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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

Toyota Forklifts and Our Environment

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Toyota operates under a global earth charter that promotes environmental responsibility throughout the entire company. Toyota Material Handling (TMH) is responsible for manufacturing the majority of Toyota forklifts sold in North America. Making processes more green is a consideration in every process change or manufacturing improvement.

Here are five ways TMH makes its manufacturing processes environmentally-friendly:

  1. Toyota forklifts are manufactured at TMH, a zero-landfill facility.
  2. TMH requests suppliers use environmentally-friendly materials and processes in products supplied to Toyota.
  3. TMH requires its top 65 suppliers – who account for more than 85% of the materials purchased locally – to be ISO 14001 certified or have an equivalent EMS (Environmental Management System).
  4. The water sent back to the water treatment facility in Columbus, Indiana, (home to TMH) is cleaner than required by government standards.
  5. TMH made improvements to its paint operations, which includes the conversion of 50% of the painting processes over to powder coat and the addition of paint robots in other areas to improve transfer efficiency of solvent based paints.

Environmentally-Friendly Manufacturing at Your Own Facility

Toyota is committed to continuously improving our own environmental stewardship, and we ask our partners to do the same. Instituting recycling programs, minimizing pollution, and promoting the advantages of electric-powered forklifts are just a few considerations that make a difference.

What Can You Do?

There are a number of ways you can help your facility become more environmentally friendly and help reduce your operating costs. Something as simple as changing your thermostat can make a big difference. Allowing the temperature range in your facility to be a little warmer in the summer months and cooler in the winter months can have a positive impact on the environment and reduce your company’s overall carbon footprint – and your energy bill!

After changing your thermostat, inspect your lighting system. Is it energy-efficient? Using LED lights can certainly help.

You can also increase your number of alternative fuel forklifts, whether electric, propane or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Propane, for example, is non-toxic and clean-burning, so it’s versatile enough for indoor or outdoor applications. It’s also safe, economical, and requires little maintenance. Also consider recycling used oil.

If you work with partners or vendors, inspire them to adopt green initiatives as well. And if you’re finding your parking lot is looking pretty full, encourage carpooling among employees and offer incentives for doing so.

Using the Toyota Production System to Achieve Environmentally-Friendly Manufacturing

Toyota established a policy to reduce CO2 emissions, use resources more efficiently, and reduce environmental risk factors. Throughout its wide range of activities, Toyota always considers the environment as part of its daily operations. The policy is to analyze effects at each stage of a products’ life: development, manufacturing, operation, and recycling.

Toyota Production System (TPS) philosophy also includes the 3Rs: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

With respect to manufacturing, the reduction of waste (muda) is one of the key principles and, therefore, benefits of TPS. Reduction of waste in processing, inventory, conveyance, overproduction, motion, waiting, and manufacturing defects delivers direct environmental benefits.

At a lower level, waste sorting has long been practiced at Toyota’s manufacturing plants and Toyota’s forklift plant in Columbus, Indiana, where the majority of Toyota forklifts are built, has achieved ISO 14001 certification.

Three Ways to Eliminate Waste in Environmentally-Friendly Manufacturing

Cutting back on waste is often a long-term goal with multiple short-term steps. Here are a few of the steps you can take to get started:

  • Minimize waste by recycling and looking at your process to reduce the amount of raw materials used.
  • For remaining waste, consider a waste-to-energy facility. Is there a way to reuse the waste that was created?
  • Consider implementing a recycling program at your facility. Set goals for reduction in waste that goes to landfills.

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 | May 13th, 2020|Categories: Forklift, Toyota|0 Comments

Toyota Forklift’s ASEC Certification Program Customer Pledge

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toyota asec parts service collageThe ASEC certification program is a process to help dealers focus on improved safety, productivity and customer satisfaction. The ASEC certification is a process to help dealers focus on improved safety, productivity and customer satisfaction. Alright, that sounds good but what does it bring to you the customer?

When even one piece of equipment is down, it can slow your entire operation. You need to be back up and running as quickly as possible, ensuring you meet all of your deadlines. That’s why efficient and effective aftermarket services from your dealer is essential to your success.

Continue reading

By | May 6th, 2020|Categories: Business Insight, Efficiency, Forklift, Toyota|0 Comments

How To: Buying Forklift Trucks In A Slow Economy

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buying a forkliftBuying a forklift is not a small investment and it shouldn’t be treated as such. When pursuing the purchase of a new forklift or forklift fleet there are a wide variety of considerations to take into account. And not all of these are singularly focused on forklift specs. At Toyota Lift of Minnesota, we realize that the decision to invest in any piece of capital equipment takes time and consideration.

In our effort to help you better assess your forklift purchases, use the guide below to help you make the best possible decisions. We’ve divided the guide into two sections. The first pertains directly to equipment. The second to other considerations to take into account before you buy a forklift.

Product-based Questions to Ask When Buying a Forklift

Developing a thorough understanding of the available products, and, just as importantly, your own operation where those forklifts will be operated, is the first key in making a decision on what forklift to buy. Take time to reflect on your operation and consider how it can be optimized if you select certain types of equipment. Using the questions below is a good starting place; when ready, you can contact your locally authorized Toyota dealer to get inquiries more specific to your unique needs.

