Maintenance | KION North America

Category Archives: Maintenance

The Linde Series 346, Series 1346, and Series 1347 | A New Age of Productivity

The Pursuit of Excellence

The advancement of technology for industrial trucks is ever changing and vital as companies are increasingly looking for ways to excel in efficiency.  The continued pursuit to do things better and faster is the driving force for many.  Companies must consider not only cost but must also look at the big picture of maintaining and increasing efficiency and productivity, as well as employee safety.

Increased Efficiency

The traditional lead-acid battery has allowed us to perform many tasks, and at the time it was introduced to market, allowed companies to be more efficient and effective in production.  However, the battery comes with many negative factors that make its use counterintuitive. Lithium-Ion batteries are forging a new path for companies, requiring little down time and increased proficiency in material handling of supply chains.  The battery itself, whether it be lead-acid or lithium-ion, does not stand alone as the champion for industrial trucks, but the performance difference comes from the combined system of battery and truck. The combination of the Linde truck with lithium-ion batteries compliment the many progressive features Linde trucks hold, making these batteries the new standard in industrial trucks – focusing less on which lithium-ion battery you put in the truck, but how the truck uses that energy.

Unrivaled Energy Efficiency

Companies can decide which capacity sized battery to choose based on their intensity needs.  For example, a forklift could run for a 3-shift operation with the large battery, offering extreme increases in productivity and keeping processes moving. A perfect marriage of truck and battery comes from the exclusive Linde compact drive axle, which eliminates wasteful electrical losses.  Lithium-ion batteries are different in that you can more easily adjust the electric charge capacity to suit the truck application.  Looking at the highly efficient Series 346 for example, the Linde truck would use less energy than a competitor truck while moving the same loads.  The lower energy usage allows you to select a smaller capacity battery, which can save a significant amount of money with lithium-ion technology.  Using lithium-ion batteries in conjunction with an energy-efficient Linde truck proves to be the most cost-effective method because a lower capacity battery can support the same productivity.

Decreased Downtime

Upgrading trucks from manual use to battery supported has increased timing and efficiency, but requires frequent battery changes, taking away from employee productivity. For three shift operations, companies could end up changing lead-acid batteries at least five times.   In addition, changing a battery requires its 1.5-ton weight to be removed with the aid of another forklift or an overhead crane.  For a typical lead-acid battery, regular maintenance includes replenishment of water, overnight equalization charging, and occasional exposure to battery acid.  While these activities are important, they represent downtime for the truck.  Charging a Linde Series 346, Series 1346 or Series 1347 truck, with lithium-ion battery, has never been easier and can be completed at different stopping points or near a break area for example, allowing the truck to complete a quick re-charge during scheduled employee downtime.  Another constructive use is that these trucks do not require a full charge cycle.  Although the battery may be charged completely within an hour, short charges are also encouraged. 

Forklift Capacities: How To Choose The Right Truck For The Job

With so many truck options out there, choosing the correct truck for the application can seem like a daunting task.  To enhance productivity, as well as promoting safety, selecting the appropriate truck for your operation can affect multiple layers of your supply chain.  Below we discuss tips to consider in choosing the right truck for the job.

Understanding Lift Capacity

When considering a forklift for your application, you must first look at lift capacity.  Trucks can range anywhere from 3,000 to 70,000 lbs. and offer a multitude of designs to aide in efficiency.  Each forklift has its own data plate where you can find the rated capacity.  Depending on the way the load is carried, and the weight is distributed, will change the amount of weight the forklift can safely carry. 

Knowing a trucks lift capacity does not necessarily equate to matching product in pounds. For instance, if a forklift’s data plate specifies a lift capacity of 5,000 lbs. that does not necessarily mean the truck can carry any load of 5,000 lbs. Understanding the weight, size, and position of the load will better determine the type of truck needed. 

Some questions to consider when deciding on specific truck capacity needs:

  • Where will my forklift be used (indoors or outdoors)?
  • How heavy is my typical load?
  • What is the shape of my typical load?
  • What aisle clearance do I have in the warehouse?
  • How high do my loads need to be lifted?
  • How often will my forklift be used?

