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Welcome to Dillon Toyota Lift's blog. Here you will find everything from product features, industry education, operator insights, racking, warehouse design, material handling solutions, safety, trends, best practices and more!
Columbia has a reputation for being the most robust utility vehicle line-up on the market, and in an effort to deliver the best transportation solutions for your needs, we’ve re-envisioned the Columbia line-up. We’d like to (re)introduce you to the Magnificent 7: Chariot, Expediter, Stockchaser, Journeyman, Utilitruck, Custom Platform, and our ever popular Payloader. Each of these vehicles are ideally suited for different tasks, so let’s look at the new line-up a little more closely, and see how each vehicle can meet your transportation needs.
Stockchaser: Replace large, inefficient material handlers with a smaller, faster utility vehicle perfect for order-picking, stock replenishment, towing, hauling and more. An industry leading 48-volt electric power system and 133-inch turning radius make it the perfect choice to handle loads in tight spaces just about anywhere—all day long. Stand-up operation and adjustable backrest provide safety and comfort while a tubular steel chassis and steel body panels make it as rugged as it is maneuverable.
Custom Platform: Our Custom Platform's innovative design offers various drive axle and battery pack configurations for optimal balance in payload carrying capacity, maximum range, and top turning performance. An optional Speed Rail Attach System allows for hundreds of platform upfits.
What powers your operation now? What energy sources will keep your business moving efficiently and cost-effectively in the future?
However you answer these questions, Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions is our promise to continually be at the forefront of new technological development, providing reliable solutions for your ever-evolving energy needs.
As you work to optimize your fleet amid increasing environmental standards and throughput expectations, Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions is your partner at every step of the journey. We deliver service and expertise — as only Toyota can — through our commitment to quality, forward-thinking innovation, and the support of the largest dealer network in North America.
Here are five tools and services Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions offers you:
Toyota Forklift dealers offer free, on-site consultation services to help identify the best practices and energy management solutions that will work for you.
Utilizing the resources made exclusively available through Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions, Toyota dealers are uniquely positioned to optimize your operation with the latest technological innovations tested and approved by Toyota, such as:
An extensive selection of lead acid and TPPL batteries, as well as approved alternative energy sources (including lithium-ion batteries), allows Toyota to uniquely pair up the best forklifts in the industry with the most efficient and cost-effective power sources. Some of the potential benefits include:
Your Toyota Forklift dealer can help you increase energy efficiency and lower operational cost — simply by matching your chosen energy source with an optimal charger! They’ll use battery monitoring equipment to pinpoint efficiencies that can be gained through an appropriate battery/charger combination.
Some charger considerations include:
Peace of mind. That’s what you get with Toyota Industrial Energy Solutions — because you’ll know:
Keeping up with increasingly stringent emissions regulations has never been simpler. Your Toyota Forklift dealer can assist you with CARB fleet averaging and optimizing your product mix to fit your unique application and regulatory needs.
Dillon Toyota Lift can help you apply and benefit from the energy-saving and waste-reducing practices Toyota is known for, including lean thinking and the Toyota Production System.
Original Post: Shannon Potelicki, Content & Communications Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling
Lead acid batteries are one of the most neglected pieces of equipment in material handling. Low water levels, corrosion, and electrolyte spillage are common issues that need to be monitored on a daily basis, but one practice that tends to be forgotten is the equalization charge. So, what is an equalization charge? I’m glad you asked!
An equalization charge occurs when the battery is purposely overcharged after a full charging cycle. Essentially, you are charging the battery at a higher voltage than it is typically charged to help remove built-up sulfate and balance the voltage of each cell.
If you don’t equalize your lead acid batteries, this sulfate is going to build up over time until it decreases the battery’s capacity. This buildup will effectively reduce your maximum run time, leading to more battery swaps or more time spent opportunity charging throughout the work shift. The voltage imbalance has a similar effect. Batteries work by using multiple cells that are connected in series to provide a certain voltage output. When you have varying power outputs in each cell, your overall battery voltage is reduced and your battery becomes discharged more quickly.
Equalization charges should be performed as suggested by the battery manufacturer, but many companies equalize their batteries over the weekend due to the long charging cycle. A full charge cycle is around eight hours for a standard lead acid battery and the equalization charge can be around an additional three hours. Equalization intervals will vary depending on your specific application, type and size of battery, and average operating hours.
First, you need a charger capable of equalization, as not all battery chargers have the same capabilities. Ensure you have the proper charging equipment for all of your forklifts. Some battery chargers will automatically equalize the batteries. This capability is more common in more sophisticated systems on smaller products such as electric walkie pallet jacks. Toyota’s 8HBW23 model, for example, automatically equalizes each battery cell during normal charging.
For batteries that do require manual equalization, be sure to follow all instructions provided by both the battery and the charger manufacturer to ensure you are following the appropriate steps for proper equalization. Equalization charges typically require longer cooldowns than normal charges due to the higher amount of voltage. Allow enough time for cooldown prior to using a battery that has been recently charged.
