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!  

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

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

Posted by tfinco at 12/5/2020 12:42:00 PM
Thursday, October 8, 2020

Every business owner wants to increase productivity. Here are six easy ways to get more from your forklift.

  1. Request a service inspection be conducted regularly. See if a maintenance plan is right for you or help train and back up your in-house technicians.
  2. Leave promptly and don’t idle. Don’t start the engine until you’re ready to go to avoid wasting fuel and turn off the engine if it looks like you could be waiting for more than a minute.
  3. Don’t make sudden changes in speed. Maintain a steady pace, drive smoothly and accelerate gently. It will save fuel and reduce maintenance costs.
  4. Train your drivers. Good training not only helps improve safety, but also trains your operators to approach a load correctly to avoid unnecessary maneuvering and make them more efficient.
  5. Keep up-to-date with maintenance. This is extremely important to keep your forklift fuel efficient and running well.
  6. Buy the right tires and check them often. If your forklift has pneumatic tires, make sure they are inflated correctly. Under-inflated tires increase fuel consumption and wear more quickly. If your application is primarily indoors on concrete, cushion tires are a better bet.


Posted by tfinco at 10/8/2020 3:25:00 PM
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Operator preferences govern purchasing decisions now more than ever. This extends beyond just the forklift itself and into the options that allow it to be custom tailored to fit operator and application needs. Different types of seats, pedals, grips, and armrests all play a key role in keeping operators satisfied, happy, and productive.

While some operators are perfectly content with using the same bells and whistles they’ve grown accustomed to over the years, there are many new technologies to make their lives easier. One such example is the controls used to handle their daily tasks.

For years, cowl-mounted levers have been the most popular method for manipulating all hydraulic functions, and for good reason. It’s what most forklifts are built with, so it’s likely what you’ve been using ever since you started driving one. That level of familiarity allows you to be productive and efficient, but it also may make you resistant to trying something new that could push your comfort and productivity to new heights.

One such solution is joystick controls. Toyota’s optional EZ Control Joystick offers a revolutionary approach to material handling by housing all hydraulic controls inside a single handle. Lift, tilt, and all auxiliary functions such as side shift and fork positioning can be controlled within the palm of your hand.

The horn button and forward/reverse gear shift are also located on the handle for added convenience. And the armrest has fore and aft, vertical, and tilt adjustments to optimize comfort and productivity.

Finding a location to store small items like pens, tape, and small tools for quick access can be challenging. The EZ Control Joystick comes complete with a storage compartment with two USB charging ports to allow operators to conveniently store objects and charge portable electronic devices.

In material handling, precise handling of loads is key to reducing product damage and maintaining productivity. The EZ Control Joystick utilizes an ISO style joystick design that is found in construction and agricultural equipment, which require the simultaneous use of a wide variety of functions. As proven in these high-profile applications, the joystick’s durability and performance can help reduce downtime and power you to new levels of success.

Ultimately, which type of control devices you use comes down to what works best for your application and operator preference. If you feel like joystick controls may benefit your operation, contact us today for a demo or to learn more about the technologies that are available to empower your operators and your business.

Original Post: Trinton Castetter, Product Marketing Specialist, Toyota Material Handling


Posted by tfinco at 9/29/2020 7:24:00 PM
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