Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD May-Jun 2016 Contents Most purchasers opt to lease their
equipment, or purchase it outright. Only about
15% rent, slightly down on two years ago.
It appears that forklift users are happy to
rely on the equipment supplier for the total
package, from leasing through maintenance
to even the choice of tyres. Those who take
out a lease on the forklifts mostly choose to go
with the manufacturer or equipment supplier,
with just a few opting for a leasing company or
talking to their banks.
Maintenance is another area that users tend
to leave to their suppliers. 58% nominated
the manufacturer or supplier/distributor as
servicing their trucks, and 19% using an
independent service company. The practice
of in-house technicians taking care of
maintenance is also quite popular, 17%. Tyres
are also often covered under the maintenance
contract (around half), with the rest aiming
to select the tyre on quality, service life or
longevity, or go for the cheapest tyres – either
on overall cost (“select the tyre based on cost
per hour to run”), or lowest purchase price.
While forklifts are frequently-purchased
items, with just over 8% acquiring new forklifts
every year, 14% between 1 and 3 years, 46%
buying every 3-5 years, and about 32% taking
more than five years between purchases, the
currently prevalent economic instability means
that these numbers have extended compared
to two years ago.
Safety features carry a very high level of
importance for forklift users and purchasers,
although with a number of features now being
mandated and are a ‘given’ with forklifts,
buyers can turn their attention to other features.
Many have ranked safety features as the
most important factor, and every respondent
repor ted at least one safety feature being in use
on their trucks. Beepers and flashing lights are
the most prevalent, but speed limiters, seatbelt-
linked ignition locks and operator ID-requiring
lockout systems also featured prominently.
Reversing cameras are being fitted to an
increasing number of forklifts as well.
Forklifts are getting
“Crown’s dedication to finding the best
solutions, not just in material handling products
but also in developing systems that improve
customer productivity and safety, has helped
us thrive,” Crown Australia managing director
Greg Simmonds said.
“We’ve got more on the way in the next year,
with a number of impor tant new products and
Crown Equipment is celebrating its 50-year
anniversary with the introduction of three new
technologically advanced models.
Due to launch in 2016 are the highly versatile
SC 6000 Series counterbalance lift trucks,
the larger FC 5200 electric counterbalance
lift trucks, and the latest version of Crown’s
popular work assistance vehicle, the Wave.
All are powered by new Crown-designed and
- built brushless AC electric motors.
The new SC 6000 three-wheel and four-
wheel models offer a combination of stability,
manoeuvrability, advanced technology and
task-focused ergonomics for performing a
wide variety of material handling tasks, both
indoors and outdoors.
The FC 5200, which comes with a capacity
of up to three tonnes, incorporates a complete
new drivetrain and steering design that
was conceived with a focus on increased
productivity and manoeuvrability.
The newly developed WAVE combines
technologically advanced AC drive motors
for exceptional manoeuvrability with inherent
safety features, providing man-up pick heights
of approximately 4.5 metres. It also offers
increased durability through a number of
design changes, an extended battery life and
an improved user interface.
Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA)
executive vice president & COO Steve Takacs
said Toyota Material Handling is working to
integrate alternative fuel sources into material
“As I see it, lithium battery power within
the material handling industry has a bright
future once some issues are overcome,
predominately being the expensive upfront
purchase cost of a lithium battery and charger
combination,” Mr Takacs said. “A lithium
battery is ‘expected’ to have a normal life of
up to fifteen years, so the forklift may need to
be replaced before the battery, which means
you will need to replace your forklift like-for-
like so the same battery fits. Lithium battery
end-of-life disposal is a complicated and
expensive process. Currently the disposal
of large old lithium batteries may involve
shipping them overseas.
“TMHA will be aiming for twenty per cent
growth in new equipment sales,” Mr Takacs
said. “And I expect that the Australian market
will follow Europe with increasing demand for
driverless forklifts and alternative fuel sources.
“However, even with so many new forklift
options available don't discount the good
old traditional style LPG or battery electric
forklift as they are also advancing quickly, with
internal combustion hybrid and electric lift
trucks adopting AC motors, improved output
and efficiencies from lead acid batteries.
“I'm not sure if some of today's new material
handling options will be around in thirty years
time but I'm pretty sure that you will still be
able to see lots of 2.5 tonne container mast
forklifts around for many years to come,” Mr
Matt Houghton from Century Yuasa Motive
Power Australia also believes some exciting
technology is just around the corner.
“There is an opportunity to improve
technology and enhance services offered
to industry that meets the needs of material
handling equipment owners, and enhance
operations with cost effective technologies,”
Mr Houghton said. “For this reason, Century
Yuasa business has continued to emphasise
expenditure in R&D and marketing to enable it
to continue to enhance its product and service
offering and remain a leading supplier of
energy storage products and services to the
materials handling industry.”
ENJOY THE WINE!
Paul Johnston from Ego Pharmaceuticals is
the lucky winner of the bottle of Penfolds.
Congratulations, Paul, your bottle of
Grange Hermitage is on its way to you!
And thank you to all who participated in
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS — MAY / JUNE 2016
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