Blog

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!  

 

Dec 28

Its no secret that warehouses have strict safety regulations to follow. Between facility and OSHA regulations, there are so many things to take into consideration to keep staff safe, and thats why Columbia works diligently to adhere to the highest safety standards and regulations.

Each vehicle is engineered with safety in mind. We offer many different upfits for visibility, safety restraints, speed restrictions, tires, and more! Columbia vehicles are built for work too, so you can rest assured that not only will the vehicle have the safest features possible, but it will also be able to tow, haul, or carry your staff, goods, or materials all day long!

Let's look at Columbia's line up to see how each vehicle is specifically engineered with warehouse safety in mind.

Columbia Chariot is built to transport key personnel quickly and safely throughout your facility. It is 3 times faster than walking and has 360 visability. The Chariot also keeps your personnel safe by removing the chances of people walking slowly through drive lanes and it makes them easier to see by bystanders and other equipment operators. It's narrow design allows for easy transportation through standard doorways as well. 

Columbia Expediter is uniquely suited to convert from carrying one to two passengers.  The rear seat area can be used to transport a small load or it can be converted to a second seat. It is designed to travel through narrow passageways and can be upfit from a 3 wheel to 4 wheel operation.

Columbia Payloader is ideal for your heavy loads. Its bed can be upfit for ladder racks, specialty equipment (tanks, welders, etc.), rails, passengers and more! With three different model tow capacities the possiblities are endless!

Columiba Stockchaser is the perfect vehicle to traverse narrow aisles to pick orders, restock, or carry maintenance equipment. The Stockchaser can be upfit for a wider deck area, double decking, or even an extended ladder!

 


Dec 21

Forklift spare parts might seem like dime-a-dozen commodities that can be purchased without paying much attention. But smart operations understand that the parts make up the whole, and the best way to maximize the value of your Toyota Forklift is to replace its parts with the originals – Toyota Genuine Parts. And the only place to get your Toyota Genuine Parts is from your local dealer, or the Toyota Forklift Store. You might pay more up front, but the long-term value of Toyota Genuine Parts comes from their quality, durability, and reliability.

What do we mean by quality? You bought your Toyota forklift for a reason. You know the brand and you know Toyota’s reputation for performance. Toyota Genuine Parts are made with the exact same care, quality materials and attention to detail as the forklifts are. Our forklifts are made with Toyota Genuine Parts.

What do we mean by durability and reliability? With Toyota Genuine Parts, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your forklift is going to work as hard as you do. Toyota Genuine Parts help increase your overall uptime and help keep you running longer; they’re manufactured to work and last.

But there are other good reasons to invest in Toyota Genuine Parts as well. We’re just getting started…

Toyota believes the Best Forklift Spare Parts are Guaranteed by an Industry-Leading Warranty

Toyota Genuine Parts are covered for two years or 4,000 hours from the date of purchase or installation. In those two years or 4,000 hours, Toyota will provide a replacement part or repair any Toyota replacement part that is defective under normal use and maintenance. Most importantly, Toyota will not charge for any warranty repair or warranty replacement work done at an authorized Toyota dealer in the U.S. during that time. In addition, labor will not be charged on a warranty repair/replacement if the work is performed by a Toyota Certified Technician!

At Toyota, we know our parts are quality, so we will always back them up in writing. Do the others do that?

Toyota Certified Technicians are trained using Toyota Genuine Parts

Toyota Certified Technicians go through a rigorous training process that includes hours of both classroom and field-supervised training. Our trainers are top-notch, and they won’t let a tech come work on your Toyota forklift until they can assure the highest quality work. And what do Toyota Certified Technicians use during this intensive training process? Toyota Genuine Parts. These are the foundation of the Toyota Certified Technicians’ education. They know them inside and out, just like they know every inch of your forklift model. When Toyota Technicians use the best forklift spare parts, you’ll get the best possible work. And that leads to more uptime. That leads to more success, and reinvestment in your business.

Operations who Order the Best Forklift Spare Parts Increase Uptime

Uptime is what we, in the material handling industry, all strive for. When we’re in uptime, we’re firing on all cylinders and getting more work done. We’re sure you can appreciate the same.

