Toyota Forklifts & Falken Tire
Announcer: Tires can be difficult products to move and distribute. Of course, they’re round and heavy and all the same color making it hard to easily distinguish one tire from another. That is why Falken Tire goes to great lengths to streamline its distribution processes to assure employees this many tires accurately.
Ron Papcun: We sell a variety of different products. We have foreign tires, light truck products, high performance products. We sell to retail, large retailers, we sell to wholesale. Obviously with tires, they are a little bit challenging to handle because they all look alike or very, very similar but that type of skew complexity, it definitely creates challenges for you in the operation.
Announcer: The Falken distribution center in Robbinsville, New Jersey, handles about a thousand different tire skews. Toyota forklifts do all the heavy lifting here. Tires are held in these metal racks, each weighing about a ton when fully loaded. The forklifts easily move, lift and stack the racks as many as six high, saving valuable floor space.
Falken chose these forklifts for their versatility. These 5000 pound capacity trucks can lift two of the racks at a time with a total load weighing as much as 4500 pounds. These vehicles have four-stage masts, which allow them to reach 260 inches high, allowing two racks to stack on top of four others.
Jimmy Oxx: We want the fork trucks to be able to go any place that we need to position it. We’re stacking six high in this building, which is unlike almost anywhere in the United States. Recent changes to fire code allowed us to be able to increase the size of the stack here. The Toyota trucks were able to accommodate that and they have been very, very successful since we started doing that here. Inside the trucks you have varied heights. Containers are much smaller than traditional 53-foot trailers, so the fork trucks are able to transverse inside of those trailers as well, as well as the tight confines of the aisles that we travel in.
Announcer: The Toyota forklifts employed in Robbinsville can easily work in aisles as small as 132 inches wide, making them very maneuverable as they dodge around the 450,000 tires that might be here at any given time. The fleet of 13 trucks includes 10 electric powered vehicles and 3 propane forklifts, all with the same capacities and controls.
Ron Papcun: Well, similar to the way that we standardized the racking, we try to standardize the equipment inside the buildings. We don’t need to have multiple different types of equipment. It’s easier for the operators to learn how to use it. It’s easier for us to maintain it.
Announcer: In addition to lifting tire racks with forks, this propane truck is equipped with a clamp attachment that aids in moving larger tires. The clamp can squeeze and rotate the tires for much easier placement. To pick orders, workers select tires into empty racks. The forklifts drive the racks directly into trailers where the tires are removed from the racks and hand stacked for customer delivery.
Ron Papcun: We made the decision to use Toyota ’cause after looking at the other products on the market, we did some evaluations based on what fits our needs best, we brought some demos in, we had our operators work with the machines to see ergonomically, which ones they liked driving the best, which ones were the easiest, and after we did a full assessment on all the various types of equipment that were out there, based on what our needs were, the Toyota was in the best position to service our needs. We’ve been very happy with it.
Jimmy Oxx: We have been here for about a year, and I’ve gotta tell you, it’s really been a no-worry piece of equipment. From the purchase to the men being able to acclimate themselves to it, to the support staff that we have from Toyota, it’s been a very, very, very rewarding experience.