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!  

3 Tips for Lumber Yard Efficiency

Running an efficient and productive lumber yard is a tall task. Shipment frequency is increasing and lead time expectations are getting shorter. To maintain a competitive advantage, it can be necessary to rethink your operation. It?s easy to talk about the load capacity of a forklift fleet and buying the right forklift for the job. These are important. But there are other steps you can take to shorten lead times and increase productivity. Tips to Increase Lumber Yard Efficiency Tip #1: Yard maintenance is Just as Important as Forklift Maintenance Lumber yard operations are often subject to having their driving surfaces take on wear and tear at a fast rate. Uneven surfaces or debris from lumber can cause damage to your material handling equipment. Assuring that the area is kept tight and level can extend the life of your forklift. Tip #2: A Better Layout Could Mean Better Profits One way to increase margins is by reducing your operating costs. Being strategic about where to place what product can reduce drive time, leading to less spending on fuel and maintenance/replacement of forklifts. Taking note of trends within your lumber yard is helpful when making layout decisions. For example, what kinds of wood are often bought jointly? Having those near each other can help your order pickers. You might also consider how you sell various units of lumber. In the event a product is typically purchased in separated amounts, you can store those in a location that creates a convenient route for your forklift operators to make multiple runs. On the other hand, if you traditionally move an entire bundle with a high capacity forklift , having a space available for your larger forklifts to do simple lifting might be an option to explore. Tip #3: Think Ahead to Reduce Time Reducing lead time for sending orders out could be an area of opportunity for your facility. While maintaining the best routes in your lumber yard is important, you can also optimize the process of preparing loads to be shipped. Some facilities are increasing efficiency by creating a pre-build system. For example, after placing all paper/electronic order forms together, your forklift operators will bring the right sized, previously cut lumber and build out all loads beforehand. If done correctly, an order will be complete and ready to go when the truck arrives for pickup. Depending upon the size of your operation, you may be able to employ someone part or full-time who handles the task of scheduling these pre-built loads and managing your inventory. This type of planning can go a long way in ensuring your operation is always one step ahead in regards to inventory management and efficiency. Having these pre-built loads labelled in a way in which they are easily identifiable by your forklift operators further improves your efficiency and throughput. This can be easily accomplished by simple changes to eliminate the amount of time it takes to identify the order on the build sheet. Font size, placement and even length of the order number can help to reduce the amount of time it takes to identify each build and can help to eliminate costly downtime.


How Columbia Can Help In Your Warehouse or Distribution Center!

Let's have a chat about big buildings? Warehouses and distribution centers are some of the most expansive and impressive industrial structures there are. The top ten largest warehouses in North America as of October 2022 range from 1.1 million square feet to an incredible 10 million square feet! As demand increases for consumer goods, these massive industrial spaces continue to become larger and more impressive, and with these larger spaces comes the need to increase the means to complete your tasks. How can Columbia help with that? Why our impressive lineup of electric vehicles, specially equipped to help move, tow, and transport what you need, of course! Can you imagine traversing 10 million square feet on foot? Yeah, us either! Columbia offers a versatile and robust lineup with vehicles such as the Utilitruck , equipped with AC-powered electric drive, and a high-strength channel steel frame, as well as towing up to 1,500 pounds. The Utilitruck will make movement around the outside of your warehouse more efficient! The Payloader with a carrying capacity of 2,400 - 4,000 pounds and an optional towing capacity of 18,000 pounds. The Payloader even offers an option for extra seating as well as a custom toolbox and vice add-on for easy fixes on the go! And our Journeyman , offering 6 different configurations! With options for 2 - 6 passenger seating including a rear-facing option with a drop-side cargo box or van box. The Journeyman can also be ordered as an LSV to serve your needs outside of the warehouse on city streets. You can easily move through any space transporting goods or personnel with power and efficiency! Additionally, Columbia partners with Cyngn, a developer of innovative autonomous driving software solutions for industrial and commercial enterprises. With the use of robotic technology, the Columbia Stockchaser allows autonomous vehicles to work alongside humans to create the most effective and proficient team. Read more about our Cyngn partnership here . Maybe your warehouse isn?t quite THAT large or has been optimized for maximum density. We guarantee there's a vehicle that can help your particular needs, no matter how large or small a space you're working with. Perhaps an Expediter is what you REALLY need. With its narrow design and tight turning radius, the Expediter allows you to navigate through the tightest of spaces. Is there a need for a single team member to get from one side of your workspace to another? With the ability to move three times faster than walking, you're able to cover more ground in less time with the Chariot . Waste no time getting where you need to go quickly and safely. As an industry leader in safety , we can help you figure out how to get from A to B in the safest manner possible. A few features that contribute to the safety of our vehicles are bright industrial colors, ergonomics, lights, automatic parking brake, and the vehicles' drive system just to name a few Production transportation logistics can be tricky and moving your personnel and material over large spaces without a plan in place can quickly get out of hand. This is where Columbia Vehicle Group comes in. Our highly skilled and friendly sales team knows all about horizontal material handling and how to help you navigate your internal transportation needs; helping you increase your productivity and eliminate fuel costs with all-electric power. Let us show you how a Columbia electric vehicle can help you prioritize movement and efficiency in your warehouse!



