Posts tagged ‘buying an electric forklift’

Five Narrow Aisle Forklift Solutions 

August 2nd, 2021  | 
Electric ForkliftsProductivityReach TrucksResource Center/BLOG

With warehouse space at a premium, the need to fit more products into the same amount of space is critical. The most common solution to this problem is redesigning an existing warehouse to fit more aisles in the same amount of space. While narrow aisles might satisfy your storage issues, they can also create their own set of problems with your forklift fleet.  

What are typical aisle widths and narrow aisle widths? 

  • Regular aisles are between 10 ½ feet and 12 feet.   
  • Narrow aisles range from 8 ½ feet to 10 ½ feet. 
  • Very narrow aisles range from 5 to 7 feet wide.  

Many forklift fleets today consist of equipment designed to navigate typical aisle widths. When you reconfigure a space to include narrow aisles, you might need to replace your entire forklift fleet, or at the very least, add narrow aisle units to pull and store products quickly, safely, and efficiently.   

Here are five forklift solutions for narrow and very narrow aisles.  

  1. Toyota 3-Wheel Electric Forklift: Toyota’s 3-wheel electric forklift is an excellent choice for narrow aisles. With one wheel in the back, it has a tighter turn radius than the common 4-wheel forklift. It also can be fitted with either pneumatic or cushion tires for indoor or outdoor use, making it a great multi-use addition to your forklift fleet.   
  2. Toyota Electric Reach Truck – Single or Double Reach: Toyota’s Electric Reach Truck is another great narrow aisle solution. It can turn in aisles as little as seven feet, lift up to 4,500 pounds and reach more than 30 feet. It is also available in a double-reach model for increased productivity and efficiency.   
  3. Toyota Electric Order Picker: If you are looking for a solution to help employees reach goods stored on high racking, Toyota’s Order Picker may be the perfect piece of new equipment for you. It navigates narrow aisles beautifully and features a platform for operators to safely and efficiently pick items up to 390 inches in height.   
  4. Aisle-Master Articulating Very Narrow Aisle Truck: The Aisle-Master Articulating Very Narrow Aisle Truck can navigate aisles as small as 5 feet, 6 inches. Designed to withstand heavy-duty use inside and out, it can eliminate time-consuming double handling, and speed up “truck to rack” operations. It also eliminates the need for both reach and counterbalance machines to help minimize costs.  
  5. Toyota’s Core Electric Turret Forklift: Designed for versatile and efficient dock-to-stock operation, Toyota’s Core Electric Turret Forklift swinging fork face allows loads to be handled to the left, right, and center of the forklift so that product can stack in racking without the need to turn. With a lift capacity of 2,500 pounds, a reach of nearly 20 feet, the ability to maneuver in aisles as narrow as seven feet, and the capability of stacking goods at a 90-degree angle, it’s an excellent choice for any facility or warehouse.  

If you’re thinking about reducing aisle widths and adding more racks to increase your storage capacity, let our experts figure out the best equipment to round out your forklift fleet. Contact us to schedule a consultation today! We’ll make sure you get the perfect narrow aisle solution to optimize your operations, reduce downtime, and increase overall productivity. 

How California Businesses Can Get Money and Make Money with New Electric Equipment

June 14th, 2021  | 
Electric ForkliftsResource Center/BLOG

If you’ve thought about purchasing electric forklifts in the past but held off due to higher upfront costs, it might be time to reconsider. Although the acquisition cost of electric forklifts with batteries and chargers may be higher than Internal Combustion (IC) forklifts of similar specifications, the operating costs of electrics are significantly lower. In their lifetime, electric forklifts can save you money on fuel, maintenance costs, and downtime, making the true cost of electric forklifts significantly lower than IC forklifts. 

There are many other advantages to adding electric forklifts to your fleet, too. For example, electric forklifts are quieter than other forklifts, generally smaller than LPG or diesel-powered models, and omit zero harmful emissions into the environment.  

If you live in California, the advantages of purchasing new electric equipment are even greater when you take advantage of two state programs designed to make the purchase of electric forklifts more affordable.  

First, to help with the purchase of new electric equipment, California businesses can apply for grants to replace certain internal combustion (IC) forklifts, ground support equipment (GSE), and port cargo handling equipment (CHE) with new models with zero-emission technologies. Next, once your new electric equipment is in use, California businesses can make money by generating Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits and selling those credits to companies that generate deficits in the program. 

How to Get Free Money from California’s VW Mitigation Trust 

The California VW Mitigation Trust grants money to public agencies and private businesses to replace IC forklifts and other equipment with new models with zero-emission technologies. Up to $34 million is available to eligible projects statewide now, and an additional $35 million will be available by mid-2022.  

Companies must scrap IC forklifts with more than 8,000 pounds of lifting capacity, GSE, and CHE to qualify for the program and replace them with new equipment with zero-emission technologies. 

