SKY HOOK Provides Manufacturers with Immediate Lifting Solution for Social Distancing Requirements

Sky Hook

Maintaining efficiency with a limited or restricted workforce has never been more paramount. With the widespread impact of COVID-19, many companies have temporarily closed their doors or made changes for personal safety, including employees working from home to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Essential businesses, however, that have been deemed critical to our current endeavors are rapidly ramping up production to meet the growing demands brought on by this new challenge that the nation faces. 

Manufacturers all over the country are in full swing bringing medical supplies, equipment, and other necessities to market as quickly as possible to assist the growing number of individuals impacted by this pandemic. This does, however, create its own challenges as many companies have implemented Social Distancing policies to curb the potential spread of this virus. Maintaining a six-foot distance between employees can make some vital operations either challenging or impossible to perform safely. 

Two-person lifts are currently prohibited due to the close quarters between employees. Additionally, implementing new overhead crane solutions are typically three to four months out before they can become operational. They can also be expensive and take additional time and training to integrate into operations. How do companies working with limited or restricted staff maintain operational efficiency, while meeting critical safety and ergonomic standards? 

With this growing pandemic, companies all over the world are calling on their employees and vendors alike to innovate and develop new strategies and processes to maintain operations that deliver their vital products to the masses. The Sky Hook is the ergonomic lifting device many companies are reaching for as it provides a safe, single operator lifting solution to meet today’s health and safety needs. As a customizable, lightweight lifting device, the Sky Hook can be an essential component in this endeavor that offers a much-needed solution to a variety of applications spanning countless industries.

Syclone ATTCO Service has been manufacturing the Sky Hook lifting device in the USA since 1969 and they have adapted their unique products to fill a variety of needs. Being both OSHA and ASME compliant, their equipment integrates easily into operations and provides a timely and effective solution to those in need.

“During this time of crisis, we’ve been contacted by many companies seeking lifting solutions to fill these lifting needs and Sky Hook has been proud to rise to the occasion!” says Dusty White, Technical Sales Manager.

With the Sky Hook lifting device, employees are now able to safely work independently to perform critical lifts instead of team lifts, which would violate the proximity policies that many local governments and companies have now implemented.

“We are currently waiving our production expedite charges on both custom and standard units so customers can obtain the lifting solution that they need in a timely and efficient manner to keep up with their current production demand,” says Dusty White, Technical Sales Manager.  “We also have cleanroom modifications available allowing our products to adapt to a variety of work environments. Americans all across our nation are pulling together to meet this adversity head-on and Sky Hook is proud to do its part!”

Contact Syclone ATTCO Service today for additional information on their products, custom capabilities and expedited production options. Additional information can be obtained by emailing or by visiting their website at


Seegrid Raises $25 Million in Growth Equity

G2VP invests in Seegrid to accelerate new product development and fund growth initiatives

PITTSBURGH, PA  — Seegrid, the leader in self-driving industrial vehicles for material handling, today announced that it has closed a $25 million growth equity investment from G2VP, a venture capital firm focused on investing in industrial technology companies. Specific financial terms were not disclosed, however, the company indicated that the investment reflects a multi-hundred million dollar valuation.

“Revenue in 2019 was record-breaking for Seegrid, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, we already have orders in hand to assure continued growth in 2020,” said Jim Rock, Seegrid chief executive officer. “The investment from G2VP allows us to more quickly meet demand and accelerate new product introductions previously scheduled for 2021 and 2022 — as well as support our significant growth and hiring plans.”

“G2VP invests in emerging technology companies that digitize traditional industries and drive market transformations. Seegrid is such a company. Its self-driving vehicle technology is indisputable in its value and safety track record, and we are thrilled to invest in Seegrid and support their mission of helping the world’s leading companies transform into smart factories and distribution centers of the future,” said G2VP co-founder and partner David Mount.

“Seegrid’s best-in-class service goes above and beyond to ensure their impressive portfolio of customers are successful, which is a winning combination for sustainability and growth.”

Mount, who led a number of successful investments in his prior role of partner at Kleiner Perkins, has joined Seegrid’s board of directors.

