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How to Achieve Less Forklift Downtime

Any company that uses forklifts for material handling knows just how fast problems can snowball. Whether you have one truck, ten trucks, or one hundred trucks in your fleet the tools and approach to minimizing downtime are all the same. Today we are talking about how you can minimize your forklift downtime by following these simple tips.

DATA RECORDING

Simply put, the best way to achieve less forklift downtime is through effective data recording. Each company should be taking records of each forklift, as each forklift is different and will have its own unique problems. It is our recommendation to keep a separate record of each forklift. These records should show purchase or lease date, date obtained, brand, model number, serial number, all PM checkups, any part orders, and all repairs done by the service technician. Finally, you should keep track of engine hours, so you know how often the forklift is being used. These records will allow us to take a comprehensive look at your fleet and make informed decisions.

LIFE EXPECTANCY / COST PER HOUR

On average, the life expectancy of a forklift is about 10,000 hours. If you are running eight-hour shifts that averages out to around 2,000 hours per year or five years. Properly maintaining your forklift can ensure maximum uptime as well as extending its life beyond normal expectancy.

There are currently more than one million forklifts in use across America. It is estimated almost half of all forklifts in operation are operating at a higher cost per hour than needed and costing companies millions of dollars in unnecessary repairs. To know if you have a faulty forklift you must know two things, the ownership and maintenance cost of that forklift. Ownership cost is the difference between delivered cost and its residual value when turned in. For example, a truck that originally cost $15,000, is four years old and has accumulated 8,500 hours. Its trade-in value is now roughly $6,000. Subtract the trade-in value from the original cost it is now worth $9,000, the ownership cost, then divide by the engine hours. You will learn that this forklift costs $1.06 per operating hour.

The cumulative maintenance cost is a lot easier to calculate. Cumulative maintenance cost is the total of maintenance labor and material cost from the date of purchase. Let’s give another example, say your maintenance costs are $11,250. Again, divide this by the engine hours(8,500) to get $1.32, the maintenance cost per hour.

Add both costs together and you get your cost per hour to operate and maintain, in our example, the total would be $2.38 per hour.

KNOW WHEN TO REPLACE YOUR FORKLIFT

We have seen many businesses make the mistake of keeping a forklift that has outlived its usefulness. Or on the other spectrum, without information at their disposal, we see companies replacing forklifts at a certain age regardless of condition. The problem with this is that these companies are not taking a data-driven approach.

This chart is a good reference point on when to replace, as we can see the most cost-effective time to replace your forklift is when ownership cost meets maintenance cost. Past this point, the maintenance cost will rise and you may spend more than necessary to keep that forklift operating. Keep in mind this graph DOES NOT include the productivity lost and cost of downtime when the forklift is being repaired.

ENSURE YOUR FORKLIFT IS RIGHT FOR THE APPLICATION

Your business and material handling processes may change over time, but do your forklifts? Another common pain point we see is that the forklift specifications do not match the jobs they are expected to do. Perhaps you’ve outgrown your warehouse area and have started to store material on the floor or on the racks that may be farther than in the past.

For maximum effectiveness, your forklifts need to match the job required. If they don’t you could be spending more than necessary on keeping an overtaxed forklift running or spending extra on a forklift that is too powerful. You may also have too many forklifts and need to make cuts.

It is recommended to perform a thorough audit every three years, call and request one from us today! We can audit your operations at no cost.

EFFECTIVE PM PLANNING

It’s easy to relate forklifts back to cars because they have similar problems. You know that you wouldn’t drive your car for years without changing the oil or filters, so would you also do that to a forklift? You want to keep your car running well, so you maintain a proper maintenance schedule.

The same holds true with forklifts, if you follow a planned maintenance routine, you can reduce downtime and overall operating costs by catching problems before they happen. Small problems snowball, one day it’s a minor repair the next it’s causing significant downtime and problems for your operation.

Interested in learning more about PM’s? Contact our PM department today to get scheduled!

STAY INFORMED

With each forklift purchase comes an operation and maintenance manual, and within that you will find a maintenance section with scheduled service intervals. It will also provide service details on proper replacement fluids and service speculations. To ensure your forklift stays properly maintained for as long as possible, follow the manual.

Missing your manual? Contact us today to provide a new one!