TICO (Terminal Investment Corporation) Manufacturing, the leading terminal tractor manufacturer and one of the largest terminal tractor fleet owners and operators in North America, announces the full production of its Pro-Spotter Electric terminal tractor. TICO has partnered with Volvo Penta to integrate their proven driveline, batteries and e-accessories featured throughout the Volvo Group into the Pro-Spotter Electric (EV unit). TICO has secured its first orders for the model as part of a pre-series run and will deliver its first retail unit in May 2023 with full production commencing later in Q2 of this year. ?As a pioneer in the industry for alternative fuels and sustainable solutions, TICO is committed to providing cutting-edge technology to our customer partners while remaining focused on superior equipment and elite support. Fleet sustainability is a growing priority that TICO is tackling head-on,? said Mallery Pindar, Director of Sales, Marketing, and Commercial Development for TICO The latest in TICO innovations, the EV truck combines the power and durability of the TICO Pro-Spotter truck with the proven electric design, reliability, and components of the Volvo Group. This means industry-leading equipment and technology, backed by a real-time service management platform, integrated battery monitoring service, and dedicated support network to keep fleet operators on the move. ?Volvo Penta is committed to sustainable power solutions that meet the industry?s net-zero ambitions,? said Darren Tasker, Vice President of Industrial at Volvo Penta North America. ?The production of the TICO EV terminal tractor with the Volvo Penta driveline is already making its mark within the industry, and we are excited to be partners on this exciting and innovative electromobility journey.? ?Volvo Penta has a vision to be a leader in sustainable power solutions, and TICO is a very important part of this transformational journey,? said Darren Tasker, Vice President of Industrial at Volvo Penta North America. ?Partnering with TICO on our project to introduce an emission-free, electric terminal tractor leverages Volvo Group technology and Volvo Penta?s experience and full-system approach to the electric driveline?from development to installation?and TICO?s manufacturing capabilities and extensive customer service and support. We are growing and innovating together to secure market position and achieve a technologically advanced powertrain portfolio.? After experiencing strong demo success, including positive operator and end-user feedback on unit performance, drivability, and system packaging, TICO is proud to produce the most user-friendly electric truck in the industry. View Press Release HERE.



