities that present themselves,” says Duncan Murphy, MHEDA 2009 president. “Convention attendees know there is no magic pill. While here, they are looking for new ideas on which to build, filling the proverbial bathtub one drop at a time.”

    MHEDA offered four general sessions, 12 educational workshops, an exhibitors’ showcase and multiple networking opportunities during the May 2-6 convention at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, in Palm Desert.

    “The speakers and workshop presenters came prepared specifically for this and have delivered the goods,” Murphy says. “We have seen how important relationships are  - building them now and not just when something is needed.”

    Alan Beaulieu, senior analyst, economist and principal at the Institute for Trend Research, in Concord, New Hampshire, told convention attendees October 2009 was the turning point for the economy bottoming out. He says a long, slow recovery is underway. Beaulieu’s twin brother, Brian, also with the institute, had addressed the MHEDA 2008 convention.

    Murphy says: “Everyone in your company must be engaged and customer focused. The creative work the forklift industry does today will determine who in the industry will get the business in the future.”

    Murphy is president of forklift distributor Riekes Equipment Co, in Omaha, Nebraska.

    Vernon Hills, Illinois-based MHEDA represents all segments of the materials handling industry and offers resources such as education, networking opportunities, industry-specific information and statistical and trend analysis.
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    Inaugural scholarships honour late PSA chairman
    Singapore
    PSA International Pte Ltd presented the inaugural Howe Yoon Chong PSA scholarships to 29 Singaporean students from low-income families last week.

    The bond-free scholarships, named in honour of the late Howe Yoon Chong, chairman of the then Port of Singapore Authority from 1970 to 1979, pay for the students’ tuition fees and provide book and living allowances. Each student also receives a laptop computer.

    To qualify for the scholarships, students must come from families whose per capita monthly household income does not exceed SGD750 (USD506), demonstrate at least B-grade academic results, have a good record of extra-curricular activities, and participate in community work, the arts or demonstrate leadership/entrepreneurial skills, and show science and technology innovativeness. Students must be Singaporean citizens aged under 25.

    Although the scholarships are bond-free, the scholars are expected to follow Howe’s example and are “morally obligated to contribute to society in some way” once they graduate and start working.

    “It is our hope that they too in time will become outstanding achievers and contributors to society, just like Mr Howe – a far sighted and bold visionary who made significant contributions to Singapore,” says PSA Group chairman Fock Siew Wah.

    Howe built the first container terminal in Singapore, despite a sea of doubters. He played key roles in developing Singapore’s infrastructure and financial framework, including the Mass Rapid Transit system, Changi Airport and public housing. He was a minister in the Singapore cabinet and a member of parliament from 1979 to 1984.

    To honour Howe, PSA established a SGD16 million (USD10.8 million) endowment fund with contributions from PSA, Temasek Holdings and NSL Ltd to award the scholarships, which are administered by Temasek Management Services Private Ltd. For further details on the scholarship, visit www.hycpsascholarship.com.

    PSA dropped the name Port of Singapore Authority in 1997 when it became a corporatised entity. Referred to now as PSA International Pte Ltd or PSA, it is one of the leading global port groups. Its flagship operations are the PSA Singapore Terminals and PSA HNN. It participates in 28 port projects in 16 countries across Asia, Europe and the Americas with a global capacity of 111 million TEUs and 66km of quay length. In 2009, PSA handled 63.2 million TEU of containers worldwide.
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    LOCAL STORIES
     
    Linde opens new facility in Qld
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Linde Material Handling has opened a new AUD6 million facility in Larapinta, Queensland, having outgrown its old Fairfield, Brisbane, premises where it had been for 20 years.

    General manager sales and marketing Rod Chapman tells Forkliftaction.com News the new 3,742 sq m facility provides ample space for offices, spare parts, workshop and storage, and includes an internal paint booth used in preparing new, used and short-term rental equipment.

    “This facility allows all forklift stock to be kept inside the warehouse and to be stored by category before entering production.”

    Already open and fully functional, the facility will have an official opening to enable new and existing customers to tour the branch.

    Chapman says the company decided to open the new facility because the old premises impeded its ability to meet customer demands. “With more than 16% market share, we needed to make a change.  This facility is designed to take Linde in Queensland to a new level and cement our position as a market leader not only in Queensland but across Australia.”
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    New port facility opens
    Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
    Flinders Ports has unveiled a new AUD6 million storage facility, the first phase of a proposed AUD50 million project to redevelop the inner harbour of Port Adelaide.

    Called the Port Adelaide Bulk Precinct, the 2,500 sq m fully-enclosed facility, next to Berth 29, was officially opened on April 27 by South Australian Infrastructure Minister  Pat Conlon.

