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|We don’t hear too much about the forklift market in Brazil, even though it’s one of the fastest-growing economies. But, apparently, there’s a lot to hear about in that part of the world, with organisers expecting more than 30,000 visitors to next month’s 2009 MOVIMAT show. To be held from August 4th to 7th in Sao Paulo, MOVIMAT 2009 is being touted as the largest event of its type in Latin America. We will try and include a full report after the event, so watch this space.|
|Sales of Jungheinrich UK used forklifts rising|
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
|The UK sales of Jungheinrich’s used forklifts have more than doubled in the last two years and the company expects the upward trend to be sustained throughout 2009.|
The rise in used forklift sales for Jungheinrich UK contrasts with British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) figures, which showed a fall in new forklift sales of 14.5% in 2008. According to BITA, about 26,500 new forklifts were sold in the UK in 2008, the lowest quantity since 2001.
Jungheinrich UK Ltd’s used equipment and short-term rental director, Neil Warren, believes that growing demand for Jungheinrich’s used forklifts is coming at the expense of new forklift models imported from the Far East.
“We would contend that a good quality used truck that has been fully refurbished to the relevant European standards represents far better value than certain new models on the market,” Warren says.
He says that “recent entrants” to the forklift market cannot match the infrastructure of a major forklift manufacturer, like Jungheinrich, with a “proven track record” in after-sales care and customer service.
Warren adds that the profile of a typical used forklift buyer has changed.
“Historically, the biggest buyers of used materials handling equipment have been small- to medium-sized companies keen to increase or upgrade their truck fleets but with budgets that cannot quite stretch to new machinery.”
He explains that financial considerations are “not always the key driver and many large, profitable organisations also choose to invest in used equipment” if their forklift usage patterns do not justify buying new units.
“Indeed, more and more larger organisations are choosing to include used trucks in their overall fleets as standby units or for lighter applications.
“There is now no difference in the type of company that buys new trucks and used trucks,” Warren says.
Jungheinrich has not disclosed sales figures of the used trucks but the group says it recently completed a major overhaul of its used truck refurbishment factory in Dresden to cope with demand for its used vehicle fleet. Used forklifts rebuilt at Dresden are now sold as far as India, Australia and Russia.
Forklifts going through the Dresden site are completely dismantled and all worn or defective parts including tyres and lift chains replaced. The vehicles are cleaned inside out and repainted before being reassembled and safety tested.
“We are the first forklift manufacturer to have a factory dedicated to used truck refurbishment,” says Warren. He explains that a manufacturer doing its own refurbishment work has the advantage of its forklifts being overhauled according to its standards.
Jungheinrich has used equipment showrooms around the UK and forklifts that have been through the Dresden refurbishment process are marketed in the UK as the “Ready to Go” range.
|Lift Inc acquires Bobcat of Lancaster LLC |
Mountville, PA, United States
|Material handling equipment dealer Lift Inc has added skid-steer loaders and other devices to its offerings through the acquisition of the Bobcat of Lancaster LLC business in the borough of Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Terms were not disclosed.|
Mountville-based Lift Inc says it acquired the business on 1 June from Valley Supply & Equipment Co Inc of Hagerstown, Maryland and intends to operate Bobcat as a division. Lift Inc has leased the 3.5-acre Bobcat site in Ephrata from owner Pre Properties.
Bobcat of Lancaster was established in 2003. In addition to skid-steer loaders, the Bobcat line includes compact tractors and excavators and telescoping forklifts.
The Bobcat business in Ephrata employs seven people and has annual sales of about USD3.2 million. Doosan Group’s Infracore subsidiary acquired equipment manufacturer Bobcat Co of West Fargo, North Dakota in July 2005.
Lift Inc was founded in 1973 as a forklift parts distributor and began representing lines for original equipment manufacturers in 1976.
Lift Inc had sales of USD68 million for the fiscal year ended 30 September and, excluding Bobcat, employs 200 staff including 110 technicians. Regarding current prospects, “we are having a good year, but it is premature to estimate 2009 at this point”, says Lift Inc management.
In 2008, Lift Inc moved its headquarters about three miles (5 km) to a 93,000 square foot (8,370 sqm) facility in Mountville from its previous location in Lancaster. Other Pennsylvania regional facilities of Lift Inc are located in Bernville, Mechanicsburg, Williamsport and, for used and aerial rental, Manheim.
In the central Pennsylvania market, Lift Inc is a forklift dealer for the Crown and Toyota brands and also represents the JLG, UpRight and Genie lines of aerial work platforms, self-propelled scissor lifts and boom equipment.