  1. Do you need an electric or an internal combustion (IC) engine? Electric forklifts are powered by batteries. IC forklifts are powered by traditional engines that run on different types of fuel.
  2. Will you be driving the forklift indoors or outdoors? This will determine what type of tires you need. Cushion tires are best on concrete. Pneumatic tires are best for asphalt, hard dirt or firm gravel.
  3. What is the width of your aisles? If your aisle space is narrow, you may need a 3-wheel forklift or a stand-up rider model. A narrow aisle order picker or reach truck may also be your best solution.
  4. How many hours a week will you use the forklift? Used forklifts are great if you only need them for a few hours a day. If you plan to run your forklift four or more hours a day, consider a new model.
  5. How much weight are you lifting? Make sure to purchase a forklift that can handle more than your heaviest load.
  6. How high do you need to lift a load? Purchase a forklift that can lift a load to your maximum height.
  7. Will you be loading or unloading from trailers? If so, get a forklift specifically designed to work in tight areas. Pay particular attention to the lowered mast height of the forklift.
  8. Do you handle food? If yes, you might need an electric forklift to avoid emissions.

Business-based Questions to Ask When Buying a Forklift

The forklift and operation aren’t the only thing to take into account when pursuing the right forklift purchase. Your business depends largely on you making savvy decisions that think more thoroughly about the big picture. Here are a few more questions you might seek answers to when buying a forklift.

  1. Should I rent a model before I take the step toward purchasing? You wouldn’t purchase a car without a test drive, so you shouldn’t purchase a forklift without a test either. Request a demo or a short-term rental to test the forklift in your facility.
  2. Should I be loyal to my brand or change brands? Maintaining a forklift fleet has its benefits when you consider that operators can move easily between vehicles, assuming they’ve been trained on each different type. But that shouldn’t keep you from making a change if your needs are changing or you need an upgrade. We’re confident you’ll find Toyota’s products to be top-of-the-line and the leader in quality, durability, and overall value. Reach out to a Toyota dealer if you have questions about maintaining a one-brand fleet.
  3. What is the lifetime value of my forklift? Make sure you’re choosing a forklift you can afford over its lifetime. Only paying attention to the upfront cost can be a big mistake.
  4. Am I getting the forklift I really need? You’ll find that you can get a lot of extra accessories for your forklift. Make sure you get what you need, but don’t make something more complicated than it has to be.
  5. Is now the right time to buy a forklift? There are many reasons to buy a forklift at the right time, and not all of them have to do with what’s happening at your facility. Pay close attention to market trends, developments in the supply chain, and even changes in government policy (like the tax benefits of capital equipment investments that took effect in 2018).
  6. Should I rent, lease, or buy? Buying brand new isn’t your only option and sometimes, it isn’t the best one. Consider all your options and decide which one is best for you.

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.

Why on Earth Are Warehouses Working so Hard to Go Dark?

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dark warehouseOnce upon a time, warehouses were staffed with people. Now though, they are increasingly run via automation and robotics. This is what a dark warehouse is. It’s not so much that the warehouse doesn’t need lights. Of course it doesn’t; unlike humans, robots don’t need light to be able to operate. But it’s more that “dark” means an absence of human input. They are termed dark warehouses because they theoretically could operate in the dark. – Claire Kerr

Ecommerce is forever changing the way customers shop and the way businesses operate. More and more customers are shopping online and having orders shipped to a nearby store or more likely shipped directly to their homes. More importantly customers are expecting it to arrive quicker than ever before. This expectation of 2-day delivery is putting stress on businesses today and will continue to pressure businesses into changing the way they operate. Queue dark warehousing. Dark warehousing is a concept that is becoming more and more popular, although it comes at a price. What is a Dark Warehouse? Continue reading

By | April 1st, 2020|Categories: Efficiency, Toyota, Warehouse|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Planned Maintenance: Invest in Your New Forklifts

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When you purchase a planned maintenance plan, you’ll pay a monthly fee to have your forklift serviced at every planned maintenance interval. Replacement parts and additional fixes are not included. … The first cost reduction you’ll see with a maintenance plan will be in downtime.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have even one thing about your job made easy? One area where …

  • You rarely (if ever) encounter unexpected downtime due to a repair emergency.
  • You have the luxury of being able to plan “workarounds” ahead of time because you know well in advance what’s happening and when.
  • You have peace of mind that, should you need a last-minute repair, a dedicated partner will have your back and keep your business moving.

Investing in a maintenance plan can make this dream-like scenario a reality for you in your operation’s equipment maintenance and repairs.

Too often, forklift manufacturers are unable or unwilling to provide the type of care and maintenance that can make fleet management easy. With Toyota, we’re dedicated to being your full-life material handling partner – long after the sale of a new forklift. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a maintenance plan, like Toyota 360 Support Plus.

What is Planned Maintenance — and How Can It Help You?

A maintenance plan is exactly what it sounds like: a way for you to plan any necessary, routine maintenance when it’s convenient to you and your business.

This affords you the opportunity to run the show on your own timetable — orchestrating maintenance on a tailor-made schedule so you can optimize workload and keep things moving. As an added bonus, having your forklifts regularly serviced also extends the longevity of your equipment and makes the need for unexpected emergency repairs far less likely.

Best of all? Agreeing to a maintenance plan up front can often SAVE you money on the cost of maintenance and repairs you would need to have done anyway — not to mention the cost of downtime you might encounter with a more “reactive” approach to maintenance.

Toyota: Toyota 360 Support Plus and Your PM Program

To us, Toyota 360 Support Plus is more than a maintenance plan. It’s our promise to provide you added peace of mind that your forklifts will maintain the operational efficiency you need to keep a competitive edge.

This means a whole year of planned maintenance. Skilled Toyota Certified Technicians. Toyota Genuine Parts that keep your Toyota running like a Toyota. Four-hour guaranteed response times. An Extra Care Warranty. Optional T-Matics support. All from a full-support forklift supplier with a name you can trust.

Check out our Toyota 360 Support Plus pricing or speak to your local Toyota Forklift dealer for additional information about this industry-leading planned maintenance option.

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.

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