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Fallsway Equipment Company News

Fallsway Equipment has been part of the Akron community since 1959. Learn about the latest news and recent events at Fallsway Equipment.

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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What to Consider Before Selecting Fleet Management Tools

There are a lot of factors to consider before selecting the right fleet management tool. It could be an aging forklift fleet, incomplete maintenance records, or limited access to repairs. On top of that, customers’ demands and expectations are growing. These challenges have caused many fleet managers to rethink their overall fleet management strategy for the future.

From online purchasing to telematics, what should you start to consider when selecting the right tools for fleet management? We have six factors you should consider before starting your search

Think Digital

New technology has made many changes in the material handling industry. It has also brought about new ways to manage your fleet, all online. Many material handling providers are still using older established internal methods or perhaps not storing the information online at all. Think internally and question your existing processes. Consider moving away from paper records and move towards something online.

Scope Out Your Weak Points and Requirements

What is the minimum you need today, and what are your future requirements? When you are considering optimizing your forklift fleet, do not just solve the challenges of today. Take the time to map out your future, both the positive and the negative. Consider solving today’s problem but once that is complete, what is next?

Centralize Your Tools

Once you have your forklift fleet management requirements and needs, you may begin your search. Always begin your search with common platforms that allow you to achieve your multiple goals, such as reviewing fleet management invoicing and your fleet data usage in one location. Centralizing your tools with one supplier is key to having an easier time with your fleet management process. You will also have more time available as the time it takes to gather information is shortened. 

Ensure Around the Clock Access

Being available during emergencies is critical to keeping your operations running smoothly. Need to order parts or schedule emergency maintenance at three in the morning? You simply cannot afford to wait the weeks, days, or even hours necessary to get that forklift back in operation. Make sure that the forklift fleet management solution you choose is available to you at any time of day, or night.

Reliable Offline Support

Very similar to our fourth factor, connecting offline is just as important as being able to connect online. Every warehouse is unique with different challenges, online support may not always have the right solution. Having an online solution is ideal, but make sure that you have a solution available that can help you on-site and in-person too.

Run a Yearly Analysis

Much like scheduled forklift maintenance, your forklift fleet management process should also be under regular maintenance. Ensure the solution is still working for you year after year. A solution may have worked many years ago, but does it still work as effectively today? Does that solution that does still work today, work tomorrow or a year from now? Remember to review your processes and remember that it could always be improved.

In case you missed it, MCFA offers a plethora of tools that fit all these requirements, called Lift Truck Solutions. Click here to read our last blog covering these tools.

Whatever solution you choose, take these steps to ensure it works for your business. Unsure of where to begin? Drop a comment below or contact Fallsway today! We are always here to help.

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Learn How to Manage your Forklift Fleet with These Digital Tools

Today’s economic environment is built on efficiency, it is critical to make the most out of your operation and efficiently track your fleet. In today’s blog learn how Lift Truck Solutions offers digital tools to maximize your productivity as well as simplifying your day-to-day processes.

Many factors are considered when selecting a Fleet Management solution ranging from ease-of-use to a one-stop unified tool. Read today’s blog to learn how Lift Truck Solutions can help your business.

What is Lift Truck Solutions?

Lift Truck Solutions is a tool offered through MCFA’s dealer network, it is a unified and complete platform that’s main goal is to connect dealers, business users, and their equipment. It helps improve and simplify the entire service and data management experience, which directly improves productivity and lowers time managing paperwork.

Available through one portal location, Lift Truck Solutions consists of five different management tools that provides customers and dealers a complete view of their fleet usage, maintenance, and related costs, regardless of what their forklift make, or model may be.

Fleet Track – Centralized Fleet Reporting

Many warehouses today have fleets that consist of various ages, sizes, and brands of forklifts. Keeping track of each individual truck’s usage, repair schedules, and time spent on maintenance can be daunting. How do you determine when the best time to repair, relocate, or replace your fleet is? Fleet Track analyzes this for you and provides real-time data across your fleet.