    The facility has been constructed to store zinc concentrates from Terramin Australia’s Angas mine at Strathalbyn. A new AUD4 million ship loader, commissioned at Berth 29 as part of the overall precinct development, will be used to load ships exporting the zinc.
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    Toyota provides specialist advice and forklifts
    Erskine Park, New South Wales, Australia
    Forklift specialist Toyota Material Handling has supplied Sydney retailer Strandbags with a variety of equipment on a five-year lease basis for its new global distribution centre in Erskine Park.

    Equipment supplied to the 8,500 sq m warehouse includes a fleet of eight pantograph reach trucks, two wire-guided high-level order pickers, a low-level order picker and an electric counter balance forklift.

    Besides attending equipment demonstrations at Toyota, Strandbags personnel were able to visit several sites already using the wire-guided system to evaluate its suitability for the new warehouse.

    Almost 1km of cabling was installed in the slab for the wire-guided order pickers. Toyota engineers liaised with the concreter and oversaw installation of the cabling to ensure precise specifications were followed.

    Toyota representatives were also actively involved in the design layout of the warehouse.
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    Internet boost for small business
    Australia
    Google Australia has offered a free marketing campaign to help boost the country’s estimated 1.88 million small-and-medium-sized businesses.

    Announced two weeks ago, the offer is for businesses new to using AdWords – the brief, four-line ads that show up on the right-hand side of the page when a user conducts a Google search.  

    Welcoming the initiative, chief executive officer of the Council of Small Business of Australia Jaye Radisich says: “ We'd like to see more companies supporting Australian small business with creative offerings like this, as this will boost the overall economy and directly assist a sector that employs more than four million Australians."

    According to Nielsen NetRatings, Australians spend 16.1 hours a week on the internet, more than for any other media.
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    Product improves forklift safety
    North Geelong, Victoria, Australia
    A new product from Barrier Security Products could improve forklift safety in warehouses.

    The one-way access control product, known as Blade Runner, consists of either a 1,000mm or 500mm heavy duty steel module and steel end caps, with independently retracting teeth.

    “If a forklift approaches from the correct direction, the teeth simply retract allowing it to pass freely. When approached from an unauthorised direction, the teeth lock up and prevent access at the risk of tyre damage,” says Barrier’s business development manager, John Watts.

    Key features of the product include a one-way access spike with high visibility green powder coat and ultra-low profile construction to ensure adequate vehicle clearance.

    Designed to provide a soft approach for forklifts and other vehicles, due to its low ramp angle and reduced height, those same features also eliminate much of the noise commonly associated with older style products.
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    MEDIA RELEASES
    RAEDER-VOGEL®: High-quality wheels and castors for tow tractors
    In modern production plants with a focus on lean manufacturing, tow tractors are taking over where moving material is required but no lifting. Tow tractors, also known as tuggers, are easier to operate than a lift truck and they can pull more than one load at a time on multiple carts. Moreover, in general the vehicle purchase costs are lower, and this also applies for operating costs.

    Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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    Meet the World on 22-25 October 2009. Cairo Fair Ground, Egypt!
    HANDLING EXPO is the 9th International Exhibition Specialized in Material Handling Equipment Transportation Equipment, Containers & Packaging Equipment, Storage Equipment, and Communication Equipment as the Only Exhibition in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East, held during the period from 22 - 25 October 2009, at Cairo Fair Ground – Egypt.

    Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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    PRODUCT WATCH
    Maximal Recently Launched Two New Products
    Maximal launched two products in March this year - new 10 ton and 4 ton diesel forklifts. These two models are designed to maximize ergonomics and ensure driver comfort.

    Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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    Fork-Truck Lift Adapter-FL-3-4
    ARI-HETRA's Fork-Truck Lift Adapter provides under-vehicle access for counterbalance lift trucks.

    Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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    Ruyi Introduces New Electric Pallet Truck Model CBD14
    The tough economic situation since late 2008 has impacted on the industry. In a bid to win back market share, Ningbo Ruyi actively develop new products, focusing our efforts on the independent development of products that meet market needs and satisfy customers.

    Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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    FORK TALK
    PICA awards PR and marketing excellence
    Milwaukee, WI, United States
    The Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) Publications in Construction and Agriculture (PICA) subgroup, has named Jane Cooper, of Cooper Hong Inc, in St Charles, Illinois, as its public relations person of the year.

    Click here for the full Fork Talk feature.
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    Upcoming Events

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    3. Big Rig Expo - 2009
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    7. SMART 2009 Conference
    Sydney, Australia
    10-11 June 2009

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    Editorial Calendar 2008

    Editorial Calendar 2009

    January
    Rough Terrain forklifts
    February
    Safety products in MH
    March
    Forklift Market in Canada
    April
    Tow trucks
    May
    Forklift Market in the United Kingdom
    June
    Fleet & Asset management
    July
    Narrow Aisle forklifts
    August
    Industrial tyres/wheels
    September
    Forklift batteries and power solutions
    October
    Side loaders
    November
    Explosion-proof forklifts
    December
    Forklift Market in India

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