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!  


Jun 01

Every day, forklift operators have a commitment to safety and protection for themselves and those around them.  Toyota forklifts have overhead guards designed to help protect operators from falling objects and other obstructions in your facility.

Since their development in the 1960’s, forklift overhead guards have helped to protect operators from falling packages, boxes, and bagged materials. The overhead guard itself is a cage-like sturdy structure covering the overhead of the operator. It is designed with small openings as to not obscure the operators view when looking up to place and retrieve loads. Per OSHA requirements and ANSI standards, they are required for the protection and safety of the forklift operator.

While overhead guards are a vital safety asset to any forklift machine, they are not meant to protect against every possible impact.  For example, in the event of a falling capacity load, the support of the overhead guard structure that received the heaviest loading is designed to absorb energy and deform to deflect the falling capacity load. This is a hazardous situation for an operator, as falling loads are unpredictable. Therefore, the specific training and safety procedures and protocol in your facility should be adhered to and overhead guards are not a substitute for good judgment and care in load handling. A daily inspection of the overhead guards to check for anything broken, damaged, or missing could help to prevent serious accidents. Some additional helpful safety measures in overhead guard usage include:.

  • Wear a hard hat for additional overhead protection when applicable.

Certain industries require hard hat usage when operating forklifts. You should analyze your facilities and application to see whether this is a necessary precaution.

  • Always keep hands,feet and other body parts inside the forklift

Falling objects could come from any direction. It’s vital to keep your whole body within the bounds of the forklift and under the overhead guard. The overhead guard is intended for protection while an operator is within the confines of the seat.  Also, operators are prohibited from operating forklifts with their hands, arms, feet, legs or any other body parts around the overhead guard supports or while outside the overhead guard.

  • Never try to fix an overhead guard without professional help

Always reach your local dealer with assistance repairing or replacing an overhead guard. It is against OSHA requirements to use a forklift with a damaged overhead guard.

  • Get any additions approved by your manufacturer

Any modification to the forklift including its overhead guard that alters the specs of the forklift can cause potential hazards. You are required to get manufacturer approval before making alterations to the forklift including its overhead guard that affect safe forklift operation.

Original Post: Anna Harris, TMHU Marketing Intern

May 26

Building a forklift that works perfectly for every application can be challenging. After all, what works for a small mom and pop retail store may not work as well for a high-throughput forging application. Options such as lights and attachments allow you to customize each forklift to fit your needs, but did you know that adjusting forklift settings can be just as critical to optimizing performance and efficiency?

Many forklifts today come standard with pre-set performance and operational settings that can be adjusted either through a built-in multi-function display or an external device such as a laptop. Toyota’s Core Electric and 3-Wheel Electric models, for example, each have over 60 different settings that can be fine-tuned through the display. These settings are protected via passwords to prevent access to unauthorized users.

Settings on Toyota forklifts are highly adjustable as most parameters have eight or more levels of adjustment. Understanding how these settings affect forklift operation is the first step in realizing productivity and efficiency gains. Below are a few examples of settings that can be adjusted and how they can impact your operation. If you feel like you may benefit from optimizing your forklift’s parameters.

Toyota Forklift Acceleration, Speed, and Braking Adjustments

Travel/Acceleration – These speeds can be adjusted to increase productivity or slow down forklifts for when precise handling is necessary. These settings can also provide energy savings in applications where quick acceleration or faster travel speeds are not necessary.

Accelerator Pedal Response* – Adjusts sensitivity to the initial depression of the accelerator pedal. Higher settings will reduce the delay between when the pedal is depressed and when the forklift begins to accelerate.

Rollback Speed* – Trucks with the rollback feature have a momentary delay followed by a controlled descent when the accelerator pedal is released while on a grade. This setting allows the travel speed and time before rollback to be adjusted.

Over Speed Alarm – An alarm sounds on the forklift when a pre-set travel speed is exceeded.

Regenerative Braking* – Adjusts how quickly the truck slows down when the operator’s foot is taken off of the accelerator pedal. Strength of “plugging” response can also be adjusted (when travel direction is switched between forward and reverse).

Toyota Forklift Lift, Maintenance, and Power Adjustments

Hydraulic Functions – Lift, lower, tilt, and attachment speeds are all adjustable. This includes starting, inching, maximum, acceleration, and deceleration settings. These settings can also provide energy savings in applications where faster hydraulic speeds are not necessary.

Lift Interrupt Level* – Used to tune the depth of discharge of a battery before the truck reaches lift interrupt. When the battery reaches the set level, the lift function will be disallowed. This allows the forklift to be matched to the battery size and type that is installed.