Don Herman, Kirk Sears and Mike Scornavacchi Jr acquired Lift Inc in 2004 from Mike Scornavacchi Sr and Robert Kirkpatrick. Subsequently, Mike Scornavacchi Jr sold his interest to Herman, who is president, and Sears, who is vice president.
|Permanent lay-offs for Konecranes Heavy Lifting|
|Konecranes Heavy Lifting Corp will reduce its 620-strong workforce by 41 people. The company has just completed the statutory negotiations for permanent personnel reductions (Forkliftaction.com News #412).|
Negotiations are still under way on temporary lay-offs, while an additional 25 people are expected to retire in the near future, the company says.
Konecranes Standard Lifting Corp and Konecranes Service Corp started statutory negotiations on 18 March and Konecranes Heavy Lifting Corp on 18 May. The move was aimed at adjusting the company’s capacity to meet the current weaker market and to remain competitive.
Konecranes Service Corp completed its negotiations on 5 June while discussions are ongoing in Konecranes Standard Lifting Corp.
Other measures employed by Konecranes to adjust to weaker market conditions include the use of staffing agencies and temporary employment. The company has also shifted some subcontracting work back to in-house production.
|Tyre makers struggle with lower demand|
|Tyre makers Michelin and Continental have announced job cuts and plant closures in recent weeks while Solideal says it “has the same challenges” as its counterparts.|
Last month, AFP reported French tyre manufacturer Michelin’s plans to cut 2,800 jobs through early retirement and voluntary redundancies in the next three years. It also said it would shut down one of its plants in northern France at Novelles-les-Seclin but would boost R&D funding at its Clermont-Ferrard plant by over EUR100 million (USD138.7 million).
“We’re (consolidating) in France and we want to continue to produce amid very aggressive competition,” Michelin industrial director for Europe, Thierry Chiche told AFP.
The company insisted that the 1,800 voluntary redundancies over the next three years would not be forced and 1,093 jobs would be cut from 2010. It planned to hire 500 people a year over the next three years to ensure a turnover in the workforce.
Tyre maker Solideal is also believed to have trimmed staff numbers, telling Forkliftaction.com News “we are doing what is necessary to meet [our] challenges- that includes adjusting production volumes”.
“[We] have had the same challenges as all companies in our industry lower demand. The group remains committed to being a strong partner to the global materials handling industry,” spokesperson Jerome Horowitz says.
Meanwhile, Continental has signed a joint venture agreement with Sri Lankan solid tyre manufacturer Eu-Retec Pvt Ltd. According to Continental Industrial Tires Business Unit managing director Michael Maertens, the agreement gives Continental a base to improve its market position in Asia and the US.
Continental’s sales exceeded EUR24 billion (USD33.3 billion) in 2008. It employs about 133,000 people at 190 locations in 35 countries. Continental also announced it is closing its factory in Clairoix, north of Paris, with 1,120 jobs lost.
|Combilift customises for Weyerhaeuser |
|Combilift has delivered its 10,000th forklift, a 10 tonne capacity, customised four-way forklift to Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper manufacturers.|
The forklift will be deployed at Weyerhaeuser’s Parallam Mill in Annacis Island near Vancouver. It is the first 10 tonne Combilift at the Weyerhaeuser site.
Weyerhaeuser ordered its first Combilift, a C8000, in 1999. It now operates 130 Combilifts across its different North American sites and is embarking on a program to phase out its 300-400 counterbalance forklifts at its distribution centres and replace them with Combilifts over the next few years.
Combilift spokesperson Liz Townsend says the machines Combilift supplied were brand new models developed from the ground up. “Customised features include an integrated side shifting mast, a wide fork position, improved size and ergonomics of the operator cab the hydraulic controls and directional control lever were repositioned,” she says.
She adds that “a vast array of smaller details” were customised or incorporated to make the handling of Weyerhaeuser’s oversized products easier, safer and more efficient. Most of Weyerhaeuser’s products are as long as 20 metres (66 feet).
Combilift managing director Martin McVicar says that Weyerhaeuser exemplifies how customer feedback has been instrumental in helping the manufacturer continually improve the Combilift concept.
“Product development was based on close collaboration between the two companies,” adds Combilift US president Tommy Cadden.
“Chuck Antonides (Weyerhaeuser’s director of lean processes) visited our manufacturing facility in Ireland on a number of occasions to liaise with the management and engineers.” Cadden explains.
