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Posts tagged ‘warehouse solutions’

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 VS. BUYING A FORKLIFT 

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  

FAQS ABOUT RENTING VS. BUYING A FORKLIFT 

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! 

FAQs About Leasing a Forklift

August 19th, 2022  | 
Financial ServicesResource Center/BLOG

Leasing a forklift is an excellent alternative to buying new or used material handling equipment. There are many advantages to leasing, including buying at the end of the lease or trading in your leased equipment for the newest model. Read on to learn the answers to frequently asked questions about leasing a forklift. 

What are some of the benefits of leasing a forklift? 

  • Get a new model every few years. Do your operators want the latest bells and whistles when a new forklift model comes out? Leasing allows you to upgrade to the newest model when you turn in an old model at the end of the lease. Your operators will thank you. 
  • Get new equipment every few years. Sometimes you need an entirely different forklift, order picker, reach truck, or other material handling equipment. Just turn in your forklift at the end of your lease and pick up the new equipment you need.  
  • Lower monthly payments. Lease payments are often lower than loan payments. Run the numbers so you can make the best decision for your company.  

Can someone help me pick the right material handling equipment?  

  • Yes, our experts perform a site visit to assess your needs and help you choose the right equipment for your facility. 

What happens after delivery? 

  • As your material handling solutions partner, we are always available to answer any questions about your equipment or other material handling needs.  

Can I add a maintenance program to my leased forklift? 

  • Yes, we highly recommend a planned maintenance program (PM). Ask your material handling expert for options. 

How long is a typical forklift lease? 

  • Typically, a forklift lease includes 40 hours of weekly utilization (about 2,000 hours per year).  

What happens if we go over the utilization hours? 

  • Overtime charges may apply, which can range from 45 cents per hour to more than $5.00 per hour. 

Can I request more utilization hours in my lease agreement? 

  • Yes, if you think you will use your forklift more than 40 hours per week, you can request a higher amount in your lease agreement.  

Should I choose a short or long-term lease? 

  • If your utilization rate is low and you want the lowest payment possible, you should pick a 5–6 year lease. If your forklift usage is high, you should consider a shorter lease.  

How much do I pay upfront?  

  • In general, there is little or no money due at signing. 

Can I buy the forklift after the lease ends?  

  • It depends on your lease agreement. If you want this option, make sure you ask for it before you sign.  

Who is your finance partner? 

Can I cancel the forklift lease? 

  • Yes, but it can be expensive. Make sure to choose the right material handling equipment and lease term for your individual needs.  

Buying, renting, or leasing an expensive piece of material handling equipment is a big purchase. An experienced material handling professional can make sure you get the most value and return on your investment. Contact us for a free consultation today! 

Which Tora-Max Electric Walkie is Right for You?

July 31st, 2022  | 
Electric ForkliftsProductivityResource Center/BLOG

If you are in the market for a Toyota Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack, there are two choices – the regular walkie and the compact walkie. Let’s look at the differences between them to help determine which one is right for you. 

TORA-MAX ELECTRIC WALKIE PALLET JACK  

The Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack is the ideal choice when you need a simple solution for low-to-the-ground throughput applications. It is the perfect solution for entry-level walkie users in the distribution, general manufacturing, and warehousing industries.  

The Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack has 48-inch forks and the power to lift products and pallets to 4,000 pounds (about twice the weight of a Clydesdale horse).  

Here are the specs for the standard version to see if the size is right for your space:

  • Overall Length: 68.3 Inches 
  • Height with Extended Handle: 48.4 Inches 
  • Overall Width: 27 Inches 

It also features:  

  • Maintenance-Free Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries allow for multiple hours of continuous work and no need for watering 
  • High ground clearance to work around transitions and uneven surfaces 
  • Turtle speed button for improved control and precision 
  • AC Drive Motor  
  • 24-Volt Electrical System
  • 24-Inch Load Center 
  • Anti-Roll Back System
  • Chrome-plated lift cylinder
  • On-Board Battery Charger for easy, accessible charging

TORA-MAX COMPACT ELECTRIC WALKIE PALLET JACK  (LITHIUM)

If you are looking for a smaller version to allow you to work on trailers or other crowded areas, the compact design is the right choice for you. It is the perfect solution for restocking shelves in grocery stores, retail stores, or sales floors, and maneuvering pallets in stockrooms or warehouses.  

The Toyota Tora-Max Compact Electric Walkie Pallet Jack features pinwheel capability to get you in and out of tight spaces and has the power to lift heavy loads to 3,300 pounds (about half the weight of an elephant). 

 Here are the specs to determine if the Tora-Max Compact model will fit in your space: 

  • Overall Length: 60.3 Inches  
  • Height with Extended Handle: 45.7 Inches   
  • Overall Width: 27 Inches  

The Toyota Tora-Max Compact Electric Walkie Pallet Jack also features:  

  • 24-Volt Battery  
  • DC Drive Motor  
  • Emergency Power Off  
  • Soft-Grip Ergonomic Handles  
  • Easy To Reach Thumb Levers
  • Fast Charging
  • Polyurethane Tires 
  • Exchangeable Battery for easy changing and continuous working time
  • LCD Display with battery charge level, hour meter, turtle speed status, and diagnostic codes
  • Stability Caster Kit available as an optional accessory  

DOES YOUR PLANT HAVE A NO FORKLIFT POLICY?  