The key project requirements include:  

  • For replacement and repower projects, the old equipment must be scrapped (destroyed). 
  • Funded equipment must be certified, verified, or otherwise approved by the U.S. EPA or CARB for operation in California. 
  • Funded equipment must be domiciled in and operate in the State of California for the duration of its project life. 
  • Funding recipients must report annually on operations for at least three years. 

California’s VW Mitigation Trust is a great program to help California companies lower the cost of adding environmentally-friendly equipment to their fleets. But we urge you to act fast! The grants available from California’s VW Mitigation Trust are on a first-come-first-serve basis.  

Click here to read the program guidelines or click here to begin the application process. 

How to Make Money from California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program 

In 2016, The California Air Resources Board (CARB) designated electricity used in forklifts as a low carbon fuel. Since then, electricity used in forklifts can generate credits in the LCFS program.  

If you are unfamiliar with the program, it is a simple concept. A LCFS credit is an environmental commodity representing a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Each credit has value to regulated entities that generate deficits in the program. For example, forklifts that use electricity can generate credits. Refiners, or other regulated entities, buy these credits to offset the deficits they create in the program. 

We partner with a company that helps businesses make money from California’s LCFS credits. They take the hassle out of the process, and you receive a check for your credits. Best of all, the average warehousing facility can generate tens of thousands of dollars of revenue from LCFS credits annually. 

Remember, California aims to achieve 100% zero emissions for off-road vehicles and equipment operations in the state by 2035. Start the process now, and you’ll be ahead of the game – while saving money and making money in the process!  

Our material handling experts are standing by to help secure your new zero-emissions forklifts and other electric equipment. Click here to schedule a consultation today. 


All You Need to Know About Lithium-Ion Batteries  

March 2nd, 2020  | 
Electric ForkliftsResource Center/BLOG

If you’ve noticed the recent buzz around lithium-ion batteries, there’s a reason for it. The small rechargeable batteries are used in consumer products and electric vehicles and are becoming popular in the military and aerospace industries. If you have questions about lithium-ion batteries, we’ve got answers.  

Why are lithium-ion batteries so popular? Lithium-ion batteries are growing in popularity because of their unique ability to store a large amount of energy in a small area.  

How large is the market for lithium-ion batteries? The demand for lithium-ion batteries is growing every day. According to a recent report by Markets And Marketsthe overall lithium-ion battery market size will grow 16.2%, from $37.4 billion in 2018 to $92.2 billion by 2024.  

How long have lithium-ion batteries been around? Lithium-ion batteries came to the market in 1990, but high costs stalled early adoption efforts.  

Are lithium-ion battery prices getting lower? According to lithium-ion battery manufacturers and automobile companies, prices will drop significantly in the next few years. The cost of components is decreasing, and more manufacturing facilities are popping up to handle the expected growth of the renewable storage energy market.   

Where are lithium-ion batteries used? Lithium-ion batteries are in cars, electrical systems, consumer electronics, and even in commercial planes. They are in material handling equipment, including automatic guided vehicles, forklifts, and pallet jacks.  

What is driving the growth of the lithium-ion battery market? Concern for the environment and the demand for battery-operated equipment are two factors driving the growth of the lithium-ion battery market. Lithium-ion batteries are much better for the environment than non-renewable energy sources like gas, and companies in the warehouse, logistics, and food & beverage industries are demanding fast and energy-efficient battery-operated automated guided vehicles and forklifts.  

What are the benefits of lithium-ion batteries over traditional lead-acid batteries in forklifts? The benefits include longer run times, increased performance, lower maintenance costs, and faster and better-charging abilities.  

Does Toyota offer lithium-ion battery options? Yes. Most products in Toyota’s electric forklift line offer lithium-ion compatibility. Last year, Toyota announced a new lineup of lithium-ion batteries for use in its 3- and 4-wheel electric sit down models.  

Toyota is committed to providing its customers with lithium-ion solutions. Toyota Material Handling was the first manufacturer to offer a UL-E and UL-EE certified integration of lithium-ion batteries and forklifts. Contact us today to find out if lithium-ion technology is the right solution for you. 

Electric vs. IC Forklifts: Pros and Cons

December 10th, 2019  | 
Electric ForkliftsResource Center/BLOG

Experts at Toyota Forklifts often share their knowledge through in-depth whitepapers. Toyota’s nine-page white paperForklift Decisions and Responding to the Electric Trend, written in partnership with New Equipment Digest, examines the factors organizations should consider when choosing between an electric and IC forklift. It also includes key questions to consider when evaluating electric forklifts.   

Here is a quick summary of the white paper, broken down into bullet points with the pros and cons of both electric and IC forklifts. If you’re interested in reading the entire white paper, click the link at the end of this article. 

