SCLAA Great Fork-Off Competition was held by the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA).
The competition commenced at 11.00 am at Matex with the presentation of trophies to the winners and finalists at 3.00 pm.
Eight finalists competed on the day and all demonstrated good knowledge and co-ordination skills in forklift operation.
The pressure of having to perform in front of many visitors to the Matex Trade Exhibition only added to the pressure for the contestants.
The champion male driver was Trevor Webb from the Sydney Markets - who did not lose his nerve on the day and completed the complex course in a record time of 8 minutes with the lowest score of 52 points. Trevor Webb had already done a full days work at the Sydney Markets previously before competing in the final.
The champion female driver was Angela Mulloy who flew in from Brisbane that morning to complete the course in 12 minutes with the best female score of 116 points.
Angela Mulloy works with Pacific Brands in Brisbane and is considered to be one of their top operators.
The other finalists in the competition were:
- Gordon McIlwain, Kennards Lift & Shift
- Anthony West, K-Mart
- Karley Townsend, Display & Storage Techniques
- William Fall, Linfox
- Darren Hoggard, Coles DC NSW
- Leiane Campbell, K-Mart
A perfect score for the competition was zero points. Every time a finalist made an error points were added to the score. Although time was considered a factor in the competition, the focus was on knowledge and safe operation to the national loadshifting standards. A timeframe of 30 minutes was set by the assessors to allow the completion of the course safely.
This is the first time a national forklift competition has been held by the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA). The last one was held by the SCLAA’s predecessor, LMA approximately 8 years ago.
In the past the Australian champions first competed in the Asia Pacific championships and then the European championships. The SCLAA will host the next championship in Melbourne in 2009.
Bill Pflegger, Managing Director for Hyster Equipment, said that they were proud to support the event as they had supported similar competitions in Europe in the past. Hyster Equipment provided the battery powered counterbalance forklifts for the competition and presented the trophies to the winners and the finalists.
There have been a number of suggestions to expand the competition so that there is greater participation around Australia, including the use of multiple pieces of equipment.