Individuals, teams and companies celebrated for raising standards
The tense wait was over for individuals and companies across the globe as the Fork Lift Truck Association revealed the winners of its 22nd annual Awards for Excellence.
Key industry figures from the industry attended the sold-out, black-tie event at The International Centre in Telford to find out just who would be taking home an Archie – the materials handling industry’s most prestigious honour.
The FLTA got proceedings off to a ‘bang’ with a rousing drum performance from SPARK!, followed by a lively fireworks display.
Big product category winners on the night included Impact Handling for its Carer Z80H fork lift truck (Environment), Crown Lift Trucks for its SC6000 Electric Counterbalance (Ergonomics), JCB Industrial for its Wastemaster Teletruk (Safety) and Cavaion Baumann UK for its GX Series Sideloader with ‘Archimedes’ Outreach System.
The evening’s warmest cheers were reserved for the announcement of individual winners. Former FLTA Chairman and President John Chappell took an Archie for his Services to the Association, while fork lift training pioneer Richard Shore of Mentor received the Services to the Fork Lift Truck Industry Award for a career which has seen him oversee the training of more than 500,000 people.
In a fitting climax to the event, industrial truck designer and entrepreneur Peter Wooldridge became the 11th recipient of the FLTA’s highest honour: the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The judging panel was so impressed by the calibre of nominations for the Apprentice of the Year Award, that it honoured a runner-up, Stewart Meikle of W R Material Handling, as well as a winner, Gavin Hersom of Jungheinrich.
The highly sought-after and fiercely-contested Supplier of the Year Award, voted for exclusively by Members of the FLTA, was finally secured by Investec Asset Finance.
A demonstration of real technical excellence – to deliver a bespoke solution– saw Welfaux Materials Handling awarded Dealer of the Year.
Heineken UK’s Hereford cider mills were named “Safe Site”, in recognition of significant improvements to fork lift truck safety on site, as well as the firm’s ongoing focus on pedestrian safety.
This year’s shortlist was the biggest yet – with 14 Finalists. Some of the entries were so strong that the FLTA commended four entries: Bretts Landscaping and Building Products, Mitsubishi Electric, NHS National Services Scotland and The Bury Black Pudding Company.
Since its inception in 1995, the Awards shortlist has served as a “Pick of the Year” for materials handling products and services, rewarding those who strive to raise standards throughout the fork lift truck industry.
Hosted by much-loved British broadcaster and master raconteur Gyles Brandreth, 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; Investec Asset Finance; Manbat Industrial Power Systems, Mentor FLT Training, Rivermore Asset Finance, TCM, Trelleborg Wheel Systems and Yale Europe Materials Handling.
At the after-show party, the capacity crowd networked and danced into the small hours with music from The Party Rockers.
Peter Harvey, FLTA chief executive, said: “This year’s Awards raised the bar once again. It was our most rewarding and successful show to date.
“The evening began with a reception lit by fireworks before being led by a troupe of Venetian drummers into a ceremony hosted superbly by the much-loved Gyles Brandreth.
“But what really made this year stand out was the exceptionally high quality of entries across the board. We had a very strong field of Finalists; winning any of these categories is a real achievement.
“Each of our Finalists represents a significant advance in fork lift truck development. Through their efforts, they contribute to making operations safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly for generations to come.
“We are delighted to recognise and reward their fine efforts.”