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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #450 - 25 February 2010 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Cooper meets urgent Haiti need

INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM

SPECIAL REPORT: USA forklift industry prepared for recovery

NEWS
TCM America consolidates, suspends production
TVH grows in eastern Belgium
Ring Power adds Clark in parts of Florida
Aviva dishes out advice to forklift users
Argentine dealer adds electric vehicle line
USD5.5 million in budget for fuel cell project
UKWA urges suppliers to enter awards
Cooper meets urgent Haiti need
Sample of used equipment for sale
Briefs
New Products

LOCAL NEWS
JV creates new shift and lift company
Course on key supply chain issues
Job trends in the logistics industry
Challenges remain for small businesses
NZ port pleases with profit

MEDIA RELEASES
Solideal markets new, polyurethane tire and wheel lineup and RAEDER-VOGEL® ultra-premium polyurethane wheels and casters
Video ---Impact Recorder For Equipment
Cascade Announces Joint Agreement with RAVAS
Meet One of Our Material Handling Experts
Vetex Now Manufacturing Airtrax SIDEWINDER Lift Truck
JCB plan further push into Australia for the Teletruk
Nexen Lift Trucks Is One Of The U.K.’S Best Kept Secrets.

PRODUCT WATCH
Omega lift introduces 4-wheel steer compact rough terrain forklift
BEB Announces Upgraded Tool for Forklift Sales
New Generation of Quoting Software Released

Palfinger Crayler Truck-Mounted Forklifts:
Designed to be better….built to PALFINGER standards!


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Agents, dealers wanted
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Inside Forkliftaction.com
It’s one of those quirks that just as we publish an upbeat, optimistic feature story on the recovery of the US market, we also report on a large player “consolidating” its operations and halting American production. However, TCM is putting a positive spin on its measures, saying they’re aimed at making the business stronger. And if we’ve learned one thing from the recession, it is that size is not always an indicator of financial security. Many organisations have taken their medicine and are stronger now – more focused, leaner and more self-sufficient.




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SPECIAL FEATURE
USA forklift industry prepared for recovery
United States
It has been a cautious start to the new year with many USA forklift dealers, manufacturers and service providers welcoming the ninth consecutive month of improved economic activity.
Melissa Barnett reports.
Economic activity, particularly in the manufacturing sector, saw across-the-board growth for the sixth consecutive month, with both new orders and production indexes above 60%, indicating strong current and future performance.
The Industrial Truck Association’s (ITA) past president, Stan Simpson, says that new factory orders are up 21% for the first month of 2010 compared to the same time last year.
The National Bureau of Economic Research believes the recession most likely reached its nadir in June to August, 2009 and has predicted 2010 GDP growth of 2.6% - traditionally enough of a rise to kick-start expansion in the forklift market. Many of the people Forkliftaction.com interviewed for this report predicted a conservative growth in equipment sales of between 4% and 10% over 2010. Ilidio Alves, director of marketing for Nissan Forklift Corporation, believes that the US forklift market could realistically achieve 100,000 unit sales in 2010.
This is particularly encouraging given that 2009 produced sales figures not seen since the mid-1980s. Don Chance, president of sales at Nacco Materials Handling Group (NMHG), notes last year was a tough year with the overall US forklift market down more than 50% from its 2006 level. “The numbers we saw for the industry were 92,000 units for 2009, compared to nearly 208,000 units for 2006. This has made for a very challenging business environment.”
  Read more
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NEWS STORIES
TCM America consolidates, suspends production
Columbia, SC, United States
TCM America Inc is consolidating US manufacturing, parts and distribution activities in South Carolina and discontinuing related operations in its New Jersey and Texas sites.

The forklift factory in Columbia “will temporarily suspend production . . . starting in April”, president Kaihei Nishioka says in a letter to TCM America dealer principals in the US. “Let me stress that as the economy and our business become stronger, production in South Carolina will be restarted.”

Nishioka attributes the need for changes to “current business conditions and a slow economy” and expresses confidence in TCM’s ability to supply dealers with equipment without delays. A TCM dealer tells Forkliftaction.com News that the TCM facility in Columbia has an inventory of about 600 forklifts.

“In the event you order a forklift with a particular specification that is not in our inventory, the machine will be produced in our (Shiga) manufacturing plant in (Chokoji-cho) Japan” without any impact on delivery time, Nishioka says in his 19 February letter. Parent firm TCM Corp is based in Tokyo.