Factors that affect Lift Capacity

Center of Gravity

Most counterbalanced trucks have what is called a stability triangle.  The stability triangle is a three- point suspension system that incorporates two front wheels and the center of the steer axle that supports the truck.  When the truck is at rest, the center of gravity is within the stability triangle, however, when the truck is in motion (braking, accelerating and making turns) the center of gravity shifts. It is also important to understand that an unloaded truck can tip with the counterbalance weight as well as a truck transporting a load.  According to OSHA, “the load center is the distance from the face of the forks to the load’s center of gravityMany forklifts are rated using a 24-inch load center, which means that the load’s center of gravity must be 24 inches or less from the face of the forks.”  Additional issues that can affect the center of gravity is damaged product or loads un-securely mounted, loads that are off-center, and loads that are exceeding capacity. OSHA:  Load Handling

Attachments

Warehouse operations will often add forklift attachments to aid the needs of their operation.  However, before adding any attachment, operators must consider the affect adding an attachment will have on the trucks center of gravity.  The additional weight is not the only concern, as considering the horizontal and vertical center of gravities can also affect the overall lifting.  To ensure trucks are transporting loads safely, locating the forklift attachment’s data plate will assist in determining proper lift capacity.

Tires

Choosing a forklift, based on lift capacities, involves many more factors than what the data plate states.  Each part of the truck offers their own lift capacities and can directly affect the load you intend to carry.  For example, the type of tires on the truck will help determine lift abilities.  If the truck has small or larger tires, those details will come into play on calculating load size and may require a recalculation of center of gravity. 

There are plenty of other areas to consider and address when determining the appropriate truck options for your supply chain. Calculating lift capacities and considering additional attachments, can negatively affect center of gravity, and can be overwhelming for the operator to navigate.  That’s why our dealer partners are ready to help you find the right truck for the job. Contact any of our dealer partners today at a location near you!  KION NA Dealer Network

Operating A Forklift In Unpredictable Weather – Rainy Conditions

We have entered that time of the year where many are experiencing the unpredictability of mother nature.  Whether it be extreme spikes in temperature or the sudden torrential downpour, the weather can often catch us off guard.  When operating machinery, like a forklift, it is imperative to be alert on any given day, but especially when the weather takes a turn.  Below we highlight several tips and considerations for operating a forklift in the rain.

Eliminate Distractions

Keeping focused on your equipment and your surroundings should always be a priority while operating a forklift.  That means limiting the amount of outside distractions is crucial to maneuver the truck effectively and safely.  Make sure you are wearing proper attire while working in outside conditions so that you are protected inside your workspace.  For instance, not keeping your head covered can cause a decrease in visibility and focus, creating a potential hazard. Also, strong winds can be associated with heavy rains, so wearing water and windproof jackets and pants will also aide in protection and less distractions. 

To decrease the likelihood of taking your eyes off the road, it is a good idea to leave cell phones and audio devices off the truck.  Eliminating those appliances will help keep you focused on the job at hand.  In addition, keeping food and drinks out of the workspace will prevent the urge to take your hands away from the control deck, thus keeping you in control of your forklift.

Watch your Speed

Just as we slow our speed in our car during rainy weather, the same applies for maneuvering a forklift.  Even with the latest improved features on Linde trucks, of automatic acceleration and deceleration that deliver smoother transitions with speed, wet weather can still greatly affect the driving experience.  Operating the forklift cautiously, during compromised weather, will ultimately make you, the operator, more effective and efficient over the course of the day as well as decreasing the probability of an accident.

Be Alert to Driving on Multiple Surfaces

If you are operating between multiple terrains (indoor and outdoor applications) it is extremely important to be aware of the surfaces you are driving on.  When transporting loads back and forth from the yard to the warehouse, the inclination may be to increase speed since the surface you are driving on is now dry.  However, the wheels on the forklift will still be very wet and will make abrupt stops difficult.  Maintaining consistent, slower speeds, while transitioning from outdoors to indoors, will create a more secure logistical operation.

With the Linde internal combustion trucks, you can automatically rely on the ability of being prepared to deliver solid production in any weather condition. But with the Linde outdoor electric trucks, you’re also assured a precise and agile operating experience with Linde’s robust drive technology, backed by attentive traction control and precise navigation.

Baoli – A dependable, reliable utility truck at a great price

In the world of material handling, companies have many factors to consider when purchasing a forklift truck.  Businesses want forklifts that are not only productive and reliable, but also cost effective.  Companies often have limited choices due to pricing and find themselves settling for less.  By choosing the Baoli brand, companies no longer need to compromise.  Baoli offers dependable, reliable utility trucks at a great price, with exceptional product support and a premium warranty.  Baoli support is fully integrated into the KION North America supply chain and service system. 

Smart Engineering and Exceptional Value

Baoli brand trucks have built their reputation on value – a cost-effective choice, exceeding expectations.  Baoli’s advanced fuel systems and electronic control units (ECU) make these trucks more fuel efficient.  Not only that, but the Baoli brand offers a 500-hour maintenance interval, decreasing costs and downtime.  Baoli is a high-quality, tough as nails truck, with a focus on operator comfort and dependable performance.

