ShopClient Login Catalog Promotions Locations Careers Contact
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!
There are quite a few applications where lithium-ion batteries make sense to power your forklifts – but some are garnering more attention than others.
The cold storage industry is the most obvious because of lithium’s ability to perform in a wide range of temperatures and environments.
In cold storage, lead acid batteries don’t perform as well because of condensation, and also because cold temperatures impede the chemical reaction in lead-acid batteries that releases electricity to power the forklift.
While this can also happen in lithium-ion batteries, the temperature of LiBs can be more easily regulated to combat this outcome. For example, unlike lead-acid batteries, LiBs can be manufactured with heaters installed to endure cold environments, and some LiBs feature active cooling elements to help in extreme heat applications.
Many lithium-ion batteries come with a rating of IP65 or greater, meaning the battery’s internal components are protected from water and condensation, as well as in temperatures as low as minus-31 degrees.
The main reason condensation isn’t an issue in lithium-ion batteries is the fact the cells are completely sealed and free from air. Lead-acid batteries are vented with air space in the cells, which allows condensation to form and impacts the chemical balance of the battery.
Lithium-ion cells operate most effectively in temperatures ranging from -4 degrees up to 140 degrees. But certain lithium chemistry combinations can expand that range – allowing LiBs to function better and last longer in extreme conditions.
A battery with a chemistry of lithium-iron phosphate or nickel cadmium, for example, performs better in cold applications than other types – effective in temperatures as low as -25 degrees. For high-temperature applications, nickel-metal hydride cells perform best – operating in temperatures up to 275 degrees.
If you use electric forklifts for applications where extreme temperatures are present, making the shift to lithium-ion technology may be the right solution for you.
Original post HERE
Your forklift battery is the powerhouse of your electric forklift. On average, with proper care and maintenance, a forklift battery lasts about 5 to 7 years. To safely get the most out of your forklift battery, check out the 8 recommendations below.
Because forklift batteries are made from corrosive chemicals that can burn your eyes and skin, make sure to be dressed appropriately when handling batteries. Make sure to wear safety googles, rubber gloves, steel-toed boots, and an apron. Do not wear metallic jewelry.
Forklift batteries are heavy. Smaller batteries can weigh 100-200lbs, but larger ones can weigh as much as 3,000lb. So, always use the appropriate handling equipment such as a battery lifting beam when lifting or moving batteries. Also, always make sure that the battery is properly secured before lifting or moving.
Having a designated area for handling and charging batteries is an OSHA-recommended best practice. When you charge your forklift battery, potentially flammable gases may be emitted. Having a designated, well-ventilated area prevents gas build-up. This designated area should also have eyewash and shower stations in the event of acid splashes and exposure.
Batteries need to be inspected as a part of your daily OSHA-required forklift inspections. When inspecting your forklift battery, be sure to check your fluid levels. Make sure that the charging cables are intact, insulated, and connected. Look for cracks in the battery casing and for crystallization and corrosion. The battery’s contact posts should be clean.
5. Charge your batteries properly.
Properly charging your forklift battery is the best way to extend the life of your battery. A battery has a limited number of charge cycles in it, usually about 1,500 charges. Take care not to opportunity charge your battery. Flooded batteries should have 8 hours of run time, 8 hours of charge time, and 8 hours of cool-down time. If your operations require opportunity charging, see your battery supplier for the appropriate battery and charger combination for this type of charging capability.
To properly charge your battery, follow the below tips:
As you use and charge your forklift battery, the fluid level of your battery decreases. That is why you should check the fluid level of your battery daily. You should add deionized or distilled water to your battery about every five to ten charges. Fill the cell with just enough water to cover the battery plate, usually about ¼” over the plate. Always add this water after charging, but never before charging. Also, do not overfill your battery because the water needs room to expand when the battery is in use.
Flooded, or wet cell, batteries need to be equalized on a regular basis. Over time, the water and acid in your battery become stratified. When this happens, your battery will not hold a charge well. By equalizing your battery, the electrolyte concentrate is rebalanced, and any buildup of sulfate crystals on the battery plate gets removed. Be sure to use a battery charger that has an equalizing setting.
