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Celebrating Four Decades in the Industry

Yesterday marked a very special anniversary at Cooper Handling, with our Director David Cooper celebrating an incredible 40 years in the fork truck industry.

In 1979, David walked through the gates of Coventry Climax, now part of Kalmar Industries, to begin his career as an engineering apprentice.  David qualified with a HNC in Mechanical Engineering, and was destined to work in the Design department of Coventry Climax, however, an opportunity arose for David to test himself as a Salesman, an opportunity which he took, making him the youngest Salesman in the company’s history.  David’s performance as a Territory Salesman did not go unnoticed and after the Kalmar buy-out of Climax, David was awarded a national position for special projects, in which he brought to the market Kalmar Irion side-loaders.

At the time the market was dominated Sir Neville’s Boss side-loaders, a British made product in its home territory.  With a small team working under David, he guided Kalmar Irion side-loader sales to new heights, matching that of Boss, which at the time was an incredible achievement.

David became Head of the UK sales team for all products, a position generally awarded to someone much older than him, but with his close relationship with Kalmar Sweden and a proven track record for success he went about changing Kalmar’s direction to becoming market leader’s, selling 193 units in a single year which has still never been matched.

Like all good success stories, a change of fate with the management team at Kalmar UK, resulted in David making the daring decision to venture into the industry alone, founding SMV UK Ltd, in the late 90’s.  Armed with only a price list, brochures and determination, David guided SMV UK, now Cooper Handling to success, selling over 450 SMV units in a 16-year period.

Today, The Cooper Handling Group, comprising the operating arms, Cooper Specialised Handling Ltd and Cooper Handling Solutions, is the UK’s leading independent distributor of Mantsinen hydraulic Cranes, SANY heavy handling equipment, Meclift variable reach trucks and container movers, SveTruck forklifts, empty container handlers and log-handling equipment, Movella Translifters and specialises in SMV equipment.

From humble beginnings, David’s career has spanned four decades and his vast knowledge of the industry has proved vital to the creation and success of our business.  Over the years, David has seen the industry change dramatically, constantly changed by new technology, innovation and investment but never faltering, continues to evolve the Cooper business model based on his years of knowledge and experience of the market.

Thank you, David, for your dedication and hard work over the years.  Your guidance, experience, sacrifice and contributions to making our company the success we are today is an inspiration to us all here at Coopers’.

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