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|This weekend sees one of the highlights of the forklift calendar – the annual US Open Forklift Rodeo & Safety Expo in Springfield, OH. It looks like breaking all previous records with 81 participants from 40 teams already registered. Of particular significance is the participation of the winning team from a similar contest held earlier this year in Portugal. And as the event moves towards “World Cup” status, it will also host visitors from the UK and Canada who are looking to join in the action next year. Of course, Forkliftaction.com has been a staunch supporter of the event – to the extent that our US sales manager has been given an honorary title -“Brumby”. Rodger Lamb is, of course, thrilled all the way to his hooves! Anway, good luck to all the contestants and we’ll be reporting the results next week.|
|If it's not square, it must be a sideloader |
|Unfortunately, not all items in a warehouse can be packed neatly into square boxes for handling. Moving unusual sizes and shapes is where sideloader forklifts come into their own. Melissa Barnett looks at the niche market for this specialised equipment.|
|Konecranes streamlines UK business |
|Konecranes has merged its UK-based companies into a new and larger company called Konecranes UK Limited.|
Konecranes UK Limited managing director Bill Maxwell says the merger consolidates the experience and know-how of Konecranes Service Ltd, Konecranes (UK) Ltd and Morris Material Handling under the Konecranes brand.
“This will make it easier for all our UK customers to benefit from Konecranes Group’s local presence and global expertise, and to improve the efficiency and productivity of their own operations,” Maxwell says.
The merger results in the closure of Morris Material Handling’s Loughborough crane manufacturing site, affecting 90 employees. Future crane manufacturing will be combined in Konecranes (UK) Ltd’s facility in East Kilbride, Scotland.
There are a total of 450 people working in the three UK-based companies. Another 25 employees are expected to lose their jobs.
Konecranes spokeswoman Anci Sandås says the merger will result in “significant back-office and overhead savings”, although she won’t quantify the savings.
Konecranes Service Ltd, headquartered in West Bromwich, is the UK’s largest crane maintenance company, with 10 service branches and 140 fully-trained technicians in the UK.
Konecranes (UK) Ltd, Konecranes Group’s first acquisition in the UK market in 1989, has a large crane manufacturing facility in East Kilbride, Scotland. It produces process and standard cranes for customers worldwide.
Morris Material Handling, which manufactured cranes at the Loughborough factory, was acquired by Konecranes in 2005 and run as a separate brand until the third quarter of 2009. It has 14 branches in the UK and 90 technicians.
Konecranes Group reported sales of EUR2.103 billion (USD3.132 billion) in 2008. It employs 9,700 people at 485 locations in 43 countries.
|MHI expects loss for first half results |
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) expects a net loss of JPY3.1 billion (USD33.7 million) for the first half of its fiscal year ending March 2010.|
This compares with a profit of JPY29.0 billion (USD315.0 million) for the same period last fiscal year.
MHI said last Friday that it estimates its net sales for the first half of its fiscal year will fall 16.1% to JPY1,321 billion (USD14.4 billion), compared to the same period a year earlier. Operating income is expected to drop 65.5% to JPY25.1 billion (USD272.7 million).
Falling demand for MHI’s industrial machinery, including forklifts and machine tools, and the yen’s strength, have hurt the company’s profitability.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange’s timely disclosure rules require MHI disclose its estimated consolidated financial results estimates when the results are expected to diverge widely from the actual results for the same period of the previous fiscal year. MHI will disclose its actual first-half results with its outlook on 30 October.
|Debating the “Forklift Effect” on the Carbon Footprint |
|By Tom Andel, contributing editor|
A company’s carbon footprint is as unique as its CEO’s leadership style. And more and more CEOs are leaving footprints for their organisations to follow toward environmental sustainability. Managers from every department of these CEOs’ organisations are heading in that direction, including those who manage forklift fleets. The question is how big an impact can people who select, maintain and operate forklifts have on the amount of carbon monoxide and dioxide their companies spew into the atmosphere?