Planned Maintenance Hour Meter – An alarm sounds to inform the operator when the forklift is due for planned maintenance. The maintenance period can be adjusted and the alarm can be overridden.

Engine Auto Off/Auto Power Off – Engine (IC models) or battery power (electric models) will automatically turn off during a certain period of inactivity. The amount of time before it turns off can be adjusted or the setting can be turned off entirely.

*Applies to electric forklifts only.

Original Post: Trinton Castetter, Product Marketing Specialist, TMH

May 18

How to Easily Find Forklift Parts Online

What’s the hardest thing about buying replacement parts for your forklift online? Many would say picking the right part to fit your model. To mitigate this issue, Toyota Forklifts has incorporated a parts finder for our online catalog that allows you to enter your model and serial number and find parts for your specific truck.

Simply enter your model and serial number, click “Search Parts” and start shopping for parts online!

After searching your model and serial number, finding the right part is easy. You can either click down through the different parts groups or simply use the keyword search bar provided for your truck.

Start adding parts to your cart as you find what you’re looking to buy. Once you are done shopping, click Secure Checkout for an easy and convenient checkout process.

During the checkout process, we will determine your local dealer based on your shipping address. You will then have varying shipping options created to fit your needs ranging from Pick Up in Store (Free!), Standard Delivery, or Expedited Delivery. If you are still unsure what parts to buy or want some expert advice, contact Dillon Toyota Lift.

May 11

In the heartland of the United States lies a small farming town with big city architecture and some of America’s most important engineering operations. Columbus, Indiana is the home of Toyota Forklift and we are proud to be assembled in the USA.

The American economy is a well-oiled intricate connection of businesses working together. At Toyota Forklifts, we know that if we get our jobs done in manufacturing, other businesses are getting their jobs done all across the country. At our Columbus, Indiana headquarters, we are proud to employ thousands of hard working Americans. Outside of our home base, 66 members of the Toyota dealer network sell forklifts straight to the hands of customers. If a product needs moved, you can bet we help move it, from coast to coast, through American warehouses, railyards, and ports, and in businesses ranging from family farms to fortune 500 companies. When we do well, we know other businesses are also doing well. People helping people—it’s the American way.

At Toyota we believe our core values drive the work that moves the American economy every day.

  1. Always be faithful to your duties

The hard-working American culture means showing up and doing the right thing every day. Not only do we move our own company forward, but we strive to contribute to the overall betterment of the American economic infrastructure.

  1. Always be studious and creative, striving to stay ahead of the times

We are innovators and inventors, just like our forefathers. Staying ahead of the times means a constant pursuit of improvement. Never be satisfied with average.

  1. Always be practical and avoid frivolousness

The Toyota Production System is world-renowned and our lean style of management is commonly reproduced around the country. Other businesses have adopted our Kaizen attitude in order to be more profitable, efficient, and effective.

  1. Always strive to build a homelike atmosphere at work that is warm and friendly.

The Midwest is known for the warm and homelike environment it fosters. Treating every member of our Toyota family like a valued part of our shared success isn’t just a business philosophy – we know that it’s true. And we know being generous means giving back to the community. Toyota has made a mark in Columbus by giving scholarships to disadvantaged youth, donating 50 cherry blossom trees to the city of Columbus, and supporting many other local philanthropic missions. Community is at the heart of our business.

  1. Always have respect for God and remember to be grateful at all times.

Being an industry leader comes with responsibility. Showing gratitude for all that we have and all that we work for is key to our success.

While we are proudly assembled in the USA, this Japanese phrase integrates well into our patriotic culture here in Columbus, “Monozukuri wa hitosurkuri” – making things is about making people. Toyota Forklift values that Americans are passionate about working hard. Just like this country, we are a melting pot of people from all walks of life coming together for a common goal – getting the job done. People are the core of this business.

Original Post: Anna Harris, TMHU Marketing Intern

May 07

Peak seasons are an exciting time for any business. These busy seasons can mean increased orders, fulfillment requests, and, best of all, revenue. But peak seasons can also be stressful times that lead to warehouse inefficiencies and cause lost opportunities. Lead time can get extended and damage your reputation if you haven’t planned effectively for a higher than normal volume. Here are three useful questions to ask as you prepare for your upcoming peak season:

Do I have the right equipment for increased velocity?