Fleet Track is a comprehensive fleet management tool that can provide the following for you and your business:

  • An overview of all your lift trucks in one cloud-based location
  • A user-friendly interface with an emphasis on functionality that generates a complete view of your equipment.
  • The ability to quickly view and access your expenses and assets, analyze spending over a variety of date ranges, as well as track specific equipment hours.
  • Real-time data about your fleet, which allows you to make the most educated decision possible about each of your lift trucks, regardless of brand

One Bill – Centralized Billing

One Bill is an easy-to-use invoice management system that takes away the hassle that comes from managing fleet cost data across multiple locations. This tool offers the following:

  • Provides large customers with the ability to standardize billing agreements and consolidates invoices from multiple customer locations into an easy-to-read electronically billed statement.
  • Ensures that all dealers who service a customer, no matter the location, follow the same standards and billing guidelines-avoiding unnecessary invoice processing and headache on your end.

Service Dispatch – Easy Service Requests

Requesting service for your forklift’s does not have to be a difficult or lengthy process. With Service Dispatch, you can manage all your forklift service needs all through one location, including all your forklift brands. The benefits are as the following:

  • Provides a unified view of your service requests. Service may be requested from a mobile device, laptop, or tablet and your request is automatically routed to us at Fallsway or your local service provider.
  • Digital Management of your service needs in a cloud-based service. Through the online portal, you may request service, fill in paperwork plus required information, and finally submit your order. This service allows you to attach photos and documents that may be needed with your request. You may even sign up for text alerts notifying you when your vehicle is finished being repaired.
  • Once the repair is complete, you may review the work order information and metrics that allow you to manage your forklift fleet service needs more easily.

Parts Store

The MCFA store has the parts you need, quickly access and order parts all online through the Parts Store.

  • Easily check parts availability and pricing for over 4.2 million replacement parts, regardless of your forklift make and model.
  • Log in 24/7, with an ability to track your shipment.
  • View MCFA’s massive parts inventory with a user-friendly interface.

Repair Estimator

Finally, the Repair Estimator is a tool used by Fallsway and other MCFA dealers. It helps ensure every quote you receive from an authorized MCFA dealer has a unified look and is user-friendly so your billing department can process the invoice as efficiently as possible.

Once the quote is complete you will be able to accept or deny any part of the quote directly from your mobile device, laptop, or tablet.

Unified Solution

While each one of these tools provides incredible benefits, the real benefit is leveraging these tools together. Combined in a single user interface, the solution allows data to flow freely between all applications. This allows you to receive a complete view of your fleet usage, expenses, service, and repair all in one central location.

Interested in Learning More?

We pride ourselves at Fallsway for being a complete service provider, have a question about anything mentioned in this blog? Leave a comment below or contact us today!

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When Should You Update Your Forklift Fleet?

Read this short guide to learn when you should replace, retire, relocate, or retain your forklifts.

Reliability is often the most sought-after trait by fleet managers. Warehouses need a forklift fleet that is reliable, and the best fleet managers know that this does not happen by accident. A reliable fleet is built proactively, with increased attention to planned maintenance and a keen observance on the fleet’s data.

Even with the fleet dialed in and charted, it may be still difficult to know when the optimal time to replace, retire, relocate, or retain certain forklifts. Replacing a forklift too soon means you risk not getting the most of your investment. Replace a forklift too late and you may risk an expensive and time-consuming breakdown.

So how do you know when to replace?

Breakdowns

A forklift past its prime may cost you more than you realize. After many years of service, you may experience worn forks, damaged structures, or hydraulic leaks. And when it comes to forklift maintenance, as the old saying goes, sometimes when it rains, it pours. Once breakdowns begin happening, it may be difficult to troubleshoot the issue and manage the costs effectively to keep everything running smoothly.

If you experience issues with a “trouble asset” and struggle to avoid downtime, it may be time to replace that forklift.

Downtime: The Actual Cost of a Breakdown

Breakdowns cost far more than the immediate price of the repair, it can also cost valuable time and significantly decrease the warehouse’s productivity. Minimizing forklift downtime is crucial, as unwanted breakdowns can heavily impact productivity. If a forklift breaks down, you may need to run a shift with one less operator, limiting productivity and increasing stress on the remaining operators.

To avoid any unnecessary downtime, it is important for you to focus on planned maintenance. Keep that in mind and always keep up with any recommended service for your forklift.  

