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Winners lead by example at thrill-packed FLTA Awards 007

The Fork Lift Truck Association paid tribute to “companies and individuals who break new ground, and set new, higher standards for the whole industry”, as it presented its annual Awards for Excellence this weekend.

Ten more winners added their names to an exclusive roll of honour, as recipients of materials handling's most sought-after awards, while a further 25 finalists were rightly applauded for their achievements by VIPs from throughout the industry.

FLTA Chairman Paul Nichol said: “These Awards play a crucial role in recognising the best in materials handling, and every finalist has achieved that status. Although only a few can take home a trophy tonight, these Awards keep is all moving forward.”

The FLTA had promised thrills and spills in line with the Awards' 007 theme, and the ceremony did not disappoint, with explosions, stunts, and Paul Nichol co-host John Chappell repelling a spectacular attack by a back-flipping squad of ninja intruders.

The glamorous James Bond style continued throughout the evening, with Award nominations delivered in the form of “Q” style MI6 briefings, a hugely popular casino, and a showstopping cabaret turn by Shirley Bassey impersonator “Amanda”.

As ever, the Awards' four, prestigious product categories were especially hotly contested, with a 30% increase in votes over previous years.

Doosan Infracore won the Safety Award with an Operator Sensing System that acts upon the truck's transmission – standard in all its 2006 models.

The Environment Award was won by the new axle design on the latest electric counterbalance range from Linde Material Handling, which virtually eliminates maintenance, and therefore reduces the environmental impact of replacement parts.

The Award for Ergonomics was collected by Hubtex, for its twin-masted EZK20 long load picking platform, allowing two operators to carry out lifting together, at their waist height.

Crown's TSP 6000 turret order picker beat no less than six other contenders to win the Innovation Award, impressing voters with superb performance in very narrow aisles.

Also receiving “Archies” were TVH UK as Supplier of the Year, Trevor Clifton of Briggs Equipment for his Services to the Fork Lift Truck Industry, and Jungheinrich, with the rotating cab on the new EFG D30 being named the year's outstanding Design Achievement.

The evening's other winners included Peter Davies of STILL Materials Handling, who pipped runners-up Nathan Smith and Alex Wise to the Apprentice of the Year Award, and United Fork Trucks' faithful “Enforcer”, Freda Glanville, who was named Employee of the Year.

The presentation reached is climax as former CMP Replacement Sales Manager Chris Hawley became only the eighth recipient of the industry's highest honour: the FLTA Lifetime Achievement Award, before the stage was consumed in a blaze of explosions to foil a further ninja raid.

Celebrations continued late into the night, with music and dancing to the sounds of The Soul Brothers Band and Intrigue. The Awards' own Casino Royale proved especially popular with the overall winner, John Lambeth of B&B Attachments, increasing his initial £20 (imaginary) stake to an incredible £2,750. His reward will be a holiday in Las Vegas, testing his skills for real; while runners-up will enjoy a high-speed track day driving an Aston Martin DB9.

FLTA Chief Executive David Ellison commented: “Another excellent year for the industry has been topped with a really fantastic Awards evening. I'm delighted to have received a great deal of feedback confirming that, once again, we have delivered an Awards to remember.

“The FLTA would like to thank the event's many Sponsors and Supporters, as well as all of those who nominate a product, or cast a vote, to ensure these Awards remain our industry's most prestigious and exclusive seal of approval.”

A gallery of photos from the Awards 007 can be viewed now at the FLTA's website: www.fork-truck.org.uk.

For more information on the FLTA Annual Awards for Excellence please contact: David Ellison, Chief Executive, Fork Lift Truck Association, Manor Farm Buildings, Lasham, Alton, Hants, GU34 5SL. Tel: 01256 381441 Fax: 01256 381735. Email: mail@fork-truck.org.uk or visit www.fork-truck.org.uk.

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