Keeping a warehouse running smoothly and productively is one of the biggest challenges facing business operators across a wide variety of industries. Whether you?re moving pallets full of food, large stacks of tires, or other materials ready for distribution, choosing the right forklift can mean a world of difference in levels of productivity. Toyota?s line of electric material handling equipment is diverse and includes forklifts, electric walkie pallet jacks, electric stackers, order pickers, and reach trucks. All of these options increase your uptime because of low maintenance requirements, drastically cutting the fuel cost of your fleet and producing no fuel exhausts. With lifting capacities ranging from 2,000-17,500 lbs., Toyota offers an electric option for almost any warehousing application . Here are just a few options that help make Toyota your full-line material handling equipment supplier. ELECTRIC FORKLIFTS 3-Wheel Electric Forklift: The Toyota 3-Wheel Electric Forklift lets your operators maneuver tight aisles effortlessly. It can operate nimbly in spaces under 10? because of its zero-turn radius and compact manufacturing. Core Electric Forklift: The Toyota Core Electric Forklift is one of the most versatile products available for your warehouse needs. Offering a 6,500 lb. lift capacity and the ability to navigate 11 ft. aisles, the Core Electric is a must-have for operations in large warehouse spaces. Large Electric Forklift: Toyota?s Large Electric Forklift gets the job done quietly and reliably. With 12,000 pounds of lifting power, it is a zero-emissions ride that is perfect for your toughest warehousing challenges, even in the food and beverage industries. It speaks softly and carries a big lift. Stand-Up Rider Forklift: The Toyota Stand-Up Rider Forklift is a warehouse solution for highly mobile operators. If your warehouse applications call for operators to constantly get on and off their forklift, the Stand-Up Rider might be the right fit in tight spaces. 48V Electric Pneumatic Forklift: Designed with the operator in mind, the 48V Electric Pneumatic comes equipped with amenities to help do the job quickly and efficiently. Standard mini-lever controls offer comfortable and ergonomic material handling while minimizing movement. 80V Electric Pneumatic Forklift: With its rugged design, The Toyota 80V Electric Pneumatic Forklift is capable of withstanding harsh conditions when warehouses have both indoor and outdoor needs. Built to do similar work as its IC Pneumatic counterparts, these machines allow all-electric fleets to stay that way. Toyota?s 80V Electric Pneumatic has a lifting capacity of up to 17,500 lbs. ELECTRIC PALLET JACKS Electric Walkie Pallet Jack: For mid-distance runs that require more speed and power than a standard hand pallet jack can provide, Toyota?s Electric Walkie Pallet Jack offers operators the flexibility they need to tackle many warehouse challenges. It also gives their backs a break from manual labor, keeping them working, happy, and healthy. Large Electric Walkie Pallet Jack: Toyota?s Large Electric Walkie Pallet Jack makes maneuvering heavy loads throughout the warehouse efficient, convenient, and productive. Whether you are using a staging area for loading and unloading or you need a solution for here-and-there material handling jobs, the Large Electric Walkie Pallet Jack is an asset for nearly any application. Low Level Order Picker: With Toyota?s Low Lever Order Picker , you now have the versatility to quickly pick products in lower bin locations while also providing access to second and, in some instances, even third-level racking. The ability to travel while elevated and simultaneously use travel and lift/lower controls gives operators the tools they need to get from pick to pick quickly and efficiently. ELECTRIC PALLET STACKERS Electric Walkie Stacker: The Toyota Electric Walkie Stacker offers an alternative when a full-sized electric forklift isn?t necessary for your short and mid-distance warehousing needs that require stacking capabilities. It?s ideal for light-duty stacking in busy warehouses. Walkie Reach Truck: Toyota?s Walkie Reach Truck has a lifting capacity of up to 3,000 lbs, a lift height of 189 inches, and can fit in 8 ft. aisles. The Walkie Reach Truck precisely navigates narrow aisles and is the perfect choice for lower-output warehouse operations. ELECTRIC ORDER PICKERS Order Picker: The Toyota O rder Picker offers a straightforward solution for your order retrieval needs. Toyota?s Order Picker easily maneuvers narrow aisles in warehouses with minimized rack impact during case picking thanks to optional wire guidance and double rail guidance systems. Furniture Order Picker: The Toyota Furniture Order Picker is designed to handle your pallet-less tasks from couches to dining room tables. The Furniture Order Picker can accommodate carts or furniture platforms and lift a wide variety of large or bulky items. ELECTRIC REACH TRUCKS Reach Truck: With the Toyota Reach Truck , expanding warehouses means having the ability to grow up instead of out. When you can reach high to several levels of warehouse racks, you efficiently use your space, increasing revenue and ROI. Multidirectional Reach Truck: Articulating load wheels allow the Multidirectional Reach Truck to travel horizontally, permitting compact travel and stacking wide loads in narrow aisles without the need to turn. The ability to travel both parallel or perpendicular to racking saves you time and space while increasing productivity. High-Capacity Reach Truck: Need to reach high? How about a lift height of up to 45 ft. Need to lift heavy? How about a lift capacity of up to 4,500 lbs. When needing to do both, the High-Capacity Reach Truck can lift 2,150 lbs. to more than 42 feet. It all adds up to better cube utilization and versatility to store products when and where you need to. Moving Mast Reach Trucks: Toyota?s Moving Mast Reach Truck offers clear and precise control for fast and smooth handling shift after shift. With a unique optional tilting cab system, operators not only have a clear view of their load but allow for faster and more accurate fork positioning. The Indoor/Outdoor Moving Mast Reach Truck provides the same advantages along with the ability to travel outside.



