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!  


Mar 15

It’s a given – Dillon Toyota Lift has you covered when it comes to forklifts.  But did you know we also offer racking, dock equipment, cleaning equipment, scissor lifts, batteries, and attachments? That’s right – DTL is your full solutions provider for everything material handling, including warehouse design!   

Do you need to set up a new warehouse or better utilize your current space? Dillon Toyota Lift's Warehouse Solutions team can provide project design and layout, seismic engineering, permit application/approval, and more.  Not only that, we can purchase the racking and warehouse systems, and manage the installation process. Leave it to our in-house Warehouse Solutions team to figure out just what you need.

Does your warehouse or facility need a good cleaning? DTL also offers a full-line of Advance Industrial Cleaning Equipment that includes sweepers, scrubbers, sweeper-scrubbers and wet/dry vacs.  

Do you need more space in your facility? Dillon Toyota Lift also offers mezzanies.  Mezzanines can create additional space for a variey of different uses from storage to extra office space.  

As you can see, Dillon Toyota Lift has specialties that extend beyond the #1 selling forklift (Toyota).  If we can’t provide a solution, we can point you to an expert. So, the next time you need something unique for your facility or business, contact Dillon Toyota Lift!

Mar 08

When inventor Sakichi Toyoda successfully pioneered the automatic loom, he laid the foundation for Toyota Industries and our commitment to kaizen, continuous improvement. For nearly a century, the Toyota name has been synonymous with excellence in quality and innovation with the inventor’s spirit at the heart of our business.

It took only eight years after establishing Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Co., Ltd. – known today as Toyota Industries Corporation – before Toyota produced its first engine in 1934: The A-type engine for automobiles.

But I’m sure if you’re reading this blog you know that Toyota makes much more than cars. In 1956, Toyota began producing forklift engines, a new chapter in the story of Toyota Industries. As material handling needs evolved, so did Toyota’s role in the game. Heavy duty applications called for equipment tough and robust enough to take on high capacity needs. And at the core of these powerful workhorses needed to be an engine with the durability and grit to deliver reliable life and power.

In 1986, Toyota introduced a forklift engine that could take on these heavy-duty challenges: The 4Y industrial engine. Carefully designed and engineered through the core practices of the Toyota Production System, this engine set a new standard of excellence within the material handling industry. Today, millions of these engines have been produced and can be found in forklifts, compressors, gas heat pumps, and more.

But most important, these engines are at the heart of Toyota’s internal combustion forklifts, making them some of the most dependable pieces of equipment on the market. Don’t believe me? The 4Y Engine has helped Toyota forklifts achieve more than 35,000 life cycle operator hours with ease. Some have even reached over 80,000 hours.

It’s an engine that is built to perform, but also engineered with sustainability in mind. The 4Y engine’s emissions system filters carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and nitrogen oxide gases, allowing it to surpass federal EPA emission standards.

The 4Y engine is a testament to Toyota’s commitment to the pursuit of improvement and of its dedication to creating a more sustainable future.

Want to learn more about the 4Y engine? Check out this video on 4Y’s perks and history or this video about how the 4Y improves Toyota forklift operation.

By: Anastasia Sistevaris, Communications Copywriter, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Mar 04

Loading docks are one of the busiest places in any warehouse operation. The American Supply Association reports that 25% of all industrial accidents occur at the loading dock. Many of these accidents can occur while loading and unloading a trailer. Providing and reinforcing certified, OSHA-compliant safety training to workers and forklift operators which address hazards present at your specific facility (including the loading dock) and application will enhance workplace safety for both workers and forklift operators.  Toyota recommends and encourages you to consult with a safety professional familiar with your environment and application of use to assess your forklifts, other material handling equipment, other equipment used in your operation, application and workplace and your safety rules to safely integrate forklifts into your workplace loading docks. Here are some general safety considerations that should not be overlooked when creating a culture of safety on loading docks when unloading trailers.

Common Trailer Unloading Mishaps

Clutter– Empty pallets, packing materials and other debris might be trip hazards for workers or cause slippage for your material handling equipment or become entrapped in, under, or around your material handling equipment. For pedestrians and operators alike, this is a point of concern as loading docks have a great deal of traffic including forklifts, warehouse equipment, and pedestrians.

One fundamental practice we use in Toyota facilities is that everything has a place or a home, and everything is put in its place or home.  This practice has been effective in eliminating loading dock clutter.  All employees know where “home” is for materials so tripping hazards don’t pile up. For example, Toyota facilities use receptacles for plastic wrap, and operators are required to immediately move empty pallets to proper storage locations.  Depending on your operation and workplace and material handling considerations, you and your safety consultant should work together to develop standard operating procedures based on your operational needs.

