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Having The Right Forklift Tyres, Can Save Your Business Money

Forklifts November 15, 2016

Having the right forklift tyres on your forklift, is something that forklift owners often don’t think about. But it is one thing on a forklift that can save your business a lot of cost.

The most common types of forklift tyres are solid or pneumatic.

Pneumatic – Think of these being just like your car tyres. They have tubes and are filled with air.

Solid – These tyres are generally referred to as Puncture Proof, and are a solid rubber filled pneumatic profile tyre

Different forklift tyres from different manufacturers will vary, with different ply ratings, made from different compounds and will have a different tread.  When choosing your forklift its important to make sure that the right tyres is used in the right application.

By making sure your forklift tyres remain in good shape, it can really help reduce wear and tear on the forklift transmission, fuel efficiency is improved and the forklift driver will have a much more comfortable ride.

Application and Your tyre

Depending on what application your operating your forklift in, will dictate what type of tyre your forklift will be running.

There are several different types of forklifts tyres

Pneumatic tyres

These are just like your car tyres, filled with air, and are made from thick wear resistant rubber.  They are generally best used on uneven or rougher surfaces.

Solid tyres/Puncture Proof

A solid tyre, is now one of the most common tyres.  Generally a pneumatic profile tyre that is solid.  The great thing about these types of tyres is that they will usually last 2 – 3 times longer than pneumatic tyres, and being solid means they won’t get punctured.

Cushion tyres

A cushion tyre is a thin rubber tyre that is pressed onto a metal band.  Generally these types of tyres are found on forklifts, that are used in warehousing or places with concrete flooring.  The forklifts are designed in a way that they will have a lot smaller turning radius.

Non-marking tyres

Are exactly the same as solid/puncture proof tyres, but instead of being made from black rubber, they are made from white rubber.

The difference being that the white rubber tyre will not leave Black scuff marks on a otherwise clean concrete floor. The only downfall with these types of tyres are that they have a shortened life span.

Polyurethane wheels

Are almost exclusively used on warehousing and indoor forklifts, like walkie stackers or reach trucks.  They can range from a small castor wheel found on the front of a straddle leg to the large drive wheel on the back of a reach truck.

Foam Filled

Are basically a pneumatic tyre that is filled with a special resin.  They can give slightly more cushioning then a Puncture Proof tyre on the forklift.

Way to Make sure your tyres last

When it comes to storing forklift tyres, it is best to avoid storing them for longer then a few months at a time.  They need to be stored in a cool and dark dirt and oil free area.  Just like your car tyre, the hard and faster you drive them, and spin your tyres the  quicker your forklift tyres will wear out a lot quicker.  Maintain them, drive you forklift normally and you will get maximum life out of them.

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Chinese Forklifts Value or Not, Here’s The Truth

Forklifts November 13, 2016

In the last five years sales of Chinese-made forklifts have exploded throughout Australia, now Chinese Forklift are almost 20% of unit sales.  But the truth is the Chinese have been selling forklifts here in Australia for nearly four times as long.

The reason why so many people think this is a recent phenomenon is a simple matter of pacing. In the old days Chinese forklifts arrived in drips and drabs, but nowadays, of course, the Chinese don’t do anything in small measures. In fact, China has grown so much over the past decade, and at such an unprecedented level, that it’s almost impossible to remember a time when China wasn’t the massive manufacturing and export powerhouse that it is today. To put it bluntly, it’s looking like China is going to take over the world.

Are they going to take over the world of forklifts? Well, I wouldn’t worry too much about that right now. Chances are you’ve heard of people who’ve bought Chinese forklifts in the past. There are more then a few out there right now selling Chinese-made cars and more still selling scooters and motorbikes, they’re cheap alright, but they’re also quite flaky.

Many of these dealers have begun to stock Chinese models because they know they can sell them off quickly and turn a good profit. And the reason they sell so fast? Simple, because they’re just so damn cheap. 

And it’s the same thing with forklifts – some Chinese models sell for nearly half as much as the more tried and trusted brands, and as a result people have built entire businesses out of selling Chinese models.

Is there any thing wrong with this? No, nothing at all. It’s a free market, right? And clearly there’s a market out there for cheaper Chinese models.

