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|No-one paid too much attention to the International Monetary Fund in the past, but the global financial crisis has had us all hanging on every word from the international institution. The IMF’s latest update is largely positive, tipping “a solid recovery” for Asia. The IMF is describing the recovery as “multi-speed” because different parts of the world are doing very differently. The good news is that most economies are now on the path to recovery – some slower, some faster. |
|The Versatile Multi-taskers |
|Telehandlers are counterbalanced forklifts with telescopic booms that can achieve tasks that are beyond the abilities of straight-masted forklifts. As Christine Cranney reports, built to traverse rough terrain and reach far and high, in and out of buildings, ships and trains, it is no mere marketing hype when their makers call them flexible and versatile machines. Read more|
|Trelleborg first to announce tyre price rise|
|Trelleborg Wheel Systems is the first wheel and tyre manufacturer to announce a price increase for this year.|
The Swedish-headquartered company announced a price increase of 5-10% for its industrial, solid and construction tyres in Europe and North America, effective from 1 March.
“In the last 120 days, we have seen (rises in) natural rubber prices in excess of 50%,” Trelleborg spokesman Roberto Zampieri tells Forkliftaction.com News.
The spike in natural rubber prices along with the global recession make it difficult for manufacturers to recover overheads, Zampieri explains.
He adds that Trelleborg had minimised the impact of rising costs for the last few years through enhanced production efficiency and advanced compound knowledge, but is no longer able to absorb material, energy and transport cost increases.
“Due to fluctuations in currency exchange rates and the impact of rising transport costs, we will be forced to apply a higher increase in North America,” Zampieri says.
Trelleborg increased its tyre prices, by 7-10%, twice in 2008, to combat escalating raw material costs, while competitor Solideal put up its prices three times that year (Forkliftaction.com News #382).
In 2009, no price hikes were reported but Continental, Michelin and Solideal announced job cuts and plant closures as tyre manufacturers felt the impact of the global recession (Forkliftaction.com News #418).
Forkliftaction.com News contacted forklift tyre manufacturers Solideal, Watts Tyres and Continental to ask if they would be increasing their tyre prices but did not get a response by press time.
|Barloworld supplies four-way forklifts |
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
|Barloworld Handling will now distribute Combilift multi-directional forklifts and sideloaders along with the Hyster range.|
Barloworld Handling general manager for UK sales, Graham Jones, says Barloworld is pleased to support the Combilift products as it is an established market leader in the UK for four-way forklifts and sideloaders.
The preferred supplier agreement Barloworld signed will see the leading UK forklift supplier provide sales and nationwide service support for the Combilift brand. Barloworld has 16 regional centres in the UK and over 500 technicians servicing the country.
Barloworld spokesman Nik Webb tells Forkliftaction.com News that Barloworld’s service teams have the necessary training to support the Combilift products.
Combilift of Monaghan, Ireland has manufactured electric multi-directional forklifts since 2004, which it markets as space-savers for long-load handling in warehouses and yards. The forklifts come in diesel or LPG, with lift capacities ranging from 2.5 tons to 14 tons. It has two forklift brands, the Combilift and the Aisle Master (for articulated forklifts).
Barloworld claims to be the world’s largest independent forklift distributor, with operations in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa and the US. As the UK’s exclusive Hyster distributor since 1956, it maintains nearly 30,000 forklifts in the UK.
|Allied Equipment adds Clark line|
Indianapolis, IN, United States
|Forklift distributor Allied Equipment Service Corp now represents Clark Material Handling Co equipment in the broadly defined Indianapolis market.|
Allied’s area of principal responsibility (APR) for the Clark brand effective from 21 January includes 40 of Indiana’s 80 counties.
“The appointment of Allied Equipment completes our restructure and distribution upgrade in the central Indiana APR,” says Scott Johnson, director of dealer services with Lexington, Kentucky-based Clark.
