My Toyota StoreClient Login Catalog Financing Careers Contact
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!
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.
A dark warehouse is a fully-automated warehouse that operates without the use of human labor. You can simply turn the lights out and the operation will continue to run. The pressure on businesses for swift deliveries of online orders has influenced the deployment of automated guided vehicles, self-driving forklifts, conveyor belts, and automated palletizers throughout all warehouses in order to speed up operations. Add all of these up among other automated equipment and you have yourself a dark warehouse.
There are several advantages of a dark warehouse that entice business to automate their facilities. One advantage is eliminating putting employees in adverse working conditions. Robots and other automated tools will perform tasks in those conditions, such as freezing temperatures.
Dark warehouses are also extremely quick and efficient, providing less chance for error with automated machines. There are no shift changes, breaks or human error that need to be corrected. Dark warehouses operate 24/7 without stopping.
There are a few downfalls to implementing dark warehouses into your business. For one, they are not cheap. These warehouses are multi-million dollar facilities with high capital expenditures. Large, established companies are best suited for implementing these types of warehouses.
Dark warehouses are also not as flexible in operation for picking, packing, and shipping. These warehouses are very good in industries that have products similar in size and weight. The more variation there is in a dark warehouse the expense you incur with automation equipment for handling different sized products.
Moving to dark warehousing means some operations are having to alter the expertise of both managers and employees. Where warehouses with a manual focus require expertise in communication in a facility with many moving parts and a wide range of knowledge about different types of operator required equipment, dark warehouses require different skill sets. Technical software skills and program management becomes key.
Even warehouse businesses not moving fully to dark warehouses will see an increase in technology in their operations in order to meet demand and keep pace with competitors. In this case, learning how to integrate human-controlled machines into automated conveyor system and order retrieval technologies is key.
Dark warehousing is just one of several new movements in meeting the demand of customers in a digital world. As this demand isn’t likely to decrease soon, adjusting to trends and keeping a cutting-edge warehouse can go a long way in taking your business to new heights.
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.
This is why many companies that use forklifts opt for a routine maintenance plan. The two most commonly used maintenance plans in the material handling business are planned maintenance agreements and full maintenance agreements (also referred to as guaranteed maintenance). Both plans are designed to maintain equipment uptime, be proactive on potential repairs before breakdown, and ultimately save you money in the long-run. But is the difference between a planned maintenance agreement and full maintenance agreement? We break that down right here for you.
Detailed inspections. Recommended repairs. Flexible billing. Tailor-made schedule. In my experience at a Toyota forklift dealership, these were expectations that come with a planned maintenance agreement. Many service providers have a detailed point inspection checklist the technician uses to inspect repair needs, potential safety risks, wearable items, and routine replacement parts. As technicians work through the checklist, he or she documents recommended repairs and provides service quotes to you for those repairs. After going through the inspection process and performing any necessary repairs, many dealers will then bill you and schedule in the next appointment based on both hour usage and date cadence. While this process might be slightly different with dealers throughout the Toyota dealer network, maintaining uptime for your forklift is the value of any Planned Maintenance agreement. At Toyota, we believe in the value of planned maintenance so much that we include four PMs in the first year when you invest in Toyota 360 Support Plus. New forklift investment and proactive maintenance should go hand-in-hand.
Signing up your forklift on a full maintenance agreement is like receiving the royal treatment. At the dealership I came from, you not only received everything included in the planned maintenance agreement, but you also had a plethora of other benefits, including:
With full maintenance, dealerships often take on the burden of overseeing the entire preventive health of your forklift. The true benefit is that the people who work with the equipment daily at the dealership now manage your forklift maintenance. When the dealership is able to work side-by-side with the customer, the dealership personnel is often in the best position to understand when to make repairs and replace parts before it affects your operation. This adds additional peace of mind when owning a forklift fleet. The monthly rate also helps you budget easier as the cost will not fluctuate from month-to-month. Ideally, you wouldn’t have to pay for every scheduled maintenance interval or the unexpected repairs that come with owning the forklift. Full maintenance monthly rates take into consideration a number of factors, such as equipment type, forklift utilization, age, service history, and the environment in which the forklift is operated.
Every service provider may differ in the way that they offer maintenance agreements. Planned maintenance and full maintenance agreements, in general, follow what I outlined above. Define your expectations and take a long, hard look at a proactive maintenance for your forklift fleet. It’s up to you to work with a dealer and tailor the maintenance agreement to meet your needs.
