>Kyle Thill

About Kyle Thill

Almost forty years in the material handling industry. Working hard to earn that job back at the shipping table.

Forklift Maintenance Agreements: An Impactful Tool In Your Productivity Arsenal

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forklift techniciansScheduled by the week or by equipment hours, forklift maintenance agreements are based on a forklift’s application. Not sure which to schedule, our service technicians, or your areas customer service representative [CSR] can work with you to determine the best option.

Equipment downtime is your operation’s worst enemy. Just like a car or house, a forklift requires maintenance and repairs after you purchase it. Taking a reactive approach to maintaining your forklifts can be accompanied by uncertainty and unexpected periods where forklifts are out of service. This can interrupt work flows that need to run smoothly for your business to succeed. Continue reading

By | July 1st, 2020|Categories: Durability, Efficiency, Forklift, Safety, Service, Toyota, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Top 10 Tuesday: Forklift, Logistics, Material Handling & Much More. The Most Popular Posts From the Week of June 21st

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top ten tuesday graphicForklift and material handling information are constantly shared or posted through dozens of sources. Websites, blogs, newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, and more share company and industry news, product insights as well as operational and safety information. Much of what is posted is promotional in nature but a fair percentage is informational and of possible interest to a wide range of readers and that’s here in our top 10.

Every day we sift through dozens of posts and articles in order to refine what we share with others. Then each week just the top 10 posts [or so] that we feel are the most relevant based on newsworthiness are posted by us in this weekly summary.

Did your article or your company’s post make the list? No? Send us a message with your blog or website address to make certain it’s in consideration.

Continue reading

The Foundry Package: Shielding Your Forklift from Harm

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foundry package forkliftWhat does a foundry package forklift have to do with the boy scout motto, “Be Prepared?” The motto reminds everyone to be prepared for workplace environments by learning beforehand what you will need in all the environments your forklift will work in. Another saying comes to mind, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure.”

“The Heat Is On” is more than just a popular song by Eagles lead singer Glenn Frey, it’s also a great metaphor for forging and casting applications. And the heat isn’t just on the street, it’s also on your forklift and on forklift operators. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can combat these high temperatures to increase productivity and reduce the possibility of premature wear on your equipment.

Continue reading

By | June 24th, 2020|Categories: Forklift, Toyota|Tags: , |0 Comments

Top 10 Tuesday: Forklift, Logistics, Material Handling & Much More. The Most Popular Posts From the Week of June 14th

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top ten post imageForklift and material handling information are constantly shared or posted through dozens of sources. Websites, blogs, newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, and more share company and industry news, product insights as well as operational and safety information. Much of what is posted is promotional in nature but a fair percentage is informational and of possible interest to a wide range of readers and that’s here in our top 10.

Every day we sift through dozens of posts and articles in order to refine what we share with others. Then each week just the top 10 posts [or so] that we feel are the most relevant based on newsworthiness are posted by us in this weekly summary.

Did your article or your company’s post make the list? No? Send us a message with your blog or website address to make certain it’s in consideration.

Continue reading

Top 10 Tuesday: Forklift, Logistics, Material Handling & Much More. The Most Popular Posts From the Week of June 7th

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top ten tuesday graphic

Forklift and material handling information are constantly shared or posted through dozens of sources. Websites, blogs, newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, and more share company and industry news, product insights as well as operational and safety information. Much of what is posted is promotional in nature but a fair percentage is informational and of possible interest to a wide range of readers and that’s here in our top 10.

Every day we sift through dozens of posts and articles in order to refine what we share with others. Then each week just the top 10 posts [or so] that we feel are the most relevant based on newsworthiness are posted by us in this weekly summary.

Did your article or your company’s post make the list? No? Send us a message with your blog or website address to make certain it’s in consideration.