Running a material handling business is a tall task – not only do you have to monitor your product, your sales, and your employees, you also have to ensure your forklift fleet is operating at its best capacity. Malfunctioning and overheating forklifts can skyrocket your operating costs and require expensive repairs. So what do you do if you’ve followed all maintenance suggestions and they are still overheating? Here are three areas that may be the cause of your forklift running hot:
The first area to check is also the easiest to fix: are routine maintenance tasks being completed correctly? Issues such as low coolant levels or worn hoses can contribute to a forklift’s overheating. If your on-site tech stretches parts past their optimal use, such as clogged filters, your forklifts could be choking on thick, dusty air. Worn fans or damaged radiators can also contribute to high running temperatures in material handling equipment.
The same advice for workers in high temperatures applies to your forklifts – give them frequent breaks and make sure their fluids are topped off.
Is your work yard paved or on packed dirt? Excessive dust, debris, and rough terrain can put additional demands on your forklifts and cause unforeseen maintenance problems. If this is a recurrent summer problem then the outside temperature can even be to blame. The same advice for workers in high temperatures applies to your forklifts – give them frequent breaks and make sure their fluids are topped off. If your forklifts are overheating indoors then you’ll want to survey your work area to find issues. Is the floor dusty or dirty? Are pieces of paper, pallet wrap, or other debris being left on the ground where they can clog filters? Once you find these issues then you can optimize your work areas to prevent damage.
If it’s not maintenance or environmental issues causing your overheating problems, then you need to check on how you are driving the equipment. If you are overloading the forklift with loads above capacity, this can cause overheating and create unnecessary risks for product damage and accidents. Are you driving forklifts constantly at top speeds? This can also contribute to high heats.
Many IC forklifts come equipped with an inching pedal to use when maneuvering your forklift while raising the mast to retrieve loads. If you are “riding” this pedal while driving it can cause many problems, as it slightly applies the brakes. The inching pedal should only be used when retrieving loads.
Once you’ve identified the cause of the problem and put a fix in place, ask why it arose in the first place. Are you overworking forklifts due to high expectations? Should your work area floor upkeep be added to existing maintenance plans? Don’t just solve the problem. Find a solution to keep it from happening again.
“The Heat Is On” is more than just a popular song by Eagles lead singer Glenn Frey, it’s also a great metaphor for forging and casting applications. And the heat isn’t just on the street, it’s also on your forklift and on forklift operators. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can combat these high temperatures to increase productivity and reduce the possibility of premature wear on your equipment.
Toyota has specially designed packages to help alleviate problems associated with high-heat applications and the foundry package is a great place to start. Toyota’s foundry package typically includes the following features depending on the model and truck configuration:
This package is available through special design request and is designed to provide the most common heat-resistant features normally required in the forging, foundry, and casting industries. It is a great starting point for applications where hydraulic failures are a concern due to high ambient temperatures.
As you can imagine, high heat and high cycle applications can be harmful to your forklift’s engine and powertrain components. This is one reason why Toyota’s 8-series IC forklifts come standard with built-in engine protection. This system uses the forklift’s controller to monitor engine coolant temperatures and other potential malfunctions. When a malfunction is detected, the engine power is limited to prevent further damage to the engine. It’s a great feature that reduces the possibility of failure due to prolonged use or operator error.
Cooling and Ventilation
High ambient temperatures can create a lot of heat buildup throughout the forklift, so it’s best to outfit your forklift with specific optional features as needed. One concern in this type of environment is operator safety and comfort in high-heat conditions. Options such as an enclosed cabin, air conditioning, and fans can keep operators cool and increase productivity by lowering ambient temperature in the cab.
You also have to consider the effect the temperature can have on your internal components. Toyota’s engine protection system certainly helps, but proper cooling and ventilation can go even further to reduce downtime and maintenance. Toyota offers a wide variety of options and special designs to fit your application’s needs, including:
These are just a few of the most common ways to deal with high heat, but each application is unique and has exacting demands. We are here to help determine what is best for your facility and outfit your forklifts accordingly. A simple site survey could mean the difference between sweating it out and being as cool as a cucumber.
Nearly 100 workers are killed each year in forklift related accidents. 24% of these accidents are the result of rollovers. Other accidents include works being struck by the forklift load, by the forklift itself, or workers falling off the forklift. The need to give safety your utmost attention as a business operator is made clear when assessing the statistics associated with forklift accidents. For example:
Keeping these serious and troubling statistics in mind, implementing best practices in your facility in regard to safety is highly important.
Improper forklift operation results in accidents, damage to products and facilities, and is the result of law suits for companies each year. By following OSHA regulations and adopting strict training rules and regulations at your organization, you can prevent these accidents.
While following these procedures can result in an improved safety setting, below are some specific situations where safety questions and concerns continually arise.
Beyond following these rules for safety success, giving special attention to your facilities can help to improve safety in your operations. There are some general pieces of advice that can be followed, but remember, the unique needs and designs of your operation will ALWAYS dictate what safe practice looks like. Be sure to thoroughly analyze the safety of your site before making any major changes.