Written by: Kenny Trusnik, Marketing Systems & eCommerce Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Electric forklifts can be beneficial in many different work indoor applications (and now even outdoors with Toyota’s 80-Volt Electric Pneumatic Forklift). Using electric forklifts in your warehouse is one of the most common uses of these machines and for good reason. Electric warehouse forklifts can reduce fuel costs and be charged at intervals that can maximize efficiency across shifts. Take a look at some of the following benefits electric forklifts could have in your warehouse space.
Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Less Noise
You may not think about it, but having a quieter forklift may impact you or your operator’s ability to operate safely and effectively in certain applications. In smaller, confined spaces, with multiple forklifts running, it could get pretty loud. With electric forklifts, it lowers the noise level, allowing for easier communication, and less fatigue from your operators. Really, the only noise that electric forklifts have is the horn. In certain warehouses, this can make it easier for operators and pedestrians to hear forklift horns, co-workers, or other important workplace sounds.
Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Lower Emissions
When you are using a gas or LPG burning forklift, you are producing emissions that could be harmful to your associates and products if not properly addressed. Electric forklifts do not generate any CO emissions. This helps keep your employees healthy and lower the impact of emissions in your warehouse.
Certain products can also be harmed by emissions including food items, other perishables, and various consumer products. Toyota electric forklifts come in a wide variety of lifting capacities to fit many different applications. Also, less emissions is great for the environment!
If you are using a gas or LPG forklift in your warehouse instead of electrics, we understand there are many reasons that might have influenced that decision, and Toyota is the U.S. leader in internal combustion forklifts. However, make sure you are using proper ventilation techniques if you’re using one in your warehouse.
Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: A Wide Range of Options
Because your warehouse needs to maximize space, it could be hard to fit a full-sized forklift down your narrow aisles. An electric warehouse forklift can help solve that issue. At Toyota, we have many different electric forklifts to fit your needs. Maybe you need to squeeze in those narrow aisles? The 3-wheel electric would be perfect. It has a tighter turn radius than most forklifts, but still has the capacity to lift up to 4,000 lbs. Maybe your warehouse stacks pallets behind each other. This is where reach trucks work great. Being able to place pallets in front of each other makes sure you are maximizing your warehouse space and racking. No matter what type of warehouse blueprint you have, Toyota Material Handling has an electric forklift to fit your needs!
Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Operating Cost
When it comes to the operating cost of forklifts, electric forklifts can usually be lower than that of internal combustion models. While IC models run on gas, electric forklifts run on, well, electricity! You may need to set up a charging station in your warehouse, but the cost of electricity can be significantly lower than that of fuel.
While IC models are still the most popular in the market, electric forklifts are increasing in popularity. So remember, if you are looking to increase productivity and ROI in your warehouse, take a look at all of the different electric forklift options from Toyota.
Written By: Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Great news! Your company is growing. You’re bringing in more orders, expanding your warehouse and increasing business every day. But this means you will need to invest in some more material handling equipment. There are many different types of equipment to choose from, and a clear understanding of multiple aspects of your expanding business can help you understand your forklift fleet and its needs. So before you procure a new forklift, make sure you check out these helpful hints to make sure you are getting the right one!
You need to make sure you match up your equipment with the blueprints of the changing warehouse. Can you stack higher? Expanding up is often an option, but you need the industrial equipment to match the task. Or is all of your product being moved along the ground? Maybe you need to increase your moving speed. These are vital questions when looking into the right forklift. Make sure you also take a look at your racking, and consider what equipment can enter where needed, helping you in hard to reach places. Lastly, make sure you take a look at your aisle widths. Forklifts come in all different sizes, and making sure it has enough room to operate is extremely important. Make sure you have a good understanding of calculating forklift aisle width minimums.
After unloading so many shipments of your product, you should hopefully have a good grasp on how heavy it is. But if you’re expanding to new product lines or needing to lift them higher than you used to, your grasp on your requirements might be slipping. Making sure you have a forklift with enough capacity to handle your products is crucial. You will need a forklift that can lift what you need it to. Pushing a smaller forklift to its capacity limits can be dangerous, and could cause lost product, as well as injured workers. The same is true if your load center has changed and your forklift isn’t ready to handle the extension of new pallet lengths. Toyota has forklifts of every size, from hand pallet jacks to loaded container handlers. Our Find a Forklift tool can help you determine the right forklift for your lifting capacity and load center.
