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Toyota Forklifts are built to be reliable, but the life of all material handling equipment will eventually come to an end. As an operations manager, you’re in control of when to get new machines into your operation. And as an operator, you know when your forklift is breaking down way too often. When bigger issues arise or when several small issues are keeping your forklift out of use, you may be asking yourself “Is it worth the time and money to put into this old machine?” This question means you’re considering the economic life of your forklift. Every forklift has two lives, its useful life, and its economic life. Useful life is pretty simple. If your forklift cannot be repaired, and is no longer used productively, then it has seen the end of its useful life. Economic life is more complicated, and requires more planning for both use and material procurement. This information can help you decide if your forklift’s economic life is coming to an end.
Economic life is the time span it makes financial sense to maintain your forklift, rather than replacing it. You know your forklift has reached the end of its economic life when the cost of the repairs are more expensive than the cost of purchasing a new one. The stress of having a forklift out of service on both an operation and the people who run it should lead you to have a good understanding of a forklift’s economic life. First, make sure you are planning for the replacement of your older forklifts. On average, most forklifts will need to be replaced around 10,000 hours, but can even be around 8,000 hours or less for those in unique applications. With the help of our economic life of a forklift calculator, you can get insight into when your forklift will need to be replaced. This allows you to easily determine a budget, and make it a more positive experience for you and your company. It can also influence your decision on whether you want to lease or buy your next forklift or forklift fleet. Leasing is sometimes an option that can help you reduce diminishing returns from a forklift with an expired economic life.
If you are putting off getting a new forklift and constantly maintaining your old one, you could be losing a lot of profits while the forklift is experiencing downtime. It’s never too late to start planning to improve the efficiency of your operation, whether you’re looking to acquire a forklift soon, have just done so, or are using an old forklift that might be past its prime.
Original post: Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA
The great debate regarding forklift fuel options – electric forklifts versus IC (internal combustion) forklifts. This decision is not only for new companies. Established companies may also weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each fuel, especially if there is a shift of priorities to “go green.”
The forklift industry has experienced a shift in sales, with electric forklifts now accounting for nearly 60% of the forklift market. Electric forklifts are rising in popularity due to advances in technology that are allowing them to operate more comparably to internal combustion engine forklifts in regards to performance and run time. The emergence of fast-charging capabilities, higher-voltage outputs, and new and improved battery, pump, and motor technologies are some of the reasons for these breakthroughs.
Electric forklift advantages include:
•No exhaust emissions: Electric forklifts are powered by electrical energy sources such as batteries or fuel cells, which eliminates an employee’s exposure to potentially harmful exhaust emissions.
•Reduced maintenance costs: Electric forklifts use no disposal waste (i.e. engine and transmission fluid) and a high percentage of battery lead can be recycled.
•Operator ergonomics: Less noise and vibration is generated by the electric forklift, reducing operator fatigue.
•Decreased repair costs: Electric forklifts have less moving parts to maintain and repair. AC motor technology further eliminates brushes to create no spark hazard and better speed control.
•Lower long-term fuel costs: Batteries for the electric forklift can be recharged. Although the upfront costs for batteries and chargers can be expensive, the return on investment over time is typically higher than when using fuel.
With these advantages come other factors to consider. Although electric forklifts have lower lifetime fuel costs, the initial cost is higher. In addition to the cost of the battery, an area for charging, watering and cleaning must be arranged. Certain electric forklifts can be at a disadvantage when using the forklift in an outdoor application, depending on the design of the forklift. Many forklifts today, including Toyota’s 3-Wheel Electric and 80V Pneumatic models are designed to protect critical forklift components from potential damage due to water intrusion. Downtime can also be experienced if the battery is not charged or equalized properly.
The market is still strong for IC forklifts. They account for about 40% of the forklift market and are viable solutions for both indoor and outdoor applications. IC forklifts tend to be more popular for outdoor, high-capacity applications and for specialty applications such as paper roll handling and container handling.