So, what’s the best way to keep your fleet running? That’s easy. Dependable, long-lasting parts. Toyota Genuine Parts. Toyota Genuine Parts are manufactured and engineered to work seamlessly with other parts in your Toyota forklift. When a Toyota Genuine Part is your replacement part, you are upgrading your equipment and increasing your uptime.

Aside from the obvious, why is uptime so important?

  • Customers like it. When a customer orders something, whatever it is, they usually want it quickly. Uptime means no delays because of the supply chain and quick order fulfillment.
  • You save your reputation. Today’s customers don’t just like things to be completed quickly, they demand it. The last thing you want is to gain a reputation of always having down equipment and therefore delivering things slowly.
  • You’re making good use of your money. The last thing you want is to be paying employees to be sitting around, because the tools they need to complete their job are down. When you are in uptime, your employees are able to do what you’re paying them to do.
  • Your productivity is increased. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’re not sitting around waiting for something like your forklift to be repaired.
  • You can be innovative. If you’re constantly waiting on down equipment, you’ll barely have time to do the necessities, let alone be innovative. With more uptime, you’ll get the essentials done quicker and therefore, have more time for innovation and improvement.

Toyota Carries Forklift Spare Parts that are Compatible with Other Manufacturers

Even when you have a mixed fleet, Toyota is your one-stop-shop with our STARLIFT program. Complementing Toyota Genuine Parts, STARLIFT is a parts program that makes forks, tires, oils/chemicals, batteries and other replacement parts available for Toyota forklift mixed-fleet customers.

The forks that come standard on your Toyota forklift are the same forks the STARLIFT program offers. Toyota works with two fork manufacturers, Arrow and Cascade. Both are long-standing companies that focus solely on material handling products.

The next time you need forks, make it easy on yourself and go to your one-stop-shop Toyota forklift dealer and ask about the STARLIFT Parts program.

 

 

 

Dec 15

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

Proper Handling

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

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

Proper Charging

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

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

Dec 07

Part of Toyota’s electric product line includes order pickers, which are commonly used in narrow aisle warehouses, distribution centers, and fulfillment centers. If you think your operations could benefit from a Toyota Order Picker, take a look at some of the more common questions below and see!

What is an order picker?

An order picker forklift is a piece of equipment used to help operators pick and deliver materials needed for filling out orders. They are designed take the forklift operator up to the rack with or without a load. Commonly, the forks hold a load that is being added to, not being put away. Designed for applications that require an operator to be at the same level as the inventory to pick a specific order, order pickers can help increase efficiency of the users when used in the correct setting. Need some more explanation? Check out the Toyota Order Picker official video below.

When are order pickers used?

Order pickers are commonly used by warehouses and distribution centers in an order fulfillment application. They are a great option for those needing to remove individual items from shelving. Order pickers can also effectively navigate in narrow aisle environments, which makes them ideal for warehouses that are looking to maximize space and capacity by moving racking closer together.

Why would I want an order picker?

It’s inefficient to pull an entire pallet down to remove just one or two items. If you’re continuously needing to take just one item off a rack, an order picker is a better option for you than a traditional forklift. Order pickers also provide more flexibility in narrow aisle applications. You could always contact your local Toyota Forklift dealer and discuss the possibility of a warehouse consultation. They will be able to offer suggestions on racking, pieces of equipment, and plenty more to help maximize efficiency in your operations.

How do order pickers run?

Order pickers are electric and run through the use of rechargeable batteries, very similar to traditional electric forklifts. Order pickers can be manually steered, but in narrow aisle applications, order pickers are commonly guided electronically with wires (usually under the warehouse floor) or mechanically with special profiles fitted on both sides of the aisle and attached to the warehouse floor. Wire guidance systems can be extremely effective when used in the correct setting, and could help reduce the risk of operators hitting the racking, and damaging the forklift, the product, or the racking itself.

Toyota Order Picker

Toyota’s Order Picker is a great option for those challenging high-reaching warehouse needs. It has a maximum reach height of 390 inches on select models, and can come with a 24-volt or 36-volt electrical system. Toyota offers three models to help fit your needs.

8BPUE15 – (24 Volt) For Value Driven Applications

8BPU15 – (24 Volt) For higher lifting and efficiency

8BPUH – (36 Volt) Best for High-throughput applications

Each model also comes with an optional rail and wire guidance system to help reduce the risk of operator driving errors. Like mentioned before, this can help protect your drivers, the forklift, as well as your product.

