Welcome to Dillon Toyota Lift's blog. Here you will find everything from product features, industry education, operator insights, material handling solutions, safety, trends, best practices and more!  


Feb 11

According to a study published by Global Market Insights in February 2018, the rental market for aerial work platforms is expected to reach $24 billion by the year 2024 (up from around $15 billion in 2016). This sharp increase in demand is largely attributable to the booming construction industry with scissor lifts seeing the largest increase in equipment demand.

And it makes sense. Scissor lifts are practical, inherently safer than using a ladder, and they’re a more economical solution than many other powered types of equipment. So how do you choose the right scissor lift for your application? They’re all essentially the same, right? They travel and lift and lower and that’s usually good enough to get the job done isn’t it?

Well, not quite. While many people tend to focus on the upfront cost as the only factor when purchasing or renting this type of equipment, this could end up costing you in reduced efficiency, performance, and safety, among other factors. This guide will help you understand these factors and make a better, more informed decision when it comes to the type of equipment you want on the job site.

Scissor Lift Purchasing Factors

Exterior Dimensions – Scissor lifts come in all shapes and sizes with different lift heights, platform dimensions, and lifting capacities. Make sure to choose one that will work in your space constraints that can also meet the demands of your application. Having a lift with fold-down guardrails and an upper control box with remote, off-truck capabilities can also be very helpful for traveling through doorways and working in tight spaces.

For reference, check out Toyota’s various scissor lift sizes. They’ll give you an idea of various options.

Scissor Lift Sizes Infographic

Safety – Consider the construction of the scissor lift and the features that it offers that can help reduce the possibility of an accident. Scissor lifts today, such as AICHI’s E-Series models, offer advanced features such as anti-rollback on grades, controlled descent when lowering, and reduced travel speed with the platform elevated to reduce the likelihood of a tip over or injury.

Efficiency – More efficiency equals longer run time and longer run time equals getting more work done between charges. Some scissor lifts utilize hydraulic steering and DC drive motors, which aren’t efficient ways of converting energy and also require more maintenance. AICHI’s E-Series scissor lift models have industry leading cycle time thanks to their highly efficient AC motors designed by Toyota.

Productivity – The travel and lift/lower speed capabilities of your scissor lift can have significant impacts on productivity, but they aren’t the only factors. The key is looking for a machine that provides smooth, precise control that instills confidence in the operator. Additional features such as a zero degree turning radius and a power outlet on the platform can even further increase your overall productivity by spending less time navigating tight turns and getting on and off the scissor lift.

Written by:  Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Feb 08

Toyota’s dedication to continuous improvement (kaizen in Japanese) has led to innovation throughout our industry-leading manufacturing processes. But we embody this concept in all of our business practices as well, and it is one of the major reasons Toyota continues to be on the forefront of the material handling industry. This standard of excellence is recognized across material handling operations.

Again for 2018, the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) has awarded Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A. (TMHU) its prestigious Most Valuable Supplier Award. This year marks the third consecutive time TMHU has received the award that is presented to suppliers who exhibit excellence in industry and distributor advocacy, education, best business practices, safety, and community outreach.

“One of our core values is a commitment to continuous improvement in all areas of our business,” said TMHU President Jeff Rufener. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our ongoing dedication to create the best possible experience for every customer, dealer, and associate in the Toyota family.”

At Toyota, safety comes standard and we are continuously working to provide the safest, most dependable equipment on the market and to offer unparalleled dedication to safety training throughout our dealer network.


Feb 01

There are many different types of forklifts, each carefully designed for specific applications and each offering its own unique set of benefits and features.

Selecting the right forklift for your needs is essential to efficiency and productivity, which is why it is so important to understand the key differences in each class of forklifts. But with seven varying forklift “classes” with subtle differences, it can be difficult to even know where to begin your forklift search.

What are the different types of forklifts?

