The sold-out audience roared in approval as the innovative Irish manufacturer collected the coveted “Victor Ludorum” award; a unique, gold-plated “Archie” statuette created to mark the Association’s 40th year.
The hallmarked trophy, presented for the pioneering 2008 Combi-CB multidirectional truck, marked Combilift’s second success of the night at the Olympic-themed ceremony, co-presented by athletics legend Sally Gunnell OBE. Earlier, its Combi-RT has scooped the Award for Innovation.
Other big winners on the night included Linde’s 394 displacement pump (Environment), Ravas M-Forks (Safety) and JCB’s Changezee teletruk carriage (Ergonomics); each receiving a solid bronze statuette following an open vote through the FLTA website.
Meanwhile, individual Awards were presented to Daniel McKinnon of Global Materials Handling Ltd (Apprentice of the Year), Clive Mansfield of EnerSys (Employee of the Year), and Jim Cameron of FB Chain (Services to Industry) – designer of the famous FB chain wear gauge.
McCain Foods was named “Safe Site” for its extensive use of Virtual Risk Manager to assess operators and focus training, and WB Powersource was crowned Supplier of the Year.
Since 1995, the Awards 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.
Sally Gunnell was aided in this year’s presentations by Association chairman Martyn Fletcher, as well as representatives from sponsors B&B Attachments, BNP Paribas, Doosan Industrial Vehicle, Hitachi Capital, Interfit, Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks, Powercell and Yale Materials Handling.
The show had been opened in dramatic fashion with a white-knuckle display from stunt cyclist Joe Oakley. After dinner Tina Turner tribute “Kinisha” heralded the winners with “Simply The Best” before a live band led dancing until the small hours. “Awards 2012 has been another resounding success,” said FLTA chairman Martyn Fletcher.
“This event continues to celebrate all that is good in the materials handling industry and, for more than 18 years, we have encouraged and acknowledged the progress that has been made.
“While Combilift grabbed the headlines this evening, each of our ‘Pick of the Year’ champions and finalists represents a significant advance in ensuring materials are moved more safely, more efficiently and with less impact on the environment.”
Additional information about the Fork Lift Truck Association and its activities can be found by visiting www.fork-truck.org.uk or calling 01256 381441.