Toyota Forklifts & Cohen Recycling
Announcer: Scrap processing and the recycling of different metals and electronics has become big business over the years. Cohen, a successful family-owned scrap processing company, has been around for nearly 90 years, and operates 18 locations across four states. Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Over the years, Cohen has taken advantage of the strong market for these recycled goods, and leveraged strong partners and machinery on the road to success.
Cohen is in the business of taking in scrap metals, such as iron, steel, copper and aluminum, and recycling them so that they can be turned into new and useful products. They handle about one and a quarter million tons annually. This facility covers 52 acres and is in Middletown, Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton. And just about every kind of metal scrap can be found here, including sharp pieces that must be moved around the yard safely.
Geoff Rosenberg: We’re a labor intensive business, we’re an equipment intensive business. The forklifts are used at every facility to move any product, but mainly non-ferrous bales, pallets and bulk material containers.
Corporate wide we probably have somewhere around 80 forklifts, and they vary in size from 3,500 pounds up to a 50,000 pound lift. But the bulk of our fleet are 5,000, 6,000 pound diesel forklifts. Three stage, side shift, some with rotation, some with barrel clamps and squeeze, but for the most part your standard 3-way forklift. 52 of those since 2012, the last 52 I might add, are Toyota’s.
Announcer: Cohen began relying on Toyota forklifts, primarily the Core IC Pneumatic Forklift line, because they are reliable and durable in the tough conditions of outdoor work, where dust is everywhere and much of the driving surface is uneven concrete or dirt. But what really sold Rosenberg and the management at Cohen was Toyota’s local dealer, ProLift Industrial Equipment.
Geoff Rosenberg: When we first started out, we were looking for a forklift, we weren’t necessarily looking for an orange forklift. We were looking for a partnership. We were looking for a dealership and a company that was just as interested in what we were trying to accomplish, as what we were. And we were looking for a company that didn’t have the word can’t in their vocabulary, and ProLift has exceeded our expectations.
Announcer: The forklifts in this yard do many of the same operations as they would in a warehouse, except that this warehouse is acres in size and does not have a roof. The trucks move heavy loads of raw metals over uneven surfaces. These bundles of crushed aluminum cans will be sent to a manufacturer to be turned into new cans.
Inside one building on the property a Toyota forklift dumps brass objects into this equipment where it is separated and prepared for recycling. In another building, an electric pallet jack helps workers move pallet loads of scrap as they are sorted.
A fast growing market for Cohen is in recycling electronics. Computers, copiers, monitors and more. This new building receives truckloads of used electronic products. The items are sorted and placed into bins or large Gaylord boxes. Forklifts then pick up the loads and take them to these large shredding machines. The forklifts have rotating attachments to dump the electronics onto a vibrating belt. The belt helps to separate the items as they convey up into the shredder. Once shredded, magnets and other sensors separate the plastic, metal, wiring and other pieces so that they can be accumulated by type for recycling.
ProLift provides ongoing servicing of Cohen’s forklift fleet, including a dedicated technician to make sure the trucks are maintained in top condition.
Steve Feck: I do a lot of the routine maintenance on the trucks, which involves giving the trucks a very thorough check over, lubrication. I have a good relationship with the manager and stuff at all the locations, trying to keep them up to speed, what’s going on with the truck.
It all comes down to a safety issue and a monetary issue. You know, if the trucks are not being properly operated, taken care of, the life of the truck is going to be shorter. Cohen’s really stepped up and they do a good job making sure the trucks are taken care of. They do a good job with trying to minimize any damage to the units themselves.
Announcer: Cohen has experienced just how rugged Toyota forklifts can be in very adverse conditions. Their durability and the expert service that ProLift offers, makes Toyota the forklift of choice at this scrap processing company.
Geoff Rosenberg: Well our expectations in the next couple of years are to have all Toyota forklifts. And what we’ve found over the course of the last four years, and that’s why we have 52 in succession, is they’re tough, durable machines that hold up under our environment. And quite frankly when you combine that with the service and our partnership expectations with ProLift, it’s been a great marriage.