IC forklift advantages include:
•Flexible application: IC forklifts are good indoors and outdoors. They operate well in rain and other inclement weather.
•Multi-shift use: The fuel savings associated with electric forklifts is greatly diminished or negated when multiple batteries are required to keep an operation running. These batteries also take up additional space in a facility, reducing efficiencies and increasing operating costs.
•Lower initial cost: On propane powered forklifts, only the investment of propane tanks and their storage area is needed to operate the forklift. Gasoline, diesel, and CNG powered forklifts are usually purchased when refilling stations are conveniently available. The infrastructure for these stations, however, can be very expensive if they don’t already exist at your facility.
•Easy to refuel: IC forklifts running out of fuel do not require a lengthy charging period. An operator can easily replace the propane tank in 5 minutes and then continue production. Gasoline, diesel, and CNG powered forklifts can also be refueled in a matter of minutes depending on their location. This is especially important with a multi-shift operation.
Other factors to consider when purchasing an IC forklift include providing ventilation in the warehouse due to emissions, operator fatigue due to noise and vibration and the physical requirements of changing propane tanks. Finally, if the operation does not require an IC forklift you should consider the lifetime costs of maintenance, repairs and fuel cost when compared to an electric forklift.
LP vs. Gasoline vs. Diesel vs. CNG Powered Forklifts
Once you’ve made the choice to go with internal combustion engine powered forklifts for your operation, you now need to decide which fuel type is best for you. The following tips should help to point you in the right direction.
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LP) – LP is ideal for customer locations that do not have gasoline, diesel, or CNG refilling stations readily available. If you’re purchasing forklifts for a new facility, LP has the lowest initial cost since all you essentially need to purchase are LP tanks and a place to store them. LP tanks can also be swapped in a matter of minutes, which can reduce your amount of downtime when refueling. LP forklifts are available with both cushion and pneumatic tires and are ideal for both indoor and outdoor operations.
Diesel – Diesel fuel is highly efficient and can provide longer run times in general compared to other fuel types. One by-product of the combustion process with diesel is soot, which can accumulate in the exhaust system of a forklift and needs to be removed. Most Toyota forklifts are built with diesel oxidation catalysts so that this is slowly burned off over time, but there are some forklifts out there that use diesel particular filters that need to go through a manual regen process to burn away these deposits. This can lead to more downtime since the forklift must be parked and not in use for the manual regen process to complete. In general, diesel engines also have higher torque than their LP or gas counterparts, which can provide increased gradeability and acceleration. While fuel pricing is subject to change, diesel currently costs more per gallon than gasoline, providing a better return on investment over years of use. Diesel forklifts are generally only available with pneumatic type tires and are designed for outdoor use. This is mostly due to the fact that they are louder machines and produce more emissions than LP or gas powered forklifts.
Gasoline – Gasoline only powered forklifts are pretty rare in the material handling industry due to the popularity of dual fuel forklifts and the general lack of gasoline fueling stations, but they do serve a purpose. For customers that have refueling stations readily available, conveniently placed, and able to accommodate the size of their fleet, there is little reason to use LP or dual fuel configurations. Gasoline powered forklifts also do not have an LP tank and bracket on the back of the forklift, which can increase rearward visibility. They are also typically more powerful than their diesel alternatives and can provide increased travel and lift/lower speeds.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) – Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered forklifts also require the appropriate refilling equipment in order to operate, but this type of fuel provides some distinct advantages. CNG is better for the environment and for overall air quality due to the fact that it produces less emissions and the natural gas dissipates into the air as water vapor and carbon dioxide in the event of a leak. Unlike LP forklifts, the CNG tank is never removed, but is actually refilled which can reduce downtime and operator strain. Infrastructure for CNG refueling stations, however, can be expensive due to the large amount of land required and general cost of equipment and installation. This, along with other barriers to entry such as obtaining the proper permits and having an adequate natural gas supply make CNG an unpopular choice in the current material handling market.
