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|Spare a thought this week for those Forkliftaction.com members who go out of their way to help others. Each week, our Discussion Forums will see at least one post from a desperate reader, wanting to know what an error code means, or where to get a service manual for a 15-year-old forklift. No matter how unusual, how obscure or how complex, all these questions seem to get an answer – and often more than one. And this kind of technical expertise doesn’t come off the top of someone’s head. Inevitably, the challenges involve research and effort. To those who are always so quick to help out – and who seem to always have the right answers, our thanks. Maybe one day someone will return the favour.|
|Slower Case sales result in layoffs |
Burlington, IA, United States
|A Burlington factory making Case Construction-brand rough terrain forklifts and backhoe loaders plans to lay off about 150 of its 446 workers from July.|
The manufacturer, CNH Global NV, says slower volumes of equipment sales and a reduction in customer orders have prompted the action.
Lee Schwartz, a CNH human resource director, informed Burlington Mayor Bill Ell about the plan in an early May letter. CNH owns the 984,000sqft (88,560sqm) Burlington plant.
Publicly traded CNH reported a USD126 million loss in the first quarter ended 31 March versus a USD112 million profit in the comparable 2008 period. Sales during the quarter declined 25.5% to USD3.05 billion.
CNH, a major global player in the agricultural and construction equipment markets, expects that full-year 2009 sales may be down 15% to 25% from 2008.
CNH Global is incorporated in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and has administrative offices in Burr Ridge, Illinois. A 1999 merger combined operations of New Holland NV and Case Corp.
Fiat SpA of Turin, Italy and its subsidiaries owned 89% of CNH Global as of 31 December.
|Hoist expands in Shanghai |
|Despite unfavourable global economic conditions, Hoist Liftruck is expanding into the international market, with the opening of a sales and service office in Shanghai, China.|
Dan Peter, Hoist’s director of marketing, tells Forkliftaction.com News that the heavy forklift manufacturer is taking advantage of the opportunities coming its way.
“China is only one of the several markets where we’ve expanded into. From the Middle East and Australia to Europe and South America, we’re gradually prospering, while many companies in every industry are struggling,” he says.
“We (had) a tremendous amount of international opportunities over the past eight to 12 months, despite the global economic crisis. Though our overall numbers are down compared to previous years, our business is still strong as we capitalise on international and domestic opportunities,” he explains.
While Peter refuses to discuss the company’s sales and marketing strategy, he emphasises the relationships Hoist has built. “We’ve been able to establish wonderful relationships with people and companies with tremendous experience and knowledge in not only the materials handling industry but also the market they serve.
“We look to fill the needs in certain markets with our niche product, quality high capacity forklifts produced in the US, at competitive prices,” he says.
Hoist president Marty Flaska adds that the opening of Hoist China comes at an “ideal time” for the company. “We had a tremendous influx of inquiries and sales internationally, and even domestically, in the first quarter of this year.”
The Hoist China office is headed by Johnny Shen. Shen is the former deputy general manager and national account manager of Hyster operations in China.
“Johnny and his staff are extremely knowledgeable and dedicated and we are excited to have them represent Hoist and our products in China,” says Flaska.
Hoist Liftruck manufactures heavy-duty lifting products ranging in capacity from 6.7 to 50 tons (14,771 to 110,231lbs) including the new ECH Series empty container handler, pneumatic P‐Series forklift (22,000‐100,000+ lb/ 10-45+ ton capacity), internal combustion cushion Titan and FKS series forklift (18,000‐100,000+ lb/ 8-45+ ton capacity), electric cushion Lazer Series (15,000‐100,000+ lb/6.8-45ton capacity), and marina Neptune Series (15,000‐100,000 lb /6.8-45ton capacity).
|British remanufacturer in receivership|
Aldridge, United Kingdom
|Comlec Units Limited, a family-owned forklift component remanufacturer, repairer and supplier, has gone into receivership due to the weakening British pound and the economic recession.|
Company founder Rob Blackwell, 59, tells Forkliftaction.com News that it is “with much regret” that he and his wife, Jean, the company’s directors, put the company into liquidation to avoid further losses that could lead to insolvency.
“Due to the weakening pound against the Euro and the recession, trade has fallen dramatically and we could no longer cover the overheads with reduced margins on imports and the lack of repair business,” Blackwell says.
“We are now trading as a partnership ‘Comlec Units’, which has the assets to support any borrowing required to keep trading,” he adds.