Choosing The Right Equipment: Floor Sweepers And Scrubbers
In the previous edition of this guide we covered what factors needed to be considered before deciding if you need a floor sweeper / scrubber to clean your facility. If you covered those factors and decided that it is in your best interest to get a floor sweeper / scrubber, the next step is deciding which kind would best meet your needs. This section of our floor sweeper scrubber guide will walk you through the different types of floor sweepers that are available and the application in which they work best.
Floor sweepers are made to pick up dry material such as dirt and dust that are covering your floors. While your maintenance crew can sweep up messes most larger facilities have dirt, dust, and other dry messes that a simple push broom can’t clean fast enough to be efficient.
Floor scrubbers are made to pick up the kind of messes that floor sweepers can’t clean. Most wet, sticky, or compacted messes can’t be swept up so you have to use something that can apply a cleaning solution and then scrub the floor to make sure the facility is cleaned. Floor scrubbers do exactly this by dispensing the cleaner onto the floor, scrubbing the floor where the cleaner is applied, and then vacuuming up the cleaner after it is scrubbed all in one passing which limits how much labor is needed to clean your facilities floors. Floor scrubbers come with two water tanks, one for dispensing cleaning solution and a separate tank for storing the dirty water that is vacuumed back into the scrubber.
Using a floor sweeper / scrubber is efficient both in terms of time and cost – making it a great solution when trying to replace a simple push broom. There are many different types of floor sweepers to consider however, and this guide will walk you through the different kinds of floor sweepers to help you figure out which one is best for you.
Walk Behind Sweepers And Scrubbers
Walk behind sweepers / scrubbers can be either manual or automatic. Manual walk behind floor sweepers / scrubbers must be pushed by the operator while automatic walk behind floor sweepers / scrubbers are battery powered and only need to be guided by the operator. Both of these provide an easy and fast method for your employees to maintain your facility with and increase productivity greatly over standard push brooms or mops.
One of the biggest perks of this kind of floor sweeper / scrubber is the overall cost of the equipment. Walk behind sweepers / scrubbers will require a much lower initial investment than other sweepers. The small maintenance costs of walk behind sweepers / scrubbers makes these one of the most affordable options for facility upkeep.
Increased efficiency and reduced labor costs due to quicker clean-up versus a standard push broom or mop make walk behind sweepers / scrubbers a popular choice for economically minded organizations. Additionally, the easy to use walk behind sweepers / scrubbers reduce operator fatigue, allowing more area to be cleaned during a shift. All of this allows for a significant decrease to labor cost over standard push brooms.
If you’re considering a floor sweeper / scrubber for surfaces that are more than moderately dirty, you may need to go with a stronger floor sweeper / scrubber such as a rider sweeper / scrubber.
Difference between rider and walk behind floor sweeper
Rider Sweepers And Scrubbers
A rider floor sweeper / scrubber is controlled by an operator riding and controlling the machine using a steering wheel and levers. This kind of floor sweeper / scrubber is ideal for large areas, such as industrial warehouses or facilities. Depending on your preference, your floor sweeper / scrubber can be powered by either battery, propane, or gas.
Rider sweepers / scrubbers require a larger up-front investment but with many finance options available, monthly payments fit most budgets. Because rider sweepers are typically more heavy duty than walk behind sweepers / scrubbers there is also more maintenance to be done on these machines. Depending on fuel type your rider sweeper / scrubber may need oil, grease, or battery maintenance to make sure the sweeper / scrubber remains as efficient and effective as possible.
While these factors may make for a pricier piece of equipment, rider sweepers / scrubbers also outperform cheaper pieces of equipment in both efficiency and effectiveness. Rider sweepers / scrubbers can cover more square footage than a walk behind sweeper and require less effort from the operator.
Rider sweepers / scrubbers also clean dirt and dust more effectively than walk behind sweepers / scrubbers, leaving a cleaner environment. If you are cleaning a facility that gathers large amounts of dirt and dust, a walk behind sweeper may not be able to handle the clean-up as efficiently as a rider sweeper.
