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

 

Aug 06

Columbia has a reputation for being the most robust utility vehicle line-up on the market, and in an effort to deliver the best transportation solutions for your needs, we’ve re-envisioned the Columbia line-up. We’d like to (re)introduce you to the Magnificent 7: Chariot, Expediter, Stockchaser, Journeyman, Utilitruck, Custom Platform, and our ever popular Payloader. Each of these vehicles are ideally suited for different tasks, so let’s look at the new line-up a little more closely, and see how each vehicle can meet your transportation needs.


Chariot: Our Chariot saves valuable time getting to work, enabling key personnel to spend more time doing work. The Chariot moves managers, executives, security, floor staff, and others around indoor and outdoor facilities quickly, quietly, and efficiently. Pure electric power, narrow width design, tight turning radius, and stand-up operation give you long range, impressive maneuverability, and high visibility everywhere you go.
 
 
Columbia Expediter-PlantExpediter: The Expediter is designed for maximum productivity without compromising speed or safety. Its narrow design, tight turning radius and impressive capacity rating enables you to deliver payloads through tight spots or right up to the job site. A standard fold-down seat back converts the Expediter into a two-person transport, making it perfect for pulling double duty in any facility. 
 
 

 Columbia Stockchaser-Climbing Ladder WarehouseStockchaser:  Replace large, inefficient material handlers with a smaller, faster utility vehicle perfect for order-picking, stock replenishment, towing, hauling and more. An industry leading 48-volt electric power system and 133-inch turning radius make it the perfect choice to handle loads in tight spaces just about anywhere—all day long. Stand-up operation and adjustable backrest provide safety and comfort while a tubular steel chassis and steel body panels make it as rugged as it is maneuverable.

 

2xl & 4+2Journeyman: Engineered to boost productivity and easily adapt and transform from one job to another, the Journeyman is ideal for maintenance, higher education, hospitality, construction, or any other space where safe, efficient transportation is vital. The Journeyman series is available in a range of sizes, configurations, and upfits to carry two to six passengers safely and in comfort just about anywhere—including public roads.

 

Utilitruck: Tackle the tasks golf carts simply aren’t built for and get more done with the same versatile vehicle. The Utilitruck can carry two passengers and over 1,000 pounds and configured through an endless combination of mission-specific upfits for greater capability where you need it most. Go even further and customize your vehicle for unique environments, workloads, and accessibility needs. The Utilitruck can be tailored to fit virtually any vehicle application.
 

Custom Platform: Our Custom Platform's innovative design offers various drive axle and battery pack configurations for optimal balance in payload carrying capacity, maximum range, and top turning performance. An optional Speed Rail Attach System allows for hundreds of platform upfits.

 

 

Payloader: Take light or heavy loads to places other high-capacity burden carriers simply can’t go and replace forklifts with a safer alternative. The Payloader carries up to 4,000 pounds, tows up to 18,000 pounds, and travels up to 17 miles per hour while offering exceptional maneuverability and efficiency without sacrificing durability. We use the same steel chassis for all weight classes to provide the dependability you need from a heavy carrier.

 

 


Jul 21

A Revolutionary Approach to Your Energy Needs

What powers your operation now? What energy sources will keep your business moving efficiently and cost-effectively in the future?

However you answer these questions, Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions is our promise to continually be at the forefront of new technological development, providing reliable solutions for your ever-evolving energy needs.

As you work to optimize your fleet amid increasing environmental standards and throughput expectations, Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions is your partner at every step of the journey. We deliver service and expertise — as only Toyota can — through our commitment to quality, forward-thinking innovation, and the support of the largest dealer network in North America.

Here are five tools and services Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions offers you:

1)    On-Site Consultation for Forklift Energy Solutions

Toyota Forklift dealers offer free, on-site consultation services to help identify the best practices and energy management solutions that will work for you.

Utilizing the resources made exclusively available through Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions, Toyota dealers are uniquely positioned to optimize your operation with the latest technological innovations tested and approved by Toyota, such as:

2)    Electric Forklift Batteries and Alternative Energy Sources

An extensive selection of lead acid and TPPL batteries, as well as approved alternative energy sources (including lithium-ion batteries), allows Toyota to uniquely pair up the best forklifts in the industry with the most efficient and cost-effective power sources. Some of the potential benefits include:

  • Increased charging efficiency
  • Higher, more stable voltage supply
  • Reduced maintenance
  • Eliminate battery storage areas and charging equipment
  • Increased cycle and shelf life

3)    Forklift Battery Chargers & Accessories

Your Toyota Forklift dealer can help you increase energy efficiency and lower operational cost — simply by matching your chosen energy source with an optimal charger! They’ll use battery monitoring equipment to pinpoint efficiencies that can be gained through an appropriate battery/charger combination.

