Solid support – from MHD magazine

In the current challenging economic environment, consumer spending is tight, business investment is restricted, and infrastructure spending – apart from a few over-publicised projects – is also being largely held back. The conditions are in fact perfect for a recession, and anyone in the trade of supplying high-value machinery for businesses could be forgiven for wanting to adopt a ‘batten down the hatches’ approach. Read more

All-new Toyota HiAce vans for Australia

Toyota has launched an all-new HiAce range of vans. According to Toyota Australia, the first new HiAce in 15 years offer improvements in driver comfort, performance, safety and functionality with the same expansive carrying capacity as its predecessor.
As the first new HiAce in 15 years, it has been completely redesigned with a new semi-bonneted configuration to more than meet the needs of commercial, private, corporate and fleet buyers.
Sitting on a substantially longer and wider all-new platform, the new HiAce combines efficient new turbodiesel and V6 petrol engines that deliver more power, refinement and driveability, the latest suite of Toyota Safety Sense features and a redesigned cabin with improved ergonomics for greater driver comfort and convenience.
Toyota Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said every aspect of the all-new HiAce has been designed to appeal to owners who often spend long days behind the wheel.
“Its impressive carrying capacity is even more flexible and user-friendly with increased internal width, and increased height on LWB versions, and dual sliding side doors on van models which, for the SLWB variants, can take a standard Australian pallet. We are also providing HiAce customers with the same high level of safety as found in our passenger cars and SUVs with a full suite of advanced Toyota Safety Sense technologies,” Sean said.

Toyota to introduce autonomous vehicles in Altona warehouse

Toyota Australia together with Toyota Material Handling Australia and Toyota Fleet Management, will be introducing a fleet of autonomous Autopilot vehicles in to its Altona warehouse from its operation start in 2020.
Manufactured in Sweden by Toyota Material Handling Europe, the fleet itself will consist of six Autopilot Tow Trucks (TAE500) and one Autopilot Reach Truck (RAE160), the flagship model when it comes to warehouse automation.
They will apply Autopilot driverless technology to achieve mobility in conveyance, towing, lifting, and be able to autonomously place product throughout the warehouse and pick orders for customers.
All models in the range will also have the ability to be used in manual mode as conventional warehouse vehicles allowing complete flexibility in operations.
In addition to enhanced safety, Autopilot will also deliver energy efficiencies via Lithium-Ion battery technology, automatic charging, high vehicle utilisation, and low maintenance costs.
Toyota Australia Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, said the mobility company has a thorough understanding and appreciation of the importance of automation technology.
“Toyota Australia will continue to develop, progress, and employ these new ways of thinking whenever possible. We are extremely committed to delivering the highest level of reliability, performance, and productivity, and Autopilot ticks every one of these boxes,” Sean said.

Toyota automation forklift materials handling

Toyota's warehouse to go on autopilot in 2020

Toyota Australia, together with Toyota Material Handling Australia and Toyota Fleet Management, will be introducing a fleet of autonomous autopilot vehicles into its Altona warehouse from its operation start in 2020.
Manufactured in Sweden by Toyota Material Handling Europe, the fleet itself will consist of six Autopilot Tow Trucks (TAE500) and one Autopilot Reach Truck (RAE160), the flagship model when it comes to warehouse automation.
They will apply autopilot driverless technology to achieve mobility in conveyance, towing, lifting, and be able to autonomously place product throughout the warehouse and pick orders for customers.
All models in the range will also have the ability to be used in manual mode as conventional warehouse vehicles allowing complete flexibility in operations.
Built with the reliability and serviceability of their manual predecessors, the new hybrids will also include integrated navigation and leading safety systems.
The safety systems include scanners and obstacle detection devices which are designed to stop the vehicle and minimise the risk of a collision, ensuring protection for people, equipment, and infrastructure.
Fleet management, emergency-stop buttons, warning sounds, and lights will be standard across the range together with a blue LED warning light projected in front of the vehicle, to assist in noisy environments or when autopilot is approaching around a corner.
In addition to enhanced safety, Autopilot will also deliver energy efficiencies via Lithium-Ion battery technology, automatic charging, high vehicle utilisation, and low maintenance costs.
Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the mobility company has a thorough understanding and appreciation of the importance of automation technology.
“Toyota Australia will continue to develop, progress, and employ these new ways of thinking whenever possible,” Mr Hanley said.
“We are extremely committed to delivering the highest level of reliability, performance, and productivity, and Autopilot ticks every one of these boxes,” he added.

Toyota forklift Opening-new Adelaide branch019

Growth drives the opening of new TMHA Adelaide facility

The Toyota Material Handling Australia national head office and branch management team attending the opening of the new facility in Gepps Cross, South Australia.