If you are among those who’ve been enticed by these low prices you need to remember the first rule of purchasing; “let the buyer beware.” As with anything in life you get what you pay for, so if you pay for half the price of a quality brand don’t be surprised when you get half the quality too.

Now, before we continue I think it’s important that we differentiate between the two types of Chinese forklifts that are available on the Australian market.

The First

Is the type of unit that is specifically made for the domestic Chinese market. They usually have Chinese engines and Chinese transmissions – Chinese everything, basically – and tend to suffer from severe malfunctions once they arrive here. Transmission and engine failures are common, because, quite frankly, these models are simply not built to cope with the often harsh extremes of the Australian environment.

The problem then is a scarcity of parts, because, unlike a popular brand name where you can find parts just about everywhere, you’re left searching for parts for an obscure Chinese engine from a company whose name you’re not even sure how to pronounce properly.

And if you’re really unlucky you might well discover that the company that made your forklift doesn’t exist anymore. In other words they’re a risky venture. No wonder, then, that these types of forklifts are usually sold at the cheap end of the market.

The Second

These are the ones that are made specifically for export to the Australian market. They usually have a standard OEM engine and OEM transmissions, parts are readily available in Australia and although they are more expensive than their strictly-domestic Chinese cousins, they are still much cheaper than established brands such as Toyota or Nissan or Hyster – for the same reason, of course, they’re built cheaper.

 So which one is the better option? Well that’s really a decision that you need to make as the buyer, but here are some tips we recommend you consider:

  • Always keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Every purchase we make is based on a sliding scale between quality, reliability and service on the one hand, and price on the other, so you need to carefully consider which you deem to be most important.
  • Getting the cheapest forklift available isn’t an issue, nor should it be. The issue is more about peace of mind and quality of service. So make sure you are dealing with a reputable dealer and also that you can get parts for the forklift in Australia in case anything goes wrong.
  • Consider what hours you are really going to be putting in, be honest and realistic about it. Do you need something cheap and cheerful that you’re going to be using on and off, or do you need a rugged, reliable workhorse?

The last point is key, I think. If you have a small company, for example, and you just need something cheap and cheerful to move pallets around the factory floor for an hour or two a week, well then maybe one of those cheap, domestic Chinese models is just the ticket.

If, however, you need something that can take the strain and brave the elements on a daily basis and yet keep going, month after month, year after year, then really you need to be looking more at an established manufacturer. And if you’re unable to budget for a brand new model, then you might well discover that a well maintained second-hand forklift of a known and trusted brand can well withstand far more punishment than a brand new Chinese model ever could.

So, whilst there’s no doubt that China is now a global superpower, if their tanks are anything like their forklifts I wouldn’t worry about them taking over the world anytime soon. The proof is there to see around all those big, bustling ports like Shanghai, where all the loading and unloading is still done by Japanese models like Nissan’s, Toyota’s and Mitsubishi’s.

Of course people used to say the same things about the Japanese some sixty-odd years back. It took them over twenty years to really build their place and reputation as manufacturers of quality vehicles and machinery. Americas industry, too, had its dark days back in the 19th Century, before men like Henry Ford arrived on the scene and changed manufacturing forever. Not all too long ago people used to say unflattering things about Korean cars too, but nowadays they’re getting great reviews and selling like crazy, because the quality has improved tremendously.

So if China wants to take over the world, with its forklifts at least, then it’s going to have to work at it too. Though something tells me that the Chinese are more than willing to take up that challenge and do in ten years what took the Japanese and Koreans twenty. I might be wrong, of course so ask me again in 2021. But right here, right now, in 2016, when it comes to sheer ruggedness and reliability Chinese forklifts still have a long way to go.

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The Truth About Forklift LPG Inspections

Safety November 12, 2016

Laws change all the time, and as a business it is crucial that you keep abreast of those changes.  It happens with forklifts all the time, the rules change, which is just what happened with the LPG systems on forklifts and forklift LPG inspections that are required under law by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Under the new laws and regulations from September 2016, the LPG system on forklifts now need to be inspected every six months if they are a commercial vehicle and if its a hire forklift the hire company needs to be checked before every hire.