UBS Investment Bank acted as financial advisor to Seegrid in connection with the transaction. Eric Moskal, Head of UBS’s Americas Industrials Group said, “The success of this fundraising despite the COVID-19 environment is a strong testament to the strength of Seegrid’s technology and its growth prospects. Seegrid is well-positioned as a leader in the rapidly growing market for warehouse and manufacturing automation.”

Seegrid provides turnkey automation solutions for some of the world’s largest brands, including global leaders in manufacturing, distribution and e-commerce fulfillment. Seegrid’s vision guided vehicles (VGVs), fleet management software and industry-leading services teams help manufacturing, warehousing, and logistics facilities achieve Industry 4.0 and material handling automation initiatives, making facilities safer and more productive. Seegrid is focused on delivering solutions that transform the world’s supply chain, autonomously moving material as safely, effectively, and efficiently as possible.

Seegrid stands out in the rapidly growing and evolving automated guided vehicle (AGV) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) industry, and the new investment round will enable Seegrid to further capitalize on its position as a market leader. The company leads the category by pairing the most robust, flexible and reliable technology with unmatched service and support. Seegrid’s proprietary navigation technology, which uses cameras, sophisticated algorithms and machine learning to navigate in dynamic environments, along with its leading safety record, is fundamental to reaching nearly 3 million miles at customer sites without a single personnel safety incident. Seegrid leads the world in miles logged by an infrastructure-free AGV company.

For more information about Seegrid’s products and services, visit

An Overview of Lift Truck Classification

A review of the 7 forklift classifications.

forklift history,history of lift truck

By 1927, forklifts had evolved to include back tilt. Source: Palletizer Magazine.

These days, forklift trucks are integral to material handling in manufacturing plants, distribution centers, and other operations. The first-ever lift trucks were developed in the early 1900s. In fact, early models didn’t have forks at all. They had a single lift plate. As such, the earliest skids did not have a center stringer to accommodate the early lift truck. But forklifts have improved significantly over the years. Those in use today have evolved tremendously from those early beginnings.

Modern-day forklifts have many different power options including electrical battery, liquid propane gas (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG), gasoline, and diesel. There are many different types of lift trucks suited to different lift operations. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  classifies lift trucks into 7 different types based on their power options and purpose of use. Following are those 7 different classes of lift trucks:

Class I- Electric Motor Rider Trucks

forklift safety Northern Ireland

Story source here.

Used in versatile applications, electric motor rider trucks are equipped with either pneumatic tires or cushions. The pneumatic-tired lift trucks are good fits for use in dry outdoor applications. On the other hand, the cushion-tired motor rider trucks are made for indoor use on smooth surfaces.

Powered by electric batteries, these lift trucks use transistor motor controllers to move and hoist functions. Air quality factors are important considerations when choosing an electric motor rider truck for indoor use. These lift vehicles are mostly used in storage facilities and loading docks.

Most of these lift trucks are counterbalanced rider type. Three Wheel Electric Trucks also fall under this category.

Class II – Narrow Aisle Electric Motor Trucks

Made for use in narrow aisle operations, narrow aisle trucks allow operators to maximize their use of storage space. Because they can operate efficiently in narrow passageways, storage racks can be set closer together than they could be in a conventional facility, providing greater storage capacity. Reach type outriggers, order pickers, side loaders and turret trucks are examples of narrow aisle electric motor trucks.

Class III – Hand-Rider or Electric Motor Hand Trucks

Vecna Robotics pallet jack

Vecna Robotics pallet jack. Story link here.

These are comparatively smaller capacity lift trucks that run on industrial electric batteries. As the name suggests, this kind of truck is hand controlled. The lift controls of the truck are mounted on top of the tiller and the operator moves the tiller side to side to navigate the truck. They are frequently used for palletized loads both in low and high lift operations.  

Class IV – Cushion Tired Internal Combustion Engine Trucks

Used indoors on smooth dry surfaces, these lift trucks are used for transporting palletized loads. These forklifts are commonly used in storage and load areas. As cushion-tired lift trucks are lower to the ground than pneumatic-tired lift trucks, cushion tired internal combustion engine trucks are used mainly in low clearance applications.  

Class V- Pneumatic Tired Internal Combustion Engine Trucks

Most commonly used in warehouses, these lift trucks are used both indoors and outdoors for many different types of applications ranging from a single unit load to a 40-foot container. These lift trucks are available for use with compressed natural gas, diesel, gasoline and LPG as well.