Difference between rider and walk behind floor scrubber
How To Know When You Need A Floor Sweeper Scrubber
Facility maintenance can be costly with training, labor, equipment, and maintenance all factoring into that one task. This makes it important to choose the right solution for your facility when deciding how to best approach cleaning the facility.
Sweeper scrubbers are among the best and most efficient solutions to this problem but with many different options it is important to know what you need in a sweeper scrubber to get the most out of your purchase. While some facilities may only need a sweeper others may need just a scrubber. However, sometimes you need a sweeper scrubber combination to get the most from your cleaning equipment.
This guide will help you identify what kind of sweeper or scrubber best fits your facility’s needs.
Part one of this guide will cover the first steps in deciding whether or not a floor sweeper scrubber is the right tool to increase efficiency and effectiveness in your facility.
Would a Sweeper Scrubber Improve Your Cleaning Process?
The most important part of making the decision to get a sweeper scrubber is determining if your current process is cost-effective.
Would a Sweeper Scrubber Reduce The Time You Spend Cleaning?
Before you can determine whether you should upgrade from a push broom or from a different floor sweeper, you need to know how long it currently takes to clean your floors. If you find that your employees are spending more time cleaning your facility than they are at other revenue generating task, it may be a good time to look at other options.
A great way to decide if your employees are spending too much time cleaning is to set a maximum amount of hours per week that make financial sense for this endeavor. This duration should be based on how big the area your employees are cleaning as well as their labor rate. If you’re not sure whether a floor sweeper would be faster, you can always find a floor sweeper rental to use and compare to your current method.
Would A Sweeper Scrubber Reduce Your Cleaning Costs?
Everyone wants to cut costs as much as they can, so that their company is running as efficiently as possible. Facility maintenance can come with big costs attached to it, and while it’s a necessary cost, this does not mean it has to be a high cost. Paying attention to what your facility maintenance costs run, can be a key factor in deciding whether or not you want to upgrade. Set an acceptable cleaning cost benchmark based on the size of your facility when making a decision on a floor sweeper scrubber.
Is Your Facility Big Enough to Justify Using A Sweeper Scrubber?
One item to consider when deciding on a floor sweeper scrubber versus a push broom is how big of a facility you have to clean. If you’re cleaning a small facility that can be easily managed with a push broom, then you’re probably not going to get much use from a floor sweeper scrubber.
However, if you have a larger facility that you’re cleaning with a push broom, you may find your employees are spending a large portion of their time cleaning. A large facility cannot be easily maintained with a broom like it can with a floor sweeper scrubber. And, when you have a large facility to manage you don’t want to spend all your time cleaning when there are other, more lucrative tasks.
Would A Sweeper Scrubber Reduce How Often You Have to Clean?
Another key factor in deciding whether or not you need a floor sweeper scrubber is knowing how often your floors are getting cleaned. You should record how many days a week your floors get swept or mopped. This should tell you if you’re spending too much time cleaning versus other more profitable tasks.
If you are sweeping a large facility every day, then you’re likely losing a lot of productivity to facility maintenance, and the job could be done quicker with a floor sweeper.
Would A Sweeper Scrubber Be Able to Clean Better Than Your Employees?
Even if you’re within what you find to be an acceptable range of time spent cleaning, you also need to consider how effectively the cleaning may be. Sometimes a mess can’t be completely cleaned with a simple push broom and something more powerful is needed to meet facility or regulatory standards.
Floor sweeper scrubbers are very effective when it comes to cleaning both wet and dry messes. So, if you find too much of your wet or dry messes are being left behind because of improper tools it may be worthwhile to look into buying a floor sweeper scrubber.
How Much Could a Floor Sweeper Scrubber Save You in The Long Run?
While buying a floor sweeper scrubber clearly has a higher initial costs than a simple push broom or mop, it is important to look at where it can save you money in the long run. A decrease in time spent cleaning floors reduces cleaning labor cost as well as recoups revenue generating productivity.
Will A Sweeper Scrubber Help You Keep OSHA Compliant?
