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Dear reader,
WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #474 - 12 August 2010 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Robinson sells assets to Elliott, Edwards

INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM

NEWS
Yale partners Russia’s largest distributor
Wisconsin Lift Truck adds Witco assets
Robinson sells assets to Elliott, Edwards
WWL and ROLF SCS join forces
Sample of used equipment for sale
Telehandlers help build Metz Pompidou
Forklift operator not stressful job
US verifies Nett’s BlueMAX 100 system
Lathe falls off forklift; worker denied benefits
Briefs
Movers & Shakers
Forklift driver killed during rampage

LOCAL NEWS
Moving forward without forklifts
Jobs growth tipped for forklift industry
ALC supports fast rail link study
Grant program for freight industry
Man hit from behind by forklift

MEDIA RELEASES
Warehouse Safety Solutions helps meet standards
Baseplan Software is travelling to New Zealand
Yale extends its search for the oldest Forklift truck
BEB Announces Expanded OEM Availability - Quoting Software Supports Most Major Brands

PRODUCT WATCH
New Generation, New Expectation
Thombert offers high-performance compounds for wheels and tires

ADVERTISEMENTS
Used Container Handling and Heavy-Duty Forklift specialist suppliers for Latin America
Atlas International Lift Truck-Chicago, IL USA
Agents, Dealer Alliances Wanted

SAFETY FIRST: Richard Shore: In-house instructor – cost vs benefit



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Inside Forkliftaction.com
We report this week on two large dealer consolidations in the United States – a trend that seems to be gaining momentum. Clearly, the tough times and increased competition are placing some dealers under pressure. And of course, dealers feel the impact from both sides – price-conscious buyers on the one hand and dominant manufacturers and importers on the other. The consolidations may be the salvation of many dealerships, strengthening their hand with their suppliers and giving them scale and scope to pass onto customers. It’s a trend we’ll no doubt see in other markets, too.




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NEWS STORIES
Yale partners Russia’s largest distributor
Fleet, United Kingdom
Yale Europe Material Handling’s factory workers should benefit from the appointment of what it says is the Russian Federation’s largest forklift distributor as its exclusive dealer in the country.

The agreement between Yale Europe Materials Handling and Universal Spetstechnica LLC (UST) is expected to create the most comprehensive distribution channel of any forklift manufacturer in the Russian Federation.

Yale brand manager Steve Ridgway says the partnership will strengthen the company’s manufacturing facilities in Craigavon, the UK, Masate, Italy and Nijmegen, the Netherlands. “The additional orders through the UST agreement will provide enhanced output and richer volumes in our Class 1, 2, 3 and 5 segments in our European factories.”

UST operates two main branches and a network of 56 independently owned and operated dealerships, with a presence in all eight of the Russian Federation’s Federal Districts.

Fifty dealer representatives from the Russian Federation will mark the introduction of UST into Yale’s dealer program with a visit to the company’s Craigavon facility to see first-hand the manufacture of the new VL series of electric forklifts.

NACCO Materials Handling Group EMEA managing director Ralf Mock says the Russian market is one of the “most promising areas of growth” for Yale in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

“With an excellent reputation for high standards of customer service, UST will bring the level of knowledge and expertise we have been searching for to grow our operation in Russia.  Their appointment will increase Yale’s presence in the Russian forklift market,” Mock explains.

Andrey Bunetskal, UST’s dealer principal, says that the Russian market is becoming more sophisticated. “Customers [are] demanding more technologically advance materials handling products and solutions, especially in electric counterbalance and warehouse equipment categories.”

The UST dealer network will offer Yale pallet trucks, order pickers, stacker trucks, reach trucks, pedestrian counterbalanced equipment and turret trucks from the warehouse range, and the full range of 1-16 tonne electric, LPG and diesel counterbalance forklifts.

At the height of the global recession, NACCO Materials Handling Group cut up to 135 jobs at the Craigavon and Nijmegen plants (Forkliftaction.com News #395).
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Wisconsin Lift Truck adds Witco assets
Brookfield, WI, United States
Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp (WLTC) has acquired the assets of Witco Systems Inc for USD1.2 million in a court-approved receivership transaction.

Judge Dennis P Moroney in Milwaukee County Circuit Court authorised the acquisition on 29 July, and Otto J Wolter, chief executive officer of Brookfield-based WLTC, announced the business development.