The Toyota Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack and the Compact Electric Walkie Pallet Jack provide a simple solution with solid performance!  

DO YOU WANT EASY ORDERING AND DELIVERY?  

The Toyota Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack and the Compact Walkie Pallet Jack are available to purchase online with free shipping 

CONCERNED ABOUT PARTS AND SERVICE? 

Both models come with a 12-month, 1,000 key-on-hour standard warranty. And with our Toyota Certified Technicians at your side, superior parts and service support is just a phone call away.  

QUESTIONS?  

Contact us for free advice. Our experienced staff is standing by to help you.  

Toyota’s Top 5 Electric Forklifts

June 30th, 2022  | 
Electric ForkliftsReach TrucksResource Center/BLOG

Toyota Forklift dealers have the industry’s most comprehensive material handling solutions. From a single forklift to an entire fleet, Toyota’s quality, durability, reliability, and value are built-in thanks to advanced technology and the world-renowned Toyota Production System. 

You may be asking why you should consider Toyota’s electric forklift models over IC forklifts or other brands. Here are the advantages of electric drives over IC drives:   

  • Lower maintenance costs, resulting in savings over the life of the forklift
  • Electric drives accelerate faster and provide a smoother driving experience for the operator
  • Electric forklifts experience less downtime, resulting in more productivity
  • In California, you can get ahead of CARB’s 2035 zero-emission mandate  

Here are the top 5 electric forklifts in Toyota’s diverse range of products.  

#1 Toyota’s 3-Wheel Electric Forklift  

Toyota’s 3-Wheel Electric leads the industry in run time, travel speeds, and lift/lowering rates. Check out these impressive stats. Toyota’s 3-Wheel Electric is:  

  • 15 percent more energy efficient than the next competitor  
  • Up to 23 percent faster in travel speed  
  • Up to 8 percent faster in average lift/lower speed  

Toyota’s 3-Wheel Electric Forklift also fits in narrow aisles, is easy to maintain, and has a 40 percent longer battery life than the competition. No wonder it is a top seller in Toyota’s forklift line.  

#2 Toyota’s Electric Walkie Pallet Jack  

Toyota’s Electric Walkie Pallet Jack is a versatile, multi-use solution for almost any application. It is great for mid-distance warehouse runs and excellent for loading and unloading trailers. It is the first to offer a factory option for an integrated fork scale that can calculate weight as it lifts the load. 

#3 Toyota’s Electric Order Picker 

Need a straightforward solution to retrieve orders? Toyota’s Electric Order Picker is the answer. Its mast rises to 390 inches to reach your tallest racks and quickly moves around narrow aisles and tight spaces. It also features optional wire guidance and double rail guidance systems to minimize rack impact and optional Lift Logic technology to monitor lift height for safe operation.  

#4 Toyota’s Electric Reach Truck  

Toyota’s Electric Reach Truck is the truck you need for dock-to-stock, stock-to-dock, and optimal visibility in the second-level pallet position. Its open view mast optimizes forward visibility, while its sturdy mast construction minimizes mast sway. It is the perfect warehouse equipment to help you reach higher and work smarter.  

#5 Toyota’s Electric Walkie Stacker  

Toyota’s Electric Walkie Stacker has a mast capable of raising and lowering loads for light-duty stacking. It is an excellent option for short, and mid-distance runs in busy warehouses. If you are looking for warehouse equipment to handle narrow aisle storage, reach storage racks up to 12 feet and lift loads to 2,500 lbs., Toyota’s Electric Walkie Stacker is your solution. 

Do you need help choosing material handling equipment? We can help you decide which electric forklift is right for you. Our seasoned material handling experts know the ins and outs of every piece of material handling equipment available. Contact us for a free on-site consultation 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.

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.

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: Order Picking Solutions

February 21st, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

It is no secret that managing a warehouse or distribution center today is a challenge, especially if you rely on manual processes. Adding order fulfillment technologies can help.  

In this blog post, we continue our Ask the Expert Series with Toyota Material Handling Solutions’ Director of Sales and Marketing Anthony Spano. Anthony’s decades of experience in picking processes and technologies can help determine the best solution for your application. Today he explains six order picking technologies and the benefits of each one.  

What are the benefits of order fulfillment technologies?  

An automated order picking solution offers many benefits, but here are the big three:  

  1. Increased efficiency  
  2. Reduced picking errors  
  3. Improved customer service  

What are the different types of order picking solutions? 

Here are the top six solutions companies are implementing today:  

  1. Goods-to-person  
  2. Voice picking  
  3. Pick to light  
  4. Put to light  
  5. Put wall  
  6. RF handheld scanners  

What is goods-to-person order fulfillment?  

Goods-to-person combines automated storage with accurate, ergonomic picking processes. With this system, products are automatically transported directly to the operator as needed, saving valuable travel time to retrieve the order.  

What are the main benefits of goods-to-person order picking?  