OSHA has recently reduced the permissible exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica and requires employers to limit worker exposure. This change in OSHA regulation can affect many different industries. One simple way to make sure you are keeping your business compliant with this rule is to make sure the area that workers operate stays as clean as possible.
A floor sweeper scrubber is an effective way to accomplish this efficiently. While it is not the only thing needed to stay OSHA compliant, most industrial sweeper / scrubbers not only remove debris but filter the air.
Wes Nolan, the warehouse manager at Pak-sher, shares the impact material handling has on their business.
Forklift Glossary of Terms
Battery Capacity = Battery Capacity is measured with its ability to maintain power over a period of time with a specified consumption of energy, presented in Ampere hours (Ah). Common forklift voltages are 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 DC.
Battery Compartment = The manufacturer’s allotted space of a lift truck, provided to house a battery. A A battery compartment is expressed as: L x W x H. (Length x Width x Height)
Battery Model Identification = composed of 3 set of numbers expressed PER cell. (Voltage – Amps – Positive plates (Typically stamped into the 1 positive lead strap. Example: 18-85-25)
Battery Weight, min. = Minimum weight of a battery for per lift truck model recommended by the OEM.
Boom = A powered boom that extends as a telescope from within itself.
Capacity = The rating given a lift truck indicating the amount of weight that a truck will lift to a predetermined fork height at a specified load center. Most common is 24” load center.
Casters = Non-powered swiveled base caster/wheel(s) turn freely.
Control Valves = A valve that controls the direction of flow of hydraulic fluid.
Counterbalanced = A lift truck that utilizes weight in its chassis to counterbalance a load against the center line of the drive wheels.
Data Plate = Typical a metal tag that is stamped by the manufacture showing MODEL and SERIAL number and pertinent data to further identify the unit.
Duplex Mast = Same as Two-Stage Mast Full Free Lift Mast.
Engine Manufacturer = References the OEM that manufactures the engine for a given model.
Engine Model = References the engine nomenclature; sometimes dependent on the lift truck OEM. Many lift truck OEMs do not manufacture their own engines.
Fork Carriage Width = The maximum width of the fork carriage. The carriage is designed to raise and lower in front of the mast; the forks connect to the carriage.
Fork Size = Dimensions of lift truck forks, expressed as: thickness x width x length.
Fork Spread = The maximum distance the forks can be positioned, expressed as width, measured from the outside edge of the forks.
Free Lift = The vertical distance the forks can be raised before a mast begins to telescope.
Freezer Protection = A means of preparing a lift truck to operate in freezer or cold environments. = conditioning may include specialized hydraulic oils, special paint and components.
Full Free Lift = A truck where the fork carriage travels to the top of the inner mast before the inner mast begins to rise.
Gradability = The maximum percent of a slope a lift truck can negotiate with a capacity load.
Hours Per Year = The range of objective hours a user expects to operate a machine on a yearly basis; used as an RV Calculation factor.
Hydraulic Pressure = Indicates the standard pressure of hydraulic fluid for a particular lift truck model, measured by pounds per square inch.
Length to Fork Face = The length of the lift truck measured from the extreme rear end of the lift truck to the vertical surface of the fork face.
Lift Speed, empty = The maximum upward speed forks can travel without a load. Lift Speed w/load = The maximum upward speed forks can travel with a maximum capacity load.
Limited Free Lift = The amount the forks raise before the overall lowered height of a mast increases.
Load Backrest = Connected to the fork carriage, the load backrest extends vertically; the load backrest is a grated shield, which prevents loads from sliding backwards.
Load Capacity = The maximum weight a specified lift truck can lift and/or carry, specified by the OEM.
Load Center = The horizontal distance between the front face and the longitudinal midpoint of an evenly distributed load.
Load Wheels = The wheels located on the load end of a truck.
Lower Speed, empty = The maximum downward speed forks can travel without a load.
Lower Speed w/load = The maximum downward speed forks can travel with a maximum capacity load.
Mast, Standard = (Standard Mast) the standard mast designated by the OEM
Mast – Two-Stage = A telescoping mast that is comprised of two connecting masts: Limited Free Lift (FL) & Full Free Lift (FFL).