Baoli offers the following optimized standard specifications:

  • KION North America warranty
  • Wide view mast, good forward visibility
  • Overhead guard optimizes visibility with plexi-glass cover for added protection
  • Rear pillar assist with horn for operator convenience and security
  • Fully suspended and cushioned operator compartment
  • Adjustable comfort suspension seat and tilt steering column
  • Proven quality engine exceeding the economy segment standard
  • Low center of gravity
  • Highly fuel efficient

Power and Performance

Baoli offers many diesel and LPG forklift options with capacities of 5,000 – 10,000 lbs. and electric forklifts with a 3,500 lb. capacity.  The Baoli brand is designed to accomplish the most demanding jobs. Baoli trucks offer proven engines, used in forklifts worldwide for reliability and durable performance.  With proven power systems and standardized components, Baoli upholds the values of an industry leader.

Exceeding Industry Standards

Cost effective does not translate to limited features.  Baoli trucks constantly exceed industry expectations, combining comfort, convenience, and ease of maintenance into one ergonomically designed package. Equipped with operator comfort and convenience features including a fully suspended and cushioned operator compartment, adjustable suspension seat, and tilt steering column, the Baoli brand comes with the features and options you need at the price you want.

Product Spotlight: The Redesigned Electric Center Rider Pallet Truck Series 1102

We keep the world moving and with that, Linde is continuously looking at new ways to meet the needs of our customers.  Seeking innovative designs to maximize ergonomics, performance, and reliability is paramount in Linde trucks.  The newly redesigned Linde Series 1102 encompasses all those features and more, offering ways to work better, smarter and more efficiently.

Ergonomics

With the operator in mind, the re-designed Series 1102 offers a forward driving position with a unique Linde twin-grip steering control, showcasing an ergonomic tiller head that governs travel direction, speed and automatic return to neutral. This feature offers ease of use of controls by either hand and its power steering reduces steer effort by 70%, decreasing operator fatigue.  Another attribute is the suspended operator platform, that not only provides the operator with an extremely comfortable work environment, but also incorporates an operator-presence sensor, protecting the operator from any unintentional harm.

Performance

The Series 1102 is extremely versatile, enabling low-level order picking and is designed for both long and short travel distances, all backed by the powerful 5.4 hp AC drive motor.  In addition, it allows for operation on or off the truck using the Easy Pick system with electronic coasting feature.  Recognized as being one of the toughest trucks in the market, it delivers high performance acceleration, braking, and travel speeds but also offers a smooth delivery while transporting heavy loads up to 8,000 lbs. 

Reliability

With the job application and operator in mind, the latest features and re-design results in an extremely durable and reliable truck.  Transporting heavy loads are not an issue as the heavy-duty fork stiffeners provide strength along all the way to the tips.  The durable casters and forks provide greater strength, stability, and longer integrity over the life of the truck, making the Series 1102 a dependable asset in your warehouse operations – even in the most demanding applications. 

Efficiency

The AC motor controller provides effective and efficient use of battery voltage and has extremely wide torque and speed range, supporting tailored parameters to meet a wide variety of application requirements.  Zero speed ramp hold applications are also accomplished, as well as full regeneration capability and smooth low speed control.  Maximizing the Series 1102’s capabilities are a reality with the addition of new AC technology, enabling extended maintenance intervals for motors resulting in decreased down time.

Maintaining Your Forklift – Keeping It Clean Will Prolong Its Working Life

When considering ways to extend the life of your forklift, one often gravitates to the more obvious ideas.  Depending on how your truck is powered, you may be thinking regular oil changes, keeping a close eye on the motor/engine, following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule or regular up-keep of the tires.  One, as important step to maintaining a forklift that often gets overlooked, is cleaning/disinfecting the truck.  Below we will highlight some important steps that will ensure your forklift is functioning at peak performance and will remain running for a long time.

Clean off exterior debris

Just as you would clean your personal car when it becomes visibly dirty, the same applies for the forklift.  Depending on your truck’s source of power will determine what tools you can clean with.  For an electric truck, knocking off accumulated grim with a broom will help dislodge unwanted particles, making it easier to clean.  An air compressor can also assist with the removal along with non-toxic bio-degradable solutions.  Keep in mind that water can affect your trucks electrical components, so use caution to prevent electrical damage.

