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How to Store a Forklift for a Long Time

Forklift Safety December 7, 2016

How to store a forklift

We’ve already taken a took at how to store a forklift for a short period of time, But sometimes you might need to store your forklift for longer than 6 months.  So we wanted to help give some instruction for Long Term Storage of your forklift.

6 Months – Long–Term Storage

If you are looking to store your forklift, make sure you do the following steps to prepare the forklift for storage for 6 months or longer:

  1. Make sure you complete all the short–term storage procedures.
  1. Wrap or cover all exterior lights, radiator grille, and air vents with a moisture barrier cover. Use tape to hold the covers in position.
  1. Make sure you remove the batteries from the forklift. Just make sure you store the batteries in an approved space. Be sure to follow whatever your local regulations are. Batteries that are stored for long periods can become damaged so we recommend that you try to use the batteries elsewhere if you can .
  1. Also spray exterior surfaces and the frame with a preservative coating.

Following the above steps will help you preserve your forklift and help keep its value.

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What Exactly is a Forklift PM Service

Forklift Safety December 5, 2016

Forklift PM Service

When it comes to owning a forklift, a lot of owner’s forget to think about how to keep their forklift maintained.  So we want to take a look at exactly is a forklift PM SERVICE.

A PM service, or a Preventative Maintenance service, is the  maintenance schedule that the Original Equipment Manufacturer recommends for the forklift that they manufacture.  Quite simply if you think in the terms of your car, you need to get it serviced as per the manufactures recommendation every 15 000 Klms (Or what ever it is), it is the same with your forklift.

One of the major differences is the way it is calculated, generally a forklift is fitted with a Hour Meter instead of a Speedo.  Depending on the type of forklift and the recommendations, you can generally expect to be servicing a 2500 KG forklift every 250 hours or every 3 months.

Generally included in a 250 hour service is :

  • Changing of engine oil
  • Changing of Engine oil filter
  • Checking – Drive belt
  • Checking LPG system (If fitted)
  • Checking Engine Idle Speed

How often should you service your Forklift

The quickest way to work out how often your forklift needs servicing. Is to take a note of the hour meter at the start of the week then again at the end of the week.  After determining how much you use your forklift, you can then talk to a service agent about a Preventative Maintenance Service schedule.

Generally most forklift dealers will offer an annual fixed price service schedule for your forklift.  Generally most forklift dealers will suggest how often you should have a basic service performed (oil and filter change, battery check, fluids topped off as well as a host of other items).

Generally we suggest talking to a forklift dealer that can set up your service automatically and come out to service your forklift on an agreed regular basis.

Why do Preventative Maintenance Servicing

By servicing your forklift before you have trouble, you can catch many things (a worn belt, for example) that can be taken care of before it becomes a problem and your forklift stops running.

Just remember a Forklift PM service is less expensive than a service call and it will generally only take between one hour to two hours.

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Buying a Used Forklift V’s Buying a Chinese Forklift.

Forklifts November 27, 2016

Chinese Forklifts

Its been the last 8 or 9 years or so in Australia that we’ve seen a explosion of Chinese made forklifts on the market.  We’ve taken a look at the Chinese made Forklifts before, and the guiding principle here as with anything is, you get what you pay for, weather you are looking at buying second hand or new

We wanted to take a look at a few things you might want to consider when buying a second hand forklift or buying a Chinese forklifts.

Its really important to compare apples with apple when you looking at purchasing a new Chinese forklift model or a refurbished second hand model.  So make sure you know what you need the forklift for so consider lift height, fuel type e.t.c when looking at your purchase.

As an Example

A new 2.5T Chinese made forklift, with a 3000mm mast, petrol, will retail for about $17 999 at the bottom end and up to $23 000 at the top end of the Chinese product market, and will generally come with a minimum 12 month warranty, (Ask first about what warranty to expect).

A refurbished Hyster H2.5TX model (which is approximately 5 years old) with a 4000mm mast will retail for about $15 000 and you could generally expect a 90 day warranty with it.

There are a few things you need to consider when making the choice

Reliability

Chinese manufacturing is light years ahead of where it was 5 years ago, with most if not all major brands bringing out a Chinese equivalent (Yes think Toyota, Linde, Hyster).  With a lots of smaller forklift companies now running Chinese forklifts in their rental fleet. So are they reliable well in the right application, well yes they can go the distance.

Depreciation

Depreciation is the true hidden cost of a forklift.  Buy a good condition second hand brand name forklift such as a Hyster, you will still get a decent resale figure when you go to sell it down the track.  Meaning that generally they will hold their value.

A new Chinese unit, whilst is cheap, will quickly loose its value at the end of 5 years, you could loose up to 70 % of its value from new.

Backup and Spare parts

There seem to be a never ending number of different forklift companies importing Chinese brands of forklifts to Australia over the years, a lot of that have gone out of business, or have stopped selling Chinese forklifts.

These companies are normally around for 2 to 3 years or until their warranty issues become too much and the Chinese manufacturing company moves on to another importer, you see alot of these companies selling on Ebay.

