Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dangerous Forklift Modifications to Avoid

Lift trucks are responsible for a lot of accidents, injuries, and death around the world. However, if properly maintained, repaired, fitted with forklift oem parts, and operated by competent operators, they provide a substantial boost in terms of productivity and eliminate all known hazards. In an effort to customize forklifts for specific tasks or cut corners in terms of repairs and maintenance, some people modify their forklifts. While modifications may be necessary, there are some that are downright dangerous as they seek to alter the truck’s capacity, intended use, or balance. In this blog, we look at 3 such modifications you ought to avoid.

Adding Accessories

One area that often features unsafe modification is the overhead guard, where you can find additional lights, mirrors, fans, strobes, and fire extinguishers. While some forklift manufactures cater for such additions by designing overhead guards with additional holes, other brands and models don’t. In the absence of additional holes, it is not advisable to drill additional holes as it may compromise safety. You may find yourself exposed in the event of incidents such as rollovers and falling objects. The best approach is to mount any accessories on an external mounting bracket which can be secured around the overhead guard.

Alterations To The Fork

Forklifts preform a host of activities which extend to acting as a crane when you need to vertically hoist heavy objects. You can easily find customized forklift attachments for that purpose from 3rd party suppliers for the ultimate in safety. It is, however, uncommon for some mechanics to take the ill-advised route of modifying the fork for such purposes. There are many reasons why such modifications are unsafe including the fact that it is impossible to know the forks’ lift capacity.

Counterweight Modifications

It is ill-advised to make attempts at modifying a forklift to increase the size of its counterweight. The objective of such modifications is often to a forklift’s rated capacity so that it can lift overweight or over-sized loads by inflating the force exerted at fulcrum’s back-end. The counterweight plays a central role in the forklift’s stability, making such alterations ill-advised. The operator of any such modified forklift can easily tip it as it has a reduced margin of error when it comes to shifting the center of gravity.

Always Consult Professionals

It is advisable to consult professionals before embarking on any modifications of your forklift. Always opt for forklift oem parts and approved accessories from the manufacturer or third parties. Create a policy around this issue and ensure that all your in-house mechanics know its importance.

Tips On Changing Forks On Your Forklift Truck

Although you can always take your forklift to a qualified and experienced mechanic for maintenance and repairs, it pays to know how to do some of the work in house. You can find excellent forklift parts at authorized dealers or vendors that provide forklift salvage parts. In this blog, we look at how you can change the forks on your forklift. A damaged fork can be the cause for disaster or fatal accidents in the workplace.

Know your forklift

The first thing you need to do is go through the forklift’s manual as forklift come in different configurations. How you replace the forks is different for sit-down pallet movers, narrow merchandise movers, and large boat movers. Make sure you are using the forklift’s oem parts, and you can check its load capacity rating as listed on the forklift. The load capacity should match with the replacement part.

Find Ample Space

To safely replace the fork, you need ample space. Find an open area that has generous space and lower the fork until it is resting on the floor or at its lowest height. Place something underneath if it does not rest on the floor.

Switch Forklift Off

Some forklift must be on when you change the forks. If your forklift does not require this, it is advisable to switch it off. Check the mounting mechanism to know how to proceed. 

Check Forklift and Mount

You need to inspect all the aspects of the fork and its mounting. Look at the pins, screws, and welds to establish if they are in an excellent condition. If you notice any damage to the fork, chances are the mount is damaged as well and needs replacement.

Study The Fork Mounting

It is important to know how your forklift is mounted. You can make a drawing or take a picture to create a reference for when installing the replacement fork. The mounting will be any of the 3 types – standard hook, non-standard hook, and pin.

Release the Forks

Standard hook forklifts feature a top and bottom locking mechanism while contemporary models have quick-change forks. For older models, first release the top mechanism and then release the bottom as the forks begin to come to a rest on the floor. A pin lock mechanism may feature a pin, shaft, or rod which locks into the fork’s ‘eye’. The fork is released when you unlock the mount and slide out the pin. Remove the forks and mark them ‘damaged’.

