>forklift safety

Little Known Ways That Concrete Floors Threaten Your Forklifts and Your Safety

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Using forklifts effectively in any application requires assessing how they will work in concert with the other elements of your facility. From understanding your dock capabilities to making sure pallet racks and forklifts match up appropriately, a successful facility takes into account every touchpoint of forklifts in use.

An easy to overlook touchpoint that requires attention is facility flooring. Too often, operations that use forklifts experience unexpected damage to both product and equipment because floors become damaged. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the impacts of damaged floors on equipment and personnel, help identify some trouble areas on concrete floors, and discuss possible solutions to damaged flooring. Continue reading

Death, Forklift Mast Chains And Taxes

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There are a lot of moving parts on a forklift that are critical to its operation and the forklift 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.

So how does it all work? As I explained, the lift cylinders will lift the inner mast rails, but the mast chains are actually responsible for lifting the carriage and forks. Each mast chain is attached to the carriage and then routed up and over a chain wheel that acts as a pulley. The chain is then bolted into a boss that is welded onto the inner mast rail. So when the mast rails raise, the chains also raise and thus the carriage goes up with it. Continue reading

The Lazy Man’s Guide to a Toyota Forklift Data Plate

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toyota forklift data plateI’ve visited plenty of customers who call their Toyota forklift a nickname like “Big Orange” or “The Boss” to be able to easily identify it from other forklifts in their fleet. These nicknames are great when communicating internally, but knowing and understanding your forklift’s model number will help you communicate more effectively with people externally, like your Toyota dealer or other company locations. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way to help you understand those seemingly complicated Toyota model numbers?

Well, look no further, because here’s your comprehensive guide to Toyota Forklift Model Numbers!

As with most products, Toyota model numbers are a combination of letters and numbers with each one having its own meaning. Once you understand the general sequence and meaning of each of these characters, you’ll be able to identify “Big Orange” as a THD2200-24 with pneumatic tires and 22,000 lbs capacity at a 24” load center.

Ready? Let’s get started.

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Forklift Tires and Knowing When Enough Is Enough

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forklift tire tech at workForklifts don’t have a traditional suspension system so the entire weight of the forklift and its load rests on the tires. Your average 5,000 lb. capacity forklift actually has to support up over 11,000 lbs. of weight on the front tires when fully loaded which is no small feat. Using a forklift with tires that need to be replaced can damage your forklift and create a dangerous environment for your operator as well as others nearby. Tires that need to be replaced can cause your forklift to be unstable. Riding in a forklift that needs to have its tires changed is uncomfortable for the operator and can lead to fatigue and mistakes.

Because tires that need to be replaced can become a hazard, it’s important to know how to tell when it’s time to change yours. During your pre-shift inspection, make sure to look for these warning signs that your tires may need to be replaced and contact your local, authorized Toyota dealer for assistance if any of them are detected. Continue reading

Military Matters: Helping Veterans Get off on the Right Foot in Civilian Life Through Forklift Certification

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forklift training free for vetsOur veterans have given a lot of themselves to all of us, Toyota Lift of Minnesota through forklift certification and training is working to give Minnesota veterans a leg up in their civilian life. Did you know that operators of powered industrial trucks must be fully trained and employer certified as required by OSHA federal regulation? As part of the regulation, truck operators are required to complete
formal classroom training, practical hands-on training, and evaluation. We knew we could help with that.

In March of 2011, through the generosity of Toyota Industrial Equipment, who is celebrating more than 50 years in business in North America. TMHU is the supplier of Toyota lift trucks, the number one selling brand since 2002. In addition to the full line of high-quality lift trucks, the company’s extended industrial equipment solutions include Automatic Guided Vehicles and tow tractors. Toyota Lift of Minnesota began testing and certifying veterans in forklift operation. We have since certified several hundred veterans. Our training agenda includes:

  • Introduction To Safe Lift Truck Operation
    (includes the review of Operator, and Pedestrian videos.)
  • Familiarization With The Lift Truck –
    (cost, weight/mass, instruments, and controls)
  • Operator Maintenance Responsibilities (inspections, equipment checks)
  • Starting And Driving Practice
    (practical application of skills in your environment)
  • Material Handling Practice
    (using loads your drivers are familiar with)
  • Review And Test
    (repeat showing of the videos, give furnished quiz orally and written)

