Posts tagged ‘free resources’

Do You Need a Facility Energy Audit?

April 30th, 2023  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOG

A facility energy audit is when a knowledgeable and reliable person from an experienced material handling solutions provider assesses your energy use and facility layout. The goal is to find areas where you could potentially enhance efficiency and reduce operational expenses by utilizing forklift power options and optimizing facility power layouts such as storage and charging locations. 

Performing a facility energy audit is helpful for two reasons: 

  1. You get recommendations customized to your particular application and business operations, emphasizing practical solutions.  
  2. You get ideas you can implement immediately or later when replacing existing equipment, providing an opportunity to prepare for the changes and budget for them in advance. 

These recommendations typically include the following: 

  • Process enhancements  
  • Reorganizing your current fleet 
  • Investing in new charging systems, batteries, or other equipment 

Through the implementation of the suggested solutions, you can potentially experience a return on investment in several areas, including: 

  • Energy conservation 
  • Reduced equipment costs 
  • Increased throughput  
  • Recovered storage or charging space that can generate income 
  • Improved operator productivity, comfort, and satisfaction 


Here are the seven areas typically evaluated during a facility energy audit: 

1. Charging Stations: With the aid of an electrician or facilities manager, auditors will inspect your current battery charging station to evaluate several areas, including: 

  • Incoming line voltage 
  • Types and quantity of chargers employed 
  • Area occupied 
  • Position of the charging station to other operations and spaces 

2. Battery Storage: The auditors will also assess your current battery storage facilities and practices, considering factors like: 

  • Quantity of batteries stored 
  • Method of storage 
  • Number of trucks supported 
  • Amount of facility space occupied by the batteries 

3. Forklift Specifications: The auditors will evaluate your fleet, considering data including:

  • Size (number of trucks and capacity)
  • Age
  • Technology mix
  • Usage
  • Additionally, a data-logging device may be installed on one or more of the trucks at your facility for around a week to collect information on actual energy consumption. 

4. Fueling Stations: Auditors will inspect IC fueling stations from multiple perspectives. They may evaluate the following: 

  • Number of trucks serviced by the stations 
  • Amount of fuel consumed 
  • Frequency of refueling requirements 
  • Location of the stations to other vital areas and operational spaces 

5. Application: The auditors will watch the equipment in operation to pinpoint significant performance requirements. Although the list is extensive, some crucial aspects analyzed include: 

  • Number of shifts operated 
  • Required lifting height of your equipment 
  • The intensity of your duty cycle 
  • Maximum load weight transported 
  • Break schedule for opportunity charging 
  • UL requirements 
  • Other special needs like connector type, connector color, spacers, or tray adders 

6. Maintenance Areas: Auditors will also observe and assess battery swapping, watering stations, and other maintenance activities, including: 

  • Type of watering systems and other equipment used 
  • Space and layout designated for maintenance 
  • Tools and accessories provided to operators and technicians to carry out maintenance tasks 

7. Facility Power Considerations: The auditors will examine not just your usage capacity (the maximum power capacity that your facility can provide to your equipment) but also the following: 

  • Electrical systems that your facility is currently operating 
  • Current overall throughput (the daily amps consumed) 
  • Throughput during peak seasons 


For more in-depth information on facility energy audits, download Toyota Material Handling’s 28-page white paper: Exploring Forklift Energy Solutions for Maximum ROI. 

Developing and implementing a successful energy adoption strategy can enhance efficiency and lower operational costs. To ensure a successful facility energy audit, let us help. If you’re in Los Angeles County, contact us to schedule an appointment with an expert today. 

Problem Solving Through Toyota Lean Management

January 30th, 2023  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGToyota Production System

Albert Einstein once wrote, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Simply put, coming up with creative and innovative solutions to problems oftentimes requires you to look at the problem with a fresh perspective. As we’ve discussed in previous Toyota Lean Management blog posts, recognizing and cutting down on waste is critical to increasing your efficiency, reducing costs, and improving throughput. However, in order to make these improvements and see positive changes in ROI, a key step is recognizing where problems exist and working to solve them.

To recognize and solve these problems, it is often helpful to view them with a different lens to reach a newfound conclusion. Toyota’s 8 steps for problem-solving act as the lens that allows you to view different aspects of your operation from a new perspective.

Consider these eight steps as you start on the path to continuous improvement.

  1. Clarify the problem

The first step in solving a problem is realizing that one exists. You can define a problem by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Does my current process deviate from the standard?
  • Is there a gap in my current process with what I am trying to accomplish vs. what I am accomplishing?
  • Are my customer’s needs being met with my current process?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you know you have a problem that could use some improvement.

  1. Break down the problem

Now that you’ve verified the problem, you can begin to break down the issue into smaller, more detailed pieces. It can be helpful to analyze the different inputs and outputs of your process so you can effectively see where you are currently placing your efforts. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It is much easier to manage and solve smaller problems rather than attack one large problem with little direction.

  1. Set a target

The third step is all about commitment and consistency. Now that you’ve broken down the problem, how are you going to go about solving it? How are you going to meet your new deadline, and how long will it take to complete? Allot adequate time for each activity to ensure you are giving each aspect of the project enough attention.

  1. Analyze the root cause

Analyzing the root cause allows you to identify each of the factor(s) that caused a problem in the first place. Sometimes there is more than one cause, and it is important to consider each one as you work to address the issue.

  1. Develop countermeasures

Establishing the root cause is only half the battle. Now, you must develop countermeasures for each of those root causes to prevent the same issues from occurring again.

  1. Implement countermeasures

Now that you’ve established your countermeasures, it is time to put them into action. You may want to seek ideas from other team members to ensure you are not missing any steps. Also, it can be helpful to track how effective each countermeasure is performing along the way and make adjustments where necessary.

  1. Evaluate Results and Process

The seventh step is all about implementing a system to review and evaluate how your new process is working. Countermeasures will fail, but it is important to develop an effective system that always looks for areas of improvement in order to reach the desired result.

  1. Standardize Successful Processes

After receiving successful results from your previous evaluation, it is time to standardize the process within your team and the entire organization. As you work through the standardization process, continue to look for possible unresolved issues that you may have missed the first time.

Remember, the road to establishing a lean organization doesn’t stop once you improve a few processes. Lean isn’t just about identifying where you can do better; it’s about instilling a culture of respect and developing to create a workplace that your associates enjoy working in. Achieving business goals and leaner processes requires dedication and teamwork from every individual in the organization. Encourage open communication and empower your employees to bring problems to your attention when they are detected.

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FAQs About Forklift Batteries

January 3rd, 2023  | 
Electric ForkliftsProductivityResource Center/BLOG

When selecting a forklift battery, choosing the best option for your business needs is essential. There are two common types of forklift batteries, each with advantages and disadvantages. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about electric forklift batteries so you can make an informed decision when purchasing one. 

What are the most common types of forklift batteries?

There are two common types of forklift batteries: lead-acid and lithium-ion.  

Which battery type is the most affordable?

Lead-acid batteries are less expensive upfront but may cost more long-term.  

What are the advantages of lead-acid batteries?

Lead-acid batteries are the most used forklift batteries due to their affordability and relatively low maintenance costs, making them the ideal choice for those on a budget.  

What are the disadvantages of lead-acid batteries?  

Lead-acid batteries have some drawbacks—requiring frequent recharging and maintenance.  

How long does it take to charge a lead acid battery fully? 

It takes about eight hours to charge a lead acid battery fully.  

What is the lifespan of a lead-acid battery?

A properly maintained lead-acid battery has a maximum lifespan of between 1,000 and 1,500 cycles.  

What are the advantages of lithium-ion batteries? 

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are quickly becoming the preferred option for many businesses due to their superior performance and efficiency compared to lead-acid batteries. Li-ion batteries offer several advantages over lead-acid batteries, such as longer run times, lighter weight, and no need for frequent recharging or maintenance due to their low self-discharge rate.  

Are there any disadvantages of lithium-ion batteries?

The downside is that Li-ion batteries are more expensive than lead-acid batteries.  

How long does it take to charge a lithium-ion battery fully?

A lithium-ion battery can fully charge in as little as two hours.  

What is the lifespan of a lithium-ion battery?

Lithium-ion batteries can last anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 cycles.  

Do you have to fully charge a lithium-ion battery before using it?

One of the major advantages of lithium-ion batteries is called opportunity charging, which is the ability to plug in and charge any time of the day, even if it is only for a few minutes. With opportunity charging, forklifts are plugged into chargers anytime the operators are on break, lunch, or during a shift change. When the operators return to work, the forklifts are ready until the next opportunity to charge.   

What is the best battery choice for multi-shift operations?

Fast-charging lithium-ion batteries are the ideal choice for multi-shift operations.  