Of Witco’s 42 employees, 40 - including 18 technicians - began working for WLTC on 30 July, says Jerry Weidmann, president. Prior to the acquisition, WLTC employed 265 staff.

Now, WLTC has more than 140 technicians, an enlarged parts inventory and a rental fleet of more than 600 units, Weidmann notes.

Owned by the Wilson family, Witco filed for receivership in April 2010. The judge gave custodial responsibility for Witco to financial advisory services provider Richard Taylor of Milwaukee.

Witco executives Elmer Grichtmeier Jr and Rick Bare — now WLTC managers — had a pending management purchase offer on file, but the receiver pursued additional bids for Witco in an effort “to maximise the return for unsecured creditors”, Taylor notes. “Wisconsin Lift Truck paid more than the management offer. I think we got good value” for the assets.

A separate bid from an Illinois concern was withdrawn during an early phase of the process.

Taylor intends to pay for certain Witco liabilities and, probably in November, distribute any remaining proceeds to unsecured creditors.

Witco had leased Wisconsin locations in Milwaukee, Madison and Manitowoc. “We will retain the Madison location,” Weidmann says, “and we will merge the Milwaukee operation into our Brookfield site and the Manitowoc operation into our De Pere site” for the Green Bay market.

WLTC, primarily a dealer for the Caterpillar, Jungheinrich, Mitsubishi and Linde forklift brands, has other Wisconsin distribution and full-service locations in Germantown, Janesville and Wausau, and, through division Wolter Material Handling also represents Komatsu, in Eau Claire. Other WLTC operations include Wolter Power Systems for industrial engines and generators and Contractor Equipment Services for construction and aerial equipment, sweepers and scrubbers.

WLTC named Elmer Grichtmeier Jr as general manager of its southern region, Bare as corporate controller and Greg Grichtmeier as field sales manager for the southern region. Previously in their Witco positions, Elmer Grichtmeier Jr was vice president and general manager, Greg Grichtmeier vice president of sales and Bare vice president and chief financial officer.

Both entities have significant histories in Wisconsin’s forklift industry, with the Witco lineage starting with Oliver S Wilson in 1949, and the WLTC record beginning with Wolter in 1962.

Wilson founded Wisconsin Industrial Truck Co as the first materials handling equipment dealership in the state and was a long-time representative for the Clark brand. Ironically, Otto Wolter started working for Wilson at the firm as a janitor in 1957 and left in 1962 to start his own business. Now Wolter’s firm is the acquirer of the Wilson legacy.

Wilson and Elmer Grichtmeier Sr founded Stack & Store Systems in 1971 and represented Crown forklifts along with Interlake and Frazier racking systems. Stack & Store acquired Manitowoc Industrial Equipment and its Nissan representation in 1981.

Wisconsin Industrial Truck and Stack & Store merged to become Witco Systems in 2002. Oliver Wilson died in January 2007 at age 90 (Forkliftaction.com News #294). Recently, his son, Doug Wilson, was Witco chief executive officer, according to Taylor.

Weidmann says WLTC does not plan to retain the Nissan representation.

In 2009, WLTC restarted its Illinois Material Handling operation. “We represent Hyundai (Group of South Korea) and Hytsu (Group based in Shanghai, China) in northern Illinois, Weidmann reports.

In mid-2006, WLTC exchanged territories along the Wisconsin-Illinois state line with a Chicago-based dealership and established WLTC as the primary Wisconsin representative for both Caterpillar and Mitsubishi (Forkliftaction.com News #271).

In addition to its Wisconsin presence, WLTC represents Caterpillar, Jungheinrich, Mitsubishi and Linde in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
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Used Container Handling and Heavy-Duty Forklift specialist suppliers for Latin America
Intermodal Equipment Exchange, Inc. specializes in used Container Handlers and Heavy-Duty Forklift Trucks. Over the last 25 years we have supplied many quality machines at affordable prices into Latin American. We source your needs from our quality suppliers and we are well networked in the container handling industry.

Intermodal Equipment Exchange, Inc. se especializa en las máquinas usadas para el manejo de contenedores y en los montacargas grandes. Contamos con más de 25 años en la industria y hemos suministrado muchas máquinas de alta calidad a precios muy competitivos en América Latina. Tenemos un excelente suministro de máquinas por nuestra red establecida por muchos años exitosos en el mercado.