The top of your forklift battery needs to be cleaned regularly with battery cleaner or warm water regularly. Doing so is not only good maintenance practice; it can also help you maintain your battery’s manufacturer’s warranty. Also, cleaning can help you avoid battery build-up which can lead to tray corrosion and faster self-discharge.
Taking care of your forklift battery is greatly beneficial for your forklift and for your business’s bottom line. View original post HERE
Your business relies on you to ensure your operation has the power to run smoothly and efficiently. Advances in technology of both lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries can make a great addition that can help to increase productivity and reduce downtime and maintenance costs, depending on your specific application. However, forklift batteries don’t last forever. Understanding when and how to properly dispose of your forklift battery is crucial to ensuring the success of your operation.
Using a bad forklift battery not only slows down your operation, but it can cause further damage to your equipment. Use these tips to identify if your battery needs replaced.
If you recognize that you’re in the market for a new battery, you can’t simply throw your old battery away. Batteries contain harmful toxins and corrosive materials such as mercury, cadmium, lithium, and lead that can negatively impact the environment and our health. Instead, they should be recycled.
When lead-acid batteries are recycled, the battery itself is separated into pieces and placed in a melting vat, where the heavy metal components are melted down and the melted plastic floats to the top. The acid from the battery can be neutralized and safely turned into water, or converted into sodium sulfate, which is commonly used to make fabrics and laundry detergent. The plastic components can even be reused to make new battery cases.
Lithium-ion batteries can present a number of risks when not handled properly. Due to these risks, the U.S. Department of Transportation carefully monitors the handling, transferring, documenting, and disposal of lithium-ion batteries. In order to recycle a lithium-ion battery safely, the battery must first undergo a full discharge of its metallic lithium contents to prevent potential fires that can occur if it comes into contact with moisture.
Here are some of the recommendations you should consider when preparing your forklift battery for transport. While this list may not be comprehensive, it does contain a few steps to remember as you recycle LiBs.
Designated recycling locations for both lithium-ion and lead-acid battery vary depending on the manufacturer of the battery, type of battery, and the state you are in.
View original post HERE
Columbia is proud to offer advantageous purchasing options for governmental agencies looking to save time and money by dodging the bidding process entirely. One of those options is National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance or NCPA.
Sounds great, but what is NCPA?
Great Question. The NCPA is a leading national government purchasing cooperative working to reduce the cost of goods and services by leveraging the purchasing power of public agencies in all 50 states. NCPA utilizes state-of-the-art procurement resources and solutions that result in cooperative purchasing contracts that ensure all public agencies are receiving products and services of the highest quality at the lowest prices.
Columbia’s Lead Agency: The lead agency or first organization to negotiate a contract with Columbia and the National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA) was Region 14 Education Service Center. Region 14 ESC is located in Abilene, Texas, and comprises 43 school districts. Because Region 14 ESC did all of the work of going through the bid process and signing a contract with us, any agency that qualifies for purchasing through the NCPA will automatically receive the best price possible that was established for Region 14 ESC. This allows Columbia to focus on finding the perfect vehicle solution for other organizations that want to purchase through the NCPA.
Interesting. But what does this all mean for me and my procurement efforts?
Basically, utilizing Columbia’s contract with NCPA means that you have access to pre-negotiated pricing between Columbia and a governmental lead agency. By utilizing the work done with the lead agency, you are left with two massive benefits:
TIME SAVED: Normally, you would be stuck in the middle of the bid process for weeks or months, waiting on the negotiations that establish the correct pricing from all bidders. By working with Columbia and NCPA, this process has been completed ahead of time, allowing you to pass by this long ordeal entirely.
MONEY SAVED: Most Procurement teams know the struggle of fighting for the best pricing within the bidding system. By working with Columbia and NCPA, you are able to take advantage of the work done by the lead agency who negotiated the best possible competitive pricing.
To learn more about your state's laws on cooperative purchasing and see if you qualify for NCPA, click HERE. Register for the NCPA HERE.