Still unsure? Contact Us or simply answer a few questions on our Find A Forklift tool!
Electric forklifts are awesome! Electric forklifts are low-emission vehicles that are less maintenance than an internal combustion forklift, while maintaining a similar workload as its internal combustion counterpart. This is due to the high-powered forklift battery. With that said, electric forklifts require some unique care that other types of equipment might not require. Failing to take the proper precautions with electric equipment can lead to breakdowns that cost time and money.
1. High Temperatures’ Impact on Forklift Battery Life
Heat is a battery’s arch nemesis. Heat from forklift operation causes the lead within the industrial battery to deteriorate. If you use the forklift and battery for an entire shift, make sure you let the battery charge properly and sit long enough to cool down before using it again in the forklift. Also, while you are charging, you will want open the hood to provide proper ventilation. This will help cool the forklift’s battery. Simply, the heat can take years off the battery’s life if not appropriately managed.
2. Over AND Under Charging Damages Forklift Battery Life
Your forklift needs a good night’s rest just like the rest of us. If you don’t get enough sleep, you might be frazzled for the day, but if you over sleep, you still might still feel worn out. If you don’t charge the forklift’s battery just right, you risk harming your battery’s lifespan. If you over charge your forklift battery, you risk excess heat, causing the battery to deteriorate (heat is not your battery’s friend, as we talked about before). You do not want to under charge your battery either, because undercharging leads to plate sulphation and battery breakdown. Under charging can drastically shorten the lifespan of the battery.
3. Watering for Increased Forklift Battery Life
Is watering your battery like watering your garden? Well, kind of. Your battery requires watering to provide the appropriate discharge to power your forklift. Lead-acid batteries used in forklifts typically have a mixture of 35% lead acid and 65% water within its cells. You can see that water is very important for powering the battery. During discharge, water evaporates, but the lead acid does not. The evaporation creates disproportionate levels of water and acid. So, you need to replace that water. In this case, you need to water your battery. Easy enough right? Not quite. If the battery is topped up with water at any stage other than fully charged, you risk the battery spilling water and acid on top of the battery and onto the floor. This causes the battery oxidize and lose acid, ultimately losing capacity for operation. Simply put, you only want to water the battery after it has been fully charged.
Original Post: Kenny Trusnik, Marketing Systems & eCommerce Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Buying a forklift is not a small investment and it shouldn’t be treated as such. When pursuing the purchase of a new forklift or forklift fleet there are a wide variety of considerations to take into account. And not all of these are singularly focused on forklift specs. At Dillon Toyota Lift, we realize that the decision to invest in any piece of capital equipment takes time and consideration.
Product-based Questions to Ask When Buying a Forklift
Developing a thorough understanding of the available products, and, just as importantly, your own operation where those forklifts will be operated, is the first key in making a decision on what forklift to buy. Take time to reflect on your operation and consider how it can be optimized if you select certain types of equipment. Using the questions below is a good starting place; when ready, you can contact Dillon Toyota Lift to get inquiries more specific to your unique needs.
1.Do you need an electric or an internal combustion(IC) engine? Electric forklifts are powered by batteries. IC forklifts are powered by traditional engines that run on different types of fuel. Need help choosing?
2.Will you be driving the forklift indoors or outdoors? This will determine what type of tires you need. Cushion tires are best on concrete. Pneumatic tires are best for asphalt, hard dirt or firm gravel.
3.What is the width of your aisles? If your aisle space is narrow, you may need a 3-wheel forklift or a stand-up rider model. A narrow aisle order picker or reach truck may also be your best solution.
4.How many hours a week will you use the forklift? Used forklifts are great if you only need them for a few hours a day. If you plan to run your forklift four or more hours a day, consider a new model.
5.How much weight are you lifting? Make sure to purchase a forklift that can handle more than your heaviest load.