Class VI- Internal Combustion and Electric Engine Combo Tractors

Very versatile in operations, these lift trucks have options to power using both internal combustion and electric engines. For indoor use, electric power is preferred. For outdoor use, the powerful internal combustion engine is used.

Class VII- Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

These are quite large lift trucks with huge floatation type tires. These trucks are capable of working on difficult outdoor surfaces. They are quite frequently used in large construction sites for lifting building materials. Auto recyclers and lumber years too frequently use rough terrain forklift trucks.


Crown Lift Trucks set to make MACH debut

Crown lift truck

Crown is to exhibit for the first time at the UK’s longest-running manufacturing and engineering exhibition. Taking place at the NEC in Birmingham between 20th and 24th April, MACH 2020 will showcase the largest variety of manufacturing technology solutions in the country.

Manufacturing is an important sector for Crown and with the increasing use of cutting-edge technology across its entire range of forklift trucks, MACH 2020 represents the perfect platform upon which to demonstrate why Crown is increasingly the material handling supplier of choice to this important industry.

As UK manufacturers begin to explore new markets in the hunt for fresh business, Crown will be with them every step of the way and the trucks on display during MACH 2020 demonstrate the breadth of materials handling support available from Crown to both OEMs and their integrated supply chains.

Taking center stage on the Crown stand (7-625) will be models from the versatile SC 6000 Series counterbalance forklift trucks, the multi-purpose Work Assist Vehicle, the Wave, and the award-winning WP Series pallet truck.

Wave order picker

Crown forklifts are designed with value and versatility in mind and the SC Series is a perfect example of this. The lift truck is designed to deliver enough power, maneuverability and dependability to satisfy the demands of both the application and the operator. Attention to detail, advanced engineering, a solid foundation, and task-focused ergonomics make the SC 6000 forklift an ideal choice for any manufacturer. The truck is available in three- or four-wheel configurations, with lift capacities from 1.3 to 2.0 tons.

Still going strong after two decades, the Wave order picker has revolutionized warehouse operations, improving safety and efficiency by replacing ladders in all kinds of applications. Capable of reaching working heights of up to 5m and traveling at up to 8km/h (depending on lift height), the truck’s four-point safety system provides enhanced operator control and safety, making it the ideal truck for many manufacturing environments.

Crown’s pallet trucks are designed to be tough and durable to fulfill a wide range of applications. The WP Series pallet truck is the perfect warehouse companion whether it’s dock work, deliveries or heavy manufacturing.

Simon Barkworth, Managing Director, Crown Lift Trucks UK, said: “Manufacturing is a growing sector for Crown and being able to showcase our product to industry decision-makers and influencers is very important. We’re therefore delighted to be exhibiting at MACH for the first time in 2020 and we believe our versatile range of lift trucks can meet the demands of any manufacturer – large or small.”

“Our extensive expertise covers all aspects of materials handling, meaning we provide customized solutions to specific needs, including new and old trucks, forklift rentals, servicing, fleet management, and training requirements.”

New Hyster General Purpose Forklift Extends Choice

Materials handling operations can now benefit from a new range of reliable cost-effective Hyster® lift trucks thanks to the launch of the general-purpose H2.0-3.5UT lift truck series.

250-hyster-general-purpose-trucksThe Hyster® H2.0-3.5UT forklift series, available with diesel, LPG or dual-fuel engines, provides strength, reliability and a low cost of ownership.  With an uncomplicated design, the 2-3.5-tonne capacity lift trucks are well suited to the needs of many general-purpose handling operations, particularly lower-intensity operations, and complement the existing range of Hyster® lift trucks.

With travel speeds up to 20km/h and fast lifting and lowering speeds, the no-nonsense Hyster® UT lift trucks come with a range of standard features to help drivers get on with the job, whether stacking in the warehouse or loading lorries in the yard. Various forks and carriages, including integrated side shift options, as well as a range of masts, including tilt options, are available to suit real-world operating needs with maximum fork heights up to 5500mm.

