The Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) has revealed the winners of its 21st annual Awards for Excellence.
A sell-out audience of key industry figures attended the recent black-tie event at The International Centre in Telford to discover just who would be taking home an Archie – the materials handling industry’s most hotly-contested prize.
The FLTA got proceedings off to a ‘bang’ with a rousing performance from the Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the First Battalion, the Royal Irish Regiment, followed by a lively fireworks display.
Big product category winners on the night included Practical Warehouse Solutions for its StockSafe pallet stacking frame (Environment), Combilift for its Rotating Operator Console (Ergonomics), Linde for its electronic Safety Pilot (Safety), and Translift Bendi for its B310 OP Order Picker (Innovation). Each of these companies triumphed in a record-breaking online public vote.
The evening’s warmest cheers were reserved for the announcement of individual winners. FLTA President Martyn Fletcher took an Archie for his Services to the Association, while Thorough Examination pioneer Chas Day received the Services to the Fork Lift Truck Industry Award for his work at the Thorough Examination accrediting body CFTS.
In a fitting climax to the event, industrial truck designer and entrepreneur Robert Moffett of Combilift became the 10th 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, Ben Feehan of Linde Material Handling, as well as a winner, Jamie Walsh of Rack-N-Stak.
The highly sought-after and fiercely-contested Supplier of the Year Award, voted for exclusively by Members of the FLTA, was finally secured by FB Chain.
A demonstration of real technical excellence - to deliver bespoke solutions in two different applications – saw Mitsubishi dealership Bristol Forklifts awarded the Customer Focus Award.
G’s Fresh Beetroot was 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 so impressive that – in a break from tradition – the FLTA chose to commend every single one. The illustrious eight include Babcock International, Dailycer UK, Heineken Hereford, Metsä Wood UK, NHS National Services Scotland, Nestlé UK, Preston Technical, and Tulip.
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 broadcaster Jonny Gould, Awards were presented through the course of the evening by representatives from each of the event’s Sponsors, including: B&B Attachments; BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions; Combilift; Crown Lift Trucks, Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK; Investec Asset Finance; Manbat Industrial Power Systems, Rivermore Asset Finance, 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 for Excellence has – without a doubt – been our most rewarding and successful show to date.
“The evening was bigger and better than ever before – beginning with a reception lit by fireworks before we were led into our brand new venue by bagpipers, buglers and drummers for a fabulous evening of entertainment.
“But what really made this year stand out was the particularly high quality of entries across the board. We had a very strong field of Finalists – and such a tight vote – that winning any of these categories is a real achievement.
“Every one of our Finalists represents a significant advance in fork lift truck development – making operations safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly for generations to come.
“We are proud to not only recognise, but reward all their efforts.”
Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Crown Lift Trucks) - Jamie Walsh of Rack-N-Stak
Services to Association (sponsored by Rivermore Asset Finance) - Martyn Fletcher
Services to the Fork Lift Truck Industry (sponsored by Investec Asset Finance) - Chas Day
Supplier of the Year (sponsored by Yale Europe Materials Handling) - FB Chain
Customer Focus Award (sponsored by Combilift Ltd) - Bristol Forklifts
Safe Site (sponsored by Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK Ltd) - G’s Fresh Beetroot
Environment (sponsored by B&B Attachments Ltd) - Practical Warehouse Solutions
Ergonomics (sponsored by Manbat Industrial Power Systems) - Combilift
Safety (sponsored by Trelleborg Wheel Systems) - Linde Material Handling UK
Innovation (sponsored by BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions Ltd) - Translift Bendi
Lifetime Achievement - Robert Moffett of Combilift