Some charger considerations include:

  • Frequency – Higher-frequency charges, which increase charge rates and can allow for opportunity and fast charging.
  • Energy Efficiency – Converting power from your facility with greater energy efficiency can lower your electric bill.
  • Multi-Voltage – Chargers with multiple voltage capabilities can reduce the total number of chargers needed.
  • Smart Functionality – Wireless communication and other smart functionality can allow expert control of charging efficiency and timing.
  • Size & Weight – Smaller, lighter-weight chargers can decrease your storage footprint and are easier to move.

4)    Service & Repair with Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions

Peace of mind. That’s what you get with Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions — because you’ll know:

  • 3,500+ expertly trained Toyota Certified Technicians are at the ready to minimize your downtime — not only on your equipment, but on the energy sources that power them.
  • You’ve got a variety of alternative energy source options that have been tested and approved by Toyota as compatible with your forklift’s electrical systems.
  • Your equipment’s warranty will remain intact should you choose a Toyota-approved alternative energy source for power.

5)    Environmental Support

Keeping up with increasingly stringent emissions regulations has never been simpler. Your Toyota Forklift dealer can assist you with CARB fleet averaging and optimizing your product mix to fit your unique application and regulatory needs.

Dillon Toyota Lift can help you apply and benefit from the energy-saving and waste-reducing practices Toyota is known for, including lean thinking and the Toyota Production System

Original Post: Shannon Potelicki, Content & Communications Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling


Jul 13

Lead acid batteries are one of the most neglected pieces of equipment in material handling. Low water levels, corrosion, and electrolyte spillage are common issues that need to be monitored on a daily basis, but one practice that tends to be forgotten is the equalization charge. So, what is an equalization charge? I’m glad you asked!

What is an equalized charge on a forklift battery?

An equalization charge occurs when the battery is purposely overcharged after a full charging cycle. Essentially, you are charging the battery at a higher voltage than it is typically charged to help remove built-up sulfate and balance the voltage of each cell.

Why perform an equalized charge on a forklift battery?

If you don’t equalize your lead acid batteries, this sulfate is going to build up over time until it decreases the battery’s capacity. This buildup will effectively reduce your maximum run time, leading to more battery swaps or more time spent opportunity charging throughout the work shift. The voltage imbalance has a similar effect. Batteries work by using multiple cells that are connected in series to provide a certain voltage output. When you have varying power outputs in each cell, your overall battery voltage is reduced and your battery becomes discharged more quickly.

When should I perform an equalized charge on a forklift battery?

Equalization charges should be performed as suggested by the battery manufacturer, but many companies equalize their batteries over the weekend due to the long charging cycle. A full charge cycle is around eight hours for a standard lead acid battery and the equalization charge can be around an additional three hours. Equalization intervals will vary depending on your specific application, type and size of battery, and average operating hours.

How do I perform an equalized charge on a forklift battery?

First, you need a charger capable of equalization, as not all battery chargers have the same capabilities. Ensure you have the proper charging equipment for all of your forklifts. Some battery chargers will automatically equalize the batteries. This capability is more common in more sophisticated systems on smaller products such as electric walkie pallet jacks. Toyota’s 8HBW23 model, for example, automatically equalizes each battery cell during normal charging.

For batteries that do require manual equalization, be sure to follow all instructions provided by both the battery and the charger manufacturer to ensure you are following the appropriate steps for proper equalization. Equalization charges typically require longer cooldowns than normal charges due to the higher amount of voltage. Allow enough time for cooldown prior to using a battery that has been recently charged.


Jul 07

Running a material handling business is a tall task – not only do you have to monitor your product, your sales, and your employees, you also have to ensure your forklift fleet is operating at its best capacity. Malfunctioning and overheating forklifts can skyrocket your operating costs and require expensive repairs. So what do you do if you’ve followed all maintenance suggestions and they are still overheating? Here are three areas that may be the cause of your forklift running hot:

Maintenance

The first area to check is also the easiest to fix: are routine maintenance tasks being completed correctly? Issues such as low coolant levels or worn hoses can contribute to a forklift’s overheating. If your on-site tech stretches parts past their optimal use, such as clogged filters, your forklifts could be choking on thick, dusty air. Worn fans or damaged radiators can also contribute to high running temperatures in material handling equipment.