Warehouse safety is an important part of forklift safety, and at Toyota we know that safety is not an option. It?s a standard. Warehouses and other forklift environments should be places where operators, pedestrians, and managers feel safe and secure as they work accomplish important tasks. It can be easy to forgo warehouse safety reviews once you?ve established that your forklifts are in safe, working order. But a truly safe environment is one where safety is part of the culture, where continual audits are taking place, and where everyone feels empowered to recommend safety improvements. Those improvements can include ways forklifts are used, ways pedestrians can increase awareness, and even changes to the structure or equipment in the warehouse. The following warehouse safety tips can help you evaluate various areas on your warehousing operation to might make associates safer while working on and around your material handling equipment. Warehouse Safety Tips: Conduct a Routine Warehouse Safety Audit Many safety issues will be checked on your forklifts during your daily walk-around . But safety in the warehouse means also taking care of as many possible hazards in the warehouse itself as possible. Here are some possible things you might add to a routine warehouse safety audit. Electrical Safety Ensure outlets function Install and maintain high-visibility lights Workspace Safety Clear aisles to remove tripping hazards Avoid slip and fall hazards by immediately cleaning spills Make sure all work areas are kept clear of clutter Fire Safety Remove any and all fire hazards Make sure extinguishers are easily accessible and in working condition Clearly mark all exits Make sure exits are free of obstructions Hazardous Material Safety Make sure eyewash stations are in working order Clearly label all chemicals Make sure the MSDS for all chemicals are readily available to all employees The above list is not exhaustive, but these points are vital to the continued safety of your employees. Additionally, all staff members should be given clear training on safety procedures in the event of a fire, accident, weather-related situation, or medical emergency. Safety regulations for warehouses are maintained by OSHA , and it?s important that you audit your warehouse to ensure that your workspace is compliant. Warehouse Safety Tips For Pedestrians: Dispelling Myths and Establishing Best Practices Operators might feel relatively safe walking around forklifts, right? Most people do. However, they may not be as safe as they think without proper precautions. Forklifts weigh as much as a bus, and even the most skilled operators do not always see pedestrians, making it highly unsafe to ever assume having the ?right of way? means you won?t be hit. Check out these five common misconceptions held by pedestrians when working or walking around forklifts. Dispel these myths, and your operations might be less likely to encounter unfortunate collision-related injuries and deaths. If you can see the forklift, the forklift operator can see you. Depending on what the forklift is carrying and where you are walking, the forklift operator may not be able to see you. Make eye contact whenever possible. If you have common sense, you?ll be just fine walking in a warehouse full of forklifts. Common sense, though valuable, is not enough to keep pedestrians safe while walking in a warehouse. Only forklift operators need to be trained in warehouse safety. As previously mentioned, common sense is not enough for pedestrians to be safe in the warehouse. Training for pedestrians in the warehouse is imperative in avoiding accidents. The forklift operator can stop the forklift at a moment?s notice, should a pedestrian walk out in front of one. Depending on what the forklift is carrying, it can be thousands, and even tens of thousands of pounds. Getting a forklift to stop can take a few seconds, which can be a few seconds too many if a pedestrian is walking in front of it. As long as you?re watching out for incoming forklifts, you?ll be okay in the warehouse. Unfortunately, being struck by a forklift isn?t the only thing that can happen in a warehouse, there are other dangers too. Training pedestrians will make them aware of all potential dangers. Developing a clear set of safety standards for pedestrians can help you dispel these myths and make safe pedestrian travel a part of your safe warehouse culture. Warehouse Safety Tips For Pedestrians: A Clean Warehouse is a Safe Warehouse With so many people, machines, and moving parts working together within the same warehouse, keeping your space tidy is critical to staying up and running ? and to maintaining a safe working environment for employees. Employees working in the same space as forklifts should be sure to remove debris from the area. Sawdust, packaging, and misplaced boxes or pallets can make navigating inside of designated areas difficult and increase the risk of slippage or tipover. There are also risks to the internal functioning of forklifts when a warehouse is cluttered. Many forklifts are designed with cooling systems that suck up surrounding air near the ground, exposing their cooling systems to unnecessary risk of damage due to debris being sucked up. Forklifts can be damaged and overheat, putting forklifts, operators, and facilities at risk of harm. Toyota IC forklifts are designed to limit such risks. The air intake is positioned strategically high on the right rear overhead guard leg to limit dust and debris from entering the air cleaner. Certain debris can also cause damage to a forklift?s steering or braking systems, which can jeopardize the life and safety of the forklift operator. Occasional floor debris is inevitable. And when tight ground clearance is necessary for stability purposes, it can be easy for debris to get caught by a forklift. However, maintaining a clean warehouse is as simple as instilling strong housekeeping principles within your operators and other employees. It is up to everyone to play their part in keeping the work environment clean and safe. Warehouse Safety Tips: Maintaining Floor Integrity Forklift safety also means keeping close watch on the state of your warehouse floor and other driving surfaces. Forklifts are heavy machinery and ignoring floor damages in your facility can lead to serious safety issues for operators. A forklift can weigh close to five times the weight of a Toyota Camry when it is carrying its full capacity. That?s 14,000 lbs. of heavy equipment driving on your warehouse floors. If the floor can?t support the weight of your forklift, an accident can occur at any moment. Many forklift operators? tasks require that they drive lifts onto trailers. Trailers with rotted and cracked floors should never be driven on under any circumstances. The risk of a fall through is too great and the safety of your operators will be put at risk. Floor loading specifications are available from your forklift manufacturer. Contact your local Toyota Dealer today with any additional questions. Warehouse Safety Tips For Pedestrians: OSHA Warehouse Lighting Requirements A warehouse with forklifts in operation poses enough safety risks without the added risk of it being too dark to see well enough. If it?s too dark to notice the equipment moving around or toward you, then you could be in serious danger. Let?s take a quick look at warehouse lighting needs: The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) provides its lighting standards in lumens, which are the International System of Units measurement for the total quantity of visible light that a source emits. According to OSHA, a warehouse space that utilizes heavy equipment must provide at least two lumens per square foot. An average living room typically uses 20 lumens per square foot, while a grocery store typically uses about 70 lumens per square foot. Think about the size of your warehouse and the safe operation of forklifts in that space when determining how to light your facility. Remember, obstructed visibility is one of the main reason for forklift accidents. A well-lit warehouse can help protect against operator error. Sufficient indoor lighting is important for smooth workplace operation, but let?s not forget about those forklifts that operate outdoors. If a forklift operator is working without the aid of sunlight, additional lighting in the outdoor workspace or on the forklift itself is critical.