The Blackwells started the business in 1985 as a partnership. With the help of staff, they built up a customer base and a reputation as an AC and DC motor specialist. In 1989, a limited company was established with Rob and Jean as shareholders and directors. The business grew and over the next 10 years, Comlec leased two properties adjoining its first unit but the space of over 6,000 sqm (64,583 sqft) became too small. In 1999, the husband-and-wife team purchased the premises that they now personally own. The limited company rents the property from Comlec Units Partnership.
Over the last decade, Comlec acquired the sole distributorship for Schabmuller GmbH. It is also the only authorised repair centre for Pyroban in the UK and the only authorised electric motor repair centre for Sauer Danfoss.
Blackwell says Comlec will honour any genuine warranty that was issued by Comlec Units Ltd for customers who continue trading with the partnership company, Comlec Units.
A creditors’ meeting is scheduled for May 27.
|Liscont orders three Kalmar RTGs for Portugal |
|Kalmar has received an order for three rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes from Liscont Operadores de Contentores SA in Lisbon, Portugal.|
The 7+1 wide and 1-over-5 high cranes will be delivered in the first half of 2010.
The three Kalmar E-One+ RTGS with a maximum lifting capacity of 40 tonnes will help facilitate the expansion of the Liscont Container Terminal at Alcântara in the port of Lisbon. The equipment will be fitted with Kalmar’s Smartrail autosteering and container position verification systems and remote machine interface, for remote machine monitoring, maintenance tasking and reporting.
Raimo Ukkonen, vice president of Kalmar RTGs, says Liscont devised a strategy to upgrade its reach stacker system to one employing 16-wheel RTGs after seeing a need to expand its capacity several years ago as its container throughput was increasing.
“Since then, the customer has turned to Kalmar for RTGs, today operating seven of these Kalmar RTGs. This strategy and its co-operation with Kalmar have proven their worth and Liscont is now ready to expand the operation further. Liscont also operates Kalmar terminal tractors.”
Kalmar's E-One+ RTG cranes come with a low-emission diesel engine and all-electric trolley, wheel turning and spreader. The “all-electric” concept, without the need for hydraulics, means that parts are easy to access and few components require maintenance.
Liscont Container Terminal at Alcântara is a deep-sea facility in the port of Lisbon, managed and operated by Liscont under a long-term concession from the port authority. The western point of continental Europe allows ships to reach the largest ports of Asia, North Africa and Northern Europe.
|Toyota makes Latvia support hub for Baltic region |
|Toyota Material Handling Europe has centralised some of its support functions for the Baltic states by establishing Toyota Material Handling Baltic, headquartered in Riga, Latvia.|
TMHE says it expects to enhance efficiency and service for its customers by consolidating its expertise in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
Customers will continue to have a local point of contact for the full range of Toyota counterbalanced forklifts and BT warehouse equipment as TMHE will maintain its customer service centres in the Baltic region.
Toyota Material Handling Baltic is headed by managing director Hans Gehlen.
|Training session results in instructor’s death|
Marrow, GA, United States
|Investigators continue to explore aspects of a fatal forklift accident in Georgia.|
Randy Earl Pike, 51, was killed while trying to instruct fellow worker Victor Manuel Lopez how to operate a forklift at a remote facility of Pars Car Sales in Morrow, police say.
Lopez was operating the equipment and told investigators he was unable to stop the forklift, which impaled Pike in the chest, police report.
Apparently, Lopez was delayed in reaching another Pars Car Sales site to report the incident. Once alerted, emergency responders found Pike dead at the scene, about five hours after the accident occurred.
Officer Terry Tuck and Lt Phillip Bailey handled the onsite investigation for the Clayton County police department, and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration was expected to look into the circumstances of the May 7 incident. Initially, no charges were filed.
The medical examiner in the State of Georgia Bureau of Investigation performed an autopsy at the request of the Clayton County department.
|Regulator verifies Nett retrofit for larger engines |
Sacramento, CA, United States
|The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has verified a retrofit emission control system from Nett Technologies Inc for use on off-road large spark ignition (LSI) engines with a displacement exceeding three litres.|
Principally, the engines power forklifts, sweeper/scrubbers, industrial tow tractors and airport ground support equipment.
A 20 April ARB executive order provides the verification for the Nett BlueCat 300 system. The verified system limits emissions to not more than 2.7 grams of nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide (HC) per kilowatt hour.
“The Nett engineering department (in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) submitted our test results to ARB on 17 February,” says Wayne Moffat, Nett senior technical sales representative for California. “We accumulated a waiting list (of potential buyers) up to the date of the ARB executive order and then began sales.”