Environment

The same advice for workers in high temperatures applies to your forklifts – give them frequent breaks and make sure their fluids are topped off.

Is your work yard paved or on packed dirt? Excessive dust, debris, and rough terrain can put additional demands on your forklifts and cause unforeseen maintenance problems. If this is a recurrent summer problem then the outside temperature can even be to blame. The same advice for workers in high temperatures applies to your forklifts – give them frequent breaks and make sure their fluids are topped off. If your forklifts are overheating indoors then you’ll want to survey your work area to find issues. Is the floor dusty or dirty? Are pieces of paper, pallet wrap, or other debris being left on the ground where they can clog filters? Once you find these issues then you can optimize your work areas to prevent damage.

Operation

If it’s not maintenance or environmental issues causing your overheating problems, then you need to check on how you are driving the equipment. If you are overloading the forklift with loads above capacity, this can cause overheating and create unnecessary risks for product damage and accidents. Are you driving forklifts constantly at top speeds? This can also contribute to high heats.

Many IC forklifts come equipped with an inching pedal to use when maneuvering your forklift while raising the mast to retrieve loads. If you are “riding” this pedal while driving it can cause many problems, as it slightly applies the brakes. The inching pedal should only be used when retrieving loads.

Once you’ve identified the cause of the problem and put a fix in place, ask why it arose in the first place. Are you overworking forklifts due to high expectations? Should your work area floor upkeep be added to existing maintenance plans? Don’t just solve the problem. Find a solution to keep it from happening again.


Jul 02

“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.

Foundry Package

Toyota has specially designed packages to help alleviate problems associated with high-heat applications and the foundry package is a great place to start. Toyota’s foundry package typically includes the following features depending on the model and truck configuration:

  • Protection for external wires and sensors using heat-resistant sleeves
  • Hydraulic cylinders wrapped in heat-resistant wrap
  • Heat shield for mast hoses
  • Perforated belly pan

This package is available through special design request and is designed to provide the most common heat-resistant features normally required in the forging, foundry, and casting industries. It is a great starting point for applications where hydraulic failures are a concern due to high ambient temperatures.

Engine Protection

As you can imagine, high heat and high cycle applications can be harmful to your forklift’s engine and powertrain components. This is one reason why Toyota’s 8-series IC forklifts come standard with built-in engine protection. This system uses the forklift’s controller to monitor engine coolant temperatures and other potential malfunctions. When a malfunction is detected, the engine power is limited to prevent further damage to the engine. It’s a great feature that reduces the possibility of failure due to prolonged use or operator error.

Cooling and Ventilation

High ambient temperatures can create a lot of heat buildup throughout the forklift, so it’s best to outfit your forklift with specific optional features as needed. One concern in this type of environment is operator safety and comfort in high-heat conditions. Options such as an enclosed cabin, air conditioning, and fans can keep operators cool and increase productivity by lowering ambient temperature in the cab.

You also have to consider the effect the temperature can have on your internal components. Toyota’s engine protection system certainly helps, but proper cooling and ventilation can go even further to reduce downtime and maintenance. Toyota offers a wide variety of options and special designs to fit your application’s needs, including:

  • High capacity cooling package
  • Premium ventilation package
  • Hood vents
  • Vented radiator cover
  • Perforated belly pan
  • Dedicated transmission oil cooler

These are just a few of the most common ways to deal with high heat, but each application is unique and has exacting demands. We are here to help determine what is best for your facility and outfit your forklifts accordingly. A simple site survey could mean the difference between sweating it out and being as cool as a cucumber.


Jul 01

 

  • 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. 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

Beyond 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 our 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, Dillon Toyota Lift offers operator safety training.


Jun 26

What is a Site Survey?

A site survey is when a trained warehouse consultant visits a work space to help maximize the business’ work place through racking, equipment, and a multitude of other factors. Their job is to help a business work as efficiently as possible and utilize all the space a company owns. But why should you think about getting one? Below are a few reasons.

Warehouse Operation Efficiency

Once a warehouse consultant comes on the scene at the time and date arranged specifically for the site survey, it doesn’t take long for them to identify opportunities that can carry already profitable business even further.

For example, let’s say a company is pulling pallets with a reach truck, bringing the pallets down, removing the product, and then putting the pallet back up onto the racking unit. In this case, a Toyota order picker may be a more optimal equipment choice to get the job done.