Like the existing FT and XT Hyster® lift truck series’, the UT trucks are designed to help reduce damage and downtime. Auxiliary hoses are centered on the free lift cylinder to eliminate hose twisting and there is positive hose retention with large radius bends to prevent hose scuffing.  Tilt cylinders are sealed to minimize contamination and the radiator provides excellent cooling to help keep the truck up and running.

“Maintenance for the UT lift trucks is straight-forward, reducing service time and costs,” says Rob O’Donoghue, Director Solutions – Europe, Middle East, and Africa, for Hyster Europe. “With easy service access and no special tools, laptops or PC required, this is an ideal option for operations looking to self-service.  Cost-effective replacement parts are readily available, and the truck is covered by our standard Hyster® warranty.”

Durable and fit for purpose, UT lift trucks are built to Hyster® quality standards, for a long working life in general-purpose operations using robust components and proven industrial engines, with Yanmar engines for diesel trucks and the GCT K25 for LPG and dual fuel models.  Single-speed powershift transmission is well proven and reliable while large, high-quality filters ensure optimum performance.

To maximise driver effectiveness, the operator compartment offers a practical and comfortable working environment.  Controls are within easy reach, a 3.5-inch LCD display gives drivers clear information at a glance, and the mast design ensures good visibility as standard. A rear-drive handle with an integrated horn makes reverse driving more comfortable, while the different seat and cabin options provide ways to customize the truck.

As an extension of the existing range of tough Hyster® solutions, the new Hyster® UT lift trucks are supported by the global network of local Hyster® distribution partners and are available now.

Visit for more information or to find a local Hyster® dealer.

Crown Equipment Celebrates 75 Years of Customer Focus

NEW BREMEN, Ohio (February 27, 2020) – Brothers, Carl H. Dicke and Allen A. Dicke, founded Crown Equipment Corporation in New Bremen, Ohio, in 1945 with an unwavering commitment to customer service. Seventy-five years later, Crown is a widely-recognized, global material handling equipment manufacturer and technology provider with more than 16,100 employees worldwide serving many of the world’s most recognizable brands and category leaders.

The fourth generation of the Dicke family continues to lead Crown from its global headquarters in New Bremen, as well as operate regional headquarters in Australia, China, Germany and Singapore.

“I’m honored to be a part of this company and the reputation we have earned for working closely with our customers to enhance efficiency, productivity, and safety. We could not have reached this point without the support of the communities where we reside and our employees, who are an incredible group of people dedicated to our customers’ success,” said Jim Dicke III, president, Crown Equipment. “We are eager to continue to develop the innovative technology and equipment that will further evolve the material handling industry and our customers’ supply chains around the world. It’s exciting to think about what the company will accomplish in the next 75 years.”

Crown has a long history of exploring and developing advanced technology that has helped determine and define the future of material handling. Most recently, the company expanded its internal combustion (IC) line of counterbalance forklifts, enhanced the operator experience with the introduction of the InfoLinkâ 7” Touch Display Module, and announced a line of lithium-ion-powered forklifts. In late 2019, Crown began the global rollout of the ESR 1000 reach truck, its first lift truck utilizing the new Genaâ operating system. The ESR 1000 is currently available throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Australia, with other regions to follow.

As the company enters the new decade and celebrates its diamond anniversary, it is working closely with customers to anticipate and incorporate a number of trends creating change in the warehouse and broader supply chain. These include:

  •  Adopting a strategic approach to connectivity

With an eye toward tangible benefits and business value, more customers are taking a strategic approach to greater connectivity that is based on clear business objectives and enables them to work toward measurable goals.

  • Gaining control of data

Customers are identifying and prioritizing the type of data they want to gather and establishing a plan and processes to share relevant, timely information with the right departments and individuals at the right time. Data is presented in a manner that makes it actionable to create meaningful operational and behavioral changes.

  • Exploring flexible approaches to automation

The prioritization of tasks and equipment that are ideal for automation is evident. Customers are developing a clear path for a tangible return on investment that they can build upon to strategically evolve their automation efforts in support of fulfillment strategies.

  • Considering alternative power sources

Companies are looking at alternative power sources for their forklifts to eliminate some of the pain points associated with the lead-acid battery power source. Lithium-ion is one option that offers a number of productivity, maintenance and operating cost advantages.

  • Enhancing operator experience

Greater connectivity is enabling fleet managers to create a more informative and personalized experience for operators that is designed to simplify onboarding, maximize productivity, reinforce safety and emphasize engagement to improve workforce retention.

