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Lifting America One Forklift at a Time: The Economic Impact of the Industrial Trucking

In just a century, industrial truck manufacturing has become a top-ranked sector driving the American economy. Industrial trucks are amongst the top five industries driving the American economy with promising job growth. The industry is more than just tow tractors and pallet jacks moving wood or large metal equipment in a warehouse. Forklift manufacturers are key in making sure that all equipment and materials are delivered safely and intact to their destination. Many Americans do not realize how much of an integral part that industrial trucks and distributors play in handling many household items from the warehouse to their front doorsteps. Aside from delivery services, forklift manufacturing can be involved in supply chains, residual marketing, and sales.

Impact on American Economy

How impactful is the forklift industry?

  • The industry’s economic distribution has grossed approximately 25.7 billion dollars since 2015 and continues to exceed economic goals every year
  • The industry contributes the equivalent GDP of a small country to America’s economy
  • The workforce has a greater share of veterans, 10%, compared to any other industry
  • More than half a million people drive forklifts every day, and over 200,000 are employed in the forklift industry

KION North America

KION North America is very fortunate and thankful to be a part of an industry that provides so much service to Americans all across this continent. We have been able to be a part of an industry that not only aligns with our values but employs them in their everyday practice. These values include integrity, collaboration, courage, and excellence. In recent years, we have been ranked as one of the top industrial lift truck suppliers and continue to rank amongst top competitors. In 2017, KION Group invested close to 6 million dollars into different community partnerships while adding 50 more jobs to our local branch in Summerville, South Carolina. One of our recent projects includes the launch of full-line equipment that we feel will help KION excel in North America even more. The launch includes eight Linde brand warehouse vehicles that will focus on improving and enhancing the energy efficiency, motor automation, and digitization of our current products. We are ecstatic to see where this industry will be in another 100 years.

Forklift Battery Types & Battery Charges

Forklifts are a critical part of your warehouse; therefore, understanding the basics about forklift battery types as well as battery charges will help your company run more efficiently and effectively. Most forklifts come with standard flat plate batteries, but, there are a variety of other types that can be helpful. Read below to gain a better understanding of forklift batteries.

Types of Batteries

Tubular plate batteries offer longer run times and higher voltages under larger loads in comparison to the standard flat plate batteries. These tubular designed plates have fast charging capabilities which are great for high production applications. Each week these batteries require a finish and equalization charge for continued success.

High amp-hour batteries are more dependable batteries than tubular plates. If operation occasionally experiences higher demand than normal of if it is on the edge of needing a secondary battery, these high amp-hour batteries are especially helpful.

Waterless batteries sound deceiving, when in fact they do need water to function; however, less frequently in comparison to other batteries. Waterless batteries can also reduce labor costs, which can be beneficial to a company using these forklift batteries.

Maintenance-free batteries do not require watering and are considered clean or green for applications that handle more precious products such as food or pharmacy.

Battery Chargers

Charges are necessary components of the functioning capabilities of your forklift’s battery that allow you to quickly charge your battery without decreasing the battery’s lifespan. Battery chargers not only charge your battery but also monitor overheating or overcharging. Charging batteries are a necessary part of the function of a forklift as well as the overall function of a warehouse, helping it run more efficiently. Of course, different types of batteries require certain types of chargers to allow them to function properly and significantly help lengthen your batteries their lifespan. 

Understanding the different types of batteries can help you make the best decision in regards to how to power your forklift. Becoming knowledgeable about the different types of batteries, as well as how they are charged is important to your business. Get knowledgeable.

How to Get the Maximum Trade-In Value for your Forklift

Selling a used forklift can give you or your company extra funds to upgrade an existing fleet or invest in a new make or model. Knowing what your forklift is worth “as-is” can be a difficult task because there are many things to consider. Understanding these top four selling criteria will ensure every re-seller gets their maximum trade-in value.


The age of your forklift should be your first consideration. Forklift ages are typically done by the number of hours used in operation. 7,500 to 9,500 hours is optimal for high selling prices. Anything above 12,000 hours will get a lower asking price, and the type of forklift matters also. For example, if the forklift is electric, the condition of your battery will matter more than the hours spent. However, just like a car – the more they all have been used the less valuable it becomes.