Now under Australian Standards AS4983-2003,  A LPG installation shall be re-exammined annually to ensure that is has not deteriorated to unacceptable degrees.

The following annual checks should be carried out :-

(a) Leakage check

(b) Fuel container/cylinder life

Check the container/cylinder date stamp. If it will exceed the retest date before the next annual inspection, initiate the procedures for re-inspection and re-certification in  accordance with AS 2337.2 for LP Gas, and AS 2337.1 and AS 2337.3 for CNG.

(c) LP Gas container damage

Inspect the LP Gas container and any fitted protection for any evidence of damage by impact or by fire. Refer the container to a test station if any of the following faults are present:

(i) A dent which does not penetrate the surface material, but whose depth exceeds 10 percent of the mean diameter of the dent, or which is located on a weld and exceeds 6.5 mm in depth.

(ii) A sharp impression or crease which does not penetrate the surface of the material, but whose length exceeds 75 mm or whose depth exceeds 25 percent of the wall thickness.

(iii) A cut or gouge which penetrates the surface material, of dimensions as in Item (ii) above.

(iv) Bulging, to the extent that the circumference varies by more than 1 percent.

(v) Fire damage.

(d) LP Gas container corrosion

Inspect the container for evidence of deterioration by corrosion. Pay particular attention to the drip line under the container, to areas where water could accumulate, and to the area covered by clamping bands, especially those that pass under a container or intersect the drip line. Release bands where necessary to ensure adequate examination.

NOTE: Care should be taken when releasing bands to prevent damage to any component or piping.

Refer the container to a test station if any of the following faults are present:

(i) A pit which reduces the wall thickness by 50 percent or more of the original or which leaves less than 1.1 mm of metal remaining. Adjacent pits less than 85 mm apart shall be treated as general corrosion.

(ii) Any corrosion which exceeds 75 mm in length or which leaves less than 75 percent of the original wall thickness.

(e) CNG cylinder damage and corrosion

Inspect the cylinder and its mountings, pipework, compartments or subcompartments, guards and heat shields to ensure that they have not suffered impact damage, corrosion or heating by fire or loss of integrity due to fatigue.

(f) Container/cylinder attachment

Check for the following:

(i) Rust, corrosion, abrasion, or impact damage.

(ii) Tightness of and damage to fasteners, loose bands and wear under bands.

(iii) Correct orientation of fuel container, (for LP Gas installations).

(iv) Adjustment of quick release container bands, (for LP Gas installations).

(v) Cracks and metal fatigue.

(g) Automatic fill limiter (LP Gas only)

Check the accuracy of the automatic fill limiter (AFL), if fitted, by means of fixed liquid level gauge or a re-fuelling dispenser meter in accordance with Clause 7.12. If there is no AFL fitted retrofitting of an AFL shall be encouraged.

(h) Safety fuel shut off system (LP Gas only)

Test as described in Items (i) or (ii) depending upon the type of system fitted at the container/cylinder.

(i) Automatic fuel shut-off device on a fixed container Deactivate automatic fuel shut-off device at the container by isolating the power supply and run the engine until the fuel service line is empty and the engine stops.

(ii) Excess-flow valve Deactivate automatic fuel shut-off device at the container by operating the current limiting device or removing the fuse or by open circuiting an insulated connector in the automatic fuel shut-off device wiring circuit. NOTE: If the fuel service line is to be disconnected, first remove the negative lead from the battery and take steps to ensure that discharging gas does not become a hazard.

(i) Test of fuel control systems

Check that the automatic fuel shut-off device(s) and the fuel change over system are present and  functioning correctly.  NOTE: Where an automatic fuel shut-off device is not installed at the container (LP Gas systems), retrofitting is to be encouraged.

(j) Manual valves

Open and close all manual valves and test around glands and connections for leaks in both positions.

(k) Compartment or sub-compartment

Check for structural damage. Check around all joints, conduit connections and pipe bulkhead seals for leakage in accordance with Clause 7.8.2. Check conduits for deterioration, damage, kinking or punctures.

(l) Refuelling connection

Check for damage to the refuelling connection and for the presence of foreign matter, and check that the dust cap is present and captive by a chain or similar device. Check that the sealing washer is in place and in satisfactory condition. Check that the housing containing the refuelling connection is soundly attached to the industrial equipment, and that the remote fill line is not deformed or damaged by twisting resulting from a loose housing.