TCM forklifts entered the US market from Japan in 1965. Forklift manufacturing in Columbia began in 1989 in a 165,000 square foot (14,850 sqm) factory. TCM continues to import forklifts with large lifting capacities from the Shiga factory. For now, the principal TCM America office is in Swedesboro, New Jersey.

The TCM moves follow on other recent US forklift industry adjustments such as those involving Komatsu Forklift USA LLC (Forkliftaction.com News #445) and Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp (Forkliftaction.com News #423).

Internally on 4 January, TCM announced plans to close the Houston division in Texas from 29 January. The division’s parts shipping operation was idled, and it is expected that TCM will implement a Houston layoff involving about 20 staff by 31 March.

The New Jersey site now employs about 15 people, expects to cease operations on31 March and begin relocation of the principal office and other activities to South Carolina during April.

TCM America owns distribution rights in all 50 states after transitioning from reliance on independent Japan-based firms Mitsui & Co and Itochu Corp.

The machinery distribution unit of trading company Mitsui led the way in US distribution of TCM forklifts and covered 26 states as of 1991. A Swedesboro-based TCM America marketing unit assumed the distribution role in that territory from Mitsui in June 2005.

In April 2009, a TCM unit acquired the Houston operation and forklift distribution rights in 24 US states from Itochu’s industrial machines business unit, which owned those rights for decades.

Over the years, TCM relied on the Mitsui and Itochu organisations to create distribution programs and work directly with forklift dealers.

Canadian distribution of TCM forklifts is handled through Deval Handling Equipment Inc of Laurent, Quebec.

Beginning in 2006, TCM modified and partially automated its Columbia manufacturing and assembly line and upgraded the lighting system, resulting in significant energy savings.

TCM has a rich history in the materials handling industry. Toyo Umpanki Manufacturing Co Ltd was established in 1949, made Japan’s first forklift truck and expanded through trading companies and licensing and technical agreements to achieve a global presence. Toyo Umpanki was renamed TCM Corp in 1999.

Tokyo-based Hitachi Ltd’s construction machinery unit became the top shareholder of TCM Corp in 2003.

An observer estimates that the reduction in experienced managers and seasoned employees may trim TCM America’s skill-set and presence to something akin to its level in the mid-1980s. TCM declined to address those concerns.

Nishioka’s letter to TCM dealers implores: “Please do your best to increase sales, and let us try harder together to expand our business.”
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TVH grows in eastern Belgium
Waregem, Belgium
TVH Rental Equipment, a division of TVH-Group Thermote & Vanhalst (TVH), has expanded with a fifth branch in Liège, Belgium.

TVH manager Luc Maertens says the new branch will result in shorter supply times and better service for customers. “We are looking to maintain a very young and modern fleet which offers a solution for any short- or long-term demand for all national end-users, providing them with good, reliable and quick information, delivery and service.”

Maertens adds that while there are plans to cover the national market in the near future through the expansion of TVH Rental Equipment, no additional staff will be employed as TVH will use existing staff for its growth activities.

TVH Rental Equipment’s commercial operations are based in Waregem. There are four technicians who make up the staff at Liège and maintain and service the rental fleet at customer sites or in the branch’s workshop.

The branch’s rental fleet includes 1,250 units of Doosan, TCM and Kalmar forklifts, 750 units of JLG, Aichi and Dinolift aerial platforms and 100 Manitou telehandlers.

TVH Rental Equipment’s other branches are in Waregem, Sint-Niklaas, Aslst and Mons.
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Ring Power adds Clark in parts of Florida
Jacksonville, FL, United States
The forklift division of Ring Power Corp has added representation of the Clark Material Handling Co line in three northern and central Florida regions covering 37 counties.

“For Clark, Ring represents a major enhancement and improvement in our distribution capabilities in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville,” says Scott Johnson, director of dealer services with Clark in Lexington, Kentucky. “Ring Power holds a leadership position in the materials handling industry.”

The appointment of Ring Power as an authorised Clark forklift distributor in the three Florida markets came into effect on 10 February.

While the Ring lift trucks division has nine locations throughout Florida, the Clark arrangement will focus on three large dealerships with urban concentrations.

In addition to Clark, the division in various locations represents Caterpillar, Mitsubishi, Linde, Kalmar, Princeton, Navigator, Noble, Landoll Bendi and Cascade product lines. Ring covers 57 Florida counties for Mitsubishi and 44 Florida counties for Caterpillar.