Simplex Mast = Same as Two-Stage with limited Free Lift Mast.
Mast Triple Stage = A telescoping mast, which is comprised of three, connecting masts, same as ThreeStage Mast.
Mast Triplex Mast = Same as Triple Stage and Three-Stage Mast.
Mast Quad Stage = A telescoping mast, which is comprised of four, connecting masts.
Mast Boom = A boom that telescopes within itself.(normally manually adjusted)
Mechanical Lift = A non electrical lift.
MFH = Maximum Fork Height. The maximum height of lift truck forks when the mast of the lift truck has reached full extension.
Narrow-Aisle Truck = A lift truck, which is designed specifically for narrow aisles. A narrow aisle is generally considered 7 to 9 feet wide.
NET Horsepower =Maximum horsepower at the flywheel, with intake and exhaust systems in place and accounting for load from auxiliary systems.
Operating Weight = The weight of a standard configured machine, which is assembled and in working order. Please see our specification sheets to see the operating weight.
Order/Stock Picker = A forklift with all controls for raise/lower, travel mounted on an operator’s platform that raises and lowers with the forks.
Overall Height Lowered = The height of a mast completely collapsed.
Overall Height Raised = The maximum extended height of the top of the load backrest or fork carriage of a completely extended mast.
Overall Width = distance between the widest part of a lift truck. In the Guru, when referring to overall width for class 2 & 3 trucks, overall width refers to the width of the power unit, not the outriggers.
Overhead Guard = A framework above the operator’s head attached to a lift truck to protect an operator. Often referred to as “DOG” or Driver’s Over Head Guard.
Overall Guard Height = The distance from the floor surface to highest point of the overhead guard.
Power Type = Refers to the mode of energy or motive force by which a lift truck is propelled, examples include: gasoline/LPG/diesel engine, electric.
Pneumatic Tire = An inflatable tire generally used in an outdoors environment.
Quad-Stage Mast = A lift truck mast that has four sections
Rated Output @ rpm = That engine power available at a specified output of a device under specified conditions of operation. Referenced as revolutions per minute (rpm).
Rated Torque @ rpm = The force that rotates or turns a crankshaft; stated in lb-ft.
Reach Truck = A truck equipped with a pantograph-type reach mechanism that allows the forks to extend out past the supporting outriggers.
Reach Extension = The maximum distance a fork carriage can be extended forward, horizontally. This function is limited to some (Class 2 & 3) “Reach Trucks”.
Rider Truck = A lift truck designed to be operated by an operator whom stands or sits on the unit.
Right Angle Stack = The ability to turn a lift truck 90 degrees in an aisle.
Serial Number = The primary identifier that like as car/truck VIN assigned but the manufacturer on the data tag/often stamped in the frame of the chassis.
Service Weight = The overall weight of a fully configured lift truck
Sideshift = An attachment which can move the forks horizontally to the left or right.
Sideshift Package = A complete shideshift system includes valve, hydraulic hose group and the sideshift hardware.
Stand-Up Rider = A lift truck designed to be controlled by an operator standing.
Tilt Angle = The distance a mast can move (tilt) forward and backward by means of hydraulics expressed tilt angle values as “back/front”.
Drive Tires = Refers to the tires, generally the “drive” tires.
Steer Tires = Refers to the rear or “steer” tires,
Tire Types = Most common know are cushion and pneumatic with many variations .
Transmission Speed F/R =The number of speeds of a transmission, referenced as Front/Back.
Travel Speed, empty = The maximum speed a lift truck can travel without a load.
Travel Speed w/load = The maximum speed a lift truck can travel carrying a full load, or rated capacity.
Turning Radius = The radius of a circle created by outmost projection of a lift truck when the operator has the steering mechanism in the tightest turning position.
Under clearance, frame = Smallest distance between the wheelbase portion of a lift truck frame and a floor surface.
Voltage = The measurement of the force which causes electrical current to flow in a conductor, expressed in volts, examples: 24, 36, 48, 72 & 80 volts.