Downtime. It’s every material handling equipment user’s worst nightmare. You could have the most sophisticated piece of equipment with all of the gadgets and gizmos, but if it’s not operational, you won’t get much work done. When work isn’t getting done, you have to make up for lost time, increased cost, and dissatisfied customers.
While downtime isn’t always caused by equipment failure, it can certainly hamper your ability to move products and raw materials that allow your business to function. Thankfully, eliminating downtime with your equipment can be simplified into the following categories: using the right tool for the job, proper usage, proper maintenance, and quality parts and workmanship.
When customers have problems with certain components repeatedly failing or causing problems and can’t figure out the cause, the problem is usually that the tools they’re using are not equipped to handle the job. In diagnosing these problems, pay attention to the usage of the forklifts to understand what might be causing the issue.
For example, a customer was lifting heavy loads of bricks and transporting them across surfaces that weren’t flat. As a result, the product bounced up and down during transport, putting significant stress on several of the forklift’s components such as the carriage and lift chains.
This particular problem was solved by adding a hydraulic accumulator to the forklift. The accumulator absorbs the shock by using nitrogen to actively adjust the hydraulic pressure, reducing the carriage and chain wear, and providing a smoother ride for the operator.
This shows the importance of using the right tool for the job. Whether you need an aftermarket installation or a completely different forklift model, a simple change or two can save you a lot of money and downtime.
Once you have the right piece of equipment, the next step is to make sure you’re using it properly. Monitoring how the forklifts are used is the key to determining if the way they are being operated is an issue.
Improper operation is unsafe, and it can also lead to accelerated wear and tear on equipment. Some bad habits may include:
Tip loading – When a load is lifted using the first third of the forks or the load is not fully secured against the front face of the carriage.
Hot shifting or “plugging” – When shifting the transmission between forward and reverse while an internal combustion forklift is in motion. This can cause accelerated wear, potentially significant damage to the transmission, and increased tire wear.
Pushing or Pulling loads – Forklifts are designed to lift and carry loads, not to push or pull them. Pushing or pulling loads puts significant stress on various components, including the carriage, load backrest, and mast.
Overloading – Lifting a load that exceeds the forklift’s maximum capacity, as indicated on the data plate, is extremely dangerous. Not only is this type of operation unsafe, but it can also damage hydraulic components, forks, and other attachments.
Improper entry/exit – Putting excess strain on the seat assembly by not using the grips and putting all the operator’s weight on the seat to aid entry and/or wearing sharp tools when entering and exiting the forklift can lead to bodily injury, as well as accelerated wear and tear on the seat and hood of the forklift.
These are just a few examples of how improper forklift usage can increase maintenance and repair costs over time. Proper operator training, safe operation, and best practices can help combat some of these issues.
Just like any other vehicle, if you don’t take care of your forklifts, breakdowns and failures are inevitable. Forklifts have pre-determined intervals for when certain maintenance needs to occur. Depending on the particular model, type of work environment, and the number of hours that are put on it daily, this can be a frequent occurrence. For example, if you have dirt, dust, and fibrous materials floating around, you may need to change filters and clean the radiator more often. And if you run three, eight-hour shifts a day, you’re going to reach the 250-hour service interval faster than someone only running one shift.
Toyota Genuine Parts
Keeping your Toyota a real Toyota with Toyota Genuine Parts. And you can only get them through your Toyota dealer or online at the MyToyota Store.
Many customers struggle with performing timely routine maintenance, usually due to lack of knowledge, capabilities, monitoring, or handling. If you perform your own maintenance, it’s important to understand what types of maintenance are required and at what intervals. You can find this information in your forklift’s service manual or your local Toyota dealer can provide this to you.
Another solution is to take advantage of planned maintenance packages that Toyota dealers offer. Based on your application and the forklift models, they can schedule appointments to perform all necessary maintenance and repairs. This keeps your forklifts running optimally, reduces downtime, and allows you to focus on getting work done.
So, you use the right piece of equipment, and you take perfect care of it. What else could you do to reduce downtime? Not all forklifts are created equal. Lower quality and poorly designed parts can wear faster than genuine, high quality parts. Smaller air filters need cleaned out and replaced more often. Smaller diameter pulleys create more friction on hydraulic hoses which causes premature wear. And thin, metal side panels are more easily damaged and in need of replacement.
