Toyota Forklifts TMHU CMS Site Tue, 23 Jan 2018 19:19:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Pros and Cons of Renting a Forklift Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:00:57 +0000 Are you in need of forklift and you don’t know whether you need to rent a forklift rather than buy it? Deciding the procurement method of a forklift can have a lot of long term ramifications on your capital budget, your ROI, and even your operational efficiency. Your concern about making the right decision is well warranted. There are times where renting a forklift makes great sense for a company, but there are other situations where renting a forklift may not be the best option. This list of pros and cons for renting forklifts might help you navigate the complex decision:

Pros of Renting a Forklift

  1. Flexibility

Renting a forklift gives you tremendous flexibility with your operations. If your company is experiencing rapid growth or a decline in business, you can quickly add or remove forklift rentals from your fleet. This flexibility allows you to scale your operations and give you the ability to make adjustments. A forklift rental is also easily exchangeable if you need a different type of forklift at any given point in time.

  1. Maintenance Responsibilities

With most forklift rental suppliers, routine maintenance is included. This can be a fairly large expense comparatively to a forklift you own. Not having to worry about the routine maintenance and wearing relieves your company of managing that responsibility. However, as the rentee, you may still be responsible for paying for any damage done to the forklift while it’s rented by your company.

  1. No Large Upfront Costs

Renting a forklift doesn’t require a down payment, a loan, or to be paid in full like a forklift purchase requires. It take the burden of owning the forklift off you and onto the supplier. A forklift rental is usually a flat weekly or monthly rate depending on how long your rental contract is for. The flat rate makes it easy to budget, especially when you don’t have the unexpected repairs and downtime associated with ownership.

Cons of Renting a Forklift

  1. Location

The location of your company should be a factor when you decide to rent a forklift. If you located far from a metropolitan area or do not have a rental provider near you, you may incur large transportation fees for delivering and picking up equipment. You may also pay more for your weekly or monthly fee to offset the time it takes to travel and perform maintenance on the forklift. Therefore, it may be more beneficial to purchase your forklift if your location is a challenge.

  1. Type of Forklift

A supplier’s forklift rental fleet is usually made up of the most common types of forklifts. If you have a specialized need, the rental supplier may not have the type of forklift that you need. In this case you should purchase the forklift customized to your company’s needs.

  1. High Monthly Cost

A forklift rental will usually have a much high monthly cost comparatively to purchasing or leasing a forklift. The forklift company charges more for rental because they incur the cost of owning the forklift, including the repairs and depreciation. Because the forklift company has to account for these expenses, the monthly price of renting a forklift will be higher.

Taken alone, any one of these pros or cons could be the deciding factor in your decision. But I recommend taking each of these into account and fully understanding each to come to a fully-considered decision. That means, for example, weighting the relative cost with your operational need or understanding that the cost of your location might outweigh potential maintenance savings (or vice versa). Whatever you decide, make sure that you have a dedicated forklift partner and understand that being a good forklift rental partner will make your experience with renting a forklift all the more beneficial.

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The Importance of a Forklift Demo Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:00:38 +0000 When I bought my first car, I did my homework. I researched similar vehicles, evaluating the quality, price, warranty, efficiency, and more. Once I decided on the type of car I wanted, I reached out to dealers and started test driving the cars. Demoing a forklift is a very similar process. As a customer, it is your responsibility to research the type of forklift you need in your facility and the dealerships that sell that type of forklift.

Why Get a Forklift Demo? Genchi Genbutsu – “Go and see for Yourself”

Genchi Genbutsu is a key tool in the Toyota Production System. It means to go and see for yourself. As you prepare to purchase a forklift, you want to be sure it is exactly what you need to accomplish your objectives. Demoing a forklift will give you first-hand insight into the fit. You need to consider the heaviest load you lift, how high you need to lift the load, and the aisle width in which you need to operate in. There are a number of items you need to consider and demoing a forklift can help you determine if the forklift you are consider is the right one for your company.