The Jacksonville-based forklift division is one of seven business units within Ring Power, which has corporate headquarters in St Augustine, Florida. For its multiple product lines, the company’s sales locations include 20 in Florida and nine others in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas and California. LC Ringhaver founded the business as a Caterpillar engine-only dealer in 1961 and became a full-line Caterpillar dealer in 1962.

Clarklift of Florida LLC previously represented the Clark brand in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville but is no longer an authorised dealer and must cease using Clark trademarks in day-to-day business activities. A related business, Absolute Storage Products LLC in Orlando, offers to sell the Clarklift of Florida domain name.

Through the new representation, “Ring takes our coverage, sales and service capabilities to a whole different level”, Johnson notes. “As we have demonstrated in other areas of the country, we were able to move swiftly and definitively in appointing Ring Power as an authorised Clark dealer.”

Farther south in the state, W.E. Johnson Equipment Co represents Clark in 17 Florida counties through facilities in Miami, Naples, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach.
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Agents, dealers wanted
Omega Lift Manufacturing is selectively seeking strong dealers to represent it's premium line of All Terrain and Multi-Directional forklifts worldwide.

Omega Lift is an award winning Canadian manufacturer with a reputation for exceptional quality that offers a complete range of Vertical Mast, Telescopic Handler and Multi-Directional all terrain models with capacities to 25,000 kgs.  

If you are interested in promoting these world-class products, forward your company name and contact information to Nick Acocella, Director International Sales & Marketing.  sales@omegalift.net

All enquiries will be treated confidentially.

See http://www.omegalift.net for more company and product information
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Aviva dishes out advice to forklift users
London, United Kingdom
The UK’s largest general insurer is urging employers to provide adequate training and supervision for new and experienced forklift drivers.

With the Health and Safety Executive reporting 8,000 accidents in the UK involving forklifts and around 10 fatalities each year, Aviva is continuing its Simply Safety campaign for the third year, kick-starting 2010 with advice to businesses on the dangers of driving forklifts.

Aviva liability risk manager Phil Grace says almost 25% of all workplace transport incidents in the UK involve forklifts.

“The most common accidents include people being hit or run over by a forklift, being hit by unstable items falling from the vehicle or suffering crush injury accidents, and drivers being injured by falling from the forklift or when it overturns,” Grace says.

He emphasises the importance of checking the amount of experience a potential employee has and advises employers to always ask for proof of training.

If an employee cannot produce written proof, they “should be able to refer to the training scheme they undertook”. Therefore, employers who are in doubt can perform checks to avoid accepting fraudulent proof of training.

Grace adds that regardless of experience, all new employees should be given induction training.

“The same should happen if a business is hiring a new vehicle on a temporary basis or changing forklift manufacturer. No two machines operate in exactly the same way, especially if the make or model of machine is different.”

Grace also recommends that refresher training be given to all employees every three to five years. Those who drive daily will need to “maintain good driving habits” while those who drive less often will need to “maintain familiarity with the vehicle”.

There have recently been prosecutions in the UK involving mobile equipment that resulted from lack of training or poor supervision. One incident involved a forklift driver in West Lothian who was found guilty of breaching section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work act 1974 and fined GBP500. (USD768.70) He had provided his employers with evidence of his training and experience, which was found to be partially fraudulent. His lack of vehicle knowledge led to him operating a forklift without the stabilisers deployed, which caused the machine to lose its three-tonne load, crushing and seriously injuring a workmate nearby.

“Employers or managers have a duty to ensure that workers are fit and competent to operate their vehicles, and machines and attachments are maintained correctly,” Grace says.

“By law, employers and supervisors must understand their workplace hazards and risks and take steps to eliminate or reduce them. It is also important that supervisors accept responsibility to communicate to employees any identified hazards and necessary measures to control them,” he continues.

Aviva claims to be the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific. It provides life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to over 20 million customers in the UK.
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Argentine dealer adds electric vehicle line
Harbor City, CA, United States
Electric vehicle maker Balqon Corp completed a distribution agreement with Autoelevadores Yale SA, which has more than 18 forklift sales and service locations in Argentina.

Industrial startup Balqon of Harbor City develops heavy-duty electric trucks, tractors and electric drive systems incorporating a proprietary flux vector control technology.

The emerging Balqon operation focuses on zero-emission vehicles for Class 7 and Class 8 applications. Balqon aims to design propulsion systems for large-capacity materials handling equipment and other vehicles, in part utilising lithium-ion battery management systems.

