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!  

Search Results
Main
Entries 1-10 of 32
1 2 3 4 | Next
Tuesday, June 21, 2022

We’ve been counting down to National Forklift Safety Day, excited to share its important message. While Toyota Forklifts is sure to spend this month celebrating safe forklift use, we understand that forklift safety is a practice that calls for year-round commitment from all of us, operators and pedestrians alike.

The best way to ensure a safe work environment where forklifts are in use is to have a plan for both your operators and your facility. Here are three ways you can maintain safe forklift use in your facility year-round.

PROPERLY TRAINED OPERATORS

It’s required by law (OSHA Regulation: 29CFR1910.178(l)) for forklift operators to be trained before legally operating a forklift. Why is training so important? According to the National Safety Council, 70% of all industrial accidents are caused by operator errors. According to OSHA, proper training may reduce accident rates by 25-30%.

Even after forklift operators are trained and ready to work, the employer must reevaluate each operator every three years to make sure their skills are up to par. It is also the responsibility of employers to make sure that each operator has the proper training on every kind of equipment they use (e.g. being trained to operate a sit-down counterbalanced forklift does not mean you’re trained to operate an order picker). Only trained operators who have read and understood the operator’s manual should operate forklifts.

 

Safety Comes Standard

Toyota Material Handling meets and exceeds ANSI and OSHA requirements, putting operators and your business first.

LEARN MORE

KNOW YOUR FORKLIFT AND FACILITY

Forklift operators should know the ins and outs of every forklift they operate as well as when and where the forklift can and will be used. They should conduct daily pre-operation inspections and be familiar with a forklift’s warning signs for malfunction.

Operators should also be familiar with the facility they’re working in and should be evaluated in the actual environment where they will be using the forklift as part of their operator safety training.

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Pedestrians in areas where forklifts are operating share the responsibility of maintaining a safe environment. Know the designated walkways. Wear safety goggles and/or closed-toe shoes when required. Understand that a forklift operator may not be able to see you.

Establishing a culture of awareness and communication within your facility will go a long way in ensuring an all-around safer operation. Have a question about forklift operator safety training or maintaining safe forklift use in your facility? We are here to help!

Posted by tfinco at 6/21/2022 4:53:00 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Toyota’s continued commitment to safety sets the standard in the material handling industry. At Toyota, we take safety as an enduring promise to our customers, one that we’ve delivered on time and time again, from our introduction the System of Active Stability in 1999 to our continued support of National Forklift Safety Day.  As Toyota Material Handling President and CEO and former Industrial Truck Association chairman, Brett Wood, says “If you have a safe, comfortable operator, you’ll have a productive operator.”

But maintaining the health and safety of your employees isn’t just imperative to the success of your business. It is also your legal responsibility under OSHA’s General Duty Clause. An unsafe workplace environment can have a much deeper impact than just lost time and productivity or increased cost. Working in unsuitable conditions or operating unsafe machinery can cause considerable damage or even fatal outcomes. What measures can you take to ensure the safety of your employees and maintain a culture of safety awareness for forklift equipment?

Be sure that only trained operators are using any forklifts or other equipment.

All equipment should be properly maintained and inspected regularly to confirm that it is in safe working condition.

All equipment should be used as intended.

An unsafe environment can lead to expensive costs of repairs, including incremental damage that can cost about ten times that of the cost of forklift repairs. Adding a Toyota Planned or Full Maintenance plan can help you ensure the excellent and safe working condition of your forklift and reduce these costly, incremental repairs. By making sure these precautions are in place, you will help protect your employees and your equipment. 

 

 

Posted by tfinco at 6/14/2022 6:47:00 AM
Monday, February 7, 2022

As a piece of essential warehouse equipment, forklifts are everywhere. There are currently around 1,000,000 forklifts helping businesses stay organized, and productive throughout the United States. They are one of the most powerful tools in improving efficiency. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Forklifts can be hazardous, and the cause of expensive citations, workplace accidents, injuries, and even death.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), forklift violations are consistently one of the top 10 violations costing businesses about $135,000,000 every year. OSHA also estimates that forklifts cause of approximately 110,000 accidents annually. Of these, about 35,000 resulted in serious injuries, and about 85 accidents resulted in death.

Any workplace that uses forklifts should emphasize forklift safety. Promoting forklift safety will prevent costly violations and accidents. Here are 5 ways to optimize forklift safety:

1. Make sure all employees are educated and properly trained and certified

Studies show that proper training and education is a great deterrent of accidents. Employers should develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe operation, the types of forklifts used in the workplace, the potential hazards in the workplace, and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard. According to OSHA, with these training policies, about 70% of forklift accidents could be prevented.