So, you’ve purchased a 6,000 lb. forklift. That means you can lift 6,000 lbs. at all times, no matter what, right? Wrong.
The capacity rating of a forklift is the maximum weight at which it is able to safely maneuver at a specific load center. If the forks are not at that exact load center, if the mast type has been changed, or if attachments have been added, the forklift is not capable of maneuvering that load safely.
To avoid making the colossal mistake of exceeding your forklift’s maximum capacity, remember the following:
Though forklift accidents are becoming less frequent every year, one main cause of forklift accidents is an operator trying to maneuver loads that exceed the forklift’s capacity rating. Talk to your local Toyota Forklift Dealer to learn more about forklift capacity ratings and which forklift would be best for you and your business.
Forklift safety is no laughing matter. Toyota makes it our priority to ensure that safety is at the forefront of all of our manufacturing processes and training efforts. But while safety comes standard at Toyota, it’s the responsibility of operators and their managers to be sure that Toyota forklifts are being used appropriately. When risks are taken in the name of having fun or joking around, accidents are bound to happen.
Operators should monitor their personal behavior. But a good working environment means that operators are also looking out for each other as well. That means reporting inappropriate behavior when they see it. Here are a few clear examples of inappropriate forklift use for which operators and managers should be on the lookout:
At Toyota, we make industry-leading forklifts with a guarantee of quality, durability, value, and reliability. And our first priority is always your safety. If you or your associates need help recognizing appropriate and inappropriate forklift use, Dillon Toyota Lift offers operator safety training.
A site survey is when a trained warehouse consultant visits a work space to help maximize the business’ work place through racking, equipment, and a multitude of other factors. Their job is to help a business work as efficiently as possible and utilize all the space a company owns. But why should you think about getting one? Below are a few reasons.
Once a warehouse consultant comes on the scene at the time and date arranged specifically for the site survey, it doesn’t take long for them to identify opportunities that can carry already profitable business even further.
For example, let’s say a company is pulling pallets with a reach truck, bringing the pallets down, removing the product, and then putting the pallet back up onto the racking unit. In this case, a Toyota order picker may be a more optimal equipment choice to get the job done.
Often times, companies have already thought of this, but their response as to why they haven’t done it yet is usually: “We’ve always done it this way.” Those words echo through warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, and often deter operations managers from making the moves they must make in order to meet the changing demands of the modern-day distribution environment.
For those companies that do embrace change, a site survey typically starts by inventorying all forklifts and determining how that equipment is being used in the facility.
On the warehouse floor, a site survey can help detect storage problems (e.g., stacks of pallets that are pushed into corners using hand pallet jacks), inventory management issues, and poor use of vertical space. There are times when managers say they don’t have enough space, but only have product stacked 12 feet high in a building with 25 foot ceilings. This is an opportunity for the warehouse to grow up, instead of out. The site survey will also help determine the best equipment for this type of application, such as order pickers, reach truck, or a combination of both.
All of these steps culminate into a complete warehouse optimization package designed to help operations achieve and exceed their customer service, safety, and profitability goals. By getting material handling professionals involved early in the process, these operations may be able to optimize their space and equipment in a way that they may not have been able to handle on their own.
If you would like to learn more about site surveys and warehouse consultations, download our free E-book, “Making the Case for Warehouse Consultants.”
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.
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:
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:
Toyota Forklifts lead the industry with innovative designs and top-of-the-line customer support. At Toyota, safety comes standard, and we spend time each day developing ways to keep everyone in your facility protected, healthy, and productive. We start with the top safety concerns and ask, “what can we do to improve our engineering to help make people safer?” It’s part of our culture of continuous improvement. We’re always pushing ourselves toward what next. And it’s what led us to develop the best safety features in the industry.
Toyota’s forward-thinking engineering is what helps make Toyota Forklifts some of the safest forklifts on the market. Asking the tough questions, we found that tip-overs and falling loads were some of the most common causes of forklift accidents. So Toyota engineers went to work, and, in 1999, introduced the System Active of Stability, which comes standard on most Toyota forklifts. In conjunction with Active Mast Control, Toyota engineering is a must for the most safety-conscious operations managers.
But Toyota’s safety innovation does not stop at these unique features. We employ safety-first thinking in all of our manufacturing, developing the best solutions for features that seem common. The unique-Toyota approach? Safety always in manufacturing:
These innovations in engineering are excellent and can lead to increased safety in your facility. But the best way to make sure your forklift is in optimal working condition is to use a forklift safety checklist as part of your daily walk around on your forklift. Here’s one example of those features on your Toyota Forklift that would benefit from routine checks.
All Toyota forklifts are engineered with safety in mind. That includes every part of the forklift, including one of the most important parts: the forks. But no matter how well a forklifts is engineered, using them appropriately is the responsibility of the operator. The forks can represent a problem area if used inappropriately. Be sure to regularly use a fork caliper to inspect the forks and employ the following best practices:
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
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