IN CONCLUSION

Taking the proper steps to reduce forklift downtime can look overwhelming, but the money and time saved from reducing downtime are worthwhile.  If you are interested in learning more or would like to speak with a Territory Manager in your area, then contact us today!

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Forklift Training

In today’s blog we will discuss the importance of forklift training and give an overview of the forklift training services Fallsway provides. Firstly, the primary reason we offer forklift training is safety. Forklifts are large industrial machines that can cause problems, fast. Similar to cars, it is necessary to acquire the proper certification and training before working with these lift trucks. Help reduce accidents and meet OSHA requirements by training and certifying your forklift operators.

Next, we will discuss the various training services we offer, including classroom training, on-site training, and online training.

Classroom Training

The first service we offer is classroom training, the traditional style of forklift operator certification. Regardless of experience, we work directly with you in a classroom-style environment to get your OSHA-compliant forklift operator certification.

  • Classroom Training and driving evaluation (1 Day Class)
  • Receive your certificate of completion and forklift license that is valid for three years.
  • Classes run on the first Tuesday of every month.
  • Class is held at Fallsway Equipment Headquarters (1277 DeValera Ave. Akron, OH 44310)
  • 4-hour training class starting promptly at 8:30 A.M.
  • $125 per student.

On-Site Training

The next service we offer is on-site training, the easiest way to get you and/or your employees OSHA certified and trained to operate forklifts. We will do the on-site training at your location, with driving training and a certificate of completion.

  • On-site training at your location.
  • Driving training and certificate of completion for each eligible student.
  • $750 for five students, $200 for each additional trainee, maximum class size of 10. For each additional type of equipment, there will be an additional $50 charge.
  • Forklift certification is valid for three years.

Train the Trainer

Take on the trainer role for yourself with our “train-the-trainer course”. Take control of covering the OSHA required content and certifying forklift operators.

  • $675 per person with additional operator materials available for purchase from our trainer at the time of training.

Please note for all on-site training courses:

  • A fee of $75 is charged when onsite training is performed for travel expenses for the trainer.
  • Additional travel expenses may apply for any overnight stays.
  • Saturday training is an extra $100.
  • After-hours training is an extra $100 (Before 8 AM or after 5 PM)

Online Training

Save time and enjoy the convenience of having OSHA forklift certification work around you and your operation’s schedule. With Lift Operator Training, a forklift operator may complete all forklift training classroom lessons online. The course will last 2.5 hours and covers everything from basic to advanced safety operations for both sit-down and stand-up lifts. Once you complete the course, a Fallsway representative will be available to administer the OSHA required driving safety course. This safety course can be completed at your location with your equipment.

  • Fit OSHA certification into your operation’s schedule by completing the online course at your convenience, do 5 minutes increments, 10 minutes, or all at once. It is up to you!
  • Schedule your OSHA required safety driving test at your convenience, not around the next training class available.
  • Accurately track OSHA compliance all online, it comes with 24/7 access to operator certificates and digital wallet cards.
  • OSHA certification is valid for three years.

Interested in signing up for forklift training? Click here to go to our forklift training overview page.

Interested in online training? Click here to go to our partnered program to complete your Lift Operator Training Program. 

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

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Forklift Measurements

Before you operate a forklift, you should be aware of the crucial measurements that determine if you can perform a task safely. This blog will address the importance of knowing the measurements of the mast and forks, and how those measurements affect your operation.

First, some of the potential hazards that all forklift operators should know of:

  • Striking racks, semi-trailers, and truck ceilings
  • Striking lamps, ceiling fixtures, and heaters
  • Falling objects
  • Any other situational hazard

Next, you should be aware of the dynamic ranges of your vehicle and determine whether your forklift can safely operate in the provided space. To determine this, you must know a few measurements such as Overall Lowered Height (OALH), Overall Raised Height (OARH), Free Fork Height (FFH), and Maximum Fork Height (MFH). With this knowledge, you are able to safely determine if the forklift can get the job done and if any other steps are necessary. In the next section, we will discuss what each measurement means and any other potential hazards we are looking for.

Overall Lowered Height

Potential Hazards include: Overhead obstructions including doorways and ceiling fixtures.

Overall Lowered Height (OALH) takes into consideration any doorways, low-hanging fixtures, or low ceilings that an operator may encounter. Each operator should be aware of the height of the mast when it is lowered and how this may impact operations. You may also have to take into consideration what will happen when the forklift is inside of a truck and has to raise the forks to retrieve double-stacked pallets.