Marking its 30th business anniversary, Autoelevadores Yale is based in Buenos Aires and represents Nacco Materials Handling Group Inc.’s Yale forklift brand in addition to being an authorised Balqon dealer for vehicles, parts and service in Argentina.

Gustavo Buzzalino, president of Autoelevadores Yale, says: "We are very excited to be partnering with Balqon Corporation and rolling out their products to our existing client base comprised of local ports, distribution warehouses and inner city distribution companies. . . .  Low emissions and energy efficiency vehicles have a huge demand in the materials handling space.”

Balqon employed 13 staff, according to a 16 November prospectus filing, reported a loss of USD1.98 million on sales of USD3.06 million for the nine months ended 30 September and trades publicly as an over-the-counter bulletin board stock.
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USD5.5 million in budget for fuel cell project
Warner Robins, GA, United States
An operation of the US Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) has a previously unpublicised budget of USD5.5 million for a fuel cell demonstration project at a depot in Georgia (Forkliftaction.com News #448).

The project came online in November 2009, is scheduled to conclude in November or December 2011 and uses funded appropriations for two fiscal years ended 30 September 2009.

Contingent on additional funding, the project scope could expand in late 2010 or early 2011 to include additional forklifts and other hydrogen-powered equipment.

The demonstration may transition to permanent operations if the project is successful and a meaningful business case for hydrogen-fueled operations exists.

DLA manages the project from New Cumberland, Pennsylvania and conducts the effort at a defence distribution depot that DLA operates on Robins air force base in Warner Robins, Georgia.

The demonstration uses newly built standard Crown FC 4500 series forklifts that are certified to operate with fuel cells. No special modifications were necessary.

The fuel cell requires hydrogen for operation, and the power module design includes ultra-capacitors for power storage and management. The ultra-capacitors allow for a short trip if the hydrogen supply has been exhausted, but they cannot be utilised for any significant time similar to a gas/battery combination in a hybrid car.

Non-profit technology developer Concurrent Technologies Corp of Johnstown, Pennsylvania is the prime and integration contractor. Air Products and Chemicals Inc of Allentown, Pennsylvania supplied a hydrogen fueling station and two mobile refuelers to distribute hydrogen from the generation site to locations across the depot. The hydrogen is generated using steam methane reformation. Hydrogenics Corp of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada provided the integrated fuel cell system. No modifications were made to the off-the-shelf fuel cell power module system.
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Every day 950 users search the Business Directory for suppliers: can they find your company?
After nine years of operation, the independent industry portal Forkliftaction.com has become an established brand for forklift related news and online business resources.
More than 160,000 industry professionals read Forkliftaction.com news at least once every month.
Every month, the website www.forkliftaction.com serves over 4,500,000 web pages to its users.

The weekly news is re-produced in magazines, websites, intranets and extranets. It is passed on and shared with colleagues and customers by email.
It is indexed by Google and listed in 'Google News’.

Every day the Business Directory on Forkliftaction assists over 950 professionals in their search for new suppliers.
Can you afford not to be there?

Have your company ranked at the top in the directory with links to your website, full contact details, company logo and images.

For more information contact the Forkliftaction.com team: write to info@forkliftaction.com, phone +61 (0)7 3369 9090 or fax +61 (0)7 3369 9096.
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UKWA urges suppliers to enter awards
London, United Kingdom
The United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) is inviting third-party logistics (3PL) companies to enter its 2010 awards to be presented at a luncheon at the Dorchester Hotel in London on 7 July.

“I would urge any company in the logistics sector that has developed a product or service that benefits our industry to consider entering the Technology and Innovation Award,” says Roger Williams, UKWA’s CEO.

There are nine awards categories, with the Technology and Innovation Award open to non-UKWA members. Last year, Jungheinrich UK Ltd received this award for its automated pallet ID and scanning solution.

Williams says the awards are “one of the most enjoyable events in the 3PL industry’s calendar” and attract entries from some of the most influential companies in the logistics and materials handling industry.

He adds that the event is a good opportunity to network with the industry’s most influential figures. “Networking is one of the most important business tools available, and in the current recession, being pro-active in networking your business has become more vital than ever.”

Over 400 people from the logistics and supply chain management industry attended the event last year.

The closing date for submitting applications is 30 April. Ticket prices and an awards entry form can be downloaded from www.ukwa.org.uk.

