SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — KION North America and Illinois Material Handling joined together to offer a unique driving experience held at Illinois Material Handling’s Bolingbrook location on Apr. 6. The event marked the conclusion of KION NA’s product launch at ProMat—the largest material handling tradeshow in North America held bi-annually at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., customers and other members of KION NA’s dealer network test drove a large selection of Linde and Baoli forklifts followed by lunch from Corky’s Catering. As many as 50 customers from throughout the Chicagoland and surrounding Rockford areas traveled to see the latest in lift truck technology.

For those unable to attend on Thursday, Illinois Material Handling made their facility available for any of KION NA’s dealers to visit throughout the week of ProMat.

“These test drive events present an exciting opportunity for customers to see Linde technology in action,” said Jerry Weidmann, president of Wolter Group LLC / Illinois Material Handling. “They learn more about how they can improve the efficiency of their operations and reduce their forklift’s total cost of ownership.”

The forklifts available to test drive included the brand new Linde Series 1347—an electric cushion tire truck; the new Linde Series 1219 and 1319—two internal combustion, counterbalanced torque converter trucks; and the Baoli KBD Series powered by a Kohler Tier 4 Final diesel engine. Other electric, LP and diesel powered lift trucks were available including those featuring advanced 80-volt technologies and Linde’s patented hydrostatic drive.

“It’s one thing to display these trucks on a tradeshow floor, but it makes a much larger impact when you give customers the opportunity to get up close and test drive them,” said Mike Gore, vice president of sales at KION North America. “Once they do, we’re confident that the quality of our products speak for themselves.”

KION North America and Illinois Material Handling have a nearly 40-year-old partnership through its Wisconsin Lift Truck division. In 2016, this partnership was expanded with the opening of Illinois Material Handling who operates two locations in Northern Illinois.

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