Wheelbase = The distance between the front axle and the rear axle of a lift truck.
Walkie = A motorized pallet lift truck with limited lift, which an operator walks with controlling direction and speed by a control handle.
Walkie Ride = A motorized pallet lift truck with limited lift, which an operator walks rides with controlling direction and speed by a control handle.
Industrial Truck Association (ITA) Class for forklifts
Class 1 = Electric Motor Rider Lift Trucks: Stand-Up Rider , Sit-Down Rider Cushion Tire , Sit-Down Rider Pneumatic Tire, 3-Wheel Rider Electric
Class 2 = Electric Narrow Aisle Lift Trucks: High-Lift Straddle-Type , Narrow Aisle Single Reach , Narrow Aisle Double Reach, Narrow Aisle Swing Reach, Counterbalanced Order Picker, Straddle Order Picker, Turret Trucks
Class 3 = Electric Hand Trucks: Walkie Low-Lift Pallet Walkie/Ride Low-Lift Pallet Walkie/Ride Reach Pallet Walkie/Ride Straddle Pallet Walkie/Ride High-Lift Counterbalanced
Class 4 = Internal Combustion Cushion Tire Lift Trucks
Class 5 = Internal Combustion Pneumatic Tire Lift Trucks
Forklift for Sale
A Complete User’s Guide to Buying a Quality Used Forklift in Texas
We’ve all heard the stories of “like new” forklifts purchased at auction for pennies on the dollar. While that does happen from time to time, we’re all likely far more familiar with the stories of forklift equipment purchases gone awry – leaving owners with a money pit of parts, equipment, and down time.
So, how do you evaluate used forklifts for sale?
No plan is ever fool-proof, but if you follow the guide below – you’ll likely end up with a dependable piece of equipment that will last for years to come.
(By the way, if you’re looking for Quality Used Forklifts for Sale… We’ve got them.)
Know Your Forklift Needs
It’s important to identify your needs and prioritize your wants. Will your forklift be in a warehouse with concrete floors or will it be outdoors on gravel? If you have warehouse racking, what are your aisle widths and what size equipment can they accommodate? Looking at electric – is your operation wired for the type of charging station you need (3 phase or single phase)?
Also, knowing the terminology that may come up in a discussion can go a long way – check out this glossary of terms.
Pricing Expectations & Budget
The old adage – you get what you pay for is as true for forklifts as it is for automobiles. Top tier brands of quality used forklifts will run roughly half of what a new unit of similar capacity and features cost. General rules of thumb are that the higher the capacity the greater the cost, electrics are typically more expensive than internal combustion lifts, and pneumatics run slightly higher than cushions.
Forklift dealers in particular, may invest additional money to recondition a forklift. That may entail a simple service, cosmetic facelift, or a complete tear-down and rebuild. It all depends on the dealer and the potential market for the lift. It’s important to ask what a price includes. As mentioned earlier, some brands retain their value better than others due to initial quality of parts, manufacturing, and engineering.
Below we’ve provided a very basic pricing guide for standard spec cushion and pneumatic forklifts in the central and east Texas region. It should be noted that every lift is different and depending on specs, the hours, type of application, and maintenance of the equipment can cause the price to be outside of the range we’ve provided.
|Forklift Type||Capacity||Auction / Trade||As-Is||Retail|
|Sit-Down (IC) Cushion||4,000 lbs – 5,000 lbs||$1,500 – $3,500||$4,500 – $7,500||$7,500 – $11,500|
|Sit-Down (IC) Cushion||5,000 lbs – 6,000 lbs||$1,500 – $3,500||$4,500 – $7,500||$8,500 – $12,500|
|Sit-Down (IC) Cushion||6,000 lbs – 6,500 lbs||$2,500 – $5,500||$5,500 – $8,500||$8,500 – $16,500|
|Sit-Down (IC) Pneumatic||5,000 lbs – 6,000 lbs||$4,500 – $14,500||$7,000 – $15,000||$12,500 – $24,500|
|Sit-Down (IC) Pneumatic||6,000 lbs – 6,500 lbs||$4,500 – $14,500||$7,500 – $16,000||$15,000 – $28,000|
Know the Seller
Knowing who you’re buying from can be important in determining the legitimacy and the quality of information you get regarding the forklift for sale. Equipment dealers likely have the most general forklift knowledge and may also have specific service history knowledge of the equipment in question. Wholesalers or individuals typically don’t have the same level of knowledge regarding the machines operational capabilities or it’s unique service or application history.