Of course, the appearance of the forklift matters a great deal during a resale. The fewer scuffs the better and it’s a good idea to clean it up before showing it to any potential buyers. A quick clean and technician tune-up can boost your potential sale price. Honesty is the best policy here, so be sure to explain any dents, marks, or scratches to anyone inquiring. Appearance isn’t the sole factor, though. If you have a well-functioning forklift, many buyers will prefer optimal functionality over a perfect appearance.


If you’ve maintained your forklift well you can expect a better market value. Unfortunately, this cannot be done before the sale so to ensure top dollar for your machine – value the maintenance of your fleet over time. Have routine checks and tune-ups to extend the forklift’s lifetime and re-sellability. A faulty forklift will do poorly on the resale market, so make sure it’s operational and functioning before selling.


The type of forklift you’re selling will affect the market value. Electric forklifts get the best market value, but only if the battery is healthy and working. Gasoline and propane forklifts are lower in value, but can still be resold. Propane forklifts may be especially taxing to sell due to the over-saturation of availability. The accessibility of these forklifts makes them the least valuable.

Whether you’re selling a gas, electric, or propane forklift, it is important to know what will get you the most for your money when reselling. Being sensible to the current state of your machinery in terms of age, history, and type of forklift you’re selling will guide your valuation and ultimately secure you the maximum trade-in value.

How Forklifts Help After Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are an inevitable part of life. Preparing for them and cleaning up after them are two of the main options we have in response to an unstoppable hurricane, flood, or forest fire. Forklifts may be operational for the most part, but in times of need, they excel at picking up the pieces of a natural disaster. Here are some ways forklifts prove instrumental in our response to emergencies.


The calm before the storm can be a critical time to make arrangements for the impending disaster. Forklifts aid in preparation in various ways. For example, KION helped haul large amounts of sandbags to help prevent flooding in the Lowcountry of South Carolina during the last hurricane scare. Most importantly forklifts prepare and help to brace communities when facing the aftermath of what’s to come.


The pneumatic tires on most forklifts are perfect for driving over rugged terrain and uneven surfaces. This makes them invaluable in the wake of a hurricane or earthquake. Cleaning up debris is the first step to rebuilding a community and forklifts offer the tools to efficiently do this. Hand pallets are also immensely useful to provide the supplies in an organized and quick fashion. Access to food, water, and supplies is the most vital form of relief in these affected communities and forklifts help them get there.


It’s always important to keep the safety and operational standards up to date in case of an emergency relief project. Warehouse managers can contribute to relief by supplying forklifts to the affected areas. Getting supplies to the location, transferring them quickly to the communities, and ensuring a quick clean up is something forklifts provide in the face of a natural disaster.

Forklifts are useful before and after a natural disaster strikes. Aiding in preparation for the storm and supplying relief efforts afterward can make a huge difference in the lives of those affected. Forklifts help communities recover from the disaster and make it possible for them to thrive again.

Spring Forklift Maintenance Checklist and Inspection Guide

With spring officially set to commence on March 20th, there is no time like the present to get a head start on spring cleaning. Follow this instructional guide to get a head start on your forklift inspection and possible subsequent maintenance to ensure safe, clean, and workable conditions for their employees.

Forklift Statistics

Some statistics are important to check intermittently. Your forklift’s service history will tell you a lot about the systems prior issues and possible concerns. Another useful piece of information will be the level of your forklift’s oil.

Search for Wear and Tear Plus Leakage

Forklifts do the grunt work for us, therefore they are bound to wear and tear over time. Check the battery, electrical cables, as well as the spark plugs for degradation. Time can also cause the metal to corrode, which may result in leakages. Check for both of these factors to ensure your forklift will work for years to come.

Check the Cooling System’s Radiator Hose

If your forklifts radiator hose clamps and caps, you’re in the clear. Ensuring the forklift does not overheat is a crucial factor in the longevity of your machinery.

Inspect the Air Intake System

Inspecting the air intake system is important to ensure the forklift will continue working as intended. Seeing that the air intake system is sealed is a good sign your forklift is operating smoothly.

Examine Breaks

Examining the break height and pressure will help determine the safety of them. If they give little resistance, it may be time to replace them. Brakes are an essential safety feature in warehouse operations, so be sure to check them out!

Examine the Forks

Now, this may seem obvious, but you’re looking for any visible cracks to the fork. There are a few other considerations to this inspection, though, including fork height and thickness. If your forklift is experiencing extreme wear and tear, the forks will begin to bend lower and become thinner.

Check the Steering Wheel

The steering wheel directs the entire forklift and is a vital function of the machinery. Checking the valves within, the rubber that encases, and the hoses that connect to the steering wheel will allow you to see if it is functioning properly.