Columbia battery care & maintenance

An electric vehicle depends on its battery pack as the source of energy that propels it to complete its mission. Proper care and maintenance of this pack can significantly increase its useful life and help keep the operating costs of an electric vehicle well below a traditional internal combustion engine. The following tips will serve as a guide for proper care of a Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) battery pack: -Batteries should be charged after each use. Avoid continuously operating batteries in a partially charged condition. -Distilled water should be used to replenish batteries. Particular care should be taken to avoid metallic contamination (iron). -Inspect battery cables to ensure they are intact and connectors are kept tight at all times. -Battery vent caps should be kept in place and tight during vehicle operation and battery charging. -For maximum battery life, batteries should not be discharged below 80% of their rated capacity. -If the vehicle will not be used for a period beyond a few weeks, charge the batteries, fill them and store the vehicle in a cool place that will not consistently be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. -Avoid Charging at temperatures above 120 degrees Fahrenheit. -Only fill the batteries after charging, unless the plates are exposed. If they are exposed add water until acid covers the top of the plates by at least 1/8? and no higher than 1/4? below the top of the fill well. -If the charger is operating and you want to use the vehicle, unplug it from the wall before unplugging the plug at the vehicle so a spark will not be created near the batteries. -Wash the tops of the batteries often, to ensure batteries are clean and free of dirt or corrosion. -As batteries age, their performance and maintenance requirements may change. Older batteries will need to be watered more often. And, a decrease in capacity and range is to be expected. -Periodic battery testing is an important preventative maintenance procedure. Hydrometer readings of each cell (fully charged) gives an indication of balance and true charge level. An imbalance could mean the need for equalizing which is often a sign of improper charging or a bad cell. Voltage checks (open circuit, charged and discharged) can locate a bad battery when other methods fail. A weak battery will cause premature failure of companion batteries.