Why Get a Forklift Demo? Complete Consensus

A forklift purchase is a large investment and a complex vehicle that is custom-built for customers. In most instances, there are usually more than one person involved in the decision-making process, and all people involved should be in agreement on the forklift they decide to choose. There may be one person that makes the final decision, but other people such as operators, purchasers, maintenance people, among other people, should have influence on the forklift to be chosen. After all, it is the operators actually demoing and operating the forklift day-in and day-out. They should, of all people have influence on the decision after they demo the forklift. It is important to keep all stakeholders involved in the decision.

Why Get a Forklift Demo? Choosing the Right Partner

Like a car dealership, a forklift dealership likely supports, parts, services, and rental needs. The dealers may have other related offerings as well that you could take advantage of. When you demo the forklift, you should consider the partner dealership as part of the demo. Observe how they perform a demo, how their support system works, and help you solve challenges. A good partner is there to support you and your company, not just sell to you.

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Hand Pallet Truck: Challenges in Light-Duty Retail Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:00:46 +0000 When it comes to positioning pallets in the backroom or navigating aisles during a busy season, getting products from point A to point B consistently presents new challenges in the retail industry. The path is almost never a straight line, either. Vendors, customers, other employees, and various other workplace obstacles can sometimes make even the simplest tasks challenging – not to mention potential debris on the floor that might get in the way.

Safety First

So, what’s the best way to tackle some of these challenges when it comes to using hand pallet trucks? The first and most important step is proper operator training. While a hand pallet truck may seem like a very simple and intuitive piece of equipment, it needs to be treated just as seriously as a powered industrial vehicle. This is especially true in retail environments where they may be transporting large, heavy pallets in areas where customers are present. Proper operator training is vitally important before allowing employees to operate this type of equipment.

Understanding how the hand pallet truck operates is only part of the equation. Operators also need to be trained on when it is safe to pull pallets onto the sales floor. Many retail stores limit the times when it is acceptable to have pallets on the floor based on store hours or times when foot traffic is at its peak. This scheduling helps to keep aisles open for shoppers and can help reduce the possibility of injury to both customers and employees.

Oftentimes, the issue for retailers isn’t implementing these restrictions, but enforcing them. If rules are not enforced, it is much more likely that vendors and employees will take advantage of the opportunity to pull a pallet rather than load up and haul out multiple cart loads.

No Debris is the Key

Keeping your floors clean and clear of obstructions presents yet another challenge. Getting shrink wrap caught in the load wheels or running into a chunk of wood or a nail on the floor can do more than just slow you down. These hindrances can cause damage to your floor and pallet truck and even cause tip-overs. A sudden stop, at the very least, can cause unsecured loads to fall over, which not only damages your products, but can also greatly lower your productivity or even cause an injury. Taking the extra time to sweep your floors throughout the entire shift and to properly stack and shrink wrap loads can help to reduce these risks. Properly cleaning up spills and running floor scrubbers as needed will further reduce the risk for potential accidents.

The Right Truck for the Right Job

One of the most important factors for customers when shopping is the condition of the floors. When it comes to taking good care of your floors, you’ll want to choose the right truck for the job. A hand pallet truck with polyurethane wheels is ideal for the retail environment. The soft layer of polyurethane that surrounds these wheels helps to reduce the potential of damage to your floors. This compound also provides quieter operation, which is another important factor in a welcoming retail environment.

These wheels are great, but they don’t hold out forever! The polyurethane compound can be damaged over time due to wear and tear or damaged due to improper floor conditions. In turn, worn out wheels can damage floors, increase effort required by the operator to pull a load, and can present safety issues. Follow the procedures outlined in this blog post and your operator’s manual to help reduce this wear over time, but remember to replace wheels when they begin to show signs of excessive wear. When a wheel does need replacing, it’s best to contact your local, authorized Toyota Forklifts dealer for assistance.