The same applies to major components such as the powertrain. The 4Y engines on Toyota’s Core IC forklifts are renowned for their durability and reliability, often reaching over 30,000 hours of operation without any major repairs needed. This provides for reduced downtime and return on investment.
When parts fail or need to be replaced, the quality of the parts and installation is equally important. While certain replacement parts may have a less expensive cost upfront, they likely will end up costing more in the future. Using genuine parts from the manufacturer keeps your forklift operating with the same quality that was built at the factory. And using a certified technician for the installation of those parts ensures that the replacement is performed to the manufacturer’s specifications. In some instances, it also provides you with assurance in the form of a warranty.
If you’re using Toyota forklifts, you can take advantage of Toyota 360 Support, which comes standard with all new Toyota forklifts. It includes an industry-leading two-year parts warranty, Toyota genuine parts, an industry-leading network of dealers and Toyota certified technicians, and guaranteed four-hour emergency response times through the mobile service request app. It’s Toyota’s promise to fully support you through the sale and throughout the entire lifetime of your ownership.
Electric forklifts can be beneficial in many different work indoor applications (and now even outdoors with Toyota’s 80-Volt Electric Pneumatic Forklift). Using electric forklifts in your warehouse is one of the most common uses of these machines and for good reason. Electric warehouse forklifts can reduce fuel costs and be charged at intervals that can maximize efficiency across shifts. Take a look at some of the following benefits electric forklifts could have in your warehouse space.
You may not think about it, but having a quieter forklift may impact you or your operator’s ability to operate safely and effectively in certain applications. In smaller, confined spaces, with multiple forklifts running, it could get pretty loud. With electric forklifts, it lowers the noise level, allowing for easier communication, and less fatigue from your operators. Really, the only noise that electric forklifts have is the horn. In certain warehouses, this can make it easier for operators and pedestrians to hear forklift horns, co-workers, or other important workplace sounds.
When you are using a gas or LPG burning forklift, you are producing emissions that could be harmful to your associates and products if not properly addressed. Electric forklifts do not generate any CO emissions. This helps keep your employees healthy and lower the impact of emissions in your warehouse.
Certain products can also be harmed by emissions including food items, other perishables, and various consumer products. Toyota electric forklifts come in a wide variety of lifting capacities to fit many different applications. Also, fewer emissions are great for the environment!
If you are using a gas or LPG forklift in your warehouse instead of electrics, we understand there are many reasons that might have influenced that decision, and Toyota is the U.S. leader in internal combustion forklifts. However, make sure you are using proper ventilation techniques if you’re using one in your warehouse.
Because your warehouse needs to maximize space, it could be hard to fit a full-sized forklift down your narrow aisles. An electric warehouse forklift can help solve that issue. At Toyota, we have many different electric forklifts to fit your needs. Maybe you need to squeeze in those narrow aisles? The 3-wheel electric would be perfect. It has a tighter turn radius than most forklifts but still has the capacity to lift up to 4,000 lbs. Maybe your warehouse stacks pallets behind each other. This is where reach trucks work great. Being able to place pallets in front of each other makes sure you are maximizing your warehouse space and racking. No matter what type of warehouse blueprint you have, Toyota Material Handling has an electric forklift to fit your needs!
When it comes to the operating cost of forklifts, electric forklifts can usually be lower than that of internal combustion models. While IC models run on gas, electric forklifts run on, well, electricity! You may need to set up a charging station in your warehouse, but the cost of electricity can be significantly lower than that of fuel.
While IC models are still the most popular in the market, electric forklifts are increasing in popularity. So remember, if you are looking to increase productivity and ROI in your warehouse, take a look at all of the different electric forklift options from Toyota.
Warehouse spills should be anticipated and prevented whenever possible. But even the most careful warehouse manager or operator can have a spill happen on their watch. Specific advice about what to do in the middle of a spill will ultimately depend on what you spilled. But there are some general things to keep in mind after a spill has occurred that can help you clean up and prevent the next one.