Lift Logic

Toyota’s Order Picker also comes with optional Lift Logic, which continuously monitors speed and lift height, allowing for optimized travel speed. This helps operators increase productivity. Lift logic boosts efficiency well beyond conventional lift/lowering speed monitoring systems.

 

If your order picking need is primarily ground level, check out the End-Controlled Rider Pallet Jack or a few other Toyota products that can help. To learn more about the Toyota Order Picker, or any other Toyota Forklift products, request a brochure, or you can contact your local Toyota Forklift dealer and see how we can help keep your operations moving.

 

Dec 05

Unlike traditional, sit-down forklifts, order pickers travel parallel to racking so that operators can pick products to build out orders. Travelling this close to racking, however, can be a tedious affair. Operators must strike a balance between being close enough to the racking to make the perfect pick, yet still have enough space to travel safely down the aisle without hitting the racking.

Guidance systems such as rail and wire guidance can be useful tools for reducing product, racking, and forklift damage. While both rail and wire guidance systems offer similar benefits, the differences in installation and how they function make each option ideal for some applications over others.

Rail Guidance

Rail guidance systems use physical boundaries to keep order pickers on the desired path. Physical rails need to be installed into the ground in front of the racking to set the path on which the forklift runs. Guide rollers installed on both sides of the order picker allow the forklift to contact the rails on each side and continue to travel down the aisle, potentially minimizing damage to the racking, product, and the order picker. Many advanced systems, such as Toyota’s double rail guidance option with auto-center steering have one unique guide roller with a sensor switch that, when contacted, automatically centers the drive tire, enabling the order picker to continue straight through the rest of the aisle.

Since every application varies, it is important to configure the rails and guide rollers appropriately so that operators can work productively and safely within each aisle. The configuration should also cause minimal hindrances to their ability to travel and pick product. In some cases, the rails actually need to be built into the rack depending on the aisle width and available space between the front face of the rack and the rail.

Wire Guidance

Wire guidance systems require installation of a wire into the ground that is detected by sensors on the truck. These sensors detect the wire and the forklift follows the wire’s path.  Travel of the order picker becomes limited to the set confines of the wire’s physical location in the ground. Some wire guidance settings are configurable, such as end of aisle slowdown and travel speed that can be set based on your application’s needs.

One advantage of wire guidance systems is that the operator can turn off the guidance system when needed to allow for travel outside of the confines of the wire. This is helpful in certain situations where travel within the confines of the wire limits the forklift’s ability to travel based on the product they are picking and the aisle in which they are operating. Similar to rail guidance, wire guidance can be used in any aisle type, but is most commonly found in narrow and very narrow aisle applications. Wire guidance systems allow the operator to relinquish steering control when the system is active within the aisle, allowing operators to focus more on travel and lift, which can further increase productivity.

Making a Decision

A number of factors can affect your decision about the guidance system you want to purchase. Pricing between the two different systems can vary greatly, especially depending upon the size of your fleet and your warehouse. Wire guidance systems tend to be more expensive to install for both the sensors and equipment added to the forklift and for the wires and electrical installation at your facility.

Next, you have to consider how the two different types of guidance can affect your operation. Applications with larger aisles where the operator must travel between racking on both sides may benefit more from a physical guidance system that would allow that type of travel. In addition, depending on the type, size, and weight of the product you are picking, the distance from the racking required to make a safe pick may vary. Finding the right balance between limiting the distance between the order picker and the racking and optimizing the distance for safe, efficient picking plays a significant role in the choice that you will make.

Remember, guidance systems can provide increased productivity and reduce product damage, but they are not ideal for every application. When selecting the right guidance system, make sure to work with a professional who knows your operation and can guide you through the entire process. Dillon Toyota Lift is available to help with designing the optimal layout for your operation to maximize productivity and improve your warehousing efficiency.
 

Original Post HERE


Dec 03

Less maintenance, lower costs, environmental sustainability, and overall worker satisfaction are a few key benefits of using next-generation lithium-ion batteries (sometimes called LIBs) in forklifts.

Why Are Lithium Ion Batteries Best for Forklifts?

These batteries offer a broad range of advantages for many warehouses and distribution centers because of the ease of charging. Opportunity charging provides the ability to plug in the battery without taking it out of the forklift, as opposed to swapping batteries its lead-acid counterpart requires.