Multiple forklift models with engines in the 3-to 6-liter niche use a 4.3-litre displacement General Motors engine, Moffat notes. Many in the ground support equipment segment use a 4.9 litre displacement Ford engine.
The executive order follows a 16 April ARB program advisory that allows fleet operators to exclude fully emission controlled late-model year fleets with those sized engines from their fleet-average calculations until 15 April 2010.
In addition, ARB extended a deadline for determining compliance with a 1 January, 2009 fleet-average emission-level standard. ARB agreed to allow LSI equipment with greater than three-litre engines and compliant retrofit kits to be incorporated into the average if the equipment is leased or purchased by 15 April, 2010 and the kits are installed by 31 December 2010.
An ARB executive order of June 2008 verified the TermiNOx emission control system from Engine Control Systems (ECS) for use on engines with displacement greater than three litres. The TermiNOx system limits emissions to 4 grams of NOx and HC per kW-hour. ECS of Thornhill, Ontario, Canada is a unit of Oxnard, California-based Catalytic Solutions Inc.
Other ARB executive orders, also in June 2008, verified Nett and ESC emission control systems for retrofitting LSI engines with displacements of 1 to 3 litres.
Nett and ECS compete in the retrofit market. A retrofit emission control system may cost USD3,000 to USD5,000 per forklift.
Sacramento-based ARB is a regulatory unit of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
|Work continues toward more hydrogen|
Aiken, SC, United States
|A state-owned electric and water utility and a research center launched a South Carolina installation to advance generation of hydrogen to power fuel cells on forklifts and other vehicles.|
“We already have fuel cell forklifts operating on a daily basis in Aiken County,” Fred Humes says. “This solar-to-hydrogen technology may well give our industries an independent source of hydrogen to fuel their forklifts, give NetZero homes a way to store excess energy generated by their solar panels and, one day, could lead to independent hydrogen fueling stations for vehicles.”
Humes directs the Aiken Edgefield Economic Development Partnership and the Aiken County-built Center for Hydrogen Research, which is collocated with the US Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory.
The utility is the South Carolina Public Service Authority of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, which operates as Santee Cooper and donated USD230,000 for the project. Santee Cooper and the centre dedicated a 20-kilowatt solar panel on 15 May to enable the facility to research applications of hydrogen as a storage solution for solar energy.
Santee Cooper’s Green Power program funded the donation. The centre purchased a photovoltaic array that converts sunlight into electricity for production of hydrogen through electrolysing water. Hydrogen can be converted back to electricity using fuel cells or used to power hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
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|Yale forklifts handle mature whiskies |
Fleet, United Kingdom
|William Grant & Sons Distillers’ fleet of Yale forklifts handles over 150,000 pallets at its Bellshill site each month, ensuring that over 11 million cases of whiskey are delivered to over 180 countries.|
Gerry McEntee, who oversees wet goods warehouse operations, says William Grant has used Yale forklifts for 12 years.
“Yale forklifts have proven to be very reliable and the latest Veracitor VX models are very productive, which is important as we have no room for error when uploading high-value pallet loads from the production lines at a rate of more than one pallet every minute,” he says.
It takes about 12 years to mature the company’s bestselling Glenfiddich single malt whiskey before it is ready to be bottled and shipped. William Grant has entrusted the handling of its matured whiskies and other premium spirits to a 30-strong fleet of Yale Veracitor VX internal combustion engine forklifts.
The whiskies and spirits are delivered to the Bellshill bottling plant and stored in the Vat Hall, where they are bottled at a rate of 500 bottles a minute.
The bottles are rinsed, filled, capped and labeled in the Vat Hall before they are sent to the warehouse to be packed in cases and the cases palletised, stretch-wrapped and prepared for dispatch.
The intensive loading applications in the wet goods warehouse are demanding on the Yale GLP20VX forklifts’ transmissions, McEntee says. However, the auto deceleration system (ADS) braking available with the forklift’s transmission automatically slows the forklift when the driver releases the throttle. Combined with the “auto speed hydraulics, automatic inching control and throttle response management” features, the forklifts’ operating efficiency is maximised.
Operator ergonomics are evident in the forklifts’ driving compartment. The steering column is adjustable to suit each driver and hydrostatic power steering is fitted as standard.
Bill Harper, a warehouse supervisor, says the operators appreciate the improved operator access, space and comfort levels on the new Yale forklifts: “The overall view (is) that the Yale Veracitor VX is very good.”
The step height on the forklift is 35cm (13.8 inches) and there is 20% more floor space and increased shoulder clearance for the operator. Also, the three-point isolated drive train is designed to reduce noise and rolling vibration associated with forklift operations.