Continue reading

Mast Chains Can Be Dangerous If Ignored

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There are a lot of moving parts on a forklift that are critical to its operation and the mast chains are no exception. As you may already know, a forklift uses hydraulic pressure to raise the mast up by raising the lift cylinders. This, in turn, raises the inner mast channels, but without the lift chains, your forks and carriage aren’t going anywhere. And if your forks aren’t being lifted, you aren’t going to be getting much work done. Continue reading

By | June 10th, 2020|Categories: Forklift, forklift mast, forklift safety, Toyota, toyota forklift parts|0 Comments

Top 10 Tuesday: Forklift, Logistics, Material Handling & Much More. The Most Popular Posts From the Week of May 31st

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tuesday-top-ten-122516aForklift and material handling information are constantly shared or posted through dozens of sources. Websites, blogs, newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, and more share company and industry news, product insights as well as operational and safety information. Much of what is posted is promotional in nature but a fair percentage is informational and of possible interest to a wide range of readers and that’s here in our top 10.

Every day we sift through dozens of posts and articles in order to refine what we share with others. Then each week just the top 10 posts [or so] that we feel are the most relevant based on newsworthiness are posted by us in this weekly summary.

Did your article or your company’s post make the list? No? Send us a message with your blog or website address to make certain it’s in consideration.

Continue reading

Think About Forklift Downtime – Or Bring on the Hurt

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toyota lift truck technicianLet’s think about forklift downtime for a few moments. We measure so many points of interest, if you’re a sports fan you know that analytics and numbers have changed how teams are playing baseball, football and many other sports. Or maybe you only think about how many days till your next holiday!

Downtime, especially in the manufacturing and distribution industries, is extremely expensive. According to studies, one hour of downtime at Ebay costs $225,000! Amazon has valued their downtime upwards of $180,000 per hour.  If you run a smaller business, cut Amazon’s downtime valuation by 99.5% and you still end up losing over $20,000 in just 24 hours! Since it’s something you definitely want to avoid, let’s talk a little bit about the ways downtime affects your business and bottom line and how to minimize the impact.

How does downtime affect your business?

  • 5 reasons forklift preventative maintenance plans make sense

    Click to enlarge

    You lose money on your employees. When your workers can’t work, you’re losing money.
  • You lose money on product. Think about how much your product costs and how long it takes to manufacture. If you do the math, you can figure out exactly how much a minute is worth to you. Now multiply that by the amount of downtime you had, and you’ll know just how much the downtime can cost you.
  • Fixed costs keep running. Factor in the electric bill, the water, insurance and everything else needed to run operations…Ouch.  If you’re in a distribution center environment, think about order fulfillment, if you are down, your customers won’t be receiving their orders, which can have adverse short-term and long-term effects.  Also, add in the overtime costs to catch up when your forklifts are back up….Double ouch.
  • Everyone gets stressed. When you can see money flying out the door with every tick of the clock, things get stressful. Downtime stresses you and your employees out and makes your environment tense.  That’s when mistakes commonly happen.
  • Your reputation is hurt. Customers don’t want to wait on product because something in your supply chain operation has gone wrong. In fact, they just won’t. When your business faces downtime, studies show you also face depleting stock returns and shareholder wealth.

How can you avoid it?

  • Think about long-term cost vs. immediate cost. Sometimes it’s hard to pay more for a part or piece of equipment when there’s a less expensive option available. However, that less expensive option is usually less expensive for a reason.
  • Service your equipment appropriately. Servicing your industrial equipment properly is extremely important. Make sure you’re following recommendations for how often and in what manner you should service your industrial equipment.
  • Train your operators. Accidents and improper use are less likely if your operator has been trained. Accidents and improper use cause downtime that could very easily be avoided.

Taking steps to increase uptime can cost a bit of time and money upfront, but it won’t cost nearly as much time and money as downtime.