Slick Surfaces– Rain, sleet, snow and spills are some of the contributing factors that may lead to slick surfaces in or around a loading dock. This can cause a slip hazard for both pedestrians and material handling equipment unloading a trailer.

To minimize this risk, keep all surfaces on and surrounding your dock dry. Sweeping, mopping and use of floor fans or dryers can help maintain dry working surfaces. In the case of a spill, workers and operators should be trained on the proper steps to make sure that the spill is cleaned up and disposed of safety and appropriately.  If it’s a hazardous substance, you should refer to all applicable rules, regulations and laws for safely cleaning and disposing of them.  And remember, if the spill involved a forklift, OSHA requires that the operator be retrained.

Trailer Creep– Trailers can move substantially under the weight of a forklift driving back and forth between the trailer and dock. This is known as trailer creep and it’s a serious safety hazard.

Use of dock levers to bridge the gap between the trailer and loading dock, wheel chocks to prevent tractor and trailer wheel movement, and automatic trailer restraints are all ways to address this potential hazard.  Once again, workers and forklift operators should receive safety training that includes the appropriate way to secure trailers at your facility.

Premature Departure– Trucks driving away before a trailer is fully unloaded is a serious concern. To minimize the potential of this occurring, clear communication between truck drivers, forklift operators, and dock managers is needed and should be a part of your safety training.

Like mentioned above, wheel chocks and automatic trailer restraints are also couple ways to reduce the likelihood of premature departure. Other ways include a lighting system that changes colors depending on the status of the unloading process or taking the truck drivers’ keys until the trailer is fully unloaded. These practices should be considered when augmenting a culture of communication and proper safety training and practices to enhance safety on and around loading docks.

By: Kayla Lumpford-Mitchell, eCommerce Marketing Specialist, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Feb 26

COLUMBUS, Ind. – (February 13, 2019) – Toyota Industries North America, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Hoist Liftruck Mfg., LLC effective February 8, 2019. The new company will be Hoist Material Handling, Inc.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in building a terrific brand and quality products,” said Hoist Founder Marty Flaska. “I am retiring and will no longer be part of the business, but the company is in good hands. It’s an honor to hand it off to the industry leader Toyota.”

Hoist Material Handling will be led by Vice President (VP) and General Manager Dan Kossow; VP of Engineering Bob Miller; VP of Sales Stu Jacover; and VP of Operations Ryan Delaney. Delaney, who spent the last six years as Director of Quality for the Raymond Corporation, will join the Hoist Material Handling team in East Chicago reporting to Tony Miller, Senior VP of Operations and Engineering for Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing.

“This is the perfect next step in the expansion of our Toyota Heavy Duty (THD) line,” said Jeff Rufener, President of Toyota Material Handling U.SA. “Hoist has been a great manufacturer of heavy-duty equipment for years and brings a group of passionate, talented associates that will help us in our role as a full-line equipment supplier. We are excited about the future of Hoist Material Handling.”

The acquisition of Hoist Material Handling adds to Toyota’s already robust presence in the state of Indiana. Headquartered in East Chicago, Ind. with a 550,000-square-foot factory, Hoist has nearly 25 years of experience manufacturing heavy-duty cushion tire and pneumatic forklifts, reach stackers, container handlers, and more, ranging in lift capacity from 7 to 57 tons.

Toyota has had an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Hoist for the manufacture of large capacity forklifts under the THD brand since 2015.

“We are committed to maintaining a high-level of quality products and service to both the Hoist and Toyota dealer networks,” Rufener said.

Toyota Material Handling offers a full line of material handling products proudly assembled in the United States, including forklifts, reach trucks, order pickers, pallet jacks, container handlers, automated guided vehicles, and tow tractors, along with aerial work platforms, fleet management services, and advanced automation engineering and design. Toyota’s commitment to quality, reliability and customer satisfaction, the hallmark of the Toyota Production System, extends throughout more than 230 locations across North America. 

Photo & Article credit:  Hoist News Link

Feb 19

Electricity and water don’t mix, until it’s time for forklift battery maintenance. Cool, refreshing, H2O doesn’t just keep your body running – water is crucial for proper battery function in electric forklifts.

Improper water levels can lower battery life and reduce cycle time between charges, decreasing your forklift’s effectiveness while increasing energy and maintenance costs.