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The Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts Mon, 15 Jan 2018 15:00:09 +0000 When you start looking to buy a forklift, one of the first things you will notice are the different tire types that are available. Pneumatic and cushion tires are the two most common, and those tire types are often used as a dividing line for the forklifts used in certain operations (along with fuel type) If your business operates a lot outdoors, then you may want to take a look at this post explaining pneumatic tires and why they are beneficial. But if you work mostly indoors, then cushion tires are made for you. To put it simply, cushion tires are made of a smooth rubber that is fitted around a metal band, great for indoor applications. The following are some of the major benefits of cushion tires.

Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: Great for Smooth Surface Applications

Cushion tires are designed specifically to work great on smooth surfaces, and the hard outer surface is designed to reduce chipping on the wheels. Cushion tires also contain more rubber, allowing for a safer, more comfortable ride for the operator. This extra rubber will also allow for a longer service life. But, using these types of tires outside on rough terrain could cause early chipping, and could be a safety hazard due to the reduced traction of the cushion tires. While it is alright for you to use it on smooth asphalt outdoors, we recommend you limit the time you use them outside.

Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: More Maneuverability

Another reason cushion tires are great for indoor applications is that they allow for a more maneuverable forklift. They are able to fit a smaller forklift frame, and have a lower ground clearance. When you operate in a warehouse, having a smaller forklift is important when it comes to making the most of your space. This allows you to navigate narrower aisles, and keep your racking closer together. The more space you have for racking, the more product you can hold in your warehouse.

Advantages of Cushion Tire Forklifts: Cost-Effective

Because cushion tires require less materials to produce, it is less expensive for companies to manufacture them. This is good for you, because they are usually cheaper than pneumatic tires. Another way cushion tires help you save money is by being easier to maintain. By making sure your warehouse floors are clear of debris, and not driving your forklift over rough terrain, you can help your cushion tires last.

Make sure you do some research, and really look into all of the different uses the forklift could get in order to make an informed decision. Once you choose a specific forklift and its tire type, I highly recommended against changing tire type on your forklift (and it’s often impossible to do so).

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Assessing the Cost of Pallet Stretch Wrap Products for Load Stabilization Fri, 12 Jan 2018 15:00:42 +0000 For shipping and receiving operations, the pallet is the heart of their success. Palletized goods move quickly and efficiently through operations, serving multiple storing, picking, kitting, and shipping purposes. For some operations, the size, shape, and velocity of items on pallets lead managers to invest in additional wrapping procedures in order to stabilize the goods. But how do you know what type of wrapping equipment to purchase? And how do you assess your operation to know if this type of equipment is even necessary? Answering these questions can lead you to expertly assess the ROI of additional wrapping equipment.

Types of Pallet Stretch Wrap Products

Pallet wrapping products are meant to stabilize loads and ensure they are securely in place during movement and transit. Keep in mind that this does not replace any safety precautions that are in place for handling palletized goods. Instead, pallet wrapping is meant to protect products from damage and operations from lost revenue.

Pallet Stretch Wrap:

Stretch wrap is the material that can be tightly wrapped around palletized goods to increase stabilization and is a common pallet stabilization tool. It adheres itself to the pallet and then is wound upwards or downwards around the load, helping secure it in place.

Many operations apply stretch wrap manually with a standard roll of stretch wrap that can be unwound. There are also accessories available such as hand-pallet wrappers and hand savers that can help increase productivity and reduce fatigue.  Hand savers are plastic pieces that fit on the ends of the stretch wrap roll and provide a softer surface for your hands and a smoother roll.  Hand-pallet wrappers hold the roll of stretch wrap and allow you to hold two external grips to get the job done. Manually wrapping a pallet is the least expensive method, but it will take a lengthy amount of time complete. Operations that need to wrap almost every pallet in their warehouse or ones that operate with a relatively high throughput might consider other wrapping methods.

Powered Pallet Stretch Wrap Machines:

These machines allow you to place a pallet on a motorized turn table. An associate attaches stretch wrap to the bottom of the pallet. When engaged, the turn table rotates and a vertical arm oscillates up and down while holding the stretch wrap roll, wrapping the pallet a set number of times.

This equipment is often used when operations wrap a high volume of pallets that are stacked to a standard height. This allows for quick use without altering the powered stretch wrapper’s settings.