  • Class I: Electric Motor Rider Forklifts
  • Class II: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Forklifts (Reach Trucks, Order Pickers)
  • Class III: Electric Pallet Jacks, Stackers, and Tow Tractors
  • Class IV: Internal Combustion Cushion Tire Forklifts
  • Class V: Internal Combustion Pneumatic Tire Forklifts
  • Class VI: Electric/IC Engine Tow Tractors
  • Class VII: Rough Terrain Forklifts

Let’s explore the distinct applications, benefits, and features of each of the seven classes:

Class I: Electric Motor Riders

Class I forklifts are electric motor riders. These electric-powered forklifts are ideal for loading and unloading tractor-trailers, handling pallets, and a number of other applications in industries ranging from food storage and retail to factory and general warehousing.

Because they are powered by an electric battery, Class I forklifts are much quieter and create no emissions, making them a popular choice for indoor applications. Batteries on Class I forklifts also function as part of the counterweight to help maintain lifting capacity.

Toyota offers six versatile forklifts in this class, ranging in lift capacity from 3,000 to 40,000 pounds and with electrical systems ranging between 24-volt and 80-volt. Click on each of Toyota’s six Class I forklift models below to learn more about their individual features.


Class II: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle

Class II forklifts are electric, narrow aisle models. As the name suggests, Class II forklifts are designed with maneuverability that allows them to operate in tight spaces and narrow aisles. This class of forklifts is perfect for picking and putting away inventory, and these trucks provide users the ability to increase racking space without expanding their current warehouse.

Toyota offers two Class II forklift models, and you can explore the unique features of each by clicking on the model name from the list below.


Class III: Electric Pallet Jacks / Stackers / Tow Tractors

Class III equipment includes electric pallet jacks, stackers, and tow tractors. This class of equipment comes in both rider and walk behind (“walkie”) models, perfect for unloading deliveries and moving loads to a staging area where they can be handled by other types of forklifts.

Toyota offers 10 Class III models, including three different stackers that are ideal for food and beverage storage industries, among others. Click on each forklift model below to learn more.


Class IV: Internal Combustion Engine Cushion Tire

Class IV forklifts are internal combustion engine cushion tire trucks. This class of sit-down forklifts is designed for indoor use. Class IV forklifts are powered by internal combustion (IC) engines that run on diesel fuel, LP gas, gasoline, or compressed natural gas. Their solid, cushioned tires provide a smooth ride on indoor surfaces and they’re puncture-proof since they are not air-filled.

These forklifts offer users outstanding versatility for warehousing, distribution, retail, and automotive applications.

Toyota offers seven Class IV models, ranging in lift capacity from 3,000 to 100,000 pounds. Click on each of the forklift models below to learn more about their individual features.


Class V: Internal Combustion Engine Pneumatic Tire

Class V forklifts are internal combustion engine pneumatic tire trucks. Forklifts in this class are similar to those in Class IV, but are designed primarily for outdoor use. These forklifts are highly durable and are ideal for lumberyards, construction sites, and other outdoor applications.

Toyota offers seven forklift models in Class V, ranging in lift capacity from 3,000 to 125,000 pounds. Click on each individual forklift model below to learn more about its individual features.


Class VI: Electric/ IC Engine Tow Tractors

Class VI equipment includes electric and internal combustion engine tow tractors. These machines are most commonly used for towing loads rather than lifting. Trucks in this class are ideal for use at airports, but are also commonly used in assembly line areas.

Toyota’s Large Tow Tractor boasts a maximum tugging capacity of over 50,000 pounds and features an extremely tight turn radius. Its AC Drive system enables quicker acceleration, high top speeds, and extended peak operator time.

Class VII: Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

Class VII forklifts are rough terrain trucks. Trucks in this class feature large, tractor-style tires and are powered almost exclusively by diesel engines for outdoor use in rugged terrain. Class VII trucks are most commonly used at lumberyards or construction sites to lift building materials to elevated work sites.