 Crown plans to mark its 75th anniversary with a number of events throughout the year at company locations worldwide.

Flux Power Launches Next Generation Lithium-Ion Batteries For Walkie Pallet Jacks and 3 Wheel Forklifts

Flux Power announces new lithium-ion batteries for walkie pallet jacks and for 3-wheel forklifts

Flux Power Walkie
Vista, CA – March 9, 2020 — Flux Power Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: FLUX), a developer of advanced lithium-ion batteries for commercial and industrial equipment including electric forklifts and airport ground support equipment (GSE), announced the launch of the LiFT Pack S24 lithium-ion battery pack at MODEX 2020. 

The LiFT Pack S24 is the most energy-dense option for a clean, safe, and innovative lithium-ion battery pack to power walkie pallet jacks.  Offered in a 24 V, 100 Ah configuration, it delivers:

  • Highest capacity, safe lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery in this footprint (22.9” x 4.0” x 24.6”)
  • No required maintenance
  • IP 57 rating (submersible for 30 minutes)
  • Modular design with customizable options for cable length, on-board charger, heater, and additional weight
  • Easily serviceable when installed in equipment

The LiFT Pack S24 builds on our experience with over 4,000 Walkie LiFT Packs deployed in the field over the past 5 years,” said Sean Stone, Product Engineer.  “With a smaller footprint, reduced weight, no required maintenance, and a robust Battery Management System (BMS) utilizing fewer parts and connecting cables, it’s the best choice for powering walkie pallet jacks that are used in demanding applications.”


Flux Power Launches New Lithium-Ion Battery For 3 Wheel Forklifts – LiFT Pack L48

Flux also announced the launch of the LiFT Pack L48 lithium-ion battery pack at MODEX 2020.

The LiFT Pack L48 lithium-ion battery is designed for the 3 wheel forklifts used in high-performance, narrow aisle warehouses.  Offered in a 48 V, 400 Ah configuration, it delivers:

  • High capacity, safe lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery (35.3” x 19.9” x 22.5”)Flux Power 48v battery
  • No required maintenance
  • Designed and built to meet UL standards
  • Dedicated interlocked charge port (battery remains in the lift truck during charging – no removal required)

“One of the fastest-growing segments of lift equipment is the 3 wheel forklift,” said Andrew Carducci, Product Engineer.  “With the launch of the LiFT Pack L48, we now have a lithium-ion solution to power this equipment with the benefits of no required maintenance and enhanced safety.”

Fetch Robotics Announces Integrated Fulfillment Solution with Zebra Technologies

Combined power of Fetch AMRs and Zebra FulfillmentEdge™ software optimizes picking across multiple orders while dynamically orchestrating workers and robots

ATLANTA, March 9, 2020 – Fetch Robotics, leader in cloud robotics, has announced a collaboration with Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, to optimize and automate warehouse picking processes through the integration of Fetch Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and Zebra FulfillmentEdge™ software. The unique solution optimizes picking across multiple orders for piece, case, and pallet workflows. By dynamically optimizing and orchestrating the movement of warehouse workers and robots, FulfillmentEdge and Fetch AMRs enable collaborative picking for faster, more accurate fulfillment and improved workflows that allow workers to spend more time in the aisle instead of manually moving material throughout a facility.  The solution will be demonstrated at Fetch’s booth (#9011) at MODEX 2020 on March 9-12, 2020 in Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.

E-commerce is causing a profound change in supply chain operations that is blurring the line between distribution centers and fulfillment centers as companies increasingly ship to consumers and stores from the same facility. Increasing order volume, labor shortages, high turnover, long ramp-up times, and physically taxing material movement related to picking are forcing companies to accomplish more with fewer resources. In response, picking operations need to transform so that companies are able to fulfill more orders with fewer and less experienced workers.

The integration of Zebra FulfillmentEdge and Fetch AMRs provides the solution needed for this transformation. Through the combined solution, workers are collaboratively dispatched in optimized pick paths across multiple orders turning manual material movement into high-value, productive picking time. Worker and AMR movements are orchestrated for picking operations but can also interleave other tasks such as replenishment into the flow to better leverage workers’ time in the aisles. In addition, FulfillmentEdge can direct Fetch AMRs to other non-picking operations such as removal of recycling, reverse logistics and restocking of packing stations to maximize robot utilization. The solution also makes it easier to train workers for new workflows, reducing training and onboarding time up to 90 percent.