That’s the fourth question in Forkliftaction.com News’ ongoing survey of forklift experts representing members of both the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) and the Industrial Truck Association (ITA). Most of our respondents represent product lines that are being built or re-engineered to be both efficient and environmentally friendly; however, the contribution one’s choice of forklifts can make to cleaning up the environment is debatable.
The not-so-much side
“Ultimately, I am not convinced that forklifts play a significant role in reducing the carbon footprint, unless you believe in the ‘every little bit helps’ approach,” says Bill Rowan, president of Sunbelt Industrial Trucks of Dallas, TX. “However, both electric and internal combustion forklifts are a lot more environmentally friendly, and simply by updating their fleet, a company is reducing the emissions of their older equipment.”
Stu Jacover, president of R&J Midwest Equipment in Chicago, agrees that it will take more than forklifts to make an emissions impact.
“In the big picture, forklifts are relatively low fruit in reducing a company’s carbon footprint,” he says. “Typically, a business that is operating IC forklifts in their warehouses also utilises hundreds of … diesel trucks to deliver their goods to the marketplace. A single tractor-trailer can burn up to 60 gallons (22 litres) of diesel fuel a day that emits many times the emissions of a relatively clean-burning LPG forklift.”
Nevertheless, Jacover adds that with the continuing improvements in fuel cell technology, there is an opportunity for businesses to reduce emissions by changing out their internal combustion fleets. How quickly this transformation takes place will be determined both by the cost effectiveness of fuel cells and how much of their own money companies are willing to invest in the technology. To date, most applications have been funded by state or federal grants.
On the significant side
Mark Milovich, president of Lift Atlanta, Inc., argues forklifts do represent a large part of a company’s carbon footprint if you include that portion of a fleet that is used outdoors.
“Eighty-volt electric pneumatic trucks that can run outdoors in any type of weather are beginning to replace traditional diesel and LPG trucks,” he notes. “With improvements in run time and battery charging systems, lift trucks can become the smallest part of a company’s carbon footprint. A few years ago, no one would ever dream of running an electric truck outside in the rain. Today, the technology exists to do just that.”
Don Chance, president of NACCO Material Handling Group Sales in Greenville, NC, adds that the rising capacity of electric forklifts is also making them more competitive with ICs. Within the next two years, Yale and Hyster will come out with a new electric sit-down rider line up to 12,000 pounds (5,440 Kg), both cushion and pneumatic.
“We think this will lead to replacing IC product in some applications where companies are challenged to shrink their carbon footprint,” he says.
James Malvaso, president and CEO of The Raymond Corporation, says AC technology also contributes to the power potential of electrics.
“Our … technology improves truck energy consumption and reduces the number of batteries, therefore requiring fewer charging hours,” he notes. “This contributes to the reduction in a company’s carbon footprint.”
Thinking “Big Picture”
Where fuel cells are concerned, however, Milovich isn’t convinced they represent a significant footprint shrinkage opportunity. Commercialised technology is still many years away, he believes, and even when the technology itself is perfected, the distribution systems will still need to be resolved.
However, Brett Wood, president of Toyota Material Handling USA, says alternatives—both fuel cells and hybrids—can’t be ignored.
“We believe environmental responsibility is becoming just as important as quality, value and customer service,” he says. “Electric lift trucks have advanced significantly to offer longer running times and higher performance levels. And future technologies such as fuel cells, hybrids and alternative fuels are a hot topic in our industry and showing promise.”
Dave Griffith, president and CEO of Modern Group Ltd., agrees, but the promise is part of a much bigger picture: “Total energy use will be an interesting issue, and alternative power plants and sources will contribute.” He adds lithium batteries to that mix, as well as what happens with ‘Cap and Trade’ legislation, which will fuel further advances.
- Next week, Part 5 looks at the effects mergers and acquisitions among lift truck OEMs have on products and services.