As with other dealers, Allied experienced a business drop during 2009. “Our sales were less than ’08 and down 33%” last year, says Rick Mize, co-owner, corporate secretary and sales manager. The slower pace “enabled us to revisit expenditures and double our efforts on the sales side. Parts and service remained strong for us and always have been a positive for our business.”
Mize sees brighter days ahead. “We’re anticipating a very slow recovery in the forklift truck market, but with our access to a more diversified line of material handling equipment, we are optimistic about having a better year in 2010.”
Allied President Paul Raber, the other co-owner, works with the firm’s parts, service and accounting functions.
In covering the Indianapolis market for the Clark line, Allied succeeds Cardinal Carryor Inc, which was assigned the territory in September 2008 (Forkliftaction.com News #377) from its home base in Louisville, Kentucky.
Allied was formed in 1981, occupies 45,000 square feet (4,050 sqm) and employs 24 people including nine mechanics on the forklift side and two technicians for the battery business.
In addition to Clark, the firm represents TCM in 40 Indiana counties and Komatsu, Flexi and Chrisman for most of the state. Allied also sells Big Joe equipment.
|Plug Power gets orders for 584 GenDrive units |
Latham, NY, United States
|Plug Power Inc reports orders for 584 GenDrive fuel cell power units for forklift applications during 2009.|
“Plug Power saw strong market traction in both the materials handling and remote prime power markets during 2009,” says Andy Marsh, Plug Power chief executive officer. “Businesses implemented our solutions to benefit their operations and allow for sustainability targets to be met.”
The company notes, “Major companies such as Central Grocers (Forkliftaction.com News #404), Wegmans (Forkliftaction.com News #426), Sysco and Coca-Cola have first-mover advantage in an industry where revenue is generated based on the efficiency of the operations. Plug Power’s GenDrive solution offers customers an environmentally conscious alternative to lead-acid batteries as a power source for electric forklifts, allowing for increased productivity and lowered lifetime operational costs of the operation.”
Plug Power launched technology to power class-2 standup-reach truck units during the fourth quarter of 2009. “This system is a critical enhancement to the GenDrive offering, complementing the product portfolio and achieving a key corporate milestone,” the company says. “Following on successful tests with major lift truck OEMs in North America, targeted customers can now convert their entire lift truck fleet to hydrogen fuel cell power units.”
Tom Hoying, vice president of sales, says, “The successful launch of the GenDrive class-2 product dramatically increased the level of interest and sales activity during the fourth quarter. The convenience of full-fleet conversion, coupled with increased productivity and lowered operational costs, makes the buying decision considerably easier for the customer.”
Hoying says Plug Power received a purchase order during the 2009 fourth quarter from a major retailer constructing a new facility using only a hydrogen infrastructure.
As reported on 14 October, Plug Power’s India unit and NeST Group’s SFO Technologies of Cichon, India have a five-year strategic agreement for manufacturing GenSys fuel cell systems in India. Plug Power sold 200 of the prime power GenSys units to Wireless TT Info Services Ltd, the cellular communications tower arm of Tata Teleservices Ltd of Mumbai, India.
Shares of Latham-based Plug Power trade on the Nasdaq stock market. The firm has until 7 June to regain compliance with the market’s minimum bid price rule. Failing to regain compliance could result in Nasdaq delisting the Plug Power shares.
|Ikea boosts efficiency with articulated trucks |
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
|Global home furnishings company Ikea has ordered a fleet of three Narrow Aisle articulated forklifts for its warehouse at its Milton Keynes store.|
The Flexi EUROs will unload incoming vehicles and deliver palletised loads directly to the racking in the warehouse.
The Flexi EURO can lift 1,800kg (3,968lbs) and has lift heights of over eight metres (26 feet) in very narrow aisles, making it suitable for facilities where space is at a premium. It has a compact chassis and is ideal for general forklift duties like block stacking, drive-in racking and conventional very narrow aisle stacking.