Additionally, operators must be properly certified per OSHA regulations. OSHA requires forklift operator to be certified in a two-phase training course: a classroom-style training and test, and a hands-on evaluation. Only trained and competent operators can be permitted to operate a forklift. You can find all the necessary information about training and certification here.

2. Understanding your forklift’s load capacity and the Stability Triangle

Many forklift accidents happen because the operators are not knowledgeable about how much their forklifts can carry. In fact, tip-overs due overloading is a leading cause of forklift accidents. So, understanding your forklift’s load capacity is extremely important.

A forklift’s load capacity is found in two places: on the data plate of the forklift, and in the operator’s manual. This capacity refers to a balanced load carried on the stated load center. It can change depending on the attachments used, the height of the lift, and the length of the load.

    • Forklift attachments are anything that is attached to the front carriage or attached to an attachment on the forklift. Generally, as you add attachments to the forklift, the load capacity decreases.
    • Lift height also affects load capacity. Forklifts with high masts will have lower capacity as the lift height increases.
    • The length of the load changes load capacity as well. The longer the length of the load is the lower the capacity.
 

With a load, the center of gravity of the forklift is at the center of the triangle. But as you add more weight to the forks or raise the mast with a load, the center of gravity shifts to the front of the triangle. Moving the center of gravity out of the Stability Triangle by adding too much weight or adding weight in the wrong places can cause tip-overs.

3. Perform daily inspections and regular maintenance

Maintaining your forklift is not just a great way to extend the life of your forklift, it is also one of the best ways to ensure forklift safety. Regular maintenance safeguards your forklifts against problems that go beyond the normal wear and tear. OSHA requires daily inspections to be performed at the beginning of each shift. If a forklift is equipped with a safety device, the device must be in good working order otherwise the forklift should be tagged out of service until it can be repaired. These daily inspections also help operators identify operational issues so they can be addressed before they become bigger problems or lead to accidents. By keeping your forklift in optimal working condition, you will have a safe operating experience.

4. Be aware of your work environment

A lack of awareness in the workplace can be detrimental not only to the products you are moving but also to your employees. Many accidents occur because the operator or someone in the forklift’s vicinity is not paying attention. Practice mindfulness by paying attention, keeping an eye on where you’re going, using your alarms to alert others of your presence, ensuring your loads are balanced and within load capacity, and driving safely. These five simple actions can prevent accidents and save lives.

5. Store your forklifts properly

Another way to promote forklift safety and prevent accidents is to store your forklifts properly after use. They should be parked on a flat surface. Engage your parking brakes. Make sure your forks are flush to the ground. The forklift should be turned off, and the keys should be removed from the ignition.

Posted by tfinco at 2/7/2022 5:15:00 PM
Monday, August 2, 2021

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.

Steps to Take After a Spill

  1. Assess What Happened: Determining the cause of a spill is important to determine the cause and rectify the issue before it occurs again, but also so that you can determine what you need to take into account during clean up. What was spilled? Where was it spilled? Why was it spilled? All of these questions can help you to assess what needs to be cleaned up in the facility.
  2. Think about where you forgot to clean: It’s easy to remember to clean the floor surface after a spill. But have you thought about where else you need to clean? If you spilled a liquid, this could have splashed onto warehouse racking, product, or a lift’s forks. These are definitely safety hazards that can cause slipping of materials when they’re being handled. If you spilled something that scattered, be sure to check under racks and other warehouse storage systems. Loose materials are slipping hazards for both associates and forklifts.
  3. Be Proactive: I know. It’s really not helpful to say “well, in hindsight, you should have….” I can’t stand the guy who says that. That guy is a jerk. But in this case, one of the best ways to prevent the next spill is to learn from the current spill and be proactive. Make sure you have clean up stations with all the proper cleaning solutions, signage, and PPE available for associates to clean the area. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must be available and accessible for reference. If you’re working with hazardous materials, make sure you have protocols in place in case you have a spill.
  4. Recertify Operators: After a near miss or accident, have operators recertify (it’s actually an OSHA requirement).This will mean that they need to train again on proper operating procedures to help prevent possible spills in the future.
Posted by tfinco at 8/2/2021 8:51:00 PM
Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Do you work at a busy park, campus, or other outdoor space? If you answered “yes”, then we know that one of your primary concerns is the safety of your visitors, guests, and staff. You need efficient vehicles that can keep up on a public road, but how do you balance that with safety? We wanted to discuss a safety feature that can aid you in accomplishing this!

At Columbia, we equip all of our street legal low-speed vehicles with a pedestrian alert system, a safety feature that audibly alerts pedestrians in the surrounding area about the vehicle approaching. Electric vehicles are often appreciated for their extremely quiet performance, which is an advantage in many situations; however, this same quality can at times be a safety hazard, especially in busy areas with obstructed views, like a parking lot. The Pedestrian Alert ensures that pedestrians will recognize the presence of the vehicle regardless of if they can see the vehicle or operator. The operator can also be assured that there's an extra level of safety when operating in areas they share with pedestrians.