The ongoing growth of Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA)’s Adelaide branch was a primary reason for it to recently move from its former site to a brand new, 12,000m2 facility in Gepps Cross, South Australia.
The state-of-the art facility was opened in May and visitors in attendance included South Australian Government Treasurer the Hon Rob Lucas MLC, TMHA chairman Toshi Nakazawa and president & CEO, Steve Takacs.
TMHA general manager – Branch Operations South Hamish Harper said in his time with the branch he has watched it move from strength to strength. “We worked in the old facility for over 25 years and have been GM for the last 10, and in that time I have watched its steady growth,” said Mr Harper. “Growth in our people and growth in our product lines – our offering has vastly increased from what it was a decade ago, even a few years ago. The Adelaide branch has had the full line of TMHA products for years.”
Mr Harper said TMHA Adelaide’s growth has been tracked in market share. “We’ve gone from a mid-twenties market share ten years ago to our present market share, which is in the forties, so inevitably we required infrastructure to match increased demand.
“There were constraints on the volume we could put through our workshop before, but now we have vastly increased resources to meet growth in equipment sales and our rental and servicing requirements.”
The new facility dwarfs its predecessor’s 7,000m2 footprint and 4,000m2 building size, as Mr Harper explained: “Our new facility here in Gepps Cross has 1,000m2 of office space incorporating a new-unit showroom to showcase the vast breadth and depth of our product range, and a dedicated training facility,” he said.
“We also have a dedicated parts area with its own entrance. Parts are very important to our business and we needed to ensure easy accessibility for our parts customers.
“Our new state-of-the-art 5,000m2 workshop area, accompanied by another 6,000m2 of hardstand area for loading and unloading, is impressive – especially given it’s three times the size of our old workshop. That’s a huge difference for us. It gives us the ability to service over 4,000 forklifts that we have under service and rental.”
Additional features of the workshop include a new on-site spray booth, a wash-bay that uses recycled water, overhead gantry, and storage space for the branch’s short-term rental fleet. “We also have more workbays for our staff, which means we can work on our customers’ equipment more efficiently and, hopefully, return it quicker than ever before,” he said.
Mr Harper said further time savings have been gained by bringing the storage of new machines onto the same site as the pre-delivery workshop. “The former site operated two distinct buildings: one being the main facility where we had our sales force, undertook repairs, and our parts operation. The other was basically a pre-delivery facility for equipment such as forklifts.
“Now we have increased the speed of machine delivery by consolidating the two and bringing the storage of new machines onto the same site as the pre-delivery workshop.
“We now have only one workshop and all our other functionality is in the same envelope. Being able to have all services available under the one roof allows us to service our customers more efficiently and effectively.”
Customers will not have to travel far from the previous Cavan Road location to experience the benefits of the new facility. “Our new location in Matthews Road is only around the corner from our old facility, which is handy for our customers as they’ll have the general location familiarity.
“Matthews Road is off one of the main arterials in Gepps Cross, Wakefield Road, from where you can’t miss our new signage. We’re still twenty minutes’ drive from the city, right in the heart of Adelaide’s industrial area. It’s also a central location from which we can get to our customers for service requirements.”
After many years of planning, Mr Harper is thrilled to be in the now officially opened facility, along with his staff, whom he thanked for their contribution to the project, along with input from TMHA branches, nationally.
“We’re very excited to be here and seeing our new facility in action. Everything is modern, clean and new – as is befitting of Toyota Material Handling’s image and expected of a market leader.
“We have opened a facility that can meet all of the contemporary needs of our customers who demand not just a supplier of equipment but a full provider of systems and services. It’s a demonstration of our commitment to our customers and we think they will be very pleased with our new location and experience.
“We have lots of parking for customers and staff. Customers are enjoying our new amenities including a dedicated area where we can have a coffee with them and discuss their needs. It’s an enhanced customer experience.”

Toyota Materials Handling opens new facility in Sydney

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has announced it has opened a new purpose built, state-of-the art facility for its branch in Orange, New South Wales.
The branch recently relocated from its former Cameron Place location to a prized position on a 2,000 square-metre site at the intersection of Northern Distributor Road and Astill Drive.
TMHA Orange branch manager Richard Bopping said the new premises is an improvement for staff and customers in every way.
According to Richard, the previous site’s workshop was also proving to be too cramped, given the branch’s growth in Central Western New South Wales.
“We operate across a massive area stretching as far out as Bourke, Cobar, Dubbo, across to Mount Vic and even occasionally Broken Hill and down to Cowra, and everything in-between such as Mudgee, Forbes, Parkes, Narromine,” he said.
“Our core business is our forklift rental fleet, which is over 200 units-strong and is serviced out of the branch. We have more than double that, again, with retail customers that we service and provide parts and repairs for.
“We also deal in warehousing equipment such as electric pallet jacks, stackers and also skid steers loaders. New products have come online recently – such as sweepers, scrubbers, scissor-lifts, vertical lifts and the Taylor Dunn product line – to name a few. These are opening opportunities for us to expand into other markets and with our new premises we are well-placed to support our expanding range,” he said
With a site (land) size of 2000m2 and a building of 880m2 – with office being 140m2 and another 140m2 for an office mezzanine level – TMHA Orange has ensured it has all the appropriate space it required, with the addition of future-proofing. “In the future we would be able to support a rental fleet double the size of our existing fleet of 200 units, we would have enough provisional space in our workshop to support that,” Richard said.
The new building has been built for TMHA with environmentally sustainable principles in mind. “We have greatly reduced environmental impact footprint with the new building. We have solar on the roof which will just-about negate any power bill and a water tank plus a greywater system for the building. And we were able to achieve all this at a similar cost to running our old one,” Richard concluded.