For more company and product information: click to visit the Intermodal Equipment Exchange, Inc. ShopFront
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Atlas International Lift Truck-Chicago, IL USA
For over 58 years we have provided good used equipment from our home base in Chicago. We have exported to over 30 countries worldwide and have locations in Northern and Southern California.

We are looking for alliances in South America.  

SE HABLA ESPANOL Y ESPECIALIZAMOS EN MONTACARGAS USADOS!

Tenemos mucha experiencia en el Mercado de Suda America.  Podemos proporcionar
buen equipo usado de todas marcas Americano y Japonese.

Tambien podemos ofrecer precios del flete muy competetivos a Miami, FL o cual puerta que prefiere.

Queremos ayudarle ganar en negocio!



For more company and product information: click to view the Atlas ShopFront
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Robinson sells assets to Elliott, Edwards
Bethlehem, PA, United States
Michael Elliott and Thomas Edwards have acquired the assets of a mid-Atlantic forklift dealership from long-time materials handling industry stalwart Ray Robinson. Terms were not disclosed.

They have relabeled the operation CSI Material Handling Inc. The headquarters remain in Bethlehem with ongoing representation for the Toyota, Clark, Doosan, Komatsu, Barrett and Sellick forklift brands.

Robinson ran the business as CSI Enterprises Inc. The initials stem from the earlier identity Clarklift Services Inc.

“We wish Ray Robinson all the best and thank him for his contributions to Clark,” says Scott Johnson, vice president of business development for Clark Material Handling Co in Lexington, Kentucky. Robinson was a Clark dealer for 46 years and has served as the Clark dealer council president.

“We look at this transaction as a great opportunity to continue the CSI legacy,” Elliott notes. In reaching a deal, Robinson “made the process simple”.

Elliott and Edwards also own forklift dealership SwiftLift Inc in Victor, New York, representing Toyota and Sellick for eight counties in the greater Rochester market.

Elliott and Edwards are the majority and minority shareholders, respectively, in each of their corporations.

“When (Elliott and Edwards) looked to grow their current footprint, they wanted to do so with a brand and people that would ensure their continued success,” Johnson says. “With this acquisition, our companies join forces in what has been a historically strong market for Clark.”

Effective 1 August, the business partners took charge of four locations occupying about 65,000 sqft (5,850 sqm) with 80 employees, including 50 technicians.

Clark appointed the new CSI entity as an authorised distributor in three Pennsylvania markets – Bethlehem, Pittston and Reading – as well as New Castle in Delaware. The Clark territory, much covering non-contiguous areas, includes nine counties in Pennsylvania, nine in Maryland, three in Delaware and one in New Jersey.

Going forward, Elliott intends to spend most of his working time at CSI Material Handling.
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Agents, Dealer Alliances Wanted
TRAFIK Bremen, a world leading international wholesaler of used forklifts based in Germany, is looking for new alliances with agents and dealers in South America.

If you are interested in discussing options, forward your company name, website, contact person, phone, fax and email address to info@trafik.com.

All enquiries will be treated confidentially.

See our Shopfront at this link for more company and product information or give us a call +49421485880 - !!! hablamos espanol !!!

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WWL and ROLF SCS join forces
Oslo, Norway and St Petersburg, Russia
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) and ROLF SCS are establishing a joint venture between their Baltic and Russian terminal activities.

The joint venture will operate the auto and RoRo terminals in Kotka in Finland, Petrolesport port in St Petersburg and Vostochny in Far East Russia, which are the principal entry ports by sea into Russia.

WWL and ROLF SCS aim to provide international vehicle manufacturers with more flexibility and choice to import cars and RoRo cargo into Russia and neighbouring countries through the joint venture.

Anders Boman, WWL’s CEO for Europe, says the joint venture is a milestone for the transport logistics company in Russia. “Despite the recent downturn, we believe in this market for the long term. I am happy that through our co-operation with ROLF SCS, we can offer customers our entire supply chain portfolio for the Russia and CIS market.”

ROLF Group board member Stephen Fletcher says the partnership “further reinforces ROLF SCS’s market position” and will have immediate and long-term significance.

WWL brings its terminal in Kotka, Finland to the joint company while ROLF brings its activities in Petrolesport port and the Vostochny terminal. The joint venture is subject to the agreement of the companies’ boards of directors and is expected to finalise at the end of the year.