Like other Flexi forklifts, the Flexi EURO can work inside and outside. This versatility allows Ikea to reduce double-handling at its facility. Instead of using counterbalanced forklifts and reach trucks, the Milton Keynes store now uses Flexi to unload trailers and put pallets directly into the racking, resulting in a smaller overall forklift fleet.
Narrow Aisle’s sales and marketing director, John Maguire, says articulated forklifts enable pallets to be picked and put away faster than with a reach truck.
He explains that articulated forklifts do not waste time reaching in and out of the pallet and the racking to retrieve a load, making for a quicker work cycle.
“This allied to the fact that they can work both inside and outside was a big influence on Ikea’s decision to use Flexi EUROs,” Maguire says.
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|Injury litigation fails to sway appellate panel|
Trenton, NJ, United States
|In a forklift injury case, a New Jersey appellate panel has ruled in favour of two defendants – manufacturer Crown Equipment Corp and service provider Raymond of New Jersey LLC.|
The seriously injured plaintiff, Czewlaw Ciapinski, was operating a Crown battery-powered side-stance forklift in a VersaCold warehouse in Secaucus, New Jersey on 21 October, 2004.
“When I was backing the hi/low toward the battery charger in the maintenance shop, I thought that machine will stop after I took my foot off the hi/low,” Ciapinski explained to a VersaCold supervisor after the incident. “I had my foot outside, and I did not have enough time to move out from the machine that was still in motion.” The supervisor, Krzysztof Chrostowski, talked with Ciapinski because both speak Polish.
Ciapinski’s injuries required several surgeries on his left foot and leg, which eventually were amputated and fitted for prosthesis. He returned to work but ultimately left VersaCold in August 2006 because of problems with his leg.
Ciapinski and his wife, Halina, sued Crown and the Raymond dealership in 2006.
On the plaintiff’s behalf, professional engineers Irving Ojalvo and Howard Sarrett evaluated potential liability claims arising out of the accident. The motion judge concluded that the plaintiffs and their experts had failed to demonstrate viable theories of causation against the Raymond dealership or Crown.
The law firm of Campbell, Campbell, Edwards & Conroy PC, which has eight offices in the north east US, represented Crown during the appellate process.
Crown’s legal department issued a statement: “The trial judge, after a thorough review of the facts and the law of New Jersey, dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against Crown and the codefendant. A three-judge panel of appellate judges made an extensive analysis and agreed that, although an unfortunate workplace injury had occurred, Crown was not legally responsible for those injuries.”
Further, the manufacturer “demonstrated that the evidence uncovered during the discovery process of the lawsuit did not support the plaintiffs’ legal theories, and there was no need to go through the significant time and expense of a jury trial”, according to Crown.
The Montvale, New Jersey-based law firm of Weiner, Carroll & Strauss represented Ciapinski but did not respond to a request for comment.
The appellate division in Trenton heard oral arguments in the case on 18 November 2009.
|Terex and Xiamen Ocean Gate sign contract for 10 RTGs|
|Terex Noell Cranes will deliver 10 Noell rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes to Xiamen Ocean Gate Container Terminal Co Ltd at the end of this year.|
Zhang Jun Sheng, general manager of Xiamen Ocean Gate, says the company has confidence in Noell as it is an established, “world-class famous brand”. Noell was founded as a workshop repairing mail coaches in 1824 and has evolved into a port equipment supplier.
Zhang adds that Xiamen Ocean Gate already has over 60 Noell RTGs operating at Xiamen Port’s container terminals.
“These are good quality machines that get their jobs done reliably at a low total cost of ownership. We are confident that the new machines will get their jobs done equally efficiently,” he says.
The RTG cranes are diesel-powered, fully AC and equipped with a drive system based on the newest generation of Siemens converters, and DC bus architecture. They are 6+1 wide and feature a 5+1 lifting height, hoisting speed of 23/52 m/min (rated load/ empty under spreader), trolley travel speed of 70m/min and gantry travel speed of 30/90m/min (rated load/empty under spreader).