Automatic Pallet Stretch Wrappers:

Fully automated wrappers can come in many different forms, but often automated wrappers are loaded via conveyor belt systems that automatically wrap when the load arrives. These systems don’t require operators and stretch wrap is attached to the bottom of the pallet automatically.

Companies with a high throughput and a firm grasp on their receiving and delivery cadence are those most likely to invest in these types of machines.

Deciding to Invest in a Pallet Stretch Wrap Product or Machine

Before deciding to invest in pallet wrapping, there are a few valuable questions to ask and evaluate in regards to your ROI.

Do we have a high rate of damaged product when it arrives at its destination?

The rate of damage to product you ship is a key indicator of a need for this investment and the level at which invest. If you have a high amount of customer complaints, investment in a power stretch wrapper might be worthwhile. But if you have only a few complaints, weigh the investment in a wrapper against other possible solutions.

Am I stacking my pallets in the right way?

If you have products getting damaged in transit to customers, you might need to revisit your pallet stacking techniques and that doesn’t always require a wrapping procedure. Carefully analyze what actions you are taking when you pick an order and if there are better processes.

Are we committed to adjusting our processes to include wrapping?

Changing any process can be difficult, even one that seems as simple as wrapping pallets. You’ll need to integrate the procedure into the flow of your warehouse or distribution center. That means the actions people take in the workplace will have to change. And wrapping can mean increased debris, so make sure that you’re committed to a good daily cleaning schedule.

Careful consideration of your needs will always help you make the right decision for your operation. Need help? Toyota forklift dealers can provide warehouse consultations that can help you increase your efficiency and success.

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How to Equalize Charge a Forklift Battery Mon, 08 Jan 2018 15:00:14 +0000 Lead acid batteries are one of the most neglected pieces of equipment in material handling. Low water levels, corrosion, and electrolyte spillage are common issues that need to be monitored on a daily basis, but one practice that tends to be forgotten is the equalization charge. So, what is an equalization charge? I’m glad you asked!

What is an equalized charge on a forklift battery?

An equalization charge occurs when the battery is purposely overcharged after a full charging cycle. Essentially, you are charging the battery at a higher voltage than it is typically charged to help remove built-up sulfate and balance the voltage of each cell.

Why perform an equalized charge on a forklift battery?

If you don’t equalize your lead acid batteries, this sulfate is going to build up over time until it decreases the battery’s capacity. This buildup will effectively reduce your maximum run time, leading to more battery swaps or more time spent opportunity charging throughout the work shift. The voltage imbalance has a similar effect. Batteries work by using multiple cells that are connected in series to provide a certain voltage output. When you have varying power outputs in each cell, your overall battery voltage is reduced and your battery becomes discharged more quickly.

When should I perform an equalized charge on a forklift battery?

Equalization charges should be performed as suggested by the battery manufacturer, but many companies equalize their batteries over the weekend due to the long charging cycle. A full charge cycle is around eight hours for a standard lead acid battery and the equalization charge can be around an additional three hours. Equalization intervals will vary depending on your specific application, type and size of battery, and average operating hours.

How do I perform an equalized charge on a forklift battery?

First, you need a charger capable of equalization, as not all battery chargers have the same capabilities. Work with your local Toyota dealer to ensure you have the proper charging equipment for all of your forklifts. Some battery chargers will automatically equalize the batteries. This capability is more common in more sophisticated systems on smaller products such as electric walkie pallet jacks. Toyota’s 8HBW23 model, for example, automatically equalizes each battery cell during normal charging.

For batteries that do require manual equalization, be sure to follow all instructions provided by both the battery and the charger manufacturer to ensure you are following the appropriate steps for proper equalization. Equalization charges typically require longer cooldowns than normal charges due to the higher amount of voltage. Allow enough time for cooldown prior to using a battery that has been recently charged.

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Hand Pallet Truck Safety in Retail Settings Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:00:38 +0000 When using material handling equipment, safety should always be your number one priority. Maintaining a high level of safety can become additionally complicated when customers are in the vicinity of your equipment. When your equipment is in an area where customers are present, business owners and operators should both prioritize the safety of those customers.