We would enjoy hearing from you. Post your ideas or comments below, let’s start a dialog. The original article was published by Toyota Material Handling U.S.A. For more information, insights or conversations regarding your forklift or material handling needs. You can visit our online contact form, use our contact form seen to the right. We would welcome the opportunity to cover your material handling questions or concerns. Toyota Lift of Minnesota works very hard to be your partner and material handling, consultant.

By | June 3rd, 2020|Categories: Forklift, forklift parts, Service, Toyota|0 Comments

Top 10 Tuesday: Forklift, Logistics, Material Handling & Much More. The Most Popular Posts From the Week of May 24th

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top ten forklift on rampForklift and material handling information are constantly shared or posted through dozens of sources. Websites, blogs, newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, and more share company and industry news, product insights as well as operational and safety information. Much of what is posted is promotional in nature but a fair percentage is informational and of possible interest to a wide range of readers and that’s here in our top 10.

Every day we sift through dozens of posts and articles in order to refine what we share with others. Then each week just the top 10 posts [or so] that we feel are the most relevant based on newsworthiness are posted by us in this weekly summary.

Did your article or your company’s post make the list? No? Send us a message with your blog or website address to make certain it’s in consideration.

Continue reading

Forklift Accidents: Unexpected Result of Forklift Horseplay

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Forklifts account for only 1% of all warehouse or factory accidents. But forklift accidents tend to be more serious than others, accounting for 10% of all physical injuries in those workplaces.

Forklift safety is an ongoing learning experience. Proper training in accordance with OSHA requirements should be the first priority for all forklift operators. It is imperative that anyone who operates a forklift complies with OSHA’s training requirements. OSHA requirements have been in effect since 1999. Since they began mandating the training, forklift accidents have decreased even though the number of forklifts in use has risen steadily. An organization can be fined as much as $100,000 if proper training is not conducted for forklift operators.

Nearly 100 workers are killed each year in forklift related accidents. 24% of these accidents are the result of rollovers. Other accidents include works being struck by the forklift load, by the forklift itself, or workers falling off the forklift. The need to give safety your utmost attention as a business operator is made clear when assessing the statistics associated with forklift accidents. For example:

  • 34,000 serious injuries occur each year
  • Over 100,000 total accidents (serious and non-serious) happen each year
  • 42% of forklift fatalities are from the operator being crushed when the forklift tips over
  • 25% are crushed between the forklift and a surface (wall, load, etc.)
  • 8% of workers are crushed by material falling from the forklift
  • 4% of workers fall from a platform

Keeping these serious and troubling statistics in mind, implementing best practices in your facility in regard to safety is highly important.

Forklift Safety Best Practices

  1. Forklift Training

    OSHA recommends that a forklift driver be over the age of 18.
  2. Create a detailed training program for new employees and repeat the training for existing employees on a regular basis. This training should include:
    • Formal Instruction
    • Practical education
    • Evaluations / tests
  3. Know capacity ratings for the forklift being driven. Forklifts have specific ratings showing how much weight it can handle. Be sure that the weight limitations are posted clearly on the forklift and instruct operators to adhere to those limitations.
  4. Forklifts are equipped with back-up buzzers and warning signals because often it can be hard to see around loads. Train employees to listen for the audible warning signals.
  5. Keep your distance if you are not operating the forklift. Instruct employees to keep a good distance away from the immediate area where forklifts are being used.
  6. Slow Down if you are a forklift operator. Some forklifts come with options to limit their speed. This is a good idea to add to your forklift order. Instruct operators of the maximum speed at which they may operate and enforce those regulations.
  7. Surfaces should be clear, free from debris and safe for operators.
  8. Have regular forklift inspections on each forklift.

Improper forklift operation results in accidents, damage to products and facilities, and is the result of law suits for companies each year. By following OSHA regulations and adopting strict training rules and regulations at your organization, you can prevent these accidents.

While following these procedures can result in an improved safety setting, below are some specific situations where safety questions and concerns continually arise.