What is the best forklift battery choice overall?

There is no one size fits all solution when choosing a battery option for your forklift; each business has unique needs and budgets to consider when making this crucial decision. Consider all factors carefully before making your final decision to ensure you get the most out of your purchase. Lead-acid batteries are inexpensive but require frequent recharging and maintenance, while lithium-ion batteries offer longer run times and less maintenance but come with higher price tags attached. 

Can we get advice before we make our choice?

Absolutely. Our material-handling experts are available for free consultations. Contact us today! 

OSHA Safety Tips for Operating a Forklift

January 2nd, 2023  | 
Resource Center/BLOGTraining

Forklifts are powerful machines used in a wide range of industrial projects. As such, forklift operators must know the safety regulations mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This blog post will look at some of the essential safety tips to keep in mind when operating a forklift.  

Forklift Training Requirements

First, all potential forklift operators must have up-to-date training. According to OSHA, an operator must have “demonstrated the ability to safely operate [the] type(s) of powered industrial truck(s) [they] will be operating” before being allowed to use one.  

Training should include classroom instruction and hands-on experience with the specific make/model of forklift they will be using. Additionally, forklift operators need refresher courses every three years or whenever an operator changes employers or job duties. 

Need training or fresher courses? Sign up for our forklift operator safety training class with hands-on instruction by Toyota-certified trainers.  

Pre-Operation Inspections

Pre-operation inspections are also critical to ensuring that your forklift is properly working and to prevent potentially dangerous accidents on the job site. Every day, an approved individual should inspect the brakes, steering mechanisms, hydraulic systems, tires, mast chains/hooks/rollers, overhead guard assemblies, and other parts before allowing anyone to operate a forklift. Additionally, components such as lights, horns, mirrors, tires, and forks should be inspected daily before use to ensure there are no defects that may lead to an accident or injury while on the job.  

OSHA Forklift Maintenance Rules

Forklifts must be maintained by following the manufacturer’s specifications and OSHA requirements. As we mentioned above, it is essential to regularly check all parts of the forklift for wear or damage that could affect its safe operation. It is also necessary to follow all manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules for your machine; if something does not seem right during operation (e.g., strange noises or vibrations), have it inspected immediately by a qualified mechanic.  

Forklift Maintenance Records

OSHA also requires employers to keep accurate records of maintenance work done on each piece of equipment they own to protect their employees from unnecessary risks while on the job site.  

Maximum Load Limits

Another critical regulation set forth by OSHA is that operators should never exceed the maximum load limit specified by the manufacturer or risk causing an accident or injury due to an overloaded machine.  

Other Safety Guidelines  

For their safety and those around them, all operators should adhere to specific guidelines while using their machines—such as never raising passengers off the ground without adequate fall protection measures or traveling faster than five mph on ramps or ten mph on level surfaces. They should also avoid making sudden stops or starts and refrain from driving up slopes greater than 15%. Finally, they should always remain vigilant while operating their vehicle; any distractions can lead to severe injury or death if not avoided at all costs.  

Forklift Safety Products 

A safety-first mindset can help everyone in your facility stay safe and avoid injuries. Click here to read about nine forklift safety products designed to improve workplace safety.  

Operating a forklift requires skill and focus—and adhering to OSHA safety rules is paramount to any successful job site operation involving these machines. While there are many factors at play regarding keeping everyone safe while using a forklift, following these tips can ensure that everyone on site remains safe throughout their workday. Proper training and due diligence following these guidelines can help keep your workplace accident-free! 

Six Tips for Effective Order Picking

December 27th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

Order picking is one of the most critical processes in a warehouse. It is a complex task that requires speed, accuracy, and efficiency to ensure the right products get to the right customers on time. Here are some essential tips to ensure you get the most out of your order-picking process. 

1. Create a Labeling System

Having a practical labeling system for your warehouse is essential to streamline the order-picking process. Ensure labels are clear, legible, and easy to read from a distance. Utilize color coding and standard symbols to simplify navigation even further.

2. Organization is Key

Being organized plays a crucial role in order picking accuracy and efficiency. Put like items together, separate them by size or type, and assign specific warehouse areas to them. Additionally, it would help if you organized your warehouse so that frequently picked items are easily accessible and require minimal travel time for workers. 

3. Use Advanced Technology

Innovative technologies are coming out daily to make work easier and more efficient. Voice technology and bar-code scanners can help boost accuracy and speed up order fulfillment times. RFID tracking systems provide real-time visibility over inventory levels across multiple warehouses simultaneously. And Smart Environment Sensors provide operators with pedestrian and object detection. However, it is essential to use these technologies cautiously as they can lead to errors if not properly implemented or maintained. 

Want to learn more? Click here to read our blog post about six order-picking technologies and the benefits of each one. 

4. Embrace Automation

Automated systems such as conveyor belts or robotic arms can help speed up the order-picking process and reduce errors due to human error. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) can move stock around without human intervention. Autonomous mobile robots can handle hundreds of tasks every day and thousands of orders every week. Investing in automation technology can be costly upfront, but it will pay off overall with increased efficiency and accuracy. 

5. Put Safety First

Safety should always be a top priority when working in a warehouse environment. Provide plenty of safety gear, such as gloves, protective clothing, goggles, etc., to protect workers. Create clear pathways throughout the warehouse so workers do not trip over boxes or other obstacles. Train employees to use any automated systems or manual processes used in the order-picking process.  

Click here for more safety and training tips. 

6. Get Expert Help

If you have questions about how to set up your warehouse effectively, we can help. Our material handling solutions experts have decades of knowledge and training to help you choose the right products and solutions for your needs. Contact us to set up a free consultation. We can also help with operator safety training classes at your location or ours.  

Order picking is essential to any successful warehouse operation, but it does not have to be challenging. By utilizing clear labeling systems, practicing good organization techniques, taking advantage of modern technologies, embracing automation, and putting safety first, you can optimize your order-picking process for greater efficiency and accuracy with relative ease. Consider these tips when setting up your warehouse operations so you can get orders out faster while minimizing errors along the way!  

Five Reasons to Purchase a New Forklift

November 30th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOG

A forklift is an indispensable piece of equipment for any business that needs to move heavy materials around. If you are in the market for a forklift, here are five reasons why you should consider buying a new model. 

1. Tax Deductions 

The Section 179 tax deduction allows businesses to write off the full value of certain business equipment, including forklifts and other material-handling equipment, purchased and put into service during the tax year. It is a fantastic way to lower tax costs immediately rather than waiting for the depreciation cycle over years and years. 

2. Reliability and Efficiency  

First, new forklifts are much more reliable than older models. With advances in manufacturing, today’s forklifts are built to last, with fewer breakdowns and less need for repairs. Second, new forklifts are much more efficient than older models. With newer engines and better tires, they can move more material in less time, saving you money on labor costs. 

3. Advanced Technology

Another major advantage of buying a new forklift is that you will have the latest technology at your disposal. Newer models come with features like integrated forklift scales and advanced ergonomics that can make a significant difference in productivity. Additionally, newer models are often equipped with safety features like backup cameras and operator assist systems that can help prevent accidents.  

4. Peace of Mind 

Another benefit of buying a new forklift is that it will come with a warranty. This can give you peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong, you will be covered. Warranties also typically cover regular maintenance and repairs, so you can rest assured that your investment will be protected.  

5. A Better Image 

Finally, buying a new forklift can help improve your company’s image. If you are using an outdated model, customers may get the impression that your business is behind the times. Investing in a new forklift sends a message that you are committed to staying up-to-date and providing your customers with the best possible service.  

So, if you are thinking about buying a forklift, be sure to consider all the advantages of buying a new one. You may find that it is the best decision for your business. If you need help choosing the right forklift for your application, our sales consultants can help. Click here to schedule a free consultation. 

Ten FAQs About CARB’s New Forklift Regulations

November 29th, 2022  | 
EnvironmentResource Center/BLOG

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently proposed its plan to phase out sales of all new gas-powered forklifts in the state by the end of 2026. This move is part of their larger effort to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases in California. Let us answer some of the questions we are frequently asked about the upcoming regulations. 

When does the proposed ban take effect? 

CARB plans to ban sales of all new forklifts that are not zero-emission by 2026.  

What does the mandate mean exactly? 

Starting in 2026, businesses may not purchase or lease any new internal combustion (IC) engine forklifts. Companies will also be required to phase out and retire any IC forklifts that are 13 years or older or have an engine that is 13 years or older. 

Are all forklifts affected by the planned regulation?  

No. The regulation is for IC forklifts with a lift capacity of 12,000 pounds or less.  

What forklifts are not affected by the proposed ban? 