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|I.D. Systems acquires didBox|
Hackensack, NJ, United States
|I.D. Systems, Inc., provider of wireless asset management solutions, has acquired UK-based didBOX, a privately held manufacturer and marketer of vehicle operator identification systems. The transaction makes didBox a wholly owned subsidiary of I.D. Systems and allows I.D. Systems access to the U.K. vehicle access control market.|
“By acquiring didBOX, I.D. Systems can integrate a family of entry-level driver identification products, capitalise on a recognised brand name in the European materials handling management market, and benefit from well-established distribution partners in both the UK and Europe,” says Peter Fausel, I.D. Systems’ executive vice president of sales and marketing.
Vehicle management technology restricts forklift access to trained, authorised operators, provides electronic vehicle safety inspection checklists and senses vehicle impacts to aid fleet maintenance operations. Maintenance costs can be reduced with the ability to report vehicle problems electronically and schedule maintenance according to actual vehicle usage rather than by calendar or manual data entry. Vehicle management systems can also help determine the optimal economic time to replace equipment.
|CVS Ferrari strengthens position in Eastern Africa |
Roveleto di Cadeo, Italy
|CVS Ferrari dealer Albarajoub Engineering has delivered four container handling machines to SPC in Port Sudan.|
The two F479 reach stackers with 45 ton capacities, and two F42 forklifts with triplex masts and 42 ton capacities, are part of SPC’s campaign to renew its fleet with high-efficiency and environmentally friendly equipment that can cut running costs.
The machines are equipped with sensing variable displacement hydraulics, low-emission engines and CAN BUS data management.
CVS Ferrari says the deal boosts its position in Eastern Africa and in the Red Sea area. The order’s value was not disclosed.
CVS Ferrari and its Ukraine dealer Yuzhtekhservis were also present at the 2009 Black Sea Container Summit in Odessa, Ukraine on 1-2 October.
According to CVS, port operators at the summit highlighted the decrease of container traffic in the Black Sea area and their struggles with local authorities to speed up custom formalities and controls.
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|Chinese mayor networks with forklift executives |
|The mayor of Xiamen Liu Cigui met high-level Linde Material Handling executives and his German counterpart during a visit to the forklift manufacturer’s Aschaffenburg headquarters.|
Liu, accompanied by a government delegation, met Linde CEO Theodor Maurer, Linde (China) CEO Chingpong Quek and Linde sales director Christophe Lautray. The delegation also visited Aschaffenburg mayor Klaus Herzog at the town hall.
During the visit, Liu told Maurer that he was impressed by the development of Linde forklifts in China.
Maurer said Linde would boost its commitment to the Chinese market with further investments.
“Linde is committed to developing talent in the Xiamen R&D centre. Linde is well-positioned for growth in the China market,” he said.
The two mayors, Liu and Herzog, expressed interest in entering into a sister city arrangement between Xiamen and Aschaffenburg.
Liu called Linde Material Handling “a connecting link” between the two cities.
|PD Ports delegates start degree with Teesside Uni |
London, United Kingdom
|PD Ports and Teesside University have welcomed the first 15 delegates for the new foundation degree created for those working in the ports industry.|
Launched in September, the degree in leadership and management is offered over two years on a part-time basis. The course recognises that some of its students may not have studied for the past 30 years and is designed to rejuvenate their learning skills.
PD Ports Group CEO David Robinson says response from employees to join the program “far outweighed” expectations. “This is a true reflection of the dedication of our employees to further develop their leadership and management skills in the organisation, as well as fulfilling personal aspirations to more effectively develop their career potential,” he says.
The delegates from PD Ports Group include employees from dock and port operations, engineering backgrounds, IT and sales and marketing.
The degree is delivered using a “master class” approach, where a university lecturer and a senior PD Ports employee will offer practical examples of how the lessons can be applied in practice at the port.
Teesside University has won two Times Higher Education awards in the Outstanding Employer Engagement initiative and overall University of the Year categories.