Thomas Ostermann, managing director of Terex Cranes, says the contract “is a clear signal that [Terex] products fulfil the needs of key customers” and that management efforts of the past few months are being recognised.
“We have already transferred a lot of expertise from Terex to the port equipment business. Terex Noell (China) has provided over 600 RTG/RMG cranes to global terminals up until today,” Ostermann says.
Zhang, Ostermann and Terex Cranes Xiamen deputy general manager Zhu Heng Yao attended the contract signing ceremony at Xiamen Bailuzhou Hotel in December 2009.
Xiamen Ocean Gate Container Terminal Co Ltd is a joint venture with China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO). COSCO, which has a 70% stake in the joint venture, specialises in global shipping, modern logistics, and ship building and repairing.
Terex Corp, a diversified global equipment manufacturer with 2008 net sales of USD9.9 billion, completed its USD220 million acquisition of Fantuzzi Industries sarl’s port equipment businesses in 2009. Terex has incorporated Fantuzzi- and Noell-branded rail and rubber-tyred gantry cranes, mobile harbour cranes, ship-to-shore cranes, reach stackers and forklifts, and Noell branded straddle carriers into the Terex crane business segment (Forkliftaction.com News #422).
Fantuzzi Reggiane took over its largest European competitor, Noell Crane Systems GmbH, to form the Fantuzzi Group in 2000.
Noell (China) was established as a joint venture company by Noell Crane Systems and Hong Kong-headquartered China Merchants Group in 1995.
|YES Lift relocates, hiring more mechanics |
Itasca, IL, United States
|Yale dealer YES Lift LLC has relocated to a larger facility in Itasca and is hiring additional mechanical technicians.|
“We outgrew our other building (in Rosemont) a couple of years ago,” says president Kal Anglewicz. The dealership uses YES Equipment & Services LLC as its marketing name.
After moving about 10 miles (16 km) in mid-December, the business occupies leased space of about 55,000 square feet (4,950 sqm) in comparison to its previous quarters of 22,000 square feet (1,980 sqm), its leased home for about five years.
YES Lift employs 45 staff including 22 mechanics.
“We are adding three technicians now,” Anglewicz says. “We are coming through the recession very well,” and YES Lift has maintained the firm’s headcount without any reductions.
In the metropolitan Chicago and northeastern Illinois market, YES Lift in Itasca; Voss Equipment Inc of Harvey and Hillside, Illinois; and Fitzgerald Equipment Company Inc of Rockford and Mackinaw, Illinois represent the Yale brand of forklifts from Nacco Material Handling Group (NHMG).
A YES Lift affiliate in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin─YES Equipment & Services Inc─represents Yale in the metropolitan Milwaukee market. The entities market jointly and have an overlapping ownership structure.
In a previous article (Forkliftaction.com News #444), the Menomonee Falls location for Yale was incorrectly included in a reference to Yale dealerships serving the Chicago market.
Anglewicz is sanguine about the recent representation changes in the Chicago market for NMHG’s Hyster brand, which competes against the Yale brand for sales and service in the forklift market. “We want our customers to love us, and our competitors to hate us,” he says.
|Sample of used equipment for sale:||Search 4744 listings in the Marketplace|
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|Product News |
|Tow truck with quicker acceleration|
Cannock, United Kingdom
Briggs Equipment has launched the new Cat NTR30N tow truck as part of its warehouse equipment range in the UK.
Designed to pull multiple trailers with a maximum total weight of 3,000kg (6,614lbs), the tow truck has a high-performance AC drive system that offers “quicker acceleration and control”. It also has multifunctional steering that allows steering and speed to be controlled with one hand, and provides easy access to all other functions.
Briggs spokesman Tony Rooney says the Cat NTR30N is ideal for indoor towing applications.