Acquiring a forklift is a big commitment. As a manager, your team will be using this machine almost every day. As an operator, this is the tool that will hopefully allow you to do your job safely and with maximum efficiency. Which is why you will need to make sure you look at all the options and accessories that come with the forklift. If your warehouse has blind intersections, you may want to look into different types of pedestrian lights to help reduce the risk of accidents. There are also options like a fire extinguisher and many others that might be excellent for your specific applications. Toyota offers different types of accessories that help with ergonomics, keeping operators healthy and less fatigued after a long day. This includes an optional rear assist grip with horn button on many models that can make driving in reverse less taxing.
While there are other things you may need to look over, deciding on a forklift during times of expansion should not be an impulse buy. You need to make sure you scale up your forklift fleet in a way that makes sense for the scale of your specific business. There are many different variables that go into the decision making process. Take your time, and double check that you are getting the forklift that will help your business grow. Operators should be clear about their needs and managers should have open lines of communication with their operators. This communication will be paramount in a successful fleet expansion.
As the material handling industry evolves, one area that continues to grow is the use of slipsheets to transport and handle products rather than the use of traditional pallets. Slipsheets are thin sheets made of plastic, paper, or corrugated material that come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit a range of needs. Similar to a pallet, they are placed underneath a load and are used to push or pull the load on and off of the forklift’s forks or platens.
Two different types of attachments are typically used to handle slipsheets. The first is a push/pull attachment that clamps onto the sheet and pulls the sheet and product load onto the platens (platens are essentially wider, thinner forks that come in different shapes and sizes). A gripper jaw at the bottom of the faceplate automatically closes at the end of the stroke and opens at the beginning so that only one hydraulic function is needed to grab and release the load using the sheet.
Above: Push/pull attachment engaging with a slipsheet and pulling the load onto the platens (Credit: Cascade Corporation)
Roller forks are a second type of attachment. Just as the name implies, these forks have multiple sets of rollers spanning across them, which help to roll the load up onto the forks. This type of attachment can also be used without slipsheets depending on the type of load.
Regardless of the attachment you’re using, slipsheets are becoming more and more popular as companies start to realize their potential for return on investment. They offer a significant number of advantages over pallets, including:
Slipsheets are a great alternative to pallets in many applications, particularly for loading and unloading trailers and for general warehousing. They, however, aren’t a practical alternative for all types of applications. Non-homogenous and disproportionate loads aren’t typically ideal for being handled on a slipsheet. Low throughput applications may not be able to justify the return on investment that slipsheets can provide due to high initial cost for the attachment.
Written by Trinton Castetter, Product Marketing Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Forlifts, like cars, require more than just an oil change. One hour of forklift use is approx. 35 miles of automobile use. An Annual Service from DTL will keep your lift running safely and smoothly. Dillon Toyota Lift Service Technicians are here to protect the investment you made in your forklift. Here is what the annual service includes:
Drain and flush hydraulic tank, install new hydraulic filter and refill with new hydraulic oil.Install new sump breather cap.
Drain and flush differential, clean differential with new fluid.
Inspect condition of all hoses.
Remove steer wheel bearings, clean and repack with grease and reinstall and set bearing preload.
Inspect steering system for worn pins and linkage and make minor adjustments as necessary.
Inspect service brakes for proper operation, leaks and/ or contamination.
Inspect parking brake for proper operation and condition of cables and linkage.
Inspect and test the battery, water all cells.
Clean and inspect the control panel.
Check for loose connections, corrosion, worn contactor tips.
Check for proper operation of all motors and insect for brush wear. Blow all motors out.
Inspect upright, tilt cylinders, forks and associated mountings for any obvious cracks, defects of mission stops, and adjust lift chains.
Inspect counterweight for proper mounting and that all bolts securing it are in place and tight.
Inspect for proper operation of all gauges, controls, starting and charging components.
Pressure wash lift.
Gas, CNG & LP Forklifts:
Drain and flush transmission and differential, install new transmission filter, clean transmission and differential with new fluid.
Install new air filter and fuel filter.
Pressure test cooling system to check for leaks.Inspect cooling system for corrosion, check thermostat for proper operation and test anti-freeze protection level.
Inspect condition of all belts and hoses.
Perform engine tune-up with new spark plugs, points, condenser, rotor, distributor cap and ignition wires.
Adjust valve lifters, install new valve cover gasket and perform engine compression test.
Check for proper operation of clutch or inching circuit and adjust if necessary.
You’ve got enough paper in your life. Paper you send to suppliers. Paper you send to customers. Monitoring your forklift usage and efficiency shouldn’t require additional stacks of paper. A Vehicle Management System (VMS), like the Toyota T-Matics option can help eliminate paper, keep you organized, and save a few trees in the process. Here are a few ways that you can use T-Matics to go paperless.
