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!  

How Toyota Assist Can Help

At Toyota, we understand the importance of maintaining a highly productive operation all while instilling a culture of safety in your facility. You need to be able to move product quickly while keeping your operators comfortable and secure. To help you accomplish all of your business's goals, Toyota has designed the latest technologies to help you keep your eye on the prize and move your operation forward. Enter Toyota Assist. Toyota Assist is a robust family of features and options that work together to actively or passively assist certain operations in regards to operability, productivity, or situational awareness. It is our goal to bring you individualized material handling solutions to help your operation reach unparalleled success. Let us dive into the different aspects of Toyota Assist and how they may be able to help you take your operation to the next level. Operator Benefits of Toyota Assist Load Handling At Toyota we don't just meet the bare minimum. We go beyond what is expected and put the operator at the forefront of our work. At the core of the many safety elements built into our forklifts is our proprietary System of Active Stability; (SAS). This revolutionizing and industry-leading forklift technology minimizes the likelihood of tip-over, reducing the risk for operators and those around them. When the system detects a situation that could lead to instability, it instantly engages the swing lock cylinder to stabilize the rear axle - changing the forklift's stability footprint from triangular to a rectangular shape. Putting You in Control While some operators are content with using the same bells and whistles they've grown accustomed to over the years, there are many new technologies available that may make their lives easier, as well as make the tasks more comfortable. Toyota's EZ Fingertip Controls put productivity at the forefront by placing all hydraulic controls in an ergonomic pattern that can be reached with minimal hand movement. Thanks to an included horn button and forward/reverse directional switch, operators can conveniently maintain one hand on the steering wheel while allowing the other hand to control all necessary functions outside of braking and travel. This intuitive design helps with operator comfort, and controls can be customized to manipulate up to five hydraulic functions, including clamp release interlock. Awareness Heightened While moving products from point A to point B is important, Toyota has engineered state-of-the-art stereoscopic vision technologies that can assist operators in identifying pedestrians or objects behind the forklift during a shift. The SEnS Smart Environment Sensor (SEnS) pedestrian detection system uses stereoscopic vision technology to assist operators by differentiating between some pedestrians and objects, and providing visual and audible alerts within the detection zone. Along with SEnS, the 360 camera system gives the operator a bird's eye view of your forklift to assist in navigating tight environments. SEnS is available as an add-on kit that can be retrofitted for select existing and new Toyota forklift models. In addition to SEnS, Toyota has developed the Smart Environment Sensor Plus; (SEnS+) , which not only detects pedestrians or objects behind the forklift, but it limits the movement of the forklift by automatically slowing down the equipment when pedestrians and/or objects are detected. With dynamic zoning, SEnS+ adjusts the range of detection based on the speed and steering direction of the forklift. If the forklift is moving faster, the zone is expanded to account for potential, upcoming obstacles further away, up to 32 feet. Logically Productive for Precise Picking At Toyota, our solutions are loaded with features to tackle your unique tasks and keep your operation moving forward. Toyota's Lift Logic option is a productivity-enhancing solution for the most demanding, high-throughput, order picking applications. Lift Logic continuously monitors the height of the forks, and adjusts speed accordingly. This allows for the maximum speed appropriate for any height in its range.


Columbia's Chariot

Let's meet Columbia's Chariot! The Chariot is Columbia's smallest transport, designed to transform time wasted by foot into time well-spent on your crucial tasks. The Chariot is packed with the features you need on the job, starting with its best-in-class sturdy frame of 14-gauge smooth steel. It's also equipped with an efficient 12-volt DC motor, extremely short turning radius, and narrow width of 29 inches, allowing you to glide through a standard doorway! Operators will love the stand-up operation of the chariot, which provides a low center of gravity and higher visibility through busy facilities or tight tunnels. Popular options include: Reverse switch, Pole mounted strobe light, Hour meter, In-motion beeper, various tire/wheel combinations, and High capacity batteries.


Forklift Inspection Frequency

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 checklist duties.