Visitors can learn more about the workings of the UKWA and the benefits of joining the association at its pavilion at the Food & Drink Logistics show from 21-24 March at the NEC, Birmingham.  The association will also showcase its members’ and associate members’ products and services.

The UKWA has over 600 member companies that control nearly 100 million square feet of warehousing space from about 1,300 locations in the UK.
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Cooper meets urgent Haiti need
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Cooper Specialised Handling is another forklift supplier to respond to the UK government’s urgent request for equipment to be used in Haiti, within 48 hours.

Last week, Forkliftaction.com News reported that Castle Forklifts Ltd of Rugby, UK modified five new Maximal forklifts in under 48 hours for Haiti relief work (Forkliftaction.com News #449).

Cooper SH sales manager Chris Bames says the company doesn’t “normally” sell rental machines for outright purchase “but the needs of the Department for International Development (DFID) over-rode procedures in this instance and we broke our own policy to ensure they had immediate availability”.

When the DFID made an urgent enquiry for equipment, Cooper SH quickly prepared its 16 tonne SMV 16-1200 forklift that was then collected by the Royal Navy for shipping to Haiti within 48 hours of the contract award.

The forklift is a part of the DFID’s equipment provision that included shelter, 4x4 vehicles, water purification tablets and jerry cans. They form the UK’s GBP20 million (USD30.8 million) emergency aid programme for the Haiti earthquake victims.

“We were extremely happy to accommodate the DFID’s needs and we are pleased that we could assist in making a difference,” Bames says.
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Sample of used equipment for sale:Search 4651 listings in the Marketplace
Liftking LK6M22 2004 United States USD 14900 Details
Hyster S120XLS 1997 United States USD 8950 Details
Linde E12C 2004 United Kingdom GBP 4000 Details
Jungheinrich EFG218K 2003 Germany EUR 3900 Details
Toyota 7FGCU25 2003 United States USD 4500 Details
Komatsu FG30ST 2003 United States USD 6950 Details
Still EGV16 2005 Germany EUR 3750 Details
Hyster H3.00XM 2004 Ireland EUR 9950 Details
Linde E25L 2000 New Zealand NZD 12000 Details
Toyota 6FBRE14 2005 New Zealand NZD 20000 Details
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Still RX20-18 2006 Germany EUR 8800 Details
and thousands more...
Click here to include your used forklifts, stackers, telehandlers, container handlers, attachments etc.
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Briefs
Barloworld teams up with JLG
Maidenhead, United Kingdom

Barloworld Handling will supply its customers with JLG equipment including over 50 models of boom lifts, scissor lifts, mast booms and vertical mast lifts with platform heights up to 18 metres (59 feet).
“Safety policies for working at height are now stricter than ever before, so we are pleased to be working with the leading manufacturer JLG to support customers in the UK,” says Graham Jones, Barloworld Handling’s general manager for UK sales.
Barloworld Handling has a network of over 1,000 support staff including 550 engineers in the UK and will be providing sales and service support for the new and used JLG equipment.

Skyjack adds Tubb to network
Guelph, Canada

Skyjack has added Tubb Equipment and Rental Co to its network of Zoom Boom and VR telehandler dealers.
Mississippi-based Tubb Equipment will carry the complete Zoom Boom telehandler product line ranging from 6,000-32,000lbs (2,722-14,515kg) capacity, with lifting heights up to 56 feet (17 metres).
Tubb will also supply Skyjack’s VR Telehandler line ranging from 6,000-10,000lbs (2,722-4,536kg) capacity, with lifting height up to 56 feet (17 metres).

Nexen appoints Action Forklifts
Lowestoft, United Kingdom

Nexen Lift Trucks has appointed Action Forklifts of Leicester as its dealer to cover the counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire.
Action Forklifts has over 30 years’ experience in forklift sales, hire and repair.
Graham Hall, Action’s owner, says he likes the whole Nexen set-up and finds the Suffolk-based team ambitious and confident in its plan to attack both the UK and worldwide forklift markets.
"The Nexen range is on a par with any of the leading brands in terms of build quality and I think the company will be a real long-term winner,” Hall says.
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New Products
Hyster launches new forklifts
Greenville, NC, United States

Hyster Company has launched a new forklift series in the 55,000lbs-70,000lbs (24,948kg-31,752kg) lifting capacity range.
The H550-700HD models are suited for a variety of applications including steel manufacturing, general cargo loading at sea ports or container handling.
The forklifts have, among other new features, a redesigned hydraulic system that lowers the truck’s operating cost. The load-sensing hydraulic system allows hydraulic fluid to be pumped only when the system is required to do work. For low load conditions, drivers don’t need to rev the engine to receive fast hydraulic speeds. Hyster says the system leads to lower hydraulic oil temperature, extended life of hydraulic oil, filter, hoses, seals and components, and simplified plumbing.