 

 
 
 
Video Thumbnail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
0:57
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

We’re excited to provide you with a balance of Speed, Efficiency, but most importantly, safety in our Street Legal vehicles. Our pedestrian alert also contributes to our LSV’s compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines. The NHTSA explains the purpose of the feature, “The Pedestrian Safety Act defines “alert sound” as a vehicle emitted sound that enables pedestrians to discern the presence, direction, location, and operation of the vehicle.” This guideline was established within the NHTSA’s Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010. 

Columbia wants you to know that we make sure to do the background work to ensure your vehicles are compliant with all of your national and local regulations, so you can continue to focus on your job. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our LSV’s and their safety features. 

Posted by tfinco at 5/5/2021 10:12:00 PM
Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Hand pallet jacks have been a simple, reliable solution for the transportation of pallets throughout the entire supply chain. Understanding how they operate can help you be more productive, safe, and efficient when using one.

This guide will cover hand pallet jack anatomy to help give you a better understanding of the various components and how they work.

These tips do not take the place of reading the user instructions or proper operator training, but they reinforce some of the basic principles for operating a hand pallet jack. Please reference your Operator’s Manual for more information on required training and knowledge needed prior to operation.

Hand Pallet Jack Anatomy

Each part of the pallet jack is essential to its efficient operation.

Starting from the top of the pallet jack, there is the handle and control lever. These are used for manual moving, lifting, and lowering of the pallet jack.

The handle can be rotated left and right to adjust the direction of the steer wheels, changing the direction of travel. It can also be rotated downward, allowing you to pull the pallet jack comfortably.

The control lever is located on the inside of the handle on the right-hand side. It has two different positions, which are used to lift and lower the forks.

  • Control Lever Operation (Raised Position) – Squeezing in the control lever causes the lift cylinder to lower, which also lowers the forks. The lowering is proportional, so the more you squeeze, the faster the forks will lower.
  • Control Lever Operation (Lowered Position) – Pushing forward on the control lever puts it in the lowered position. When in this position, pulling down on the handle raises the forks proportionally with each motion.

The steer wheels and hydraulic pump are at the base of the unit and are operated using the handle and control lever. There are two different types of wheels available for manual hand pallet jacks: nylon and polyurethane.  Read more about these two types of wheels here.

Next, the steel frames comprised of two forks that are connected together at the base. Most hand pallet jacks are designed to handle a standard 40” x 48” pallet. This is due to the dimensions of the forks and the load wheel placement.

The load wheels are located at the end of each fork and are necessary for travel and supporting the load. Just like the steer wheels, there are different types of load wheel compounds available. The load wheels are connected to lift linkages that run the length of the forks.  When the handle is used to raise the forks, the lift cylinder extends, causing the linkages to articulate and the load wheels to raise. It’s always important to note the load wheel’s placement before lifting a pallet or other type of load.


Hand Pallet Jack

Posted by tfinco at 2/17/2021 11:29:00 PM
Monday, December 28, 2020

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!

 

Posted by tfinco at 12/28/2020 7:59:00 PM
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

This year has brought new challenges and problems to overcome for people and businesses around the world. Keeping your people safe has always been a priority, but today that means more than it has in the past. Columbia wants to help you keep your surfaces clean and sanitized to limit the spread of Covid-19 and other contaminates. 

stockchase1-1

jorney4 copy

 

We have developed custom Sanitization Units like this Journeyman and Stockchaser to aid you in the fight against Covid-19. The tank will feed to both a handheld sprayer as well as three mounted nozzles on the rear of the vehicle that will spray behind vehicle as it moves. The Journeyman can function on a large campus to sanitize door handles on multiple buildings. The Stockchaser could be used on the interior of a warehouse or concourse to sanitize the many surfaces that your staff and customers interact with on a daily basis.

These vehicles fit your needs to both transport your large campuses as well as maneuver in tighter areas and through aisles and doorways.

 

 

 

Posted by tfinco at 10/27/2020 8:49:00 PM
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Forklift inspection is a task that helps to ensure material handling equipment is up to par with operation standards at all times. But how often should operators inspect their forklift? Here’s a handy guide on the frequency of forklift inspection:

OSHA Forklift Inspection Requirements

OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck Standard 1910.178(q)(7)

This standard is the one that controls all OSHA compliance on forklifts. To meet the standard, operators must inspect trucks:

  1. Daily (at the beginning of each day’s use)
  2. At the beginning of each shift in a continuous use facility

This standard compels operators to ensure their equipment is in good working condition. Failure to operate at this frequency can result in fines from OSHA. Any operator who finds a problem with a forklift must tag it out.