Yale UK’s George McKay is responsible for maintaining the forklift fleet, which includes 22 GLP20VX and four GLP30VX forklifts, and four MP18 powered pallet trucks, from an onsite workshop. Yale has introduced the EZ-Tank Drop-Down Bracket on the Yale GLP20-30VX series to simplify the changing of gas cylinders. The operator simply rotates the gas cylinder into a lower vertical position to remove the cylinder without causing back strain.
Yale UK’s regional manager for Scotland, Dave Reaney, says William Grant’s operation at Bellshill “is an excellent example of efficiency, where we have a thorough understanding of their materials handling requirements and are able to maintain a high level of productivity using the latest Yale Veracitor VX Series forklift trucks at the lowest overall cost of operation”.
|JCB enters portable lighting market|
Rocester, United Kingdom
JCB Power Products has entered the portable lighting tower market with the JCB LT9, a dedicated lighting tower featuring a nine-metre hydraulically activated, telescopic mast, which holds four spotlights.
The LT9 is highly transportable, making it ideal for rental fleets. It provides portable and temporary light to applications within road construction, rail construction and the events and agricultural sectors.
For manoeuvrability, it features forklift pockets. It will be sold and supported through JCB’s worldwide dealer network.
Conference unveils 2009 theme
Park City, UT, United States
The 2009 Material Handling and Logistics Conference’s theme for this year is “Supply Chain Forward”.
The three-day educational event will focus on improving quality, enhancing customer service, increasing productivity and minimising waste. It will be held at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel & Conference Centre in Park City, Utah on September 13-16.
Visit www.mhc2009.com or call +1 262 860 6546 for information.
Parker Hannafin fuel saver for forklifts too
Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
Parker Hannafin’s latest innovation that cuts noise, emissions and fuel consumption on stop-start vehicles can be used on forklifts, but the innovation targets larger vehicles like refuse trucks where the potential savings on emissions and fuel are larger.
The developer claims its Stored Energy Management System can also reduce the need to run engines at high speeds to power on-board hydraulic systems, helping minimise operating noise.
JLG promotes Morris and Mellott
McConnellsburg, PA, United States
JLG Industries Inc has promoted Tim Morris to the position of senior vice president of sales, marketing and customer support and Chris Mellott to the position of vice president for market development and sales in the Americas.
Morris will lead the development and execution of global distribution, customer support and brand management services. Mellott will be responsible for all sales, customer service and ground support aftermarket services for the Americas.
|MHIA plans for NA 2010 trade event |
Charlotte, NC, United States
|Preparations for next year’s North American Material Handling & Logistics Show, known as NA 2010, are well under way.|
Show producer Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) anticipates about 500 exhibits covering 150,000 square feet (13,500 sqm) for the 26-29 April event in the I-X Center, a massive exhibition and convention facility in Cleveland, Ohio. NA 2008 in the same venue logged 570 exhibitors in 164,000 square feet (14,760 sqm).
“By most projections, the US economy will be well into a recovery by the first quarter of 2010,” says Tom Carbott, MHIA vice president of sales and events. “In 2010, buyers who have delayed capital investments due to the recession will be ready to purchase the productivity solutions they will need to position themselves for the economic comeback.”
Carbott suggests that NA 2010 attendees may have an advantage in pursuing opportunities for materials handling equipment and services. MHIA research says the 2008 US consumption in those market categories was USD140 billion.
MHIA preparations for NA 2010 include targeted direct mailings to decision-makers, advertisements in trade and business publications and websites, email messages to buyers and show registrants, and public relations messages.
MHIA is encouraging national and regional professional organisations to conduct special events and suggesting that end-user buying teams consider relevant events in conjunction with NA 2010.
Charlotte-based MHIA has members in materials handling and logistics equipment and systems manufacturing, integration, consulting, publishing and third-party logistics. The international trade association sponsors NA 2010 as a biennial North American showcase of equipment, systems and technologies.
MHIA says the show’s last iteration, NA 2008, saw attendance of manufacturing, distribution and supply chain professionals from more than 42 US states and 54 countries.
MHIA indicates that NA 2010 will be the largest material handling and logistics trade event held in North America in 2010.
|New logistics centre will help relieve traffic |
Yennora, New South Wales, Australia
|A new warehouse and distribution centre is being set up in Yennora to feed freight into the interstate rail freight terminal and reduce the number of trucks in the congested Sydney metro area.|
Schenker Australia is streamlining its operations in a new logistics hub strategically located on the rail line spur connecting it to the main Sydney-to-Melbourne and Sydney-to-Brisbane railway and Port Botany.