  • Ideal for ergonomic picking  
  • Easily scalable to match growing demand or an increase in SKUs  
  • Produces a smaller footprint and uses less space than other order picking solutions  

What is voice picking order fulfillment?  

Voice picking is an easy-to-learn paperless order picking solution. With voice picking, an operator is equipped with a mobile device and a headset and given easy-to-understand voice prompts to tell them where to go and what to do.  

What are the benefits of voice picking?  

  • Flexible and scalable solution  
  • Great for environments with many SKUs  
  • Keeps operators’ hands-free and focused on the task at hand  

What is pick-to-light order fulfillment?  

Pick to light, also called pick-to-light or PTL, is a light-directed warehouse picking technology. It provides accurate and efficient paperless picking, putting, and sorting.  

What are the benefits of pick-to-light order fulfillment?  

  • A versatile solution for many applications  
  • Highly effective in zones with high pick volumes and dense pick faces   

What is a put to light system?  

A put to light system is like a pick to light system but reverse. Instead of order fulfillment, a put to light system replenishes stock.  

What are the benefits of a put to light system?  

  • Very efficient for stock replacement  
  • Non-intrusive. Lights are typically mounted on shelving or carton flow rack placed above or below the designated put to light device.  

What is a put wall system?  

A put wall system handles a large volume of orders in a small footprint. We implement our Exacta® supply chain software suite as a complete solution or separate components in this system. It is also compatible with other software brands and is easily scalable.  

What are the benefits of a put wall system?  

  • Paperless processing  
  • Smaller footprint than other systems  

What are RF handheld scanners? 

RF handheld scanners are an easy-to-install modular solution with access to data from anywhere in the world. We use the Exacta mobile platform to deliver the most critical information directly to the operators with this system.  

What are the benefits of RF handheld scanners?  

  • Quickly and easily incorporate product images  
  • Supports multiple languages  

There are many ways to use automated systems to increase efficiency and productivity. Click on these links to read about robotic palletizing, robotic order picking, and cube utilization, and stay tuned for future Ask the Expert blog posts. 

Got questions about the process of optimizing your warehouse with Toyota? Click here to learn the first steps in the process, what is involved in the analysis, what you will get back from Toyota, who secures the permits, how much you need to be involved in the process, and more.  

Ready to automate your warehouse or distribution center? Contact us today! 

Ask the Expert Series: Cube Utilization  

February 1st, 2022  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

Do you want to get more out of your warehouse space, save money and be more efficient? Maximizing your warehouse cube utilization is the key.  

In this part of our Ask the Expert Series, our Director of Sales and Marketing Anthony Spano answers frequently asked questions about maximizing cube utilization 

Anthony is our in-house expert on all things involving automation, software, and labor. His source of happiness comes from helping companies find the right mix of high-performance automation solutions to optimize productivity and maximize profits. Anthony and his team are eager to help you, too!  

Why is cube utilization essential?  

Vertical stacking and other methods of cube utilization vastly increase the available space in a warehouse to save money and increase efficiency.  

What is the formula for cube utilization?  

Warehouse cube utilization is the total available space within your warehouse to store products. The formula for cube utilization is space used compared to maximum space open. If you use every available space in your warehouse, you have 100 percent warehouse cube utilization.  

How do you figure out the maximum space available?  

Maximum space equals the available storage locations within a warehouse. It does not include aisleways and other areas reserved for forklifts, conveyors, and workers.  

Why is tracking cube utilization important?  

Tracking your cube utilization allows you to measure the performance of your warehouse over time and gives you essential metrics to plan for seasonal changes.  

What are the methods of cube utilization? 

There are three standard methods of cube utilization, including:  

  1. Stacking. Stacking is the most basic, simple method of cube utilization but is highly dependent on product strength and stability. Stacking is an excellent option if you are shipping heavy, durable products like canned food or packaged beverages.  
  2. Racking. Pallet racking lets you place pallets above ground level, allowing more pallet positions in the warehouse. It is an excellent option for shipping more delicate items.  
  3. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS). ASRS systems use both vertical and horizontal space to maximize cube utilization. It is an excellent option for warehouses with perfectly balanced and packed loads.  

What type of pallets should I use to maximize cube utilization? 

Wood pallets are the most common pallets found in warehouses, but they are not the best option for vertically stored products. Here are three reasons why:  

  1. Wood has natural variations in weight and dimension and can shrink and swell, which can cause problems with fork placement and load distribution.  
  2. Wood pallets are held together with nails, which can come out, weaken the load, and cause a safety issue, especially from high above.  
  3. Wood is a natural material that breaks down over time. Cracked and broken boards can cause product and equipment damage.  

For these reasons, we recommend a high-quality plastic pallet as the best option to maximize cube utilization.  

Why are plastic pallets better than wood?  

There are many reasons plastic pallets are better than wood, including:  

  1. Plastic pallets are dimensionally stable and will bend rather than break.  
  2. Plastic pallets will not shed debris or nails or get caught on products or machinery.  
  3. Plastics are lighter than wood and easy to clean and sanitize.  

What can we do to improve warehouse space utilization?  