In modern lead acid batteries that run most electric forklifts, water fills the individual cells to ensure a functional mix of the chemicals and electrolytes that power the equipment. Should water levels dip too low in your forklift battery, it can cause preventable damage to your equipment. Improper water levels can lower battery life and reduce cycle time between charges, decreasing your forklift’s effectiveness while increasing energy and maintenance costs. To prevent this damage, you should do the following:

  • Water the battery after charging. Unless the metal plates of the individual cells are exposed, watering before charging can cause overflows and electrolyte imbalance. If the plates are exposed, top the battery enough to cover them, recharge, and then complete regular watering after charging.
  • Use pure or distilled water. Water that is dirty or filled with particulates can cause electrolyte imbalances and damage the battery. Distilled water isn’t usually needed so long as pure, clean water is used.
  • If available, use a single-point watering system. They save you time and make sure water levels are appropriate in all battery cells.
  • Avoid lengthy exposure to cold temperatures. If water freezes in your batteries, it can damage them.

New forklift batteries can be expensive. Take care of what you have and you’ll be a hero for your boss and your business.

Feb 11

According to a study published by Global Market Insights in February 2018, the rental market for aerial work platforms is expected to reach $24 billion by the year 2024 (up from around $15 billion in 2016). This sharp increase in demand is largely attributable to the booming construction industry with scissor lifts seeing the largest increase in equipment demand.

And it makes sense. Scissor lifts are practical, inherently safer than using a ladder, and they’re a more economical solution than many other powered types of equipment. So how do you choose the right scissor lift for your application? They’re all essentially the same, right? They travel and lift and lower and that’s usually good enough to get the job done isn’t it?

Well, not quite. While many people tend to focus on the upfront cost as the only factor when purchasing or renting this type of equipment, this could end up costing you in reduced efficiency, performance, and safety, among other factors. This guide will help you understand these factors and make a better, more informed decision when it comes to the type of equipment you want on the job site.

Scissor Lift Purchasing Factors

Exterior Dimensions – Scissor lifts come in all shapes and sizes with different lift heights, platform dimensions, and lifting capacities. Make sure to choose one that will work in your space constraints that can also meet the demands of your application. Having a lift with fold-down guardrails and an upper control box with remote, off-truck capabilities can also be very helpful for traveling through doorways and working in tight spaces.

For reference, check out Toyota’s various scissor lift sizes. They’ll give you an idea of various options.

Scissor Lift Sizes Infographic

Safety – Consider the construction of the scissor lift and the features that it offers that can help reduce the possibility of an accident. Scissor lifts today, such as AICHI’s E-Series models, offer advanced features such as anti-rollback on grades, controlled descent when lowering, and reduced travel speed with the platform elevated to reduce the likelihood of a tip over or injury.

Efficiency – More efficiency equals longer run time and longer run time equals getting more work done between charges. Some scissor lifts utilize hydraulic steering and DC drive motors, which aren’t efficient ways of converting energy and also require more maintenance. AICHI’s E-Series scissor lift models have industry leading cycle time thanks to their highly efficient AC motors designed by Toyota.

Productivity – The travel and lift/lower speed capabilities of your scissor lift can have significant impacts on productivity, but they aren’t the only factors. The key is looking for a machine that provides smooth, precise control that instills confidence in the operator. Additional features such as a zero degree turning radius and a power outlet on the platform can even further increase your overall productivity by spending less time navigating tight turns and getting on and off the scissor lift.

Written by:  Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA

Feb 08

Toyota’s dedication to continuous improvement (kaizen in Japanese) has led to innovation throughout our industry-leading manufacturing processes. But we embody this concept in all of our business practices as well, and it is one of the major reasons Toyota continues to be on the forefront of the material handling industry. This standard of excellence is recognized across material handling operations.

Again for 2018, the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) has awarded Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A. (TMHU) its prestigious Most Valuable Supplier Award. This year marks the third consecutive time TMHU has received the award that is presented to suppliers who exhibit excellence in industry and distributor advocacy, education, best business practices, safety, and community outreach.

“One of our core values is a commitment to continuous improvement in all areas of our business,” said TMHU President Jeff Rufener. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our ongoing dedication to create the best possible experience for every customer, dealer, and associate in the Toyota family.”

At Toyota, safety comes standard and we are continuously working to provide the safest, most dependable equipment on the market and to offer unparalleled dedication to safety training throughout our dealer network.


Feb 01

There are many different types of forklifts, each carefully designed for specific applications and each offering its own unique set of benefits and features.