As industries continue to evolve and grow, warehouse and storage spaces becomes more critical. Traditionally you may have expanded your warehouse and storage spaces laterally but with today?s economy, it has become more popular to expand upwards. Expanding your warehouse and storage spaces upward allows you to maximize the utilization of your current footprint while minimizing costs. The question then becomes, how are you going to best utilize this space for maximum productivity and efficiency? Do you have the equipment necessary to store the heavier loads in taller racking? Reach Higher Expanding your warehouse upwards can present challenges for your current equipment. Depending on the weight and size of your products, your existing forklifts may not be capable of lifting loads as high as you need them to. Toyota?s High-Capacity Reach Truck can assist in optimizing your warehouse so you can place goods in the most efficient storage locations. With a High-Capacity Reach Truck, you can reach heights up to 45 ft. That provides an additional 15 ft. of lift height compared to a standard Toyota Reach Truck. When reaching higher, you won?t have to sacrifice your view with a view-through carriage and overhead guard. Toyota?s High-Capacity Reach Truck is also available with an optional camera system and lift height indicators to assist with storage and retrieval accuracy at high heights. Reach Heavier The High-Capacity Reach Truck can lift loads as heavy as 4,500 lbs., giving you the versatility you need to optimize your warehouse. With the High-Capacity Reach Truck being able to lift 2,150 lbs. up to 42 ft., you can put those heavy loads up higher, leaving room down low for faster moving SKUs. The High-Capacity Reach Truck features a 7? touchscreen display that puts key information, programming, and diagnostics right at the operator?s fingertips. These features include a display of approximate load weight to assist in efficient moving from pick to pick. Providing you with the versatility to store your products where they make sense instead of where you can reach, the High-Capacity Reach Truck reduces your limitations in various industry applications.



Managing multiple forklifts in one or various facilities is a challenge even for the most organized fleet managers. Managing a forklift fleet comes with unique challenges that requires tools for the best oversight. Toyota?s MyFleet is a one-stop, free-to-use, platform designed to help you manage your fleet easily and quickly at the touch of a button. Still don?t think it can be that simple? See the benefits of having a MyFleet account with Toyota. Manage Fleet Size Whether you?re operating across a few locations in one city or region or are operating across North America, MyFleet gives you the ability to add, move, and remove equipment from your fleet depending on your business? needs. You can easily view equipment specs and various options at the touch of a button, making it easier for you to focus on the productivity of your operation. Easily Order and Re-Order Parts Service and maintenance repairs can be costly, especially in terms of productivity. That?s why we want to make it easy for you to find the parts you need quickly and efficiently. Our MyFleet platform includes a parts finder for our online catalog that allows you to find parts for any Toyota Forklift by model and serial number, so you can shop an array of parts quickly. Then, buy those parts with a convenient checkout process, and a dealer will deliver them to your doorstep. Additionally, you are able to view your past parts purchases for fast reference and repurchasing. Manage Equipment Locations In addition to order capabilities, MyFleet allows you to manage and view the location of your forklifts as well as add new addresses if your forklifts frequently move to new locations. This increases your order visibility across all locations, making it easier for you to make accurate forecasting and bookkeeping calculation. To begin managing your forklift fleet using MyFleet, login or register on the MyToyota Store .

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