Overall Raised Height

Potential Hazards include: Roof of semi-trailer or truck, ceilings, overhead fixtures including lights and heaters.

Overall Raised Height (OARH) is the maximum extended mast height with the forks at their highest point and the clearance required with such an extension. Similar to OALH, we are concerned with any obstacles that could impede operations. This includes any overhead obstructions that could be within striking distance. When dealing with the OARH it is recommended to never travel with the load elevated or exceed the stated capacity at the highest stack heights.

Free Fork Height

Potential Hazards: Striking racking or pallets. Striking the roof of a tractor-trailer or truck.

Free Fork Height (FFH) is the height that your forks can reach without extending the mast. You can determine this height by determining the fork height required to load and clear the top pallet from a double stack while also within the confines of the truck or semi-trailer you are dealing with.

Maximum Fork Height

Potential Hazards: Striking racking or pallets, collision, falling objects.

Maximum Fork Height (MFH) is, you guessed it, the height of your highest pallet position. While this can seem obvious it is still crucial to take an accurate measurement. If any variables are changed you could potentially be in a dangerous operation. You should always know the maximum height your forks can reach with the mast extended. Next, evaluate whether your forklift can lift the load to the highest stack with enough clearance for a safe operation.

Summary

Knowing the necessary measurements is critical to any operation. While this information may be repetitive to those of us with experience in the industry, it is critical to remember to double-check every variable when a new change is introduced. Interested in learning more? Contact us today to speak directly with a salesperson.

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Online Shopping in the Material Handling World

Fifty-eight percent of Americans prefer to do their shopping online, but people use more than just Amazon these days. Read today’s blog to learn how online shopping can meet your material handling needs.

Every day the number of Americans who prefer to do their shopping online increases. US retail e-commerce sales are expected to increase by up to 7% through 2024. This rise in online shopping is due to various reasons including convenience and efficient solutions for your average American.

This preference stays true in the material handling world, where people find online shopping to be faster and more convenient in today’s busy world. This stays true for a few reasons:

Larger Inventory

Consumers are more educated than ever and do not want to settle for a product that does not meet their needs. Searching for products online, for something as simple as a forklift replacement part, is easy with the help of product search boxes and part number lookup.

Faster Shopping

Purchasing products is ideal for anyone on a tight schedule, especially for managers on a tight schedule. When shopping online you can view the availability of the product and if you could benefit from reordering previous items.

Scheduled Deliveries

If you need to make purchases on an ongoing basis, then online shopping is the way to go. Set up reoccurring orders leaving you one less thing to worry about. When you schedule deliveries it also allows you to minimize inventory space in your warehouse while also having everything available you need on-hand.

Informed Decisions

Shopping online allows for more informed decisions, as you can read product descriptions, reviews, product specifications, and other critical details.

Easy Returns

Returns are easier than ever with online shopping, simply send the product back in the original packaging back to the manufacturer. Since all purchase information is stored digitally, you will not need to hang onto paper receipts to make that return.

Always Open

Many of us are working from 9-5 and may not have time to shop. Shopping online allows you to browse parts online and order what you need when you have the time to do so.

An Online Parts Store

Fallsway offers an online parts store providing you with quick and easy access to genuine OEM and competitive parts.

The Part Store allows you to:

  • Order replacement parts for your forklift fleet, all online. Parts available regardless of the make or model of the forklift.
  • Check availability and pricing for over 4.3 million forklift parts on your own schedule.
  • Order your forklift parts with the click of a button whenever you need them.
  • Obtain tracking information for added peace of mind.

Have further questions? Contact us today!

Interested in learning more or have a question? Visit Parts Store to learn more.

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Class 4 Model Lineup Expansion

Cat Lift Trucks and Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks recently announced that they are adding to their class 4, sit-down internal combustion tire product line to provide more options for their customer bases.

These additions will include 7,000 lb. and 8,000 lb. models, which provide industry-leading advantages in maneuverability achieved through the chassis design. This versatility provides various advantages, they excel in a number of industries such as general warehousing, food products, trucking and warehousing, building materials and garden supplies, and much more.