(m) Hydrostatic relief valve (LP Gas only)

Check for damage, blockage, or tampering.

(n) Protrusions from mobile equipment

(i) For forklifts, tow tractors and elevating work platforms, check to ensure that any containers/cylinders, flexible and rigid piping and components remain within the overall contour of the industrial equipment.

(ii) For other mobile industrial equipment, e.g. sweepers, check to ensure that any containers/cylinders and attached components that protrude from the overall contour of the industrial equipment are adequately protected so that the possibility of damage from impact, accident or loose objects is minimized.  Flexible and rigid piping and other components shall remain within the overall contour of the industrial equipment.

(o) Equipment marking

Check that all required plates and markings are present and legible.

You need to make sure that you you have a LPG trained technician working on your LPG forklift at all times.

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How You Really Need To Use a Forklift to Make a Profit.

Rental November 10, 2016

The majority of forklifts are owned and operated by Businesses, they are a work tool.  Even most farmers will have a old forklift out in the shed that will help them lift things when needed.

But it’s the use of the forklift, not the ownership that provides profit and the best return on your overall investment.   Sometimes rental  programs will provide the benefit your business needs, but avoids the time consuming responsibilities of ownership and maintenance support.

Most forklift dealers will talk to you about the many cost effective benefits that a fleet management program can provide for your business.

We wanted to take a look some things to consider when you are looking at rental of a forklift.

Capital gains

Your forklift dealer can purchase your existing fleet of forklifts and provide replacement units where required and rent back the remainder, as well as progressively upgrading your rental in the future.

Free’s Up capital

Capital investment can be directed into profitable “core” business activities, rather than having it tied up in capital intensive non-profit making support systems.

Single monthly charge

Its fully tax deductible – It normally includes all regular services, breakdowns, travelling time, labour and parts provided by a team of experienced mechanics and gas fitters.

Improved reliability and Efficiency

This is achieved with a new modern fleet eliminating operating and downtime costs associated with aged equipment.

No “hidden costs” associated with ownership

Elimination of administration and management times and costs involved in organizing service and repairs, sourcing and holding parts, processing paperwork, lengthy machine downtime, obsolescence and ultimate disposal of old or inefficient equipment.

Flexibility and future needs

Fully maintained rental forklifts assure the user will achieve peak efficiency of materials handling tasks at all times.  Additional casual units can be provided to satisfy peak seasonal  needs.  Rental offers the user the “best years” of machine life.  Owning equipment means capital is locked into forklift trucks which may become obsolete, inappropriate to changing needs and may require replacement before they can be fully depreciated.

Support from your Dealer

Look to partner with a solid provider, don’t be afraid to ask them for references.

And here’s the some benefits to looking at renting your forklift fleet :

  • It  helps expand you business and conserve your Cash Resources.
  • Frees management to get on with the business that they know and manage best
  • Being and operating expense, RENTAL payments are fully tax deductible
  • Off Balance sheet accounting
  • Save your capital for high return opportunities
  • It is the use of equipment not Ownership that produces the best return on investment
  • Rental ensures you are not locked into obsolete purchased equipment
  • Rental allows you to benefit from new technology
  • Rental provides flexibility to cater for unforeseen future requirements
  • Rental is inclusive of all equipment maintenance, rental plan management and administration
  • Payment is made as value and service are provided
  • Minimize RISK Through RENTAL
  • Consistent and reliable national services support

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The Development Of a New Brand – Unicarriers

Forklifts November 8, 2016

Unicarrier

UniCarrier’s are a new very forklift brand, with a very old History.  Lencrow Materials Handling is the Australian dealer for Unicarrier’s in Australia.  So lets take a look at Unicarrier and how they have developed to become a world leading forklift brand.

UniCarriers Group – UniCarriers Holdings Corporation – UniCarriers Corporation

2013

• TCM Corporation and Nissan Forklift Co., Ltd. are integrated as UniCarriers Corporation.

• Establishment of the regional headquarters in Europe (Germany), Americas (USA), Asia (Thailand) and China.

