Forklift Trucks Used Worldwide Are Made In Small Town New Bremen, Ohio 26/11/2007

Located in the town of New Bremen, Ohio, Crow Equipment, the last privately owned lift truck manufacturer in America sales doubled. This has been a progression over the last past five years, according to Jim F.Dicke, the president of the company that co-runs with his father.“We have more growth potential than we know what to do with."

Crown Equipment goes back to 1945 when the Dicke brothers and one of their sons, when they started producing controls for coal-burning furnaces. However, the heat regulator business due to less demand for the product they changed to making antenna rotators. This along with the heat regulation became unfashionable and eventually they changed to producing electric forklift trucks in the late 1960s.

Crown Equipment offers a range of hand pallet trucks starting from $400 to $75,000 for a turret stockpicker that is able to carry loads as heavy as 3,000 pounds and can travel at a speed of 7.5 miles an hour and can lift loads as high as 38 feet.

Crown has several buyout offers over the years of successfulness whereas other forklift truck makers, such as Yale and Raymond Corp have sold out. ‘We've always had the commitment to stay a private company, to stay family-owned," says Jim Dicke. According to Robert L.Wuench the retired head of Mitsubishi Crown makes 85% of all parts in house, outsourcing only steel parts and tyres "They're a very frustrating bunch to work with.," he says. Approximately 70% of the company’s manufacturing is carried out in the US and owns plants in Germany, Australia, China and Ireland.

Crown’s production lines are controlled by Jim Dicke and often the option of the option of being able to customise orders is available for customers. An example of this would be if a customer needs a mast that is able to carry heavy loads within 18 hours. Due to the use of the equipment it allows Crown to be able to charge up to 38%. The equipment includes a narrow-aisle reach forklift truck. There is a network of over 200 dealers all over the world that sells the equipment. "I don't think the typical operator appreciates a Crown as much as they should," says Gary M. Mills, an assistant vice president at Syso (a long time customer of Crown). According to Mills has been able to use the forklift truck he purchased from Crown for approximately ten hours a day for eight to ten years. Crown offers customers, for a fixed charge of $150 to $300 per vehicle per month to help with maintenance and repairs to trucks, no matter how major or minor the problem may be. For some customers this service has doubled the life span of their equipment.

Crown also offers a system that would help reduce the employees of a customer compensation claims and helping them to keep up to scratch with strict rules, for example reporting accidents courses to refresh workers on how to use certain pieces of equipment.The most recent line of products has been designed in order to avoid other incidents. For example if an operator was to accidentally fall over dock boards when using a new counterbalance forklift truck they would barely feel anything sue to the floating floorboard that the truck has been fitted with.

However, accidents occur and Crown still has to deal with personal injury claims every year. Crown have said they aim to be the BMW of forklift suppliers.

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