These models were developed for the needs of the market, providing the solutions your customers need and the return on investment that is expected with the Cat Lift Trucks and Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks.

Built to Last

Display Diagnostics – On-board diagnostics provide immediate truck status, helping streamline the process of troubleshooting while minimizing the time needed to address any potential issues.

Cooling System – Includes electronic engine protection and warning system to monitor radiator fluid and transmission oil temperatures, bottom bypass airflow design to increase airflow, and a reliable aluminum radiator for crossflow cooling.

Cushioned Stability Control – A rubber damper mounted between the steer axle and frame can provide a maintenance-free system to add lateral stability, which means an operator can maintain productivity with confidence.

Reduced Vibration – The engine is mounted onto rubber cushion dampeners that absorb vibrations from the floor, helping increase operator comfort and safety.

Trustworthy Performance

GK25 IC Engine – Provides high levels of torque and horsepower keeping compliance with all CARB and EPA emissions regulations.

Electronic Fuel Injection System – Provides high levels of torque at lower RPM levels helping to find the perfect balance of performance and fuel efficiency.

Fuel Saver Mode – Toggle switch located in the dashboard that can be easily activated to save on fuel costs without sacrificing travel speed of the truck. *Optional for Mitsubishi Models.

Sales Resources

Cat lift trucks 2C7000-2C8000

Mitsubishi forklift trucks FGC35CN-FGC40CN

For More Information

If you have a question or would like more information, contact us! We will connect you with a Territory Manager in your region who will be able to provide more information.

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E-Commerce in the Material Handling World

Fifty-eight percent of Americans prefer to do their shopping online, but people use more than just Amazon these days. Read today’s blog to learn how online shopping can meet your material handling needs.

Every day the number of Americans who prefer to do their shopping online increases. US retail e-commerce sales are expected to increase by up to 7% through 2024. This rise in online shopping is due to various reasons including convenience and efficient solutions.

This preference stays true in the material handling world, where people find online shopping to be faster and more convenient in today’s busy world. This stays true for a few reasons:

1. Larger Inventory

Consumers are more educated than ever and do not want to settle for a product that does not meet their needs. Searching for products online, for something as simple as a forklift replacement part, is easy with the help of product search boxes and part number lookup.

2. Faster Shopping

Purchasing products is ideal for anyone on a tight schedule, especially for warehouse managers on a tight schedule. When shopping online you can view the availability of the product and if you could benefit from reordering previous items.

3. Scheduled Deliveries

If you need to make purchases on an ongoing basis, then online shopping is the way to go. Set up reoccurring orders leaving you one less thing to worry about. When you schedule deliveries it also allows you to minimize inventory space in your warehouse while also having everything available you need on-hand.

4. Informed Decisions

Shopping online allows for more informed decisions, as you can read product descriptions, reviews, product specifications, and other critical details.

5. Easy Returns

Returns are easier than ever with online shopping, simply send the product back in the original packaging back to the manufacturer. Since all purchase information is stored digitally, you will not need to hang onto paper receipts to make that return.

6. Always Open

Many of us work from 9-5 and may not have the time to shop. Shopping online allows you to browse parts online and order what you need when you have the time to do so.

An Online Parts Store

Fallsway offers an online parts store providing you with quick and easy access to genuine OEM and competitive parts.

The Part Store allows you to:

  • Order replacement parts for your forklift fleet, all online. Parts available regardless of the make or model of the forklift.
  • Check availability and pricing for over 4.3 million forklift parts on your own schedule.
  • Order your forklift parts with the click of a button whenever you need them.
  • Obtain tracking information for added peace of mind.

Interested in learning more? Click here to read a PDF with more information.

Have further questions? Contact us today!

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Dock Repair and You: Fallsway’s Dock Services

One-way Fallsway continues to be a solution provider is by offering dock repair and services. When your dock needs service, we know you need it as fast as possible. Trust our team to handle repairs and service for all areas of your loading dock. In today’s blog, we will discuss our dock equipment service, dock levelers, dock seals, and truck locks.

Dock Equipment Service

A flawlessly working dock is a key component of any warehouse. Once your dock breaks down it can lead to a multitude of other problems. In addition to our warehouse and loading dock equipment, we also offer dock equipment maintenance service.