WWL has operated in Russia since 2003 and established a branch office in St Petersburg in 2009. ROLF SCS, a part of car importer and retailer ROLF Group, is a Russian provider of finished vehicle and spare parts logistics services to the automotive industry.
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Sample of used equipment for sale:Search 4417 listings in the Marketplace
Hyster S65XM 2003 United States USD 5500 Details
Linde R16 1998 Germany EUR 1750 Details
Toyota 7FGCU25 1999 United States USD 5500 Details
Valmet TD156A 1989 Germany EUR 29500 Details
Hyster H60XM 2002 United States USD 8900 Details
Hyster H80XM 2003 United States USD 11900 Details
Fantuzzi RS55 2002 Germany EUR 185000 Details
Hyster H3.00DX 2003 New Zealand NZD 20000 Details
Raymond RWR300 2004 United States USD 7950 Details
Still R70-16G 2003 Germany EUR 4250 Details
Clark MEGA-AC25S 1997 Germany EUR 3950 Details
Toyota 6FBRE16 2006 New Zealand NZD 29000 Details
Nissan-Datsun PJ02A25 2003 United States USD 9900 Details
Maxein KSB150G 2001 Germany EUR 74000 Details
and thousands more...
Click here to include your used forklifts, stackers, telehandlers, container handlers, attachments etc.
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Telehandlers help build Metz Pompidou
Metz, France
Telehandlers performed the job of several machines during the complicated construction of a European arts centre that will exhibit the works of Matisse and Picasso.

The Metz Pompidou Centre, which has a sweeping cantilevered “tent” roof, is not only a showcase for French artists but for the latest in design and building technologies.

The basis for construction company Weilheim-Bannholz’s interwoven, prefabricated structure for the arts centre was a steel scaffold pipe system. The open structure allowed access for boom-type lifts and platforms during the building process.

Rental company Amann GmbH supplied the machines for the site and up to five Merlo Roto machines were used at one time. Each of the 25m, 21m and 16m (82ft, 69ft and 53 ft) Rotos was fitted with a Merlo SPACE system, which allows reach through and around the pipework structure.

The mounting of the central tower crane was possible through the Roto and SPACE combination. While the Roto 20.25 telehandler gives 25 metres (82 feet) of lifting height, the SPACE platform adds two dimensions to it. It has its own telescopic extension of up to 11 metres (36 feet) and allows the working basket to be slewed 300 degrees around its vertical axis.

The combined system allows two workers to work up to 36 metres (118 feet). They can also go up through apertures in the structure and around corners. The telehandlers also have a Merlo-designed Merlin Computerised Safety System that automatically compensates when the outrigger configuration is changed. For example, even when the outriggers on one side are completely retracted, the machine is still safe to work in. The system enables safe operation when the stabilisers are asymmetrically deployed.

Merlo Deutschland GmbH regional manager Burkhard Bauer says the technology and flexibility of the telehandlers “made a complicated installation at the Metz possible”.

“The installers would have had to use a forklift, a handler and a loader,” Bauer adds.
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Forklift operator not stressful job
Forklift operators may face workplace safety issues but they have been listed by an online job board with librarians and piano tuners as the least stressful jobs for 2010.

CareerCast, which aggregates listings from newspapers and other sources, has assessed numerous factors for over 200 professions for its 2010 Jobs Rated Report. It has released the report that includes lists of the most and least stressful jobs as well as best and worst jobs.

The most stressful jobs of 2010 were found to be firefighter, senior corporate executive, taxi driver, surgeon, commercial pilot, public relations officer, advertising account executive and real estate agent.

Meanwhile, CareerCast lists musical instrument repairer, medical records technician, appliance repairer, actuary, forklift operator, librarian, medical secretary, bookkeeper, piano tuner and janitor as the least stressful jobs.

Jobs were ranked by five core criteria – environment, income, outlook, stress and physical demands. CareerCast measured work “environment” according to physical and emotional factors and computed the “income” score by adding the estimated mid-level income and the income growth potential. Twenty-one “stress” factors were assessed to determine this score and the “outlook” criterion comprised of employment growth, income growth potential and unemployment factors.

Danny Maron from Canada-based Ideal Forklift Training agrees with the report that a forklift operator’s job is not very stressful.