  1. Look up! All the space above you is prime real estate for cube utilization. Vertical racking is obvious, but what about a mezzanine? A warehouse mezzanine is an excellent solution for extra storage space if your building layout permits.  
  2. Check your picking slots and aisle width. To save space, match picking slot sizes with product size and design your warehouse aisles to accommodate the minimum width needed for your material handling equipment.  
  3. Check your shipping and receiving doors. Can you combine them into one to save space? Looking for new ways to utilize your current space better is often the fastest and cheapest way to increase your warehouse space utilization.  

Making the most out of your warehouse space is essential for your bottom line. Our team is on standby to help you get the most out of your warehouse space. Contact us for a free consultation today.  

Did you miss the first two posts in our Ask The Expert Series? Click here to learn about robotic palletizing systems and solutions and click here to learn about robotic order picking.

 

What’s New in 2022? Twenty-Two New Forklifts 

January 21st, 2022  | 
Electric ForkliftsReach TrucksResource Center/BLOG

You read it right. Toyota launched a historic twenty-two new products this year – the most extensive product launch in the company’s history.  

Why It Matters  

Toyota’s historic launch gives it the industry’s most complete lineup of material handling solutions. Simply put, you do not need to look any further than Toyota Material Handling Solutions in Los Angeles County to take care of all your material handling products and warehousing solutions.  

More Options, Tailored Solutions  

Toyota’s historic product introduction includes a range of new warehousing solutions. The launch includes 12 new reach truck models – giving Toyota the industry’s most expansive reach truck lineup.

The new reach truck models address modern warehousing challenges with tailored solutions for narrow aisles, and picking and putaway needs. 

The expanded reach truck lineup includes:  

Strong, Versatile, and Sustainable  

Toyota Material Handling also added a Low-Level Order Picker and Furniture Order Picker, along with Enclosed End Rider and Stand-Up Rider pallet jacks. 

To round out the company’s unprecedented product launch, Toyota introduced four electric pneumatic forklift models in 3,000-17,500 pound capacities that combine strength and versatility while helping address sustainability objectives.  

Backed by Industry-Leading Experts  

The entire product lineup has the Toyota 360 Support and service guarantee and the unparalleled reputation and quality inherent in products manufactured with the world-renowned Toyota Production System and Toyota Lean Management.  

These elements, combined with the Smart Environment Sensor pedestrian detection system, mean you can have confidence in the operational safety of your equipment for years to come.  

Expert Help on Standby   

Are you interested in learning more about how our products and warehouse solutions can help your business become more productive and profitable? Contact us for a free consultation today!  

Ask the Expert Series: Robotic Order Picking

January 17th, 2022  | 
Resource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

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 robotic order picking.   

Anthony helps companies find the ideal mix of automation, software, and labor to optimize productivity and deliver fast, accurate fulfillment to match the speed of modern commerce. His expertise has helped hundreds of companies in Los Angeles County maximize cube utilization, increase throughput, and increase their bottom line.  

What is a robotic order picker?  

A robotic order picking system is an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS). It harnesses the power of warehouse robots for 24/7 order fulfillment within a cubic layout.  

What are the benefits of order picking robots?  

  • Increased on-time delivery  
  • Reduced stock losses and errors  
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improved space utilization
  • Lower building/rental and labor costs  

Which order picking system do you recommend? 

AutoStore is our system of choice.  

What is AutoStore?  

AutoStore is an innovative storage solution that allows complete customization and flexibility. In the AutoStore system, bins are stacked vertically in a grid and retrieved by robots that travel on the top layer of the system.  

Does AutoStore work if you have a complicated warehouse layout? 

Yes. Because AutoStore robots travel on the top layer of the system, the grid can exist around columns, on the mezzanine, and even on multiple levels. 

How does AutoStore work?  

An AutoStore system contains four components: a structural grid, delivery robots, storage bins, and an operator port. Products live in bins within the dense aluminum grid. As a product is needed to fulfill an order, the system software and controls alert a robot to find the item’s bin.  

How does the robot get to the bins on the bottom of the stack?  

If the bin is beneath other bins, a robot stages the extra bins on top of the grid until it retrieves the desired container. It then takes that bin to the edge of the grid and delivers it to the operator fulfilling the order.  

What happens to the bins on top of the grid after an order is retrieved? 

As one robot delivers the bin, another AutoStore robot cleans up the staged bins on top of the grid by returning them to their original position.  

Does the system get smarter with time?  

Yes. As the order-picking process continues, the AutoStore system self-profiles. The bins with faster-moving products begin moving toward the top of the system, and bins with slower-moving products transition to the bottom.  

How much space can you save with an AutoStore system?  

In some cases, a company can increase storage capacity four-fold within the same footprint and unlock the true potential of storage floor space.  

Is AutoStore a custom solution?  

Yes, an AutoStore system is designed specifically for you. Each AutoStore is designed based on your operational needs, and we validate it through simulation backed by its control system.  

Can I add AutoStore to my existing space?  

Yes, AutoStore is easy to integrate into existing warehouses.  

Can I use AutoStore if I have low ceilings?  

Yes, AutoStore is fully customizable to fit any ceiling height.  

What is the maximum lifting speed of an AutoStore robotic order picker?  