We offer:

  • Clean debris from pit
  • Inspect leveler for visual cracks
  • Inspect for missing hardware
  • Check for worn or loose fasteners
  • Lubricate all grease fittings and linkages
  • Adjust Dock Leveler for proper operations
  • Adjust Vehicle Restraint for proper operation
  • Inspect Vehicle Restraint safety lights for proper operation
  • Check the condition of dock seal or shelter
  • Inspect for loose or worn dock bumpers
  • Inspect lip and deck for wear or damages

Once our services are completed, a final check is done to ensure your dock will be in top shape. Trust us to ensure your dock problems are a thing of the past. If you would like to sign up for dock equipment service, or learn more about our dock equipment service, click here!

Dock Levelers

A dock leveler is a piece of equipment that is mounted to the dock face or in a pit at the loading dock door allowing movement of vehicles between building and transport vehicle. Fallsway provides Nova dock levelers for our customers, well known for their high-quality design. Their equipment is equipped with top of the line materials, meets all safety regulations, and is affordable. Nova docks levelers are available in mechanical, air-powered, and hydraulic models. This versatility allows your business to choose the best available option for your operation.

Nova Dock Leveler

Dock leveler details include:

  • The operable range is 12” above and 12” below dock level
  • The platform is designed to service out-of-level trailers with up to 4” of flex and remains flush with dock floor
  • Full-width rear hinge in compression with structural channel rear frame supports for added strength
  • Integral maintenance strut is lockout/tagout compliant
  • Positive lip extension
  • Below dock end load capability
  • *We also recommend a Nova Truck Lock for added safety

Interested in learning more about the benefits and features of Nova dock levelers? Click here to find out more information on this PDF!

Dock Seals

Fallsway also partners with Nova Technology to provide dock seals with superior design and materials. Nova’s seals offer a broad range of seals and shelters to fit the needs of your facility from vehicle type to door size to dock height and many more.

Nova Dock Seal

Nova dock seals offer:

  • Provide superior performance and weather resistance
  • Provide the best abrasion resistance, tear strength and service life of comparable fabrics at a more competitive price with NOVA’s MAX-60™ fabric
  • Provide long life and excellent resiliency characteristics with high-density urethane foam
  • Select grade pressure treated kiln-dried lumber
  • Shelters include steel support bumpers
  • Heavy-duty galvanized mounting hardware
  • Seals feature brass grommets with spur washers for venting
  • Velcro® brand fasteners
  • All sew lines are backtracked with locked stitching
  • Heavy bonded polyester multifilament thread with a UV protectant

Perfect for beverage, paper products, distribution center business, or another line of business that requires protection against the elements, Nova dock seals will get the job done. Interested in learning more?

Click here to see a Nova Dock Seals selection chart.

Click here to see dock seals and shelters.

Click here for Nova Dock Seals FPH series specifications.

Truck Locks

Not only do we carry Nova levelers and seals, but we also offer Nova truck locks. Truck locks offer the ability to reduce a company’s risk of injury, property damage and downtime in your shipping and receiving. With several models to choose from, we are confident you will get the right lock for your application.

Nova Truck Locks

Nova truck locks offer the following:

  • 10″ or 7 1/2″ retracted height… Restrains more types of trucks than anyone else.
  • Lowest Cost of Ownership in The Business!
  • Extremely low maintenance, with very few moving parts
  • All Activation Components INSIDE the building… Not Exposed to Weather.
  • Non-Contact Truck Restraining… No Damage to Trucks… or Dock Wall!
  • Installs at more “non-standard” type docks than anyone else… i.e. brick veneer, concrete curb, block etc.
  • Economical Manual or Pneumatic Operation.
  • Unit cost is “budget-friendly” with excellent ROI.
  • Rust Resistant… zinc plated.
  • Ram Bar yield strength of 100,000 lbs… no deformation.
  • Over 30,000 lbs. of restraining force.
  • Cast in or Bolt-in (Flange) Models.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • Operates in the harshest conditions.
  • Small footprint… not obtrusive to loading dock operations.
  • May lower insurance costs by making your loading docks safer.
See the selection guide above for more information about Nova Truck Locks.

Key Takeaways

From installation to repair, rest assured that Fallsway has your loading dock equipment needs covered. Nova Technology is a leader in dock technology and we proudly work with them to offer you the best products. We currently offer services in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Interested in learning more? Click here to contact us!