How to Choose Between IC or Electric Forklifts:

Deciding whether an internal combustion forklift or electric forklift is appropriate for your application can seem like a daunting task. Here are some high-level considerations that you might take into account:


  • Typically less maintenance than I/C forklifts
  • Quieter with little emission sounds
  • No fuel-storage requirements
  • Requires a charging station
  • Batteries are large and heavy to change out.  Battery extraction equipment may be required
  • No tailpipe emissions
  • Lifespan depends on application, use and maintenance
  • Better option for smaller, confined areas

Internal Combustion Forklifts

  • Operate on gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas
  • Primarily used outdoors, but can be used in moderation in some indoor applications
  • Can operate in various conditions
  • No batteries to recharge
  • Toyota’s IC forklift line can lift over 51,000 lbs.
  • Lifespan depends on application, use and maintenance
  • Noise emissions meet or exceed ANSI B56.1 Standards
  • Toyota forklifts are designed to meet EPA Standards for emissions

Jan 30

Forks are undeniably the most popular attachment for a forklift. However, they are not always the right attachment for every application, as some loads require unique attachments to get the job done. And if forks are the choice attachment, there are additional attachments available that help those forks perform certain jobs better, such as side shifters or fork positioners.
Selecting and using the right attachment for your application can results in higher productivity, less damage to the load, less stress on the forklift, and added convenience for the forklift operator. So, what attachments are the most popular?

Side Shifters

Side shifters are popular forklift attachments that operate in conjunction with the forks. They allow the operator to shift the forks to the left and right without leaving their seat. This ability to reposition the forks helps operators pick up loads that might not be perfectly aligned with the forklift which, in turn, saves wear and tear on the forklift. Side shifters are available in both single and double units, meaning operators can handle one or two pallets at the same time.

Fork Positioners

Fork positioners allow the forklift operator to automatically adjust the distance between the forks quickly to fit different pallet sizes without leaving their seat.

Paper Roll Clamps

Paper roll clamps allow the operator to clamp onto the sides of a roll of paper without damaging or crushing the product. These clamps can be used in a variety of applications. Clamps are the attachment of choice when a load is not transportable by pallet.

Flat Surface Clamps

Like paper roll clamps, flat surface clamps are also available and are most commonly used in the appliance industry to transport appliances such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators.


Rotators have forks attached to a rotating apron that can turn between 180 degrees and 360 degrees. These attachments are most often used where bins or containers are stored and transported. The contents are carried in the attached bin and dumped into another container.

Multiple Load Handlers

Multiple load handlers are used to double or triple a forklift’s productivity level by adding a second or third pair of forks to the truck. Operators can pick up more than one load at a time and transport them side by side. These attachments are often found in beverage and food handling warehouses.

Push / Pull

This attachment helps eliminate the need for pallets. Loads are on cardboard or plastic slip sheets that have a lip on them and the load is pushed off the forks by this attachment. Eliminating pallets helps to reduce cost and to free up space within a facility. These attachments are most popular in food-processing warehouses.

Carpet Poles

Carpet Poles are heavy duty coils used to transport large rolls of carpeting.

Benefits of Forklift Attachments

Forklift attachments can result in higher productivity and less operator stress, which is great for your company, and even better for your operators! Well-trained operators using the right attachment for your application can save time and money. You will love the increased production, and your operators will enjoy the new features.

Jan 23

Sending operators to forklift training to improve safety and increase efficiency isn't just a good's an OSHA requirement.  In a workplace environment, most employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to a lack of, or inadequate, training. A comprehensive forklift safety training program is one of the most effective ways to combat workplace injuries.

There are specific rules set forth by The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) concerning forklift operator training and licensing.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178(I) requires that employers provide forklift operators training for vehicle inspection and maintenance. Operators must be over 18 years of age and be recertified at least once every three years. 

Businesses are required to develop and enforce a written program that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Forklift Operator training
  • Licensure
  • Review/renewal program

This is an OSHA requirement for every forklift operator within an organization. Every aspect of the forklift operation must be covered, from setting the parking brake to forklift speed.

Forklift training is available on-line, however, an operator cannot be certified to operate a forklift through an online course! OSHA certification requires:

  • Formal instruction in any combination: (lectures, discussions, on-line courses, video presentations, written material).
  • Demonstrations performed by a certified trainer and then exercises performed by the trainee.
  • A thorough Evaluation of the forklift operator’s performance on the job.