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Forklift Operators: Defenders of Pedestrian Safety in the Workplace

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pedestrians forklift blurred warehouse rackingForklift operators have two critical jobs to account for in addition to their daily tasks: keeping themselves safe and ensuring pedestrian safety in their work environments. However, pedestrian safety might also be increased if non-operators take simple precautions when walking in areas of forklift use. Ultimately, it’s about developing a culture of communication and awareness that keeps everyone safer in any environment. Here are some ideas that you can explore to potentially make your work space safer. Continue reading

Forklift Lights: Are You as Confused by the Choices Available as We Are?

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Extreme care protecting our extremities is key. Read what Toyota tells us about them helping us keep arms, legs, toes, and fingers safe.Forklift lights are essential, and there are many different types of forklift safety lights depending on the types of use or operation you enter. Because of all of the combinations of lights that can end up on a forklift, it can get confusing to understand the function of each. Let’s explore if you need a forklift light, the meaning of what a forklift light communicates when lit, and how forklift lights can be part of a safe working environment.

The most common lights on a forklift are headlights and tail lights (or brake lights). When they are configured on a forklift, headlights are located on the front of the forklift and tail lights are located on the rear or back of the forklift. Three other common forklift lighting accessories useful in a wide variety of operations are strobe lights, blue pedestrian spotlights, and red side pedestrian lights. When they are included on a forklift, these lights  usually located on the back, front and side are intended to increase the safety in forklift operation.

Do you need any of these forklift lights? The short answer is: it depends. The optional lights you put on your forklifts will depend on your specific operation.

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By | December 5th, 2018|Categories: Forklift, forklift safety, Toyota|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Forklift Lights: You Must Choose but Choose Wisely

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forklift headlightsTraditional incandescent forklift lights can be a real pain if they give off a dim yellow untrue light, the bulbs need to be frequently replaced, and they are made of glass which can easily shatter. But of course, there are options available.

The material handling industry is composed of limitless application varieties. Sure, you have your general industries such as cold storage or lumber where common elements are shared from location to location, but even within these environments, you have differences that need to be accounted for. This includes different floor types, ambient temperatures, racking configurations, lighting conditions, and so much more. With all of these varying conditions, how can you find a forklift that will work for all of them? The answer is: you can’t.

This is why forklift options are so important and so prevalent in the material handling industry because it gives you an opportunity to customize your forklift to fit your specific needs. If you’re in a cold storage environment, you likely need additional safeguards to protect against moisture and low ambient temperatures while a forging application is more concerned with how high ambient temperatures could damage hydraulic hoses and other components.

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By | November 28th, 2018|Categories: Forklift, forklift safety, Parts, Toyota|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Alright, Just How Do You Operate a Sit-down Forklift?

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toyota forklift on rampSit-down forklift trucks are the most commonly used forklifts today. Most commonly they are ITA forklift classes one, four and five. Sit-down forklift manufacturers are now focusing on operator comfort and its impact on productivity. “A happy operator is a productive operator” is the new mindset of the leading manufacturers.

Most industries require material handling equipment to move products from A to B. Most often, this is done with a forklift. As with all material handling equipment, this brief guide is not a replacement for specialized training and certification in their safe operation. Here are some brief guidelines for how to drive a sit-down forklift. Continue reading

Forklift Truck Power, Fretting Over Internal Combustion

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Forklift co exhaustForklift trucks powered by internal combustion engines run on a variety of fuels, including gasoline, diesel fuel, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), and compressed natural gas. Forklifts with internal combustion engines can be quickly refueled but require regular maintenance checks for leaks of fuel or oil and worn parts to keep systems working properly.

The use of LP, CNG, gasoline, and diesel forklifts can provide an increase in efficiency and higher ROI for many different types of operations. Whether moving material between manufacturing steps or increasing throughput in a warehouse, Toyota offers a wide variety of pneumatic tire and cushion tire gas-powered forklifts to fit your needs. Continue reading

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By | October 24th, 2018|Categories: Forklift, forklift safety, Safety|Tags: , , |1 Comment