Put the replacement fork in position in front of the forklift. Reverse your action and if you are unsure, refer to your reference. Test the new forks out on small pallets before moving to big ones. Your dealer, whether for new or salvage forklift parts can help you find the right forks for your truck. Make sure salvage forklift parts are tested for any damage before you buy. A simple online search will show you many providers of CAT forklift parts and other popular brands such as Toyota forklift parts.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Forklift Rental Options. What's Best For Me

When you need to get a forklift for your company for the first time, the options before you can be overwhelming. It takes a bit of time and some research to wrap your head around the various forklift leasing options and forklifts for sale in Atlanta and other places before you can find the best fit for your requirements. You have to weigh the pros and cons of leasing and buying your materials handling equipment. There is not clear-cut way to approach the leasing Vs buying options when it comes to forklift trucks despite the abundance of ‘expert opinion’ in support of one or the other.

Basic Approach

The first and perhaps most notable deciding factor when faced with the lease vs buy question is your company’s financial wellbeing and how you intend to use the forklift truck. If your equipment handles significantly lighter loads and those that have huge and highly profitable, it is advisable to buy your own forklift trucks as opposed to leasing. The search will naturally take you to two places, your accountants office and forklift dealer.

Leasing Options
  • Some of the available leasing options include: Residual or operating lease also called fair market value which features the lowest rates. It can however prove costly in the long term as you are required to pay the equipment’s fair market value if you intend to keep it at the expiration of your lease. 
  • A full service lease which works like a long term rental as it allows you to make monthly payments while leaving repairs and reliability to the owner. 
  • A full buyout, capital or dollar value lease, which calls for high payments 
If you are looking to reduce your monthly payments, taking out extended leases can help. You need to take care not to extend the lease beyond a point where it offers dividends for your company. You also need to consider the benefits of ownership, which we will cover in a separate blog.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

4 Signs you need to Replace Your Forklift Tires



4 Signs you need to Replace Your Forklift Tires

To achieve attain optimum productivity and safety in your company it is always important to ensure that all machinery you use is in a good working condition. Likewise, if you use lift trucks, you must make sure they are in the best condition for them to serve you well. Most forklift owners concentrate on components such as the battery and engine, neglecting elements such as forklift tires until they are in terrible shape or result in an accident. Taking care of all components of your forklift truck will go a long way in terms of maintaining a safe and ergonomic environment for the operator. Whether you purchase a gas or electric forklift for sale, tires are often not new. It is therefore, advisable to evaluate and replace them if need be, before you start using the lift truck. In this blog post, we look at various aspects that help you determine when your forklift tires need to be changed


1. Wear and Tear

You must check the amount of wearing your forklift tires have gone through. Different types of tires wear in slightly different ways. If your cushion tires are worn more than 50% and the wear line is showing, it’s time to replace them with new ones.


2. Chunks and cracks

If there are many cracks showing on your lift truck tires, they may be unsafe to use. Similarly, when huge chucks of rubber are falling off the lift truck tires, it makes it uncomfortable and unsafe for the operator to use it. You must replace the tires as soon as possible.


3. Flat spots

Normally, tires should be round. If, however, you start noticing flat spots, it’s a cause for concern. Flat spots cause imbalance of the lift and eventually pose a safety hazard to the entire operation. it is much wiser to replace them without delay.


4. Inflation and deflation

If pneumatic tires are deflated or over inflated, it causes imbalance and affects the comfort of the operator as well as the speed and efficiency of the work to be done. Get them looked at and replaced as soon as possible.
Safety first

As discussed earlier, old, worn, or damaged forklift tires pose a safety risk to your employees and cause inefficiency in your operations. It is therefore, important to call a Forklift Service company to replace them immediately if you notice any of the signs discussed. You can easily get lift truck tires on sale in Atlanta, whether electric or diesel forklift. It’s also good practice to keep extra tires so that you can easily change them in an emergency. Check your tires every now and then so you don’t miss any red flags.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Importance of Safety Training for Forklift Operators


The Importance of Safety Training for Forklift Operators

Many companies which are in the material handling business require good quality forklifts to handle their operations quickly and more efficiently. To keep the forklift in the best condition, forklift service must be preformed on a regular basis. Likewise, a well-trained forklift operator ensures the safe operation of the equipment to minimize accidents, breakdowns, and repairs. Forklift operators should undergo basic and safety training, depending on the type of lift truck. Established providers of services such as Toyota forklift services in Atlanta can help you access the best safety training for your forklift operators. This of course is advantageous in many ways, such as:

It keeps workers safe

The elevated level of activity around work sites raises the possibility of accidents. The right safety-training for your lift truck operators is a sure way to reduce the number of casualties. On the other hand, if an operator is not given the necessary safety training, they are a danger to themselves and everyone around the work site. Getting your operator trained will keep people safe from possible harm or loss of life, and eliminate downtimes. A forklift operator who is at home with essential safety measures will work more efficiently.

Reduces unnecessary costs
Training your operators on a regular basis may be time consuming and cost you money but it pays huge dividends in the long term. Although it may even reduce productivity around the work site for a number of days, it would be costlier to manage accidents that often happen in the absence of workplace safety. Accidents come with financial and legal implications, all of which your company can do without. Workers may be severely injured, your company reputation destroyed, and equipment damaged.

Increases lift truck lifespan

A well-trained operator knows how best to handle their forklift around the work area and traffic. They are aware of the necessary routine safety checks they ought to perform before using the forklift. If they notice any problems with the forklift, they are in a better position to ensure that they are addressed before they get worse or result in accidents. If you are renting a lift truck, dealers who offer forklifts for rent in Atlanta and other places can help arrange the necessary safety training for your operators. Having an operator who operates your equipment safely helps you get maximum return on your investment, as the equipment can serve you efficiently for many years. 


Get Help Today

Forklift operator safety training has many other benefits that it offers to your company or operations. Operators should also learn standard safety rules by the OSHA regulation board. There are many operator training agencies and you can approach certified Toyota forklift service providers in Atlanta for your forklift operator training.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Forklift Maintenance Tips For The Start Of A New Year

As the year begins, it’s a good time to take stock of your equipment before getting down to business. If you use forklifts, it is important to periodically undertake routine maintenance to eliminate downtimes, prevent costly repairs, ensure the equipment performs safely and optimally, and serves you for long. If your lift truck is not in good shape or out of action, this may be a good time to recondition it or consider getting a new one. You can also get used forklifts for sale in Atlanta and other jurisdictions at affordable prices. Below are some of the major parts of a forklift that you must check before putting it back to use.


Battery life/Condition

If a forklift battery is near the end of its life or damaged, it can cause unnecessary disruptions or delays to your operations. If your battery is in a bad state, try to repair it, and if not possible, get a new one. If it is still in a good condition, just service it to ensure it continues to work optimally and lives long. Get expert help if you are not familiar with battery servicing or repair.


Hydraulics

Always ensure that the lift truck’s hydraulic system is intact. That means checking for any cracks in the hydraulic pipes and ensuring that oil is not leaking from the pipes. Also, make sure that your lift truck is well lubricated to aid the proper functioning of the engine, tines etc., and longevity. If the components are lubricated and hydraulics routinely maintained, you reduce downtimes and expensive repairs by preventing or fixing problems in their infancy. If you are ever in need of forklift service fixing the problem early is the key to long and costly repairs.


Tines and Tires

Your fork tines should still be intact, without any receding cracks that may cause accidents or even further damage the lift truck. If they are worn out or damaged, replace them. Likewise, ensure that the tires are in an excellent condition and can see the forklift through the year. It is always good practice to keep spare tires in case of any damage to the ones in use, to eliminate downtimes.


Forklift License

Remember to check your lift truck’s license for validity. If the license needs to be renewed soon, keep the fact in mind and note it down somewhere. You need to get the forklift inspected to get it licensed. Also, check your operators training, and if they need new training for the new or used lift truck in your fleet, make arrangements for the training and certification. This is to help reduce accidents and abide by regulations, and ensure proper use of your equipment.
Stay on Top of the Situation


Regular inspection of your forklift is a good practice, as it alerts you of any issues that need to be addressed. Routine checks and maintenance of your lift truck also helps you determine if it is still in good condition to carry out the desired tasks safely and efficiently. You might be better off renting or getting a new one. You can also get used lift trucks for sale from reputable forklift services providers in Atlanta.