Often times, companies have already thought of this, but their response as to why they haven’t done it yet is usually: “We’ve always done it this way.” Those words echo through warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, and often deter operations managers from making the moves they must make in order to meet the changing demands of the modern-day distribution environment.

For those companies that do embrace change, a site survey typically starts by inventorying all forklifts and determining how that equipment is being used in the facility.

Warehouse Storage

On the warehouse floor, a site survey can help detect storage problems (e.g., stacks of pallets that are pushed into corners using hand pallet jacks), inventory management issues, and poor use of vertical space. There are times when managers say they don’t have enough space, but only have product stacked 12 feet high in a building with 25 foot ceilings. This is an opportunity for the warehouse to grow up, instead of out. The site survey will also help determine the best equipment for this type of application, such as order pickers, reach truck, or a combination of both.

All of these steps culminate into a complete warehouse optimization package designed to help operations achieve and exceed their customer service, safety, and profitability goals. By getting material handling professionals involved early in the process, these operations may be able to optimize their space and equipment in a way that they may not have been able to handle on their own.

If you would like to learn more about site surveys and warehouse consultations, download our free E-book, “Making the Case for Warehouse Consultants.”

Download E-Book


Jun 17

    • Why to Choose ToyotaA History of Excellence and Leadership: Toyota’s forklift division began in 1956 in Japan with the introduction of the first Toyota forklift. Today, Toyota is the world leader in forklift sales.
    • Safety Innovation: Toyota introduced the world’s first and only System of Active Stability (SAS). The system electronically monitors the forklift’s operations to help reduce the likelihood of both lateral and longitudinal tip-overs.
    • Technical Innovation: In 2000, Toyota became the first major forklift manufacturer in the United States to offer AC technology to provide high performance and efficiency. The AC motor contains no springs, brushes, commutators or directional contractors, making is virtually maintenance free.
    • #1 in Quality, Durability, Reliability, Value and Lowest Cost of Ownership: Toyota forklifts are ranked number one in numerous studies conducted by Peerless Research Group.
    • More Than a Forklift Manufacturer, Toyota is a Full-Line Supplier: In addition to a full line of high-quality forklifts, Toyota offers other industrial equipment products including narrow aisle solutions, walkie stackers, automated guided vehicles (AGV’s) and tow tractors.

Jun 15

The proper maintenance and handling of forklift batteries is imperative to their longevity. There’s a right way and a wrong way to maintain and handle forklift batteries and doing it properly will ensure your investment is maximized.

Proper Handling

Forklift batteries can be heavy and dangerous if not handled properly, so it’s important to be educated on the correct way to handle them. Use these tips for some ideas about handling batteries properly:

    • Use special equipment, like a walkie pallet jack equipped with a transfer carriage, to maneuver the battery. Because of the weight of some forklift batteries, no single person should attempt to move a forklift battery alone. Steel toe shoes should also be worn while moving the batteries.
    • An eye and hand washing station should be nearby. Should any hazardous liquid come in contact with hands or eyes, a hand and eye washing station should be conveniently located nearby to remove it as quickly as possible.
    • Chemical-resistant protective gear should be worn while maneuvering batteries. Having a conveniently located eye and hand washing station is necessary, but chemical-resistant gear should also be worn to keep the need for the station at bay. This includes safety glasses and gloves.
    • Remove all metallic jewelry when handling and charging.

Proper Charging

Properly charging a battery is all about doing it at the right time, for the right amount of time. Use these tips when charging your forklift battery:

    • Designate an area specifically for battery charging. This is an OSHA-recommended best practice.
    • Remember that lead acid batteries should be charged at 80 percent depth of discharge. Charging prior to 80 percent can result in reduced battery life depending on the type of battery.  Discharging the battery past 80 percent depth of discharge can also be detrimental.
    • If your battery overflows, take time to rinse it. Rinsing your battery after an overflow will help prevent corrosion.
    • Ensure compatibility between the battery and the charger. The charger that is being used should match the voltage/amperage of the battery. Color coding the connectors and clearly labeling the chargers can help to prevent accidentally connecting a battery to the wrong charger. Proper training is also imperative.
    • Avoid overcharging the battery. Some batteries have battery management systems that can prevent overcharging. If yours doesn’t, take precautions not to overcharge it, which can reduce the battery’s life.
    • Charge and operate the batteries at the proper temperature. Charging a battery in extreme cold or heat can cause reduced service life. Since battery types and specifications may vary, contact the battery manufacturer for their recommended charging temperature range.
    • Add water when needed after the charging cycle. Adding water to a wet-cell battery prior to charging the battery is a common mistake. Pure or distilled water should be used and the watering should occur after a full charge cycle to bring the electrolytes to the proper level.
    • Ensure the charger is turned off before connecting or disconnecting the battery.