Selecting the right forklift for your needs is essential to efficiency and productivity, which is why it is so important to understand the key differences in each class of forklifts. But with seven varying forklift “classes” with subtle differences, it can be difficult to even know where to begin your forklift search.

What are the different types of forklifts?

  • Class I: Electric Motor Rider Forklifts
  • Class II: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Forklifts (Reach Trucks, Order Pickers)
  • Class III: Electric Pallet Jacks, Stackers, and Tow Tractors
  • Class IV: Internal Combustion Cushion Tire Forklifts
  • Class V: Internal Combustion Pneumatic Tire Forklifts
  • Class VI: Electric/IC Engine Tow Tractors
  • Class VII: Rough Terrain Forklifts

Let’s explore the distinct applications, benefits, and features of each of the seven classes:

Class I: Electric Motor Riders

Class I forklifts are electric motor riders. These electric-powered forklifts are ideal for loading and unloading tractor-trailers, handling pallets, and a number of other applications in industries ranging from food storage and retail to factory and general warehousing.

Because they are powered by an electric battery, Class I forklifts are much quieter and create no emissions, making them a popular choice for indoor applications. Batteries on Class I forklifts also function as part of the counterweight to help maintain lifting capacity.

Toyota offers six versatile forklifts in this class, ranging in lift capacity from 3,000 to 40,000 pounds and with electrical systems ranging between 24-volt and 80-volt. Click on each of Toyota’s six Class I forklift models below to learn more about their individual features.


Class II: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle

Class II forklifts are electric, narrow aisle models. As the name suggests, Class II forklifts are designed with maneuverability that allows them to operate in tight spaces and narrow aisles. This class of forklifts is perfect for picking and putting away inventory, and these trucks provide users the ability to increase racking space without expanding their current warehouse.

Toyota offers two Class II forklift models, and you can explore the unique features of each by clicking on the model name from the list below.


Class III: Electric Pallet Jacks / Stackers / Tow Tractors

Class III equipment includes electric pallet jacks, stackers, and tow tractors. This class of equipment comes in both rider and walk behind (“walkie”) models, perfect for unloading deliveries and moving loads to a staging area where they can be handled by other types of forklifts.

Toyota offers 10 Class III models, including three different stackers that are ideal for food and beverage storage industries, among others. Click on each forklift model below to learn more.


Class IV: Internal Combustion Engine Cushion Tire

Class IV forklifts are internal combustion engine cushion tire trucks. This class of sit-down forklifts is designed for indoor use. Class IV forklifts are powered by internal combustion (IC) engines that run on diesel fuel, LP gas, gasoline, or compressed natural gas. Their solid, cushioned tires provide a smooth ride on indoor surfaces and they’re puncture-proof since they are not air-filled.

These forklifts offer users outstanding versatility for warehousing, distribution, retail, and automotive applications.

Toyota offers seven Class IV models, ranging in lift capacity from 3,000 to 100,000 pounds. Click on each of the forklift models below to learn more about their individual features.


Class V: Internal Combustion Engine Pneumatic Tire

Class V forklifts are internal combustion engine pneumatic tire trucks. Forklifts in this class are similar to those in Class IV, but are designed primarily for outdoor use. These forklifts are highly durable and are ideal for lumberyards, construction sites, and other outdoor applications.

Toyota offers seven forklift models in Class V, ranging in lift capacity from 3,000 to 125,000 pounds. Click on each individual forklift model below to learn more about its individual features.


Class VI: Electric/ IC Engine Tow Tractors

Class VI equipment includes electric and internal combustion engine tow tractors. These machines are most commonly used for towing loads rather than lifting. Trucks in this class are ideal for use at airports, but are also commonly used in assembly line areas.

Toyota’s Large Tow Tractor boasts a maximum tugging capacity of over 50,000 pounds and features an extremely tight turn radius. Its AC Drive system enables quicker acceleration, high top speeds, and extended peak operator time.

Class VII: Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

Class VII forklifts are rough terrain trucks. Trucks in this class feature large, tractor-style tires and are powered almost exclusively by diesel engines for outdoor use in rugged terrain. Class VII trucks are most commonly used at lumberyards or construction sites to lift building materials to elevated work sites.