Facilities Considerations for Potential Forklift Safety Improvement

Forklift and pedestrian safetyBeyond following these rules for safety success, giving special attention to your facilities can help to improve safety in your operations. There are some general pieces of advice that can be followed, but remember, the unique needs and designs of your operation will ALWAYS dictate what safe practice looks like. Be sure to thoroughly analyze the safety of your site before making any major changes.

  • Keep pedestrians and forklifts separated when possible.Use different aisles for pedestrian passageways and material flow.
  • Use guards and barriers. Physical barriers assure that pedestrians and material handling equipment do not come into contact with each other.
  • Avoid tall, narrow aisles when possible. Height can mean more efficient storage. But make sure that your forklifts and operators are capable of working in them.
  • Do not obstruct intersection and doors.
  • Eliminate unnecessary noise pollution. When operators and pedestrians can’t hear each other, they are more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Eliminate Poor Lighting. Operators and pedestrians need to see each other clearly whenever possible.
  • Avoid installing high-grade ramps or change in floor surfaces. Each can provide hazards for forklifts while in operation.

Understanding Forklift Capacities to Ensure Forklift Safety

So, you’ve purchased a 6,000 lb. forklift. That means you can lift 6,000 lbs. at all times, no matter what, right? Wrong.

The capacity rating of a forklift is the maximum weight at which it is able to safely maneuver at a specific load center. If the forks are not at that exact load center, if the mast type has been changed, or if attachments have been added, the forklift is not capable of maneuvering that load safely.

To avoid making the colossal mistake of exceeding your forklift’s maximum capacity, remember the following:

  1. Purchase a higher capacity forklift than you think you will need to prevent exceeding the limit.
  2. Always use a scale to measure loads so you’re sure you haven’t exceeded the capacity limit.
  3. Operators should be trained to know the difference between the forklift model number and the capacity rating on the data plate.
  4. Be sure the data plate is always in place and readable.
  5. Talk to a forklift specialist to be sure you’re using the right forklift for your application.

Though forklift accidents are becoming less frequent every year, one main cause of forklift accidents is an operator trying to maneuver loads that exceed the forklift’s capacity rating. Talk to your local Toyota Forklift Dealer to learn more about forklift capacity ratings and which forklift would be best for you and your business.

Forklift Safety: Avoiding Forklift Accidents in No Laughing Matter

Forklift safety is no laughing matter. Toyota makes it a priority to ensure that safety is at the forefront of all of our manufacturing processes and training efforts. But while safety comes standard at Toyota, it’s the responsibility of operators and their managers to be sure that Toyota forklifts are being used appropriately. When risks are taken in the name of having fun or joking around, accidents are bound to happen. Operators should monitor their personal behavior. But a good working environment means that operators are also looking out for each other as well. That means reporting inappropriate behavior when they see it. Here are a few clear examples of inappropriate forklift use for which operators and managers should be on the lookout:

  • Racing
  • Sitting on the counter-weight
  • Allowing passengers in either the operator cab or on the exterior of the lift
  • Lifting people with forks
  • Lifting unintended loads on the forks
  • Trying to distract an operator
  • Swerving in the vicinity of pedestrians
  • Adding people on the back of a lift to increase counter-weight
  • Turning off lights needed for operator visibility

At Toyota, we make industry-leading forklifts with a guarantee of quality, durability, value, and reliability. And our first priority is always your safety. If you or your associates need help recognizing appropriate and inappropriate forklift use, your local Toyota Forklift Dealer offers operator safety training.

We would enjoy hearing from you. Post your ideas or comments below, let’s start a dialog.

The original article was published by Toyota Material Handling. For more information, insights or conversations regarding your forklift or material handling needs. You can visit our online contact form, use our contact form seen to the right. We would welcome the opportunity to cover your material handling questions or concerns. Toyota Lift of Minnesota works very hard to be your partner and material handling, consultant.

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By | May 27th, 2020|Categories: Forklift, forklift safety, Safety, Toyota|0 Comments