“Most operators really enjoy driving their trucks around the plant and warehouse, and going about their business. In certain circumstances, there is pressure to get a select amount of inventory to the loading dock in minutes at a time, but the guys I know seem to cope well,” Maron says.

He adds that he has yet to come across a stressed forklift operator but concedes that the job does have a stress factor. “[They have to] watch for ignorant individuals who do not look out for the forklifts and tend to walk or run and squeeze in front, behind or at the sides of the truck. Without pedestrian training, this becomes an ongoing problem but operators have become used to it.”
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US verifies Nett’s BlueMAX 100 system
Mississsauga, ON, Canada
A regulatory agency has verified the BlueMAX 100 selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system from Nett Technologies Inc for controlling nitrogen oxide emissions from mobile non-road medium and heavy-duty diesel engines including those powering forklifts.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made the verification in July.

The verification is a first of its kind issued for a retrofit device under the EPA’s environmental technical verification program, according to Pierre-James Murphy, sales and marketing coordinator with Nett in Mississauga.

The system’s urea control strategy relies on a sensor upstream of the SCR catalyst to measure a nitrogen oxide concentration.

A control algorithm is used to calculate the necessary urea dosing rate on the basis of the nitrogen oxide sensor signal in combination with an engine mass air flow sensor and temperature sensor.

The Nett technology is suitable for applicable retrofits on a wide range of diesel engines and is offered as a direct-fit design. No additional engine calibration is necessary.

The system also controls diesel particulate matter, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide.

The San Antonio, Texas-based Southwest Research Institute conducted verification testing over two test cycle protocols – non-road-transient and eight-mode steady – that found the system reduced emissions of nitrogen oxide by 68-70%, particulate matter by 12-30%, hydrocarbons by 99-100% and carbon monoxide by 87-94%. Funding from the Texas Environmental Research Consortium supported development and verification of the BlueMAX 100 SCR system.

Nett indicates that reducing emissions from diesel engines is one of the most important air quality challenges facing the US. “Even with EPA's more stringent heavy-duty highway and off-road engine standards set to take effect over the next decade, millions of diesel engines already in use will continue to emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and air toxics, which contribute to serious public health problems,” Nett says.

Nett received EPA approval for aftermarket use of the BlueMAX SCR system on certain Caterpillar nonroad four-cycle diesel engines in July 2008 {statlink|1|(Forkliftaction.com News #372)}.
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Lathe falls off forklift; worker denied benefits
Hermitage, PA, United States
A Pennsylvania judicial panel has upheld the denial of unemployment compensation for a worker who was terminated for allowing a lathe to fall off a forklift.

Hermitage, Pennsylvania-based GW Becker Inc, a distributor of electric chain hoists, terminated Bruce Taylor on 8 May 2009 for deliberately not following proper procedures in unloading a lathe. Taylor had worked at the firm for three years.

An unemployment compensation board of review in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania denied Taylor benefits on the basis his conduct was willful. Taylor sued, but, on 29 July, a three-judge panel affirmed the board’s decision.

GW Becker maintains it trained Taylor on proper ways to lift items using a forklift and that he was experienced in loading and unloading equipment.

On Taylor’s last day on the job, he was present at the firm’s Grove City, Pennsylvania facility when the lathe was loaded. Later, at the Hermitage headquarters plant, he acceded to the truck driver’s request to unload the lathe on rough terrain in front of the building rather than on the more stable concrete pad at the rear of the property.

Taylor acknowledged failing to use slings to secure the lathe to the forklift tines during the unloading. Worth USD3,750, the lathe became unbalanced on the structural prongs and was damaged beyond repair in falling off the forklift.

GW Becker immediately discharged Taylor for failing to secure the lathe.
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Briefs
Big Lift launches stacker for furnaces
Lombard, IL, United States

Big Lift has launched a special version of the Big Joe PDM Straddle stacker for precise materials handling in vacuum furnace applications.
It says the vehicle’s uniqueness is a mechanism designed to place loads far inside vacuum furnaces. These furnaces often cost over USD500,000 and can be subject to damage during loading and unloading so precision materials handling is important.

Infraestructura Portuaria Mexicana orders RTGs
Stockholm, Sweden

Pinfra subsidiary Infraestructura Portuaria Mexicana (IPM) has ordered two all-electric Kalmar E-One2 rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes and is getting Cargotec to upgrade its two existing quay cranes.
IPM is enhancing its terminal operations at the Port of Altamira as container traffic in the region increases.
Delivery of the RTGs is slated for the second quarter of 2011.