CARB’s Zero-Emission Mandate does not affect rough-terrain forklifts, pallet jacks, military tactical vehicles, forklifts with telescoping booms, and forklifts owned or operated by facilities that are subject to the Regulation for Mobile Cargo Handling Equipment at Ports and Intermodal Rail Yards. 

Are there any exemptions or allowances for businesses to continue to use IC forklifts? 

Yes. If businesses report their intention in advance, there is an allowance that allows for IC forklift rentals for unexpected occurrences or seasonal workload increases for up to 30 days each calendar year. There is also a low-use exemption to allow fleets to keep some IC forklift trucks if they are used for fewer than 200 hours per calendar year.  

Is there a limit to how many low-use forklifts a business can have in service? 

The number of low-use IC forklifts allowed is 10% of the total fleet. 

Are there any exemptions for small businesses?  

Yes! Businesses with fewer than 25 employees and less than $5 million in annual gross receipts can keep one low-use IC forklift indefinitely. 

Are there any incentives for businesses to switch to electric? 

Yes! CARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard offers cash incentives to zero-emission electric equipment owners. Click here to learn more. 

What kind of paperwork is involved to stay compliant with CARB’s mandate? 

Businesses must file an initial report with CARB that includes basic company and forklift information and a final report when the fleet has fully transitioned to zero-emission. 

Can I get more answers? 

You bet. If you have more questions, our material handling experts know everything about CARB’s Zero Emission Forklift Mandate. Click here to set up a free consultation.  

California’s New Forklift Regulations

November 29th, 2022  | 
Resource Center/BLOG

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make California’s air cleaner, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently announced plans to ban sales of all new forklifts in the state that are not zero-emission by 2026. This move is part of CARB’s larger effort to reduce air pollution and ensure that California’s businesses comply with the state’s increasingly stringent emissions standards. Let’s take a closer look at what this proposed ban entails and how it could impact businesses in the state. 

The Need for Change

California is no stranger to air pollution. In recent years, smog levels have been increasing across the state, leading to health problems for people living in areas with high air pollution levels. Also, with more businesses moving into the area, there has been an increase in industrial activity that only worsens this problem. The CARB planned ban is intended to address these issues and help mitigate some of the effects of air pollution on Californians’ health. 

The Benefits of Zero-Emission Forklifts 

Not only does switching over from conventional diesel or gasoline-powered forklifts help reduce emissions and improve air quality, but it can also help businesses save money overall. Zero-emission forklifts are often less expensive than their conventional counterparts due to lower operating costs and fewer maintenance requirements. Furthermore, zero-emission models are powered by electricity instead of fuel, so businesses can avoid paying for expensive fuel costs on top of other expenses associated with owning a forklift fleet. 

How The Ban Will Work

The proposed CARB ban will require all new forklifts leased or sold in California after 2026 to be zero-emission vehicles. It will also require businesses to start to phase out Internal Combustion (IC) forklifts, including propane and diesel forklifts, and replace them with zero-emission models. 

The Impact on Businesses

The ban will majorly impact businesses that rely on IC-powered forklifts in their operations, as they will be required to transition to an alternative form of power. For some companies, this could mean switching out one or two IC forklifts with electric forklifts. For others, this could mean investing in an entirely new electric fleet. In either case, this presents a significant cost that businesses must consider when weighing their options.  

In addition, logistical challenges may be associated with transitioning from IC-powered vehicles to electric ones due to differences in speed and efficiency between these models. Businesses may need more training for employees who operate these vehicles and modifications to existing infrastructure, such as charging stations for electric vehicles. All these factors should be considered when planning beyond 2026.  

The Bottom Line

While it may present some challenges for affected companies, reducing air pollution is a crucial step towards creating a healthier environment for everyone in California – something we can all get behind! It is essential for all businesses operating in California to make plans now so that they are ready when the time comes for them to switch over entirely from gas-powered forklifts.  

If you need help planning for the planned mandate, contact us to set up a free consultation with our material handling experts.  

Six Must-Have Safety Devices for Your Forklift 

October 31st, 2022  | 
Resource Center/BLOGSafetyTraining

Forklifts are a common sight in warehouses and factories across the country. They are essential pieces of equipment for moving heavy items around safely. However, forklifts can be dangerous if not operated properly. That is why it is important to equip your forklift with the proper safety devices. In this blog post, we will discuss six of the most important safety devices for forklifts. 

  1. Overhead guard 
  2. Proximity sensor 
  3. Backup alarm 
  4. Fork positioner 
  5. Seat belt 
  6. Forklift camera system 


Every day, forklift operators have a commitment to safety and protection for themselves and those around them. Toyota forklifts have overhead guards designed to help protect operators from falling objects and other obstructions in your facility. All forklifts, no matter the brand, should be equipped with an overhead guard that meets or exceeds OSHA standards. 


Proximity sensors are another important safety device for forklifts. They help to prevent collisions by detecting objects in the path of the forklift.  

Toyota’s all-new SEnS Smart Environment Sensor™ (SEnS) pedestrian detection system can assist operators in identifying a pedestrian or object behind their forklift during a shift. SEnS uses advanced technology and proprietary algorithms to distinguish between these obstacles.  

SEnS can detect objects up to 32 feet away. If within a detectible range, a buzzer and four indicator lights will alert the operator that a pedestrian or object is within a certain range of the rear of the forklift.  

With Toyota’s SEnS sensor, you can program up to three detection zones with different audible and visual alarms for each zone. The frequency in which the buzzer sounds and warning lights blink increases as the pedestrian or object enters a zone closer to the rear of the forklift. Detection zones can be configured to meet various customer applications. 

SEnS is available on new Toyota forklifts. It can also be retrofitted for select Toyota forklift models currently in use. SEnS works with multiple input voltages and fits a variety of applications. 

The following Toyota Forklifts are currently compatible with Toyota’s SEnS. Please check with your local dealer on the availability of these products. 


Another important safety device for forklifts is a backup alarm. This warns pedestrians and other operators when the forklift is backing up. This is especially important in busy warehouses where there is a lot of foot traffic. 


Fork positioners are another must-have safety device for forklifts. They allow operators to move the forks quickly and safely from the operator seat. There are several types of fork positioners, so ask an expert to decide which one is right for you.  


Most forklifts come standard with a seat belt. This is a critical safety feature that should always be used when operating the forklift. A seat belt keeps the operator securely in the seat in case of a sudden stop or collision and reduces the severity and incidence of injuries in the event of a tip-over. 


Operator safety is further enhanced with the forklift camera system. This system gives the operator a clear view of the area behind the forklift. It is especially helpful in busy warehouses where there is a lot of foot traffic. 

These are just a few of the most important safety devices for forklifts. Be sure to equip your forklift with these devices to help keep your workplace safe. If you need help outfitting your forklifts with safety equipment, our material handling experts can help. Click here to set up a free onsite consultation.  

We also offer forklift operator safety training. Sending operators to forklift training to improve safety and increase efficiency isn’t just a good idea – OSHA certification is a requirement. Keep your operators and pedestrians safe and increase productivity with professional training from Toyota Material Handling Solutions. Click here to sign up.

FAQs About Renting vs. Buying a Forklift

August 31st, 2022  | 
RentalsResource Center/BLOG

Deciding whether to rent or buy material handling equipment is a crucial decision. There is a lot to consider, and the process might leave you with more questions than answers.  

We have prepared a quick list of the benefits of renting and buying. We have also answered ten frequently asked questions about renting vs. buying so you can make the best decision for your needs.  


Benefits of Renting Forklifts and Material Handling Equipment 

  • No maintenance budget or forklift techs required   
  • Get equipment with the latest ergonomics and technology  
  • Flexibility to switch equipment whenever you need  
  • Great for seasonal highs and lows  

Benefits of Buying Forklifts and Material Handling Equipment  

  • Pay for only the features you want and need  
  • Customize your equipment with special forks and other options  
  • Buying capital equipment can have tax and other financial benefits  


Here are answers to ten frequently asked questions about renting vs. buying a forklift.  