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Lithium-Ion Batteries: The Future of the Forklift World

In today’s world, lithium-ion batteries are all around us. They are on our laptops, our watches, our phones, and even our toothbrushes. Lithium-ion batteries can also be found in today’s warehouses and distribution centers. So why are companies and products switching to lithium-ion batteries? In today’s blog, we will discuss the difference between lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries and why warehouse managers are making the switch to lithium-ion batteries.

To begin we must look at the advantages and disadvantages of lead-acid batteries. Keep in mind lead-acid batteries have been in use for over 100 years and are still the most widely used battery in today’s forklift world.

Advantages of lead-acid batteries:

Very cost-efficient.

Reliable.

Easy to recycle.

Heavy enough to act as a counterbalance for the forklift.

Enough energy for two shifts.

Disadvantages of lead-acid batteries:

Long charging times.

Spare batteries for multi-shift operations.

Slower current draw at low charge levels which reduces forklift performance.

Loss of time.

Requires ventilated charging stations because they release harmful gasses while charging.

Risks of exposure to corrosive acid.

Moderately energy efficient.

Maintenance required.

Limited life cycle.

Want to learn more about lead-acid batteries? Read our blog on Tubular versus Plate Lead Acid Batteries!

Next, let us look at lithium-ions advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of lithium-ion batteries:

Enough energy for three shifts.

Shorter charging times.

No more battery exchanges.

No more battery bays are required.

No more maintenance or handling as lithium-ion cells do not require a top-off or any other maintenance procedures.

Higher power density.

Higher energy density.

High energy efficiency.

Longer lasting cycles.

Environmentally friendly.

A variety of types available, several types of lithium-ion cells are available.

Disadvantages of lithium-ion batteries:

Cost is typically more expensive than lead-acid.

Lithium-ion batteries are still considered a developing technology and are constantly changing (This may be an advantage as better solutions will be available in the future as technology changes).

Lead-acid is still the most widely used battery and forklifts are made for that design. Many forklifts must be modified to fit the new lithium-ion battery.

As you can see there are many advantages of using a lithium-ion battery. From phones to forklifts, the pros are increasingly outweighing the cons. Due to this advantage, the amount of development will only increase with time. It is important to note the disadvantages of lithium-ion, as with everything, the pros must be weighed against the cons.

In conclusion, lead-acid versus lithium-ion technology could be summarized as.

Lead-Acid Technology

Long charging times.

Spare batteries for multi-shift apps.

Higher Investment.

Risk in handling heavy batteries.

Loss of time.

Need for special battery bays.

Need for maintenance.

Medium energy efficiency.

Limited life cycle. Environmental issues with acid and lead.

Lithium-Ion Technology

Shorter charging times.

No more extra batteries.

No charging rooms.

No ventilation systems.

No more changing batteries.

No maintenance.

Enough energy for 3 shifts.

More energy efficient.

Longer life cycles.

Environmentally friendly.

Some key indicators that lithium-ion may be the right solution for your operation:

  • Multi-shift operation.
  • Changing batteries all the time.
  • More than one battery per truck for operations.
  • Willingness to opportunity charge.

Some key indicators that lithium-ion may NOT be the right solution for your operation:

  • Currently, lithium-ion batteries are not intended for freezer applications. If the battery falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the charge will be reduced.
  • High temperatures are also something to avoid as it can cause overheating to the battery and cells shortening the lifespan.

When considering integration in an existing warehouse:

  • Power grid/transformer sufficient.
  • Modifications for charging locations may be necessary.
  • Adjustments of internal processes for truck operations may be necessary.
  • Drivers will have to commit to the opportunity charging concept.
  • Safety engineers need to be advised.
  • Unknown power consumption.

Key Takeaways

It is safe to say lithium-ion batteries are the future of the forklift world. The advantages including increased productivity and fewer maintenance requirements have warehouse managers on watch. Now could be the best time to begin considering if lithium-ion is right for your operation.  Consider bringing a Fallsway expert consultant to your facility to see if lithium-ion is the correct choice.

Have any questions? Like to learn more? Contact us today!

Would you like to schedule a Fallsway representative for a facility walkthrough and consultation? Contact us here!