An AutoStore robot has a maximum lifting speed of 5.2 feet per second.  

What industries use AutoStore systems?  

You can find AutoStore systems in grocery, retail, healthcare, e-commerce warehouses, third-party logistics centers, parts management facilities, and many other specialty industries. 

Do you have any case studies to share? 

Yes. We partner with Bastian Solutions, a Toyota Logistics company and a global AutoStore integrator. Click here to learn how they modernized Best Buy’s supply chain with advanced automation. You can also watch how they helped Puma increase capacity tenfold and boost productivity by twenty percent at their facility in Indianapolis.

Is 2022 the year you add robots and automation to your order picking process? Don’t tackle it alone. Let our experts with decades of experience help take your warehouse or distribution center to the next level. Contact us to get started today! 

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. 

What can Autonomous Mobile Robots do for you?

December 13th, 2021  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

Have you wondered if you should utilize autonomous mobile robots in your warehouse or distribution center? Well, you are not alone.  

The use of autonomous mobile robots to improve efficiency in warehouses and distribution centers is undoubtedly on the rise. A recent study found that investment in warehouse robotics increased by 57% in the first quarter of 2020. It is a clear sign of things to come.  

In fact, according to an August 2021 report by Research and Markets, the global warehouse automation market will reach $30.99 billion in 2025, and experts predict there will be 50,000 robotic warehouses by the same year.  

So, you might ask yourself how autonomous mobile robots can benefit your warehouse, what you can automate, and what these robots can do?  

If you are thinking about implementing warehouse automation and robots, here are answers to frequently asked questions about what robots can do for you.  

What can autonomous mobile robots do in a facility?  

Autonomous mobile robots can handle hundreds of tasks every day and thousands of orders every week. Here are some of the tasks robots can complete in a warehouse:  

  • Picking  
  • Packing  
  • Batching  
  • Sorting  
  • Transporting   
  • Security  
  • Inspections 

How are autonomous mobile robots used in warehouses and distribution centers?  

  • Autonomous mobile robots can replace conventional conveyors with portable and affordable plug-and-play systems to save space.  
  • Autonomous mobile robots can transport heavy objects to reduce employee strain and injury.  
  • Drones can conduct aerial inventory scanning, reach secluded areas in the warehouse, and inspect stock. 
  • Task robots can complete repetitive functions. 
  • Delivery robots can help with order picking. 
  • Palletizing robots can pick one or multiple cases and quickly and accurately place them on a pallet. 

How does the Internet of Things (IoT) enhance robot functions?  

  • IoT sensors transform multiple warehouse devices into intelligent devices that communicate in real-time without human intervention. 
  • IoT connects and coordinates your distribution facility, so workers, robots, managers, and automated vehicles always know the location of items. 

What are the benefits of autonomous mobile robots?  

  • Increased turnaround time  
  • Reduced costs  
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction  
  • Reduced labor and operational costs
  • Reduced handling and storage costs
  • Improved employee satisfaction
  • Greater inventory control
  • Optimized warehouse space
  • Increased employee safety
  • Reduced physical strain on employees
  • Reduced amount of errors/returns
  • Reduced employee injuries from repetitive tasks   

What kind of equipment can you automate in a warehouse or distribution center?  

  • Forklifts
  • Conveyors
  • Pallet movers
  • Shelving
  • Local delivery vehicles  

What kind of robots are popular to use in a warehouse?  

  • Mobile robots   
  • Drones   
  • Task robots  

Warehouse automation and robots will continue to grow in the years ahead. Many companies in Los Angeles County begin with a warehouse management system, data collection, and inventory management.  

Our systems and automation experts are available to guide you in your journey through warehouse automation. If you need help or advice, contact us today. 

How to Move Wide Loads in Narrow Aisles

December 9th, 2021  | 
Electric ForkliftsProductivityReach TrucksResource Center/BLOG

Nothing can be more challenging than moving and lifting wide loads in narrow aisles. A forklift driver operating a standard forklift will undoubtedly need to make a lot of small, calculated moves to navigate around without damaging the load or hitting the warehouse racks – or both. And it’s probably going to take a lot more time than you’d like.    

If you want to maintain productivity and efficiency, the obvious solution is to widen the aisles. But what if you don’t have the space?   

Toyota designed two new electric forklifts to solve the specific challenge of moving and lifting wide, bulky loads in narrow aisles.   

Toyota’s New Multidirectional Reach Truck  

Toyota’s new Multidirectional Reach Truck features articulating load wheels for horizontal travel. It can travel parallel and perpendicular to racking to save time and space. It’s the ideal solution for moving materials such as lumber, pipe, carpet, and other building supplies.  

Here are some of the highlights and features of Toyota’s new Multidirectional Reach Truck:   

  • Offers improved storage density and operational efficiency for customers looking to optimize their warehouse space  
  • Suited for pallet-less load handling, long load handling, and specialty racking  
  • Handles loads up to 22 feet wide
  • Lifts up to 4,500 lbs.  

Click here to view a video of the new Multidirectional Reach Truck. 

Toyota’s New Furniture Order Picker   

Toyota’s new Furniture Order Picker lifts large items as high as 366 inches on carts or furniture platforms with ease, speed, and stability. It’s the perfect solution to increase productivity at furniture warehouses and distribution centers.   