As noted in the Linde service guide operators manual,hot steam or cleaning materials with a powerful degreasing effect should only be used with great caution as this will affect the grease filling of bearings with lifetime lubrication, causing it to escape. As re-lubrication is not possible, the bearings will be irreparably damaged.“

When cleaning a non-electric truck, it is advised to use a pressure-washer to knock-off hard to remove substances.  In addition, the use of the pressure-washer will prevent the operator from getting too close to the truck, during cleaning, protecting one from potential hazardous run-off or splash-back.

The Linde operator’s manual states, when cleaning with a water jet (high-pressure or steam cleaner etc.), it should not be applied directly to the area of the front axle, electric and electronic components, connector plugs or insulating material. Water should not be used for cleaning in the area of the central electrical system and switch console.“

Don’t forget the underside of the truck

It is often noted that we clean what we see, however, hidden parts of the truck are as important, if not more to maintain.  Depending on where you work, your truck may be used in many different environments.  Dirt and grim can easily build up in those hard to reach areas, causing potential issues to the undercarriage of the truck.  Keeping those areas cleaned, will prevent major issues down the road.

Work from the top of the truck down

For heavier soiled areas, pre-soaking your truck may be necessary.  That will allow build-up to soften, making it easier to clean.  When cleaning your truck, make sure to start at the top and work your way down.  That way, grim and dirt will flow down, and you are not having to re-clean areas.

Allow proper dry time

Once your truck is sufficiently cleaned, park it in an area that will allow appropriate dry time – preferable in the sun.  Allowing your truck to dry will ensure that its components are working efficiently and will prevent damage to the truck.

Protect yourself

No matter how you plan to clean your truck, make sure you are using protective gear.  When using cleaning materials or tools, there is always a chance that substances can splash back on you.  Be sure to wear protective eye-wear, boots and gloves, as well as long sleeves and pants to protect your skin.

Top 6 Forklift Options to Reduce Maintenance Costs

One of the biggest keys to having a profitable business is to find ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality or customer satisfaction. Buying a forklift, regardless of size, is expensive enough so the maintenance can be even steeper in price. We have compiled a list to help your company save some coins in maintenance costs to make sure you are providing quality as a standard to your company and your customers.

Repair Floors and Eliminate Sources of Tire Damage

Worn out floors can cause serious damage to your forklifts’ tires if the floors have holes or are badly worn down. Debris and waste such as plastic, wooden pieces, and other trash can also cause tire damage, which eventually leads to your machine needing new tires. Making sure that your manufacturing site upholds cleanliness standards and investing in smooth, even floors can eliminate the chances of employee accidents and machine damage.

Introduce Forklift Operating Safety Training

When is the last time your forklift operators participated in a forklift operating safety training? If you could not answer immediately, that means that it is time to plan for a training session. These sessions act as a refresher on safety protocol, while also update operators on any new driving/handling techniques when operating the forklifts. The benefits of these training sessions are that they increase forklift operator awareness and significantly decrease the amount of damage to the machines and any inventory.

Sticking to One Brand of Forklifts 

Various companies make forklifts, and not all of these machines are made the same. Different companies like to add on signature gadgets to build their brand stand out, and these additions can come additional costs. It may be a smart investment to be consistent with the brand of forklifts that your company uses to ensure that you do not have to kick out extra maintenance fees for different brands of forklifts.

Replace Tires and Wheels Frequently

Due to the lack of suspension that forklift machines have, their tires and wheels are prone to become worn down very easily and require frequent maintenance. An excellent investment tool would be to invest in shock absorption pads and replace tires and wheels frequently. Even the most skilled forklift driver is bound to have an incident on while operating the machine. These minor accidents can accumulate damages very quickly, and soon, you will need to replace an expensive machine. Investing in shock alarms to help indicate and absorb some shock will help keep track of how often to replace tires.

Setup a Maintenance Program

Having a contract with a maintenance provider could help companies maintain repair costs. Instead of having unexpected, or large repair bills, Have a monthly fixed price with a service provider to address any problems and eliminate the potential for any significant issues in the future. This is why sticking to one brand of forklifts is essential because this one factor could help to regulate the monthly cost of your maintenance bill. Even if there are no significant repairs one month, the constant upkeep on your machines will save you a ton in the long run.

Investing in Multi-Function Display Screens

Multi-function display screens are vital to any machine. Their primary function is to display the performance of forklift, determine its current condition, and if it’s time for any maintenance checks. It can control and regulate the speed of the forklifts and even measure oil levels. This is a brilliant investment to have seeing as it does most of maintenance monitoring for you.

Steps to an Energy-Efficient Warehouse

Having trouble trying to figure out ways to reduce your overall warehouse costs? We have some easy steps you can take! From recycling, lighting, to different types of forklifts, we have you covered. While lowering costs with these steps, you will also be making a positive impact on the environment.

