Blog

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

 

Feb 17

40% of all forklift accidents involve a pedestrian. Safety comes standard on all Toyota forklifts and we recommend that all operations follow safety best practices to help limit risk to operators and pedestrians in material handling settings. However, there are certain job sites in which alternative precautions for visibility make sense. Enter the Red-Zone LED Warning Light.  

Ensure pedestrians stay a safe distance away from the lift truck with the Red-Zone LED Warning Light. The Red-Zone emits a red beam on the floor to keep pedestrians away preventing foot injury or collisions from rear end swing. The Red-Zone LED Warning Light also includes mounting hardware.  Buy Now!


Feb 11

Electric vs. Internal Combustion Engine Forklifts

The great debate – 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.”

Electric Forklifts

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.

IC Forklifts

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.


Feb 06

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, feel free to reach out to Dillon Toyota Lift for more information.  

Original Post: Anastasia Sistevaris, Communications Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling, USA


Jan 31

With a wide range of maintenance checks that need to be performed on all forklifts, it can be easy to allow some part of your equipment fall out of OSHA or ANSI compliance. One aspect of fork inspection that can sometimes slip between the cracks is ensuring that forks are maintained appropriately in compliance with ANSI 56B (updated in May 2017).

In order to complete the appropriate checks and maintain fork compliance, you’ll need to make appropriate use of a fork caliper. This device can be used in three important ways to help you measure fork deviations and get the appropriate information to make sure you’re following the ANSI standard.

Fork Inspection: Check Fork Angle

fork inspection caliperfork inspection caliper

The Fork angle deviation must be within a margin of 3 degrees. That means that the angle between the blade and the shank must be between 87 and 93 degrees. To use the caliper to check this, open it and place it between the plate and shank so that all four protrusions are touching. The angle can be read using the marking on the caliper. Any fork angle that falls outside of the degree range must be tagged out until the forks are replaced.

Fork Inspection: Check Fork Hooks

fork inspection caliper

The numbers on the end of the caliper indicate the forklift classes. Use the appropriate protrusion to check if the fork hooks are in compliance. Simply place the protrusion into the hook notch. If the hook hits the back of the caliper, it is out of compliance. If it does not, then the forks are fine for continued use. The above fork is in compliance.

Fork Inspection: Check Fork Blade Wear

fork inspection caliperfork inspection caliper

Begin by setting the caliper by the thickness of the shank. Place the caliper onto the blade at the point of the fork that receives the most wear, which is usually at its heel, as shown. If the blade passes the inside teeth of the caliper, then the fork is out compliance and must be tagged out until forks are replaced.

Original Post: Jake Stewart, Digital Content Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling, USA


Jan 19

Did you know the forklift’s forks don’t directly connect to the mast? They actually attach to a support platform called the forklift carriage. The carriage is important because it is used to mount objects, including forks, the load backrest, and attachments, to the mast chains, allowing loads to go up and down the mast channel.

Selecting a forklift with a dependable carriage is vital to the safety of all those who work in material handling environments and for the long-term efficiency of your operation. Any place where parts of industrial machinery are attached sets and not one piece should be top-of-mind for the product’s durability. The first step in assessing the forklifts that are currently or may eventually be a part of your fleet is having a clear understanding of what each part implies for your operation. This guide will help you understand both carriage height and what that height implies for your potential lifting capacity.

Identifying Forklift Carriage Class

Understanding your forklift’s carriage class is important because it helps you understand what forks and objects will work with your forklift. There are five carriage classes. Each class can be determined by the distance between the top edge of the upper fork bar and the bottom edge of the lower fork bar. The carriage class also gives you a good idea for the lifting capacity of your forklift. Here is the carriage class guideline breakdown:

Class 1

Carriage height: 13”

Lifting Capacity: Less than 2,200 lbs.

Class 2

Carriage height: 16”

Lifting Capacity: Between 2,200 lbs. and 5,500 lbs.

Class 3

Carriage height: 20”

Lifting Capacity: Between 5,500 lbs. and 10,998 lbs.

Class 4

Carriage height: 25”

Lifting Capacity: Between 11,000 lbs. and 17,600 lbs.

Class 5

Carriage height: 28.66”

Lifting Capacity: Between 17,602 lbs. and 24,198 lbs.