John Knowles marks 25th anniversary
Cornwall, United Kingdom

The John Knowles Company, which has helped the Fork Lift Truck Association develop initiatives like the Annual Awards for Excellence and the National Fork Lift Truck Safety Week, has celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The PR agency’s largest client is Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks, and it holds the account for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It also represents Consolidated Fork Truck Services, the body behind the UK’s first national scheme for Thorough Examination accreditation.

Cooper SH announces heavy forklift upgrades
Kenilworth, United Kingdom

Cooper SH, the UK’s distributor of Konecranes, has introduced upgrades to its heavy forklift range that it says offers the highest safety specifications and helps fleet owners reduce their costs.
The upgrades include a remodeled chassis design on the heavy forklift range that Cooper SH claims enhances rearward visibility and provides a greater engine cooling capacity.
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Movers & Shakers
United States
Battery Handling Systems Inc has appointed Jay Kovarik as director of national accounts. Kovarik previously held the positions of account manager and national account manager in other companies. He has 25 years of materials handling experience.

Council Bluffs, IA, United States
Kevin Swierczek has been appointed Omaha Standard-Palfinger’s project engineer responsible for engineering design and project management functions for new product development and integration of the company’s line of MBB Palfinger and Eagle Lift liftgates. He will also provide technical support to production, sales and marketing, and purchasing.

London, United Kingdom
Kim Catterick has been appointed chairman of Humber Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Humber CILT). Catterick is PD Ports’ business development manager. According to PD Ports, she has been closely involved with the port operator’s recent success with ASDA and the Logistical Link service, helping to forge new business links and strengthen relationships. Prior to PD Ports, she spent 27 years with multi-modal container operator Samskip. Catterick will serve as Humber CILT chairman for two years.
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Forklift driver killed during rampage
Manchester, CT, United States
A forklift operator was among eight people killed during a former co-worker’s shooting spree at Hartford Distributors Inc in Manchester, reports the Journal Inquirer.

Beer delivery driver Omar Thornton, 34, resigned under pressure on 3 August after company-hired private investigators verified Thornton was stealing and reselling product. Thornton had secreted two 9mm handguns in the workplace, used a ruse to re-enter the building while being escorted out and soon began shooting in the warehouse.

Thornton walked through the stacks of beer pallets and trucks and shot at several more people, according to a police lieutenant. One man was driving a forklift when Thornton shot at him. In an unsuccessful attempt to escape, the unidentified operator flung himself from the equipment.

The forklift crashed into an electrical conduit and started a fire that began to spread up the wall of the building.

Subsequently, police found that Thornton had ended his life, turning one of the guns on himself.
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LOCAL STORIES
 
Moving forward without forklifts
Altona, Victoria, Australia
Forklifts and prime ministers don’t mix and prime minister Julia Gillard came dangerously close to finding out why when she visited a Melbourne factory last week.

Gillard was touring the Linfox distribution centre in Altona as part of her election campaign when a forklift driver appeared not to see her group and reversed towards it, causing several people including the PM to scream at the driver to stop.

This ABC video link records her close encounter.

Obviously, no-one had bothered to inform the PM or her minders that on average three people are seriously injured by forklifts every week in Victorian workplaces.  

Some time after her near miss, she spoke to workers from the back of a forklift and when she stepped off, her high-heel shoe slipped off, providing some light entertainment when Melbourne factory worker Rob Stewart, dubbed “Prince Charming” by the press, stooped to replace it on her foot.

Since early December 2009, there have been 35 incidents reported to WorkSafe involving people and forklifts. The majority involved people sustaining injuries from being hit by a forklift, with a smaller proportion involving people being hit by a load falling from a forklift.

According to WorkCover’s Ross Pilkington, despite years of communicating the message that people and forklifts don’t mix, workplace behaviour does not reflect the fact that these machines will seriously hurt or kill if they hit someone – regardless of the speed at which they travel.
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Jobs growth tipped for forklift industry
Australia
A number of forklift companies intend to hire more staff, while most seem to be planning to retain existing staff and not adding to headcounts, according to a snap poll by Forkliftaction.com News.

These findings came in a survey of players in the forklift industry in the wake of a recent ANZ Job Advertisements Series showing the total number of jobs advertised in major metropolitan newspapers and on the internet rose by 1.3% in July, following strong increases in the previous two months.