In this situation, everyone who works with or around the equipment needs to understand the risks presented to customers. While there is no way to guarantee against incidents, taking this hand pallet truck safety precautions might help promote a safe working environment for all.

Hand Pallet Truck Safety: Store Equipment in Secure Areas

Please, NEVER leave your material handling equipment unattended around customers. You need to make sure that your equipment is in a safe, monitored area. For instance, you can require warehouse spaces to have a keycard entry, or roping off sections to keep customers away from the equipment. You can also rope off single aisles if you know you will be using your heavy equipment in those areas. If this isn’t possible (we hear you grocery store owners and operators), then make sure that hand pallet truck is never unattended. Follow policies that strictly prohibit leaving it in the aisle while other tasks are completed. There are multiple ways to safely store your equipment, and make sure that customers are out of harm’s way. Find what works for you!

Hand Pallet Truck Safety: Track Alternative Routes

We know that being efficient is one of the most important aspects of running a business, but you never want to jeopardize anyone’s safety.  Sometimes coming up with an alternative route with your material handling equipment will help reduce the risk of customer contact. You may need to take a few extra minutes avoiding the most populated sections of your store, but avoiding customers and reducing the risk of a safety issue are highly recommended.

Hand Pallet Truck Safety: Restrict Operator Access

One of the best ways to ensure that your employees are the only ones using the equipment is to have a restricted access on your material handling equipment. If you’re not trained on the proper procedures of using a hand pallet truck in the specific operations in which you are working, then ask to be trained before you use it. Managers should be strictly limiting the use of hand pallet trucks on the retail floor to those who understand how to use them properly around customers.

Safe Use of Hand Pallet Trucks: Use the Proper Equipment

While some companies only need a hand pallet truck on their retail floor, other companies use larger equipment. Every business is different, and that means you need to evaluate your situation. The more equipment you use on the sales floor, the more risk there will be. Make sure you are operating the appropriate product to carefully maintain the safest conditions for your customers.

While these are only a few ways to increase customer safety, there are plenty more to be talked about. Evaluate your business, and make the decisions that work for you. Remember, hand pallet truck safety is the number one priority when using them on the retail floor.

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Factors in Choosing the Perfect Forklift for Fleet Expansion Wed, 03 Jan 2018 15:00:23 +0000 Great news! Your company is growing. You’re bringing in more orders, expanding your warehouse and increasing business every day. But this means you will need to invest in some more material handling equipment. There are many different types of equipment to choose from, and a clear understanding of multiple aspects of your expanding business can help you understand your forklift fleet and its needs. So before you procure a new forklift, make sure you check out these helpful hints to make sure you are getting the right one!

Forklift Fleet Expansion: Inspect Your Warehouse

You need to make sure you match up your equipment with the blueprints of the changing warehouse. Can you stack higher? Expanding up is often an option, but you need the industrial equipment to match the task. Or is all of your product being moved along the ground? Maybe you need to increase your moving speed. These are vital questions when looking into the right forklift. Make sure you also take a look at your racking, and consider what equipment can enter where needed, helping you in hard to reach places. Lastly, make sure you take a look at your aisle widths. Forklifts come in all different sizes, and making sure it has enough room to operate is extremely important. Make sure you have a good understanding of calculating forklift aisle width minimums.

Know Your Product

After unloading so many shipments of your product, you should hopefully have a good grasp on how heavy it is. But if you’re expanding to new product lines or needing to lift them higher than you used to, your grasp on your requirements might be slipping. Making sure you have a forklift with enough capacity to handle your products is crucial. You will need a forklift that can lift what you need it to. Pushing a smaller forklift to its capacity limits can be dangerous, and could cause lost product, as well as injured workers. The same is true if your load center has changed and your forklift isn’t ready to handle the extension of new pallet lengths. Toyota has forklifts of every size, from hand pallet jacks to loaded container handlers. Our Find a Forklift tool can help you determine the right forklift for your lifting capacity and load center.