Motion Activated/Solar Lighting
If you want to decrease your electricity usage, we recommend motion activated and solar-powered lighting. With motion activated lighting, the lights will come on only when the lights sensor motion and will turn off after a few minutes once the employee leaves the area. With solar lighting, you can easily eradicate electric lighting. Both types of lighting are great ways to reduce your costs and help the environment!

Recycle
A full warehouse also means you have tons of boxes! One of the easiest ways to save money, and the planet, is by using cardboard shredders. This a simple way to change your cardboard scrap into recyclable packing which can later be used as packaging material for any shipments you need to send off. Another step you can take when it comes to recycling is reusing your bubble wrap. The bubble wrap you receive from shipments can be saved to act as a cushion in the future for products that you’ll need to ship off to customers.

Air Conditioning
Air conditioning can be very expensive, especially when you need to cool down an entire warehouse, for this reason, many warehouses aren’t cooled. To keep your employees working at a comfortable temperature, we recommend looking into evaporate cooling. Evaporate cooling doesn’t require much power and can reduce the temperature to more than 10 degrees. This is a popular and inexpensive way to keep your warehouse cool.

Electric VS Propane Forklifts
Forklifts are extremely vital and can be found in most warehouses. With electric forklifts, you won’t have any exhaust fumes, which enhances air quality and saves you money. Propane forklifts use about $20 worth of propane. If you cut out propane forklifts and switch to electric forklifts, you will be saving about $4,000 annually. This also helps improve conditions in your warehouse and the environment.

Our hope is to reduce your costs and contribute to saving the environment with these four steps. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us via our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000.

How Planned Maintenance Saves You Money

To avoid expensive and unexpected repairs, you’ll want to plan maintenance. It will cost you more to service your forklift than to preserve the equipment properly. We want you to take the appropriate steps in caring for your forklifts. Hopefully, these three simple tips can help you schedule your maintenance successfully beforehand to prevent spending more than you need to.

Investment
You will want to protect your investment, which is your forklift. The first step is to make sure that you check your forklift periodically, no matter what type of forklift you own. Regular maintenance checks can increase the lifespan of your forklift. These are expensive pieces of machinery, proper care is crucial.

Never Pay Twice
You should never pay twice for service. Many owners of forklifts who don’t sign up for planned maintenance get charged anyway. Messing up payment is an easy error to avoid, by asking the service you take your forklift to if they could call you ahead of your appointment to double check if you will be using the service.

Planning
When you plan an appointment for maintenance, you won’t have to worry about any breakdowns or remembering to arrange to get service done. This keeps your forklift running and ensures the safety of both the operator and the forklift. Keep reminders on hand of when to create maintenance appointments.

With planned maintenance, this will minimize downtime, enhance productivity, expand the forklift’s lifespan and reduce costs. If you have any questions or want to know more about owning a forklift, contact us via our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000. We hope to hear from you soon!

Importance of Watering a Forklift Battery

When it comes to handling the maintenance of your forklift, you’ll want to be certain that you are taking the proper measures to ensure that your forklift remains in good shape for your use. One of the key components to the forklift is its battery. Maintaining the battery is a responsibility you’ll want to prioritize, more specifically, watering the battery. The following points will help boost the battery’s performance.

Why, When, How
You water a battery because you don’t want your battery to burn out. If batteries aren’t watered down, then this will decrease the lifespan and safety of the battery. You’ll want to water the battery before a work shift. When watering the battery, you’ll want to water each cell within the battery until it is at the maximum height of the lead-acid plates. Try not to over water the battery because it will cause leaks. With that being said, don’t underwater either. If the battery is under watered, it will cause the battery to dry-out, which then requires downtime and extra upkeep.

Clean Distilled Water
We recommend that you use clean distilled water that is between 5-7 on a PH scale. The battery should always be clean and unadulterated. If you use water that is contaminated with other substances, it can cause battery damage, which leads to having to spend a fortune to either repair the battery or purchase an entirely new battery.

Battery Plates
It is suggested that you keep the forklift battery plates below the water-line when you are charging. This is to assure that your battery doesn’t overheat and also doesn’t dry out. If the battery overheats or dries out, this makes it inoperable or unsuitable for your forklift. If the plates go above the water line, then add water to a quarter of an inch aloft the plates, and try not to go over that.

We hope you have rendered this useful to understand the significance of watering your battery and the consequences that will occur if you don’t do it accurately. If you have any questions or regard, please contact us either through our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000.