• Reorganization of both TCM and Nissan Forklift direct sales network in Japan market.

• Production of forklifts is consolidated in both Japan & the US markets.

(US – South Carolina production is moved to Marengo, Illinois)

(Japan – Totsuka of Takada Kogyo is moved to Shiga)

• Establishment of Global Component Technologies Corporation.

2012

Nissan Forklift Co., Ltd. and TCM Corporation join UniCarriers Group, each becomes 100% subsidiary of UniCarriers Corporation.

2011

 Establishment of UniCarriers Holdings Corporation.(Previously called UniCarriers Corporation)

TCM Corporation History

2011

Founding of TCM Forklift (M) Sdn.Bhd. (now called UniCarriers Malaysia Corporation), a joint marketing venture of the forklift sales & service in Malaysia

2010

Each of the wheel loader and snow-plow businesses has been transferred to Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.

2009

Three US subsidiaries merged to form TCM America, Inc. TCM Corporation becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Construction Machinery Co.,Ltd.

2007

Parts center opened in Thailand. New drive unit factory completed at the Shiga Plant.

2006

Founding of TCM Anhui Machinery (now called UniCarriers China Corporation) in China, full ownership by Japanese companies including TCM.

2005

Founding of TCM Distribution USA, Inc. in New Jersey, USA.

2004

iNOMA Series placed on market.

2001

Founding of TCM Asia Distribution Co.,Ltd. (now called UniCarriers Asia Co.,Ltd.), a subsidiary based in Thailand.

2000

New generation forklift ACROBA placed onthe market.

1999

Shiga Plant acquires ISO 14001 certification. Company renamed TCM Corporation on it’s 50th anniversary. Agreement for joint manufacture of wheel loaders with Hitachi Construction Machinery Co.,Ltd.

1997

Shiga Plant acquires ISO 9001 certification

1993

Founding of Anhui TCM Forklift (ATF) Co., Ltd., the first forklift plant in China operated by a Japanese firm

1990

Founding of TCM Europe S.A., in Belgium, a marketing subsidiary

1988

Founding of TCM Manufacturing USA, Inc., a forklift manufacturer in South Carolina, USA.

1976

Founding of TCM America (MBK),Inc., the company’s first joint marketing venture.

1954

Company name changed to Toyo Umpanki Co., Ltd.

1949

Founding of Toyo Carriers Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Production of the first Japan-made forklift.

Nissan Forklift Co., Ltd. History

2010

Nissan Forklift Co.,Ltd. is established, succeeding Nissan Motor’s industrial machinery business.

2008

AGRES Li CONCEPT (Lithium ion battery forklift as a concept model) is exhibited at Logis-Tech Tokyo 2008.

2007

Nissan Forklift celebrates 50th Anniversary. Atlet AB (now called UniCarriers Manufacturing Sweden AB) joins Nissan Forklift group.

2001

Takada Kogyo succeeded the Nissan Forklift production from Nissan Motor’s Murayama Plant.

1995

Nissan Forklift Espana (now called UniCarriers Manufacturing Spain S.A.) is established after separating from Nissan Motor Iberica, S.A.

1993

Nissan Forklift Corporation, North America (now called UniCarriers Americas) which coordinates Nissan Forklift manufacturing and sales activities in North America is established.

1989

Local manufacture of forklifts in Spain begins at Nissan Motor Iberica,S.A.

1988

Nissan Motor acquires shares of Barrett Industrial Trucks Inc. of the USA; local manufacture of forklifts begins.

1975

R & D, manufacturing and sales are consolidated at Nissan Motor’s Murayama Plant; all-inclusive and in-house operations are established.

1965

Export to USA begins.

1961

Shinnikkokukogyo Co.,Ltd. (now called Nissan Shatai Co.,Ltd.) commissioned to design and manufacture forklifts.

1957

The first Nissan Forklift rolls off the assembly line at Nissan Motor’s Totsuka plant.

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Are Linde Forklifts Really Worth The Money ?

Forklifts November 7, 2016

The saying goes, there are forklifts, then there are Linde ForkliftsLinde forklifts origins start in Germany, as a German designed forklift with roots going back over a 130 years.  Linde is now part of the Kion Group and is a publicly traded company

Linde Forklifts entered into at the Australian Market in the 90’s, and has since continued to grow in a tough Australian Market.  The Linde forklifts are unique in that they are designed with a Hydrostatic drive.