“By integrating Fetch AMRs with Zebra FulfillmentEdge and the optional enterprise-class HD4000 head-mounted display, we have created a solution for companies to modernize their picking operations without having to upgrade their warehouse management system or make changes to their facilities,” said Stefan Nusser, VP of Products at Fetch Robotics. “This combined solution enables companies to increase revenue by directing workers to high-value activity, reduce unproductive material movement and dwell time, and improve efficiency across piece, case, and pallet picking operations.”

Zebra FulfillmentEdge uses multiple sources of data, including a customer’s warehouse management system (WMS) and other back-end systems as well as contextual and mobile device data to direct and synchronize the best-next-action of multiple workers and Fetch AMRs for collaborative picking assignments across multiple orders using picking strategies that include zone picking and wave picking, among others. The picking process is streamlined with visual cues presented as a simplified graphical and numerical overlay in the HD4000 head-mounted display to provide information including item location, pick total, directional prompts and cues showing pickers where to place the right quantities for each customer order on the Fetch AMR cart.

“Warehouse operations leaders need to synchronize their WMS, worker and workflow optimization solutions and new automation deployments to maximize return on investment and minimize risks to supply chain operations,” said Joe White, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Mobile Computing, Zebra Technologies. “Combining Zebra FulfillmentEdge with Fetch’s broad portfolio of AMRs empowers our joint customers to modernize their warehousing, distribution and fulfillment operations by optimizing the performance of front-line workers alongside AMRs.”

Visit Fetch Robotics at MODEX 2020 (Booth #9011).

FastCharge™ technology outpaces diesel and hybrid solutions in business case analysis of CO2 taxation

Kalmar conducted a business case analysis that compared FastCharge-based shuttle carriers with traditional diesel-electric and hybrid machines at three different levels of expected CO2 taxation. Higher carbon taxation levels will make the investment in FastCharge technology even more compelling than before.

Kalmar FastCharge

Kalmar FastCharge at DP World London Gateway

Over the last five years, emission trading and carbon taxation have gained ground rapidly around the world. The percentage of global emissions of greenhouse gases covered by some form of carbon taxation has grown from 12% to 20% between 2014 and 2019. Currently, 46 national and 28 subnational jurisdictions have implemented carbon taxation, with implementation completed or planned in 57 countries around the world.

The pricing of the tax initiatives currently ranges from US$1 to US$127 per ton of CO2, with Sweden holding the highest figure. “In the range of US$40 to US$80 per ton, we find the taxation levels that many experts hold as necessary to reach the targets of the Paris Agreement,” says Timo Alho, Vice President, Terminal Design Services, Kalmar. “However, at the moment, most countries adopting CO2 taxation have set their pricing significantly lower, with 51% of initiatives pricing CO2 emissions at under US$10 per ton.”

As awareness of the topic increases, the trend is clearly towards increased legislation and pricing of carbon initiatives. “By 2024, we may see over a third of global CO2 emissions being taxed,” Alho notes.

Analyzing the future

Kalmar FastCharge is a cost-efficient, safe and scalable solution that eliminates the need for battery swapping while also cutting emissions. FastCharge shuttle carriers can use opportunity charging at strategically located charging stations, avoiding any disruption to horizontal transport operations.

“CO2 taxation is highly relevant for straddle and shuttle carrier operations,” Timo Alho says. “The first full-scale FastCharge deployments are currently being delivered, and the market is waiting for references from the terminals that are first to adopt the technology in full-scale terminal operations.”

The economic drivers of port and container terminal electrification include operational cost savings, the financial impact of CO2 taxation, eco-efficiency and lower carbon footprints as core values demanded by customers throughout the entire logistics chain and government initiatives for subsidizing green investments.

For a business case analysis, Kalmar created three different scenarios to analyze the payback time and return on investment of FastCharge technology compared to hybrid and conventional diesel-electric. The analysis was based on carbon taxation at the highest cost level set by Sweden; the mid-range level corresponding to the requirements of the Paris Agreement, and the lower level of taxation initiatives currently being adopted in many jurisdictions.