Other OSHA Forklift Requirements:

  • Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance: It is important to establish a vehicle inspection and maintenance plan for forklift operators to adhere to. While training is vital, a forklift operating at premium performance helps assure a safe work environment.
  • Daily Forklift Checklist: OSHA has an approved daily checklist for all forklift operators to adhere to before they begin each shift.

Dillon Toyota Lift offers a variety of safety training classes for both operators and trainers and safety training materials.  We offer flexible class schedules and training classes available on-site at your facility or any DTL location.  

Jan 22

Taking possession of a brand new or new-to-you forklift is fun. One of the reasons the people at Toyota are so dedicated to manufacturing and selling forklifts is that they are really cool machines. So I know operators are excited to jump on their new lift and get to work. Not to worry. We want you to enjoy and use your Toyota forklift to get your work done safely and efficiently.

Relatively quickly, you’ll need to know some quick information about your forklift’s capabilities. Luckily, a forklift data plate is installed on every truck on the market to help you understand what your forklift can do and provide vital information. Let me provide a guide that can help you read your data plate and start lifting better using all of the readily available information.

  1. Model number: The model number of your Toyota forklift is extremely important for relaying information to your dealers about repair or technical assistance, understanding your lift capacity, and looking up useful information on the website.
  2. Serial Number: The serial number on your lift is the most important number available for technician communication. The model serial number combination will allow techs to match parts and understand your particular machine before they arrive.
  3. Mast Type: Toyota has various types of masts including 2-stage, 3-stage, and 4-stage that vary depending on your specific forklift model and selected specifications to meet your needs.
  4. Fuel Type: Shows whether the machine is powered by electricity (E), liquid propane (LP), diesel (DS), gasoline (G), or compressed natural gas (CNG).
  5. Back Tilt: This number represents the degrees back the mast can tilt to help keep loads on the forks securely (6 degrees in this example).
  6. Attachments: This lets you know what attachments have been added to the forklift to give you a clear indication of its capabilities. In the pictured data plate, we see the side-shifter is in place, meaning the carriage can be shifted left or right.
  7. Front Tread: The front tread of a forklift is equivalent to its overall width. It’s like a forklift’s footprint and helps operations managers and operators understand the space a forklift will take up in the working environment.
  8. Tire Size: The tire size and type the truck was designed and built to use. “Solid” indicates a solid pneumatic tire, Cushion type tires will state “Smooth” or “Treaded”. Always replace with the same size and type of tire.
  9. Truck Weight: The overall weight of the truck.
  10. Forklift Diagram: The forklift diagram offers several data points that are important for understanding the function of your forklift. This can help you understand what your forklift can lift and how it can maneuver in your work space.
    • The horizontal load center
    • The vertical load center
    • The maximum fork height
    • The maximum distance the forks can be offset from forklift’s centerline
  11. Only trained operators who have read and understood the operator’s manual should operate forklifts.

Jan 22

Have you ever wondered what goes into determining how much a forklift can really lift? It is a common misconception is that a forklift with a maximum rated lifting capacity of 5,000 lbs. can lift any 5,000 lb. load. This may not be the case depending on a number of factors.

Forklift Lifting Capacities: Load Size and Forklift Configuration

First, you have to consider the vertical and horizontal load center of the load that is being lifted, which essentially boils down to the load’s size and weight distribution. The longer, taller, and wider a load gets, the more it is going to affect a forklift’s center of gravity. Since the load center also depends on the load’s weight distribution, an unevenly distributed load can also reduce the overall lifting capacity of the forklift.

Second, you have to consider the truck’s capabilities for lift, tilt, and load manipulation. Forklifts are plated as standard for the worst case scenario, which includes all of these factors. The ability to move the load further away from the forklift’s center of gravity by lifting, tilting, or performing a function like side shift can all affect a forklift’s maximum capacity.

Speaking of attachments, there are more factors than just load manipulation that can affect capacity. An attachment’s effective thickness tells you how much further the load is pushed out from the truck’s fork face due to the attachment’s size. Its weight also plays a significant role as that increased weight out on the carriage reduces the load weight that the truck is capable of supporting.