New Bobcat telehandlers make debut
Waterloo, Belgium

Bobcat is showcasing four new rotary telehandler models at Bauma at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre from 19-25 April.
The new 360o and 400° rotating models have lifting capacities from 3.5 to 5.0 tonnes and lifting heights from 15.7 to 24.5 metres (51.5 to 80.4 feet).
Bobcat says the telehandlers’ rotating ability enables them to serve the needs of an entire site from one position.  They can be used with a variety of attachments, including man platforms, extension jibs, buckets and pallet forks.
The smallest model, the TR35160, has a maximum lifting height of 15.7 metres (51.5 feet) and features a two-section telescopic boom while the TR45190, TR50210 and TR40250 models have three-section booms, offering maximum lifting heights of 18.7, 20.5 and 24.5 metres (61.4, 67.3 and 80.4 feet).
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LOCAL STORIES
 
JV creates new shift and lift company
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Industrial equipment provider Tutt Bryant of Sydney, New South Wales has formed a joint venture with European heavy lifting specialist Fagioli to form TBF Oceania.

The new company will provide specialist lifting services to the Australian market including lifting, jacking, skating and heavy haulage capability.

It also has engineering resources to design and apply economical and safe lifting and moving solutions including a project logistics division dedicated to freight forwarding activities and operating on a world-wide basis for major projects in Australia and the surrounding region.

Fagioli has 21 international offices, with a turnover of  EUR250 million a year, and employs over 700 staff. The registered office of TBF will be located with Tutt Bryant in Sydney, while operational activities will be based in Perth.
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Course on key supply chain issues
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The Logistics Association of Australia will host a two-day supply chain management course from 17-18 June in Melbourne.

Led by US-based lecturer and author Dr C John Langley, the course will deal with critical logistics supply chain issues and why companies find a supply chain perspective important to improving their competitive position in the marketplace.

Participants will be shown key supply chain strategies and how these can be used to lower costs, add value for customers and increase the competitive standing of the firm.

Also presenting the course is Lew Roberts, president of Roberts & Associates, a US-based firm that provides a wide range of professional consulting and management development services.
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Job trends in the logistics industry
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
A quarterly report on job trends in the logistics industry by recruitment specialist Hays reveals that transport analysts, supply chain analysts and demand planners are in hot demand as businesses continue to seek efficiencies within existing operations.

Also needed are logistics co-ordinators and planning candidates as international and domestic freight levels increase.

According to Hays’ Neil Bentham, as demand and the subsequent volumes rise, operational shift supervisors and managers will become highly sought-after along with experienced freight forwarders and import/export officers.

Operations managers remain sought-after in all areas of logistics.

During 2009, there was a trend towards fixed-term contracts, which is now expected to decline as businesses once more recruit on a permanent basis.

“Temporary assignments, however, will remain popular for businesses that have a short-term need. This will be most obvious for operative roles, such as forklift drivers and multi-skilled storemen/women as well as project-based roles such as analysts and co-ordinators,” says Bentham.
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Challenges remain for small businesses
Canberra, ACT, Australia
Despite increased confidence that business conditions will improve further over the March quarter, small businesses’ actual trading conditions remain more challenging than those facing larger businesses.

A survey by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) assessed business conditions and business confidence among 1,040 small businesses around the country over the October, November and December period.

It found small business selling prices remained contractionary, which continued to put downward pressure on business profitability and the level of retained earnings.

According to the ACCI, small business expects business investment to continue to be weak over the next three months, with investment in plant and equipment expected to fall back into negative territory after an expansion in the December quarter.

The survey found that small business expects Australia’s economic growth to rebound strongly over the next 12 months, with selling prices, profit growth and employment expected to increase over the next three months.

Greg Evans, ACCI director of economics and industry policy, says that while small business experienced some welcome improvements in business confidence and trading conditions over the December quarter, actual conditions continued to fall short of prior predictions.

“The Reserve Bank decision to pause further interest rate hikes in February is a welcome reprieve for small business which is becoming highly sensitive to cost pressures.”
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NZ port pleases with profit
Auckland, New Zealand
Ports of Auckland has announced a net profit after tax of NZD13.9 million for the six months ended 31 December, 2009 – up on last year’s result of NZD9.3 million.