  1. Who takes care of maintenance on rental equipment? The rental company will take care of servicing your forklift if any problems arise. They should also provide replacement equipment at no charge while your initial rental is out of service.  
  2. What is the difference between a short- and long-term rental? Short-term rentals range from weeks to up to six months. Long-term rentals range from six months and longer.  
  3. We have rough terrain. Should we rent or buy? If you work in a harsh environment, you should consider buying a forklift. Excessive wear and tear on rental material handling equipment could cost you.  
  4. We have limited capital. Should we rent or buy? Renting a forklift has lower upfront costs than buying a forklift.  
  5. What is in a material handling equipment rental agreement? Most rental agreements include delivery, pick-up, service, maintenance, etc. Make sure there are no hidden costs when you compare quotes.  
  6. Can we rent forklift attachments and accessories? Yes. Many companies rent propane tanks, fork positioners, paper roll clamps, and other add-on equipment.  
  7. Can we rent-to-own material handling equipment? Yes. Many rental equipment companies have rent-to-own contract options.  
  8. What is the benefit of renting from a material handling dealer? Material handling dealers specialize in forklifts and warehouse equipment; you will have a broader range of equipment to choose from and access to experts in the field.  
  9. We need extra forklifts during our busy season. Should we rent or buy? Material handling equipment is expensive. It is best to rent if you only need additional equipment for a few weeks or months a year.  
  10. We have multiple locations but do not have a way to transport material handling equipment between them. Should we rent or buy? If you need to move equipment between sites and do not want to purchase another piece of equipment to move it, it might be better to rent. The rental company can take care of delivery and pick up at each location, along with service, cleaning, and a host of other things.  

Have more questions, or are you ready to rent or buy? Contact us to speak to one of our material handling experts today! 

Nine Forklift Products for Workplace Safety  

June 14th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGTraining

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the top five places people get injured in the warehouse are docks, forklifts, conveyors, materials and storage, and mechanical lifting and handling.  

A safety-first mindset can help everyone in your facility stay safe and avoid injuries. Here are nine forklift safety products designed to improve workplace safety.  

#1 Brake Lights and Headlights   

OSHA requires brake lights and headlights are used in environments “where general lighting is less than two lumens per square foot.”  

If standard lights are not bright enough, replace them with LED lights. 

#2 Blue Lights   

Blue lights aimed at the floor illuminate the front and back area of a forklift to let pedestrians and other forklift drivers know a forklift is approaching.  

#3 Strobe Lights  

Strobe lights placed at eye level warn others to stay alert.  

#4 Fork Tilt Warning Lights  

Warning lights in the cabin can alert drivers when the forks are misaligned.

#5 Seat Belts  

Seat belts keep operators secure during tip-overs, the most common type of forklift accident.  

#6 Backup Alarms  

Backup alarms should be installed and working on every piece of moving equipment in your facility.  

#7 Blind Spot Cameras  

Blind spot cameras can be beneficial to forklift operators to see around blind corners and other obstructive views. 

#8 Horns  

OSHA requires all forklift drivers to have access to “an operator-controlled horn, whistle, gong or another sound-producing device.” Horns allow them to alert others to blind corners or intersections where visibility is limited.  

#9 Operator Safety Training  

All forklift drivers must complete an operator safety training course to maintain OSHA compliance.  

Safety training teaches forklift drivers about:

  • A safety-first mindset
  • OSHA safety rules and regulations
  • Safe driving techniques
  • Safety checklists
  • And more

Our professional trainers teach a comprehensive operator safety training program with a combination of classroom and hands-on instruction. We have classes in Santa Fe Springs on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month. Click here to sign up.

Our expert trainers also teach Train the Trainer courses, refresher courses, and group classes at your location. Contact us to schedule a class at your facility.  

A safety-first mindset and proper forklift safety products and training can prevent accidents. Does your facility need a safety tune-up? Sign up for a complimentary safety consultation from our experienced material handling professionals.  

11 Tips to Increase Forklift Safety

June 13th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGTraining

It’s no secret that forklift safety is essential for operators and pedestrians. These frightening statistics from The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show just how crucial it is:  

  • OSHA’s most recent estimates indicate that between 35,000 and 62,000 injuries occur every year involving forklifts.  
  • On average, 95 people are seriously injured in a forklift accident every day, and one person is killed in a forklift accident every four days.
  • 36% of forklift-related deaths are pedestrians.  

We hope operator and pedestrian forklift safety is high on your importance list. Read on to learn 11 tips to help improve forklift safety at your warehouse, distribution center, or facility.   

  1. Increase pedestrian awareness of forklifts. Add warning lights to increase forklift travel visibility, backup alarms to alert pedestrians to nearby forklift traffic, and floor tape to mark pedestrian walkways.  
  2. Look for forklifts with speed control features. Speed control features allow you to set the speed limits on your forklift drivers. Consider adding an aftermarket speed control kit if your forklift does not have one.  
  3. Limit forklift operators to shorter shifts. OSHA reports that forklift drivers who work 12-hour shifts are 37% more at risk of injury. 
  4. You could also add an impact manager. An impact manager records the time and day of a forklift accident and measures the size of the impact so you can investigate and implement prevention measures. It also activates an alarm that disables the forklift until a supervisor checks it out and enters a security code to regain function.   
  5. Be extremely careful when tilting a raised mast. Tilting a raised forklift mast is a common cause of forklift accidents. Toyota’s Active Mast Function Control System limits forward and rear tilt speed to help prevent forward tip-overs.  
  6. Don’t exceed the capacity of your forklift. Every forklift includes a data tag with weight limitations. Check yours to ensure you never exceed the limit.   
  7. Make sure your forklift fleet has common safety features. Check for seatbelts, welded overhead guards, manually operated horns, operator assist grips, and skid-resistant entry and exit steps. 
  8. Consider buying forklifts with advanced safety features. Toyota forklifts have advanced safety features, including its System of Active Stability, Active Mast Controls, and Automatic Forklift Levelers. These features help prevent tip-overs and other common forklift accidents. For example, Toyota’s System of Active Stability uses a cylinder to stabilize the rear axle when it detects instability, helping to keep the truck upright.   
  9. Look for forklifts ranked #1 in safety. Toyota forklifts consistently rank #1 for safety in an independent study conducted by Peerless Research Group.   
  10. Install mirrors and barriers. Mirrors allow forklift operators to see around blind spots, and walls can create a physical structure to help prevent serious injuries if an accident does occur.   
  11. Sign up for Forklift Operator Safety Training. OSHA reports that proper training can help reduce forklift accidents by up to 70%. Our three-hour forklift operator safety training includes classroom and hands-on instruction by Toyota-certified trainers. 

There are many ways to increase forklift safety, and some of them depend on your specific facility. We offer complimentary safety checkups from experienced material handling professionals. Contact us to schedule a free safety consultation at your facility today.  

What is a Forklift Provider Facility Energy Audit and Why do I Need One?

June 5th, 2022  | 
Electric ForkliftsProductivityResource Center/BLOG

A facility energy audit is an opportunity to have an experienced, trusted representative from your local material handling solutions provider come to your facility and look for opportunities where you may be able to increase efficiency and lower operational costs based on the use of forklift power options and facility power layouts (i.e. storage locations, charging locations, etc.).

Most importantly: They’ll recommend practical solutions tailored to your specific application and the way your business operates.

Often, these solutions are low-cost, such as process improvements or rotating your existing fleet. Investing in new charging systems, batteries, or other equipment may also be recommended – either now, or in the future when it’s time to replace existing equipment (allowing you to plan ahead for the changes and incorporate them into your budget in advance).

In this post, explore the areas that may be addressed in a facility energy audit.

Auditing Forklift Charging Stations:

Ideally, with the assistance of an electrician or facilities manager, auditors will examine your current battery charging station.

Forklifts keep your business running, and charging stations keep your electric forklifts running. The audit will help you use these areas as efficiently as possible, enabling you to maximize every minute of every shift. The recommendations may pertain to station location, number of charging stations and charging station schedules.

Auditing IC Forklift Fueling Stations:

Auditors will examine IC fueling stations from a variety of angles. They may consider how many trucks the stations are servicing, how much fuel is being consumed, how frequently trucks need to be refueled, and station locations in relation to other key areas and operational spaces.

Making sure that fueling locations and scheduling are convenient to operators in the flow of their work and natural breaking points, such as shift changes, can add up to a major impact on your operation’s efficiency and ROI.

Auditing Forklift Battery Storage:

Your current battery storage facilities and practices will also be evaluated.

Space is often at a premium, especially in warehouses and distribution centers. For those applications needing to store additional lead-acid batteries for swap-outs to keep their equipment moving, this audit can help make sure the batteries are stored with as small a footprint as possible. Auditors may examine storage space, location, and exchange locations. This kind of audit may also help you assess the ROI of alternative energy sources, such as lithium-ion batteries.

Auditing Facility Power Considerations:

Not only will the auditors look at your usage capacity (the maximum amount of power your facility is able to provide to your equipment), but also the types of electrical systems your facility already runs, your current overall throughput (the amps consumed daily), and — if different — your throughput during your peak season.

With these insights, you’ll be able to make sure that your facility is capable of providing the power your equipment needs — both in your typical day-to-day operations and in those seasons when you’re running fastest and working hardest.

Does your business need a facility energy audit? Contact us to schedule a free on-site consultation with a Los Angeles material handling expert.