Plan Your Exit Strategy

When it is time to replace a forklift in your fleet you must plan carefully. First, it is important to proactively plan an exit strategy for your new forklift. Consider the environment in which the forklift will operate. Will it be used in a general environment or a high-use environment? The general guideline to follow for most forklifts is to replace a forklift around 10,000 hours, a high-usage environment is around 8,000 hours. But how will you track that usage?

Tracking your Fleet’s Utilization & Repairs

It is important to keep records of maintenance history and track the utilization rate for each forklift. When your forklift utilization rate goes over ninety percent, it is typically an overworked forklift. Often action is required, or you may need to add an additional forklift to your fleet.

Keeping detailed service records and tracking utilization rates can be difficult to perform when done manually, so we recommend utilizing a fleet management system. The current recommended fleet management system is Fleet Track.

Fleet Track offers a practical and efficient fleet management tool that provides a user-friendly interface and enhanced functionality to generate a comprehensive overview of your entire forklift fleet. The program also allows you to track utilization rates for each forklift, and the data collected can help guide you to make important decisions on whether to retire, replace, retain or relocate a forklift based on its cost per hour and utilization rate.

Using data to make the most educated decisions about your forklift will help you save time and money while increasing your efficiency and productivity. Using a fleet management system to collect and analyze that data can help you make the most out of your forklift fleet in the easiest way possible.

Have any questions? Contact Fallsway today!

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Jungheinrich Rental Program: Go-To Source for Warehouse Material Handling

Being flexible is often a trait of successful businesses. Whether it is seasonal peaks, unexpected changes in operations, or sudden breakdowns of your lift trucks, Jungheinrich offers a solution: Just Rent. With a robust inventory of all their electric products as well as specialized reach trucks, order pickers, and turret trucks, Jungheinrich’s rental program is your go-to source for warehouse material handling.

Rent for Added Flexibility

When you are looking at your options for rental forklifts, we know you need trucks that are energy-efficient, responsive, and operator friendly. Jungheinrich’s expertise in both forklift technologies and design provide excellent productivity for your business.

Key advantages:

  • Longer run times on one battery charge
  • Intuitive controls for easy and precise operations
  • Lower total cost of ownership

Available Trucks

Turret Trucks: Capacities up to 3,400 lbs. Lift heights up to 570”

Order Pickers: Capacities up to 3,000 lbs. Lift heights up to 366”

Reach Trucks: Capacities up to 4,500 lbs. Lift heights up to 450”

Available Options: Warehouse Navigation, Order Picker Aisle Guidance, Freezer Conditioning

Different Truck Options

Freezer Conditioning

Includes display with integrated heater and a wire mesh mast guard designed to withstand cold environments, available on ALL models.

Order Picker Aisle Guidance

Another available option is wire guidance with programmable performance options that can be tuned to your operation, including travel speed and lift height control by way of an RFID aisle transponder.

“2 Shifts 1 Charge” Program

Experience longer run times with Jungheinrich – up to two shifts on one battery charge. Experience the productivity and reliability that your business demands.

Your Trusted Source

Whether it is tomorrow or 6 months from now, Jungheinrich’s rental program is here to keep your business running at peak conditions.

Fallsway’s Rental Fleet

Click here to view our Rental Equipment. In addition to our extensive in-house offerings, we also have the capability to pull from the National Fleet program for more unique trucks.

Contact Fallsway Equipment today for:

  • Quick response times for rental requests
  • Return rentals as needed
  • Extend your rentals for added flexibility
  • Comprehensive rental service
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When to Replace Your Forklift Forks

Seemingly indestructible, forklift forks are often forgotten about when considering equipment maintenance and workplace safety. However, considering how much weight they lift, normal wear, and damage they endure every day, it is important to know how to inspect and when to replace your forklift forks.

If a damaged or worn-down fork is not noticed and replaced, it is in jeopardy of snapping and dropping the load, which would result in:

  • Damaged goods
  • Injure operator
  • Forklift downtime

Fork Inspection

Not only are regular inspections the best way to proactively avoid costly factors associated with work failure, but they are also required by OSHA and the Industrial Truck Standards Foundation (ITSDF).

Firstly, OSHA requires daily inspection of the condition of the forks as part of their Forklift Pre-Operational Inspection Checklist. ITSDF requires a yearly inspection, repair, and testing of forks done by a knowledgeable and trained individual (ANSI/ITSDF B-56.1).