“Despite the higher capital expenditure of the technology compared to traditional diesel-based machines, current and expected CO2 taxation initiatives will demonstrably increase the financial feasibility of a FastCharge-based operation”, Timo Alho says.

Fast charge, fast payback

For the business case analysis, Kalmar compared a fleet of eight automated shuttle carriers with traditional diesel-electric, diesel-hybrid and fully electric FastCharge operation. For the FastCharge machines, the investment in two charging stations with their required cabling was included in the calculations.

The assumptions in the analysis were as follows:

  • CO2 emitted per liter of diesel was 2.68 kg or 0.00268 tons
  • Diesel price was assumed to be 1 € per liter
  • Electricity was priced at 0,10 € per kWh
  • 5,000 operating hours per year per machine
  • No annual increase in energy prices (fuel or electricity)
  • Fully automated operation (no labor costs to be factored in)

The study results showed that even with the lowest assumed level of carbon taxation (US$10 per ton of CO2), the payback time of the FastCharge investment was 5.4 years when compared to hybrid machines and 5.3 years compared to traditional diesel-electric operation. For the higher levels of taxation (US$60 and US$127 per ton of CO2), the payback time shortened even further, to 4.6 years and 3.9/3.8 years respectively.

“Beyond these timeframes, the FastCharge solution will be more economical due to lower operating costs,” Timo Alho notes. “Especially compared to traditional diesel-electric machines, a FastCharge solution will be much more cost-effective over the entire lifetime of the equipment. As carbon taxation gains ground in the upcoming years, these savings may turn out to be even more significant. And obviously, if there are other possible subsidies available for green investments, those will benefit the business case of FastCharge technology as well.”

Top U.S. Forklift Dealers Honored by Toyota

Top forklift dealers Toyota

Pictured are the Toyota Material Handling 2019 President’s Award Winners.
Front Row – L-R: Ken Townsend, Toyota Lift of South Texas; Ron McCluskey, Brodie Toyota-Lift; David Bailey, Southern States Toyotalift; Joyce Schwob, JIT Toyota-Lift; Anika Conger-Capelle, Conger Toyotalift; Mary Madland, Madland Toyota-Lift; Al Rawson, Atlas Toyota Material Handling; Joe Clark, The Lilly Company. Back Row – L-R: Craig Murphy, Lift Truck Supply; Cory Thorne, Southeast Industrial Equipment; Michael Turnmyre, Vesco Toyotalift; Jeff Rufener, President & CEO, Toyota Material Handling; Brian Hull, Hull Toyota Lift; Jim Shoppa, Shoppa’s Material Handling; Chris Frazee, Prolift Toyota Material Handling; Mark Andres, Toyota Material Handling Northern California

COLUMBUS, Ind. – Toyota Material Handling (TMH) announced the winners of the annual President’s Award which recognizes the top Toyota forklift dealers in North America. The revered award recognizes the dealers who perform at the highest level in parts, service, equipment sales, customer satisfaction and overall operations. The winners, announced at Toyota’s Annual Dealer Meeting on February 10, will celebrate together on a Toyota-sponsored trip to Italy in October.

“The President’s Award is our most prestigious honor, and it rewards those that deliver a superior customer experience,” said Jeff Rufener, TMH President & CEO. “These Toyota forklift dealers have consistently gone above and beyond for our customers, and this is our way of honoring them for their unwavering commitment.”

The winners of the 2019 President’s Award are:

  • Atlas Toyota Material Handling, Elk Grove, Illinois
  • Brodie Toyota-Lift, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Conger Toyotalift, Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Hull Toyota Lift, Elkhart, Indiana
  • JIT Toyota-Lift, Frewsburg, New York
  • Lift Truck Supply, Tyler, Texas
  • Madland Toyota-Lift, Bakersfield, California
  • ProLift Toyota Material Handling, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Shoppa’s Material Handling, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Southeast Industrial Equipment, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Southern States Toyotalift, Tampa, Florida
  • The Lilly Company, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Toyota Lift of South Texas, San Antonio, Texas
  • Toyota Material Handling Northern California, Livermore, California
  • Vesco Toyotalift, Hickory, North Carolina