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28 February 2006


TCM's foray into Australia' burgeoning battery electric market has moved up a gear with the launch of an innovative new series of forklift trucks ideally suited to more sensitive work environments such as those found in the fresh produce and food processing industries.
The TCM FTB VII Series of electric counterbalance three-wheel forklifts announced in Melbourne earlier this month (15 February 2006) builds on the company’s reputation as an environmentally responsible manufacturer.

The improved turning radius of the two models, the FTB16 and the FTB18, equips them to address materials handling challenges where space constraints dictate the need for forklifts that – while not required to lift particularly heavy items – offer great manoeuvrability.

While the FTB16 boasts a maximum capacity of 1,600kg and the FTB18 a maximum capacity of 1,750kg, both offer features and benefits such as:

  • three compact AC motors that deliver high performance, regenerative breaking and simple maintenance;
  • enhanced battery power that provides eight hours of continuous operation;
  • a selection of three work modes – economy, power and super – to provide varying travelling and lifting speeds;
  • an integral side shift that brings less lost load and better forward visibility;
  • a self-diagnostic system that, with more than 50 failure codes displayed on the monitor panel, means operating status and failure causes can be found easily;
  • an anti-roll back system and lower front guard for improved safety and visibility; and
  • innovative design elements such as small-diameter steering wheel and functionally arranged control levers that contribute to ease-of-operation and facilitate easy access to the operator's cockpit.

The launch event was one of the most significant in recent TCM history. In addition to the FTB VII Series, TCM also launched its new range of iNOMA four-wheel counterbalance internal combustion forklifts and, for the first time ever, introduced its latest skid steer loader offerings to the Australian market.

The event was hosted by TCM's national distributor for Australia, NTP Forklifts Australia, and attended by TCM’s General Manager: Marketing, Masa-aki Sumida; and Regional Manager for Asia Pacific, Hiroshi Narukawa.

Mr Sumida told key customers and dealers that TCM intelligence suggests the Australian market for electric forklift trucks grew by about 40% in 2005, while that for the three-wheel offerings such as the FTB VII Series increased by almost 30% over the same period.

"With businesses increasingly maximising their warehouse space and creating narrower aisles, we expect similar if not greater growth in the current year. We are confident our new products will capture additional market share while meeting the needs of these businesses and an increasingly environmentally conscious world.

"Our products in the FTB VII Series get around tight layouts, they do the job required, they don' chew up scarce resources and, more importantly, there are no harmful emissions to cause concern to workers or the working environment," he said.

Sharing the platform with Mr Sumida, NTP Forklifts Australia Managing Director, John Naffine said the new products – and their launch here ahead of the world launch in Bangkok later next month – reflect TCM’s commitment to the Australian market and ensure that customers continue to have access to innovative, reliable and robust forklift trucks that cost less to run and maintain.

TCM’s exciting FTB VII Series will be widely available in Australia from March 2006. For further product information, please call your TCM State Distributor on 1300 367 011 or visit

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