When to Replace Forks

forklift fork breakdown

Damaged

Replace forklift forks when there is damage, including:

  • Surface cracks
  • Bent shank, blade, or hooks
  • Uneven blade height
  • Non-operational position lock

Wear

The constant loading/unloading of cargo and repositioning of forks will cause the metal on the blade, shank, and hooks to wear down over time. Harder to identify than damage, fork wear requires use of a caliper to determine if replacement is necessary.

How to Find the Wear of the Fork Blade:
Step 1: Set caliper by measuring thickness of fork shank
Step 2: Without adjusting caliper, position caliper over forklift arm blade (2” from inside of heel)

when to replace forklift forks worn down forks

If back teeth of caliper pass freely over blade of fork, replace the fork.
If back teeth of caliper hit the blade, the fork does not need replaced.

How to Find the Wear of the Fork Hooks:

when to replace forklift fork worn out hooks

With nearly 30% of forks failing to meet safety standards, inspecting and knowing when to replace forklift forks can save your operation significant time and money.

Schedule a FREE inspection or order forklift forks today!

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Solutions for Protecting your Lift Truck

In today’s world forklift abuse is costly but preventable. Learning about the main causes of abuse and the proper ways to prevent them can increase both safety and finances for your operations. In today’s blog, we will discuss four cost-efficient solutions for eliminating and preventing lift truck abuse.

Worn/Cracked Forklift Tires

Worn or cracked tires can cause jarring impacts to the wheel, axle components, load, and operator, causing damage and putting your employees at risk. Be sure to examine the tires on a regular basis and replace them at the first sign of damage.

Demanding applications require a specific tire for maximum performance. When working in heavy-duty applications make sure your tires are right for the job.

Impact Damage

Major truck components such as tires, wheels, forks, body panels, attachments, and backrests suffer when forklifts encounter impact on product and surroundings due to traveling carelessly or too fast.

Assign operators to specific lift trucks in your facility. This will help the operators to familiarize themselves with the equipment and be able to monitor habits and usage. 

Additional safety options are available such as impact monitor, vehicle speed limiters, and keyless access systems. These may help to reduce impact damage and monitor your lift truck usage in the facility.

Transmission Failure

Forklift operators who ride the inching pedal can cause excessive damage to the transmission.

Train your operators on the correct usage of this pedal. This pedal should ONLY be used when approaching a rack. They should apply the brakes while also revving the engine (engaging the hydraulics). The brake pedal is used for regular stopping of the forklift when the hydraulics are not in use.

Premature Fork Wear

Operating with worn tires can cause premature wear to the bottom of your lift truck’s forks.

The American National Standards Institute(ANSI) and Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF) require forks to be replaced when the heel is worn more than 10%.

Set up routine fork inspections to ensure that everything is operating safely.

Remember, the costs of forklift abuse can put a massive dent in your company’s bottom line. Protect your investments, protect your lift trucks.

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Lithium Ion-Power Solutions

In early January Jungheinrich announced the launch of its Jungheinrich Lithium-ion battery technology. When compared against traditional batteries, Lithium-ion offers superior energy efficiency, zero maintenance, and longer life cycles providing greater uptime and productivity.

Today the batteries span across more than 40 electric forklifts across the Jungheinrich product line. Lithium-ion technology provides greater energy efficiency than traditional lead-acid technologies. They provide a greater depth of discharge and a constant voltage, which means it offers stronger power even while the battery is at a low charge. The batteries’ high level of efficiency when charging, plus the use of energy recuperation technologies while braking, combines to offer more than 20 percent in energy savings for your business.

Jenna Reed, a Product Marketing Manager at Jungheinrich had this to say, “We’re excited to launch our Lithium-ion battery power solutions to the North American market. The Jungheinrich Lithium-ion battery technology combines proven technology with an efficient battery management system. The combination is extremely powerful, translating into greater run times and increased productivity. Customers who are seeking to transition from lead-acid to Lithium-ion technology can also save considerably on overhead expenses, such as battery supply, chargers and in some instances even fleet size.”

These batteries can last up to three times longer than the traditional batteries of old. Their remarkable endurance and consistently high efficiency can save on power costs. The new Lithium-Ion technology is also maintenance-free and does not emit gas. This capability eliminates the need for battery care such as maintenance and infrastructure needs, resulting in a lower fleet management cost depending on your application.