Additionally many equipment dealers, like Lift Truck Supply, perform routine maintenance and in some cases completely recondition the forklift prior to sale. While this may mean spending more on your initial investment, it also means that your risk for buying a “lemon” is greatly reduced.
Questions to Ask
Don’t limit yourself to these questions, but getting answers to the list below will go a long way in determining if the forklift you’re purchasing will perform well for your needs.
How many hours are on this machine and what type of application did it work in?
A forklift’s operating hours are a good indication of how often the equipment was used. Combine hours with the type of application and year model, and you can get a good idea if the machine was used sparingly in a light duty environment, or if it was run hard in a harsh environment. Obviously, a lower run frequency in a light duty application creates less wear and tear on equipment.
Do you have the service history of this forklift?
If you’re purchasing from the original owner or from a forklift dealer, there is a very good chance they’ll have the service history of the equipment. The service history can be a wealth of information, not only to see if the forklift was properly maintained, but also to see if that particular piece of equipment had any reoccurring issues or operator inflicted damage. While typically more expensive, forklifts that were covered by full maintenance programs are in better operational condition and will outperform equipment that has not been properly maintained.
Were there any recalls or campaigns issued for this piece of equipment and if so, have those repairs been completed?
Recalls are government mandated repairs for faulty parts or poorly engineered equipment. Warranty campaigns are typically issued by reputable manufacturers when they discover a poorly manufactured part or an engineering design flaw. Knowing these potential performance issues, and if manufacturer recommended repairs have been completed can give you piece of mind that the machine has been well maintained.
Potential Problem Areas
When evaluating a forklift it’s a good idea to start with common problem areas or areas that could be expensive to repair. We also recommend bringing your own mechanic if you have access to one; it can help determine the overall potential of the machine.
Cab & General Operations
Hop in the seat and fasten the seatbelt. Check to make sure the seat is securely attached and evaluate the condition of the seatbelt. Next, start the forklift and note any odd noises coming from the engine. Inspect the hydraulic levers – lift and lower the loader arms, tilt the mast in both directions, and side shift the arms left and right. Make sure that as you manipulate the loader arms and raise/lower the mast that the machine operates smoothly. Drive the forklift both forwards and reverse and in a figure eight pattern. Stop and start to test responsiveness of steering and braking. Operate all other controls and safety devices, including back-up alarm, flood lights, and horn. Check the data plate to make sure the equipment meets your operational requirements.
Try to run the forklift for about ten minutes – utilizing all functions. This allows you to get a feel for the general operation of the machine and may highlight problem areas but it also gets the fluids warmed up and moving, creating pressure in the lines. After the machine has been warmed up, begin your visual inspection – any hydraulic or other fluid leaks will now be more apparent.
Forks & Mast
Start your visual inspection with the forks and the mast. Inspect the forks for cracks, bends, and warping – this can be caused by overloading or excessive wear. Minor distortions may be repairable but any cracks can compromise the integrity of the equipment when lifting at full capacity. Be sure to check the thickness of the fork heels, they should closely match the thickness of the fork shank (portion where fork attaches to hanger). When inspecting the mast look for cracks or welds, and then verify that mast pins, tilt / side-shift cylinder are secure. Check the cylinders for signs of leaks or damage.
Mast Rails, Lift Chains, & Cylinders
Moving from the forks, check the mast rails for signs of cracks or welds that may weaken the mast. Excessive wear on the mast rollers may warp or compress them into ovals rather than their intended circular shape. Inspect the lift chains, look for damaged or missing links or anchor pins. Check your hydraulic hoses for any leaks and then verify that the hoses and lift chains have equal tension. Scrutinize the tilt cylinders, checking for leaks, signs of damage, loose or missing bolts.