Toyota, Bridgestone combine to develop space vehicle

Bridgestone Corporation will take part in an international space exploration mission with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota). Announced by JAXA and Toyota, the goals of this mission include expanding the domain of human activity and developing intellectual property on space exploration. Bridgestone’s involvement in this mission will include researching the performance needs of tyres for use on manned, pressurised lunar rovers to help these vehicles make better contact with the surface of the moon.
Bridgestone partnered with the two organisations to research this next phase of human exploration, building on a joint research partnership with JAXA in the 2000s to examine the contact patch between rovers and the lunar surface, and serve as a technical partner for the Toyota rover project.
Bridgestone’s expertise and knowledge of tyre contact patch will help explore the mobility challenges faced on the lunar surface, with the development of an Elastic Wheel to support the rover’s weight, acceleration and braking, minimise shock absorbance, and improve manoeuvrability, enabling the rover to cruise more than 10,000km on the lunar surface, required to accomplish the mission.
 
 
 

Record forklift apprentice intake for Toyota

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has inducted a record 14 apprentice forklift technicians in its annual intake, ensuring a solid skills support base for the future.
The national forklift company this year received a staggering 826 applications for apprenticeships from around the country.
The 14 new apprentices, accompanied by mentors from their respective TMHA branches, were inducted and received their tools of trade at TMHA’s Sydney headquarters at the end of March.
TMHA president and CEO Steve Takacs – who began his career as a forklift technician – was on hand to welcome the inductees.
They also received presentations on Toyota values, company policies and expectations, safety procedures and Toyota history, and a tour of TMHA’s extensive national headquarters.
TMHA national technical advisor and trainer Gerry Larney said 14 apprentices was a record annual intake and continues Toyota’s commitment to industry leading skills training.
“We currently have 35 apprentices completing their four-year courses across our 18 branches and a total of 450 staff in product support roles,” he said.
“TMHA views the apprentice program as a cornerstone in providing the highest levels of product support.
“It is a real investment in our future, as today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s technicians.”
TMHA also conducts an annual national skills contest, open to all technicians and apprentices, with the aim of keeping service staff at the cutting edge of industry standards.
Steve Takacs said Toyota has been at the forefront of forklift technician training for much of the 50 years the company has been selling forklifts in Australia, this is further supported by specialist TAFE and inhouse training programs for Australia’s forklift technicians.
“The annual apprentice intake was initiated more than a decade ago to help ensure we have a strong skills base to support our business,” he said.
 

Toyota plans Victoria's first hydrogen refuelling station

Toyota Australia, with funding assistance from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has unveiled plans to build a $7.4 million Hydrogen Centre at the company’s former site of car manufacturing at Altona in Melbourne’s west.
The Hydrogen Centre is part of a larger plan to transform the former Altona site into a Centre of Excellence.

As part of the Hydrogen Centre project, existing manufacturing infrastructure will be repurposed into Victoria’s first integrated hydrogen site, complete with electrolyser, commercial grade hydrogen refuelling station and an education centre with live demonstrations.
ARENA will contribute $3.1 million towards the Hydrogen Centre development, with Toyota Australia investing the remaining $4.3 million.
Toyota Australia’s president and CEO Matt Callachor said the Hydrogen Centre announcement was a step towards the company meeting its target of zero CO2 emissions from sites and vehicles by 2050.
“This is a very exciting time for Toyota Australia. Today’s announcement with ARENA aligns with our global drive to promote sustainable mobility and to play a leading role in the transition to a decarbonised future,” Mr Callachor said.
“Hydrogen has the potential to play a pivotal role in the future because it can be used to store and transport energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources to power many things, including vehicles like the Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).
“Right now, the biggest factor to the success of hydrogen being widely available is the lack of infrastructure. The sooner we move to a zero emissions society, the better, and Toyota is committed to making this a reality.”
ARENA chief executive officer Darren Miller said Toyota’s Hydrogen Centre would demonstrate hydrogen as a viable fuel source for transport and as an energy storage medium.
“Toyota is helping to pave the way for more renewably powered vehicles in Australia, where the uptake of electric vehicles has been slower than other countries.
“The demonstration of low-cost hydrogen production and distribution is key to the uptake of hydrogen-powered electric vehicles in areas such as truck, bus and government fleets.
“Australia holds a competitive advantage to play a global role in the emerging hydrogen export market due to our existing expertise and infrastructure. We’re excited to see Toyota add their skills to the mix and be a major player in increasing the reach of hydrogen applications in different sectors,” Mr Miller said.
Construction on the Hydrogen Centre will commence this year, with the education centre expected to be open by December 2019, and the electrolyser and hydrogen refuelling station fully operational by late 2020.
Once up and running, the hydrogen refuelling station will be able to fill a vehicle, like Toyota’s Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), in between three and five minutes.
As part of its ongoing hydrogen advocacy efforts, Toyota Australia has been providing Toyota Mirai FCEV vehicles to local governments and commercial organisations through its hydrogen loan program.

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