>Business Insight

Say Good-Bye to the Baby Boomers and Their Old Ways of Forklift Parts Procurement

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Did you know: 10,000 baby boomers will retire today – and every day – for the next 10 years?

The management and decision-making roles they leave vacant will be filled with the largest group in the U.S. workforce – millennials. Millennials have spent the better part of their lives online, connecting with friends on social media, conducting research with a simple Google search, and shopping for anything they desire – all from the comfort of their own homes. To stay relevant to this new generation of consumers, companies must be willing to adapt to the rapidly changing customer expectations.

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Grace Hopper:

“The most dangerous phrase in the language is ‘We’ve always done it this way.” Continue reading

7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Aichi Vertical Mast Lift

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The AICHI Vertical Mast Lift delivers a versatile solution for tight-fitting construction and maintenance needs like piping, plumbing, and painting. A zero-degree turn radius offers the key to accessing hard to reach locations. Using state-of-the-art AC drive motors, it also offers precise travel and industry-leading run time that equate to greater efficiency and low cost of ownership.

The thoughtful design of the AICHI Vertical Mast Lift puts you in control and grants everything you need to get the job done quickly and efficiently. The ergonomic control handle and smooth AC drive motors allow for precise positioning of the lift in tight quarters. A standard 110V power outlet allows for convenient use of power tools and battery chargers. And an intuitively designed platform extension provides an additional 15 inches of working space, making it easier to safely reach across objects. Continue reading

3 Benefits of a Forklift Lease That May Change Your Perspective

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forklift lease toyotaThe forklift lease vs. buy decision is one most business will face sooner or later. This forklift is your company’s heavy lifter, whether it’s in the warehouse or out in the yard, so you need a good one–and you need it to be available at all times.

Buying something new is always exciting. A new purchase is the reward at the end of all the careful research you did to make sure you selected the best product on the market and it feels good for a while!

Three years into the life of your forklift ownership that new equipment smell has likely worn off and you are left with a forklift with declining efficiency. Or worse, one that no longer meets the needs of your growing business and your returns are diminishing. That is not what you expected when you made the purchase or is it?

For many companies large and small, leasing your fleet is an excellent option that can offer much better returns than purchasing without a substantial capital investment. I have thought of a few good reasons you might consider leasing your next forklift. Continue reading

Fleet Management Solutions from Toyota Forklift

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Toyota redefined the meaning of fleet management with its TOYOTA FLEET program. We are dedicated to becoming a world-class fleet service provider by building partnerships, strengthening relationships, improving services, listening to customer needs, employing value-added services, demonstrating dependable and sustainable cost savings, and working hard for our customers every single day. Our ultimate goal is to maintain our customers for life.

Ask a Toyota representative how we can help you get the best performance out of your forklift fleet, or contact your local Toyota forklift dealer for more information. Continue reading

By | August 29th, 2018|Categories: Business Insight, Forklift, Toyota|1 Comment

Your New Forklift, Let’s Manage Its Value

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toyota stand up rider in warehouse2When you purchase a new Toyota Forklift, you will want to make sure that you are doing everything you can to help it have a long life. Nobody likes downtime, which is why you should take the necessary steps to ensure that your forklift will continually be in top shape. Below are some of the ways you can help!

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By | July 25th, 2018|Categories: Business Insight, Forklift, Toyota|1 Comment

Warehouse Equipment Is Needed, but Which Type Do You Need Most?

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We know that a warehouse is a building used to store goods of all type. Generally found just outside urban areas, they are often very plain, very large buildings used by businesses of all types for storage of whole goods or components. While the primary responsibility of the warehouse is storage, that definition oversimplifies the activities seen in them.

When you enter a warehouse, you will encounter all manner of material handling equipment, conveyors, burden carriers, Automated storage, and retrieval system, pallet jacks and of course forklift trucks. One responsibility of warehouse managers is making certain they have the right blend of equipment. Continue reading

Is Leasing a Forklift the Best Choice for You?: The User’s Guide

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There are a lot of questions surrounding the question when is leasing a forklift the right choice? Toyota Material Handling has a e-book for download you should consider. Click this link for access to that paper.

Acquiring a forklift or a fleet of forklifts can have a major positive ROI for companies that carefully do their homework and get the best possible equipment for their operation. But choosing the right forklift is only one part of maximizing ROI for your capital equipment. You also need to consider what method of procurement to pursue: Should you rent, lease, or buy?