6.How high do you need to lift a load? Purchase a forklift that can lift a load to your maximum height.
7.Will you be loading or unloading from trailers? If so, get a forklift specifically designed to work in tight areas. Pay particular attention to the lowered mast height of the forklift.
8.Do you handle food? If yes, you might need an electric forklift to avoid emissions.
Business-based Questions to Ask When Buying a Forklift
The forklift and operation aren’t the only thing to take into account when pursuing the right forklift purchase. Your business depends largely on you making savvy decisions that think more thoroughly about the big picture. Here are a few more questions you might seek answers to when buying a forklift.
1.Should I rent a model before I take the step toward purchasing? You wouldn’t purchase a car without a test drive, so you shouldn’t purchase a forklift without a test either. Request a demo or a short-term rental to test the forklift in your facility.
2.Should I be loyal to my brand or change brands? Maintaining a forklift fleet has its benefits when you consider that operators can move easily between vehicles, assuming they’ve been trained on each different type. But that shouldn’t keep you from making a change if your needs are changing or you need an upgrade. We’re confident you’ll find Toyota’s products to be top-of-the-line and the leader in quality, durability, and overall value.
3.What is the lifetime value of my forklift? Make sure you’re choosing a forklift you can afford over its lifetime. Only paying attention to the upfront cost can be a big mistake.
4.Am I getting the forklift I really need? You’ll find that you can get a lot of extra accessories for your forklift. Make sure you get what you need, but don’t make something more complicated than it has to be.
5.Is now the right time to buy a forklift? There are many reasons to buy a forklift at the right time, and not all of them have to do with what’s happening at your facility. Pay close attention to market trends, developments in the supply chain, and even changes in tax benefits
6.Should I rent, lease, or buy? Buying brand new isn’t your only option and sometimes, it isn’t the best one. Consider all your options and decide which one is best for you.
If you’re in the forklift market for the first time, have returned to the market after a long absence, or just need to go back to the basics, understanding where to start in buying a new forklift can seem like a complex process. And it can be. That’s why getting organized in your pursuit of buying the best forklift is a great place to start, and Toyota can help to make sure you get the best ROI on your investment. Use this guide, which will show you what to expect, offer a few tips to help you succeed, and help you recognize a few pitfalls to avoid.
What to Expect Before you Buy a Forklift
Buying a forklift is a big investment and it can provide a large ROI for your business. But the wrong forklift can become just another cost center. The best forklift (which is always the right forklift for your unique operation) can help you save money, increase productivity, and decrease your overall downtime. Here are some things to expect as you go to buy a forklift.
•You’ll need to know your requirements. As you navigate the wide range of products available to in the material handling market, the first thing you’ll need to know is what you’re trying to accomplish. That means you’ll need to take time to audit your operation. You can use this list to help you get started. If you don’t know the answers, Dillon Toyota Lift can help you get the answers with a site survey.
•How high do you need to lift?
•Where will the forklift primarily be used – indoors or outdoors?
•How wide are the aisles and doors?
•How many hours will the forklift be in use per day?
•What kind of tires will you need?
•Are there any specific options or accessories you will need?
•Do you have properly trained operators? This is an OSHA requirement.
•You’ll need to decide if you want a new vs. used forklift. As a general rule of thumb, if you think you’ll run a forklift more than four hours a day, consider a new forklift. Factoring in maintenance costs, it will serve you better in the long run.
•You’ll need to consider the requirements of your people and your operation. Do you have an operator with a bad back? Consider the brand with the best ergonomics. Safety is key to success, so make sure you select the brand with the best standard safety features (like Toyota’s System of Active Stability).