Different tire types and tread widths also play a significant role. A cushion tire versus a solid or air-filled pneumatic tire, for example, can have an effect on capacity. Wide tread and dual tire configurations can also increase a truck’s overall capacity due to the wider stance increasing the size of the forklift’s stability triangle. Battery weight on an electric truck can also have an impact, which is one reason why using a battery that meets the truck’s minimum battery weight requirements is crucial to safe operation.

Forklift Data Plates: Limiting Factors & Regulations

One thing to also keep in mind is that the forks, each attachment, mast, and carriage all have their own individual rated capacities. The capacity listed on your data plate cannot exceed the maximum capacity of any load bearing component. For example, if you have a 10,000 lb. capacity forklift with an attachment that is only capable of handling 5,000 lbs., your maximum rated capacity for the combination of these two is 5,000 lbs., which is what will be listed on your data plate. It is important to remember that both ANSI and OSHA require data plates for each attachment and written approval from the forklift manufacturer for any modifications or alterations that may affect the capacity, stability, or safe operation of the forklift.

There are two different ways for a manufacturer to calculate capacity per ANSI B56.1 Section 7.6.3. The first is a tilt table test, which requires a forklift to be chained down to a tilt table and tested per the requirements outlined in ANSI B56.1 Section 7.6.4. The second is for manufacturers to calculate the forklift’s capacity based on factors like the ones mentioned above. Tested capacities are typically higher than calculated ones due to the conservative nature of the calculation, but this is not always the case.

Forklift Lifting Capacities and Data Plates Best Practices

The factors listed above are but a few of the primary factors that will be used to calculate a forklift’s rated capacity. Ultimately, it’s best for you to work with your local, authorized Toyota dealer when it comes to properly configuring your forklift for your application and load handling needs. This is especially important during the purchasing process, but also in regards to any modifications you may make to your forklift after receiving it, including any attachments that you plan use on the forklift or those acquired later on. For more information regarding forklift modifications and best practices, be sure to read this piece on forklift field modifications.

Jan 16

The excitement surrounding the acquisition of a new forklift for your operation is something to be celebrated. We at Dillon Toyota Lift are equally excited to help you achieve your goals, and that’s why we work hard to manufacture industry-leading forklifts with legendary reliability. But we also recognize that your forklift success is about more than just the occasional acquisition of a new forklift. Instead, you have unique needs, success measurements, and pain points that need to be addressed throughout the entirety of your forklift’s lifetime.

The Toyota 360 Support promise isn’t just an aftermarket tool for purchase. It’s our promise to integrate with your problems and to help you find material handling solutions wherever possible. When you invest in a comprehensive aftermarket services program with Toyota 360 Support, make sure you’re taking full advantage of that promise and challenge us to fulfill it. You can bet we’re up the task.

Asking Your Toyota Technician

Not only does Toyota promise a four-hour guaranteed turnaround time on maintenance requests, not just anyone will be looking at your forklift. Rather, Toyota Certified Technicians who have been trained on Toyota forklifts, using Toyota Genuine Parts, and comprehensive Toyota dealer training techniques will handle the job. Don’t hesitate to ask your technician about the mechanical operation of your forklift or any efficiency questions you have about its internal function. They are there to help.

Utilizing the Toyota Dealer Network

The extensive Toyota forklifts dealer network is one of the major benefits to all of our customers and an integral part of the Toyota 360 promise. Don’t think of your Toyota forklift dealer as a company there to sell you forklifts. Instead, think of it as a group of people using their collective experience to help you tackle material handling challenges and increase operational efficiencies. We’re most successful when you’re successful, and a partnership built on mutual success is the foundation of the Toyota 360 support promise. From parts needs or warranty claims to consultations regarding proper forklift selection, forklifts’ functionality, capability, or current state of operation, your dealer is there to help with Toyota 360 Support.

Toyota Genuine Parts are the Core of All Repairs

Genuine. It’s that feeling of certainty when you expect fulfilled promises. If the Toyota dealer partnership is the foundation of the Toyota 360 Support promise, then Toyota Genuine Parts are how we deliver on it. Toyota forklifts lead the industry in overall value. Part of that overall value is the sum of the forklift’s Toyota Genuine Parts. And that’s exactly what Certified Toyota Technicians use as part of the Toyota 360 Support promise.

