Toyota forklifts make light work of lifting and moving racks of heavy tires at Falken’s New Jersey distribution center
When one enters the Falken Tire Distribution Center in Robbinsville, New Jersey, the person is immediately met with a sea of black. Tires upon tires stacked floor to ceiling in specialized racks—as many as 450,000 roadworthy products can be stored in the 218,000-square-foot facility at any given time. Most of them appear to look alike, but there are actually about a thousand different types held throughout the building in the large five- by five-foot racks, which are stacked six levels high up to 30 feet. The metal racks make it easy to group specific SKUs and allow for easy movement throughout the facility using Toyota forklifts. This facility is one of five in the Falken network and serves customers in the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic states, and Canada.
There are 13 Toyota forklifts that make up the fleet in Robbinsville fulfilling Falken Tire’s warehouse forklift needs—10 electric and three propane vehicles. They do all of the heavy lifting of the racks and their contents, which can weigh over 2,000 pounds apiece when full of tires. The forklifts, with their 5,000-pound capacity, can lift two of the racks stacked together.
Falken chose Toyota forklifts for their durability and versatility. “We want the fork trucks to be able to go anyplace that we need to position them,” explains Jimmy Oxx, facility manager. “We are stacking six high in this building, which is unlike almost anywhere in the United States.” He says recent changes to the fire code allowed Falken to increase the height of the stack in the facility. The Toyota forklifts in Robbinsville feature quad masts that can reach as high as 260 inches. When fully extended, the trucks can easily place two racks stacked together on top of four other stacked racks to reach a height of six levels.