Cold Room Forklifts And The Battle Against Condensation

Operating forklifts in cold storage facilities presents several challenges that can limit the success of operators and companies. Efficiencies in forklift use become even more challenging when a forklift is placed in alternate temperature environments in the same operation, whether for storage or operation. To make sure you have the best facility design and forklifts for your workplace and application, you should talk to a consultant familiar with your industry generally and your operation specifically to help fill gaps, enhance safety, and increase efficiencies. One of the most important tasks that face cold room forklift users is the need to reduce condensation on a forklift while in warm temperatures, helping to prevent freezing when re-entering frigid spaces. Freezing can cause inefficient operation and downtime for the forklifts, resulting in lost throughput for the cold operations. A few best practices can help to prevent these inefficiencies, providing maximum use of the forklift fleet while maintaining your return on investment for your capital equipment. Storing Your Cold Room Forklift The storage of your forklift is key to maintaining efficiencies. Sustained storage in freezing temperature can lead to breaking parts and battery inefficiencies. The best practice for storing a cold room forklift when not in operation is to do so outside of the cold area. But this presents its own condensation challenges. One solution is to store your forklifts in a dry area that is just above freezing temperature in order to ensure that condensation forms slowly or not at all. However, this isn?t always possible. When that?s the case, you need provide enough time for the forklift to rest outside of the cold facility and in warm temperatures for the condensation to form and evaporate. Operating too early before evaporation can lead to freezing. The process can be accelerated by the use of fans in the storage space. Using a Cold Room Forklift In Changing Temperature Applications In many applications, the cold storage environments are intermixed with warmer spaces. For example, movement from a cold room to a cold truck may require the passing through a warm docking area. 3PL applications may be storing a variety of goods, some cold and some ambient. These challenges present a situation where some condensation is inevitable. But there are certain steps that can help. If it is within your operational budget to maintain multiple forklifts with specialized areas of operation, that can help prevent potential wear from changing temperatures. It will increase necessary touches to pass product between pieces of equipment at the door of a cold storage area, but depending on your particular circumstances, this could provide value in increasing the operational efficiency of the forklifts. You?ll need to perform a site analysis to decide if this is a useful approach. If maintaining multiple forklifts is out the questions, you can still take steps to help prevent problems from condensation. For example, facility design becomes key. Optimizing the routes that cold room forklifts must take between the cold environment and the truck to be loaded can help ensure that they stay in cold spaces as much as possible. Additionally, order of operations becomes key. Limiting the amount of times a cold room forklift needs to change environments can reduce the chances for condensation to form. Choosing the Right Cold Room Forklift Electric forklifts are those used in cold applications and selecting the right one can have a major impact on efficiencies and ROI. Forklifts with fewer moving parts and wires reduce component parts? heat production and the chance of condensation entering into the nooks and crannies of the forklift. For example, Toyota electric forklifts are engineered with as few moving parts and AC motors and controllers to reduce internal component heat generation. These small engineering feats can have a lasting impact on operational efficiency. While condensation isn?t the only challenge facing cold room forklift operators (we haven?t even touched on safety issues in a potential slippage environment), it is one of the most pressing when it comes to the mechanical operation of forklifts in cold environments. For more ideas about cold storage, check out our whitepaper on cold storage in the food supply chain.


Safety Features From Toyota

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. Innovative Forklift Safety Features: System Of Active Stability And Active Mast Control 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. System of Active Stability (SAS) : The SAS is unique to Toyota forklifts. While many stability systems are reactive, Toyota's SAS is a proactive system that takes approximately 3,000 readings per second to ensure operator safety. Because of this proactive approach, SAS recognizes when factors could put the forklift at risk and automatically stabilizes the lift using the innovative swing-lock cylinder to prevent a tipover. Active Mast Function Control (AMC) : AMC is also unique to Toyota forklifts. This system recognizes dangerous tilt speeds when lifting payloads and slows the speed of the mast to prevent tipovers. Innovative Forklift Safety Features: Other Toyota-Engineered Safety Features 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: Orange Forks: It seems so simple, but optional orange forks on our lifts prevent accidents and loss of products by assisting visibility during placement. Accurate fork placement helps prevent against spilled payloads that can be dangerous for forklift operators and other associates. Horn: All forklifts are required to come installed with a functioning horn. Rear Horn with Grip Assist: Toyota offers an add-on horn placed behind the operator on the overhead guard support leg. This ergonomic design allows operators to honk while they are turned and viewing the workspace behind the forklift. Seatbelt: Toyota forklifts come standard with a seatbelt. We also offer orange seatbelt upgrades to increase visibility and ensure proper usage of this highly-important safety feature. Overhead Guard: This safety feature protects operators from falling objects. The single component welded construction improves rigidity and safety while design considerations such as the 45 degree angle of the front cross beam improves visibility for operators moving pallets at height. Making the Best Use of Forklift Safety Features: Using a Safety Checklist 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. Making the Best Use of Forklift Safety Features: Fork Safety Best Practices 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: Low and slow. Anytime you're moving, keep your forks no more than six inches off the ground and move slowly through the warehouse. Be careful not to drag your forks on the ground, however, because that can shorten the lifespan of your forks. Carefully maintain your forks. Make it a habit to check your forks every during every inspection and maintenance cycle, as designated in your operator?s manual. If your forks appear to be bent, it?s time to replace them. Stick with your load capacity. Don?t ever try to push your load capacity. Remember, your forks are only made to lift as much as your forklift says they are and trying to lift more could result in dropping a load. Only use your forks to lift. Your forks are made to lift and that?s it, so don?t try to push things or pry things open with them. Using your forks irresponsibly could cause damage making them vulnerable to dropping loads.