Summary: Electric forklifts are becoming more attractive as battery costs decline, and customers continue to seek fuel-saving and maintenance benefits. It doesn’t mean that IC forklifts are no longer relevant. Deciding which option is ideal depends on the intended use for the forklift and the operating environment. 

Electric Pros 

  • Battery costs are declining
  • Lithium-ion battery technology continues to evolve. Lithium-ion eliminates the need for watering and can be charged much more quickly than lead-acid batteries. It also eliminates the need to remove the battery from the truck while still maintaining the use of that truck in a multi-shift application. Almost every Toyota electric forklift has one or more compatible lithium-ion batteries on the market. 
  • An electric forklift may be as much as 75% less expensive to operate than propane fuel
  • Designed for easy access for maintenance and have fewer moving parts to maintain and repair 
  • A tighter turn radius allows an electric forklift to operate in smaller areas
  • Advancements are being made to make electric forklifts more suitable for outdoor use. Toyota’s 3-wheel electric and 80-volt pneumatic models are designed to protect critical forklift components from potential damage due to water intrusion.

Electric Cons 

  • The initial investment for an electric forklift is more than the upfront cost of an IC vehicle 
  • Multi-shift operations need to purchase additional electric forklifts, so some vehicles can charge while the others are in use  
  • Alternativelya multi-shift operation may need to keep extra fully charged batteries on hand and install them to keep vehicles running
  • Requires technical skill and a significant amount of installation time
  • Increases the need for storage space 

IC Pros 

  • IC forklifts are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications 
  • Depending on the situation, total operating costs may be lower for IC forklifts 
  • Operations that use multiple work shifts may experience greater savings with IC forklifts because of additional maintenance and charging requirements for battery-powered vehicles
  • Propane tanks can swap out in a few minutes, and the forklift can be back in operation quickly
  • IC forklifts only require storage space for propane tanks  

IC Cons 

  • IC forklifts require regular engine maintenance, such as oil changes, spark plugs, belts, and inspections  
  • IC engines also tend to create more disposal waste related to maintenance, such as engine oil and transmission fluid 

Our experienced and qualified material handling experts are ready to help you decide which forklift is best for your business and application. Contact us to help evaluate your needs and options.  

Click below to read the full white paper. 

Forklift Decisions and Responding to the Electric Trend, Whitepaper 2019

Buying an Electric Forklift? Consider Toyota First

September 5th, 2019  | 
Electric ForkliftsProductivityResource Center/BLOGUsed Forklifts

There are a lot of forklift brands, so how do you determine which one is best for your business and your forklift operators? There are many reasons to consider Toyota, including results from a side-by-side comparison of Toyota’s 3-Wheel electric forklift and the competition.

To make it easy to see all the advantages of buying a Toyota electric forklift, we compiled a handy list for you. Here’s why you should consider Toyota first when purchasing an electric forklift. 

Longer battery life. Toyota’s 3-Wheel Electric has a 40 percent longer run time on a single battery charge than the competition. Click here to watch a video of Toyota’s 3-Wheel Electric versus Crown and Yale. 

Industry-leading acceleration and travel speed. Toyota’s 3-Wheel electric is 23 percent faster in travel speed. 

More energy efficient. Toyota’s 3-Wheel Electric is 15 percent more energy efficient than the competition. 

Faster lift and lower speeds. Toyota’s 3-Wheel electric is eight percent faster in average lift/lower speed. 

Cold storage model. Toyota’s Small 4-Wheel Electric model is designed for use in cold storage applications and can be used in a freezer at temperatures to -4° F (-20° C) continuously. 

Indoor and outdoor solution. Instead of supplementing your indoor electric fleet with IC counterparts for your outdoor application, Toyota’s Electric Pneumatic provides an all-electric option for both indoor and outdoor use. 

Rust-proof model. Toyota offers a rust-proof model for extra protection on components that are prone to rust when exposed to moisture or corrosive elements such as salt, water, or brine. 

T-Matics Vehicle Management System. Toyota’s Vehicle Management System tracks impacts, utilization, and maintenance schedules. 

Built in the U.S. Toyota began building forklifts in Columbus, Indiana, in 1990 and celebrated its 500,000th forklift built in the U.S. in 2015. Click here to watch a short video of the milestone forklift delivered to paper and packaging manufacturer RockTenn. 

#1 Selling forklift since 2002. Toyota has been named the number one selling forklift by Modern Materials Handling magazine since 2002. Click here to see the 2019 list of Top 20 Lift Truck Suppliers.  

Watch it in action. Click here to watch Toyota’s electric forklifts make light work of lifting and moving racks of heavy tires at Falken’s New Jersey distribution center. 

Let us prove to you why we are the best partner for all your material handling solutions. Have questions or want to learn more? Contact us today!