Why this forklift inspection frequency?                     

The frequency of inspection helps to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your forklifts. By comparison, some of us are guilty of bad practices when driving our cars. We see something that will be a problem, and say to ourselves “that will need fixing… eventually.” But there’s going to be a moment in time when that problem will manifest itself in a very real and dangerous way. And then we’re in trouble.

Because forklifts are inspected daily or at the beginning of each shift, operators are able to catch potential problems early. And instead of having a major problem at the exact moment when a part or component breaks, we can perform maintenance that might prevent dangerous situations from ever happening.

The frequency of forklift inspection helps to combat that procrastination when operating a forklift. Because forklifts are inspected daily or at the beginning of each shift, operators are able to catch potential problems early. And instead of having a major problem at the exact moment when a part or component breaks, we can perform maintenance that might prevent dangerous situations from ever happening. Also, by requiring the operators to check their forklift at the beginning of a shift, businesses aren’t relying on someone who is exhausted at the end of a shift to perform check list duties.

Posted by tfinco at 8/25/2020 6:01:00 AM
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

 

  • Forklift safety is an ongoing learning experience. Proper training in accordance with OSHA requirements should be the first priority for all forklift operators. It is imperative that anyone who operates a forklift complies with OSHA’s training requirements. OSHA requirements have been in effect since 1999. Since they began mandating the training, forklift accidents have decreased even though the number of forklifts in use has risen steadily. An organization can be fined as much as $100,000 if proper training is not conducted for forklift operators.

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:

  • 34,000 serious injuries occur each year
  • Over 100,000 total accidents (serious and non-serious) happen each year
  • 42% of forklift fatalities are from the operator being crushed when the forklift tips over
  • 25% are crushed between the forklift and a surface (wall, load, etc.)
  • 8% of workers are crushed by material falling from the forklift
  • 4% of workers fall from a platform

Keeping these serious and troubling statistics in mind, implementing best practices in your facility in regard to safety is highly important.

Forklift Safety Best Practices

  1. OSHA recommends that a forklift driver be over the age of 18.
  2. Create a detailed training program for new employees and repeat the training for existing employees on a regular basis. This training should include:
    • Formal Instruction
    • Practical education
    • Evaluations / tests
  3. Know capacity ratings for the forklift being driven. Forklifts have specific ratings showing how much weight it can handle. Be sure that the weight limitations are posted clearly on the forklift and instruct operators to adhere to those limitations.
  4. Forklifts are equipped with back-up buzzers and warning signals because often it can be hard to see around loads. Train employees to listen for the audible warning signals.
  5. Keep your distance if you are not operating the forklift. Instruct employees to keep a good distance away from the immediate area where forklifts are being used.
  6. Slow Down if you are a forklift operator. Some forklifts come with options to limit their speed. This is a good idea to add to your forklift order. Instruct operators of the maximum speed at which they may operate and enforce those regulations.
  7. Surfaces should be clear, free from debris and safe for operators.
  8. Have regular forklift inspections on each forklift.

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.

Facilities Considerations for Potential Forklift Safety Improvement

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.

  • Keep pedestrians and forklifts separated when possible.Use different aisles for pedestrian passageways and material flow.
  • Use guards and barriers. Physical barriers assure that pedestrians and material handling equipment do not come into contact with each other.
  • Avoid tall, narrow aisles when possible. Height can mean more efficient storage. But make sure that your forklifts and operators are capable of working in them.
  • Do not obstruct intersection and doors.
  • Eliminate unnecessary noise pollution. When operators and pedestrians can’t hear each other, they are more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Eliminate Poor Lighting. Operators and pedestrians need to see each other clearly whenever possible.
  • Avoid installing high-grade ramps or change in floor surfaces. Each can provide hazards for forklifts while in operation.

Understanding Forklift Capacities to Ensure Forklift Safety

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:

  1. Purchase a higher capacity forklift than you think you will need to prevent exceeding the limit.
  2. Always use a scale to measure loads so you’re sure you haven’t exceeded the capacity limit.
  3. Operators should be trained to know the difference between the forklift model number and the capacity rating on the data plate.
  4. Be sure the data plate is always in place and readable.
  5. Talk to a forklift specialist to be sure you’re using the right forklift for your application.

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: Avoiding Forklift Accidents in No Laughing Matter

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:

  • Racing
  • Sitting on the counter-weight
  • Allowing passengers in either the operator cab or on the exterior of the lift
  • Lifting people with forks
  • Lifting unintended loads on the forks
  • Trying to distract an operator
  • Swerving in the vicinity of pedestrians
  • Adding people on the back of a lift to increase counter-weight
  • Turning off lights needed for operator visibility

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.

Posted by tfinco at 7/1/2020 9:29:00 AM
Entries 1-10 of 32
1 2 3 4 | Next