Understand Operator Needs

Acquiring a forklift is a big commitment. As a manager, your team will be using this machine almost every day. As an operator, this is the tool that will hopefully allow you to do your job safely and with maximum efficiency. Which is why you will need to make sure you look at all the options and accessories that come with the forklift. If your warehouse has blind intersections, you may want to look into different types of pedestrian lights to help reduce the risk of accidents. There are also options like a fire extinguisher and many others that might be excellent for your specific applications. Toyota offers different types of accessories that help with ergonomics, keeping operators healthy and less fatigued after a long day. This includes an optional rear assist grip with horn button on many models that can make driving in reverse less taxing.

While there are other things you may need to look over, deciding on a forklift during times of expansion should not be an impulse buy. You need to make sure you scale up your forklift fleet in a way that makes sense for the scale of your specific business. There are many different variables that go into the decision making process. Take your time, and double check that you are getting the forklift that will help your business grow. Operators should be clear about their needs and managers should have open lines of communication with their operators. This communication will be paramount in a successful fleet expansion.

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How T-Matics Vehicle Management Systems and Toyota Technicians Work Toward Your Success Fri, 22 Dec 2017 15:00:26 +0000 If you’ve heard an anecdote beginning with, “Well, so-and-so said. . .” you are likely not alone. Part of our human nature means relying on our gut instincts and, while trusting your gut is something to be proud of, doing so isn’t always appropriate. Ensuring operational efficiency and the long-term value and ROI of capital equipment such as forklifts means having a good handle on how that equipment is being used within your operation. You may have a strong hunch about how equipment is being operated, but backing up that intuition with solid data is always the way to go! A vehicle management system (VMS) is a way to make sure you’re getting the right data to help you take firm, decisive action.

Trust me, I know how overwhelming data management can seem. And the data you’ll receive from a VMS like Toyota’s T-Matics Command or T-Matics Mobile can be overwhelming – unless you establish a few clear goals right from the beginning.

I’ve found that setting up a few key goals is a great place to get started with T-Matics or any VMS. For forklift operators and managers, vehicle uptime is often the “true north” that ensures a high efficiency and ROI. Adding T-Matics to the forklifts in your fleet can help your Toyota technicians have a clearer understanding of your needs and to ensure that you have maximum uptime in your organization.

Fault Code Notifications

Fault code notifications managed via T-Matics Mobile give instant insight into forklift malfunctions to help you understand the cause behind your forklift’s breakdown. When sensors are able to discover potential problems before the affected forklift is inspected by your technicians, they’ll be better prepared by having the correct parts in hand right when they arrive, increasing their efficiency. First-time fix rate is also increased as diagnostics are constantly running in order to provide technicians the insight they need to be successful.

Planned Maintenance Intervals

The problem with calendar-based planned maintenance is its failure to show the actual needs of a forklift because it relies on ambiguous and historical understanding of usage and need. With a VMS like T-Matics, planned maintenance can be scheduled based on activity rather than on a predetermined calendar date, meaning you’ll get maintenance right when you need it.

Utilization Monitoring

When you capture data effectively, you can turn it around into information that can be handed over, clearly and accurately, to your technician. By painting a detailed picture of your forklift utilization to your technician, they will be better at anticipating any upcoming compilations and at using this information to perform accurate diagnostics on current and potential breakdowns. The more your technician knows about a forklift’s utilization, the better equipped they are to deliver the best services.

Peak Usage Monitoring

T-Matics data offers insights into when your forklifts are being used most often. Use this knowledge for improving operational efficiencies, especially since it will allow you to distinguish between login and motion hours. These insights can also give you and your technician a good understanding of when they should be working on your forklift so they don’t interrupt your operation. Planned maintenance and fixes of problems not leading to breakdown can be performed during slower periods of your operation.




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Under Pressure: Choosing the Right Clamp Force Control Type Wed, 20 Dec 2017 15:00:17 +0000 Despite their usefulness, forklift clamps are one of the most underappreciated attachments on the market. Day in and day out, they spend their time opening, closing, and sometimes swinging and rotating to get the job done. It really is a thankless job, isn’t it? Never appreciated for what they can do, but always put down the minute they start damaging product. But is it really their fault?