Sometimes the right warehouse equipment is a full sit-down forklift (like a 3-wheel electric) that can move large pallets of numerous individual products to high velocity picking areas. For other warehouses in peak seasons, versatile hand pallet or electric walkie pallet jacks that can quickly cover short distances with limited touches are the answer. But as you come into your peak season, take an inventory and make sure you have the right material handling equipment to get the job done.

Do I need to reorganize my warehouse during peak seasons?

Perhaps it makes sense to keep pallets of high velocity, peak season products on pallets near the shipping area. Or maybe high velocity products need to be placed on lower racking levels for easier access by forklift operators and order picking personnel. Your distribution and supply chain needs will dictate what you need, but it’s worth asking if you can reorganize to be more efficient during peak seasons.

Can I increase efficiency by cross docking?

The goal of any productive warehouse is to eliminate touches on each product. If you can decrease the number of times a product needs to be moved, then you can shorten your lead time for customer delivery. During high-demand periods, you might consider whether you have an opportunity for cross docking, or the process of receiving a product and then shipping it to its next location without ever moving it to short or long term storage in a warehouse. If peak seasons demand quick delivery of products, it might be best to grab a hand pallet or electric walkie pallet jack and immediately put that received product on the next truck for shipping.

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

May 03

When your forklifts are placed in a planned maintenance rotation, you’ll have a technician on site inspecting your forklifts to be sure they are in top working condition. That means a Toyota Certified Technician is regularly on site to answer any specific questions you might have about the functionality of your fleet while they work to ensure your forklifts are in top working condition.


When a service tech is on site, they will be inspecting several parts of your forklift for optimal working condition. This will include:

  • Mast, lift chains, forks, hydraulics
  • Running and braking system
  • Control system
  • IC engine or electric motor
  • Vehicle body and safety components

If your technician is thorough, you should be able to visibly see them inspect these specific areas. To ensure top quality inspection is occurring, it might be useful to request a PM inspection form before your begin the engagement with your service provider. Then, when a technician in on site, you can request that you see the completed form. This will help to make sure you’re getting exactly what you paid for. All Toyota Dealers have these forms available.

What is the long-term value of planned forklift maintenance?

One of the most important long-term values of planned maintenance is that it will save you money. Avoiding repair costs and downtime because maintenance issues are caught early before they become problems is one main contributing factor. But there are others, as we illustrate here:

More important than these cost savings can be the long-term benefit of planned forklift maintenance on the safety and security of operators. Worn out components can lead to accidents, but a technician might be able to replace these components during planned maintenance before they become too worn to function.

Increased efficiency is also a benefit, both because your forklifts will see increased uptime because of frequent maintenance and because you can plan for downtime during regularly scheduled inspection.

Planned forklift maintenance can also have additional, unanticipated benefits. For example, interruption to your daily schedule caused by a forklift breaking down might be avoided with planned maintenance. Instead of your having to take the time to call around attempting to locate a service tech to get the forklift back up and running, a Toyota Certified Technician will be on site regularly to help prevent such problems from occurring. You also won’t have to wait for an available technician to maintenance your forklift.

How do I know I’ve chosen the right partner for planned forklift maintenance?

Planned maintenance sounds great in theory, right? But it’s only great in practice if you have a dedicated partner who is willing to go the extra mile for your business. As you would when you purchase material handling equipment, perform thorough research to make sure you’re getting the right partner. Ask your potential partner for referrals for other businesses they’ve currently worked with. Take the time to interview your potential partner and get to know some of their technicians. After the engagement has begun, ask to see PM completion rates on your fleet to make sure they are holding up their end of your agreement.

As part of the Toyota 360 Support promise, Toyota is dedicated to being the industry leader in customer support and aftermarket services. Our dealers are happy to provide any of the information you request and can come on site for discussions leading up to a planned maintenance agreement.

May 01

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.

May 01

Because liquid propane (LP) is a flammable and explosive gas, changing an LP tank on a forklift can present risks. To keep ourselves and co-workers safe, we must act responsibly.

8 tips for responsibly installing an LP tank

LP TankWear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The fuel inside the LP tank is contained at a high pressure and has a temperature of 44 degrees below fahrenheit. Contact with the fuel can damage your eyes and skin and cause frostbite. Avoid contact with wrap-around safety glasses and thick, rubber gloves.

Check for remaining fuel

Never assume that because the forklift engine died that fuel isn’t present. Ensure the line and fitting have no remaining fuel that can spray on your hands or face when you disconnect the coupler.


Unscrew the fitting off the tank. Remove the empty tank and store it properly.


A leaking tank can result in an explosion. Inspect your fuel tank for frost build-up, dents, gouges, heavy rust, and o-ring condition. Also check the forklift hose and fitting for any visible damage.