At Toyota, we know that you need more than just a forklift solution. You need solutions to complex operational challenges. Your success is within reach. Our promise is to provide the comprehensive support you need to achieve it.

Written By:  Jake Stewart, Digital Copywriter,Toyota Material Handling, USA

Jan 10

It’s a given – Dillon Toyota Lift has you covered when it comes to material handling equipment. But did you know we also offer warehouse design and system integration?   Today's warehouse can range from simple shelving to complex systems.  Whether your business is growing or just starting, an efficient warehouse is more important than ever.

Dillon Toyota Lift Warehouse Solutions specialize in material handling equipment, warehouse design and system integration.   DTL knows that your business has specific needs and material handling is not always a one size fits all package.  We believe the key to a successful system begins with communication, planning and focusing on your needs.  Dillon Toyota Lift Warehouse Solutions offers a full range of services, including:  

Preliminary Consultation & Data Collection
• Project Design & Layout
• Equipment Purchasing
• Seismic Engineering
• Permit Application & Approval
• Project Management
• Professional in-house Installation
• Employee Training

Ready to get started?  Contact us today! 

Jan 02

Standing desks are all the rage now in today’s workplace. While many people I know with standing desks hardly use them, they’re at least there in case you want to stretch your legs every once in a while and get a good view around the office. And I suppose there are the health benefits of not sitting down throughout an entire work shift.

But choosing between a stand-up rider and sit-down forklift is about more than the potential health benefits. Using the correct piece of equipment can actually have a major impact on the safety of your workplace. This guide will help show you the pros and cons of both types of forklifts and point you in the right direction for your next purchase, lease, or rental decision.

On/Off Frequency – One of the main reasons you would consider using a stand-up rider is the fact that getting on and off the forklift can be considerably faster. With lower step heights and no seatbelt to take on and off, time spent entering and exiting can be cut down significantly. This is ideal for applications where operators are frequently getting off of the forklift throughout the course of their shift for activities such as picking product. The time and labor cost savings can really add up over time, depending on the frequency of operators’ getting on and off of the forklift.

Performance – Sit-down forklifts can have higher travel speeds and lift/lower speeds than stand-up riders, which can increase productivity and throughput in high volume applications.

Lifting Capacity – Stand-up rider and sit-down forklifts are both counterbalanced type forklifts. When comparing a stand-up rider to a 3-wheel electric with the same base capacity, you typically get more lifting capacity from the stand-up rider at higher lift heights due to the compact design and centralized center of gravity. Four-wheel electric models, however, typically attain the highest lifting capacities overall.

Purchase Price – The initial cost is typically higher for stand-up rider forklifts when compared to 3-wheel electric models.

Right Angle Stack – In general, right angle stacking capabilities are fairly similar between 3-wheel electric and stand-up rider models with similar capacities. Stand-up rider forklifts, however, usually have a small advantage due to their shorter length and can operate in slightly smaller aisles. Both stand-up rider and 3-wheel electric forklifts have a significant advantage over 4-wheel electrics in regard to minimum aisle width requirements.

Operator Preference – Operator preference tends to play a large role in most purchasing decisions for new equipment. Operators who are used to operating sit-down forklifts are generally resistant to swapping their sit-down for a stand-up rider and vice versa. The main reasons for this are the differences in operating position and operability. Stand-up riders are typically controlled by a single multi-function control handle while sit-down forklifts use conventional cowl-mounted levers or mini-levers. Sit-down forklifts also have traditional brake pedals, while stand-up riders use “plugging” (requesting travel in the opposite direction) for braking and have a dead man pedal for emergency braking. Being familiar with a particular operating style promotes safety and can help to increase productivity and operator confidence. But over time, operators tend to adjust and get used to the new controls and nuances.

As always, if you’re unsure of which product is right for you, reach out to Dillon Toyota Lift for advice and consultation based on your material handling needs.

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