Jun 10

Toyota Forklifts lead the industry with innovative designs and top-of-the-line customer support. At Toyota, safety comes standard, and we spend time each day developing ways to keep everyone in your facility protected, healthy, and productive. We start with the top safety concerns and ask, “what can we do to improve our engineering to help make people safer?” It’s part of our culture of continuous improvement. We’re always pushing ourselves toward what next. And it’s what led us to develop the best safety features in the industry.

Innovative Forklift Safety Features: System of Active Stability and Active Mast Control

Toyota’s forward-thinking engineering is what helps make Toyota Forklifts some of the safest forklifts on the market. Asking the tough questions, we found that tip-overs and falling loads were some of the most common causes of forklift accidents. So Toyota engineers went to work, and, in 1999, introduced the System Active of Stability, which comes standard on most Toyota forklifts. In conjunction with Active Mast Control, Toyota engineering is a must for the most safety-conscious operations managers.

  • System of Active Stability (SAS): The SAS is unique to Toyota forklifts. While many stability systems are reactive, Toyota’s SAS is a proactive system that takes approximately 3,000 readings per second to ensure operator safety. Because of this proactive approach, SAS recognizes when factors could put the forklift at risk and automatically stabilizes the lift using the innovative swing-lock cylinder to prevent a tipover.
  • Active Mast Function Control (AMC): AMC is also unique to Toyota forklifts. This system recognizes dangerous tilt speeds when lifting payloads and slows the speed of the mast to prevent tipovers.

Innovative Forklift Safety Features: Other Toyota-Engineered Safety Features

But Toyota’s safety innovation does not stop at these unique features. We employ safety-first thinking in all of our manufacturing, developing the best solutions for features that seem common. The unique-Toyota approach? Safety always in manufacturing:

  • Orange Forks: It seems so simple, but optional orange forks on our lifts prevent accidents and loss of products by assisting visibility during placement. Accurate fork placement helps prevent against spilled payloads that can be dangerous for forklift operators and other associates.
  • Horn: All forklifts are required to come installed with a functioning horn.
  • Rear Horn with Grip Assist: Toyota offers an add-on horn placed behind the operator on the overhead guard support leg. This ergonomic design allows operators to honk while they are turned and viewing the workspace behind the forklift.
  • Seatbelt: Toyota forklifts come standard with a seatbelt. We also offer orange seatbelt upgrades to increase visibility and ensure proper usage of this highly-important safety feature.
  • Overhead Guard: This safety feature protects operators from falling objects. The single component welded construction improves rigidity and safety while design considerations such as the 45 degree angle of the front cross beam improves visibility for operators moving pallets at height.

Making the Best Use of Forklift Safety Features: Using a Safety Checklist

These innovations in engineering are excellent and can lead to increased safety in your facility. But the best way to make sure your forklift is in optimal working condition is to use a forklift safety checklist as part of your daily walk around on your forklift. Here’s one example of those features on your Toyota Forklift that would benefit from routine checks.

Making the Best Use of Forklift Safety Features: Fork Safety Best Practices

All Toyota forklifts are engineered with safety in mind. That includes every part of the forklift, including one of the most important parts: the forks. But no matter how well a forklifts is engineered, using them appropriately is the responsibility of the operator. The forks can represent a problem area if used inappropriately. Be sure to regularly use a fork caliper to inspect the forks and employ the following best practices:

  • Low and slow. Anytime you’re moving, keep your forks no more than six inches off the ground and move slowly through the warehouse. Be careful not to drag your forks on the ground, however, because that can shorten the lifespan of your forks.
  • Carefully maintain your forks. Make it a habit to check your forks every during every inspection and maintenance cycle, as designated in your operator’s manual. If your forks appear to be bent, it’s time to replace them.
  • Stick with your load capacity. Don’t ever try to push your load capacity. Remember, your forks are only made to lift as much as your forklift says they are and trying to lift more could result in dropping a load.
  • Only use your forks to lift. Your forks are made to lift and that’s it, so don’t try to push things or pry things open with them. Using your forks irresponsibly could cause damage making them vulnerable to dropping loads.

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