Albert Einstein once wrote, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Simply put, coming up with creative and innovative solutions to problems oftentimes requires you to look at the problem with a fresh perspective. As we’ve discussed in previous TLM blog posts, recognizing and cutting down on waste is critical to increasing your efficiency, reducing costs, and improving throughput. However, in order to make these improvements and see positive changes in ROI, a key step is recognizing where problems exist and working to solve them.
To recognize and solve these problems, it is often helpful to view them with a different lens to reach a newfound conclusion. Toyota’s 8 steps for problem-solving act as the lens that allows you to view different aspects of your operation from a new perspective.
Consider these eight steps as you start on the path to continuous improvement.
The first step in solving a problem is realizing that one exists. You can define a problem by asking yourself the following questions:
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you know you have a problem that could use some improvement.
Now that you’ve verified the problem, you can begin to break down the issue into smaller, more detailed pieces. It can be helpful to analyze the different inputs and outputs of your process so you can effectively see where you are currently placing your efforts. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It is much easier to manage and solve smaller problems rather than attack one large problem with little direction.
The third step is all about commitment and consistency. Now that you’ve broken down the problem, how are you going to go about solving it? How are you going to meet your new deadline, and how long will it take to complete? Allot adequate time for each activity to ensure you are giving each aspect of the project enough attention.
Analyzing the root cause allows you to identify each of the factor(s) that caused a problem in the first place. Sometimes there is more than one cause, and it is important to consider each one as you work to address the issue.
Establishing the root cause is only half the battle. Now, you must develop countermeasures for each of those root causes to prevent the same issues from occurring again.
Now that you’ve established your countermeasures, it is time to put them into action. You may want to seek ideas from other team members to ensure you are not missing any steps. Also, it can be helpful to track how effective each countermeasure is performing along the way and making adjustments where necessary.
The seventh step is all about implementing a system to review and evaluate how your new process is working. Countermeasures will fail, but it is important to develop an effective system that always looks for areas of improvement in order to reach the desired result.
After receiving successful results from your previous evaluation, it is time to standardize the process within your team and the entire organization. As you work through the standardization process, continue to look for possible unresolved issues that you may have missed the first time.
Remember, the road to establishing a lean organization doesn’t stop once you improve a few processes. Lean isn’t just about identifying where you can do better; it’s about instilling a culture of respect and developing to create a workplace that your associates enjoy working in. Achieving business goals and leaner processes requires dedication and teamwork from every individual in the organization. Encourage open communication and empower your employees to bring problems to your attention when they are detected.
Evolving business needs often lead to major changes in organizations and operations. For the management of material handling applications, many companies have undergone a transformation to electric forklift fleets. It’s a trend that has occurred over the last decade for a variety of reasons – including rising environmental standards, the impact on total cost of ownership, and, in some cases, efficiency advantages that can be provided by electric forklifts under the right conditions.
Among those conditions to consider include:
If you determine an electric conversion is right for you, here are some things to consider as you begin on the path to transition.
What is my current ownership/financing model for forklifts?
How and when you make the transition to electric forklifts may be a matter of financing structure. Some organizations have full ownership over their fleet. If this is the case, you’ll need to make sure your usage either justifies a replacement process or that you can receive enough capital from resale to justify the transition to new/used electric models.
If you leased all trucks in your fleet simultaneously, prepare your conversion for the time those leases expire. Work with your forklift provider to facilitate transition to new leases – this can be easily facilitated by a provider who works directly with a captive finance company (like Toyota does with Toyota Industrial Commercial Finance).
Other organizations will have a mixture of leased and owned models, or leases that expire at different times. If this is the case, you’ll need to consider the more complicated question of whether your facility is equipped to perform a gradual transition, replacing internal combustion forklifts with electric forklifts as it make sense to do so. Maintaining operation and maintenance, as well as fueling and battery swapping activities, simultaneously can be time-consuming and have an impact on things like facility routing and organization. Make sure you’re equipped to handle it.
What do I need to do to prepare my facility for electric forklift conversion?