Combilift designed, built and delivered the first of Weyerhaeuser’s 6 tonne units from August 2007 to January 2008. Throughout 2008 Weyerhaeuser ordered and took delivery of 108 of the models.
|Texas dealership advocates reducing emissions |
Fort Worth, TX, United States
|Shoppa’s Material Handling Ltd has replaced more than 100 propane-powered forklifts for its rental fleet and external customers under the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP).|
Recently, Shoppa’s was authorised for an incentive grant of USD757,300 for customers to replace 50 forklifts, says Patrick Wilson, administrator of the propane equipment initiative with the Austin-based Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT).
During 2008, Shoppa’s was authorised for a separate RCT incentive grant to replace 50 forklifts in the firm’s rental fleet. Shoppa’s has seven locations in Texas.
Other TERP grants have resulted in replacement of more than 1,732 older forklifts (Forkliftaction.com News #400).
Shoppa's has made customers aware of the environmental benefits of alternative fuels and the government programs that are available for funding conversion to green technologies. “We take care of the application process” for interested customers, notes Stephanie Bagley, sales coordinator for Fort Worth-based Shoppa’s. “The old trucks must be scrapped and destroyed.” An owner must drill a hole in the engine block and obtain a scrap receipt for presentation to TERP auditors.
Full-service dealership Shoppa’s markets forklifts under the Toyota, Bendi and Drexel brands, aerial equipment for the Genie, Aichi and JLG brands and industrial floor cleaning equipment from Nilfisk-Advance Inc along with providing warehouse products, safety training and products, and warehouse design/installation/tear-down/liquidation services. In addition to Fort Worth, Shoppa’s has Texas operations in Amarillo, Brownwood, Lubbock, Odessa, San Angelo and Wichita Falls.
“The Railroad Commission has received an additional USD6 million from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to continue the propane equipment initiative,” says Heather Ball, assistant director of marketing and public education with RCT’s alternative fuels research and education division. “This brings the total grant for the program to USD30 million. Although the program will not accept new requests for estimates until 1 September, when the State of Texas fiscal year begins, the program is proceeding to process payments for forklifts that have already been delivered and comply with all program rules.”
A grant-seeker submits a request for an estimate prior to applying to the commission. A separate application is filed for each forklift and projects the lower emissions from that equipment over five, six or seven years.
The Texas legislature created TERP in 2001 to help reduce emissions of smog-producing mono-nitrogen oxide emissions in 34 counties in which air quality fell short of federal standards. Texas has 254 counties.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality supplies legislature-authorised funding through subcontractors including the RCT, the North Central Council of Governments for the Dallas-Fort Worth region and the Houston-Galveston Area Council.
|Forklift incidents result in fatalities, injuries |
|In North American forklift-related news, three people died, a jury trial concluded with a personal injury award and a firm was fined for a safety violation.|
In Durant, Oklahoma, two employees of Allied Stone Inc were moving six slabs of granite, each weighing about 1,000 pounds (450 kg), with an internal combustion Komatsu forklift. Some of the material split, with several pieces falling onto the worker walking adjacent to the load. Wayne L Powell, 59, suffered a head wound and died at the scene, according to the Durant police department. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the 25 June accident.
In Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Martin Tabaka, 27, experienced fatal injuries on 5 July when pinned between a forklift and other equipment at a facility of non-residential general contractor North East Construction. Tabaka received a puncture wound to his groin. Emergency responders flew Tabaka by helicopter to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he was pronounced dead.
In Colby, Kansas, while on an open-air ride with his father, Justin Schroeder, 4, fell from the right side of a forklift and suffered fatal injuries, according to the State of Kansas highway patrol. The forklift’s back right tyre ran over the boy, who was pronounced dead at a hospital. The father, Daniel Schroeder, 46, was not injured in the 3 July incident.
Meanwhile, a Cobb County jury in Marietta, Georgia awarded USD1.5 million to a Home Depot shopper and his wife for personal injury damages resulting from a pallet of plywood that fell about 24 feet from forklift tines. The wood caused Larry Reece, 58, of Cumming, Georgia to fall and be knocked into a barricade, resulting in serious neck and spinal injuries including a permanent condition. He has been unable to resume his work in residential construction. Reece accepted an offer from the home improvement retailer for punitive damages. The two-day jury trial focused on the personal injuries stemming from the November 2005 incident.
In the Canadian province of Ontario, a justice imposed a fine of CAD70,000 (USD61,000) and a surcharge on logistics services provider Katoen Natie Canada for a forklift safety violation.
An unidentified operator of an electric reach forklift at the company’s warehouse in Corunna, Ontario backed the equipment into a steel rack. The forklift and the racking trapped and broke the operator’s leg, according to an Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation. The operator was using the reach truck to lift and pull cartons from storage racks.
The worker was certified as a forklift operator but not for the equipment involved in the accident. The worker’s supervisor was not monitoring the worker at the time of the June 2007 incident.