Letting licenses and certifications lapse can be a major problem. If you’re tracking these expirations on paper, in a log, or relying on your own or someone else’s memory, you’re setting yourself up to fail. T-Matics COMMAND allows users to enter a date of expiration on the forklift certification of an operator. COMMAND alerts you when it’s time for renewed licensing and training. You can make use of this ability with both established operators and short-term temps. Also, because T-Matics monitors things like impacts, it can help you identify when re-training and certification is necessary.
The paper associated with tracking operator successes and missteps can be cumbersome, and often falls through the cracks. As an operator, it can be easy to get frustrated if there isn’t a clear measure of how good you really are at your job that is clearly established in writing. As a manager, keeping track of successes is difficult, especially since so much time can be spent on drawing up paperwork to document accidents and impacts.
With a VMS, both of these pain points are eliminated, making everyone happy with their work environment. If you’re a successful operator, your safe practices and focused approach to your job are documented by clear data that illustrates your forklift usage efficiency and lack of impacts on the lift. If you’re a manager, you can reward your best operators, understand who will give you the best ROI during their shifts, and identify those associates who need to shape up in terms of usage and practice.
Trying to schedule preventive maintenance on paper is a hard task. What if you miss the date on your calendar? Worse, what if you haven’t used the lift as much as you expected when that date comes and you don’t need maintenance yet? Or what if you’ve used it more, and need maintenance before the scheduled date?
With T-Matics, computer software keeps track of time and hour usage. It then relays an automatic request for scheduled maintenance to your local Toyota dealer. No more paper scheduling, lengthy phone calls discussing timing, or missteps in maintenance intervals. Using this function can be an important step in maintaining your lifts’ uptime.
Paper checklists are a mess to file. It’s annoying to find a hard surface to write on. And time is wasted trying to find the right office supplies to make it happen. A VMS like Toyota’s T-Matics makes this system automated and files all of these reports electronically. No more paper. Simple.
I like that VMS systems offer all of these great advantages for your company when used effectively. But it also doesn’t hurt that you can get the reputation of an environmentally conscience company with a clear understanding of your responsibility to the planet. That’s a powerful message for a whole lot of clients and customers. Going paperless with T-Matics helps you win and keep on winning.
Written by: Linley Kullman, Telematics Support Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Toyota recently launched an Integrated Fork Scale to help businesses streamline their processes. Have you wondered if the expense is worth it for your particular business? Here are four questions to help determine if you could benefit from an integrated fork scale in your fleet.
Let’s find out how much time you could save if you could get rid of one step in your process. Here’s a simple example: If it takes 1 minute to transport pallets to a floor scale to properly weigh them before loading or unloading and you do this 60 times a day, you could gain one hour of productivity by eliminating this step. Now do the math with your specific info. How much more efficient could you be with an integrated fork scale?
If the answer is yes, here’s another step you could eliminate to save time and effort. Toyota’s Integrated Fork Scale features a Bluetooth-enabled option to seamlessly feed information to your devices. Again, do the math to find out how much productivity you could gain if you got rid of this step. Take that number and add it to the number above. Could you save a significant amount of time?
If so, this might affect the accuracy of the weight check. The legal-for-Trade version of Toyota’s Integrated Fork Scale includes a correction sensing system designed to calculate weight, even when the load wheels are not level.
Moisture and technology don’t often mix – unless you plan for it. Toyota’s Integrated Fork Scale features a cold storage option designed specifically for food storage applications.
We hope these questions help determine if you could benefit from an Integrated Fork Scale. For questions about our fork scale or any other product, contact Dillon Toyota Lift today.
Written By: Samantha Horton, Content and Communications Consultant, Toyota Material Handling, USA
In less than 60 days new accounting rules will impact operations, and organizations whose finance and operations personnel are on the same page will benefit the most. Selecting the right financing is just as important as choosing the right equipment. No matter the fleet size, these changes will compel an even greater collaboration between those who cut the checks and those who rely on forklifts every day.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has approved changes to Accounting Standard Codification (ASC) 842, which affects operating leases. On January 1, 2019, the Finance Accounting Standards Board's FASB13 will take effect. FASB13 calls for every lease to be classified as either an operating lease or capital lease based on specific criteria.