High-throughput operations tend to see the biggest bang for their buck when using LIBs, but the benefits are broader than just the return on investment. As the technology behind these batteries advances, we see a broader range of companies using them.

Benefits of Using a Lithium Ion Forklift Battery

Here are the 7 biggest reasons for your company to explore using lithium-ion batteries:

  1. Improved Energy Bills

Lithium-ion forklift batteries are more energy-efficient and charge faster than lead-acid batteries, saving you time and money.

  1. Equipment Longevity

Your lithium-ion battery will typically last two to four times longer than a lead acid battery. This helps you keep up with those long workdays.

  1. Less Downtime

Lithium-ion batteries don’t need to be swapped out and can be opportunity-charged during operator breaks.

  1. Reduced Labor Costs

Lithium-ion forklift batteries don’t require traditional maintenance like watering or equalizing.

  1. Better Productivity

Operators can enjoy longer run-times and zero decline in performance as the battery discharges with forklifts powered by lithium-ion batteries.

  1. Less Environmental Impact

Lithium-ion batteries have no emissions and their longevity may mean less battery disposal in the future.

  1. Onsite Real Estate

Businesses can reclaim the area being using as a charging room for additional storage.

To learn more about the benefits of lithium-ion technology, click here to download the whitepaper Making the Case for Next-Generation Forklift Power Sources.

 

Nov 24

These maintenance tips will help you keep your Columbia fleet in service safely and effectively.

  1. Perform a thorough inspection of all wiring harnesses with particular attention to evidence of rodent habitation. If evidence is found, it may be necessary to remove vehicle components for a more detailed inspection. Rodent damage to wire harnesses can cause severe failures.
  2. Inspect electrical connections for corrosion and clean, as necessary.
  3. Operate the brakes and monitor for correct performance. After operating, ensure the pedal returns to its correct ready position.
  4. Operate the throttle and monitor for correct performance. After operating, ensure it returns to the correct ready position.
  5. Measure battery pack voltage. Extremely low voltages may require independent charging before the vehicle charger will charge the battery pack. Extreme low voltages will fall in these ranges: 5.3V and lower for 6V batteries, 7.2V and lower for 8V Batteries, 10.3V and lower on 12V batteries.

These simple tips will help ensure your vehicle is ready for the toughest conditions. If you find any damage during these inspections, make sure to contact us and we can provide the parts and service that may be needed to get your vehicles back to peak performance.

To view the complete line of Columbia Utility Vehicles, click here!


Nov 20

With the ability to operate in very narrow aisles in the warehouse – available in electric and LPG - the Aisle Master articulated forklift increases and maximizes storage capacity. What’s more, by using the one truck, users can increase productivity and eliminate time-consuming double handling and speed up “truck to rack” operations.

Increase Your Storage Capacity by up to 50%

When you require additional warehouse space, you have two options ­– extend your existing facility or move premises. With an Aisle Master articulated forklift, you have a third option. By optimizing your racking layout and reducing aisle widths down to as little as 1.6 m, you can dramatically increase your storage capacity within your existing facility. Greater reach and capacity mean a 50% increase in warehouse storage and reduced costs.

Versatility

Each VNA truck can operate on any floor surface, both inside and out, eliminating the need for both reach and counterbalance machines, minimising costs. Effortlessly save time and money with the one truck transporting loads from trailer to racking position in a single operation. Thanks to the large rubber tires, operators can make light work of loading and offloading in semi-rough yards while enjoying a smooth ride regardless of the terrain, eliminating the need for both reach and counterbalance machines, thus minimizing costs.

Work Stronger for Longer and Reduce Costs

High quality, robust construction of chassis and mast means Aisle Master are designed to withstand heavy-duty use inside and out. Each VNA, articulated forklift truck is manufactured to the highest standards using high-grade steel and castings. All Aisle Master product is uniquely factory backed by a 5-year or 5,000 hours parts warranty as standard, giving you total peace of mind across the life of your truck and ensuring lowest total cost of ownership.

Ergonomics & Visibility

Driver comfort and safety included as standard: enhanced cabin ergonomics and superb visibility lead to fewer operator health problems and less downtime, boosting driver satisfaction and productivity. Easy operation gives greater efficiency and higher productivity – resulting in better use of space and lower operating costs.