To learn more about Jungheinrich’s Lithium-Ion solutions, contact us today!

https://www.fallsway.com/contact-us

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Check Out Our Newly Redesigned Rentals Website!

We are excited to announce our redesigned rentals website is live! The site includes changes to navigation, with newly added dropdown menus for quick access. We have also changed the structure of our content, breaking down our rentals into categories such as forklift rentals, boom lift rentals, telehandler rentals, etc. For our customer’s convenience we have made the website easier to navigate, faster, and now allows the customer to request a personalized quote for their operation.

When we started the project, we had a ton of ideas,  many of them from our own customers. We wanted a more modern website that allows our customers to not only see our rental models but also see the prices for daily, weekly, and monthly rates. Once that was done, the next step was to develop a cart system allowing our customers to request the quotes on one or multiple rentals. Once that was finished many other smaller but impactful changes were made, all to make your experience on our Rental site that much better.

So, go ahead, click here to try it out. We hope you like the changes! Our rental department is always still available at 800-758-5204 if you have any questions.

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What to Know About Liftgates

Identifying the right liftgate model for your application can be a daunting task when you consider the number of vehicle configurations that are available today. To help find that perfect match, a few questions must first be answered.

What will the liftgate be lifting?

Knowing what will be lifted is the first step in determining what lifting capacity, platform size, and additional options are required. This first step is critical in narrowing down the numerous options that are available, but often other factors restrict compatibility even further.

When determining lift capacity, the general rule of thumb is to round up, and quite generously. The total sum of weight that will be put onto the platform must also be considered. For instance, a transporter may have a 1200lb object that they will be moving but once that object goes on top of a pallet jack and is then moved, that could easily add 200 more lbs.  Now the weighted total is at 1400lbs, but the original lifting capacity was 1500lbs. This is a situation where you round up the 1500lbs to 2000 lbs. to accommodate for the weight more appropriately.

Required lifting capacity will also greatly affect the types of liftgates a user will want to look at. Consider if the liftgate will only ever be lifting 700 lbs, then that user will have a wider range of lifts to choose from than if the necessary capacity is 1800 lbs.

Platform Size

Platform sizes have been traditionally listed as width x depth.  Since the platform width is generally dictated by the width of the vehicle, the optional size is primarily “loading depth”. Many styles of liftgates offer varying degrees of depth.

When determining the necessary area needed, make sure to account for all variables. For instance, the load width may be listed at 85 inches wide but if the model is equipped with a self-close arm, the true width may only be 82-83 inches where the arm is located.

Platform Material

Many liftgate manufacturers offer multiple variations of platform materials to suit various applications. Haulers of spillable liquids will need a material that allows liquid to pass through and operators working in a highly corrosive area will need a platform resistant to corrosion.

Will the vehicle need to load or unload at a raised dock?

Many operators face the challenge of needing to unload and unload at a raised dock and at ground level. Various liftgate styles solve this problem in various ways. Tuck under lifts store beneath the bed of the vehicle to never interfere with the rear of the truck approaching a dock. Certain models can offer a “drop-down” folding platform to a non-obstructive position. In some scenarios the truck owner’s bed height may be lower than the height of the dock, these situations require a rail gate model with an “above bed” option.

What Are the Vehicle Dimensions and Specifications?

Vehicle specifications will also dictate which liftgate models are appropriate. Among other considerations, body width and bed height are also important factors in the selection process.

Body Width

Straight trucks come in standardized widths ranging from 102 inches down to 80 inches wide. Since most liftgate model charts are sorted by body width, this is a crucial dimension to know before making your selection of liftgate.

Body Height

The truck’s bed height is another important dimension.

The first reason is most liftgate models have a maximum range of travel. This “travel” of a liftgate dictates how far the platform may be raised or lowered. Therefore, if the bed height of the vehicle is greater than the maximum travel of the liftgate, they are most likely not compatible.

Another factor that bed height affects is clearance. If an operator is looking to have a Tuckunder lift installed, then the vehicle must have a bed height tall enough to allow for the liftgate to lower, fold, and store underneath.

There is an abundance of variations of liftgates available for flatbed, stake, and van bodies. Truck owners should look for a liftgate that fits their vehicle and is suited for the job at hand.

For more information, contact Fallsway Equipment today!

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