The company pleaded guilty under regulation 851 of the provincial occupational health and safety act for failing as an employer to ensure that the worker was competent to operate the device or was accompanied while operating the equipment by a person with that competence.
Justice of the Peace Marsha Miskokomon imposed the fine and surcharge at a 25 June hearing in the Ontario Court of Justice in Sarnia. Tom Schneider represented the provincial interests in the case. The provincial offences act requires a 25% surcharge that is credited to a special government fund to assist victims of crime.
Katoen Natie Canada, based in Saint Bruno de Montarville, Quebec, is a business unit of privately owned Katoen Natie NV of Antwerp, Belgium which employs 9,300 people in 24 countries and provides a myriad of value-added logistics services and supply chain solutions.
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|Still launches new pedestrian pallet trucks|
Still GmbH has introduced four new EXU low-lift trucks with 1.6-2.2 ton capacities.
According to Still, the EXU’s compact design makes it ideal for use in warehouse, industrial and production applications and when loading and unloading lorries.
The EXU is equipped with “Optispeed 3.0”, an intelligent system that controls the drive speed according to the tiller’s angle. If the operator moves away from the truck and pulls the tiller head towards himself, the maximum driving speed will increase. However, the speed will reduce if the operator moves closer to the truck and lifts the tiller toward a more upright position.
New CEO for Sky Trax
New Castle, DE, United States
Sky Trax Inc has appointed William Conley Jr as chief executive officer and chairman of the board.
Conley has over 35 years of supply chain logistics experience. He was the president of ATC Logistics and Electronics, a USD360 million division of ATC Technology Corp. Prior to ATC, Conley was vice president-general manager of FedEx Supply Chain Services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Hoist ships three more units
Bedford Park, IL, United States
Hoist Liftruck is shipping three empty container handlers to the US Gulf Coast region.
The Hoist ECH-8 units, sold through Hoist dealer Toyota Lift of Houston, were purchased by Shipper Stevedoring Company.
According to Hoist, the modular design of the ECH series allows for containerised shipping and reduced set-up time that can save a customer up to 25% on shipping and set-up costs. The modular design also provides “efficient serviceability with bolt-on assemblies for easy part replacement”.
Linde joins Bavarian pact
Gases and engineering group The Linde Group has become a member of the Bavarian Environmental Pact.
Linde’s involvement in environmental protection includes the production of environmentally friendly energy carriers and fuels like hydrogen and innovative technologies for solar cell manufacture. Member companies of the pact have committed themselves to achieving environmentally sustainable economic growth by saving resources and using eco-friendly technologies.
Hydrogen is an essential ingredient in fuel cell technology that is in development for forklifts.
|Clark adds historic forklift to collection|
Lexington, KY, United States
|Clark has added its 500,000th forklift to an array of historic Clark forklifts after the forklift manufacturer re-acquired the machine from its original owner.|
Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan has used the forklift since Clark donated the C500 50 model to the University in 1977.
The university agreed to exchange the C500 50 for a current model, the C25C, so that Clark could add the historic forklift to its Lexington showroom. The forklift joins Clark’s one millionth truck produced in 1997, an electric Trucloader from 1948, a 1930 Clarkat, a 1924 Duat and a 1918 Tructractor Model M, the world’s first petrol-powered industrial truck.
Privately owned by Young An Company of South Korea, Clark Material Handling Company is an established forklift manufacturer that produced the first gasoline-powered material handling truck in 1917.
|Major order for NZ forklift supplier |
Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand
|New Zealand forklift dealer Gough Materials Handling recently supplied three container handlers and a five tonne forklift to Port Taranaki.|
The Hyster equipment includes two reach stackers, an empty container handler and a counterbalance forklift.
The reach stackers have the ability to stack laden containers five-high in the first and second row and three rows deep. The container weights can be up to 45 tonnes in the first row and 31 tonnes in the second row with 16 tonnes in the third row.
The evaluation process for the new equipment was very detailed, involving assessment of a variety of manufacturers with a focus on quality, track-record, performance and ongoing service and support.
|Fined for forklift tragedy |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Freight distribution company Asixa was convicted and fined AUD250,000 last week after pleading guilty to two workplace health and safety charges laid as a result of a serious forklift-related injury which occurred three years ago.|
The incident occurred when a man was using a forklift to unload glass from a truck at Asixa’s warehouse. The man, who was hurt while driving the forklift, did not have a certificate of competency to operate the machine and he had not been given information, instruction or training on the forklift which was introduced to the workplace on the day he was hurt.
Two other workers helped unload the glass from a truck but the tines of the new forklift would not fit under the crate properly.
