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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 Certification is Making the World a Better Place

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toyota forklift safety posterWebster’s dictionary defines the forklift in this sentence: “A self-propelled machine for hoisting and transporting heavy objects by means of steel fingers inserted under the load” Most of us know it as an indispensable piece of equipment that plays a large role in the supply chain the world over. While it may be indispensable, as a machine that operates in all conditions, and often near pedestrians its use doesn’t come without serious risk. Therefor forklift safety rules that are followed by well trained operators are critical in workplace safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule requiring training of powered industrial truck operators on December 1, 1998 (63 FR 66238, 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918 and 1926. The final rule was adopted on November 17, 1998). The new requirements apply to the use of powered industrial trucks in general industry, construction, shipyards, marine terminals and longshoring operations. They do not apply to agricultural operations.

In general, the rule requires employers to develop an operator training program that incorporates the basic principles of safe truck operation for the type of trucks being used in the workplace and recognizes the hazards in the workplace. The amount of time devoted to training and the method of training is to be determined by the operator’s demonstrated ability to operate the truck safely. Each operator’s performance must be evaluated at least every three years and refresher training must be provided when needed.

We strongly suggest you to read the entire final rule here.

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Do Your Forklift Operators Really Know?

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forklift operator trainingNot long ago, we were doing some driving evaluations at a customer location; most of the forklift operators were highly skilled and we had no problem finding them competent to operate the lifts and certifying them for their environment. There were, however, a few operators that complained about the difficulty of the things we asked of them during the hands on evaluation phase. They stated “I don’t usually lift items that high, or I don’t often have to load a trailer, or I never have to drive in reverse!” They also stated that the last time they were evaluated they were exempt from having to do those more difficult skills by the trainer at the time. That statement provoked several thoughts, the first was that they might have to perform those tasks at some future time when no one else was available to do them, or if they moved to another department where it might be required. The second was that we don’t offer “junior” forklift permits for forward only or for just the first two layers of storage rack. Continue reading

By | October 12th, 2016|Categories: Forklift, Safety|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

The Operators Manual: The Good Book

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cover forklift operators manualCall it the good book, the forklift operators manual should be found on any forklift in use in your facility. Make checking that point your first priority. Your second should be insuring that you and your operators have read the book. Short on pages, but deep on valuable information the book is certainly worth the small amount of time it would take you to internalize. When you think of the tens of thousands of dollars invested in the equipment it was written for, maybe you’ll see the justification easier.

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By | June 17th, 2014|Categories: Forklift, Safety|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Got Training?

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toyota training classThere is always something going on with Toyota training. Each month there are classes being held at the Toyota training center in Columbus Indiana or at various dealerships around the country. Our technical foreman Eric Nelson works to schedule our technicians into this mix with a combination of in house training as well as training done elsewhere.

What isn’t spoken off often enough is the opportunity for non-dealership technicians to attend any of these same training courses. Continue reading

By | April 2nd, 2014|Categories: Forklift, Toyota|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Training, Recognition and Customer Service

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class trainingTraining often calls on our people to expend not only the effort to take it, but often their own time to do so. All of it leads to better customer service and I hope a higher sense of pride while the services are being provided. Continue reading

Each Mistake Has To Teach Us Something

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forklift tech workingPreviously we touched on technician “lost billing”. A term used when labor and parts expended are deemed un-billable to the customer for any number of reasons but generally it circles around the work wasn’t required.

“Wasn’t required” being only defined in hind sight, and that is where there is always room for contentious discussion. Continue reading

By | February 25th, 2013|Categories: Business Insight, Forklift, Service|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Forklift Repairs: Easier But More Technical

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toyota forklift in useWorking on your Toyota forklift may be by design easier “to do”, but technically it becomes more challenging all the time. While anyone can open the hood and stand over your equipment with a wrench, it is more and more important that they be continually in touch with the equipment’s manufacturer. Continue reading

By | December 13th, 2012|Categories: Forklift, Service, Toyota|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Forklift Training: Giving Vets A Lift

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Forklift training veteransThis is a re-post of an article we published in March of 2011. We’re bringing it back to highlight the program is nearing it’s completed term. To date. Toyota-Lift of Minnesota has certified almost ninety veterans, and with a class scheduled later this month we hope to increase that number to our goal of 100 or more. Continue reading

By | November 7th, 2012|Categories: Forklift, Safety|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Forklift Technician Safety Meetings

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safety posterWith as many different industries as our people enter to work in, you might imagine they are faced with an innumerable number of safety concerns. Work to keep them mindful of this, and always on guard to potential dangers is important and no small feat either. Quarterly from around the state we call all our forklift technicians together for an early meeting. On the agenda will be a variety of topics, but we start out with the primary focus, the safety meeting. Continue reading

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By | November 1st, 2012|Categories: Business Insight, Forklift, Safety|Tags: , , |0 Comments