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Buddy's pick of the crop at Sydney Markets

Supplier: Powerlift Material Handling
20 April, 2010

Head west from Sydney's CBD to Homebush and you'll find yourself in the thick of arguably the highest concentration of forklifts in the Southern Hemisphere.

Some 600 to 700 forklifts bustle about the 42 hectares of the Sydney Markets site, moving 2,500,000 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables each year.

It's a tough - perhaps the toughest - working environment for a forklift, with 5,000 people on site, employed by 120 wholesalers, 394 produce growers, 172 flower grower/sellers and over 160 supporting businesses.

There are multiple traffic hazards, confined spaces, forklifts, trucks and pedestrians mixed together and always a sense of urgency.

It's also one more place where Nissan forklifts are coming up trumps by proving their efficiency and reliability day in and day out. And they are doing it right alongside all the forklift brands you've ever heard of and a few you haven't.

Buddy Nohra's been keeping his eye on how the various forklift brands stack up since he first started work at the Sydney Markets as an apprentice with CP Automotive.

Twenty five years later CP Automotive is a markets institution, better known these days as Buddy's Workshop. It's the go-to destination for many of the markets businesses when they need forklift service, repairs, rental equipment, parts or just advice.

Buddy, now manager and driving force behind the business counts among his customers who range from small producers to industry heavyweights such as Harris Farm Markets.

"The new Nissan models are definitely the pick of the forklifts operating around the markets at present," Buddy says, with the authority of an independent businessman who deals with all brands.

"By choice this business has been associated with Nissan forklifts for more than 20 years, but we've always serviced all makes. We favoured Nissan for many years, went through a period where we looked favourably at a couple of other brands and have now come back to strongly recommending Nissan because of their quality, reliability and fuel economy.

"The Nissans are more reliable than ever, comfortable for the operators and have all the features which buyers expect, plus their parts back-up from the distributor, Powerlift Nissan, is hard to fault."

Buddy nominates the new Nissans' reliability and the quality of their construction as two areas which are proving attractive to buyers, but he says that fuel economy is another key to their rising success.

"The new Nissan fuel injected models are really starting to get a lot of recognition for the fuel savings they can provide," he says. "That's a big factor over the typical four to six year working life of a forklift around the markets."

Buddy's Workshop has made itself a highly regarded part of the Sydney Markets scene by tuning its operations to match the expectations of the growers and wholesalers who are its customers.

"I believe that in the markets we have the best forklift drivers in the country," he says. "If you can drive a forklift in the markets you can drive one anywhere. Because they are the best drivers, they want the best available equipment under them. For more and more of them that means a Nissan forklift.

"The quality of the Nissans has improved over the last 12 months and they are really powering back in the market."

Buddy's Workshop and its experienced staff are often called upon for advice when it comes to forklifts.

"Around the markets, when something is needed, it's needed now," Buddy said. "That applies whether you're talking about a pallet of fruit or a repair job for a forklift.

"On the rental side of our business we have 230 forklifts in our fleet so that we can handle the demand for short term and long term rentals. It's the experience we have gained with those rental machines together with what we've found through our service division which makes me confident to say that Nissan's the pick of the bunch.

"Down here word of mouth and personal relationships count for a lot. We have a unique relationship with our customers. They are all very busy people and often don't have the time to see sales people from half a dozen forklift suppliers when they need a new machine.

"They rely on us to advise them on what's best and since the introduction of Nissan's current range, that's been a Nissan forklift."