Basically this means that, Linde integrated the hydrostatic drive, hydraulic pump, hydraulic motor and gearbox into one compact axle so the forklift has less moving parts that will wear out.

With the current 392 Series H25T model , costing somewhere in the vicinity of $40 000 AUD (depending on specifications), and the second tier 351 Series H25 costing early $30 000 AUD, you need to ask your self are Linde forklift really worth the money ?

Its worth pointing out here, in the industry bread and butter 1.8T – 3T bread and butter range of forklifts. Linde actually do a cheaper budget 2.5T Forklift, bought in under the Baoli brand, which is manufactured in China.

We’ve looked at this quite a few times when it comes to choosing a forklift for your business, there are two main things to consider :

Utilization

How many hours are you doing per week ?

Application

What is the environment that it is working in.

Linde Forklifts fall into 3 different categories.

Baoli – Made in China

Low utilisation – Up to 15hours per week – Light application

35 Series (also made in China)

Up to 30 hours per week, and a medium application

39 series (out of Germany)

In excess of 30 hours per week and a harsh application

So are Linde forklifts really worth the money, to answer that properly you need to look at the above two factors. Linde forklift do cost a lot more money, but they we will still pick up a load and transport it from A to B.

A high end Linde forklift, does have some unique features, over and above the competition, but as an outright purchase if you are wanting to use a forklift for 10 hours per week in a fruit shop, you might want to consider saving your money and spending it else where.

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A Forklift Goes By Many Different Names

Forklifts November 6, 2016

A forklift goes by many names, people tend to refer to it as many different things such as a forklift truck, lift truck, fork truck, forklift.  But it’s basically a powered industrial truck which is used to lift and transport materials in businesses, most commonly goods that are stacked on pallets.

Forklifts can actually be traced back to the late 1800’s, but the modern forklift was developed in the 1960s by various companies including the transmission manufacturing company Clark and the hoist company Yale & Towne Manufacturing. The forklift has since become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehousing operations/

Here’s a list of the more common Forklift types :

 

  • Manual pallet truck – It has no power system of any kind
  • Walkie low lift truck – Basically what is referred to as a powered pallet truck, usually electrically Powered.
  • Rider low lift truck – usually Electrically Powered
  • Towing tractor – Generally an Internal Combustion Engine or Electric Powered
  • Walkie stacker – usually electrically powered
  • Rider stacker – usually electrically powered
  • Reach truck – This one is a variant on a Rider Stacker forklift, designed for small aisles, usually Electrically Powered, named because the forks can extend to reach the load. There are two variants, moving carriage, which are common in North America, and moving mast which are common in the rest of the world, and generally regarded as safer.
  • Electric Counterbalanced truck – comes in a couple of different versions, Stand on End Control, Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is by far the most  common
  • Internal Combustion Engine Powered Counterbalanced Forklift – comes in Stand on End Control, Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the the bread and butter of the industry.  Engines come in, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fuelled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines generally come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems.
  • Electric Forklifts – Are powered by lead-acid batteries, several types of forklifts are electric: cushion tire forklifts, scissor lifts, order pickers, stackers, reach trucks and pallet jacks. Electric forklifts are primarily used indoors on flat, even surfaces. Electric forklift batteries in Australia generally rated to last 5 consecutive hours or throughout an 8-hour shift with 2-3 breaks. Batteries prevent the emission of harmful fumes and are recommended for facilities in food-processing and healthcare sectors.
  • Sideloader  – comes in Stand on End Control, and Sit Down End Control, which is the most common. It may be Electrically Powered, or have an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines may be diesel, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fueled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some Sideloaders have Hybrid drivetrains.
  • Telescopic handler – comes in Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the most numerous. Usually has an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines are almost always diesel, but sometimes operate on kerosene, and sometimes use propane injection as a power boost. Some old units are Two Stroke Compression Ignition, most are Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some Telescopic handlers have Hybrid drivetrains.
  • Walkie Order Picking truck – usually Electrically Powered
  • Rider Order Picking truck – commonly called an “Order Picker”; like a small Reach Truck, except the operator rides in a cage welded to the fork carriage, while wearing a specially designed safety harness to prevent falls. A special toothed grab holds the pallet to the forks. The operator hand transfers the load onto the pallet one article at a time. This is an efficient way of picking less than pallet load shipments, and is popular for use in large distribution centers.
  • Articulated Very Narrow Aisle Counterbalanced trucks – sometimes called “Flexi or Bendi Trucks” after two of the largest manufacturers. Comes in Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the most numerous. May have an Internal Combustion Engine or an Electric Motor. Electric Motors are most common. Engines may be diesel, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fueled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some units have Hybrid drive trains.
  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck – A counterbalance type Sit Down Rider Electric Forklift fitted with a specialized mast assembly. The Mast is capable of rotating 90 degrees, and the forks can then advance like on a reach mechanism, to pick full pallets. Because the forklift doesn’t not have to turn, the aisles can be exceptionally narrow, and if wire guidance is fitted in the floor of the building the machine can almost work on its own. Masts on this type of machine tend to be very high. The higher the racking that can be installed, the higher the density the storage can reach. This sort of storage system is popular in cities where land prices are really high, as by building the racking up to three times higher than normal and using these machines, it is possible to stock an incredible amount of material in what appears to be a small space.
  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle Order Picking truck – A counterbalance type Order Picking Truck similar to the Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck, except that the operator and the controls which operate the machine are in a cage welded to the mast. The operator of course wears a restraint system to protect him against falls. Otherwise the description is the same as Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck.
  • Truck Mounted Forklift / Sod Loader – comes in Sit Down Center Control. Usually has an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines are almost always diesel, but sometimes operate on kerosene, and sometimes use propane injection as a power boost. Some old units are Two Stroke Compression Ignition, most are Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems.