PD Ports Ltd is a specialist ports business offering supply chain services. It was formed following the takeover of PD Ports plc by Babcock and Brown Infrastructure in February 2006. There are currently 1,140 people working for PD Ports in bases in UK ports and logistics centres. The company generates an annual turnover of over GBP120 million (USD196.5 million).
|Alliance supplies Whole Food fuel cell forklifts|
Alliance Material Handling is supplying US-based organic supermarket Whole Foods with 45 Crown pallet jacks and 16 stand-up reach trucks fitted with Plug Power GenDrive fuel cell systems for its Maryland distribution centre. The forklifts will replace lead acid battery models.
Funding for the Plug Power fuel cell systems is part of a USD6.1 million grant to GENCO Supply Chain Solutions by the US Department of Energy. GENCO is Whole Foods’ partner in the project.
Forklift driver lifts charity with 60-day trip
A forklift driver is preparing to cycle over 4,000km (2485.6 miles) through France, Germany, Austria and Romania to raise money for a charity.
According to Edinburgh Evening News, Alan Young, 53, will set off from Scotland on 2 November to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign in honour of his friend Traceyanne who suffers from the disease.
To sponsor Young on his 60-day trip, visit www.justgiving.com/alan-young-md.
Good to Go visually informs
Good to Go Safety has launched a new tagging and inspection system for forklifts to inform drivers of pre-use checks.
According to the safety specialist’s research, checklists were often stored under the cab seat and only filled out retrospectively when an audit was due.
A highly visible tag on the forklift will show when it was inspected and advise users of problems. It is meant to avoid unnecessary maintenance costs when used with thorough examination schedules.
|Movers & Shakers |
|Brookfield, WI, United States|
Jerry Wiedmann, president of Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp, has been appointed vice president of the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association. Wiedmann has postgraduate qualifications in logistics, operations and project management from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He joined Wisconsin Lift Truck in January 1991 and became president in 2007.
Council Bluffs, IA, United States
Omaha Standard-Palfinger has appointed Darren Luebke as project engineer. Luebke will be responsible for the company’s engineering design activities for new product development. He has spent the past five years at Carlson Systems Engineering where he has held the position of project engineer and was most recently sales engineer. Luebke has a degree in agricultural engineering from South Dakota State University.
|Sell your used equipment through the Forkliftaction Marketplace|
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40% of the website traffic takes place goes the Marketplace and Business Directory pages.
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|Obese patients rescued from indignity of forklifts |
Topeka, KS, United States
|An Associated Press story last week reported that a critically-ill 1,000-pound man had to be transferred— bed and all—onto a flatbed truck via forklift. These vehicles are no longer unusual tools for emergency medical teams faced with extricating more and more morbidly obese patients from their homes. |
It is so common, in fact, that ambulance companies are now calling on insurance providers, Medicaid and Medicare, and even the patients themselves to start paying the extra costs associated with specialised equipment. The AP story estimates that transporting extremely heavy people costs about two-and-a-half times as much as moving normal-weight patients.
While some human rights organisations characterise the levying of higher fees as discriminatory against obese people, proponents say obese patients are actually grateful for specialised equipment that eliminates the spectacle of being handled by flatbed trucks and forklifts.
According to EMS Insider, an industry newsletter, sales of stretchers designed specifically for bariatric patients are expected to almost double from USD29.6 million in 2004 to USD50 million in 2012, and the sales of specialised lift systems are projected to rise from USD75 million to USD193 million.
|Injury worries in transport and storage|
Canberra, ACT, Australia
|Safe Work Australia (SWA) has released six new industry-specific reports based on an analysis of the 2005/06 work-related injuries survey conducted by the ABS. |
Of the 460,000 workers within the transport and storage industry, around 40,000 experienced a work-related injury.
Among the key findings for the transport and storage industry:
• Transport and storage industry workers experienced 86 injuries per 1,000 workers in 2005/6, which was 25% higher than the rate for all Australian workers of 69 injuries per 1,000 workers.
• Four in 10 injuries required no time off work.