“The improved result is particularly pleasing because it was achieved during a period of lower trade volumes as a result of the global economic recession,” says managing director Jens Madsen.

“Over the last six months, we have successfully contained costs, improved productivity and increased our upper North Island container marketshare, reinforcing our position as New Zealand’s leading container port.”

Madsen says the period was also notable for progress on a number of strategic initiatives, including the consolidation of the port’s container operations, construction of the Wiri Inland Port rail link and transfer of the Golden Bay cement facility from Wynyard Wharf to the eastern port.

Looking ahead, the port operator will launch a revamped ‘track-and-trace’ container management system in March in what it says will be an industry-leading initiative.

March will also see the formal opening of the Wiri Inland Port’s new rail link. Since 1 February, the Wiri Inland Port has been operated by Ports of Auckland and NZL Group’s new subsidiary company, CONLINXX.

“Rail will become an increasingly important part of the freight mix and optimising its use alongside road transport is central to the creation of a lower cost and greener supply chain,” says Madsen.
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MEDIA RELEASES
Solideal markets new, polyurethane tire and wheel lineup and RAEDER-VOGEL® ultra-premium polyurethane wheels and casters
Solideal, a global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of tires and wheels for material handling equipment has recently introduced its new line of polyurethane tires, load wheels and casters for narrow aisle and pallet forklifts to USA, Canada, Mexico and Latin American markets. The new lineup includes improvements to former polyurethane tires manufactured in Muscle Shoals Alabama and the introduction of a related, premium load wheel and caster family. To best serve all the requirements of the polyurethane tire and wheel user community, Solideal has also entered into an agreement with RAEDER-VOGEL® of Hamburg, Germany, leading polyurethane caster and wheel manufacturer, to distribute their VULKOLLAN® and PEVOPUR® ultra-premium polyurethane material handling wheels and casters in North America.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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Video ---Impact Recorder For Equipment
Keytroller’s SMARTY is a compact digital camera recorder that matches video incidents with GPS location and tracking. The device is unbelievably easy to use. Simply mount the camera, plug into lighter outlet---- and begin recording! The small profile design fits easily to any windshield---- with NO restriction of visibility.

SMARTY begins recording when it’s 3 axis accelerometer senses an impact, fast acceleration, deceleration or a quick turn. Video, GPS location, speed and G-force is recorded 15 seconds before and 5 seconds after the event and stored on the unit’s SD memory card.

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Cascade Announces Joint Agreement with RAVAS
Cascade Corporation is excited to enter into a joint marketing agreement with Ravas EU. Cascade will market the RAVAS line of lift truck mounted electronic scales under the Cascade-RAVAS brand name. “These fork and carriage mounted scales are a perfect extension to our existing fork positioner and fork product lines” stated Rick Whiting, Cascade Product Manager.

"The future of weighing material flows is mobile. Capturing weight information on forklift trucks and making that information instantly available to ERP or WMS systems, creates huge opportunities for boosting efficiency and saving costs. Cascade and RAVAS are a dream-team for bringing those opportunities to the market," says Henri van Seumeren, president of RAVAS.

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Meet One of Our Material Handling Experts
Ric spent his early years in the material handling industry as a forklift technician for the local Caterpillar dealer in Charlotte, N.C.  After five years at Caterpillar, Ric was given an opportunity to assist a new Yale forklift dealership in the Charlotte area in 1988. Ric then expanded Yale Carolinas into Hickory, N.C. and became Branch Manager at the new location in 1992. He oversaw the daily activities of the parts, service and rental departments. In 1994, Ric was promoted to oversee the aftermarket operations of the newly acquired Alabama territory for Yale Carolinas. Serving as Product Support Manager until late 1995, Ric helped establish Yale Carolinas as one of the top material handling dealerships in the state. In late 1995 Ric returned to the corporate office in Charlotte and assumed the role of Corporate Parts Manager. Ric assumed the role of Manager-Parts Development and was instrumental in the aftermarket growth of the company until 2009, as well as overseeing a fleet of 100+ service   vehicles.  In November 2009 Ric joined the FleetNet America, Inc. team and currently is spearheading the Material Handling Maintenance Management Program.

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Vetex Now Manufacturing Airtrax SIDEWINDER Lift Truck
Trenton, NJ – February 25, 2010: Vehicle Technologies, Inc., (Vetex),
a manufacturer of Omni-Directional Vehicles with military and commercial applications, announced today that it has begun production of an Airtrax branded SIDEWINDER Omni-Directional Lift Truck.