Originally published on Toyota Forklift’s blog. Click here to subscribe.

Signs Your Forklift Should Retire

May 29th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGUsed Forklifts

Your forklifts put in work day-in and day-out moving product and lifting and moving your business forward. The day will come when you lose time and money because the truck isn’t running as efficiently anymore. It may be difficult to pinpoint this time, but below are a few indicators that you may need a replacement forklift.


Has forklift maintenance become a case of continual troubleshooting and increasing costs to keep your forklift running? If prolonged heavy use of your forklift fleet needs regular repairs, it may be time to consider replacing the equipment. When paying for continual repairs, the effect on the bottom line goes far beyond the cost of replacing worn bushings or repairing the electrical components in a drive motor. You may need a replacement forklift if you have some of the following repair needs:

  • Hydraulic leaks
  • Clogged fluid lines
  • Worn chains
  • A mast that won’t lift
  • Battery problems
  • Unbalanced suspension
  • Steering difficulties


When you experience downtime for any unit in your forklift fleet, the cost is much more than parts and labor. You also need to factor in lost productivity and the costs of idle time for operators when their equipment is being repaired. When lost profits due to delays in product movement are taken into account, the total financial impact of an older forklift can easily extend into the thousands of dollars… per hour! Keeping spare lifts on hand is not an optimal solution due to the overall increase in operating costs. Neither are quick replacements. While lower in initial costs, they can create an endless cycle of unplanned repairs that negatively impacts your business. Retiring a forklift may be necessary if this is affecting your material handling operation.


Poorly maintained equipment can lead to an accident or injury, which may be avoided through regular inspections and up-to-date regular maintenance. If your forklift is starting to show signs of wear and tear, it may be time to retire or replace your forklift.

If you are experiencing some or all of these scenarios with your equipment, it may be time to reach out to your authorized Toyota Forklift dealer for a conversation. They will be able to help determine if you are in need of new equipment and get you with the right forklift. If you want more information on forklift’s useful life, download our forklift management guide, “Is it Time to Upgrade Your Forklift?”

Originally published on Toyota Forklift’s blog. Click here to subscribe.

What is a Site Survey and What can it Tell You About Your Operations?

May 15th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOG

What is a Site Survey?

A site survey is when a trained warehouse consultant visits a workspace to help maximize the business’ workplace through racking, equipment, and a multitude of other factors. Their job is to help a business work as efficiently as possible and utilize all the space a company owns. But why should you think about getting one? Below are a few reasons.

Warehouse Operation Efficiency

Once a warehouse consultant comes on the scene at the time and date arranged specifically for the site survey, it doesn’t take long for them to identify opportunities that can carry already profitable business even further.

For example, let’s say a company is pulling pallets with a reach truck, bringing the pallets down, removing the product, and then putting the pallet back up onto the racking unit. In this case, a Toyota order picker may be a more optimal equipment choice to get the job done.

Oftentimes, companies have already thought of this, but their response as to why they haven’t done it yet is usually: “We’ve always done it this way.” Those words echo through warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, and often deter operations managers from making the moves they must make in order to meet the changing demands of the modern-day distribution environment.

For those companies that do embrace change, a site survey typically starts by inventorying all forklifts and determining how that equipment is being used in the facility.

Warehouse Storage

On the warehouse floor, a site survey can help detect storage problems (e.g., stacks of pallets that are pushed into corners using hand pallet jacks), inventory management issues, and poor use of vertical space. There are times when managers say they don’t have enough space, but only have product stacked 12 feet high in a building with 25-foot ceilings. This is an opportunity for the warehouse to grow up, instead of out. The site survey will also help determine the best equipment for this type of application, such as order pickers, reach trucks, or a combination of both.

All of these steps culminate into a complete warehouse optimization package designed to help operations achieve and exceed their customer service, safety, and profitability goals. By getting material handling professionals involved early in the process, these operations may be able to optimize their space and equipment in a way that they may not have been able to handle on their own.

If you would like to learn more about site surveys and warehouse consultations, download our free E-book, “Making the Case for Warehouse Consultants.”

Does your business need a site survey to ensure you’re getting the most out of your racking, equipment and warehouse space? Contact us today.

Originally published on Toyota Forklift’s blog. Click here to subscribe.

A Guide to High-Capacity Forklift Attachments

April 25th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOG

Not all customers have to move heavy loads, but sometimes they have to move things such as tires, coils, or misshapen objects that can’t be moved using traditional forks. In these cases, forklift attachments can assist customers in carrying such items, making life easier and more efficient. Below are a few commonly used high-capacity forklift attachments, with a quick explanation of how they can improve your productivity while lessening your workload.

Toyota Heavy-Duty Forklift Attachments


The telescopic boom is an attachment that Toyota’s High Capacity Adjustable Wheel Base can utilize and works excellent with oddly shaped objects. This option effectively handles unwieldy items such as industrial machinery and massive engines, and many other things that forklift forks would typically have trouble lifting in a secure manner. With the telescopic boom, objects that were once a pain to move can easily be handled by the Toyota High Capacity Adjustable Wheel Base.


Coil Rams consist of a cylindrical, solid piece of steel that attaches to the carriage to securely pick up and maneuver steel coils. Operators will have control of the product, making it safe to move the product throughout the facility without damaging the coils or the forklift. An alternative to a coil ram attachment is coil-tapered forks. These forks have rounded edges that give them the ability to safely pick up a coil while also providing the versatility needed to handle other products.


While regular forks can move a tire, it may not be the most efficient method if you are moving them frequently. The tire handler attachment helps move large tires quickly and can potentially reduce the risk of damage. Using forks could puncture or damage the tires if you have them stacked on top of each other, but the tire handler allows you to “clamp” onto each tire, making it easier to lift and move.

These attachments represent just a few of the available offerings that can help improve your operational efficiency and productivity when it comes to lifting large, heavy loads. If none of these high-capacity attachments suit your needs, make sure you take time to discuss other options with your authorized Toyota forklift dealer. They will be able to provide detailed information regarding heavy-duty attachments for your specific operation.

Our Los Angeles material handling experts are on standby. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

Originally published on Toyota Forklift’s blog. Click here to subscribe.

Ask the Expert Series: Pallet Racking

March 30th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

Got questions about which pallet rack system is suitable for your application? We have answers.

In this post of our Ask the Expert Series, Director of Sales and Marketing Anthony Spano answers frequently asked questions about pallet racking. Anthony has worked in the material handling industry for decades. He uses his knowledge to help companies streamline their warehouse storage systems to optimize productivity and maximize profitability.  

If you have questions about systems and automation, we guarantee Anthony, and his team of experts will have the answers.  

What are the benefits of finding the correct type of racking?  

Finding the right type of racking leads to more efficiency, greater accessibility, and improved employee safety.  

What is selective pallet racking?  

Selective pallet racking is the most flexible and popular pallet racking method on the market today.  

What are some of the advantages of selective pallet racking?

  • Easy to install with no special tools or training
  • Special interlock system to protect against tampering and damage
  • Commonly uses single deep or double deep pallet racks  

What are the benefits of single deep pallet racking?  

  • Flexible and low cost  
  • Allows operators access to every product SKU
  • Great for companies where products must be stored and retrieved quickly   

What are the benefits of a double deep pallet rack?  

  • Better space utilization  
  • It can pick multiple pallets simultaneously  
  • Comparable in cost to single deep racking  

What is a pallet flow rack?  

A pallet flow rack, commonly referred to as a gravity-flow rack, is designed to save space, labor, and energy. It feeds pallets at one end and retrieves pallets at the other.  

What are some of the advantages of a pallet flow rack?  

  • Uses gravity to save space, labor costs, and energy  
  • It can be combined with automated storage and retrieval systems for increased efficiency and productivity
  • An excellent solution for companies in the freezer, warehouse, food handling, and e-commerce industries.  

What is push-back racking?  

Push-back pallet racking uses carts installed in the racks and stores several pallets on a slight upward incline.  

What are some of the benefits of push-back racks?  

  • Provides high-density storage in a single-aisle
  • Provides deep storage for medium turnover products  

What is a cantilever rack?  

Cantilever racks are custom racking systems designed to store long, bulky, or oddly shaped products.  

What are some of the advantages of cantilever racking?  

  • Custom built with the strength for multilevel storage at any desired height
  • Great for furniture, lumber, and other companies with large, cumbersome products   

What is a drive-in/drive-through rack?  

Companies use drive-in/drive-through racking to store massive quantities of products.  

What are some of the advantages of drive-in/drive-thru racks?  

