Orders for forklift trucks rose 24 per cent last year – the first annual rise for three years, according to the British Industrial Truck Association. Secretary-general James Clark said the figures consolidated optimism for rising sales this year.
Engine powered counterbalance trucks, which make up 32 per cent of the overall market, experienced the biggest increase in 2010, with orders increasing by 30 per cent. This equates to an increase of 29 per cent and 32 per cent for diesel and LPG trucks respectively.
Electric-powered rider warehouse equipment, dominated by reach trucks, saw an increase in sales orders of 29 per cent, and electric powered counterbalanced trucks orders rose by 22 per cent in 2010.
Pedestrian trucks also saw a decent increase of sales orders, finishing the year with a rise of 15 per cent.
Clark said: “Although economic indicators are still mixed, the latest statistics are consolidating our optimism for a steady increase in sales orders across all forklift categories throughout 2011.”
The increase in sales is partly due to the UK’s emergence from a recession in the latter period of 2009.
Clark said BITA had already seen evidence of a recovery in the lift-truck market during the months preceding this point.
“BITA’s 2010 UK Forklift Truck Market Outlook noted evidence of a rebound in manufacturing activity during Q3 and Q4 2009, due to an increase in exports and restocking. The service sector had also begun to rise again, which gave reason to expect a positive outlook throughout 2010 for the industry as a whole.”