Here’s a look at some of the highlights and features of Toyota’s new Furniture Order Picker:  

  • A great solution to handle bulky loads like couches, dining room tables, and steel panels  
  • Excellent ergonomics, intuitive functionality, and custom options  
  • Features a glance-and-go display, tight turn radius, and upgraded lift/lower speeds  
  • Available in 24v and 36v models  
  • Lifts up to 1,600 lbs.  

Click here to view a video of Toyota’s new Furniture Order Picker. 

The all-new Toyota Multidirectional Reach Truck and Furniture Order Picker are powered by AC motors. As always, every Toyota forklift purchase comes standard with the unparalleled reputation and quality inherent in products manufactured with the world-renowned Toyota Production System. And they are backed by the hallmark Toyota 360 Support promise.  

If navigating wide loads in narrow aisles is a common occurrence in your business, Toyota’s new Multidirectional Reach Truck or Furniture Order Picker might be the perfect solution for you.   

Contact us today! Our material handling experts in Los Angeles are standing by to help find the right forklift for your needs.   

Upgrade your Warehouse for Maximum Efficiency

August 16th, 2021  | 
ProductivityResource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

Distribution and fulfillment centers are always looking for ways to maximize operational productivity and efficiency. The current COVID-19 pandemic, increasing e-commerce sales, and a limited labor pool have only intensified the need for companies to get more done in a shorter amount of time.  

To help stay competitive in today’s environment, distribution and fulfillment centers often invest in automated warehouse solutions and robots to increase efficiency. Here are four steps to the warehouse automation process and the different types of warehouse robots and what they do.   

  1. First, start simple. Many companies begin by adding equipment designed to move products more efficiently. For example, conveyors and carousels can increase productivity by reducing the time to get a product from point A to point B.     
  2. Next, reduce redundant tasks. The next step is to simplify specific tasks and procedures with software, machine learning, and analytics. For example, software can analyze and batch orders so employees can make one trip to a specific area to retrieve orders instead of taking many trips throughout the day.  
  3. Give your employees assistance. To automate further, look for ways to assist your employees with warehouse tasks and procedures. For example, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) can retrieve items and put them away, increasing productivity by reducing order picking time.  
  4. Finally, automate repetitive procedures. Advanced warehouse automation can replace labor-intensive, repetitive functions. For example, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) can conduct inventory counts at predetermined times or intervals to allow employees to focus on more value-added tasks.  

Here’s a look at the various types of warehouse robots and their specific functions:   

  • Articulated Robotic Arms   
    • Use: Automate order fulfillment tasks.   
    • Function: Moves items from pallets for picking, packing, and shipping.   
    • Example: Robotic limbs with multiple joints.   
  • Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)  
    • Use: Automate simple transportation paths.  
    • Function: Transports items from point A to point B.  
    • Examples: AGVs on tracks. AGVs paired with sensors to avoid obstacles.  
  • Automated Guided Carts (AGCs)  
    • Like AGVs, but carry smaller loads.   
  • Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)  
    • Use: Automate the retrieve and return process.  
    • Function: Retrieves goods for shipment. Returns items to their proper storage locations.   
    • Examples: Cranes that pick orders. Shuttles that move on fixed tracking systems.  
  • Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)  
    • Use: Automate simple transportation paths. Automate inventory process. Automate teaching simple tasks.   
    • Functions: Transports inventory from point A to point B. Conducts inventory. Teaches and guides associates through a task.  
    • Examples: AMRs with maps and sensors. AMRs paired with RFID-tagged products. AMRs with collaborative abilities.  
  • Goods-to-Person technology (G2P)  
    • Use: Automate the delivery of items to picking stations.  
    • Function: Delivers products to areas where employees are waiting to fill orders.   
    • Example: Automated and software-driven systems requiring minimal human interaction.   
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)  
    • Use: Real-time inventory visibility.  
    • Function: Provides inventory visibility in warehouses equipped with RFID technology.   
    • Example: Drones.   

Are you interested in implementing an automated warehouse system in your distribution and fulfillment center? Our warehouse systems experts are eager to help. They know all the ins and outs of getting the most out of your warehouse space and design. Contact us today to get started.   

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. 

Will Narrow Aisles Fix Your Storage Issues?

July 23rd, 2021  | 
Resource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

When companies run out of space to store products, they have two choices: buy or lease a new building or warehouse, or better utilize the current space. Many factors are involved when a company decides which one to choose, but optimizing the area is often the more cost-effective long-term solution.  

Here are three significant benefits of optimizing a warehouse, distribution center, or other space: 

  • Store more products in the same amount of space. 
  • Increase fulfillment times with less travel time in between picks. 
  • Minimize total cost of doing business. 

The first step in optimizing a warehouse often includes reconfiguring to include narrow aisles. The next step is to use the most efficient forklift for the new narrow aisle space 

Let’s look at four different ways to configure a 50,000 square foot warehouse with pallet racking 23 inches wide, 48 inches deep, and 60 inches tall. Each rack holds pallets stacked four high.  