Using this guide, you can ask informed question from Dillon Toyota Lift in order to make sure you get the best carriage for your operational needs. Understanding carriage class can also help you get a clear understanding of your fork and attachment capabilities Keep in mind that the carriage’s capacity is only one part of the equation when it comes to your forklift’s lifting capabilities. Always rely on your forklift’s data plate for accurate capacity information based on the entire configuration.


Jan 14

Let’s be honest. There are so many statistics and metrics involved with a forklift, it can be tough to understand what is what. There are tire types, mast types, various heights and dimensions that are all vital to know. Each of these needs consideration when considering what forklift is right for your operation.

One metric that is often overlooked is forklift free lift. A forklift’s free lift is the maximum height you can raise the forks without changing the mast height. There are two instances where this typically happens: when the inner mast rails extends past the outer mast rails or when the load backrest or carriage exceeds the height of the outer mast rails.

It is important to understand forklift free lift, especially if you are stacking or unstacking in confined spaces such as trailers, containers, and racking systems. These application have height restrictions and might cause product or equipment and possible safety concerns for operators or nearby pedestrians. There are two types of free lift a forklift can have: limited free lift or full free lift.

Forklift Free Lift – Limited Free Lift

When a forklift has limited free lift, it means that the inner mast rails will extend either immediately or shortly after lift is requested.  Limited free lift occurs with single-stage masts and two-stage masts with no free lift cylinder (see below on Full Free Lift). The amount of free lift can vary based on the condition and adjustment of the forklift’s lift chains as well as other factors such as fork thickness.

Forklift Free Lift – Full Free Lift

Full-free lift on a forklift means that the forks can be raised without immediately extending the inner mast channels. Full-free lift is available only on masts that have free lift cylinders. A free lift cylinder consists of a lift cylinder rod and assembly that is used to lift the carriage prior to the rear cylinders engaging.  This allows the carriage and forks to be lifted to a certain point prior to the inner mast rails. In many cases, you can get several feet of free lift depending on the mast design.

Full-free lift is helpful in areas where you need to lift a load, but have to be mindful of overhead obstructions.  Common areas where this is useful are for buildings with low ceiling heights and on trailers or box cars.

 

Original Post:  Kenny Trusnik, MArketing Systems & eCommerce Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA


Jan 10

Forklift operator safety training is pivotal for ensuring safe, efficient operations. Unfortunately, even the most effective and reliable forklift operators can still find themselves in situations that put them at risk of tipovers and injury.

To help prevent these inevitable situations, Toyota has equipped most of our forklifts since 1999 with the patented System of Active Stability (SAS.) SAS is an efficient and effective forklift system that takes over 3,000 readings per second to detect unsafe operating conditions. If a safety hazard is detected, the SAS activates one of its two main features that improve lateral and longitudinal stability of the forklift.



Active Control Rear Stabilizer System
The Active Control Rear Stabilizer System uses a patented swing lock cylinder to increase lateral stability by locking the rear steer axle. By locking this in place, the forklift’s stability footprint is converted from its usual triangle to a rectangular pattern, reducing risks of a lateral tipover.


Active Mast Function Control System
When sensing risks for a longitudinal tipover, the Active Mast Function Controller System triggers forward tilt control or rear-tilt speed control.


When activated, the forward tilt control detects the load weight and the extended mast height. It then reduces the reverse tilt speed of the mast by half of its unrestricted speed.
System of Active Stability

The rear tilt speed control similarly detects the mast height and load weight to decrease the mast’s tilt speed, reducing chances of a load spilling or a reverse tipover.Toyota’s SAS system is the first and only of its kind in the material handling industry. It has been accepted across the industry as one of the most important safety developments in material handling industry. That’s because Toyota SAS is key to protecting your most valuable assets – your operators.