•You’ll need to assess brands and dealers, in addition to forklifts. The thing about capital investments? You’ll have a much better ROI when you have a dedicated partner who can help you with all your material handling needs throughout your ownership, rather than someone who is just going to sell you a forklift. You may find a lesser known brand and a cheaper up-front price, but how easy will it be to get replacement parts when your forklift breaks down? And, why are they lesser known and cheaper? Visit the dealership and ask about the skill level of the technicians. Check references. You’re choosing a dealer that will be your material handling partner for years. You’ll be glad you did your homework. To help you get started, check out the Toyota 360 Support Promise.
A Few Quick Tips for getting the Best Forklift
1.Find a Trustworthy Brand
2.Think about What you Really Need (a good partner will help you figure that out)
3.Know what kind of power you need (think about best fuel type and tire options)
4.Consider the forklift operator (you might not be using it; but their comfort will matter for their productivity)
5.Know what you can afford and how to maximize ROI (let Toyota Industries Commercial Finance help)
Five Common Mistakes When Searching for the Best Forklift
There’s a great deal of information about what you should do when in your search for the best forklift for your unique operations. But have you ever wondered why somebody didn’t warn you when you were about to make a misstep you can’t get back? Here are some common mistakes many first-time forklift buyers make.
1.Buying on price alone: Don’t be tempted to buy the cheapest forklift that meets your minimum capacity requirements. There are many other important factors to consider before buying a forklift, and up front price is only one of them.
2.Not trying before you buy: Once you’ve decided the make and model of the forklift you want, rent one to try it out in your actual work conditions. Make sure your operator has input, too. They will be the one driving it all day.
3.Not buying from a dependable dealer: Buy your forklift from a reputable dealer who can perform emergency and general maintenance when you need it. Otherwise, you risk considerable downtime if your forklift breaks down.
4.Not considering the total cost of ownership: Spending a little more up front can be an investment down the road, especially if your operations can become more efficient and productive over time.
5.Not considering a maintenance plan: Getting on a maintenance plan helps catch problems early to reduce downtime and keeps your operators safe with regular inspections. Maintenance plans can also help increase the life of a forklift.
Toyota’s full line of equipment ranges from the small but sturdy hand pallet truck to the colossal beasts that make up our line of container handlers. Oftentimes, load capacity and application needs will determine the best type of material handling equipment you’ll need. But sometimes the decision may be a bit more subtle.
A Toyota Hand Pallet Truck (HPT) may be exactly what you need to get the job done for smaller applications – but a Toyota Electric Walkie Pallet Jack might work just as well. The load capacities between these two products aren’t much different. The HPT’s capacity weighs in at 5,500 pounds while the Electric Walkie maxes out at 4,500. How do you decide between the two?
Electric Pallet Jack vs. Manual Pallet Jack — Using a Toyota Hand Pallet Truck
While the HPT can lift a higher capacity than the Electric Walkie, heavier loads mean more exertion from the operator, making it better suited for shorter run times and quick material handling jobs. It’s an economical option whose size makes it highly versatile and ergonomic without any of the complexities of electrical wiring or battery maintenance. It’s a great fit for retail, cold storage, and general warehousing industries!
Electric Pallet Jack vs. Manual Pallet Jack — Using a Toyota Electric Walkie
The Electric Walkie takes the strain off the operator, making it ideal for mid-distance runs and ease of operation when working on trailers, dock plates, and ramps or slopes. An electric disc brake comes in handy when working on a grade where you may need to stop, and the anti-rollback system conveniently assists in keeping a load stationary during a transition from braking to moving. The HPT doesn’t have a similar system, meaning that the operator must maintain the stability of the load through physical exertion or sitting the load down. On a grade, the momentum can make this difficult.
A bit bigger than an HPT, this walkie is still a great fit for efficiently moving products through a warehouse and is designed with convenience in mind. Its drive motor makes it easier to navigate over dock plates and to both pull and raise loads, ideal for higher cycle applications.
Sometimes it’s the small things that make a big difference. If you’re not sure which product is the best match for your operation, contact Dillon Toyota Lift for more information.
