On March 4th, the materials handling industry’s most accomplished movers and shakers gathered at Telford’s International Centre to discover who would be taking home its most prestigious honour – an FLTA Award for Excellence
The glittering ceremony and gala dinner had a distinct circus flavour. Noted broadcaster and raconteur Gyles Brandreth dusted down his top hat and tails to play ringmaster for the night – bullwhip and all!
The former MP even took part in the exciting performances of Cirque de Chariot Elevateur. The troupe of acrobats, tumblers and jugglers wowed the 400-strong crowd, with its amazing feats of agility and death-defying stunts – including incredible aerial acrobatics at the event’s reception.
Big winners in the product categories included Toyota Material Handling’s Environment Award-winning Traigo 48 electric counterbalance, praised by judges for its class-leading energy efficiency.
Flogas’ semi-translucent LPG bottles fought off strong competition from Translift’s highly commended SpaceMate to win the Innovation Award.
A huge cheer erupted from Mentor Training’s table as their hard-hitting safety video, “Could You Live with That?” was announced winner of the Safety Award.
Finally, Yale Europe Materials Handing’s MPT Series rider pallet truck taking top prize for Ergonomics.
Some of the evening’s warmest applause was received by individual winners. Young engineer Robin Klein of Klein Handling Systems won the first Award of the evening: Apprentice of the Year.
Next up, Mike Barton of B&B Attachments was recognised for his half-century of devotion with the Services to the Fork Lift Truck Industry Award.
The Association also revealed the 14th recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented to those whose extraordinary career achievements are an inspiration to all, this year’s honour was bestowed on David Rowell of Hyster, who, most recently, played an instrumental role in the formation of F-TEC.
The Archie for Supplier of the Year, decided entirely by the votes of FLTA Members, went to Industrial Battery and Charger Services. Meanwhile, highly praised customer service and teamwork saw Acclaim Handling claim the inaugural Dealer of the Year trophy.
The FLTA Board was hugely impressed by the wide field of entrants in this year’s Safe Site category. Winner Unilever was recognised for significant improvements to its fork lift truck safety that have resulted in zero forklift incidents in three years. Entries from fellow Finalists Airbase Interiors, Communisis, Hall and Woodhouse, Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe, and Rowlinson Knitwear were so impressive that the Board highly commended each.
The FLTA Awards has served as a ‘Pick of the Year’ for the materials handling industry’s best products and services since 1995. It was established to encourage and reward those striving to raise standards.
Awards were presented through the course of the evening by representatives from each of the event’s Sponsors, including: B&B Attachments, Combilift, Crown Lift Trucks, Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK, Ecobat Battery Technologies, Investec Asset Finance, Mentor Training, Trelleborg Wheel Systems, Yale Europe Materials Handling, and Toyota Material Handling.
After the Awards ceremony, an auction and an impromptu ‘Heads or Tails’ trivia quiz raised £6650 for Transaid, a charity that transforms lives across the world, by providing safe, sustainable transport.
At the after party, the crowd-pleasing Rick Parfitt Jr Band entertained a packed out dancefloor as guests talked, laughed and danced into the small hours.
Peter Harvey, FLTA chief executive, said: “This year’s Awards raised the bar once again. It was an absolutely fantastic night and I raise my hat to all of our fantastic winners. There was a lot of stiff competition, so to break through such a strong pack is worthy of praise. Just being named a Finalist in these categories is an achievement in itself.
“Indeed, all our Finalists are worthy of recognition. These are the men and women driving our industry forward and building a safer, smarter future. Through their efforts, they contribute to making operations safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly for generations to come.
“And of course, the circus was quite a sight to behold. A big hand goes out to all the performers, masterfully marshalled by the consistently excellent Gyles Brandreth.
“It’s wonderful to see so many old friends and new faces come together for the Archies, and I look forward to seeing them all back here, next year.”
Additional information about the Fork Lift Truck Association and its activities can be found by visiting www.fork-truck.org.uk or calling 01635 277577.