  • Efficient and straightforward to set up
  • It uses fewer aisles than standard racks, making it easy to store 75% more pallets
  • A variety of heights and depths are available  

Do you need help designing a warehouse storage system or pallet rack system? Contact us for a free consultation today! Our team of experienced material handling experts is standing by to help you.  

Hungry for more information about working with us to optimize your warehouse? Click here to learn the first step in the process, how much you need to be involved, what you will get back from us, and more.  

Ask the Expert Series: Warehouse Slotting

March 14th, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

Order fulfillment times have a direct correlation to customer satisfaction and overall profits. Both are at risk if you do not have a well-thought-out slotting process in your warehouse or distribution center.  

In this part of our Ask the Expert Series, Toyota Material Handling Solutions’ Director of Sales and Marketing Anthony Spano answers frequently asked questions about warehouse slotting.  

Anthony helps companies optimize productivity and deliver fast accurate order fulfillment. He has decades of experience helping companies in Los Angeles County find modern solutions to increase customer satisfaction and maximize profits.  

What is warehouse slotting? 

Warehouse slotting describes the process of organizing inventory in a warehouse or distribution center for more efficient order picking and restocking.  

What happens if you have a poor warehouse slotting process? 

If you have an inefficient picking process, you can run into all sorts of problems like high labor costs, large storage footprints, and varying order fulfillment times. 

What are the types of slotting?

There are two common types of slotting: fixed and random. 

What is fixed slotting? 

With fixed slotting, everything has a permanent location. When the bin gets near depletion, it gets restocked from reserve storage. 

What is random slotting? 

With random slotting, products are in pick zones instead of pick locations. If inventory in one slot is empty, employees move to another area in the pick zone.  

Random slotting means incoming inventory gets moved to pick zones, eliminating the need for reserve inventory and extra storage space.  

Which is better – fixed slotting or random slotting? 

It depends on which is more important – saving time or warehouse space. 

Fixed slotting means moving items from reserve storage, which can be more time-consuming than random slotting.  

Random slotting requires a larger working area but eliminates moving items from reserve storage. 

What are some of the benefits of improving your warehouse slotting process? 

  • Reduced order picking and replenishment times 
  • Increased order accuracy 
  • Reduced repetitive stress injuries 
  • Reduced labor costs 
  • Optimized warehouse space and more storage capacity
  • Improved inventory management processes and costs
  • Reduced overall warehousing costs 

How is slotting organized?

The best way to organize slotting is by SKU number, product type, or product characteristics like size or weight. 

What is an easy change that makes a big difference in warehouse slotting? 

One significant improvement in order picking efficiency is identifying demand correlation and moving these items closer together.   

What is demand correlation? 

Demand correlation describes products ordered at the same time. 

How do you identify demand correlation? 

The easiest way to identify demand correlation is to look at your company’s past order history. 

What can I do right now to improve my warehouse slotting process? 

Here are four ways to significantly improve your slotting process: 

  1. Select a small zone to reorganize and get started. You will learn a lot along the way. 
  2. Invest in a warehouse management system (WMS). A WMS not only makes the slotting process easier but also controls all your warehouse activities for improved order fulfillment and accuracy. 
  3. Ask warehouse pickers for suggestions. They often have great ideas to improve efficiency. 
  4. Schedule a slotting analysis from an industry expert. The industry is constantly changing. Experts can inform you about systems and automation technologies new to the market. 

Who can benefit from a slotting analysis? 

  • 3PLs 
  • Ecommerce distribution facilities 
  • Warehouse operations with a change in SKU volumes
  • Companies with order fulfillment challenges looking for better inventory solutions 

What are other ways to use modern technology to improve warehouse operations?  

Click these links to read our previous “Ask the Expert” posts about robotic palletizing, robotic order picking, cube utilization, and order picking solutions 

Are you ready to work on your warehouse slotting process to improve customer satisfaction and overall profits? Anthony and his team of warehouse automation experts are available to perform a slotting analysis at your location. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.  

Did you know? Automation can boost customer satisfaction and overall profits. According to a study by Robotics Business Review, “Automated and efficient warehouses were 76% more likely to boost inventory accuracy to 99% or higher, 36% more likely to have reduced labor costs an average of 3% per year, and 40% more likely to consistently ship within one day of an order’s placement.”  

Ask the Expert Series: Robotic Palletizing

January 3rd, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

In this blog post, Toyota Material Handling Solutions’ Director of Sales and Marketing Anthony Spano answers frequently asked questions about robotic palletizing systems and solutions.  

Anthony has a decade of expertise in maximizing cube utilization and increasing throughput by employing the ideal mix of automation, software, and labor. His superpower is using high-performance solutions to help companies optimize productivity and deliver fast, accurate fulfillment to match the speed of modern commerce.  

What is a robotic case palletizer?  

A robotic palletizer employs a robotic arm to pick, orient, and place individual products and arrange them into a single stack or load.  

What are the benefits of a robotic palletizing solution?  

There are numerous benefits of using a palletizing robot, but I will stick to the top five.  

  1. Increased productivity: Palletizers eliminate manual labor for unitizing products. They are much more efficient, lift heavier loads, and perform faster.  
  2. Better product handling: Since palletizers are automated machines, their movements are pre-programmed to function without damaging the product.  
  3. Small and flexible: Palletizing robots typically have a smaller footprint than other solutions, offer greater flexibility, and fit in extremely tight spaces.  
  4. Improved workplace safety: Robotic palletizers eliminate many workplace hazards typically associated with manual labor like falling, tripping, and muscle strains from repetitive actions.  
  5. Reduced operating costs: Most operations can save money by increased productivity, low product damage, and reduced labor costs.  

How does a robotic case palletizer work?  

A palletizing robot picks one or multiple cases from a conveyor system and places them on a pallet. The process continues layer by layer until the pallet is complete.  

How does the palletizing robot know what to pick and place?  

Pallet patterns, which can easily be changed or added, are programmed into the palletizing robot.  

What is the function of an end-of-arm tool?

The end of arm tool can handle multiple types of containers simultaneously, regardless of their shape. It can pick up cases, bags, pails, bottles, batteries, cubes of scrap metal, plastic containers, and many other things. 

Can a robotic palletizing solution handle different patterns and product types?  

Yes. A robotic palletizer can handle one or more units according to pallet configuration and forms multiple layers on a pallet after picking the products off a conveyor.  

Can a palletizing robot handle multiple feeds of different SKUs on the same line?  

Yes. There are systems to send information to the robot to pick and place different SKUs on different pallets.  

How much weight can a palletizing robot handle?  

Robotic palletizing systems can typically handle up to 2,200 pounds.  

How fast are palletizing robots?  

For a single robot picking a single product, palletizing rates can vary anywhere from eight to thirty cases a minute, depending on stacking patterns and other requirements.  

How long can a palletizing robot operate?  

Unlike human labor, palletizing robots do not experience exhaustion or injuries. With proper maintenance, palletizers can reliably operate 24/7.  

Can a robotic palletizing system and solution serve multiple lines?  

Yes. One robotic palletizer can work between two or more packaging lines.  

Can a palletizing robot perform secondary tasks?  

Yes, some robotic palletizers have a vacuum, magnetic, or custom end-of-arm tools to give them the ability to perform additional tasks such as slip sheet dispensing, pallet placing, and wrapping.  

Can a robotic palletizing system reverse its operation?  

Yes. This feature is on robotic palletizers-depalletizers.  

What industries typically use robotic case palletizers?  

You can find palletizing robots in many industries, including food and beverage, life sciences, packaged goods, electronics, and more.  

Are there pictures and videos available?

Yes, click here for pictures and videos of robotic palletizers in action.

Do you have other automated warehouse solutions? 

Yes. Click here for tips on how to upgrade your warehouse for maximum efficiency.  

Implementing a robotic palletizing system requires knowledge and planning. Let our team of storage and automation experts design a unique plan just for you.  

If you are in Los Angeles County, contact us for a free consultation today. 

FAQs About Toyota 360 Support and Support Plus 

November 12th, 2021  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGServiceToyota 360

You might have heard of Toyota 360 Support, but do you know what it is? How about the differences between Toyota 360 Support and Toyota 360 Support Plus? It’s not complicated, but it can get a little confusing trying to figure out what these plans are and what each of them covers.  

If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Please read below for our responses to frequently asked questions about Toyota 360 Support and Toyota 360 Support Plus. 

What is the purpose of Toyota 360 Support? 

Toyota 360 Support represents Toyota’s promise to be your partner throughout the process of buying, owning, servicing, and eventually replacing the material handling equipment when the need arises. 

Why is Toyota 360 Support important? 

Downtime is the enemy. Toyota 360 Support helps you get the best results from your investments, prevent downtime, and ultimately protect your bottom line. 

Do I still get Toyota 360 Support if we move to a different state or location? 