How to Choose Between IC or Electric Forklifts:

Deciding whether an internal combustion forklift or electric forklift is appropriate for your application can seem like a daunting task. Here are some high-level considerations that you might take into account:


  • Typically less maintenance than I/C forklifts
  • Quieter with little emission sounds
  • No fuel-storage requirements
  • Requires a charging station
  • Batteries are large and heavy to change out.  Battery extraction equipment may be required
  • No tailpipe emissions
  • Lifespan depends on application, use and maintenance
  • Better option for smaller, confined areas

Internal Combustion Forklifts

  • Operate on gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas
  • Primarily used outdoors, but can be used in moderation in some indoor applications
  • Can operate in various conditions
  • No batteries to recharge
  • Toyota’s IC forklift line can lift over 51,000 lbs.
  • Lifespan depends on application, use and maintenance
  • Noise emissions meet or exceed ANSI B56.1 Standards
  • Toyota forklifts are designed to meet EPA Standards for emissions

Jan 30

Forks are undeniably the most popular attachment for a forklift. However, they are not always the right attachment for every application, as some loads require unique attachments to get the job done. And if forks are the choice attachment, there are additional attachments available that help those forks perform certain jobs better, such as side shifters or fork positioners.
Selecting and using the right attachment for your application can results in higher productivity, less damage to the load, less stress on the forklift, and added convenience for the forklift operator. So, what attachments are the most popular?

Side Shifters

Side shifters are popular forklift attachments that operate in conjunction with the forks. They allow the operator to shift the forks to the left and right without leaving their seat. This ability to reposition the forks helps operators pick up loads that might not be perfectly aligned with the forklift which, in turn, saves wear and tear on the forklift. Side shifters are available in both single and double units, meaning operators can handle one or two pallets at the same time.

Fork Positioners

Fork positioners allow the forklift operator to automatically adjust the distance between the forks quickly to fit different pallet sizes without leaving their seat.

Paper Roll Clamps

Paper roll clamps allow the operator to clamp onto the sides of a roll of paper without damaging or crushing the product. These clamps can be used in a variety of applications. Clamps are the attachment of choice when a load is not transportable by pallet.

Flat Surface Clamps

Like paper roll clamps, flat surface clamps are also available and are most commonly used in the appliance industry to transport appliances such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators.


Rotators have forks attached to a rotating apron that can turn between 180 degrees and 360 degrees. These attachments are most often used where bins or containers are stored and transported. The contents are carried in the attached bin and dumped into another container.

Multiple Load Handlers

Multiple load handlers are used to double or triple a forklift’s productivity level by adding a second or third pair of forks to the truck. Operators can pick up more than one load at a time and transport them side by side. These attachments are often found in beverage and food handling warehouses.

Push / Pull

This attachment helps eliminate the need for pallets. Loads are on cardboard or plastic slip sheets that have a lip on them and the load is pushed off the forks by this attachment. Eliminating pallets helps to reduce cost and to free up space within a facility. These attachments are most popular in food-processing warehouses.

Carpet Poles

Carpet Poles are heavy duty coils used to transport large rolls of carpeting.

Benefits of Forklift Attachments

Forklift attachments can result in higher productivity and less operator stress, which is great for your company, and even better for your operators! Well-trained operators using the right attachment for your application can save time and money. You will love the increased production, and your operators will enjoy the new features.

Jan 23

Sending operators to forklift training to improve safety and increase efficiency isn't just a good's an OSHA requirement.  In a workplace environment, most employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to a lack of, or inadequate, training. A comprehensive forklift safety training program is one of the most effective ways to combat workplace injuries.

There are specific rules set forth by The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) concerning forklift operator training and licensing.

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178(I) requires that employers provide forklift operators training for vehicle inspection and maintenance. Operators must be over 18 years of age and be recertified at least once every three years. 

Businesses are required to develop and enforce a written program that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Forklift Operator training
  • Licensure
  • Review/renewal program

This is an OSHA requirement for every forklift operator within an organization. Every aspect of the forklift operation must be covered, from setting the parking brake to forklift speed.

Forklift training is available on-line, however, an operator cannot be certified to operate a forklift through an online course! OSHA certification requires:

  • Formal instruction in any combination: (lectures, discussions, on-line courses, video presentations, written material).
  • Demonstrations performed by a certified trainer and then exercises performed by the trainee.
  • A thorough Evaluation of the forklift operator’s performance on the job.

Other OSHA Forklift Requirements:

  • Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance: It is important to establish a vehicle inspection and maintenance plan for forklift operators to adhere to. While training is vital, a forklift operating at premium performance helps assure a safe work environment.
  • Daily Forklift Checklist: OSHA has an approved daily checklist for all forklift operators to adhere to before they begin each shift.

Dillon Toyota Lift offers a variety of safety training classes for both operators and trainers and safety training materials.  We offer flexible class schedules and training classes available on-site at your facility or any DTL location.  

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