• Nearly one in three workers in the transport and storage industry worked
under shift arrangements. These workers experienced 125 injuries per 1,000 shiftworkers compared to 71 injuries per 1,000 non-shiftworkers.
• Sprains and strains accounted for one in three injuries.
• Lifting, pushing or pulling objects was the main cause of injury in one in three injuries.
The report concluded that the transport and storage industry employs a lot more workers under shift arrangements than the Australian workforce as a whole, with shiftworkers recording a much higher rate of injury than other workers in this industry.
Three-quarters of workers in the transport and storage industry were male
and recorded an incidence rate of injury considerably higher than male
workers in the full workforce.
Of particular concern is that workers aged 35 to 44 years in this industry have a much greater risk of injury than those in the full Australian workforce, recording an injury rate 75% higher than similar aged workers in the Australian workforce as a whole.
However, while the injury rate is considerably higher than the Australian rate, the severity of the injury, as measured by time lost from work, was similar to the Australian profile.
|Report tackles infrastructure big picture |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|A report launched by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) this week highlights the need to take a long-term view of Australia’s growth.|
According to BCA Sustainable Growth Task Force chairman Rod Pearse, Australia has a unique opportunity to confront its infrastructure challenges ahead of the next wave of Australian growth.
“We have an opportunity to lay the groundwork for sustainable growth over the next decade by setting a clear national ambition for Australia’s growth and by planning for the infrastructure to support it.
“Both the federal and state governments understand the significance of infrastructure supporting future growth.
“Now we must put in place the infrastructure reforms required to improve both our economy and the quality of life in our cities and communities.”
The report warns that as economic growth returns and the population continues to expand, infrastructure bottlenecks that appeared towards the end of the last boom are certain to reappear.
Infrastructure efficiency and capacity is vital to Australia because of its small and dispersed population and distance from markets.
The BCA report sets out the three additional priorities to address Australia’s infrastructure challenges:
• Make better use of existing infrastructure and improve investment signals.
• Improve infrastructure and project planning, so that investments achieve clearly defined objectives.
• Transparent measurement of progress in improving infrastructure delivery.
It recommends that the capacity of Australia’s infrastructure to support growth should receive a regular independent audit by the Productivity Commission.
|Toll buys NZ logistics company |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Toll Group has acquired one of New Zealand’s largest freight forwarding companies, Express Logistics Group (ELG), for around AUD50 million.|
ELG operates 12 freight forwarding branches across New Zealand, Australia and the USA, and also provides warehouse and transport services to its customers.
“The acquisition of the Express Logistics Group is a great example of our growth strategy for the Toll Global Forwarding (TGF) business,” says Toll Group MD Paul Little.
|Flexilift issues challenge to industry |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Hyundai forklifts distributor Flexilift Australia is so confident about the brand’s capabilities that it is willing to organise a “fork-off” against all other leading brands. |
“Our claim is that any business looking to update its forklift requirements should put Hyundai to the test against all the other leading brands”, says business development manager John Fisher. “We are happy to organise a ‘fork-off’ as we are confident of Hyundai performance and value for money.”
The company recently hosted a weekend barbecue to showcase the brand.
|Sydney Ports chastises stevedores |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Sydney Ports expects an immediate improvement from stevedores following poor performances at Port Botany.|
Chief executive Grant Gilfillan says the unacceptable delays in recent weeks had seen truck drivers queuing for up to four hours for each trip to the port.
“We will be approaching the minister to move towards regulation if we don’t see an immediate improvement from the stevedores in the service provided to industry and their co-operation in delivering these reforms.”
Gilfillan says changes by stevedores to treat Sunday as a normal working day for charging storage came as a surprise, given poor stevedoring performance and the lack of consultation.
“While Sydney Ports supports a transition towards 24/7 operations, it appears the stevedores decided upon these charges and have implemented them on a very short timeframe without speaking to anyone in industry.
“To unilaterally decide they are going to change their pricing regime and make Sunday a normal working day without discussing with anyone is completely against the spirit of the Port Botany reform program.