Toyota SAS Protects Forklift Operators
Toyota engineers developed a dynamic forklift system for safety comprised of 10 sensors, 3 actuators, and a controller which protects the driver, load, and surrounding environment while facilitating efficient, productive material handling. System of Active Stability (SAS) works by continually monitoring the forklift’s operations and automatically taking protective action when needed.
This was all implemented on most Toyota forklifts in 1999 in order to protect operators in potentially hazardous situations. Here are some specific ways that that Toyota SAS forklift system help to protect operators.
The Active Mast Control and Swing-Lock Cylinder functionalities exist as protectants for expertly trained operators. They add an additional layer of security that can increase safety when paired with proper forklift operation.
Since transforming the safety triangle to a rectangle is not possible with a 3-wheel configuration, SAS takes a different approach to safeguarding stability of 3-wheel forklift models. Excessive speed when cornering is a leading risk factor for lateral tip-over accidents. The Speed Reduction When Cornering feature overrides manual controls by limiting the drive speed when cornering.
Some of the most potentially dangerous forklift uses occur when a load is being moved at height. The front angle control helps protect against forward tip over and losing goods off the forks, causing them to fall. The read tilt speed control reduces the risk of dropped loads occurring when loads could potentials slip over the mast.
Operator protection is our number one concern at Toyota, which is why we invest so heavily in safety features for our Toyota forklifts.

Toyota SAS Myths Debunked
The System of Active Stability (SAS), which is unique to Toyota and comes standard on most Toyota forklifts, has been created to assist in safety. And with all systems that are exclusive and top of the line, investors in such technologies legitimately ask whether it’s really necessary and consider all possible problems. But the fact is Toyota SAS offers only benefits to the safety of your operators. To offer peace of mind, we can help to debunk some myths about Toyota SAS.
Myth #1: SAS causes forklift operators to drive unsafely.
Truth: Any properly trained forklift operator is capable of operating a forklift safely. Properly trained forklift operators understand that even with SAS, it’s important to operate the forklift safely.
Myth #2: SAS must be inspected every 40 hours.
Truth: SAS actually only requires a 30-second check every 250 hours.
Myth #3: SAS causes excess downtime.
Truth: There are 200,000 forklifts with SAS today and according to studies, those units have 99.7 percent up-time.
Myth #4: There are 3,000 sensors in the SAS.
Truth: There are only 14 sensors in the SAS. Those 14 sensors automatically monitor the forklift 3,000 times per minute.
The benefit of Toyota SAS is just one reason why Toyota continues to be an industry leader in material handling safety. Need more reason to invest in Toyota SAS? There are clear financial benefits as well.
Toyota SAS Offers Positive Financial Implications
The benefits of Toyota SAS extends to the balance sheet, as the overall cost of a forklift accident far outweighs the upfront expenditure for a Toyota and the minimal cost of maintenance. How minimal is that maintenance cost? SAS requires little-to-no maintenance. In fact, of all the SAS systems on forklifts in the field, the average cost of maintenance per year is around $17.
Now, compare that to the cost of a tip over…
SAS helps prevent accidents from happening due to an unstable forklift. If it were able to prevent just one accident, it would pay for itself one-thousand times or more. That’s huge.
At $17 per year, SAS is the best (and probably most economical) decision you can make for your business. And since the forklift system is exclusive to Toyota, that’s just one more reason to make your material handling fleet a Toyota fleet.


Jan 04

Forklift certification, sometimes referred to as forklift licensing, is a requirement of any operator of forklifts in a given workplace. While it’s an employer’s responsibility to provide training, at Toyota we’ve found that operators are the ones that have the most at stake in forklift training programs. They are often the associates who ask the best questions when it comes to making sure they’re in compliance with OSHA forklift training standards. That’s why I wanted to take the time to provide three short reminders to operators and employers alike about training requirements.

Three Reminders about Forklift Certification

  1. The OSHA Certification Standard for forklift training requires classroom and practical training.

There are two required parts to forklift training:

  • Classroom training can be completed online, with educators in the classroom, through video, or a combination of any of these. The intention here is to give operators the knowledge they need about forklifts to successfully (and safely) operate them in a work environment.
  • Practical training is required so that operators demonstrate their ability to operate a forklift before they are authorized to use them in the workplace.
  1. You have to be trained on all equipment types that you operate and for specific applications.

OSHA requires that training be completed for all “types” of forklifts that an operator uses. For example, if you use a sit-down forklift and operate an order picker, you need to receive forklift certification training to operate both. Do you use a specialized attachment like a paper roll clamp? The use of that attachment needs to be integrated into your training. If you’re operating equipment you haven’t received training on, it’s worth a conversation with your supervisor to get certified ASAP. Training requirements can also vary depending on application (such as in a maritime or construction application).

  1. You have to be recertified every three years.

It’s easy to fall out of compliance on this one, especially if you’re a seasoned operator who’s been using similar equipment for years. If your three year anniversary since training is approaching, make sure you let your supervisor know you need to be recertified.