Specialty trucks

At the other end of the spectrum from the counterbalanced forklift trucks are more ‘high end’ specialty trucks:

  • Articulated Counterbalance Trucks

These are, unlike most lift trucks, front wheel steer, and are a hybrid VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) truck designed to be both able to offload trailers and place the load in narrow aisle racking. Increasingly these trucks are able to compete in terms of pallet storage density, lift heights and pallet throughput with Guided Very Narrow Aisle trucks, while also being capable of loading trucks, which VNA units are incapable of doing.[6]

  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle Trucks

These are rail or wire guided and available with lift heights up to 40′ non top-tied and 98′ top-tied. Two forms are available; ‘man-down’ and ‘man-riser’ where the operator elevates with the load for increased visibility or for multilevel ‘break bulk’ order picking. This type of truck, unlike Articulated Narrow Aisle Trucks, requires a high standard of floor flatness.

  • Omni-directional Trucks

Omni-directional technology (such as mecanum wheels) can allow a forklift truck to move forward, diagonally and laterally, or in any direction on a surface. Omni-directional wheel system is able to rotate the truck 360 degrees in its own footprint or strafe sideways without turning the truck cabin. One example is the Airtrax Sidewinder. This forklift truck has also made an appearance in the TV -series called ‘Mythbusters’

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8 TIPS TO PROPERLY STORE A FORKLIFT

Forklifts November 5, 2016

Forklift Storage

Sometimes you need to put your forklift in storage for a short time, it’s common to see plenty of forklifts stuck and the corner and forgotten about.  It’s the absolute worst thing you can do to a piece of machinery especially a forklift.  So here we give you 8 of the best tips to properly store a Forklift.

Generally the following storage procedures are for conditions and temperatures above 0° C (32_F).  Just adjust these procedures to suit any for local conditions and any changes in conditions during the storage.

The preparations necessary for storage are also determined from the following conditions:

  • Short–term storage is from 1 to 6 months. Long–term storage is over 6 months.
  • Storage Location. A lift truck stored indoors will not require as much external protection as a lift truck stored outdoors.