They managed to lean the crate against the backrest of the forklift tines, and the machine was reversed into the warehouse because the load obscured the operator’s forward vision.
At some point, the forklift driver got off the machine to adjust the load, and it was then that the 700kg crate of glass fell on him. He remains in a permanent vegetative state.
WorkSafe inspectors prohibited the movement of glass packs without an appropriate lifting device and forklift operation without operators holding an appropriate certificate of competency.
Asixa made safety improvements after the event, including assessment and training of
forklift operators; new risk assessments and induction policies; training for unsecured or problem freight as well as first aid training for a number of employees.
However, the judge said that although safety improvements had since been made, they should have been made sooner.
WorkSafe’s executive director John Merritt says the shocking and disastrous outcome for the injured man and his family is a warning to everyone that the potential for workplace deaths was not the only issue to be addressed.
“Apart from the deaths, every year there are amputations of hands, fingers, arms and legs, people end up in wheelchairs, brain damaged or living with the assistance of machines.
“Forklifts are among the most common and dangerous pieces of equipment in Victorian workplaces yet serious incidents still occur, frequently to people with inadequate training.
“Although 56 people have died as a result of forklift incidents in Victoria since 1985 one-third involving people hit by falling loads there are many more where they suffer serious and often permanent injury.”
WorkSafe has a range of publications on safe forklift practices. These can be found online at www.worksafe.vic.gov.au in the publications section.
|Research Forum scheduled |
Auckland, New Zealand
|The 32nd Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF) is set to take place from 29 September to 1 October in Auckland.|
The theme this year is “The growth engine interconnecting transport performance, the economy and the environment”.
Hosted by the New Zealand Ministry of Transport, the ATRF is the principal annual transport planning, research and policy conference in Australasia. It brings together leading transport professionals from both sides of the Tasman to hear about and discuss the latest transport research and practice.
Keynote speakers include Pru Sanderson, CEO of VicUrban, the Victorian state government’s sustainable urban development authority, as well as Peter Jones, Professor of Transport and Sustainable Development in the Centre for Transport Studies at University College London (UCL).
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s dedicated materials handling, warehousing and logistics show, MHL 2009, will showcase all areas of the supply chain in an event which brings together over 100 exhibitors and around 2,000 key decision-makers and buyers throughout the country.
Taking place from 22-23 July 2009, the trade exhibition will include a number of onsite events as well as an interactive theatre which will present the evolution of warehousing practices from the ‘60s to the present day.
The show will also include a forklift test-drive area where exhibitors will be able to demonstrate and visitors (with a license) can try out forklift capabilities in a dedicated space.
|Terminal reorganisation begins |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Container operations at Ports of Auckland are now based at the port’s recently expanded Fergusson container terminal.|
Effective this week, the majority of visiting container ships will be berthed at Fergusson and all the port’s stevedoring staff are based there.
The proportion of container terminal cargo handled at Fergusson will rise from 71% to around 96%.
Previously, container ship schedules and stevedoring staff were split between the Fergusson and Bledisloe container terminals, which are run semi-independently.
General manager - operations Grant Jorey says the change to a single workforce based at Fergusson will help the company be more efficient.
“We’ll have significantly more flexibility and be better placed to resource peak periods,” says Jorey.
|Business outlook slides |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Findings from the latest D&B Business Expectations Survey show that 43% of firms expect sales to decrease in the September quarter. |
These expectations reflect the poor results experienced in the March quarter, where 47% of businesses saw a decrease in sales. Yet despite poor March quarter results and significant expectations for reduced sales, the index has lifted, with 19% of businesses anticipating an improvement in the September quarter.
The expectations of those in the retail sector have improved more significantly than others, with the retail sales index increasing by 33 points compared to the June quarter (the index is still in negative territory). However, rising unemployment will increase pressure on household spending and consequently retail sales will be impacted leading into 2010.
Also reflecting poor March quarter results, the profits index remains in negative territory. Some 48% of executives anticipate that profits will decrease in the September quarter.
Expectations for employment have made a small upward movement but are still in negative territory, with 31% of firms expecting to cut back on staff.
Capital investment expectations also remain in negative territory, with 16% of firms expecting to decrease spending in this area.
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|Global Transport, Logistics, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Packaging and Material Handling Expo heads to Miami in 2009|
|Companies involved in Manufacturing, Packaging, Material Handling, Logistics and Supply Chain Industries may want to mark their calendars for this year’s MATTECH 2009 - the Global Material Handling, Manufacturing & Packaging Technology, Logistics & Supply Chain Expo. This world leading event will take place in the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Florida, USA on August 5-6, 2009.|
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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