Frame, Cowling, & Canopy
Do a walk around the forklift and study the body for collisions or other signs of damage. Run your hands along the main canopy supports – feeling for bends or impacts that may compromise the canopy’s ability to protect operators from falling objects or rollover. In the event of an enclosed cab, check for missing or damaged windows. Inspect the chassis, are there signs of cracks, modifications, or repairs? Tires should not be worn past the top of the lettering. Cracked rubber or missing chunks may be indicative of application environment or improper maintenance. Check wheels for missing or damaged lug nuts.
Engine Compartment, Exhaust Guard, & Counterweights
Open the engine compartment and check for any leaks, dirt buildup or cracks on hoses. Check the oil, note the level of the oil on the dipstick, and also look at the condition of the oil. Check that belts are tight and not worn or cracked. Inspect the air filter and make sure it is clean. If you are inspecting an electric forklift, check that all battery connections are in good condition. If the machine is propane-powered, check integrity of tank brackets and bolts once you’ve finished your engine compartment inspection. Move to the rear of the forklift and look at the exhaust guard, noting any damage. Also check that the counterweight bolts are securely in place.
Batteries & Chargers
It should go without saying but if you’re looking at an electric forklift, be sure to inspect the battery. Is there any corrosion or acid leaking? Open up some of the cells and see if the battery has sufficient water. If you’re working with a dealership have them run a load test on the battery. Ask if a charger is included and if so, check to make sure it’s in working order. Ask if the charger is single or three-phase; that may mean additional costs if your facility isn’t wired properly. Verify that the battery is the right size and weight for your lift by checking the data plate. A battery that is too light can lower lifting capacity.
How Will You Service Your New Lift
While it may not be top of your list when selecting a used forklift, where you will service your forklift after your purchase, should be considered. Even if you plan on maintaining the lift yourself, there’s a good probability that at some point in the future it will need the attention of a forklift service provider. Identifying someone or a company that has all the necessary equipment, training, personnel, and reputation to handle the job may influence the brand or type of equipment you purchase.
Parts Availability for Used Forklifts
When buying used equipment it’s important to take into account how long you plan to use the equipment, and how easy it will be to find replacement parts now, and in the future. Your local forklift dealership should be able to tell you how easy it is to order parts for a particular unit and how often parts go obsolete for particular brands.
Additionally, some forklift manufacturers are notoriously difficult to get parts for, whether the lift is new or used. It’s a good idea to verify with your preferred forklift dealership that they can get the parts quickly should the need arise.
Don’t Be in a Hurry
Start your search process early and don’t fall into the trap of making a quick forklift purchase to meet production needs. Quick purchases usually lead to higher prices and sacrifices regarding your needs. Due diligence will be handsomely rewarded with a quality forklift that meets your needs and your budget.
Accessories That Get You The Most From Your Pallet Racks
With the large variety of accessories available for pallet racks today your pallet racks can be customized to make sure they work the best for you. This article will cover a few common accessories that are used to increase the value of your pallet rack investment.
This is a very common pallet rack accessory that is made of different gauge steel rods welded into a mesh pattern. They are made for secondary support that cover the beams that your pallets will rest on. The front and rear beams should still be the primary source of support but the wire decking can increase how much weight can be stored on each rack. A wire deck is typically designed to hold anywhere from 2,500 to 3,000 lbs.
Row Spacers and Wall Ties
Row spacers are designed to increase the stability of your pallet rack. A row spacer can tie together two rows of pallet racks that are back-to-back and they are placed about 6 inches from the top and bottom of the rack. If you have long rows of pallet racks these are essential for tying them together
Wall ties can increase the stability of your pallet rack by tying the pallet rack upright to your warehouse wall or most other solid structures in your warehouse to reduce swaying or tipping of pallet racks.
A column protector, also called post protectors or upright protectors, can be used to protect your pallet racks from being damaged by forklifts. When your pallet rack upright takes damage over time the frame can become weak and eventually collapse. This accessory is designed to prevent that and help to save you money.