Gary Hodge of Komatsu Forklifts Australia tells Forkliftaction.com News that the company has 15 job vacancies, ranging from technicians to branch managers.

He is confident that the next financial year will result in improved market activity.

“It is our view that many organisations put their forklift replacement programs on hold due to the GFC and lack of confidence.  This will result in a larger number of sales as confidence returns which we expect to see after the election is concluded.”

Bill Pfleger, managing director of NMHG Asia Pacific, tells Forkliftaction.com News that the company is hiring, with business activity expected to improve slightly for the remainder of this year.

Jay Jack of Forkserve has a positive outlook, and says the company intends to double its staff over the next 12 months to keep pace with demand and make sure there is no undue pressure on the company’s mechanics.

He says many companies need to hire more people but senior management is holding off due to economic uncertainty.

“In spite of tough economic conditions, the business is out there for independent companies if they want it enough,” he says, adding that regardless of the election outcome, the economy is expected to get better.

“The feeling out there is that it will get better under Liberal than it will with Labor though,” he concludes.

Meanwhile, John Flinn of Hystandard Handling Equipment says he intends to retain staff at current levels, with business activity expected to increase only marginally for the remainder of 2010.

Linde Material Handling Australia also says its head count will remain static at this stage.

“However, this is an area that requires constant focus and flexibility, to ensure that we have the correct manning levels to meet the market demands,” says managing director Carl Smith.

“I am not sure that there will be an increase in the forklift industry business activity in the remainder of 2010.  We believe that there is still a degree of caution in the market, which may continue until year-end.”

However, he adds that there has been an indication that business confidence is returning.  “Although the market statistics (units purchased) may not reflect this, activity and interest does appear higher than the previous months.”

Damien Garvey, national sales manager of NTP Forklifts says the company will maintain current levels of staff.

“Whilst the past two months, June and July, have improved over the previous months, we are still a little apprehensive to believe the worst is over,” he tells Forkliftaction.com News.

“Business activity is still unpredictable and finance is still not readily available to a lot of small to medium-sized businesses.”

According to ANZ chief economist Warren Hogan, the rises in job advertisements in June and July highlight Australia's resilience amid the uncertain global economic backdrop.  

“Australian employers still appear upbeat about Australia's economic prospects despite heightened external risks.

“We are expecting jobs growth of around 20,000 this month. With the participation rate sitting at 65.2%, this would see the unemployment rate remain steady at 5.1%.”

He says the improvement in Australia's unemployment rate is coming at an early stage in the economic cycle.  

“Australian economic growth is expected to accelerate to above-trend rates in 2011, propelled by strong business investment.  This will see the unemployment rate fall further and will likely see capacity constraints in Australia's labour market (such as skills shortages) worsen.  This presents significant upside risk to wages and consumer price inflation.”
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ALC supports fast rail link study
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Minister for infrastructure and transport Anthony Albanese, speaking at the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Conference in Melbourne last week, has committed $20 million to conduct a feasibility study into a high-speed rail line between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

The first stage of the study will focus on the Newcastle-Sydney corridor, and how such a spine would complement the options for later network extensions north to Brisbane and south to Canberra and Melbourne.

The study will identify the possible corridor and determine the viability of the project.

“We need to be certain that the project is economically viable before giving it the green light,” says Albanese.

Australian Logistics Council chief executive Michael Kilgariff says the ALC supports the development of a fast rail link, which would take people off existing lines and enable freight to move more efficiently.
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Grant program for freight industry
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Two grants of up to $50,000 are on offer to encourage the identification, trialling and evaluation of innovative practices that can be applied across the freight industry.

Offered by the Queensland Transport and Logistics Council in partnership with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the FreightSmart grants program aims to encourage and support Queensland-based industry to reduce urban congestion and minimise greenhouse gas emissions, through delivering a more efficient and effective freight network.

The FreightSmart program offers dollar-for-dollar grants and is available state-wide.  The grants program seeks innovative proposals specific to the freight industry that are unique or previously untested.  Proposals considered for the grants will be those that can be applied across the industry, that have the greatest potential to lessen the impact of urban congestion on freight and vice versa, and which could also have climate change benefits.

Proposals must have a measurable outcome, including baseline data.  Examples of proposals might include off-peak or collaborative freight deliveries, or freight consolidation. Proposals are to be submitted by 24 September 2010.