A forklift is a business tool, and should be viewed as such.  You need to make sure you are buying for the right reasons, and knowing what application you are wanting to use to you forklift in. New Chinese or refurbished second hand, its still an investment, just make sure you look for the obvious things, you need .

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Operation and Maintenance of Your Forklift

Forklift Safety November 25, 2016

To operate a forklift in Australia, you need to have a Forklift licence, many people just forget the second they have their forklift licence, what their supposed to check before they start operation of a forklift.  Keep in mind that it is the businesses responsibility to make sure the the right procedures are followed.

Before you start the forklift, its important to ensure that it is in safe working order, ready to be used and capable of completing the task required of it. A business smart practice is to develop and implement a system of work that nominates the person who will ensure the safety checking occurs, e.g. a manager or supervisor.

Make sure your operators know to report any damage to your employer, supervisor, manager  or employee safety representative immediately.

If any damage or problems are noticed that are needing immediate repairs isolate the forklift so it cannot be used.

Make sure you get your operators to complete a checklist as part of your pre-operational  routine (example below).  This is an important part of any effective maintenance program, if you are using a new or different forklift.  This checklist will help you become familiar with the machine.

Pre-operation Forklift Checklist

Forklift operators should do the following before starting :

  • Tyres : Check all for wear or damage, and pressure  (if applicable)
  • Fluids: Check all for wear or damage, fuel and coolant
  • Seating:  Check the condition and adjustment
  • Warning devices: Check lights, horns, reversing beeper, and flashing light
  • Capacity: Check for signs of wear to the lift chains and guides
  • Hydraulic cylinders and hoses:  Check  for any leaks
  • Tynes: Check for excessive wear, damage, cracks or repairs
  • Seatbelt: Make sure it is in good working order (if fitted)
  • Guarding: Check that all guards are in place

Once started

  • Controls: Check that all pedals and controls operate correctly
  • Brake: Check that all (including parking brake) operate correctly

This list is far from exhaustive, and can be added to at any time, and developed for specific pieces of equipment or the particular environment that you are operating your forklift in. If you are stuck for ideas you can always contact your local dealer.

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FORKLIFTS and Rated Capacity

Forklift Safety November 23, 2016

All forklifts have a rating, which is the maximum weight that they are designed to lift safely, often referred as SAFE WORKING LOAD (SWL) or WORKING LOAD LIMIT (WLL).  Depending on the type of forklift depends on how they are actually calculated.

Counterbalanced forklifts

The rated capacity for counterbalanced trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface, with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances.

Reach and straddle trucks

The rated capacity of reach and straddle trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances.

Four-direction trucks, single-side-loading trucks, order-picking high-lift trucks and turret type high-lift trucks

The rated capacity of four-direction trucks, single-side-loading trucks, order-picking high-lift trucks, and turret type high-lift trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface, with any lateral leveling mechanism leveled, with maximum lift height and at a specified load-centre distance as specified in AS 2359.3.

Low-lift platform trucks and pallet trucks

The rated capacity of low-lift platform trucks and pallet trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that the truck is designed to transport, operating on a hard level surface.

Rough terrain lift trucks

The rated capacity of rough terrain lift trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that the truck is designed to support and stack, operating on rough terrain, with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances as follows:

(a) For rated capacity supported by forks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 mm or 600 mm.

(b) For rated capacity supported by attachments . . . . . . . . . . . the specified distance.

Remember, whenever you add an attachment to a forklift, (ie. Work cage, slippers, e.t.c), you must get the Forklift re rated by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.

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Bolzoni Auramo release the Stainless Steel Coated Fork Tyne

Forklifts, Selling November 21, 2016

bolzoni-auramo

The Best Option –  for the Spark Free Areas

The stainless-steel-cladded forklift forks are the best option for areas that must be kept spark free. These areas include explosive environments where paint, chemicals and explosives are handled.

These forks are also a great choice for food preparation areas for hygiene purposes and when you need to avoid risk of spark generation due to rubbing between similar metal materials (i.e. between fork steel and the load steel) or rusty and light metals (i.e. between rusty fork and an aluminium or magnesium load).

Bolzoni Auramo cladded forks are covered under all the relevant Australian Standards with  AISI 304 L stainless steel as indicated by UNI EN 1127-1 regulation (6.4.4 paragraph) and are manufactured to  be used in Category 2 and 3 of European Directive 94/9/CE.

The forks are also equipped with a certificate, that testifies the execution by the rule book of the cladding and the quality of the material.

The Production Process

  • Before starting with the coating all the edges are eliminated from the outer perimeter of the forks and the painting is removed from the tip and back side. These are the areas where the coating is anchored.
  • The stainless steel plates to be applied on the forks are prepared;  the standard thickness is 2 mm but even a special 3 mm thick plate on request can be used. The plates are bended according to the fork’s geometry and they are then applied on the surface, so that the load surface is perfectly smooth and bald, without obtruding elements and without being influenced by welding processes, that could compromise the features and properties of the material.
  • A reinforcement stainless steel plate is realized to be welded under the heel of the fork.
  • The plates and the heel reinforcement are then welded on the forks with TIG welding; the standard plate covers the forks till 20 cm height of the back side (possible full back side coating on request).
  • All the surfaces are perfectly polished, in order to grant a smooth contact with the load.
  • An accurate check is moved forward to ensure the total lack of breaking areas in the coating.