The answer to that questions will be dictated by your unique needs and operation. But for many companies, leasing provides too many advantages to ignore. What are those advantages? And what can you expect during the lifetime of your lease? Toyota can help answer these questions and more. Continue reading

Automated Guided Vehicles: The Whats and Whys

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What is an automated guided vehicle? MHI [the nation’s largest material handling, logistics, and supply chain association] gives us several definitions in their online training program. The first reads: An automatic guided vehicle system (AGVS) consists of one or more computer controlled, wheel-based load carriers (normally battery powered) that runs on the plant or warehouse floor (or if outdoors on a paved area) without the need for an onboard operator or driver. The second definition states: An automated guided vehicle or automatic guided vehicle (AGV) is a mobile robot that follows markers or wires in the floor or uses vision or lasers. They are most often used in industrial applications to move materials around a manufacturing facility or a warehouse.

As industries continue to advance, so do the technologies that facilitate them. Automated guided vehicles, (AGV) are technological innovations created to streamline factory process. These unmanned autonomous vehicles are usually used in point A to point B applications to eliminate the need of using skilled employees in a simple and repetitive task. I’m here to offer you a basic breakdown of how AGVs work, so you can assess their relative value to your operation.

Automated Guided Vehicles – The Basics

AGVs can be guided seamlessly and effortlessly and be equipped with path interference detectors to help increase safety. This can also reduce the chance for damaged product. Automatic guided vehicles can come in many forms such as tuggers, carts, or unit load vehicles to transport materials from one location to the next without the need of a manual operator. This can give managers the opportunity to utilize the labor force in better ways by reducing redundancy of movement and operations with more than one station/shift.

How Do AGVs Work?

Using a system controller and an operator interface, companies are able to visually map out and log the whereabouts, health, and capacity of the automated guided vehicles. Engineers create distinct paths that will be put into operation. The vehicle will use tracks of magnetic tape or wires, or points of direction using lasers. When charging needs to occur there are a few options. Engineering can set an automatic time to go charge, once the vehicle hits a certain battery percentage, or if it is idle.

Who Uses AGVs

Many industries can benefit from the use of automated guided vehicles. The pharmaceutical industry is a good place for AGVs due to the need of validation of locations and processes. Another is manufacturing because of the ability to move Work in Progress (WIP) inventory.

AGVs can also be installed in different sizes of companies. Basically, AGVs are the everyman of facilities. While some may think only large operations were using AGVs, in the last decade these technologies have made their presence known in small to mid-size operations. This is due to the relative cost of a single unit and the utility of both small and large fleets. Companies with less investment availability can reap the benefits of installing AGVs using less expensive carts.

What’s Next for AGVs?

Automated guided vehicle engineers have recently been pushing the envelope to increase capabilities of AGVs that are making them more diverse in application, simpler to use, and easier on the wallet. The ability to program more than one navigation system and graphical interface make complex floor plans a no hassle, easily viewable, and changeable solution. The improved systems in AGVs are being made with a constant eye on traffic in the warehouse which are allowing for even less throughput time with a less damage than before.

While AGVs may be a great solution for one company, it may not be for another. Cost-Benefit analysis, among other research for your specific operation is important when deciding if implementing an AGV system is right for you.


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

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, call me at 763-315-9288 or email kthill@toyotaequipment.com.

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. You can also use our contact form below!

Questions, Needs or A Concern? Contact Me Direct

Forklift Fleets, 7 Really Simple Things You Can Do To Optimize It

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toyota forklift fleetToday’s demands tell us that forklift fleet management systems have to do more with less. Job reductions make the headlines, but thinner budgets, productivity pressure and an increased demand for action create just as much havoc as downsizing middle managers and supervisors.

In today’s economic environment, it is more critical than ever to shine a spotlight on your highest cost centers and evaluate readily achievable savings opportunities without sacrificing quality or productivity. Every day your business is paying significant amounts of money to own and operate your forklift fleet. The cost for each truck can be over $250,000 per year – inclusive of operator salaries, benefits, overtime, truck leases, maintenance, damage, and battery/fuel expense. For a 50 vehicle fleet, that multiplies to over $12.5 million per year! Continue reading

Toyota Forklift Trucks, What is Everyone Saying?

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toyota forklift diesel Toyota Forklift trucks entered the North American forklift market nearly 50 years ago and has manufactured over 500,000 forklifts on U.S. soil. In terms of sales, Toyota has been the top forklift manufacturer in the US since 2002. Toyota forklifts, based in Columbus, IN, is a full-service manufacturer and distributor of high-quality forklifts, reach trucks, order pickers, pallet jacks, tow tractors and AGVs. Built on a reputation of excellence, Toyota remains popular due to its quality, durability, reliability and overall value (QDRV). Quality is the hallmark of Toyota’s world-renowned Toyota Production System, which is practiced at all Toyota manufacturing facilities, including Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg., Inc. (TIEM) in Columbus, IN.

Let’s get a little closer to what Toyota Forklift is to real people. Why is Toyota the best forklift brand when it comes to reliability? And why is the Toyota culture so admired? Read on to find out.

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