Yale expands Veracitor range
Fleet, United Kingdom
Yale has introduced the 8-9 tonne Veracitor VX forklift for heavy-duty materials handling applications.
Specifically designed for the lumber, steel, concrete, brewing and chemical industries, Yale says the series combines the operating characteristics of an electric forklift with the endurance and power of a combustion engine forklift.
The Techtronix 332 three-speed transmission fitted as standard for the “value” model and the Techtronix 332+ transmission for the “productivity” model are new to the Veracitor range.
|Event attracts global carriers’ forklift drivers |
|A competition organised by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl) attracted six international airlines to showcase their employees’ forklift driving and pallet building skills at the Hong Kong International Airport this month.|
The event, on 10 January in the airport’s SuperTerminal 1, has been held for the fourth year to promote occupational health and safety, and boost professional cargo handling standards among industry partners.
Managing director of Hactl, Anthony Wong, says safety is “absolutely paramount” in air cargo operations, as well as in the aviation industry.
“As the leading service provider in the air cargo industry, we feel obliged to promote the message of work health and safety to the whole air cargo community,” Wong explains.
He adds that Hactl had been making “consistent efforts” to provide a safe environment for its staff and terminal users. In 2009, work injury cases in SuperTerminal 1 were reduced to 55 cases compared with the 90 cases in 2006 when the first forklift competition was held.
Air China Cargo, British Airways World Cargo, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Cargolux Airlines (represented by LuxairCARGO) and Nippon Cargo Airlines sent their representatives to Hong Kong to compete for 11 titles recognising outstanding operational skills and safety awareness. Hactl also deployed its own team for the competition.
Each team at the event demonstrated forklift operation and pallet building
skills while exhibiting their compliance and awareness of operational safety.
A panel of judges from various industry associations including Cargo Liaison Group and the Hong Kong Occupational Safety and Health Council declared Cargolux Airlines the winner, after its team clinched four award titles – overall champion, champion in the “Pallet Building” category, first runner-up in the “Forklift” category and the “Forklift Driving Safety Award”.
The officiating guests who launched the competition were Yau Shing Mu, the Hong Kong Under Secretary for Transport and Housing; Tso Sing Hin, Assistant Commissioner (Occupational Safety) of Hong Kong’s Labour Department; and Tang Wah Shing, Executive Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Council.
|Telehandlers move ice blocks for sculpturing |
Soldotna, AK, United States
|Donated time on telehandlers from Airport Equipment Rentals Inc (AER) helped volunteers move blocks from a frozen pond for an ice sculpture contest in advance of the 34th annual Peninsula Winter Games. The event occurs on 30 January in Soldotna, which is near the Cook Inlet on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.|
“Approximately 100 squares, each weighing about 500 pounds (225 kg), were distributed through the town for the ice sculpture competition,” says Jon Teates, outside sales representative in AER’s Soldotna branch.
AER supplied two Genie GTH-844 telehandlers, a Wacker 9.7-kw generator and a portable Frost Fighter heater. “Last year, we only needed to provide one reach forklift,” Teates recalls.
Members of the Soldotna Rotary Club cut the blocks of ice from a small pond using a traditional handsaw or chain saw. With the telehandlers, they lifted the ice for placement in a truck.
Lynden Inc’s multi-mode full-service transport subsidiary provided equipment to relocate the blocks for carving and placement in front of the town’s businesses.
In addition to Soldotna, AER has other Alaska locations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Deadhorse and Delta Junction and offers a rental inventory with forklifts from the Yale, CareLift and Harlo lines, and telehandlers and other lifts from the JLG and Genie brands.
|Vendors confident for 2010 |
|By Karen Harverson|
The global economy has resumed growth, albeit modestly. Australia, which suffered a milder downturn than the rest of the world, now appears to be on a steady recovery path with business confidence on the up.
Forkliftaction.com News asked players in the forklift industry to outline their expectations for their company and the market in the year ahead.