Original Post: Anastasia Sistevaris, Communications Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Purchasing the right forklift for your operation requires that you take into account several factors that are unique to your situation. From determining the right rated capacity you’ll need to understanding the difference between pneumatic and cushion tires, there’s a lot to consider. And the actual physical space of your workplace can’t be forgotten. Calculating forklift minimum aisle width will help you make an informed decision about what warehouse forklifts to acquire. But how do you know how much space you’ll need to effectively navigate? You should always check your calculations with a certified Toyota dealer, but you can use this simple formula to help you get started:
Forklift Aisle Width Formula
Basic Right Angle Stack + 12 In. (Clearance) + Load Length
Basic Right Angle Stack:
This measurement is the smallest amount of space a forklift needs to be able to turn and enter a pallet. It does not include the length of the load that is picked up or any room for clearance. Basic Right Angle Stack measurements are listed in specification manuals. Toyota lists this spec for all of its models on each model’s specific product page.
Load lengths will vary depending on your unique circumstances, and you should always be sure to know your forklift’s rated capacity at certain load centers. But a rule of thumb that might be used as a starting point would be a standard pallet, which is 48 inches in length.
Calculating 12 inches of clearance will help to ensure you have enough space to turn in the aisle and help protect against potentially unsafe situations resulting from operator error.
Forklift Aisle Width Calculation Example:
Let’s say you’re considering purchasing a Toyota Core IC Cushion forklift for your warehouse and want to make sure you would be able to turn in your aisles with a standard pallet. According to the forklift specs, the model you are considering has a Basic Right Angle Stack spec of 86 inches.
86 in. (Basic Right Angle Stack) + 12 in. (Clearance) + 48 in. (Load Length) = 146 in. Minimum Aisle Width
Remember that this is just a start to your assessment practice. Always be sure to have Dillon Toyota Lift verify your results before you make a purchasing decision!
Original Post: Jake Stewart, Digital Content Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling, USA
When you start looking to buy a forklift, one of the first things you will notice are the different tire types that are available. Pneumatic and cushion tires are the two most common, and those tire types are often used as a dividing line for the forklifts used in certain operations (along with fuel type) If your business operates a lot outdoors, then you may want to take a look at this post explaining pneumatic tires and why they are beneficial. But if you work mostly indoors, then cushion tires are made for you. To put it simply, cushion tires are made of a smooth rubber that is fitted around a metal band, great for indoor applications. The following are some of the major benefits of cushion tires.
Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: Great for Smooth Surface Applications
Cushion tires are designed specifically to work great on smooth surfaces, and the hard outer surface is designed to reduce chipping on the wheels. Cushion tires also contain more rubber, allowing for a safer, more comfortable ride for the operator. This extra rubber will also allow for a longer service life. But, using these types of tires outside on uneven terrain could cause early chipping, and could be a safety hazard due to the reduced traction of the cushion tires. While it is alright for you to use it on smooth asphalt outdoors, we recommend you limit the time you use them outside.
Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: More Maneuverability
Another reason cushion tires are great for indoor applications is that they allow for a more maneuverable forklift. They are able to fit a smaller forklift frame, and have a lower ground clearance. When you operate in a warehouse, having a smaller forklift is important when it comes to making the most of your space. This allows you to navigate narrower aisles, and keep your racking closer together. The more space you have for racking, the more product you can hold in your warehouse.
Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: Cost-Effective
Because cushion tires require less materials to produce, it is less expensive for companies to manufacture them. This is good for you, because they are usually cheaper than pneumatic tires. Another way cushion tires help you save money is by being easier to maintain. By making sure your warehouse floors are clear of debris, and not driving your forklift over tough terrain, you can help your cushion tires last.
Make sure you do some research, and really look into all of the different uses the forklift could get in order to make an informed decision. Once you choose a specific forklift and its tire type, I highly recommended against changing tire type on your forklift (and it’s often impossible to do so).