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Winter is Coming: 9 Ways to Prepare your Forklift Fleet for Winter

Winters can be harsh and cause unexpected problems on your forklifts and operators, but once you take the proper precautionary steps in preparation and maintenance you can make it through the winter season. Follow these nine forklift tips to help ensure your fleet makes it through the months ahead.

Cold Weather Is Tough on Batteries.

Have every forklift’s battery and charging system checked and maintained for optimal performance.

Maintain Proper Tire Tread Depth and Tire Pressure.

Once snow and ice become abundant, consider switching to special tires built for winter applications. During the winter months, tire pressure should be checked weekly.

Change The Oil and Filter At Recommended Intervals or Sooner.

Dirty oil can cause a multitude of problems in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a colder climate.

Clean, Flush, and Replace New Antifreeze In the Cooling System.

This should be done every year regardless of weather conditions.

Check Other Critical Fluids and Components.

A technician should check the forklift’s fuel, air, hydraulic, and transmission filters.

Check Your Brakes.

Faulty brakes are a common problem during the er months.

Tune-Up Your System Before Winter Starts.

Winter can make problems worse, including pings, faulty starts, and sluggish performance. Get these problems checked out before winter starts, not after.

Check The Exhaust System For A Carbon Monoxide Leak.

Monoxide leaks can be potentially lethal and are considered very dangerous. Carbon monoxide leaks are especially dangerous in winter months when forklifts are stored inside.

Ensure All Lights Are Working Properly.

This means checking the warning lights, work lights, and tail lights to ensure they are working as they should.

For more information, contact us today! Fill out the form and one of our experts will contact you to receive a free fleet consultation! Or give us a call at (855)-662-4379!

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Tubular Versus Plate Lead Acid Batteries

Have you ever wondered how a lead-acid battery works, what battery is best, and how it makes our machines work? Today’s blog will go over two different types of lead-acid batteries, Tubular Plate versus The Flat Plate battery.

What is a battery?

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy contained within its active materials directly to electric energy. A battery is self-contained and can release energy over a period of days, weeks, months, or even years.

What is a lead-acid battery?

A lead-acid battery is the earliest type of rechargeable battery. It can supply high surge current while still at a low overall weight. This means lead-acid batteries have a relatively large power-to-weight ratio. Lead-acid batteries consist of flat lead plates immersed in a pool of electrolyte. Adding water is a requirement for most types of lead-acid batteries although low maintenance options are available. Improvements in materials and manufacturing methods continue to bring improvements in lead-acid battery energy life and reliability.

What are the different types of lead-acid batteries?

Today’s blog covers two different types of lead-acid batteries, the “Flat Plate battery” versus “The Tubular Battery”. In most cases, the negative plate is almost identical for both models. However, there is a major difference in design and performance. Note that the materials used for both designs are similar as well.

  • Flat Plate Battery: This battery consists of positive and negative plates that are assembled in grids.
  • The Tubular Battery: This battery consists of negative plates like the flat plate except for the positive part of the Tubular battery is made up of spines put underneath the tube packets. It is a much more complex design than the flat plate design.

What is the difference between Flat Plate and Tubular Plate Batteries?

As mentioned previously, there are similarities between the two batteries. However, knowing the difference is key to understanding and is explained below:

  • The basic difference comes from the change in design between the two batteries. As mentioned in section 3 the flat plate battery is simpler compared to the more complex design that comes with The Tubular Battery.
  • Flat plate batteries have a lower life expectancy, as the tubular battery sheds its active material at a slower rate.
  • Tubular batteries have a higher rate of producing then accepting current compared to the simpler flat plate battery. This is because the tubular battery is better suited in dealing with the high charging rates that come with fast charging and any other heavy-duty applications that require a steady sustained current.
  • Choosing a battery may depend on the application. Regular tubular batteries hold heat while flat plate batteries are generally more resistant to heat. Ensure that you have the correct battery for your application, as poor heat dissipation may cause your battery to deteriorate rapidly.

Conclusion

The tubular plate provides energy faster, has a larger electrical capacity, and provides a longer service life than its flat plate counterpart. In short, many highly favor the tubular positive plate design. Over the years advanced processes and machines have heavily reduced costs for the tubular design making it more efficient and easier to fabricate, providing a powerful battery at a competitive cost.

Interested in learning about Lithium-Ion batteries? Check out our previous blog!

If you have a question about lead-acid batteries, leave a comment below or Contact us! We love hearing feedback.

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