 

Short -Term Storage

 

Do the following steps to prepare the lift truck for storage from 1 to 6 months:

  1. Check lubricant and fluid levels. Completely fill the fuel tank. Verify the coolant mixture will protect cooling system and engine to lowest temperature expected during storage. Verify all caps and dipsticks are installed correctly.
  1. Fully lower the forks or carriage. Tilt mast forward until the tips of the forks touch the ground. Apply a thin coat of engine oil to the cylinder rods.
  1. Check that all switches and accessories are in the OFF position.
  1. If the lift truck must be left on an incline, put blocks on the down hill side of the wheels so that the lift truck can not move. Apply the hand brake.
  1. Disconnect the battery cables from the batteries. Apply a protective coat to the cable connectors and battery terminals to prevent corrosion.
  1. Check the tire pressure. Verify the tires have the correct pressure. See the Nameplate.
  1. Clean the lift truck and engine compartment to prevent corrosion.
  1. If the lift truck is not stored in a shelter, put a cover over the lift truck to prevent damage from the weather. In wet conditions, a cover will not prevent corrosion to a lift truck that is in long–term storage outside of a dry storage area.

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5 Tips for Getting What You Need for A 2.5T Forklift

Forklifts November 3, 2016

2.5T (2 500kgs) Forklifts are what are referred to as the bread and butter of the Forklift industry, no it doesn’t mean someone puts  butter on them and tries eating them.  It simply means that they have the greatest numbers of availability in the industry.

If you think that generally speaking in Australia, most goods are moved on a CHEP pallet, Well CHEP Pallets are rated at 2.0T WLL. (Working Load Limit).  So the vast majority of forklifts used to move a 2.0T pallet will be a 2.5T Forklift.  OK, so great what’s the point you ask ?

If you are looking at either buying a forklift or selling a forklift,  the odds are you will fall in to the 2.5T Forklift category.

Which means you will have a vast number to choose from, it can get a bit daunting.  So here are some tips for making sure you get what you need in a 2.5T (2 500 kg) forklift :

  1. Is it new or Used that you really want.

There is a lot to consider, when its a new vs used decision, mostly it comes down to application, utilization and how much you want to sped

  1. Understand your Budget

Buying a forklift is a lot like buying  a car.  You need to make sure you have a budget that you stick to, once you work out the new vs used decision

  1. Understand your application

This becomes one of the most critical parts of the decision, If you are working in good environment operating 1 hours per week, unloading some pallets at a fruit shop, you probably should consider a second hand forklift. 

If you are operating in a foundry, working high hours. Its probably a new forklift you want to consider.

  1. Understand your utilization

    Working very closely with the application is the utilization, If its minimal hours per week 2 – 5 hours. See point 2, don’t spend the money unless you really have the need.

  1. Understand the Brand your buying

We are often asked about which brand is best. Hyster, Linde, Toyota, Komatsu. E.t.c  well its a hard answer, as we review forklifts and post our findings, we might come up with the answer.  But the advice is to understand points 1 – 4 first ,then look at what brand fits the equation.  Look for a brand that you know you can get parts for, and that your average mechanic can work on.

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Forklift Licensing Requirements in Australia

Safety November 1, 2016

Forklift Training

If your wanting to operate a forklift in Australia, you’ll need to have a Australian Forklift License. Which means you will need to sit for and be assessed for a forklift licence in Australia.

Regulations have changed recently, and anyone who is planning to work as a full time forklift operator will also need to be assessed. Even if you have been working as a forklift driver, you might have to be re-assessed, depending on when you got your forklift ticket.

Here’s a summary of guidelines and regulations applying to forklift licenses.

 

  • Your local Work Place Health and Safety office will have the most recent information regarding forklift licenses that you need, and there are many different companies offering courses in Australia.  Talk to your local forklift licensing business to find out the particulars you might need in your state.

 

  • If you have had your forklift license for a few years, you should check that they are still valid, as regulation has now been passed to the states. There’s a new type of training in place for forklifts, and you have to be assessed according to the most current requirements in your state.

 

  • Forklift licenses need to be renewed every 5 years, and classroom training is required every three years to refresh your knowledge and get updated on recent Australian regulations.

 

  • You need to be over 18 to apply for forklift licenses and a different type of license is needed, depending on the type of work you do and the type of  fork lift. If you sit down and don’t handle materials, a simple license for forklift is going to be enough.

 

But if you are required to load and actual pick the stock, you are going to need advanced training. These types of forklift licenses are called order-picker licenses.

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