Carl Smith, MD of Linde Material Handling, tells Forkliftaction.com News that he expects the first half of 2010 to be a cautious period for business in Australia, therefore impacting on the materials handling equipment industry.
“Although the market shows upward trends, there is also a degree of caution and ‘steady as you go’ approach.
“Having said that, at Linde we expect a repeat of 2009, a year in which we have increased marketshare and strengthened our position in the local market.
“This year will see the introduction of new products and services from Linde, all of which will help establish Linde in markets not participated in today.”
Steve Mackay of New Zealand-based Central Forklift Group believes sales will improve in 2010, given the unprecedented low sales in 2009. On rentals, he says most forklift companies have had to cope with many forklifts being returned due to the recession. “Some have conducted fire sales but we maintained this stock and believe it will put us in a strong position to capture a bigger share (of the market) in 2010.”
He adds that the company saw growth in its service business in 2009 due to a significant number of clients deferring replacement decisions. “We expect this to continue strong growth in 2010.”
John Flinn of Hystandard Handling Equipment tells Forkliftaction.com News that with the company’s recent acquisition of Yale assets in New South Wales, he expects business conditions to improve significantly in 2010.
However, he adds that due to the market staying down from historical highs, those forklift businesses which are currently underresourced or financially overstretched will struggle through 2010, “so maybe we will see more acquisitions and consolidation.”
Damien Garvey, national sales manager for NTP Forklifts Australia, believes 2010 will still be a recovery year for the forklift market with slow growth in the first two quarters. “Growth will continue in the second half of the year but at a steadier pace. The market, we believe, will still be down on the record years of 2007/8.”
Garvey says the company will continue to focus on the growth of its three core products, TCM, Jungheinrich and Manitou, developing them into new and existing markets and industries.
Crown Equipment general manager Craig Kenchington notes that the company had a better than expected 2009, helped along by the government stimulus package. “We are already seeing very positive signs for 2010 and expect that many new initiatives we are planning for next year will help Crown continue our growth.”
Clark Equipment reported sales of AUD51 million during the September 2009 quarter, down 2% on the September 2008 quarter and down 7% on the June 2009 quarter sales number.
According to MD Robert Hammond, the results need to be viewed in light of changed market conditions from the year before. “Many of the equipment markets are off 30-50% on the year prior. The September 2008 quarter was effectively the last before the global financial crisis eroded equipment demand in Australia.
“The introduction of the Doosan Construction line and continued expansion of our retail distribution assisted us in this difficult economic environment with additional business opportunities.
“Indications look as if sales revenue will be strong in the December 2009 quarter and will edge ahead of last year. Market conditions are not easing but we should look forward to gradual improvement in 2010.”
John Fisher, national business development manager for Flexilift, is extremely optimistic for 2010.
“I believe Hyundai Forklifts will gain substantial marketshare and this time next year will show Hyundai Forklifts headed towards leadership status.
“Our competitors are entrenched in structures and not responsive enough to prevent our flanking strategies.”
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|In search of the oldest truck |
|Widely recognised as introducing the very first electric powered low lift platform truck to the European market, Yale is searching for the oldest Yale forklift truck or pallet truck, still in operation today, to mark its 90th anniversary year in 2010. Yale is offering a trip to the Big Apple in return for information on the oldest Yale forklift truck or pallet truck still in operation*.|
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|Omega reworks, extends ARM-XL line ||Omega Lift Manufacturing Inc. has announced the re-design of their heavy capacity telescopic handler line, the ARM XL Series. The ARM XL offers 12,000lbs. – 20,000lbs. capacities in standard production, and up to 30,000lbs. capacity as a custom order.
The ARM XL boasts a Tier III, 6-cylinder Perkins Turbo Diesel engine and hydrostatic drive with an optional shift on the fly gearbox. The ARM XL uses dual hydraulic pilot joysticks to operate boom and carriage functions and has the ability to accommodate many attachments including side shifting carriages, pipe clamps, buckets, winches etc.|
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