Dillon Toyota Lift offers forklift training for their customer’s operators. No matter the forklift, we will make sure you’re in compliance with all your material handling equipment.


Dec 31

Industrial jobs call for moving large objects in unanticipated locations. As a manager or operator, it can be frustrating when one-size fits-all heavy lifting rigging equipment fails to actually fit.

Indoor industrial jobs sometimes call for moving materials that don’t adhere to the traditional applications of cranes and other rigging apparatuses. These machines are great for lifting and setting down steel beams, heavy pieces of equipment, shipping containers, and other objects that will be primarily used outdoors or in building construction. But for indoor jobs, you might need to move objects into tight spaces. Traditionally, high-capacity, indoor jobs can be completed using a heavy duty forklift. But what happens when the object you’re moving doesn’t fit the common specifications associated with pallets, containers, or even other objects with consistent specs (like steel sheets, pipes, or lumber)? You might need to move heavy manufacturing equipment or heavy-duty machinery. So what do you do when that object does not comply with the lifting capacity or recommended load center for your traditional forklift or other material handling equipment?

Heavy Lifting Rigging Equipment: Finding a Forklift that Works

Luckily, the right forklift can work as heavy lifting rigging equipment if it comes equipped with a telescopic boom used to rig materials. For example, Toyota’s High-Capacity Adjustable Wheelbase comes standard with a telescopic boom that can rig materials for movement indoors. The forks can quickly be removed and replaced with the boom, meaning you’ll be able to move materials as efficiently as possible.

Once your uncommonly-shaped material is rigged, moving into tight, indoor spaces will be an easier process as a result. And for even tighter fits, having an adjustable wheelbase on the Toyota can be a major benefit, since the High-Capacity Adjustable Wheelbase allows you to extend and retract the wheelbase while also adding or removing counterweight slabs to increase and decrease load capacity. This can be a major benefit as long as the weight and shape of the material you’re moving falls within the recommendations at the specific wheelbase length and amount of counterweight slabs.

Remote control operation can also be an excellent feature when moving this type of material or manufacturing equipment, another option offered on the High-Capacity Adjustable Wheelbase. Remote capability means you can get out of the operator cab in order to ensure you have an improved view of the awkward object you’re moving and other objects in the facility (like racking or other machinery).

But why buy this expensive product for a one or two-time a year movement? Not to worry; forklifts with rigging capability like the Toyota High-Capacity Adjustable Wheelbase are prevalent in the rental market. As long as you are an operator or can employ an operator who has been trained to handle such a machine, you’ll be able to get one on site, move your object, and send it away quickly, so you can get back to doing whatever it is that you do best.

Original Post: Jake Stewart, Digital Marketing Specialist, Toyota Material Handling USA


Dec 20

The world is changing faster every day, and the material handling industry is changing with it. To stay at the top and meet the needs of our customers, Toyota is changing, too.

Traditionally, Toyota Material Handling’s (TMH) core business has been as a forklift manufacturer, selling primarily to customers that move pallets. And while Toyota will remain focused on the “forklift core” and the needs of these customers, TMH continues to evolve to support a wider range of customers, too.

The middle section of the chart above represents TMH’s traditional business, including products such as the 3-wheel electric forklift, stand-up riders, pallet jacks, order pickers, and 4-wheel electric and IC forklifts.

Toyota Industries Corporation’s (TICO’s) strategic acquisitions of Bastian Solutions and Vanderlande have allowed TMH to also address customer challenges in the bottom section of the chart by providing case- and piece-picking solutions in an increasingly automated world.

And the recent acquisition of Hoist Material Handling by Toyota Industries North America (TINA) provides TMH with an avenue to offer solutions to cargo and container customers in the top section of the chart with Toyota Heavy Duty (THD) trucks.

Hoist has nearly 25 years of experience manufacturing heavy-duty cushion tire and pneumatic tire forklifts, reach stackers, container handlers, and other material handling equipment — ranging in lift capacity from 7 to 57 tons.

Each of these acquisitions — Bastian, Vanderlande, and Hoist — supports Toyota’s revolutionary vision of transforming the world’s No. 1 forklift manufacturer into the world’s No. 1 full-line material handling solutions provider.

Toyota has stepped outside of its proverbial comfort zone and continues to think innovatively to ensure that for every challenge you face, it can provide a reliable solution for your supply chain.


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