Tank position

Put the tank on the locating pin. The locating pin on the forklifts tank bracket serves four purposes: it positions the tank properly for the hose and fitting alignment to connect without twisting or stretching the hose; ensures the pressure relief valve won’t spray LP fuel; aligns the main valve pick-up tube inside the tank to get almost all the fuel out of the bottom; and allows the fuel gauge to read correctly.

Check the valve and o-ring

Confirm the new tank valve is off. If the hose coupler is screwed on an opened tank valve, it could upset the check valve in the tank fitting and spray LP. Also, ensure the o-ring from the empty tank did not pull out, jamming the check valve. If no fuel can pass through the check valve, the forklift will not start up.

Connection and the valve

Screw the forklift fitting all the way and hand tighten it on the tank fitting. Slowly open the valve, being careful not to over-tighten it in cases of leaks, fire or explosions; you need to be able to shut off the valve quickly. With the valve opened fully, the 10% surge valve inside the tank will shut the tank off in case an LP hose or fitting fails.

Look, listen and smell

If you see visible white frost, hear rushing noises or smell a bad odor – You have a leak! Because it is heavier than air, LP vapor pools on the ground and will look for a source of ignition. Shut off the tank valve and ventilate the area.

Apr 24

When a forklift is down and in need of repair, operators and managers are tasked with ensuring, first, the safety of those in their warehouse, and, second, that no further damage to the forklift or moved product occurs. When a forklift goes down, lockout tagout procedures should be initiated to help operators address both requirements simultaneously.

What does the OSHA lockout tagout standard refer to?

The OSHA Lockout Tagout Standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 CFR, outlines the required procedures for disabling machinery to help protect operators and other associates from unexpected bursts of energy or startup while maintenance activities are being performed on a piece of equipment.

Commonly, lockout tagout procedures included attaching a locked box to the forklift and a red and white warning tag hanging from the steering wheel. The box is a lockout box that isolates the forklift power source to the forklift so it cannot be operated and the tag provides information about why this forklift is locked out from its power source. Information you might see on the tag is the last date someone was working on the forklift, who last worked on the forklift, and the type of repair that is being performed. The procedure is meant to protect both the operators of the forklifts and the technicians performing maintenance on the forklifts. It’s to your benefit to fully understand this procedure as OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.333 requires lockout and tagout procedures be used on all equipment that uses electric energy for industrial purposes. This standard is meant to control hazardous energy such as electrical or hydraulic energy sources in forklifts. A typical lockout tagout procedure might follow these steps.

Lockout Tagout Steps

Step 1: Detail your procedure in full, including location

Step 2: Communicate the breakdown to ALL impacted associates

Step3: Shut down your equipment following detailed shutdown procedures

Step 4: Use lockout box or other procedure to interrupt energy output

Step 5: Follow procedures to eliminate any residual energy sources

Step 6: Attempt to start the equipment to make sure it will not start

Step 7: Perform maintenance

Step 7 b: Make sure to communicate breakdown across shifts

Step 8: Employ reverse lockout tagout procedures to reintegrate equipment into operation

To protect both operators and technicians, keep in mind these three tips about your lockout tagout procedure:

Lockout Tagout Procedures: Understand that removing the key is not enough

Removing the keys from the ignition is not enough to lockout your forklift. The forklift is still connected to the power source. It does not matter whether the forklift is powered by a liquid propane gas (LPG) tank or a battery, the hazardous energy is not isolated. Because the energy source is not isolated, there is potential for an unexpected release of energy, making both operators and technicians vulnerable to an accident.

Lockout Tagout Procedures: Document, Communicate, and Train Lock Out Tag Out

Your lockout tagout procedure should be well documented. The documented process also makes it easier to communicate and train employees. If employees need clarity, the documented procedure is the first resource to turn to for answers. Once the procedure is documented, communicate the procedure and set up routine training to keep lockout tagout top-of-mind.

Lockout Tagout Procedures: Inspect and re-evaluate procedures at least once per year

The success of your lockout tagout procedure cannot truly be assessed until the procedure is implemented. It allows you to gauge if the procedure is working, where improvements can be made, and how the procedure can change or evolve to become safer.

Original Post: Kenny Trusnik, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Apr 20

What is a Site Survey?

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.

Warehouse Operation Efficiency

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 using reach trucks to grab pallets, bring the pallets down, remove the product, and then put the pallet back up onto the racking unit. In this case, an 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.

Warehouse Storage

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.”



1 2 3 4 5 ... 11 | Next