Check the Transmission Fluid

Not only should you be checking the transmission fluid’s levels, but the color and odor as well. The transmission fluid should still have a bright pigment to it. If it appears dark in color, you may have reason to believe the fluid is contaminated.

Check the Tire Pressure

Checking the tire pressure ensures that no tire-pops will ensue due to a heavy weight load. While checking the tire pressure, be sure to check out if the front and rear-end tires have any holes or tears on them, as well. Ensure the safety of your staff by having regular inspections and safety checks. Following this checklist and maintenance guide will help gauge which forklifts are on their last leg and which ones are reliable, safe, and running smoothly

What Is an Order Picker and Why Do You Need One?

What is an order picker? If you’ve ever wondered this, you probably work in a warehouse seeking innovative solutions for narrow aisle capabilities while simultaneously achieving high reaches. Order pickers can be a sound investment for many businesses seeking to boost productivity. Here we’ll cover what an order picker is, why you should invest in one, and things to consider beforehand.

What Is It?

An order picker does just that – helps to pick orders. They help you to pick orders from up to 35 feet in the air! There are a variety of ranges for order pickers, ranging from mid to high-level reaching. Mid-level reaching can range from 15 to 25 feet and typically has a capacity for 3,000 lbs. The high-level order pickers still only hold 3,000 lbs capacity, but extend to reach anywhere from 20 to 35 feet! These higher models must be wire or rail guided for added support and safety.

Why Do You Need It?

Order pickers allow you to access heights ranging between 9 to 35 ft high. Increased storage is invaluable within a warehouse, so investing in an order picker is ultimately an investment in your profits. Not only does the order picker reach great heights, but it also allows for a more narrow aisle as well. More space means better operational efficiency, and that’s why you need an order picker.

Things to Consider Beforehand

These machines are designed to extend 30 or more feet in the air, and there are a few things to consider before bringing one to work. Obviously, ample height is needed in relation to the max extension of your model. Also, your load requirements should be considered seeing as though these don’t exceed 3,000 lbs capacity. If you anticipate needing the high-level order picker, think about ways to optimize for the railing guidance previously mentioned.

We hope this information is helpful when deciding if an order picker is a beneficial purchase for you or your company. If you have any questions regarding order pickers, need more insight, or if you are considering your purchase, please contact us via our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000.

What Is A Reach Truck and Why Do You Need One?

Are you interested in understanding what a reach truck is and how it would be a beneficial piece of machinery to have? If you are searching for assistance in a tight warehouse work environment with great height and narrow aisles then a reach truck is worth your investment. Here we discuss what a reach truck is, why you need it, and things to consider before purchasing one.

What Is It?

A reach truck is designed to handle certain activities, such as: fitting in narrow aisles, to store and retrieve pallets in racks, to provide right-angle stacking, and for unit load handling with rack interface. There are two types of reach trucks, pantograph reach trucks and moving mast reach trucks. Pantograph reach trucks are designed to extend the lifting forks forward which allows them to enter into racking with either a double or single reach arrangement, and a moving mast reach truck is created to enable the whole mast to move forward.

Why Do You Need It?

A reach truck is an excellent piece of machinery to have if you need unity handling, have to maintain capacity at height, or when you need selectivity. It is also great to have a reach truck because most conventional systems would involve and need a pallet truck supplying a reach truck in a unit load storage implementation. While the reach truck dispenses let-down for the pallet truck in low position order picking; this easily qualifies the reach truck as a useful tool for other machines that are utilized daily. 

Things To Consider Beforehand

Before buying a reach truck think about things such as load requirement, load capacity, top load beam, clear ceiling height, and lift off space (usually ranging from 8 to 12 inches). Keep in mind other essential warehouse items to specify when buying a reach truck; this will include thinking about any floor issues there might be, aisle entry, base leg openings, side shift, and battery voltage, and charging systems.

We hope you have found this information helpful when deciding if a reach truck is a beneficial purchase for you or your company. If you have any questions regarding reach trucks, need more insight, or if you are considering your purchase, please contact us via our website or by calling us at 843-875-8000.

3 Things to Know Before Buying a Forklift Attachment

Forklift attachments function to diversify a machine’s range of motion and capacity load. Buying used can have economic incentives, but you need to know what you’re getting into before you invest. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when buying a forklift attachment.