The current model SIDEWINDER features upgraded software which affords the benefits of greater ease of operation, longer battery shift life, and reduced roller wear. It also includes the introduction of more reliable sensor technology for even longer maintenance free operation, and a new operator interface with improved functionality and extended onboard diagnostic capabilities.

The new SIDEWINDER is being distributed through Lift Works, Inc. of West Chicago, IL (www.liftworksinc.com) and H & E Equipment Services (www.he-equipment.com) of Las Vegas NV.

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JCB plan further push into Australia for the Teletruk
As JCB's 7,500th Teletruk starts work in a UK recycling plant this month (February) the company has its sights set on expanding sales to the other side of the world in Australia. This makes particular sense because in 2009 the counterbalance forklift market in Australia (Class 4 & 5) leveled with, and some months exceeded, that of the UK.

The UK market, as with other leading European markets Germany and France, was significantly adversely affected by the recession. Meanwhile Australia was, and still is, in much better shape. Soon after signing New Zealand dealers Centra Forklifts to the Teletruk franchise in 2008 JCB linked with Western Australia's growing force Allied Forklifts, based in Malaga near Perth. In 2010 Allied are expanding premises, staff and product offering. Owner and Managing Director Wayne Adams has even started the year with a new TV advertising campaign specifically for the Teletruk.

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Nexen Lift Trucks Is One Of The U.K.’S Best Kept Secrets.
The company that plans to take the Australian Materials Handling Industry by storm has revolutionised lift truck design with the arrival of it’s new "X" range series.

European designed and manufactured at Nexen’s wholly owned facility in Taiwan, the "X" range is built to the highest standards, incorporating the very best equipment & materials from Europe and Japan. All major components are easily accessible thus drastically reducing maintenance time, and increasing productivity it is believed to be one of the easiest and quickest lift trucks in today’s market place to maintain.

There are three drive-train configurations; Powershift, Optimal and Optimal +  which incorporates oil cooled disc brakes. Other features include anti-rollback, Driver Presence Sensing and Controlled Deceleration to name but a few.

Following the successful launch of the "X" range into the U.K. and European markets, the company sees Australia as the next important step in its growth.

This new design has already been nominated for two prestigious industry awards including The British Forklift Industry Award for Safety Innovation.

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PRODUCT WATCH
Omega lift introduces 4-wheel steer compact rough terrain forklift
Omega Lift is excited to announce the launch of its ALPHA Series, a compact rough terrain certified forklift. The ALPHA Series forklift is available in 6,000 lbs. capacity and features three steering modes (four wheel, crab and two wheel) as well as full time four wheel drive and frame leveling. The ALPHA comes standard with limited slip differentials, a powershift transmission and a diesel engine. Dimensionally, the ALPHA is 64" wide, 142" long and is available with either 78" or 90" overall height. With these compact dimensions, four wheel steering capabilities and full time four wheel drive, the ALPHA is truly unique in the industry.

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BEB Announces Upgraded Tool for Forklift Sales
New Generation of Quoting Software Released
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – February 16, 2010 – Today, BEB Industrial Asset Management announced the release of the newest version of its quoting software for material handling equipment - QuoteMaster IQ®. This is the seventh generation of the company’s popular quoting software, and it incorporates many new features for its users. The original QuoteMaster product was born in 1991 out of a single material handling equipment (MHE) dealer to improve the efficiencies of the sales processes. While the latest version is vastly different from the original, the primary benefit is still the same – to help MHE salespeople produce better quotes, faster and easier, and thereby close more sales.

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Palfinger Crayler Truck-Mounted Forklifts:
Designed to be better….built to PALFINGER standards!
From the very beginning, the PALFINGER CRAYLER line of truck-mounted forklifts was designed to not only be different than the rest, but better. PALFINGER engineers started from the ground up with innovative ideas that built on proven concepts to bring customers new levels of performance, service and support. This new approach to the industry is what sets CRAYLER apart from its competition. With lifting capacities ranging from 4,500 lbs. to 6,500 lbs., the CRAYLER line of truck-mounted forklifts offers exceptional power, speed and the maneuverability needed to deliver brick, block, lumber, sod, wallboard and other materials to the worksite.

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January
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February
The Forklift Market in The USA
March
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May
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Materials Handling Equipment in Ports
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