Why Choose A Maintenance Plan?

When you purchase your forklift, you will also have the option to purchase a maintenance plan. Dillon Toyota Lift offers different plans - most common are Planned Maintenance (PM) and Full Maintenance (FM). With a planned maintenance plan, your forklift will be serviced at every planned maintenance interval. Replacement parts and additional fixes are not included. However, the full maintenance plan will cover any maintenance need, barring specific exclusions, at a flat monthly rate. But, why should you purchase a maintenance plan upfront, when you can pay as you go? Purchasing a maintenance plan is a great way to save yourself money down the road. The first cost reduction with a maintenance plan will be in downtime. Downtime is the single most expensive cost associated with a forklift. Maintenance plans facilitate early catches and easier access to technicians, increasing your uptime. Second, a maintenance plan will ensure your forklift is getting the care it needs, making the lifespan better and longer. Third, you will have the option to pay by the month, regardless of the maintenance plan you choose, making your maintenance easier to budget for. When it comes to maintenance, which is imperative to the longevity of your forklift, a maintenance plan is the way to go.


FAQ About Forklifts

Asking the right questions at the beginning, middle, and end of your forklift buying or ownership experience is key to maximizing safety, uptime, and ROI. At Toyota, we understand how difficult it can be to get answers or to find someone who has them. Dillon Toyota Lift is with you during every step of your ownership, whether you're looking to become one or are a seasoned veteran. To get you started, here's a list of forklift faq's and their answers. How should I know which forklift I need? You?re right in asking this question because having the right forklift for your application and work environment is imperative for safety and productivity. And, the line of Toyota Forklifts is extensive. If you don?t know which forklift you need, don?t worry. Every Toyota Forklift dealer has salespeople on staff who are qualified to do a site survey at your location. The site survey will identify the forklift, or forklifts, that will be best for you and your business based on your unique needs. To get started, try our Find-A-Forklift tool. What attachments can I add to my forklift? It is important that you purchase your forklift attachment from the forklift manufacturer and that the manufacturer installs the attachment too. However, it?s important to know that adding attachments to your forklift can, and likely will, change the capacity rating. Anytime attachments are added to a forklift, the data plate should be updated to reflect the change in capacity rating. How often does my forklift need maintenance? Your best bet is to sign up for a planned maintenance agreement when you purchase your Toyota Forklift. A planned maintenance agreement ensures that your forklift will be maintained at the proper times by a qualified Toyota Technician. Does it really matter which replacement parts I put on my forklift? The truth is, yes. Your Toyota Forklift came complete with all Toyota Genuine Parts . If you start putting will-fit parts on your Toyota Forklift, you?re really compromising its durability and long-term value. Where can I get certified to operate a forklift? Contact your local Toyota Forklift dealer. Many Toyota Forklift dealers offer training of their own, but if the dealer nearest you does not, they will be able to point you in the right direction of effective forklift operator training. If I get trained to operate a forklift once, am I certified forever? No. According to OSHA, when you get certified to operate a forklift, you?re only certified until: You?ve been observed operating the forklift in an unsafe manner. You?ve been involved in an accident or near-miss accident. You have received an evaluation that revels you were not operating the forklift safely. You are assigned to drive a different forklift than you were originally trained on. A workplace condition changes that could affect safe operation of the forklift. When should I replace my forklift? We talk a lot about useful versus economic life and that?s because knowing the difference is important to you and your bottom line. Your forklift could be useful for a lot longer than it is economical, but it?s best to replace when it starts costing you money. How can I buy a forklift? When it comes to new forklifts, you have three options. You can rent, lease , or buy. Of course, you can also purchase a used forklift, but you need to be sure the person or place you?re purchasing from is reputable because forklift malfunctions can be very dangerous.


Battery & Charger Maintenance

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.

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