Currently, capital leases are reported on the balance sheet as an asset and liability. Operating leases, however, are supposed to be footnoted on the balance sheet but are expensed on the income statement. The new guidance generally stipulates that lessees will be required to recognize both Capital and Operating leases as assets and liabilities for leases with term of more than 12 months. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, all leases (capital and operating) will be required to be accounted for on the balance sheet as right-of-use (ROU) asset and lease liability on their balance sheet. *
“This will have a couple of significant impacts to companies. First, having all leases on the balance sheet will give creditors greater visibility to total liabilities. Secondly, many companies did not require capital approval of off-balance-sheet acquisitions such as rentals and operating leases, which made it quicker and easier to obtain equipment. The increased scrutiny associated with on-balance-sheet capital approvals may slow or restrict some companies’ equipment acquisition process, which makes it more important than ever for finance and operations to partner up,” Sue Rice says.
Leasing is an increasingly popular means of controlling expenses and guaranteeing access to the latest technology. The best way to keep finance and operations departments aligned is to use a data-driven approach to fleet management. Data is becoming increasingly important in the material handling industry, which is why telematics systems are growing in popularity. Toyota T-Matics MOBILE and T-Matics COMMAND deliver important insights about your forklift and operators. T-Matics offers a solution that gives greater visibility to your fleet's performance. Some of the features include fleet utilization/optimization, web-based dashboards & reporting, electronic hour meter collection, fully mobile, impact detection, etc. Bottom line...What gets measured, gets managed.
Still have questions? Dillon Toyota Lift is here to help. We can help determine what equipment and finance options are best for you in the long-term.
*We encourage customers discuss these changes with their Accountants, Auditors and Creditors to better understand the effects these revisions may have on their business.
Your business is growing and you either need to expand your current warehouse or build a new warehouse to support your growth. Sounds like a good problem to have! At least, until you have to decide what type of pallet racking system you need to install. In its simplest form, a pallet racking system is a material storage system. Pallet racking helps you stay organized within your warehouse and better manage you inventory. Choosing pallet racking, however, is not as simple as selecting a pallet rack brand and installing it. There several racking types that help you meet your needs. The type of racking you choose depends on a few criteria:
Selective racking systems are some of the most common and widely used racking systems, mainly because they are less expensive and easier to install than other, more specialized racking systems. Selective racking is great for warehouses that store a large amount of stock keeping units (SKUs). Selective pallet racking is usually a single-deep pallet rack. This type of racking makes any given pallet in the rack system accessible without having to move another pallet.
Cantilever Racking systems are used to store items that cannot be easily stored on pallets. Warehouses that use cantilever rack, usually store longer and heavier items to be stored horizontally across multiple arms (like lumber or steel pipes). Pallet racks, on the other hand, have vertical uprights that limit the length of stored items. This is the primary difference between cantilever racking and pallet racking.
Pallet flow racking systems are also referred to as “gravity flow” racking systems. Pallet flow racking systems are best suited for the first-in, first-out (FIFO) inventory management methodology. When you load a pallet from the loading aisle and onto the lane rollers, gravity allows the pallet to roll to the front of the system. When the pallet is removed from the front of the racking system, the pallets behind roll to the front of the lane. Pallet flow racking allows for high-density storage while maintaining FIFO. Some pallet flow racking systems may hold up to 20 pallets deep in one lane, minimizing the number of aisles needed to store items while maintaining efficient inventory turnover.
Push back racking systems is another high density storage option, with the ability to store up to six pallets deep on either side of an aisle. There are usually three carts stacked on top of each other. The first pallet is loaded from the front in a push back racking system and sits on the top cart. When the second pallet is loaded, it pushes the top cart with the first pallet back. Push back racking gives you higher density storage than selective racking systems, while allowing you more selectivity with storing items than other types of racking, meaning you can store more SKUs.
Drive-In racking systems are great for storing large volumes of just a few SKUs and can also be configured to manage inventory with FIFO or last-in, first-out (LIFO). With drive-in racking, the forklift literally drives into the racking system to move a pallet. This type of pallet racking system is cost effective by maximizing the amount of storage space in your warehouse.
Choosing between these types of racking systems will depend on the various goals of your operation and the relevant inventory data like volume and throughput. No matter your decision, always be sure that this racking is installed safely and effectively to increase productivity.
Written By: Kenny Trusnik, Marketing Systems & eCommerce Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Dillon Toyota Lift is the authorized Toyota Forklift dealer in Idaho and Utah, providing solutions to all material handling needs since 1981. We are your full service provider for new and used forklifts, warehousing, racking, rentals, parts, service, and lift truck operator training.
Nampa : (208) 466-8994
Twin Falls : (208) 466-8994
Idaho Falls : (208) 466-8994
Salt Lake : (801) 972-1930
My Toyota Store