According to Schenker CEO Ron Koehler, shifting some freight consignments from road to rail will not only help relieve traffic, but also reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase road safety.
The flagship facility consists of two buildings totalling 32,000 sqm joined by a 3,800 sqm breezeway, allowing for 100% undercover operation from goods arrival to despatch.
|Forklift fall results in fine |
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
|A furniture business was fined AUD15,000 in the Perth Magistrates Court last Friday following an incident at its Balcatta premises which resulted in a worker falling from the raised tyne of a forklift.|
The incident occurred in September 2006 when a labour hire worker and a Ford Thomson employee were picking furniture stock from racks at the company’s premises. The labour hire worker was standing on a raised unsecured pallet while the employee operated the forklift.
The worker was approximately three metres above the concrete floor when the unsecured pallet moved and he fell to the floor, breaking his ankle and elbow.
According to WorkSafe WA Commissioner Nina Lyhne, the case should serve as a reminder to ensure that safe systems of work are in place, especially where forklifts are in use.
“In this case, standing on an unsecured pallet on the fork arm was the usual method used for picking stock in this particular workplace.
“Since this incident, a far safer system of work has been introduced whereby stock is stored on pallets which are then raised and lowered by forklift, removing the hazardous practice of workers being elevated to pick stock.
“The employer could also have either fitted purpose-built workcages to the fork arms or used order-picking lift trucks that are specifically designed for this situation.
“The court case revealed that the employer was aware of the unsafe system of work being used and failed to take any steps to prohibit it.”
|Small business remains pessimistic|
|The latest survey conducted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry shows small businesses expect business conditions to remain significantly negative over the next three months.|
According to Greg Evans, director of industry policy and economics, small businesses experienced further worsening in business conditions and employment growth over the March quarter and are pessimistic about a quick turnaround over the next three months.
The survey noted that small business:
• expects a further weakening in Australia’s rate of economic growth over the next 12 months;
• expects the decline in sales revenue, profit growth and employment to slow marginally over the next three months;
• expects selling prices to fall further over the June quarter;
• expects business investment to continue its declining trend over the next three months.
Evans adds that the recently announced 50% temporary bonus tax deduction for small businesses investing in new capital is timely and will help encourage investment.
“The next focus of the government should be the least costly area of reform – reducing compliance costs and the red tape burden on small businesses.
“The RBA may have been too cautious to date in lowering rates. The ‘green shoots’ of recovery are not yet evident across the small business landscape and thus further reductions in business lending rates would be of considerable assistance in rebuilding confidence,” he says.
|Auckland confirms plans to streamline |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Ports of Auckland has announced it will proceed with a major reorganisation of its container terminals.|
From July, the port will berth the majority of visiting container ships at its newly expanded Fergusson terminal, where all stevedoring staff will be based.
Managing director Jens Madsen says the planned changes will streamline port operations.
He adds that the changes will remove unnecessary duplication of overheads and infrastructure and further improve the port’s ability to resource customer demand at peak periods.
“Under this new operating model, we will be a leaner company, better positioned to capture sustainable growth once the recession is over.”
“The recent expansion of our Fergusson terminal has given us an extra 6.4 ha of space and the ability to reconfigure and expand our truck processing grid.”
The reorganisation will mean an overall reduction in staff numbers to 28, down from the 30 originally proposed.
The next step is a six-week consultation period with staff and unions to discuss the impending redundancy situation, including how mechanisms for voluntary severance, internal transfers, redeployment and retraining may be implemented.
Madsen says Bledisloe terminal will continue to be used intensively for port operations, including containers, break-bulk and Customs activities.
|Mentor program for small business|
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Applications are now open for WorkCover NSW 2009 mentor program, a statewide program open to small businesses in construction, manufacturing, retail, consumer services, transport, community services and agriculture industries.|
The program is free and provides small businesses with the opportunity to gain free one-on-one advice and practical assistance with occupational health and safety, workers compensation and injury management practices from a large business (mentor) in the same industry.
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|U.S. Open Forklift Rodeo Gains International Attention... |
|Years ago the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC) saw fit to establish what is now the Ohio Division of Safety & Hygiene, the mission to do all possible to make the workplace safer, hence reducing premium costs and preserving valuable workforce talent! The Division subsequently established and provides financial support for a program of community oriented safety councils to enhance its’ outreach effort and to promote workplace safety. The result, there are currently 80 councils statewide, involved in making the workplace safer!|
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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