Don’t worry – Toyota’s got you covered no matter where you are. Toyota 360 Support gives you access to the entire family of more than 3,500 certified Toyota technicians and more than 220 dealer locations across the country. 

What does Toyota 360 Support include? 

  • 4-hour guaranteed response times for emergency service requests 
  • 2-year genuine parts warranty. 

How much does Toyota 360 Support cost? 

Nothing! Toyota 360 Support comes standard as part of Toyota’s industry-leading warranty at no additional cost. 

What does Toyota 360 Support Plus include? 

Everything included in Toyota 360 Support plus: 

  • The first year of Planned Maintenance: up to 4 PMs 
  • Carriage-to-counterweight coverage: up to 3 years/6,000 hours 
  • 5-year major component coverage 

How much does Toyota 360 Support Plus cost? 

The cost of Toyota 360 Support Plus varies on whether you have a sit-down electric, narrow aisle electric, electric pallet jack/stacker, IC cushion tire, or IC pneumatic tire. Click here to find the cost for your specific model. 

Can I get Toyota 360 Support Plus if I have T-Matics installed? 

Yes, although it’s slightly more expensive. Click here to find the cost for your specific model.  

Can I get Toyota 360 Support Plus for longer than three years? 

Yes! Toyota 360 Support is also available in 4- and 5-year options on most models. Click here to check if a more extended plan is available for your specific model.  

How much money can I save with Toyota 360 Support Plus?  

A lot! But again, it’s based on whether you have a sit-down electric, narrow aisle electric, electric pallet jack/stacker, IC cushion tire, or IC pneumatic tire. Click here for a value comparison for your specific model.  

Can I get Toyota 360 Support Plus if my business is far from a Toyota dealership?  

Toyota 360 Support Plus pricing and availability apply to customer locations within 50 miles of a Toyota Forklift dealership. Additional charges may apply beyond 50 miles. 

Are you ready to purchase a forklift with Toyota 360 or Toyota 360 Support Plus? Contact us today! Our experienced material handling professionals are on standby to help you get the right forklift for your specific needs. 

If you’re concerned about having your forklift serviced during the pandemic, please read our blog post detailing how we safely service your forklift during COVID-19.

How to Apply Toyota Lean Management to Your Business 

October 7th, 2021  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGToyota Production System

Have you wondered if the principles of Toyota Lean Management (TLM) could apply to your business? There is much information on the subject in books and the internet, but why go elsewhere when you can get your information directly from the source – Toyota!  

Many years ago, Toyota created the Toyota Production System (TPS), a philosophy that organizes manufacturing and logistics at Toyota, including its interaction with suppliers and customers. TPS is also frequently called “lean manufacturing.”  

Three top Toyota executives influenced TPS/Lean Manufacturing: founder Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro Toyoda and Toyota chief engineer Taiichi Ohno. The system’s main goal is simple – to eliminate waste, called “Muda.”  

We sorted through the abundance of information on the Toyota Forklifts website to curate three articles for those just starting to learn about the principles of Lean Management.  

The first article, titled “What is Toyota Lean Management?” is a great place to start. 

The article explains the elements necessary to build a strong “house” using Toyota Lean Management (TLM). You’ll learn about a critical component for a strong TLM foundation, a five-step system called 5S. The principles of 5S can be applied to any business setting, manufacturing/factory setting, or even your personal life to help organize your home and practices.  

You’ll also learn the importance of developing a culture of respect encouraging innovation and development, the Lean Management Pillars: Just-in-Time and Jidoka, and the elements necessary to build the support beams and roof to complete your “house.” 

The following article is titled “Benefits of Lean Management Practices.” You’ll learn the three benefits of lean management techniques here.  

Finally, we suggest you read “How to Get Started on Your Lean Journey.”  This article details four specific steps you should take to get started. 

Toyota Lean Management is both a process and a mindset. Our experts can walk you through the process and offer valuable advice to increase productivity and efficiency throughout your company. Contact us today if you’d like to lean on us (pun intended) to help you implement Toyota Lean Management practices in your operation.     

Much More Than Forklifts – Material Handling Solutions

March 31st, 2021  | 
Resource Center/BLOGSystems & AutomationTraining

We do more than just rent, sell and service forklifts. We are full-service suppliers of material handling and logistical solutions. Simply put, we have the equipment, people, and expertise to help you maximize productivity and improve your bottom line. You may not know all we offer, so read on to learn seven ways we can help your business beyond forklifts.   

1. Get a complimentary warehouse and pallet position analysis. 

Optimize your warehouse space with a complimentary warehouse and pallet position analysis. Our experienced team of Storage and Automated Systems professionals analyze your warehouse and provide solutions to maximize your pallet storage and productivity, and ultimately — your bottom line.  

Click here for two examples of the thorough complimentary analysis we provide to maximize the efficiency of your racking design, equipment selection, and overall operation. 

2. Get help with pallet racking and other storage and automated systems. 

Everyone wants to increase efficiency. Our experts will conduct a complimentary pallet storage analysis and help with the re-design, purchase, or installation of pallet racking and other storage and automated systems. 

3. We’re your dealer for Kärcher industrial scrubbers and sweepers. 

Keep your facility clean and sanitized with industrial scrubbers and sweepers. Kärcher is the world’s leading provider of efficient, resource-conserving cleaning systems, known for their performance, innovation, and quality. 

4. We’re your one-stop-shop for Columbia electric utility vehicles. 

Get around faster with a multi-use electric utility vehicle. Columbia has one of the most expansive electric vehicle product line-ups in the world, producing electric utility vehicles for private, commercial, and industrial use. 

We carry models that move from one to 14 people, carry up to 6,000 pounds, tow up to 14,000 pounds and travel up to 18 miles per hour. 

5. Buy or rent aerial platforms and boom lifts. 

Reach higher with an aerial platform or boom lift. We have you covered with models from AICHI and JLG. Our inventory features built-to-last scissor lifts, telehandlers, vertical mast lifts, and boom lifts that are the perfect blend of strength, versatility, and smart technology. 

Whether you want to rent or buy your aerial lift, you can count on us for quality equipment to get the job done.  

6. Design a new or existing warehouse space.  

Let our team of experienced material handling experts design the right warehouse storage and distribution system for your unique needs.   

Want more information about optimizing your warehouse with Toyota? Read our blog post that explains the process and answers the most common questions here.   

7. Get forklift safety training.  

Make sure your forklift operators are OSHA compliant. Let our experts train your operators. Our forklift training is mostly online; the short hands-on portion occurs in the parking lot of our Santa Fe Springs headquarters. 

Got questions about training? Click here to read our blog post with answers to common questions about forklift safety training. 

As you can see, our services extend far beyond simply renting, selling, and servicing forklifts. No matter what material handling need might arise, we’ve got you covered. 

How to Tell If You Need a New Forklift 

November 6th, 2019  | 
Electric ForkliftsResource Center/BLOGUsed Forklifts

Forklifts are the workhorses of the material handling industry. A quality forklift lasts long, but unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Most business owners want to get the most out of their equipment, so how do you find the sweet spot between retiring a forklift too soon or waiting too long to buy a new forklift?  

Gather the data 

Consider several things before you decide to replace a piece of expensive equipment. To make sure you make a well-informed decision, gather the following information: 

  • The age of the forklift
  • The forklift brand’s estimated life expectancy/hours of operation
  • The current hours of use 
  • The current and past types of application 
  • Maintenance logs to determine the frequency and type of repairs 

Ask your forklift operator 

Your forklift operator will most likely be the first person to notice signs of wear and tear. Ask them to be on the lookout for any of these issues: 

  • Signs of cracks and other distortions anywhere on the forklift 
  • Wear and tear on the fork blades 
  • Wires that are worn, broken, or exposed 
  • A sluggish engine or transmission  

General questions to keep in mind   

As a forklift owner, here are a few questions task yourself to determine if it’s time to replace your equipment: 

  • Is your forklift out for repairs more than usual? Unless it’s planned downtime, you’re probably losing time and money if your forklift is out for repairs.  
  • Have you exceeded the recommended hours of operation? Well-built forklifts have a lifespan between 10,000 and 20,000 work hours. You’re playing roulette with unplanned downtime if you’re past the limit. 
  • Is your forklift used in extreme applications or temperatures? Understanding anything beyond regular use will cause a forklift to age faster is essential.
  • Is your engine or transmission going bad? It can cost thousands of dollars to repair a failing engine or transmission. Do the math before you spend the money on repairs -you might want to spend your budget on a new lift truck with the latest technology.  

Our best advice is to start this process before needing a new forklift. A planned purchase where you budget and research before you buy is ideal. A surprise last-minute purchase when your forklift breaks down during your busiest season is not.  

