forklift awards

Judging is wrapping up soon at the 2017 International Forklift of the Year (IFOY) awards in Munich, Germany where 11 trucks are currently undergoing rigorous trials in competitive testing sessions. Winners for each category will be announced in April, bestowing the highest honor in intralogistics to the selected machines and manufacturers.

According to its website, the mission of the IFOY Award is to identify and recognize the year’s best materials handling equipment and intralogistics solutions as well as engage in activities in order to assess outstanding technical and strategic achievements in intralogistics as well as generate stimuli for innovation.

The award is presented in the following eight categories:

  1. Counter Balanced Truck – up to a weight of 3.5 tons inclusive.
  2. Counter Balanced Truck – from 3.5 tons
  3. Special vehicle
  4. Warehouse Truck “highlifter”
  5. Warehouse Truck “lowlifter”
  6. Automated Guided Vehicle
  7. Intralogistics Solution
  8. Special of the Year

Top Forklift Award Nominees

One of the top 11 nominees is Crown’s WAV 60 Work Assist Vehicle, better known as the Wave®. Every year, around 145,000 accidents are reported due to the use of ladders in Europe alone. In addition, ladders are sometimes difficult to maneuver in a logistics environment and offer little in the way of productivity. Crown launched the Wave 50 back in 1997 as an alternative to unsafe ladders. This model was updated in 2016 and is this year competing for an IFOY Award. According to Crown, the new Wave, officially called the WAV 60, was overhauled in multiple areas and equipped with AC technology. Among other things, this maintenance-free technology permits higher speeds where this is desired and possible in the location in question. The top speed was increased by 33 percent from 6 km/h to 8 km/h. Like its predecessor, the machine can simultaneously move and lift, and this ensures efficient and productive deployment.

crown forklifts

The IFOY test verdict concluded “The Crown WAV 60 is an extremely practical alternative to mobile ladders. Operation of the machine and the high-level safety features takes some getting used to but after some practice, working with the wave is extremely pleasant. The machine is quiet, runs smoothly and represents a safe option for shelf filling or other work activities at heights of almost five metres.”

In terms of customer benefits, the IFOY judges concluded that, “The WAV 60 allows the operator to reach loads at heights of up to 5 m and to then transport these loads, rendering ladders unnecessary. The strain on the driver is significantly reduced, and the work cycles are also far shorter due to the high speed and enhanced safety. Work efficiency is improved, as there is no need for a second person to secure the work process.”

The aim of the IFOY Award is to identify and recognize the year’s best material handling equipment and intralogistics solutions, and document the industry’s performance capability and innovative drive. In doing so, the competition aims to enhance the public perception and competitiveness of the intralogistics industry as a whole, and has become one of the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Judges are expected to come to their conclusions and select a winner for each category in early May with an official announcement and award presentation. The winners receive a trophy and have the right to use the Forklift Truck of the Year symbol in their advertising.

You can see a slideshow of the finalist nominees here.


(Operations Manager)

Chris Charles is a 27 year veteran of operations and logistics. Experience included commercial property management and project management for an international shipping company in Maryland.


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