Bolzoni Auramo Stainless Steel Cladded Forks Advantages

  1. The geometric and chemical properties of the original forks are kept completely unaltered.
  1. Excellent resistance to corrosion thanks to the quality of the material and thanks to the fact that all the loading surfaces are not interested and influenced by welding processes.
  1. The internal surface of the fork (the surface under the coating) is protected by the painting, which has not been undermined by the temperature raising.
  1. The reinforcement plate applied on the lower part of the fork’s heel grants a sensible reduction of the coating wear in this critical area; when worn out it’s possible to replace just the heel reinforcement plate.
  1. The perfect load surface finishing avoids the risk of scraping and the detaching of coating parts.
  1. The certification testifies the quality of the material and all the specific production processes.

On request:

  • Special 3 mm stainless steel plate thickness (instead of 2 mm);
  • Back height fully coated and covered (instead of standard 20 cm of the back height);
  • Coating for food and beverage environment with AISI 316 L, the best quality of stainless steel.

If you are interested in a quote contact Bolzoni Auramo direct or talk to your local forklift dealer

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Forklifts and Indentifying Hazards

Forklift Safety November 19, 2016

In warehouses, factories, shipping yards, freight terminals and other workplaces across Australia, forklifts are used to lift, stack and transfer loads.

While forklifts offer a practical materials handling solution for many businesses, each year they continue to be associated with workplace deaths and injuries. The human and financial cost of forklift-related incidents for employees, industry and the community is substantial, and in the most part completely avoidable, especially when employees and employers work together to improve health and safety at work.

A lot of new Forklift operators struggle when they first get their Forklift licence, to identify the risk and hazards around the area that they will be operating the forklift  in.

FORKLIFT DANGERS

Forklifts are manoeuvrable and they are designed to be compact, but when carrying loads they can become unstable under certain circumstances. Fully laden, a standard two tonne forklift can weigh approximately five tonnes in total. With lower stability, and greater manoeuvrability combined with uncontrolled traffic areas in workplaces you’ll understand why forklifts are involved in so many incidents.

Even at low speeds, forklifts can cause serious injuries and fatalities.

It’s not just the employee using the forklift who can be injured; pedestrians can be crushed against a wall or an object or another vehicle.

Don’t wait until there’s an injury or death at your workplace before developing a safe system of work to control risks.  So here are some basic Hazards and some simple rectifications that you can use to negate the Hazard in your workplace, ensuring that your operators have a safe day operating forklifts in your business.

Hazard

Danger to persons not aware of the forklift operating in area.

Rectification

Overhead flashing light operates when ignition key is switched on.

Hazard

Damage to person at rear of forklift when forklift is reversing.

Rectification

Warning beeper and reverse light is activated when in reverse gear.

Hazard

Lift/lower and tilt levers could be mistaken or confused

Rectification

Decals or lever handles clearly shown operation.

Hazard

forklift tips forward when lifting over rated capacity.

Rectification

Load capacity plate fitted to forklift and should never be exceeded

Hazard

Operator slipping while getting on and off forklifts.

Rectification

Step has been fitted to allow safe mount and dismount from forklift.

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Forklift Attachments and 4 Ways To Get The Best From Them

Forklift Safety November 17, 2016

Forklift Attachments

One of the most common forklift attachments is a set of slippers.  Some times your load you are picking up might be a little longer then you might usually pickup.  That’s where a set of forklift slippers or tyne extensions come in handy, as a quick and easy solution.

That is where you are wrong.  Quick yes, easy far from it..

As with any attachment you put onto a forklift, it can and will reduce the lifting capacity of the unit.  There are some things you need to consider when putting a set of slippers onto a forklift :

  • Load size

As a general rule of thumb, the fork tyne should be at least 75% of the length of load that it is picking up.

  • Reduction is lifting capacity

    The forklift will lift LESS the further you further you extend the load center.  It is highly recommended in going to the Forklift Manufacturer, to get a rating done so you know just how much you can really lift with a bigger load center.

  • Rating plate

    Now this has absolutely no bearing on what the forklift can lift. But under current law in Australia, when you start using attachments on forklifts, you must have the forklift rated and the ACTUAL LIFTING CAPACITY of the forklift with attachment put onto the DATA COMPLIANCE PLATE  – ITS THE LAW, so don’t get caught.

  • Operator training

This is one of the most forgotten, when something changes with the forklift, you need to ensure that the operator is trained in using the machine properly.  If its you driving then no problems, but if you employ people to drive for you, spend the time showing them how it works, and keep a copy for your training records.

When using forklift and attachments it is all about training and safety, it doesn’t take much. Keep in mind there are plenty of static attachments and hydraulic attachments out there that can be used on forklifts, talk to your dealer about what you requirements are.

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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

chinese forklifts

In the last five years sales of Chinese 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. Continue reading …

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