Need help figuring out if it’s the right time to replace your forklift or fleet? Let us help. Click here to contact us today.  

Problem-Solving Guides from Toyota

September 25th, 2019  | 
Electric ForkliftsProductivityResource Center/BLOGToyota Production System

If you’re a Supply Chain Management Professional, you’ve probably got one thing on your mind: how to get products to market quickly and cost-effectively.

Your job is hard. Toyota’s experts want to make it easier.

Our free whitepapers share information, business advice, and problem-solving tips from professionals with years of experience in material handling and supply chain management.

Take advantage of this free resource to learn more about solutions for the evolving seaport, innovative material handling technologies, ports, and the ever-changing logistics landscape.

Material Handling Solutions for the Evolving Seaport

The three most significant challenges for material handling fleets specializing in ever-changing port environments are maximizing efficiency, managing port congestion, and optimizing fleet management. A material handling partner with innovative heavy-duty port solutions that keep up with the newest technological trends is the key to success.

Click here to access the full whitepaper.

Making a case for Innovative Material Handling Technologies

In a world where customers want their goods delivered faster and more accurately than ever, innovative material handling technologies are helping shippers meet those expectations while improving their operational productivity and profitability.

Click here for more information on innovative material handling technologies.

Ports and the Ever-Changing Logistics Landscape

In the ever-changing logistics landscape, port and yard tools must keep pace. The logistics landscape evolves rapidly, with disrupters such as Amazon, Google, and Uber driving change while abandoning “business as usual” tactics.

Moving goods from the point of origin to the final destination requires an increasingly integrated, orchestrated, and seamless supply chain, particularly in the era of the 20,000 TEU containership. Companies stay ahead of the game in the intermodal sector when they partner with a material handling solutions provider that has experience moving goods from port to end-user.

Click here to read the full whitepaper.

We hope you find this information useful. If you have any questions or need advice, experts from Toyota Material Handling Solutions are just a click away.

Why You Need a Workplace Safety Program

August 19th, 2019  | 
Resource Center/BLOGTraining

Workplace safety and forklift training mean developing processes to eliminate personal injuries in the workplace. A well-thoughtout safety program includes identifying hazards, evaluating workplace safety policies, and regularly training employees. If this sounds like standard business practice to you, then you’ll probably be surprised by the results of a 2017 survey about workplace safety.  

  • 17 percent of all small business employees surveyed say they never receive workplace safety training 
  • 25 percent of micro-businesses employees (9 or fewer employees) say they haven’t received workplace safety training 
  • 40 percent of small business employees say their employer does not display OSHA signage prominently, or they are not sure if it is displayed 

These are shocking numbers considering OSHA has a list of employer responsibilities to provide a safe working environment. OSHA’s website is full of information so that any business can stay informed about OSHA compliance.  

Safety policies and programs are essential to safeguard the well-being of employees, but are there also financial and business reasons to focus on workplace safety? The answer is yes. Here are six ways a workplace safety program can help your business. 

  • Improve efficiency. Employees and forklift operators without training are inefficient, not to mention unsafe. 
  • Lower your risk of OSHA fines and penalties. One safety-related injury can result in penalties as high as $100,000 per incident.  
  • Reduce your risk of civil or criminal liability. A company will most likely face a lawsuit if an employee gets hurt on the job. Even worse, it can be a crime to be negligent in health and safety requirements. 
  • Reduce worker’s compensation claims and sick days. Teach employees how to reduce repetitive actions to prevent unnecessary strain on the body. A pain-free employee is a happy and productive worker. 
  • Create safety partners. A trained forklift operator or warehouse employee will help prevent accidents. They will not only recognize and report hazards but also model optimal safety behaviors to the rest of the team. 
  • Attract and retain valued talent. Good employees won’t tolerate working for a company that doesn’t value safety. They will probably point out a safety issue and know they have the right to refuse dangerous work.  

Need help updating your workplace safety program? Contact us for a free safety consultation and information about forklift training classes.  

Forklift Safety Protects Your Bottom Line 

August 7th, 2019  | 
Resource Center/BLOGTraining

Every company has a moral and legal obligation to keep its workers safe. Many companies have an ongoing forklift safety program, but some don’t prioritize safety. Especially when money is tight. Most of the time, these companies don’t realize that spending money on safety now could save them from headaches in the long run, or they don’t understand the actual costs of a safety-related incident.   

Ignoring a safety program isn’t worth the risk.

There are severe risks to forgoing a safety training program. It doesn’t take a major accident to cost money and cause significant issues for the entire company. Here is a list of potential problems you could face, even with a minor safety-related incident. 

  • A key employee is out due to injury 
  • The cost of paying and training someone new to cover the injured employee’s position 
  • Damage to the equipment 
  • Lost production time 
  • Cost to employee morale 
  • Cost to your business reputation 
  • OSHA fines 
  • Investigation costs 
  • Legal fees 
  • Higher insurance rates 

Find out the actual costs of a workplace injury

If that list wasn’t enough to convince you of the importance of a safety program, spend a little time on OSHA’s $afety Pays tool. It will tell you exactly how much a workplace injury could cost your business. The calculator breaks down the costs of 40 types of injuries and illnesses and shows the direct and indirect costs. And to drive home the importance of safety to your bottom line, the tool calculates the additional sales revenue you would need to generate to cover these costs. Check it out. It’s an eye-opener.   

There are resources to help you.   

We hope you see a safety program’s value and commit to putting safety above anything else. Here are several free resources and tips to help you stay on track:   

  • Check OSHA’s website for free publications and information. Know OSHA’s regulations and requirements, and make sure you certify your forklift drivers.  
  • Develop a “safety-first” program to encourage employees to report hazards.  
  • Join an online safety group specific to your industry where you can ask questions, get help, and learn from others. 
  • Sign up for Toyota Material Handling Solutions’ forklift training classes in Santa Fe Springs or at your location.

Don’t gamble with your future. Spend time and money on safety programs and forklift training now. Not only to protect your employees but to protect your bottom line.  

Toyota Material Handling Solutions proudly supports OSHA’s Safe & Sound Week

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10 Facts About Toyota Forklift Training

April 22nd, 2019  | 
Resource Center/BLOGTraining

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, requires anyone who operates a forklift to undergo forklift operator safety training. Any individual must also get certified on every type of forklift that they drive.  If you’re wondering what this training entails, below are a few things you might learn.

Moving things across the country is the reason there are over 500,000 industrial truck operators working in the United States!  Most things you see around you have needed a forklift at some point or another. Forklifts keep supply chains running, and move material all over the world.

#1: First things first: Only a trained, qualified operator should use a forklift.

#2: Entering and exiting a forklift should be treated carefully. A 3-point stance is best for both. Two hands and one foot should always be in contact with the forklift. Also, having clean hands and clean shoes will reduce your chances of slipping.

#3: A forklift is not a car.  It may not look like it, but a forklift weighs a lot more than a truck or a car. Steering is different since the steering wheel is on the back of the forklift.  With occasional uneven surfaces, a forklift operator must be aware of the differences between driving a car and operating a forklift.  They should always use safe operating practices.

#4: Due to changes in the location of a combined center of gravity, loaded forklifts are more stable than unloaded forklifts.

#5: Data plates that show changes in load capacity should be secured to a forklift. All forklifts should have an accurate data plate. A forklift operator should follow the limitations that the data plates list. This can include lifting capacities, battery size, designated areas, and more.

#6: A responsible person should be appointed by the employer to enforce safety rules and practices. They should also correct any unsafe behavior by the operator.

#7: Because not all forklifts can operate on ramps, one must always check the correct forklift manual for instructions on ramp operation.

#8: Pedestrians should be aware of an operating forklift and the environment they may share.  They play an essential part in forklift safety. They should always use designated walkways. It is their responsibility to pay attention when entering areas that forklifts are used in, such as areas where product is loaded, stored, or moved, and any areas forklifts may travel.  A pedestrian should not assume the operator has seen them and should always make eye contact with the driver.

#9: All operators must perform pre-operating inspections. Transmissions, electrical systems, brakes, engines, etc. should be checked before use and make sure everything is running properly. If anything is out of order, the forklift must be tagged and out of service.  You should make all repairs before using the forklift again.

#10: There’s a lot more to forklift operator training than merely taking a test. During Toyota Material Handling Solutions’ operator safety training program, trainees will learn about the following: OSHA laws governing forklift use and operation; pre-operational safety check; refueling procedures; industrial battery care; how to perform daily maintenance checks; and fundamentals of safe forklift driving. The 3-hour course concludes with a driver evaluation.

To learn more about Toyota Material Handling Solutions’ operator safety training classes or to sign up for training, contact us today!

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