“The rest of the industry has been patient in waiting for the stevedores to pull their socks up and provide reliable service and timely notice of any delays. So far they have failed to provide either.”
|Intermodal terminal to be upgraded |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|The freight-handling capability of the Donald Intermodal Terminal will be improved following an investment of AUD463,100 to replace the existing container-handling gantry and resurface the area on which it operates.|
Victorian public transport minister Lynne Kosky says the change in grain marketing brought about by the abolition of a ‘single desk’ for international wheat sales has provided an opportunity for more freight to pass through the terminal.
“Combine this with an increasing preference for many of our export customers to receive containerised rather than bulk grain, and the future for the terminal looks bright.
“However, the existing 25-year-old gantry is unable to cope with the expected increase in container rail freight forecast to occur in the area.
“The new gantry will capitalise on improvements to the regional rail network, changes in grain marketing and the Victorian government’s Rail Freight Support Package.”
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|Articulated Efficiency - How Bendi articulated trucks could halve your energy costs |
|Heating, lighting and maintenance all play their part in the increasing costs of operating a warehouse, as well as the costs of the property and staffing. Under increasing pressure to trim costs warehouse operators are recognising that the space-saving abilities of Bendi articulated trucks are also creating opportunities for significant energy savings compared with premises in which counterbalance, VNA or reach trucks operate.|
Warehouses designed for counterbalance or reach trucks in conjunction with adjustable pallet racking (APR) are the least space efficient, with typical aisle widths from 2.8m-4m+ in common use. However, the aisle width is only part of the equation. Turning and loading/unloading space at the ends of the aisles also accounts for ‘lost’ space.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|BP The Original Loader – The Future To Electric Trucks ||The BP electric side loader represents a compelling alternative to the diesel: Euro 1 million/year of operating costs savings for a fleet of 100 trucks. The BP electric side loader delivers the same performances as the diesel but at lower cost, lower emission, lower noise and higher reliability. The BP electric side loader is the most advanced of its gender available in the market today. Suitable for indoor and outdoor operation under all weather and ground conditions the BP electric side loader operates continuously for 10hrs/day without requiring battery recharge or change enabling the user to drive the truck continuously for at least one full shift.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
|Omega Lift 4D Multiloader (4DML) Undertakes the Duties of a Conventional Forklift, a Side Loader and a Reach Truck ||The Omega Lift 4D Multiloader (4DML) is a multidirectional forklift that features all wheel drive, all wheel steer, and all wheel brake. The 4DML is offered in capacities from 6,000 lbs - to 22,000 lbs (2,750 kgs - 9,100 kgs) and undertakes the duties of a conventional forklift, a side loader and a reach truck. The 4DML is ideal for handling long loads safely and efficiently, saving space and cost to the end user.
Equipment features include proportional hydraulic controls, a hydrostatic drive system, a torsion resistant frame consisting of up to 8” thick steel plate and an ergonomically designed operator’s compartment. Spreader carriages are offered up to 360” with outer fixed forks. Guide rollers can also be added for narrow aisle applications.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
|Tools For Optimized Clamping Force: Select Your Solution! ||The increasing variations of paper grades, roll weight and diameter plus the high value of the rolls themselves are all factors requiring an extensive control of clamping force on behalf of the operator.
Roll dimension and weight are changing and our customers need to increase or reduce clamping force according to rolls to be handled.
Wrong clamping force is one of the most common causes of paper damages.
The focus always placed on damage-free handling when developing new paper roll clamps and accessories, enables Bolzoni Auramo to offer the best solution for all handling situations through a complete series of options to optimize the clamping force.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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Editorial Calendar 2010
The Forklift Market in The USA
Attachments: Pallet Handling
Used Forklift Dealers
The Forklift Market in China
Materials Handling Equipment in Ports
The Forklift Market in Latin America
Industrial Tryes and Wheels
Batteries and Chargers
Materials Handling in Europe
Warehouse Counter Balance Forklifts