Original Post: Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Warehouse receiving areas are some of the busiest places in a supply chain. Because of the variables involved with receiving such as unknown personnel (truck drivers) in your warehouse, the irregularity of goods received, and changing storage needs after product is received, this area in any operation can be very difficult to standardize. Amidst the controlled chaos of a receiving area, open dock doors that are not actively being used to unload a truck pose particular hazards for forklift operators and pedestrians. A lack of awareness of open dock doors can lead to dangerous situations that were more than likely preventable. Remembering a few important points about dock door safety might help increase safety while also maintaining as much efficiency as possible.
Reminders for Dock Door Safety
As an Operator, You Might Easily Back Off of One if You’re Not Paying Attention.
Even if you don’t see them in front of you, open dock doors are still there. It’s a major disaster if, in the middle of operating a forklift to handle material in the receiving area, an operator backs out an open door. Remember that awareness of what is behind you is key in maintaining dock door safety. Some dock levelers can be upgraded to automatically fold up into a protective barrier to help prevent the possibility of back off.
As a Pedestrian, You Might Easily Fall Off of One if Proper Precautions Are Not Taken.
OSHA standards require that wall opening with a drop of more than 4 feet must be chained off, roped off, or otherwise blocked off. If this precaution is not taken, distracted pedestrians might walk off open docks, potentially being harmed in the fall and being left vulnerable in a busy receiving area where trucks are moving in and out. While ropes or chains meet the OSHA requirement for block off, heavy duty safety barriers can also be purchased (many times from certified Toyota dealers).
As a Pedestrian and Operator, You Might Easily Forget that Trucks Will Eventually Fill the Door.
Dock doors are places where product is moved in quickly. Not every worker in an environment will know exactly when a truck will arrive. When working around a dock door, you must remember that semis are going to be pulling into those spaces, and drivers won’t always have the best visibility when backing in. Therefore, it is the responsibility of forklift operators and pedestrians to stand clear when a semi is arriving.
Hydraulic technology is so common we often forget we use it every day. It’s found right in our own homes in our dishwashers. It’s in the cars we drive to work. It’s in elevators, amusement park rides, and airplanes. And in forklifts. But without liquid to fuel the hydraulic systems, none of these things would work.
The main function of hydraulic fluid is to provide energy transmission, so it makes sense that if you don’t have the proper level of liquid, you can’t create the most power. Inadequate levels of hydraulic fluid in a forklift cause decreased lifting and steering capabilities, which is the last thing you want when you have a job to finish.
So, what do you need to know to ensure your hydraulic system is running smooth and fast? Let’s explore some of the common questions you might have about hydraulic fluids and forklifts.
How often should I change the hydraulic fluid for forklifts?
Most forklift manufacturers suggest replacing hydraulic fluid after every 1,000 hours of operation. To monitor levels properly, operators should go through a checklist, which includes checking the hydraulic fluid tank prior to every shift.
Why should I change hydraulic fluid every 1,000 hours of operation?
There are a variety of environments and variables that can affect the rate oil degrades. In lieu of performing an oil analysis every time you think you need to change your hydraulic fluid, most users stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation, which is based on years of service data. Keep in mind that if you decide not to change the hydraulic fluid for an extended amount of time, you risk the service life of every other component on the hydraulic system.
What hydraulic fluid for forklifts should I use?
It depends on your equipment and manufacturer. Consult your forklift operating manual for the specific fluid grade recommended for your particular forklift.
We also recommend paying close attention to the prescribed level to fill the tank. Thermal expansion can occur, which can in turn cause an oil spill and a safety hazard.
Can I change my hydraulic fluid or does my dealer need to?
Changing hydraulic fluid is a fairly simple task. However, we recommend a professional certified forklift technician perform the task. Toyota certified technicians are trained on all make and models of forklifts.
Original Post: Samantha Horton, Content and Communications Consultant, 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, racking, warehousing, 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
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