Further information about the FreightSmart grants program can be obtained online.
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Man hit from behind by forklift
Bomaderry, New South Wales, Australia
A 69-year-old plumbing contractor was killed after being struck by a moving forklift at a south coast paper mill last month.

The man was walking down a road between two buildings on the Bomaderry site when he was hit from behind by a forklift.

Apparently, the forklift was carrying multiple bags of pulp, which may have restricted the visibility of the driver.

General manager of WorkCover’s Occupational Health and Safety Division John Watson says the incident serves as a tragic reminder to ensure that adequate safety precautions are taken when working with and around forklifts and powered trucks.

“Forklifts and other mobile plant that are being driven through the walkways always have the potential to put workers and others at risk.

“Effective traffic management procedures must be in place where forklifts are in operation including zones to separate pedestrians and forklifts during loading and unloading.

“Incidents involving forklifts are avoidable and constant attention must be paid when working with and around these machines.

“Extreme care must also be taken when pedestrians and other workers are around, including travelling at a safe speed and ensuring that the operator has a clear view of the direction that they are travelling at all times.”

When working with or around forklifts:

• ensure adequate traffic management, including the safety of pedestrians and bystanders;
• plan for the task and ensure the right equipment is being used for the load;
• forklifts must be correctly maintained and operated in accordance with the designer's and manufacturer's instruction;
• forklift operators must be correctly certified and have the correct training for the particular forklift.

More information on forklift safety can be found on www.workcover.nsw.gov.au.
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MEDIA RELEASES
Warehouse Safety Solutions helps meet standards
Warehouse Safety Solutions (WSS) has dedicated years to developing products to aid customers in the separation of forklifts and pedestrians. WorkSafe has now released a new document called “People and forklifts don’t mix”? This document contains the expectations for separation of pedestrians and forklifts.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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Baseplan Software is travelling to New Zealand
Baseplan Software is heading across the seas to exhibit at the Hire Industry Association of New Zealand’s (HIANZ) annual tradeshow being held at Auckland’s Telstra Arena from 13-15 September 2010. With an emphasis on all things hire, this show aims to bring together people who are looking for innovative products and services to benefit their business.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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Yale extends its search for the oldest Forklift truck
As Yale’s campaign to find the oldest operating Yale forklift truck continues to receive entries from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to celebrate the company’s 90th anniversary, Yale has extended the competition to the end of the year following  the appointment of new exclusive dealers within the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa network.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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BEB Announces Expanded OEM Availability - Quoting Software Supports Most Major Brands
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – August 4, 2010BEB Industrial Asset Management announces expanded OEM representation within the newest version of its quoting software for material handling equipment - QuoteMaster IQ®. The company had recently announced the seventh generation of the its popular quoting software, introducing many new features for users. Now, BEB reports that many new manufacturers’ equipment lines have been added to the IQ software.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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PRODUCT WATCH
New Generation, New Expectation
Two months after the relocation to new plant facility, HANGCHA now is proud to formally launch the new generation, XF Series, to global market. XF series is more than just good looking, although the XF is the best looking generation ever in HANGCHA 35 years of production. With the design concept of “Simple, Solid, Smart”, the XF series, which is produced from extensive research and improved through thousands of tests, represent a true solution to different needs.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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Thombert offers high-performance compounds for wheels and tires
The quality products from Thombert help you control your budget. Users of lower-quality wheels and tires experience higher back-end costs. But with the high-performance products from Thombert, you’ll experience the lowest cost per hour of use.

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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SAFETY FIRST
Richard Shore: In-house instructor – cost vs benefit
London, United Kingdom
Should training be done in-house or do you need to hire external experts? Richard Shore says there's no one-size-ifts-all soluton...

Click here for the full Safety First feature, including pictures.
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Jobs

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Editorial Calendar 2009
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NEWS

Editorial Calendar 2010

January
Telehandlers
February
The Forklift Market in The USA
March
Attachments: Pallet Handling
April
Used Forklift Dealers
May
The Forklift Market in China
June
Materials Handling Equipment in Ports
July
The Forklift Market in Latin America
August
Industrial Tryes and Wheels
September
Batteries and Chargers
October
Materials Handling in Europe
November
Warehouse Counter Balance Forklifts
December
Spare Parts

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