Well sometimes it is, but oftentimes it’s no fault of their own. These clamps are under a lot of pressure (both literally and figuratively). Each forklift comes with a fixed hydraulic pressure setting which affects how tightly your clamp is going to grip onto a particular load. Lucky for you, there are ways to adjust this pressure setting, and this article will help you find the right one for your application.

Clamp Force Control: Three-Position Pressure Regulators

One of the common solutions to overcome product damage from high pressure settings is to use a three-position pressure regulator, which is essentially a pressure relief valve assembly mounted on the forklift. As the name implies, there are three positions, and each one regulates how much pressure is being relieved in the hydraulic system (crazy, I know). The assembly is typically mounted in a convenient location relative to the operator for ease of use. The truck’s mast, cowl, and operator compartment are some of the most commonly used locations, although the closer you can mount it to the forklift’s control valve, the better. The pressure is adjusted by simply moving a lever to one of three preset positions.

Pressure can be set specifically for your loads for each of the three settings, which allows operators to quickly adjust on the fly. A pressure gauge on the valve will also display the current setting for reference. Given that there are only three different pressure settings, this solution is best suited for applications with less variety when it comes to load weights and sizes. It’s also the cheapest option, so applications with less throughput can also benefit since minor manual adjustments from time to time are usually less impactful to your bottom line.

Clamp Force Control: Hydraulic Force Control

Three-position pressure regulators can be useful, but they also allow room for operator error and complacency. This is where hydraulic force control (HFC) comes in. I know it sounds like something out of Star Wars, but trust me, you don’t need any midi-chlorians to use it. HFC is a hydraulically controlled automatic force system that will adjust the clamp force proportionally to the weight of your load – pretty cool, right? It does this by continually sensing how much hydraulic pressure is necessary to lift that particular load and adjusting the clamping pressure as load weight increases or decreases. This system requires no input from the operator as it works solely on its own to apply the right pressure to each load.

The benefits of this type of automatic pressure adjustment are readily apparent. You eliminate the possibility of operator error by removing responsibility for manually adjusting the pressure settings, which can greatly increase your productivity and reduce product damage. The system is also easy to install and requires little maintenance, reducing overall cost of ownership. Additionally, HFC’s can be adjusted to set the minimum starting pressure, maximum pressure and more. Consider using HFC’s in higher throughput applications and/or when the opportunity for operator error is high and more costly.

Clamp Force Control: Adaptive Force Control

Similar to hydraulic force control, adaptive force control (AFC) also automatically sets the pressure being applied to a load based on the load weight. The main differences are that AFC’s are typically only used with paper roll clamp attachments and they use pre-programmed information specific to your application to determine a ratio based on roll weights and paper types and. This capability provides ultimate precision to further reduce the possibility of product damage. These settings can also be adjusted easily using a laptop or desktop computer if roll sizes or types change.

Depending on the brand you go with, you can also get several additional features. Cascade’s AFC’s, for example, also provide the following features:

  • Load CushionTM – lift accumulator that absorbs shocks in the hydraulic system, reducing the clamp force required to handle a load.
  • Electronic Drop-Stop Valve – prevents clamp pads from sliding down and damaging the product after unclamping a roll in slack-chain condition and prevents pad jump when used with an accumulator.
  • Digital Display – shows the clamping pressure in the circuit at all times, indicating that the circuit is functioning properly.

Given the additional safeguards to reduce product damage, this solution is ideal for very high throughput applications and where product damage tends to be more costly due to higher-value products. It’s also more beneficial for customers with a variety of roll sizes due to its adaptability and customization capabilities.

Regardless of your hydraulic clamping needs, the potential value added by choosing the right type of pressure regulation cannot be underestimated. Consider your return on investment for each type and make your decision carefully. When in doubt, consult with your local, authorized Toyota dealer for help with finding the right product to fit your specific needs.

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