Nov 16

Cascade-KOOI Reachforks® provide improved versatility with automatically adjustable fork lengths. With Reachforks, you are equipped to easily manage different pallet sizes or handle multiple pallets at once. They even provide the capacity for double-deep racking, improving workflow and use of space in warehousing.

Increase the efficiency of your lift truck by using Cascade-KOOI Hydraulic Reachforks® or Hydraulic Fork Extensions. With Telescopic Forks, trailers can be loaded and unloaded from one side for increased efficiency. Usage of warehouse space can be improved by taking advantage of double-deep racking and utilizing Reachforks®. Hydraulic Fork Extensions are designed to handle different pallets (GMA/Block pallets) from either the long or short side of the pallet. Simply adjust the fork length to your long pallet or multiple pallet depth and pick the load.

Features

  • Synchronized fork movement is ensured by the Reachfork® equalizer system, eliminating the need for a separate flow divider.
  • Unique design outer sleeve includes an integrated wear plate.
  • A reinforced heel design reduces deflection.
  • Specially designed wiper ring protects internal hydraulic components.
  • ISO ITA Class II, III, or IV mounting as standard for quick installation.

Options

  • Available in a variety of standard lengths and strokes with custom lengths available on special order.
  • Pin type, Drop Shank, and Custom mountings available.
  • Slim model ReachForks® available for easy entry on the shorter side pockets of some pallets.
  • Pallet Stops to prevent outer fork from protruding past the pallet entry.
  • Fork Positioner Shank Lugs and Rolling Hose Kits to easily integrate into a Fork Positioner.
  • Load Backrest to support load when moving forward.
  • Extra wear strips under forks to improve fork life.
  • Stainless steel components to minimize electrical ignition hazards.
 

https://youtu.be/wcJMxkegxA0  

 

 


Nov 11

Electric forklifts can be beneficial in many different work indoor applications (and now even outdoors with Toyota’s 80-Volt Electric Pneumatic Forklift). Using electric forklifts in your warehouse is one of the most common uses of these machines and for good reason. Electric warehouse forklifts can reduce fuel costs and be charged at intervals that can maximize efficiency across shifts. Take a look at some of the following benefits electric forklifts could have in your warehouse space.

Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Less Noise

You may not think about it, but having a quieter forklift may impact you or your operator’s ability to operate safely and effectively in certain applications. In smaller, confined spaces, with multiple forklifts running, it could get pretty loud. With electric forklifts, it lowers the noise level, allowing for easier communication, and less fatigue from your operators. Really, the only noise that electric forklifts have is the horn. In certain warehouses, this can make it easier for operators and pedestrians to hear forklift horns, co-workers, or other important workplace sounds.

Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Lower Emissions

When you are using a gas or LPG burning forklift, you are producing emissions that could be harmful to your associates and products if not properly addressed. Electric forklifts do not generate any CO emissions. This helps keep your employees healthy and lower the impact of emissions in your warehouse.

Certain products can also be harmed by emissions including food items, other perishables, and various consumer products. Toyota electric forklifts come in a wide variety of lifting capacities to fit many different applications. Also, 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.

Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: A Wide Range of Options

Because your warehouse needs to maximize space, it could be hard to fit a full-sized forklift down your narrow aisles. An electric warehouse forklift can help solve that issue. At Toyota, we have many different electric forklifts to fit your needs. Maybe you need to squeeze in those narrow aisles? The 3-wheel electric would be perfect. It has a tighter turn radius than most forklifts but still has the capacity to lift up to 4,000 lbs. Maybe your warehouse stacks pallets behind each other. This is where reach trucks work great. Being able to place pallets in front of each other makes sure you are maximizing your warehouse space and racking. No matter what type of warehouse blueprint you have, Toyota Material Handling has an electric forklift to fit your needs!

Electric Warehouse Forklift Benefits: Operating Cost

When it comes to the operating cost of forklifts, electric forklifts can usually be lower than that of internal combustion models. While IC models run on gas, electric forklifts run on, well, electricity! You may need to set up a charging station in your warehouse, but the cost of electricity can be significantly lower than that of fuel.

While IC models are still the most popular in the market, electric forklifts are increasing in popularity. So remember, if you are looking to increase productivity and ROI in your warehouse, take a look at all of the different electric forklift options from Toyota.

Written By: Lucas Collom, Toyota Material Handling, USA


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