1. Attachments Will Affect Your Forklift’s Net Capacity.

Adding a forklift attachment will add weight to the forklift, taking away from the capacity load potential of that forklift. Depending on the attachment, this can affect the net capacity that your forklift can handle, which may ultimately affect efficient operations. Know your weight before you buy to calculate just how much weight you’re losing from product load in return for the attachment’s benefit.

2. Attachments Can Change the Lift Truck’s Center of Gravity.

Understanding how the center of gravity will change in response to a forklift attachment will not require a physics degree. Just know that heavy attachments that have their weight distributed to the right or left will influence the workload ability and safety of the lift. To see if your attachment is affecting your lift’s center of gravity, observe some weight being lifted and see if the weight shifts, slides, moves off center. If so, there may be a center of gravity issue for that attachment.

3. Clamp Release Interlocking Devices Are Vital for Attachments.

Although these clamps are not applicable to every attachment, they are worth considering before buying any used machinery. These clamp release devices work by reinforcing the attachments to their host. Having this device will prevent the damaging of products, reduce the falling of loaded weight, and increase the overall safety of the operation.

Acknowledging these three considerations when buying a used forklift attachment will lead to finding the right product for your company all while reaping the benefits of saving money!

Warehouse Management Tips

Managing a warehouse includes solving complicated logistical issues, ensuring efficient production, and delegating tasks to employees. Knowing some tips to this trade will be useful in staying organized and on track for the next shipment.


The most valuable asset within a warehouse is space. Utilizing this space in the most optimal way to serve your purpose should be in consideration. Using stackable and resealable containers has proven to increase aisle space. The use of vertical storage will help to clear paths for picking and restocking. The base location of these vertical stacks should be placed regarding to frequency of use. Work will get done much more efficiently using this stacking method of utilizing air space.


A disorganized warehouse is not only a daily stressor, but it is also sending a negative message to suppliers, visitors, and employees. Organization is a major key in managing a warehouse. Think to yourself – what are the main functions of this warehouse? Then, re-arrange according to functionality. By dedicating two to four hours a month to re-organization and cleaning, you’ll be surprised with the difference it makes! Having an adequate, clean space to execute picking and stocking ensures efficiency throughout the process.


The integration of technology within warehouses has allowed increased efficiency as well as organization. Implementing barcoding software along with clearly printed labels has been found to be the quickest way to manage inventory within the warehouse.

Along with barcoding software, there is also software that tracks inventory error rates. Whether something has mistakenly gone out or never even arrived in the first place, this technology allows managers to track error rates. By tracking these errors, managers are able to find problem areas and tackle them with ease.

Receiving-End Functionality

The receiving area of a warehouse is one of the most vital spaces. The unloading of materials, breaking down of pallets, and the counting of shipments are all typically executed within this area. Requiring this to be the largest functioning area will allow employees to do their jobs with less constraint.

Another benefit to making this the largest space is that logistics can be accommodated much easier. Being able to receive shipments simultaneously in the large receiving area will increase the flexibility of scheduling.

How to Become a Forklift Operator

Forklift operators typically work within warehouses or construction sites. They are vital to business operations since they are responsible for moving heavy materials to where they are needed. Operators are responsible for their safety as well as the safety of those around while working. Operating heavy machinery is the bulk of the job, however, there is more to getting the job than hopping on the forklift and turning the key.

Valued Experience

Prior experience working with heavy machinery brings great value to the table, and knowledge on warehouse distribution operations will prove useful as well. The companies leading the industry in forklift technology are important to note when applying. Among top competitors are; Linde and Baoli.

Active listening and effective communication are vital to ensure safe operations for you and those around you. Regardless of where you fall on the prior-experience spectrum, becoming a forklift operator ultimately reduces to passing the certification process.

Certification Process

The OSHA certification process typically takes 2-5 days to complete depending on if you complete it online or in person. CertifyMe.net offers OSHA forklift certification card training for only $59.95. The process is split up into two sections: educational and practical. The focus for the education section will be operation and safety, while the practical portion examines your actual handling of the machinery. This practical portion is typically executed by the proposed employer. With this short time frame and affordable price, you’ll be working the lift in no time!

What to Expect

Aside from actually operating the forklift, there are various benefits to becoming a forklift operator. Hourly pay ranges an average of $15 to $20 an hour. This job is not as isolating as people think, because forklift operators work regularly within teams. Another perk is that these jobs typically operate between regular business hours, allowing you to have a set schedule and a stable career!