In these four examples, you’ll see how narrowing the aisles and using the correct type of forklift can increase the number of pallet positions in the same amount of space. 

In the first example, the aisles are 12 feet wide with single-deep pallet racking. This configuration can store 4,572 pallets with a Toyota 4-Wheel Electric forklift. 

Aisle width: 12 feet 

Pallet positions: 4,752 

Forklift: Toyota 4-Wheel Electric 

In the following example, the aisles are 9 feet, 6 inches, with single-deep pallet racking. This configuration can store 5,400 pallets with a Toyota Electric Reach Truck. 

Aisle width: 9 feet, 6 inches 

Pallet positions: 5,400 

Forklift: Toyota Electric Reach Truck 

In the third example, the aisles are 10 feet, 6 inches wide and utilize double-deep pallet racking. This configuration can store 6,912 pallets with a Toyota Electric Double Reach Truck. 

Aisle width: 10 feet, 6 inches with double-deep pallet racking 

Pallet positions: 6,912 

Forklift: Toyota Electric Double Reach Truck 

In the last example, the aisles are 6 feet wide with single-deep pallet racking. This configuration can store 6,695 pallets with an Aisle-Master Articulating Very Narrow Aisle Truck. 

Aisle width: 6 feet 

Pallet positions: 6,695 

Forklift: Aisle-Master Articulating Very Narrow Aisle Truck 

Our experts can help optimize site productivity and minimize the total cost of ownership by synchronizing racking, conveyors, storage containers, and handling equipment. The results create the ideal material handling footprint to achieve a company’s operational goals. 

To learn more about different pallet racking systems, click here. To learn more about optimizing your warehouse with Toyota, click here 

Ready to get started designing your new warehouse space? Contact us today! 

 

 

 

Which Pallet Racking System is Right for You?

April 26th, 2021  | 
Resource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

There are many different warehouse storage systems, and almost all of them use pallet racking in one way or another. Pallet racking is a set of upright frames and beams to keep products safely stored in boxes or pallets. There are five common types of pallet racking. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of each one.  

Drive-In/Drive-Thru Pallet Racking  

Drive-In/Drive-Thru pallet racking systems allow forklift operators to deliver and retrieve product from only one side, otherwise known as Last-In-First-Out (LIFO), or deliver the product on one side and retrieve from the other, known as First-In-First-Out (FIFO).   

 Advantages of Drive-In/Drive-Thru Pallet Racking:  

  • Simple set up  
  • Efficient   

Disadvantages of Drive-In/Drive-Thru Pallet Racking:  

  • No easy access to internal pallets  
  • It cannot be easily modified to accommodate larger or smaller pallets  
  • A challenging operating environment for forklift drivers  

Selective Pallet Racking  

Selective pallet racking systems feature either single or double deep racking.   

Advantages of single deep pallet racking:  

  • Flexible and low cost  
  • Accessible from every angle  
  • Great for companies with many SKUs  

Disadvantages of single deep pallet racking:  

  • Poor space utilization  
  • Need forklifts to access vertical storage   

Double deep racking is for companies that value storage density over access.   

Advantages of double deep pallet racking:  

  • Comparable in cost to single deep racking  
  • Better space utilization  

Disadvantages of double deep pallet racking:  

  • Requires additional labor to access pallets trapped in the middle  
  • Requires forklifts with double deep attachments  

Pallet Flow Racking   

Pallet Flow Racking uses a rail or conveyor system to store pallets 20 or more deep. The typical configuration feeds pallets in one end and retrieves pallets from the other.   

Advantage of pallet flow racking:  

  • Provides the density of FIFO storage usually only possible with drive-thru systems, without the challenges of driving into the rack system   

Disadvantages of pallet flow racking:   

  • More expensive than single deep or drive-thru racking systems  
  • Requires quality pallets to prevent product damage  

Pushback Pallet Racking 

Pushback Pallet Racking uses carts installed in the racks to provide high storage density. This type of system can store pallets up to six deep.   

Advantage:  

  • Provides deep storage for medium turnover products   

Disadvantage:  

  • More expensive than other warehouse storage systems   

Cantilever Pallet Racking 

Cantilever Pallet Racking is a custom racking system explicitly designed for the products they support. This system is for furniture, lumber companies, and other facilities with large, cumbersome products.   

Advantage:  

  • Custom built for your specific needs  

Disadvantage:  

  • Most expensive option  

Changing your warehouse storage or pallet racking system requires forethought and planning. Let our team of experienced material handling experts design the proper warehouse storage and distribution system for your unique needs.     

Want more information about optimizing your warehouse with Toyota? Contact us for a free consultation!     

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. 

Scissor and Boom Lifts – Rent or Buy?