While you may be used to the speed and relatively low storage needs of swapping propane tanks to power your forklifts, providing energy to your electric models can take more storage space and time. Depending on the battery you select, storage for those batteries can be somewhat cumbersome. They are bigger and heavier than propane tanks and may have to swapped as often as every shift depending on your charging method and usage. Speaking of weight, you’ll also need dedicated space for swapping batteries and associates trained to do so. Preparing your facility for this kind of activity is important before you make the transition.
Making a transition to electric also means considering the type of battery you want to select – including traditional lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion batteries. Each can provide unique energy advantages that can be closely evaluated for your specific operation.
Work with a forklift provider who is well-versed in both IC and electric forklifts to help – Toyota authorized dealers can provide an audit of your site to help you prepare.
Is my workforce trained to operate electric forklifts?
After you work with a forklift provider to determine which electric models best fit your operation, you may find yourself with new machines that look and operate differently than your previous models. Remember, OSHA requires that operators be trained on every unique type of forklift that they use. Make sure your associates are properly trained in the use of new electric models.
The transition to electric can have long-term benefits for many operations. But careful evaluations of your preparedness to make the change needs to be completed before a final decision is reached.View original post HERE
Standing desks are all the rage now in today’s workplace. While many people I know with standing desks hardly use them, they’re at least there in case you want to stretch your legs every once in a while and get a good view around the office. And I suppose there are the health benefits of not sitting down throughout an entire work shift.
But choosing between a stand-up rider and sit-down forklift is about more than the potential health benefits. Using the correct piece of equipment can actually have a major impact on the safety of your workplace. This guide will help show you the pros and cons of both types of forklifts and point you in the right direction for your next purchase, lease, or rental decision.
On/Off Frequency – One of the main reasons you would consider using a stand-up rider is the fact that getting on and off the forklift can be considerably faster. With lower step heights and no seatbelt to take on and off, time spent entering and exiting can be cut down significantly. This is ideal for applications where operators are frequently getting off of the forklift throughout the course of their shift for activities such as picking product. The time and labor cost savings can really add up over time, depending on the frequency of operators’ getting on and off of the forklift.
Performance – Sit-down forklifts can have higher travel speeds and lift/lower speeds than stand-up riders, which can increase productivity and throughput in high volume applications.
Lifting Capacity – Stand-up rider and sit-down forklifts are both counterbalanced type forklifts. When comparing a stand-up rider to a 3-wheel electric with the same base capacity, you typically get more lifting capacity from the stand-up rider at higher lift heights due to the compact design and centralized center of gravity. Four-wheel electric models, however, typically attain the highest lifting capacities overall.
Purchase Price – The initial cost is typically higher for stand-up rider forklifts when compared to 3-wheel electric models.
Right Angle Stack – In general, right angle stacking capabilities are fairly similar between 3-wheel electric and stand-up rider models with similar capacities. Stand-up rider forklifts, however, usually have a small advantage due to their shorter length and can operate in slightly smaller aisles. Both stand-up rider and 3-wheel electric forklifts have a significant advantage over 4-wheel electrics in regard to minimum aisle width requirements.
Operator Preference – Operator preference tends to play a large role in most purchasing decisions for new equipment. Operators who are used to operating sit-down forklifts are generally resistant to swapping their sit-down for a stand-up rider and vice versa. The main reasons for this are the differences in operating position and operability. Stand-up riders are typically controlled by a single multi-function control handle while sit-down forklifts use conventional cowl-mounted levers or mini-levers. Sit-down forklifts also have traditional brake pedals, while stand-up riders use “plugging” (requesting travel in the opposite direction) for braking and have a dead man pedal for emergency braking. Being familiar with a particular operating style promotes safety and can help to increase productivity and operator confidence. But over time, operators tend to adjust and get used to the new controls and nuances.
As always, if you’re unsure of which product is right for you, reach out to your local, authorized Toyota dealer for advice and consultation based on your material handling needs. View original post HERE
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, rentals, parts, service, warehousing, racking, and lift truck operator training.
Nampa : (208) 466-8994
Twin Falls : (208) 466-8994
Idaho Falls : (208) 466-8994
Salt Lake : (801) 972-1930
Find A Forklift
Compare Our Forklifts
Request A Quote