October 21st, 2020  | 
RentalsResource Center/BLOG

Scissor and boom lifts are very popular in the material handling industry. Companies use them to perform a variety of jobs, including:  

  • Safety inspections  
  • Painting 
  • Window washing and repair  
  • Roller coaster maintenance  
  • Tree trimming  
  • Scoreboard maintenance  
  • Building maintenance  
  • General construction 
  • And many others 

Depending on your location, renting a scissor or boom lift can range from hundreds per day to thousands per monthRental fees can add up over time, so at some point, you might consider purchasing a lift to save money over the long runHere are a few things to consider before you decide whether you should rent or buy 

If you’re thinking about buying a scissor or boom lift, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do you have the space to store a lift? You’ll want to keep your scissor or boom lift inside to prevent theft and protect it from the elements. 
  • Will you need it at different locations? If so, factor transportation fuel costs into your budget. 
  • How will you transport your lift from site to siteDo you have vehicle and trailer with the towing capacity to safely transport a heavy scissor or boom lift?  
  • How will you maintain your liftMaintenance is usually minimal, but you want an experienced technician to perform any needed repairs for safety reasons. 

If you’re thinking about renting a scissor or boom lift, ask yourself these questions:   

  • Are lift rentals readily available in your area? Electric scissor lifts and boom lifts are among the most frequently requested pieces of rental units, so make sure theare readily available in your area, so you won’t be surprised when you need one    
  • How much is delivery? Make sure to factor in delivery costs to the overall rental price. 
  • Does your job site have a dock with the right height to move the scissor lift inside? Don’t overlook this small but critical detail. Let your rental equipment provider know the dock height at your job site, so you don’t get stuck with the wrong piece of equipment.  

Other questions to consider whether you rent or buy: 

  • Do you have an experienced lift operator on your team? Most material handling equipment providers offer comprehensive online and in-person training if you need itClick here to sign up for training with us.
  • Do you have harnesses to keep your operators safe while operating the lift? If not, factor in the cost of safety equipment.    

Ask yourself these simple questions before you decide to purchase or rent a forklift. Financial considerations are always important, but logistics and safety should be top of mind, too.  

If you need help deciding which path is right for you, give us a call. Our material handling experts will work with you to ensure you get the right equipment for your needs.  

Optimizing Your Warehouse with Toyota

June 25th, 2020  | 
Resource Center/BLOGSystems & Automation

In today’s environment, many companies are rethinking how they do business. The new process might look like buying or renting a new building or reconfiguring an existing warehouse space. But what if the perfect solution is something you might not have thought about yourself? That’s where we come in. Let our team of experienced material handling experts design the proper warehouse storage and distribution system for your unique needs.   

We get a lot of questions about the process of optimizing your warehouse with Toyota. We’ve answered the most common questions here, but if you have a question we haven’t answered, contact us, and we’ll get back to you right away.   

What is the first step in the process? 

Since every business and warehouse has unique applications and requirements, the first step is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of your storage and material handling needs so we can see your operation in action and, most importantly, hear what’s important to you. 

What is involved in a comprehensive analysis?  

Our experienced team of Storage and Automated Systems professionals will analyze your warehouse and provide solutions to maximize your pallet storage and productivity, and ultimately — your bottom line.   

What kind of information will I receive back from Toyota? 

Here are two examples of the comprehensive analysis we provide to maximize the efficiency of your racking design, equipment selection, and overall operation. 

Can you help us find and transform unused or underutilized space? 

Getting the most out of warehouse space is our specialty! For example, if you have the ceiling height, adding a high-quality mezzanine can transform underutilized overhead space to help create additional storage or office space for improved workflow and productivity. 

What happens after the comprehensive analysis? 

Our engineering and design specialists will develop a CAD drawing that identifies the most effective way to layout your facility and factor existing material handling equipment into the plans.  

Who secures the permits?

Toyota Material Handling Solutions will secure all necessary permits on your behalf. 

Who will be the lead on the project? 

Our team will oversee the project through all steps, from the design to installation. 

How much does my team need to be involved?  

Our goal is to provide a turnkey solution, so the project, however big or small, is low stress for you and your team. 

What if we need to update our fleet with new equipment? 

For projects where we will replace existing lift trucks with new equipment, our sales account managers will assist in selecting the right equipment for your application, needs, and budget. In addition to Toyota warehouse products, including reach trucksorder pickersstackers, and electric pallet trucks, we also carry multi-directional CombiLift and AisleMaster forklifts. 

What about racks and shelving? 

We have those, too! Whether you need selective, double deep, drive-in, push back, cantilever, pallet or case flow structures, or archive racking systems, Toyota Material Handling Solutions is your one-stop source for pallet rack and heavy-duty shelving.  

Our budget is tight. Do you have used options?  

Since we understand that everyone’s budget is different, we carry both new and re-conditioned options. 

What if we need docks and doors? 

Our warehouse solutions specialists will evaluate your facility and provide recommendations for highquality dock levelers, dock plates, dock boards, vehicle restraints, dock seals and shelters, and commercial doors, including steel and rubber. To keep loading dock equipment working at its best and to resolve any breakdowns or issues, we have mobile fleet of factory-trained dock and door technicians available 24/7. 

Do you provide recommendations on lighting, too? 

Yes! Many companies don’t realize lighting can account for as much as 80% of its energy bill. Toyota Material Handling Solutions can assess your existing installation and provide solutions to optimize your warehouse lighting to save you money. 

How do we get started?  

We’re ready to design the proper warehouse storage and distribution system for your unique needs. Contact us to schedule a warehouse system, dock, door, or lighting consultation and optimize your warehouse today.